Just popping in for a moment to ask one simple question of all you screaming maniacs who screamed and swore when I was a Hillary supporter. I’ll ask the same question of all those who begged me to vote for Obama last year because “he’s anti-war, he’s pro-Constitution, he’s for universal healthcare, he IS all that AND a bag o’ tater chips!!”
Why the effin’ hell did I vote for this guy?
Rather than ending the war and bringing our troops home, the supposed Savior is about to pull a Johnson and escalate an unwinnable war.
Thank you Democrats. Thank you. Really.
I should have voted for Lyndon LaRouche. At least that kind of stupid is visible.
With all that’s going on, I forgot today was Friday! So, better late than never, here’s today’s song.
From New Songs For Peace.
Shut Our Eyes
— Jessica Weiser
The day slowly evaporates
Clouds dissolve into endless blue
The world is spinning slowly
And the sun will rise again
Everything has changed
Yet everything remains the same
If we could just open our eyes
If we could step outside our own skin
Sometimes it’s too easy to forget
As we are in our safe warms beds
That across the ocean miles away
There is a child who falls asleep to the sound of bombs bursting in the air
There are fingers fondling triggers
And faces drowning in power
Well… do we even realize
How many lives are erased hour after hour
As the time drifts slowly
And the moon begins to rise
The night calls to reclaim the day
And it’s time to shut our eyes
Sometimes it’s too easy to forget
As we are in our safe warm beds
That across the city miles away
There is someone who has no place to rest their head
We are falling deeper now and floating in the night
Well… how much further will we go before we finally rise
Will apathy weigh heavy on our lids and pull us in
Or will we stand up tonight, tonight, tonight
Sometimes it’s too easy to forget
As we are in our safe warm beds
That across the miles everyday
There are so many whose lives are in a constant state of unrest
Sometimes it’s just easier to shut our eyes
El Commandante…. Le roi pitoyable….President Bush has long equated supporting the troops with supporting his war of choice. If you’re one of those liberal types who pointed out that Saddam Hussein (dictator and tyrant that he was) was not connected to Al-Qaeda and had no ties to 9/11, then you didn’t support the troops.
He told us, in effect: if you think the soldiers sent to war deserved to be properly equipped and properly protected, you don’t support the troops. If you think our wounded soldiers deserve the best medical and psychological care in the world because they weren’t, then you don’t support the troops. If you think soldiers deserve to be paid enough for their families to live on without Food Stamps, then you don’t support the troops. And on and on.
Here’s just another example of how Dear Leader and his soon-to-be-gone Republican-controlled Congress have shown their support: even though we’re spending billions in Iraq (mostly by losing it or paying mercenaries and war profiteers like Halliburton and its subsidiary, KBR) our troops are running their vehicles and equipment longer and harder than thy were designed for, and the repair lines are back-logged because there wasn’t enough money to keep the repair facilities going full-time and full-staff.
The Army and Marine Corps have sunk more than 40 percent of their ground combat equipment into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to government data. An estimated $17 billion-plus worth of military equipment is destroyed or worn out each year, blasted by bombs, ground down by desert sand and used up to nine times the rate in times of peace. The gear is piling up at depots such as Anniston, waiting to be repaired.
The depletion of major equipment such as tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and especially helicopters and armored Humvees has left many military units in the United States without adequate training gear, officials say. Partly as a result of the shortages, many U.S. units are rated “unready” to deploy, officials say, raising alarm in Congress and concern among military leaders at a time when Iraq strategy is under review by the White House and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.
Across the military, scarce equipment is being shifted from unit to unit for training. For example, a brigade of 3,800 soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division that will deploy to Iraq next month has been passing around a single training set of 44 Humvees, none of which has the added armor of the Humvees they will drive in Iraq.
The military’s ground forces are only beginning the vast and costly job of replacing, repairing and upgrading combat equipment — work that will cost an estimated $17 billion to $19 billion annually for several more years, regardless of any shift in Iraq strategy. The Army alone has 280,000 major pieces of equipment in combat zones that will eventually have to be fixed or replaced. Before the war, the Army spent $2.5 billion to $3 billion a year on wear and tear.
Workers at Anniston take pride in patching, rebuilding and testing the broken-down gear and returning it to like-new condition. Often, they must innovate by taking parts from wrecked vehicles if new parts do not exist or have not been ordered in time.
“The supply system can’t keep up with us,” said Rodney Brodeur, division chief for turbine engines, speaking over the clang and whir of his workshop. It is projected that in 2007, Anniston will rebuild 1,400 turbine engines for M1 tanks, compared with 800 this year. [all emphasis mine]
Senator Chuck Hagel, a known conservative Republican, says what many Democrats and most Americans have been saying for the past year.
From Senator Hagel’s column, to be published in tomorrow’s Washington Post:
Leaving Iraq, Honorably
There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq. These terms do not reflect the reality of what is going to happen there. The future of Iraq was always going to be determined by the Iraqis — not the Americans.
Iraq is not a prize to be won or lost. It is part of the ongoing global struggle against instability, brutality, intolerance, extremism and terrorism. There will be no military victory or military solution for Iraq. Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger made this point last weekend.
The time for more U.S. troops in Iraq has passed. We do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to Iraq. Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation — regardless of our noble purpose.
We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam. Honorable intentions are not policies and plans. Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there. They will decide their fate and form of government.
America finds itself in a dangerous and isolated position in the world. We are perceived as a nation at war with Muslims. Unfortunately, that perception is gaining credibility in the Muslim world and for many years will complicate America’s global credibility, purpose and leadership. This debilitating and dangerous perception must be reversed as the world seeks a new geopolitical, trade and economic center that will accommodate the interests of billions of people over the next 25 years. The world will continue to require realistic, clear-headed American leadership — not an American divine mission.
We are destroying our force structure, which took 30 years to build. We’ve been funding this war dishonestly, mainly through supplemental appropriations, which minimizes responsible congressional oversight and allows the administration to duck tough questions in defending its policies. Congress has abdicated its oversight responsibility in the past four years.
It is not too late. The United States can still extricate itself honorably from an impending disaster in Iraq. The Baker-Hamilton commission gives the president a new opportunity to form a bipartisan consensus to get out of Iraq. If the president fails to build a bipartisan foundation for an exit strategy, America will pay a high price for this blunder — one that we will have difficulty recovering from in the years ahead.
To squander this moment would be to squander future possibilities for the Middle East and the world. That is what is at stake over the next few months.
Read the entire column here.
Call me silly, but I thought we’d already accomplished this. Oh, that’s right! We did do it, but then a certain band of idiots pulled our forces out of Afghanistan in order to create the current quagmire in Iraq.
From the Associated Press:
The Taliban will be defeated in Afghanistan although cross-border movement of militants is continuing, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday.
Rumsfeld also called on Europe to provide a “master plan” to Afghanistan to help curb its massive drug trade, which has seen heroin flood Europe and Russia.
Yeah, let’s not forget that. Now that a democratic government is in place, the people of Afghanistan have again turned to a real cash crop to support themselves. 90% of the heroin/opium trade comes labelled, “Made by Osama & Friends”
At a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Rumsfeld said militants “don’t want to see a country like Afghanistan have a successful democracy. They won’t succeed.”
It seems I’ve heard this before…. I bet the “militants” are “in their last throes.”
Rumsfeld’s remarks at a news conference came hours after the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said the rise of Taliban resistance in southern Afghanistan reflects the weakness of the government more than a strengthening of the fundamentalist movement that once sheltered Osama bin Laden.
“The areas that the Taliban is operating in are areas that the government of Afghanistan has not heretofore had the strength and had the presence,” Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry told reporters before boarding a plane to fly here with Rumsfeld from Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Well, this guy’s in trouble. Nothing like correcting the boss to get your ass handed to you.
Rumsfeld had said previously that he is concerned that the large-scale drug trafficking in Afghanistan is helping fuel the Taliban’s comeback, but has also has expressed confidence that NATO, with U.S. participation, is capable of handling the violence while mainly U.S. troops hunt down al-Qaida fighters and look for bin Laden.
And NATO is asking, “What the f*ck do you mean by that? You bat-sh*t crazy bastards invaded a non-aggressive country pretty much because you felt like it, and completely gave up looking for Osama Bin Forgotten to tackle a tin-pot dictator on your own. But, you want our help to fix the country while your soldiers take on a guy you’ve ignored the last three years?!”
In remarks to reporters in Tajikistan before flying here, Rumsfeld welcomed an expanded role by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Afghanistan, but also expressed worry about drug trafficking.
In coming weeks, NATO is set to take over command of the international security forces in the south from the U.S.-led coalition, although U.S. troops will remain. Canadian, British and Dutch troops are deploying in the region.
Before arriving in Afghanistan, Rumsfeld had told reporters that “Western Europe ought to have an enormous interest in the success in Afghanistan, and it’s going to take a lot more effort on their part for the Karzai government to be successful.”
How does Rummy do it? How does he say sh*t like that and keep a straight face?? Nothing like telling Western Europe to f*ck off when the sh*t was hitting the fan in regard to Iraq, but, now that they need help because our troops in Iraq are caught right smack in the middle in a CIVIL WAR, well, then….
We just shame and cajole them into taking over where we f*cked up.
Foreign policy? We don’t need no stinkin’ foreign policy!
Remember Afghanistan, home of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden?
The place that harbored Osama and other Al-Qaida terrorists, that had an active role in helping Al-Qaida train and where the idea for the Sept. 11th attacks was formed?
The one the Decider conveniently forgot about once he got his way and invaded Iraq – which a country that had nothing to do with Al-Qaida, had no weapons of mass destruction, and no role in the Sept 11th attacks?
Things are going swimmingly….
From the Associated Press:
An outspoken female legislator was physically and verbally attacked by her colleagues after saying on the parliament floor that some of Afghanistan’s mujahedeen leaders were criminals who shouldn’t now be lawmakers, officials said Monday.
Malalai Joya, who apparently was unhurt, said several female lawmakers hit her with empty plastic water bottles, while male lawmakers made death threats and lobbed insults at her after her speech on Sunday. One lawmaker had her hair pulled during the scuffle, another official said.
“I said there are two kinds of mujahedeen in Afghanistan. One kind fought for independence, which I respect, but the other kind destroyed the country and killed 60,000 people,” Joya told The Associated Press.
Shukari Barikzai, another female lawmaker, said Joya’s speech accusing some lawmakers of being warlords was calm and dispassionate, but she was attacked anyway. She said one female lawmaker pulled the hair of a female colleague protecting Joya.
On Monday, she again said Afghanistan’s parliament has former warlords and members loyal to the Taliban. She said death threats would not quiet her.
“They may kill me, they may slash my neck. I will never stop my words against the criminals, against the drug dealers,” she said.
Who is she talking about?
From the Christian Science Monitor:
"We are already a narco-state," says Mohammad Nader Nadery at the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, which has studied the growing impunity of former military commanders and drug dealers who now work within the Afghan government.
"If the governors in many parts of the country are involved in the drug trade, if a minister is directly or indirectly getting benefits from drug trade, and if a chief of police gets money from drug traffickers, then how else do you define a narco-state?"
Abdul Karim Brahowie, Afghanistan's minister of tribal and frontier affairs, says that the government has become so full of drug smugglers that cabinet meetings have become a farce. "Sometimes the people who complain the loudest about theft are thieves themselves," he says.
[…] the opium trade is deeply rooted in Afghan society. Many regional warlords and opponents of the Taliban are now top officials in the Karzai government. One of the most complicated – and delicate – tasks is to get corrupt officials to turn away from the drug trade as a source of personal income. [emphasis mine]