Oh my freakin’ Jeebus, people! I’m so pissed and annoyed and… plain freaked out, it’s not funny.
You know how we on the left always wonder just how crazy the Republicans and Bush-Cheney Corporate Headquarters are? Well, wonder no more!
The stupid is so awesome, so intense, so effin’ ridiculous, so burningly awful that it is almost beyond my ability to respond with more than “Oh my god… but… oh holy shit… sweet baby jeebus in the cow trough!!”
From the New York Times:
Poland and the United States struck a deal Thursday that will strengthen military ties and put an American missile interceptor base in Poland, a plan that has infuriated Moscow and sparked fears in Europe of a new arms race.
”We have crossed the Rubicon,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said, referring to U.S. consent to Poland’s demands after more than 18 months of negotiations.
Washington says the planned system, which is not yet operational, is needed to protect the U.S. and Europe from possible attacks by missile-armed ”rogue states” like Iran. The Kremlin, however, feels it is aimed at Russia’s missile force and warns it will worsen tensions.
Um, except Iran is two-three times as far away from Iran as it is from Russia…
but… um… just ignore that.
U.S. officials also said the timing of the deal was not meant to antagonize Russian leaders at a time when relations already are strained over the recent fighting between Russia and Georgia over the South Ossetia region.
“O hai! Sry, dudez. Srsly!
We didn’t mean to piss you off even more, right as you’re cease-firing from a little war spurred on by our idiot government telling the Georgian president we had his back… and then, um, not. But hey! Good news! Condi’s coming to make things all better… um, or maybe to buy shoes.”
[Tusk] said the deal also includes a ”mutual commitment” between the two nations to come to each other’s assistance ”in case of trouble.”
That clause appeared to be a direct reference to Russia, which has threatened to aim its nuclear-armed missiles at Poland — a former Soviet satellite — if it hosts the U.S. site.
Ummm… is anyone else having flashbacks to the 1980s and The Day After ?
Dr. Landowska: There is a rumor that they are evacuating Moscow. There are people even leaving Kansas City because of the missile base. Now I ask you: To where does one go from Kansas City? The Yukon? Tahiti? We are not talking about Hiroshima anymore. Hiroshima was… was peanuts!
Dr. Russell Oakes: What’s going on? Do you have any idea what’s going on in this world?
Dr. Landowska: Yeah. Stupidity… has a habit of getting its way.
Yep, and this misAdministration isn’t going to be happy until the whole freakin’ world is in flames.
The number of US service personnel killed in Iraq will, most likely, reach 3500 tomorrow. Tonight, actually, as we here in America sleep safely in our beds.
Tony Snow will spin it, like he does every other fact, but I’m sure he won’t make the mistake of saying – as he did just a little less than a year ago – it’s “just a number.”
Husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, aunts, uncles, cousins, best friends, future spouses, class clowns – all lost in a war of pre-emption turned to religious civil warfare that they did not start and cannot stop.
The neo-cons and their hardcore base of cheerleaders will tell you things are getting better, really. It’s just the media that’s making things look bad. They’re ignorant of history and oblivious to facts, and yes, they really do prefer to “make their own reality.” (Of course, we drug schizophrenics and paranoiacs who live in their own reality…. just sayin’.)
Things are going fine … last throes … turning the corner … etc, etc, etc. Ad nauseum.
El Pollo Loco has promised a “long bloody summer.” I wonder how long…and how much more bloody?
It took nearly a year, 295 days¹ or roughly 1.67 Friedman Units, for the death toll to reach 500 combat deaths.
It took slightly less to reach 1000 combat deaths – 242 days¹ or 1.34 Friedmans.
Reaching 1500 combat deaths took 177 days¹ – just under .5 FUs.
2000 combat deaths? Roughly, 266 days.²
2500? Roughly 231 days.²
3000? New Year’s Eve, 2006. Just 200 days.²
When – when, not if – we reach 3500 tonight, it will have been only 154 days² since the last milestone.
How many more deaths are we willing to take? How many more deaths before the American people stand up, more or less united, and say, “No more?”
Sure we’re telling pollsters that 70% of us want this nightmare to end. 70% of us think our country is on the wrong track. 70% of us don’t believe the President when he tells us we’re winning, that our troops are making a difference, that Al-Qaeda and Iran (and not civil war) are to blame for the fact that Iraq is going to hell in a handbasket.
Too many of us are standing by, allowing the President to continue his “surge” to help “win the war” – all of which should be properly termed “an escalation to continue the occupation.”
But when are we going to stand and fight? When are we going to see mass protests? When are we going to see action in the House and Senate that represent the views of the majority of Americans?
George Bush and Dick Cheney and Karl Rove and Orrin Hatch and all the other Republican tools and fools can continue spewing lies, but it’s time for the 70% to do more.
It’s time to force our CongressCritters to follow the will of the people. No more wavering, no more cowering. No more useless bills that continue the blank check war. No more useless bills and toothless hearings that fail to hold the administration accountable for its myriad failures.
– – –
¹ – Based on info from Where Are The Weapons?
² – Rough estimates based on counting the number of whole weeks between dates and multiplying by 7. Yes, they may not be entirely accurate, but you try it while screaming children raid your workspace, wreck the house in a frenzy of hyper-activity, and eat all the pineapple upside-down cake.
Our Secretary of State is heading to Syria, to talk to Syrian leaders.
From the Associated Press:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet Syria’s foreign minister Thursday in the first high-level talks between the two countries in years, a U.S. official said.
But a substantive meeting between the United States and Iran — another staunch U.S. Mideast foe — appeared less certain.
“We expect that there will be a discussion between Secretary of State Rice and the Syrian foreign minister about Iraqi security issues,” said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was still being arranged.
Of course, the Republicans are up in arms over the idea of a government official talking to “an known state-sponsor” of terrorism. On the airwaves and in the blogs, their indignation knows no bounds:
From the New York Times:
The Bush administration has resisted significant contact with the Syrian government, accusing it of meddling in Lebanon, supporting terrorism and being unhelpful on Iraq.
“We don’t think it’s a good idea,” said the White House deputy press secretary, Dana Perino, of the Congressional visit. “We think that someone should take a step back and think about the message that it sends.”
From Scared Monkeys:
But […] to go Syria in the midst of this battle over troop funding has to teeter on the edge of treason. We know that Syria is one of our enemy’s in the Middle East supplying aid and supplies to the enemy. They are not an ally in the region but a hostile combatant. For someone of her political stature to go and have meetings with them will empower an entity actively working against our military.
From Sister Toldjah:
My question is: Why not send Senator Jay Rockefeller? He’s already admitted to visiting Syria at least once since Bush has been president, back in January 2002, in order to alert the Syrian ‘head of state’ of his belief about the President’s war plans as they related to Iraq. Hell, he can’t do any more damage this time around than he already has, and he certainly can’t do any worse than the current bunch who will be heading over there next week.
From the NY Times, again:
At the White House, President Bush criticized Ms. Pelosi’s visit, saying it sent mixed signals to the Middle East and to President Bashar’s government.
“Sending delegations hasn’t worked,” Mr. Bush told reporters. “It’s just simply been counterproductive.”
An apparently botched message during a widely discouraged visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Syria this week has U.S. officials criticizing rogue efforts at diplomacy among U.S. politicians.
State Department officials said Thursday they made it quite clear they did not want Pelosi to visit Syria, a nation that is listed as a state sponsor of terror and is home to terror group Hezbollah, which started a low-grade war with Israel last summer.
Hey…wait a minute! Ummm, hang on while I rummage through Google….checking, checking….
Uhhhh, yeah. Disregard this post as it seems none of El Pollo Loco’s hardcore 25% is complaining about Secretary Rice going to Damascus.
Guess this is just another one of those “Do as we say, not as we do” moments in a presidency proudly sponsored by Halliburton, Big Pharma, and Big Oil.
What can I say? Life’s busy, and sometimes you wake up and realize you’re running a day behind.
This one’s for Dick Cheney, living in his little bubble-universe where the Iraq war is going well after the soldiers were greeted with flowers and candy, the economy is doing great, and El Pollo Loco is the greatest President since Lincoln.
I wonder how many of us will attend Darth Cheney’s funeral, just to make sure he’s dead?
MASTERS OF WAR
Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks
You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly
Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain
You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins
How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do
Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul
And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead
In 1967, one year to the day before his death, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke out against the war in Vietnam:
I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.
The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on.
Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement, and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance. For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us. [all emphasis mine]
Yesterday, Riverbend broke her silence for the first time since the New Year. Her words, and those of the young woman whose words she translated into English, show exactly how well the war in Iraq is going:
As I write this, Oprah is on Channel 4 (one of the MBC channels we get on Nilesat), showing Americans how to get out of debt. Her guest speaker is telling a studio full of American women who seem to have over-shopped that they could probably do with fewer designer products. As they talk about increasing incomes and fortunes, Sabrine Al-Janabi, a young Iraqi woman, is on Al Jazeera telling how Iraqi security forces abducted her from her home and raped her. You can only see her eyes, her voice is hoarse and it keeps breaking as she speaks. In the end she tells the reporter that she can’t talk about it anymore and she covers her eyes with shame.
She might just be the bravest Iraqi woman ever. Everyone knows American forces and Iraqi security forces are raping women (and men), but this is possibly the first woman who publicly comes out and tells about it using her actual name. Hearing her tell her story physically makes my heart ache. Some people will call her a liar. Others (including pro-war Iraqis) will call her a prostitute- shame on you in advance.
“I told him, ‘I don’t have anything [I did not do anything].’ He said, ‘You don’t have anything?’ One of them threw me on the ground and my head hit the tiles. He did what he did- I mean he raped me. The second one came and raped me. The third one also raped me. [Pause- sobbing] I begged them and cried, and one of them covered my mouth. [Unclear, crying] Another one of them came and said, ‘Are you finished? We also want our turn.’ So they answered, ‘No, an American committee came.’ They took me to the judge.
Anchorwoman: Sabrine Al Janabi said that one of the security forces videotaped/photographed her and threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the rape. Another officer raped her after she saw the investigative judge.
And yet, as the situation continues to deteriorate both for Iraqis inside and outside of Iraq, and for Americans inside Iraq, Americans in America are still debating on the state of the war and occupation- are they winning or losing? Is it better or worse.
Let me clear it up for any moron with lingering doubts: It’s worse. It’s over. You lost. You lost the day your tanks rolled into Baghdad to the cheers of your imported, American-trained monkeys. You lost every single family whose home your soldiers violated. You lost every sane, red-blooded Iraqi when the Abu Ghraib pictures came out and verified your atrocities behind prison walls as well as the ones we see in our streets. You lost when you brought murderers, looters, gangsters and militia heads to power and hailed them as Iraq’s first democratic government. You lost when a gruesome execution was dubbed your biggest accomplishment. You lost the respect and reputation you once had. You lost more than 3000 troops. That is what you lost America. I hope the oil, at least, made it worthwhile. [emphasis mine]
All Americans share the blame. We allowed this to happen in our name.
May the gods have mercy on us.
“Without significant progress in the rule of law, sectarian violence will continue indefinitely and eventually spiral out of control”
–Gianni Magazzeni, head of the UN human rights office in Iraq
Another 21,500 troops are going to help….how exactly?
On the last day of the year, the DoD announces the name of the 3000th soldier to die in Iraq.
From the Associated Press, via msnbc.com:
Spc. Dustin R. Donica, 22, of Spring, Texas, was killed Thursday by small arms fire in Baghdad, the Defense Department said.
And the White House continues to spew its bullsh*t:
Asked about the 3,000 figure, deputy White House press secretary Scott Stanzel said Sunday that the president “will ensure their sacrifice was not made in vain.”
“We will be fighting violent jihadists for peace and security of the civilized world for years to come. The brave men and women of the U.S. military are fighting extremists in order to stop them from attacking on our soil again,” Stanzel said.
A complete listing of those who died in our names is available at Iraq Coalition Casualty Count.
Mission Accomplished, Mr. President?
Despite the many words oozing and stuttering their way out of the mouths of the
Information Minister…Tony Snow and El Chimperor…the President, respectively, Iraq is a mess.
There is no hope that the US is ever going to get Iraq under control because – well, let’s get real: The Iraqis hate us. Got it? 80% of all Iraqis want US troops out of their country. They aren’t going to work with us. They aren’t going to “stand up.” They aren’t going to do anything except continue attacking us and each other. What would be the difference in their lives if the US troops left? Other than having a few less targets each day, nothing.
It’s a civil war. One religious sect against another. Sunni vs. Shi’a. How many people know what the difference is? I didn’t, not really, until reading this post by TRex on FDL:
I realized that if someone asked me to explain the difference between Sunni and Shiite Iraqis, I wouldn’t be able to tell you much more. So, I enlisted the aid of up and coming young blogger Jebediah from the excellent blog Foreign Policy Watch to give us a primer on what our President was too busy riding his bike and clearing brush to learn before he launched his cataclysmic war.
From FP Watch:
The division dates back to the time after Muhammad’s death in 632, in the area which is now known as Saudi Arabia, when the next leader of the Muslim nation had yet to be decided. One group of people (who would later become known as the “Shiites”) believed that the ruler should be a member of the prophet’s family, while another group (who would later be called the “Sunnis”) believed that Muhammad’s successor should be chosen from amongst those who were most qualified. While Shiites desired the succession of Muhammad’s cousin “Ali” as the next leader, Sunnis opted for “Abu Bakr,” a close friend to the prophet. The Sunnis quickly prevailed and Abu Bakr was installed as Muhammad’s successor.
To break it down and possibly over-simplify it, the Shiia follow the bloodline of Mohammed and the Sunnis follow the Qur’an and the Hadith, a sacred Muslim text that details the words and actions of the Prophet Mohammed. Conflicts arose from this disagreement between the two sects culminating in a bloody civil war in 656. Differences hardened and the religion formally split five years after the outbreak of the war. [emphasis mine]
There was a chance, brief and fleeting, when Iraq might have turned out differently, but George and Dick and Condi and Rummy – and pretty much everyone associated with the White House blew that chance a couple years ago.
This is a war between two religious sects that has been going on for over a millenia!
Now, with about 1000 attacks on US and Iraqi army personnel and on Iraqi civilians a day, who in their right mind thinks this is fixable? Who agrees with the still-supportive Bush wingnuts like Michele Malkin that Iraq is no more dangerous than DC or Paris? (Has DC been hit with a lot of car bombs and mass kidnappings lately?)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, George is making a big deal about taking his time to make a decision, about “listening” to his military commanders.
Anyone who’s fooled by that needs help. For the first time ever, George is listening to someone/something other than the ‘voice of God’ (as played by Dick Cheney) ? Yeah, right.
As we wait for the Decidererer to make up his mind and f*ck us all over – again – let’s remind ourselves how “stable” Iraq is:
Attacks on U.S. and Iraqi troops and Iraqi civilians jumped sharply in recent months to the highest level since Iraq regained its sovereignty in June 2004, the Pentagon told Congress on Monday in the latest indication of that country’s spiraling violence.
In a report issued the same day Robert Gates took over as defense secretary, the Pentagon said that from mid-August to mid-November, the weekly average number of attacks increased 22 percent from the previous three months.
A bar chart in the Pentagon’s report to Congress gave no exact numbers but indicated the weekly average had approached 1,000 in the latest period, compared to about 800 per week from the May-to-August period. Statistics provided separately by the Pentagon said weekly attacks had averaged 959 in the latest period.
American casualties, dead and wounded, rose from 19 to 25 per day, up 32 percent in the last three months.
For the first time, Shiite militants were blamed for more murders and executions than Sunni insurgents and al-Qaida. The report also said Iraqi police were complicit in the slaughter, allowing Shiite death squads to move freely and warning them of upcoming U.S. military operations. [emphasis mine]
WarMinister…Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said at his swearing-in yesterday that “Failure in Iraq at this juncture would be a calamity that would haunt our nation, impair our credibility, and endanger Americans for decades to come.”
Guess what, Bob? It already is a calamity. It’s already haunting our nation. It’s ruined our credibility around the world. Americans around the globe are endangered.
All because Dick and George, Condi and Rummi thought they knew how to conduct a war, but failed to plan for anything except the invasion.
What happened to “We’ll stand down as they stand up?” That’s worked real well so far.
Again, from msnbc.com:
The development of an Iraqi army and police is making progress, the report said, but much remains to be done.
It said, for example, that the goal of training and equipping an Iraqi army of about 137,000 soldiers is 98 percent completed, although it also noted that far fewer troops are actually available for duty on any given day due to absenteeism, casualties, desertions and leaves of absence.
Lt. Gen. John Sattler, the plans and strategy chief for the Joint Chiefs, told reporters Monday that of the approximately 322,000 Iraqi troops and police now trained and equipped, only about 280,000 are available for duty. [emphasis mine]