The Lady Speaks

What I Learned from Petraeus

In Part II of the Dog and Pony show held at the House Armed Services Committee, we learned that freedom and democracy are pretty hard to force down the throats of an occupied people.

September 2007 – Violence is up; we must stay.

April 2008 – Violence was down, but it seems to be going up again; we must stay.

September 2007 – There have been improvements, but we must stay to see the surge through.

April 2008 – The surge brought improvements, and some troops have left, but we must “pause” the draw-downs – which will leave more troops in Iraq than there was before the surge – and stay to see it through.

Hmmm…. Anyone else reminded of the theme song from the Shari Lewis/Lambchop show?

This is the song that never ends
Yes, it goes on and on, my friends
Some people started singing it
Not knowing what it was
And they’ll continue singing it
Forever just because
This the song that never ends …”

I also learned that “victory” in Iraq will consist of a country “at peace with itself and its neighbors”, able to defend itself, with a “reasonably representative” government that can care for its citizens.

Yeah, mull that over for a bit. Not one country in the Middle East could meet those standards, and neither could the US. Canada, maybe.

So the shorter Petraeus: We’re never leaving.

In other news: El Pollo Loco will announce a reduction in combat tour lengths, to twelve months.

This change will not go into effect until August, and will not apply to troops currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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April 10, 2008 Posted by | Bush, Congress, Iraq, Middle East, Pentagon, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | 1 Comment

Counting the Cost

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December 31, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Congress, Government, Iraq, Media, Middle East, Pentagon, Rumsfeld, US Military, Veterans, War, White House | 20 Comments

Friday Anti-War Song

In a World Gone Mad
— Beastie Boys

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Mirrors, smokescreens and lies
It’s not the politicians but their actions I despise
You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day
With the cocaine and Courvoisier
But you build more bombs as you get more bold
As your mid-life crisis war unfolds
All you want to do is take control
Now put that axis of evil bullshit on hold
Citizen rule number 2080
Politicians are shady
So people watch your back ’cause I think they smoke crack
I don’t doubt it look at how they act

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

First the ‘War On Terror’ now war on Iraq
We’re reaching a point where we can’t turn back
Let’s lose the guns and let’s lose the bombs
And stop the corporate contributions that they’re built upon
Well I’ll be sleeping on your speeches til I start to snore
‘Cause I won’t carry guns for an oil war
As-Salamu alaikum, wa alaikum assalam
Peace to the Middle East peace to Islam
Now don’t get us wrong ’cause we love America
But that’s no reason to get hysterica
They’re layin’ on the syrup thick
We ain’t waffles we ain’t havin’ it

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Now how many people must get killed?
For oil families pockets to get filled?
How many oil families get killed?
Not a damn one so what’s the deal?

It’s time to lead the way and de-escalate
Lose the weapons of mass destruction and the hate
Say ooh ah what’s the White House doin’?
Oh no! Say, what in tarnation have they got brewing??!!!!???!!
Well I’m not pro Bush and I’m not pro Saddam
We need these fools to remain calm
George Bush you’re looking like Zoolander
Trying to play tough for the camera
What am I on crazy pills? We’ve got to stop it
Get your hand out my grandma’s pocket
We need health care more than going to war
You think it’s democracy they’re fighting for?

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

December 14, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Children, Civil War, Government, Human Rights, Iraq, Middle East, Military, Music, Pentagon, Politics, Protest, Republicans, War, White House, World Peace | Leave a comment

Walter Cronkite: Our Troops Must Leave Iraq

Nearly forty years ago, my mother was a senior in high school, our country was mired in an unwinnable war, and Walter Cronkite had returned returned from a trip to Vietnam. At the end of his February 27, 1968 broadcast, he made editorial statement calling for the return of American troops.

Part of what he had to say then:

“… For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. This summer’s almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation;

[snip]

To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. Continue reading

December 5, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Civil War, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Military, Pentagon, Politics, Protest, Television, US Military, Vietnam, War, White House | 2 Comments

Friday Anti-War Song

Blowin’ in the Wind
— Bob Dylan

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ‘n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

November 9, 2007 Posted by | America, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Music, Pentagon, Protest, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | 1 Comment

We Are Doomed

The Kyl-Lieberman amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill passed 76-22.

Why is this bad?

From ThinkProgress:

The legislation accuses Iran of fighting “a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq” and threatens to “combat, contain and [stop]” Iran. The right wing has quickly latched onto the amendment, claiming it “unflinchingly…calls on America to win” against Iran.

[snip]

(3) that it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and [stop] the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies;

(4) to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy described in paragraph (3) with respect to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies. [emphasis TP]

Dear sweet gods and goddesses!

Senator Jim Webb called the amendment “Dick Cheney’s fondest pipe dream,” also saying: “At best, it’s a deliberate attempt to divert attention from a failed diplomatic policy,” said Webb. “At worst, it could be read as a backdoor method of gaining Congressional validation for military action, without one hearing and without serious debate.

Why not just pass a “Let’s Bomb Iran and Other Places That Piss Us Off” resolution?

Who were the 29 Democratic senators stupid enough to vote for this?

Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Levin (D-MI)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Whitehouse (D-RI)

Obama and McCain decided not to bother voting.

– – –

Shall we start a 50-50 pool now? $5 donation per guess.

On what day will El Chimperor announce to the American people that he’s ordered the US military (any branch) to strike targets in Iran?

Closest to the right date and year wins 50% of the pot. The other 50% will be donated to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

September 26, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Congress, Government, Homeland Security, Iran, Lieberman, Middle East, Pentagon, Politics, US Military, War, White House | 6 Comments

Protest Today, Wherever You Are

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Sign The Pledge
Join the Iraq Moratorium

September 21, 2007 Posted by | America, Blogs, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Pentagon, Protest, War, White House | Leave a comment

No Timeline, No Funding. No Excuses.

El Pollo Loco told the ‘Murkan people that things are just peachy in Iraq, that Anbar is progressing nicely, (even if his buddy, the Sheik, was blown up near his own home) that we have to give the Iraqi government more time to meet the benchmarks we’ve set (even though that’s what he said in March and again in July… all the while conveniently moving the goalposts since they can’t even manage to agree on what color the sky is).

But, because he’s such a nice guy, he’s going to start bringing some of the troops home. Of course, he failed to mention that the surge troops will be rotating out of Iraq whether he wanted it or not.

From the AP:

Bush said that 5,700 U.S. forces would be home by Christmas and that four brigades — for a total of at least 21,500 troops — would return by July, along with an undetermined number of support forces.

Which means, we went from 130,000 or so troops in January of this year to a current high of 162,000 and will “reduce” to a pre-surge 130,000 or so by July 2008.

Only in BushWorld is going back to where you started called “progress” and considered to be a “troop withdrawal” on par with that of the Democratic proposal which would have all troops (minus a residual 30-40,000) home by July 2008.

Read the rest of this entry…

September 13, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Civil War, Congress, Edwards, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Politics, US Military, War, White House | 2 Comments

A Small Price?!

By now, we’re all so inured to the stupidity that rushes out of the average Republican mouth that most of us don’t even bother actually listening to them anymore. Occasionally the dumb comment forces us to pay attention to them – like Florida Rep. Bob Allen’s “I was afraid of the black guy so I offered to suck his willie in a desperate attempt to escape!” or Sen. Larry Craig’s “I have a wide stance…”

We shake our heads sadly and go back to ignoring them in order to preserve our own sanity. And then…

One of them goes and says something so incredibly stupid and derisive, and on national television no less, that – if life were fair – would result in them being dragged by horses into a football stadium, stripped naked in front of the jeering crowd, and then whipped with a cat ‘o nine tails, preferably one with spiked barbs on the end.

Yesterday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Assholeville) opened his mouth and became that man.

Read the rest of this entry…

September 13, 2007 Posted by | America, Middle East, Republicans, US Military, War, Whacko Nut Cases | Leave a comment

Riverbend Breaks Her Silence

After more than four months, Riverbend has posted again.

Two months ago, the suitcases were packed. My lone, large suitcase sat in my bedroom for nearly six weeks, so full of clothes and personal items, that it took me, E. and our six year old neighbor to zip it closed.

Packing that suitcase was one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do. It was Mission Impossible: Your mission, R., should you choose to accept it is to go through the items you’ve accumulated over nearly three decades and decide which ones you cannot do without. The difficulty of your mission, R., is that you must contain these items in a space totaling 1 m by 0.7 m by 0.4 m. This, of course, includes the clothes you will be wearing for the next months, as well as any personal memorabilia- photos, diaries, stuffed animals, CDs and the like.

[snip]

[…] Most importantly, we were all equal. Sunnis and Shia, Arabs and Kurds… we were all equal in front of the Syrian border personnel.

We were all refugees- rich or poor. And refugees all look the same- there’s a unique expression you’ll find on their faces- relief, mixed with sorrow, tinged with apprehension. The faces almost all look the same.

September 7, 2007 Posted by | Blogs, Iraq, Middle East, War, Women | 1 Comment