The Lady Speaks

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

3500

June 6, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Civil War, Condoleeza Rice, Government, Middle East, Military, Pentagon, Rumsfeld, US Military, War, White House | 3 Comments

Jenn’s Sunday Sermon – Reaching 3500

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.

I felt sick at heart earlier when I checked www.icasualties.org and saw the death toll had risen by 14 since the last update of Counting the Cost.

3500.

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.”

3500.

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.

3500.

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.

3500.

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

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.

3500.

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.

June 3, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Civil War, Condoleeza Rice, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Pentagon, Politics, Protest, Republicans, Rumsfeld, US Military, War, White House | 8 Comments

Friday Anti-War Song

Today’s a two-fer, since I couldn’t decide which one to use.

— Jenn

* * * * *

Bomb The World
— Michael Franti & Spearhead

Please tell me the reason
behind the colours that you fly
please tell me the reason
you want us to unify
you say you’re sorry
you say there is no other choice
but how can you feel sorry
when you kill people with no voice

You can chase down all your enemies
bring them to their knees
you can bomb the world to pieces
but you can’t bomb it into peace

You may even find the solution
to hunger and disease
you can bomb the world to pieces
but you can’t bomb it into peace

The earthquake of anger
simply brings more of the same
military madness
the smell of flesh and burning pain
so I sing out to the masses
stand up if you’re still sane
to all of us gone crazy
I sing this one refrain

You can chase down all your enemies
bring them to their knees
you can bomb the world to pieces
but you can’t bomb it into peace

I say, power to the people.

* * * * *

Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down
— Kris Kristofferson

They’re killing babies in the name of Freedom
We’ve been down that sorry road before
They let us hang around a little longer than they should have
And it’s too late to fool us anymore

We’ve seen the ones who killed the ones with vision
Cold-blooded murder right before your eyes
Today they hold the power and the money and the guns
It’s getting hard to listen to their lies.

And I’ve just got to wonder what my Daddy would’ve done
If he’d seen the way they turned his dream around
I’ve got to go by what he told me, try to tell the truth
And stand your ground
DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GET YOU DOWN

Mining roads
Killing farmers
Burning down schools full of children
Fighting communism

And I’ve just got to wonder what my Daddy would’ve done
If he’d seen the way they turned his dream around
I’ve got to go by what he told me, try to tell the truth
And stand your ground

DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GET YOU DOWN

March 2, 2007 Posted by | America, Children, Civil War, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Music, Politics, Protest, Rumsfeld, Uncategorized, US Military, Veterans, War, White House, World Peace | Leave a comment

Friday Anti-War Song (Belated)

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
Bob Dylan

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

February 24, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Civil War, Condoleeza Rice, Economy, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Music, Pentagon, Politics, Protest, Rumsfeld, US Military, War, Whacko Nut Cases, White House | Leave a comment

It’d Be Funny, Except…


Photo from Popular Mechanics

Most of us think the Bush misAdministration is so incompetent they’d couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag even with a detailed map, a GPS, and a sign that says, “EXIT.”

Proof, in multiple forms, has been shown – over and over again – but this beats all: The DoD’s been selling spare F-14 parts to the only other country that still flies the F-14s: Iran.

Seems the Defense Department – under the ‘leadership’ of Donald Rumsfeld – was having a few garage sales, getting rid of spare parts that weren’t needed after the F-14s were deep-sixed by the F/A-18 Hornet.

From the Associated Press:

The U.S. military has sold forbidden equipment at least a half-dozen times to middlemen for countries — including

Iran and China — who exploited security flaws in the Defense Department’s surplus auctions. The sales include fighter jet parts and missile components.

In one case, federal investigators said, the contraband made it to Iran, a country President Bush branded part of an “axis of evil.”

[snip]

Right Item, Right Time, Right Place, Right Price, Every Time. Best Value Solutions for America’s Warfighters,” the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service says on its Web site, calling itself “the place to obtain original U.S. Government surplus property.”

Federal investigators are increasingly anxious that Iran is within easy reach of a top priority on its shopping list: parts for the precious fleet of F-14 “Tomcat” fighter jets the United States let Iran buy in the 1970s when it was an ally.

[snip]

The Pentagon recently retired its Tomcats and is shipping tens of thousands of spare parts to its surplus office — the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service — where they could be sold in public auctions. Iran is the only other country flying F-14s.

“It stands to reason Iran will be even more aggressive in seeking F-14 parts,” said Stephen Bogni, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s arms export investigations. Iran can only produce about 15 percent of the parts itself, he said.

[snip]

The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, found it alarmingly easy to acquire sensitive surplus. Last year, its agents bought $1.1 million worth — including rocket launchers, body armor and surveillance antennas — by driving onto a base and posing as defense contractors.

“They helped us load our van,” Kutz said. Investigators used a fake identity to access a surplus Web site operated by a Pentagon contractor and bought still more, including a dozen microcircuits used on F-14 fighters.

The undercover buyers received phone calls from the Defense Department asking why they had no Social Security number or credit history, but they deflected the questions by presenting a phony utility bill and claiming to be an identity theft victim.

Hey, idiots! If Iran is the only country in the world still flying F-14s, doesn’t it stand to reason that you shouldn’t be putting the parts for them up for sale?

January 16, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Iran, Pentagon, Rumsfeld, US Military | 2 Comments

End This War!

I found this graphic over at Tennessee Guerilla Women:

And it’s wrong. One hundred and forty-four Pennsylvanians have been killed in Iraq.

Pennsylvania is ranks third in number of deaths, behind California and Texas respectively.

And (just ask El Chimperor) the war really, honestly, and truly had nothing to do with oil.

Really. Honestly. Truly. Because, y’know, Chimpy&Friends said this wasn’t about oil, and we know that when Mr. McFlightSuit says something that means….oh, wait.

From the UK’s Independent:

Iraq’s massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.

The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.

[snip]

Supporters say the provision allowing oil companies to take up to 75 per cent of the profits will last until they have recouped initial drilling costs. After that, they would collect about 20 per cent of all profits, according to industry sources in Iraq. But that is twice the industry average for such deals.

[snip]

James Paul, executive director at the Global Policy Forum, the international government watchdog, said: “It is not an exaggeration to say that the overwhelming majority of the population would be opposed to this. To do it anyway, with minimal discussion within the [Iraqi] parliament is really just pouring more oil on the fire.”

January 8, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Civil War, Government, Iraq, Lobbyists, Middle East, Oil, Pennsylvania, Pentagon, Protest, Rumsfeld, State Dept, US Military, Veterans, War, White House | Leave a comment

3000

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?

 

 

 

December 31, 2006 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Children, Civil War, Condoleeza Rice, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Pentagon, Rumsfeld, US Military, War, White House | 13 Comments

Saddam – Dead by Sunday?

According to MSNBC.com, the death sentence of Saddam Hussein could be carried before Sunday, prior to the start of the Eid holiday which begins Saturday at sundown – possibly even as early as tomorrow.

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, sentenced to death for his role in 148 killings in 1982, will have his sentence carried out by Sunday, NBC News reported Thursday. According to a U.S. military officer who spoke on condition of anonymity, Saddam will be hanged before the start of the Eid religious holiday, which begins at sundown Saturday.

The hanging could take place as early as Friday, NBC’s Richard Engel reported.

The U.S. military received a formal request from the Iraqi government to transfer Saddam to Iraqi authorities, NBC reported on Thursday, which is one of the final steps required before his execution. His sentence, handed down last month, ordered that he be hanged within 30 days.

Earlier Thursday, Saddam’s chief lawyer implored world leaders to prevent the United States from handing over the ousted leader to Iraqi authorities for execution, saying the former dictator should enjoy protection from his enemies as a “prisoner of war.”

“According to the international conventions, it is forbidden to hand a prisoner of war to his adversary,” Saddam’s lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaimi, said in Amman, Jordan.

Now, Saddam Hussein was a murderous, ruthless tyrant. He deserves to die for the crimes he committed against his own people over the course of his reign.

However…

I would feel much more comfortable about this death sentence – and the super-speedy rush to impose it – if the sentence was the result of a truly fair and impartial trial held in a neutral country with a more-or-less-neutral prosecutor and judges. (ie: The Hague)

Instead, we had what appeared to be – in the eyes of many – an Iraqi tribunal appointed by the sock-puppet Iraqi government controlled by the United States, and which did what it was told by its ‘masters.’

Saddam will die, which he deserves without a doubt. Not only for the direct deaths of thousands by his order, but for those who died during the embargo. He – not the United States – chose to allow his people to starve while he, his family, and his friends lived a lavish lifestyle.

But, let us never forget: Saddam Hussein was given the weapons he turned on his own people by the United States, during the Reagan Administration.

Shaking Hands: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld,
then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983

From the National Security Archive: [all emphasis mine]

The Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) was one of a series of crises during an era of upheaval in the Middle East: revolution in Iran, occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by militant students, invasion of the Great Mosque in Mecca by anti-royalist Islamicists, the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan, and internecine fighting among Syrians, Israelis, and Palestinians in Lebanon. The war followed months of rising tension between the Iranian Islamic republic and secular nationalist Iraq. In mid-September 1980 Iraq attacked, in the mistaken belief that Iranian political disarray would guarantee a quick victory.

The international community responded with U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire and for all member states to refrain from actions contributing in any way to the conflict’s continuation. The Soviets, opposing the war, cut off arms exports to Iran and to Iraq, its ally under a 1972 treaty (arms deliveries resumed in 1982). The U.S. had already ended, when the shah fell, previously massive military sales to Iran. In 1980 the U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with Iran because of the Tehran embassy hostage crisis; Iraq had broken off ties with the U.S. during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The U.S. was officially neutral regarding the Iran-Iraq war, and claimed that it armed neither side. Iran depended on U.S.-origin weapons, however, and sought them from Israel, Europe, Asia, and South America. Iraq started the war with a large Soviet-supplied arsenal, but needed additional weaponry as the conflict wore on.

[snip]

The U.S. restored formal relations with Iraq in November 1984, but the U.S. had begun, several years earlier, to provide it with intelligence and military support (in secret and contrary to this country’s official neutrality) in accordance with policy directives from President Ronald Reagan. These were prepared pursuant to his March 1982 National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM 4-82) asking for a review of U.S. policy toward the Middle East.

[snip]

By the summer of 1983 Iran had been reporting Iraqi use of using chemical weapons for some time. The Geneva protocol requires that the international community respond to chemical warfare, but a diplomatically isolated Iran received only a muted response to its complaints [Note 1]. It intensified its accusations in October 1983, however, and in November asked for a United Nations Security Council investigation.

The U.S., which followed developments in the Iran-Iraq war with extraordinary intensity, had intelligence confirming Iran’s accusations, and describing Iraq’s “almost daily” use of chemical weapons, concurrent with its policy review and decision to support Iraq in the war [Document 24]. The intelligence indicated that Iraq used chemical weapons against Iranian forces, and, according to a November 1983 memo, against “Kurdish insurgents” as well [Document 25].

What was the Reagan administration’s response? A State Department account indicates that the administration had decided to limit its “efforts against the Iraqi CW program to close monitoring because of our strict neutrality in the Gulf war, the sensitivity of sources, and the low probability of achieving desired results.” But the department noted in late November 1983 that “with the essential assistance of foreign firms, Iraq ha[d] become able to deploy and use CW and probably has built up large reserves of CW for further use. Given its desperation to end the war, Iraq may again use lethal or incapacitating CW, particularly if Iran threatens to break through Iraqi lines in a large-scale attack” [Document 25]. The State Department argued that the U.S. needed to respond in some way to maintain the credibility of its official opposition to chemical warfare, and recommended that the National Security Council discuss the issue.

Following further high-level policy review, Ronald Reagan issued National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 114, dated November 26, 1983, concerned specifically with U.S. policy toward the Iran-Iraq war. The directive reflects the administration’s priorities: it calls for heightened regional military cooperation to defend oil facilities, and measures to improve U.S. military capabilities in the Persian Gulf, and directs the secretaries of state and defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to take appropriate measures to respond to tensions in the area. It states, “Because of the real and psychological impact of a curtailment in the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf on the international economic system, we must assure our readiness to deal promptly with actions aimed at disrupting that traffic.” It does not mention chemical weapons [Document 26].

Soon thereafter, Donald Rumsfeld (who had served in various positions in the Nixon and Ford administrations, including as President Ford’s defense secretary, and at this time headed the multinational pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle & Co.) was dispatched to the Middle East as a presidential envoy. His December 1983 tour of regional capitals included Baghdad, where he was to establish “direct contact between an envoy of President Reagan and President Saddam Hussein,” while emphasizing “his close relationship” with the president [Document 28]. Rumsfeld met with Saddam, and the two discussed regional issues of mutual interest, shared enmity toward Iran and Syria, and the U.S.’s efforts to find alternative routes to transport Iraq’s oil; its facilities in the Persian Gulf had been shut down by Iran, and Iran’s ally, Syria, had cut off a pipeline that transported Iraqi oil through its territory. Rumsfeld made no reference to chemical weapons, according to detailed notes on the meeting [Document 31].

Rumsfeld also met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, and the two agreed, “the U.S. and Iraq shared many common interests.” Rumsfeld affirmed the Reagan administration’s “willingness to do more” regarding the Iran-Iraq war, but “made clear that our efforts to assist were inhibited by certain things that made it difficult for us, citing the use of chemical weapons, possible escalation in the Gulf, and human rights.” He then moved on to other U.S. concerns [Document 32]. Later, Rumsfeld was assured by the U.S. interests section that Iraq’s leadership had been “extremely pleased” with the visit, and that “Tariq Aziz had gone out of his way to praise Rumsfeld as a person” [Document 36 and Document 37].

Rumsfeld returned to Baghdad in late March 1984. By this time, the U.S. had publicly condemned Iraq’s chemical weapons use, stating, “The United States has concluded that the available evidence substantiates Iran’s charges that Iraq used chemical weapons” [Document 47]. Briefings for Rumsfeld’s meetings noted that atmospherics in Iraq had deteriorated since his December visit because of Iraqi military reverses and because “bilateral relations were sharply set back by our March 5 condemnation of Iraq for CW use, despite our repeated warnings that this issue would emerge sooner or later” [Document 48].

 

 

December 28, 2006 Posted by | Iraq, Law, Middle East, Politics, Republicans, Rumsfeld, Saddam Hussein, War, White House | Leave a comment

Iraq – Even More Deadly

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:

From msnbc.com:

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.

[snip]

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]

Our new 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]

December 19, 2006 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Civil War, Condoleeza Rice, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Pentagon, Politics, Protest, Republicans, Rumsfeld, US Military, War, White House | Leave a comment