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Part I: This Is What "Last Throes" Looks Like

Report: Iraqi insurgency more confident, coordinated

CNN - A few large groups using sophisticated communications increasingly have come to dominate Iraq's insurgency, a report released Wednesday said.

The report from the International Crisis Group, a nongovernmental organization that tries to solve conflicts, noted the insurgency "no longer is a scattered, erratic, chaotic phenomenon."

"Groups are well organized, produce regular publications, react rapidly to political developments and appear surprisingly centralized," the report said.

It noted the insurgency, a predominately Sunni Arab movement, has grown "more confident, better organized, coordinated, information-savvy."

Part II: This Is What the Human Toll on Americans Looks Like

Knight Ridder -- Equipment can be repaired or replaced. But nothing can replace a father or mother who has been killed in this war, or any war. Nothing can compensate for all the lives shattered when a soldier dies in combat.

In Iraq it is estimated that the human toll includes nearly 1,000 spouses who have been left behind, alone, and more than 2,000 children who have lost a parent to the war.

Nor can you repair or replace what has been lost by hundreds of soldiers severely injured by powerful IED blasts and left double or triple amputees, blind or brain damaged, riddled by shrapnel. For them, and those who love them, life suddenly has become an unending struggle.

Remember them.

Part III: This Is What the Human Toll on Iraqis Looks Like

Iraq death toll 'soared post-war'

BBC - Poor planning, air strikes by coalition forces and a "climate of violence" have led to more than 100,000 extra deaths in Iraq, scientists claim.

A study published by the Lancet says the risk of death by violence for civilians in Iraq is now 58 times higher than before the US-led invasion.

[Note: This old news, from October 2004. Either we stopped counting, stopped caring or stopped posting these kinds of studies. If anyone has newer estimates, please post them.]

Part IV: This Is What the Toll for Halliburton Looks Like

Halliburton hikes dividend, splits stock
2-for-1 split would raise outstanding shares to 2 billion

By August Cole, Feb 16, 2006

MarketWatch - Halliburton Co., coming off a banner year in the energy sector and flush with Pentagon contracts abroad, announced Thursday a series of measures to share the spoils with shareholders.

The Houston-based company said its board of directors approved a two-for-one stock split that would double its shares outstanding to 2 billion. Stockholders must still sign off on the split.

The quarterly dividend for Halliburton stock was also raised 20% to 15 cents a share. The higher payout is set for March 23 for shareholders as of March 2.

A $1 billion share buyback is also in the works, the company said.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:52 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow - potent. (none)
    I'd rec & tip, but it's FP.

    I will ref to others, tho.

    Thank you.

    Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
      Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
    Tempest even in reason's seat.

    by GreyHawk on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:53:28 PM PST

    •  Though strangely it has some good news (none)
      Definitely a nice summary of how things, for the most part are STILL not going according to... well I'd say plan, but I'm not convinced they have one.  However, the first item may, perversely, be good news.

      A few large groups using sophisticated communications increasingly have come to dominate Iraq's insurgency, a report released Wednesday said.

      If the insurgency is well coordinated and working as a larger group that means that there's a central leadership that we can talk to.  If you're dealing with a bunch of random people blowing things up, there's not a possiblity for a political solution.  If you are dealing with a handful of groups, discussions can happen and concessions can be made.  

      I mean the ideal is you don't get an insurgency in that you get a small and easy cleared out insurgency.  But once it's too late for that (like because you didn't send enough troops), some consolidation and focus is helpful.  

      --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

      by sterno on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:03:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now if only we had (4.00)
        Someone on "our side" that was willing to talk.

        The American taxpayers wouldn't object to free transportation for certain government officials if they'd go where we wish they would.

        by PatsBard on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:07:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Better point. n/t (none)

          Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
            Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
          Tempest even in reason's seat.

          by GreyHawk on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:09:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  200,000 Iraqi civillian deaths. (none)

            It is more probable, however, that the estimates of 20,000 to 30,000 civilian deaths cited in the American press are too low, most likely by a factor of five or ten.

            Why is it important to know?

            The casualty count is significant for many reasons. There are, of course, moral considerations. Is the way we wage war now indiscriminate with regard to non-combatants? Is the rhetoric about "precision" in our airborne weaponry masking a darker reality of unnecessary carnage on the ground? Avoidable killing of non-combatants is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, regardless of the actions of the insurgency. And the possibility that the Coalition forces could be responsible for as many as 200,000 Iraqi civilian deaths or more would likely alter the political mood in the United States with respect to the legitimacy of "Operation Iraqi Freedom."

            A number of opinion polls of Iraqis reveal strong disquiet about the continuing occupation by the coalition forces. "The first survey of Iraqis sponsored by the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal shows that most say they would feel safer if Coalition forces left immediately," said a Newsweek report in June 2004.

            You will lie to your grandchildren when they ask what you did to prevent climate change.

            by Peter Pan on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 07:10:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  We do (none)
          The administration doesn't like to admit it, but we are negotiating with the "terrists".  

          --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

          by sterno on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:46:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  funny (none)
            About two years ago, I told my right-wing friends that we should find the moderate leaders in Iraq and negotiate with them to see how we could keep more people from joining the insurgency. Remove their base of support and all that...

            They told me that was "liberal hogwash" and that I should be ashamed of advocating that we "negotiate and surrendor to the terrorists."

            Now those same people are claiming that these negotiations have been part of Bush's brilliant plan all along....

      •  Good point. n/t (none)

        Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
          Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
        Tempest even in reason's seat.

        by GreyHawk on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:09:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We don't (none)
        negotiate with terrusts.
  •  May God... (none)
    ...have mercy on us.

    History will not.

    •  "us"? (none)
      Who's "us"? Did you vote for him?
      •  The blood... (none) on all of our hands.

        And no, of course I did not vote for him.

        •  It is an Oil War (none)
          Did you buy gasoline?

          You will lie to your grandchildren when they ask what you did to prevent climate change.

          by Peter Pan on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 07:15:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Damn It, I hate it when you're right... (none)
            As a people, we are so spoiled and shortsighted sometimes.  Moving to suburbs, and having a job miles and miles away with no effecient public transportation, while you let the energy controlling companies not only have you by the (figurative) balls, but then take over the freaking federal government.

            Personally, I have sort of realized this for awhile and so have avoided suburbs like the plague, and tried to live close to work.  Although we have a ridiculous 3 gas guzzleing vehicles, I can pretty much go everywhere I need to on my bike...but there I get lazy.  I will try to remember your very valid point above next time I'm thinking, "Bike or Car?....Bike or Car?..."

            However, the powerful corporate entities in this country have been pretty darn sly about how they have helped us into this position.  And let's get real....If almost half the people who even cared to take the time to vote pulled the lever for someone as transparantly self-centered and corrupt as GWBush, we haven't got a snowball's chance in hell against the corporations in the long run...and by corporations, I mean the ones  who have Branch Offices in the White House too.    

          •  What? (none)
            I guess you can rephrase the question this way: would you rather use oil, or starve to death?  Everywhere on Earth, the human food chain relies heavily on oil for production and transportation.  

            So according to you, everyone is guilty.  What is this, a liberal blog or the Catholic Church?

            We all have to live our lives and play the hand we have been dealt.  Moping around and feeling guilty helps nobody -- not you, and certainly not the Iraqis.

      •  How Many Dead Iraqis Voted for Saddam? n/t (none)

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 05:40:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  another post? (none)
    Sheesh. The FP moves too fast. <snark>

    The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

    by Armando on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:55:43 PM PST

    •  I was still reading the KY-05 thread (none)
      Joy of all joys... nice snark, Armando...still reeling over that alito fuckwad, I're not alone on that...

      Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

      by darthstar on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:58:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Neo-Cons have painted us into a corner (none)
    What with Russia backing Hamas, Syria, and Iran and Syria and Iran about to switch from $ to the Euro the brain trust that has been running the financial business of America has painted us into a corner. A nuclear attack on Iran's Nuclear Power Plants will possibly kick off WWIII (or WWIV if you count the Col War as WWIII.) What other option are there?
    •  Just out of curiosity (none)
      What exactly should we have done differently in handling the Iranian situation?
      •  Err ... (none)
        Handled the Arab/Israeli conflict even-handedly since the get go in 1947, instead of 100% Israel, 100% of the time?

        Not engaged in coups to remove a democratic governments and to, say, install a Shah?

        Not supported the Shah and other similar wackos?

        Tried to promote and support secular movements throughout the region for the last 50 years, even if they were socialists instead of royal families, Emirs and other feudal scum?

        Try to get those movements to become democratic and establish a tradition of secular institutions?

        Etc and so on.

        Yes, it is rather hard (read: near impossible) to do anything now, after 60 years of dumping vast mountains of crap on anything threatening progress in the whole ME, and consistently leaning in favour of brute force and domination. Now chickens are home to roost and they are wearing green headbands of Militant Islam. And the options are getting awfully few.

        •  So (none)
          How are the dreaded "neocons" to blame for all you cite?
          •  No ... (none)
            Its the fucking Zionist Scum posing as Neo-Cons ... move to Israel if its so great.

            LIVE FREE OR DIE

            •  So (none)
              It was a Jewish cabal that overthrew the prvious government and installed the Shah?

              Plus all of the other things you listed of course.

              Just want to make sure I understand what you are saying

              •  I'M SAYING THAT ... (none)
                YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY A TROLL.

                LIVE FREE OR DIE

                •  Well (none)
                  You are obviously an anti-semitic idiot who can't handle some simple questions about your position.
                  •  I can Troll rate but I won't (none)
                    Of all of the NEO-CON (Zionist) traitors connected with the Pentagon not one is of semetic origin. All are of German, Swiss, Russian ancestry. So if you would like to retract your charge then I will not TROLL RATE YOU What an insult to accuse me of being racists for merely stating FACTS.

                    LIVE FREE OR DIE

                    •  You are the one (none)
                      That said it was a Jewish Cabal that committed all of those great sins against the middle east.

                      Also, semite has two definitinos - one of someone from north africa/arab and the other is a Jew.

                      So, you may be not be a racist, but you clearly are espousing idiotic and anti-Jewish views.

                      And you can go ahead and troll rate this post if you want to.    (and I don't even know what the fuck that means).  I suppose the post will just go away.  

                      You probably should do it since you exposed yourself a little too much here.

                      •  Me a racist? (none)
                            Quite frankly linking Jews with the actions of Mossad is getting a bit old. If things are so great in Israel move there? The USA has stated repeatedly that Israel is our ally. To attack any person who criticises Mossad actions or the insane actions of the Neo-Con traitors in the Pentagon is getting a little old.

                        LIVE FREE OR DIE

                        •  You are the one that did the linking (none)
                          And, you painted with a wide brush.  Had you said specific people, it would have been different.

                          Also, your list of charges predates the alleged "neocon" take over of the pentagon, so I quite perplexed as to how they are getting blamed for all of this.

                          Anyway, the weakness in your view is that you apparantely think that the whole situation in Iran would now be different if we had just been "fairer" to them over the past 50 years.  So, basically, the entire problem is actually our (America's) fault, at least by a logical extension of your argument.  Certainly, a very fair case can be made that we haven't batted 1.000 during the years after WWII, and we should take a look at where we have fallen short in our ideals and why, but not with out thinking thru the ramifications of taking things in a different direction.  I have no problem with thorough reviews of our policy.

                          But, let's not ignore the fact that the primary bad actor here is Iran - not the US, not Europe, not Israel.  Iran.

  •  Don't forget the new "Death Squads" we (4.00)
    helped create...the Iraqi police (nearly all shiite) have killed an estimated 160 sunnis in recent days/weeks...It's open season, and 'investigating' isn't going to cut it.  There's already enough random violence in Iraq...this will only get worse.

    Congratulations,'ve created El Salvador.

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

    by darthstar on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:57:05 PM PST

  •  Corporate Plunder (4.00)
    For more about how a select group of corporations are profiting from the war crimes in Iraq, see this article by Dave Whyte, a lecturer in criminology (how fitting) at the University of Stirling, excerpted below:

    An audit of Kellogg, Brown and Root's (KRB) contract to restore Iraqi oil fields found £61 million in "unresolved costs" (spending that had not been properly accounted for).

    In one incident KBR charged the US army more than £15.3 million for transporting £46,500 worth of fuel from Kuwait.

    This was merely one in a long line of audits that uncovered millions of dollars worth of discrepancies.

    The firm implicated in the Abu Ghraib tortures, CACI International, was accused by the US General Accounting Office of billing for inflated employee hours and falsely upgrading job descriptions to inflate the wage bill.

    Ghost armies of employees are everywhere in Iraq and payrolls are inflated as a matter of routine.

    The largest part of the billions of dollars in reconstruction funds were disbursed to US prime contractors....

    The prime contractors include Kellogg, Brown and Root (a subsidiary of Hallibuton), Parsons Delaware, Fluor Corporation, Washington Group, Bechtel Group, Contrack International, Louis Berger and Perini.

  •  But but but... (none)
    The Presidential fellators at insist that things are going well.  Look they have a letter from a Mayor!!!
    •  Well (none)
      Since the only things the MSM carries about the war are the bad things, the war supporters have to get the word out some how to let people know that plenty of people in Iraq support the troops.

      Also know that this mayor is Sunni Arab, so not even all of that sect are against the coalition.

      •  I seem to recall (none)
        a lot of (deserved) positive coverage by the MSM of elections, for one.  

        Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Benjamin Franklin

        by gkn on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 11:23:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well done. Now, a question: (none)
    How do we measure the damage to the United States Constitution?

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:12:12 PM PST

  •  Is it possible? (none)
    That before this conflict is resolved that more Iraqis will have died at the hands of the insurgents and us, sorry to say, than at the hands of Saddam?
    •  it's actually impossible to say. (none)
      The terror of Saddamist Iraq is impossible to accurately quantify.

      Both situations involved unspeakable horrors visited on hundreds of thousands of individuals.

      But you have bought into the nutty idea that Bush's war of aggression against Iraq is in America's interest and is justified by the removal of Saddam.  It is not and it is not.

      " W " is the New Swastika

      by Yellow Canary on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:44:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Regarding "Part II" (none)
    The New York Times this past Sunday had a major article, "Healing, With New Limbs and Fragile Dreams", on the long-term difficulties faced by some of the most severely wounded American soldiers.  Like other stories of this type, it makes for some hard reading and can cause a strong emotional reaction.

    Garry Trudeau would also appear to understand this -- at least, when he, Ted Rall and the NYT aren't submitting Holocaust cartoons for the Iranian newspaper contest (or so our dear friend Ann Coulter would have us all believe).

  •  Halliburton (4.00)
    The stock value, in the 5 years preceding the Bush administration, moved with the ebbs and flows of the market, between $30 and $60 per share (split adjusted). January of '02, a year after Bush took office, it mired at a decade low of just over $10 per share. From that June '02 low of $10, it has steadily climbed to a decade high of over $80 per share last month. A seven fold increase from the build up to the war until now.

    War. Good for nothing.

    Unless you happen to be Halliburton.

    •  make less (none)
      Tax dollars to Halliburton.  I know how that makes me feel.  Let's just say I'm not trying too hard to make too much money these days.  The less I make, the less goes to the war machine.
    •  And Cheney's stock is worth how much now?? (4.00)
      Didn't I read somewhere here that between Haliburton holdings and options Cheney had four or five hundred thousand shares??

      What ever the exact number, the profit -- like Cheney himself -- is obscene.

    •  HAL Makes 11 Cents on the Dollar (none)
      If HAL keeps this up, it could, some day, aspire to be as profitable as McDonalds.
    •  Good call (none)
      I felt is was quite funny and so frustrating  when many people referred to topical events and said "this is indicator of the administrations incompetency", "this is the worst president ever" and used baby terms to describe Bush and associates. The irony is those sentiments are way off base. We are looking at possibly the most successful presidency ever. There is only one yardstick to measure this presidency - the share prices. Everything else is totally meaningless.

      Application of good governance.. Might as well ask me if I can shovel dog shit well
      Public speaking and keeping stories straight over ime.. Did you know I couldn't fly a kite for shit.
      All irrelevant. Why do I even care if you want me coordinate a federal emergency situation in  the face of a hurricane. The share prices are good.

      It would be great if each and everyone of us here
      used this yardstick to measure the progress of America's greatest cabal of thieves and the true enemy for us ordinary American citizens. Al Qaida is a smokescreen for this power group.

      Right now it tells us we're were not successful at all. The true enemy has mostly won. You want to frustrate and retaliate against the men and women who have ruined America then there is one thing to do.

      Destroy these shares

      Beyond that - Building grassroots political activism (Thank you Dr Dean) and winning elections (Thanks to the New Institute of Politics) will help to prevent another self interested group from  hijacking America again.

  •  A great ... (none)
    Point made here.  Ouch, definitely a pretty good ouch.  Who benefits from the ongoing military failures in Iraq?  Certainly, neither the American people nor the Iraqi people have benefitted in any considerable way.  

    So why is this series of continuing military failures -- we shouldn't call it a war, any more -- be allowed to continue?  Surely it must be clear that an untenable policy, like that of the US against Iraq, will fail under the best of circumstances.

    Why should we let the hubris of a failed Presidency make us continue our disastrous course in Iraq.

    Meanwhile, Iran is trying to build an atomic bomb.

    Hello, anybody there?

    •  Speaking of atomic bombs... (none)
      I'm a bit confused.  In essence, a crude nuclear weapon (NOT a radialogical one) is trivial.  Given the goods, any competent Ph.D. physicist can make one.

      So the questions are:

      What gives anyone the right to not allow anyone else to have the same defense?

      What makes us think we can stop anyone that wants to to make these things?

      What are we REALLY afraid of?

      Even if Iran made a nuke (conventional fission model), what idiot would use it PRE-EMPTIVELY?  It is just as obvious to them that such a move means total destruction of Iran, similar to our cold war strategy of mutual destruction.

      Just sort of curious how people we treat like enemies seem to want a bomb.

      •  Power (none)
        It's all about political power. Of course, we remember when Iraq, Iran, and North Korea were declared partners in the "axis of evil" that Bush declared.  Bush's chickens are coming home to roost.  Of course, Iran and North Korea are going to want to get "the bomb."  

        More great work by Bush?  How much damage must the world suffer from such megalomania?

  •  Cheney (none)
    How many shares does Dead-Eye Dick own?  He has to be making money hand over fist.  I'd be curious to see just how much!
    •  Remember... (none)
      Dickie's assets are in a "Frist-like" blind trust wherein, he can't possibly know what stocks he holds  in his investment portfolio (snicker, snicker).

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      by TheRef on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 06:38:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  nice one (none)
    this is a great post.  I'm going to be pointing this out to people.  Way to sum it all up.
  •  Everything I got starts with "Fuck" (4.00)

    You didn't do it.

    by Earl on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:27:20 PM PST

  •  Duopoly (none)
    When will Halliburton and BushCo's Carlyle Group inevitably clash with conflicting interests?
  •  Okay.. (none) one lesson learned, is that whenever Jeb or Jenna gets elected president, we should all invest in whatever company their cabinet used to be on the board of.

    I mean, hell, I could finance Lamont's entire campaign off the profits of a 10000 share sale of Halliburton stock.  Wouldn't that have been poetic justice?

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:35:05 PM PST

  •  Excellent analysis n/t (none)
  •  How about some fitting mood music (4.00)
    Courtesy of Jackson Browne.
  •  All of these things should be mentioned .. (none)
    the next time someone asks (as Hugh Hewitt did to Helen Thomas, as documented in this diary)

    "Don't you think Iraqis are better off now than they were under Saddam??"

    IMHO, Helen was just too kind to ol' Hugh; she should have/could have ripped him a new one.

  •  Words fail. (none)
    I keep trying to put down how this makes me feel, what it makes me think, but nothing I've come up with really expresses it with the right magnitude. Words I've been using for years now--with appropriate modifying expletives--like "waste," "hubris," "horror," "disgust," "dejection," "wrath," "outrage," and countless others like them don't even begin to describe the phenomenal insult to humanity that is this administration and its policies.

    I am afraid that if I can't find a way to say it I will be stonestruck in numbness while the last shreds of hope and glimmer of real understanding are swept up in the juggernaut of filth that is the result of this boundless avarice.

    -8.38, -8.00 Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice. --Thomas Paine

    by hyperstation on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 05:08:34 PM PST

  •  Guerilla Warfare (none)
    History has shown, time and time again, that guerilla insurgencies cannot be defeated where they have the support, or at least the acquiesence, of the local populace.

    In 1415 King Henry V invaded France for no good reason, destroyed the French army at Agincourt, marched into Paris, and had himself crowned King of England and France.  He thought the war was over but it was just beginning, as the French populace rose up and fought for decades with guerilla tactics, eventually driving the British off the continent.

    And so it was when Napolean invaded Spain and destroyed the Spanish army and put his brother on the throne - the war in Spain had only just begun - the populace rose against the invaders.

    And of course, there was the European resistence to the Nazis, the Algerian resistence to the French, and the Vietnamese resistence to the French and then the Americans.

    Only when the populace supports the Army trying to put down the guerilla insurgency, or at least turns against the guerillas without necessarily supporting the other side, can a guerilla uprising be suppressed.  The U.S. accomplished this in the Philippines 1900-02, the British in Malaya in the 1950's, and the Bolivian Army destroyed Che Guevarra's gang in the 1960's after he was turned in by the local peasants.

    If these idiot neocoms had stopped proclaiming how brilliant they were and had studied some military history, we wouldn't have this hell today.

    "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars." William Jennings Bryan

    by Navy Vet Terp on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 05:10:59 PM PST

    •  If any of these idiots had spent (none)
      some time in Vietnam they'd know this from "up close and personal" experience - IF they managed to make it home alive........

      It's EASY to send others to die when you're clueless about the consequences and don't have a conscience....

      But then this group is too busy MAKING their own new reality instead of learning from past realities.

    •  You are correct (none)
      But the problem in Iraq is that at least 80% of the population doesn't support the insurgents, but because of the way the country is layed out, the 20% are concentrated in certain areas.  So, if we just bailed, you would go back to have the 80% Shi'ia/Kurd mix being oppressed by the 20% Sunni Arabs.  So, "hell" would still be there, but you just wouldn't see it.  Would that make you feel better?
      •  To HeadHunt 23 (none)
        This is late but I want to respond and maybe you read your old posts.

        It appears to date the Shia have acquiesced in the U.S.-British-"Coalition of the Willing" occupation, with tensions rising from time to time (i.e. recent video of beatings by British troops); however, there is a very high risk that a U.S. attack on Iran would be countered by a wide-based Shia uprising.  I personally believe that an air strike on Iran's nuclear bomb making facilities - as a last resort - may be a valid and necessary action, but the danger of a Shia insurgency now ties our hands from responding militarily against Iran.

        As to your prediction that bailing out will put the Sunnis back into nationwide power and they'll start persecuting the Shia, this may or may not happen.  The best experts have been lousy seers.  No one predicted the fall of Eastern Europe in the fall of 1989, nor did anyone in 1990 or early 1991 predict the imminent breakup of the Soviet Union.  During Nam (my war) the war supporters predicted that after we bailed out the Reds would commit mass murder of all who corroborated with the U.S. - this didn't happen in Nam but something similar did happen in Cambodia where no one here was paying attention.  No one predicted that the Afghan "freedom fighters" we were arming against the Soviets in the 1980's would morph into Al Queda.  And I don't think anyone predicted that Bush's War of Aggression in Iraq would turn out just the way it did.

        So I can't predict with certainty whether bailing out of Iraq would lead to a Hussein like Sunni regime, an Iranian puppet Shia regime persecuting Sunnis, an extended 3 way civil war, or a Turkish invasion to prevent an independent Kurdistan, or an area where Al Queda controls - I am not a prophet and don't think anyone is.

        That said, Iraq was hell before March of 2003, it has been a different kind of hell since then, and, contradicting everything I said in the last paragraphs, I would predict it will remain hell for as long as we stay, and that there will be a different and new hell after we bail out.  So I think anything we do in Iraq at this point will be bad, but I support Congressman Murtha's suggestion of redeployment to Kuwait and Bahrain and Qatar as the least bad option.

        "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars." William Jennings Bryan

        by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:52:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  2 truths (none)
    1. You will never get the truth from DoD press releases or conferences.

    2. Reality is much, much worse.

    3. This is for free, this war will be a stain on American honor for a long time.
  •  asdf (none)
    Part I -- So, what's your point?

    Part II -- Yeah, and...?

    Part III -- Blah blah blah.  Can't hear you!

    Part IV -- Mission Accomplished!

    Now excuse me while I go duck hunting...

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 05:15:06 PM PST

    •  You forgot .... (none)
      Part V: Why Evil Liburlz Hate America

      and, of course

      Part VI: Turning the Corner for the 4th Time.*

      * And you know what that means....

      I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

      by Volvo Liberal on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 06:13:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm biting my tongue (none)
    No other Dod moles on here?
  •  to me the biggest story today (none)
    was the death squad story

    We already knew this was a quagmire and we already knew the Pentagon was working on death squads, but now it looks like there is confirmation.

    When Americans ask why "they" hate "us"... there is basically no excuse for being so damn ignorant.

  •  Two points to add to this capsule summary (none)
    of the tragedy and travesty of Cheney's war.

    One: As the Shiite majority takes form as a government and ruler over at least two thirds of Iraq, they are turning increasingly toward Iran for military support and economic infrastructure. Iran is, in effect, annexing most of Iraq. Other than obscene profits for Halliburton and other cronies and no-bid contractors, the USA will see no benefits like cheap oil, a military alliance or a projection of American power in the mideast, because when the Shiites have had enough of American money and weapons, they'll tell us to leave, and it will all go to Iran instead.

    Point two: The crucial elements of Cheney's argument for war, i.e., the WMD's, Saddam's support for Al Queada and the expectation that Iraqis would greet US troops with flowers and create a US-friendly democratic government, were fed to Cheney directly and indirectly by Ahmed Chalabi and his associates, like "Curveball." In other words, Cheney was strategically misled into coercing the US government into invading Iraq.

    Connecting the dots: Iran, working through Chalabi, fooled Cheney into taking out Saddam to serve Iran's geopolitical interests, and it worked. Obviously the reality is much more complicated, but the simplified popular perception will be pretty much the above as the media and democrats start to catch on.

    •  I really wonder (none)
      if Cheney was fooled into anything.  Man's pure evil, and smart.  He never gave a shit about the neocon fantasies of a deomcratic middle east.  He's not really in oil; he's really in construction, and war.  That's Halliburton's real cash cow.  

      So I don't think he gave a rat's ass about anything Chalabi said, except inasmuch as it increased the likelihood he'd get a chance to go into Iraq and, first, get paid to destroy it, and second, get paid to "rebuild" it.

      -9.25, -7.54

      Who's a guy got to deny having sex with to get impeached around here?

      by Marc in KS on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 05:46:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cheney may be that evil, (none)
        but I don't think he's that smart. But what I'm looking at is the news that's just around the corner that the government of Iraq, in alliance with Iran, and in agreement with the Sunnis and with Al Quaeda, tells the US to get out of Iraq. I anticipate a scene from the Green Zone much like the Saigon embassy exit by chopper as the walls come down and we simply flee with our pants on fire. Obviously the neocons never learned a thing from Vietnam.

        It's increasingly obvious that it was Cheney who drove the momentum to invade Iraq. Rove can try to figure out whether to spin the story so that Cheney is evil and smart and he planned it all along to reap obscene profits while America implodes, or that Cheney is so gullible and ignorant that he believed a slick con man with his own agenda, but he meant well.

  •  Do Insurgents Develop Their Own Print Media? (none)
    (Insurgent) "Groups are well organized, produce regular publications..."

    They really ARE well organized, I guess. Good God, do these insurgents have their own pundits and think tanks as well?

  •  Part 5: Suicide? (none)
    For all the soldiers who come home physically unscathed, how many are taking their own lives? Does anyone know that more Iraq veterans have died in motorcycle accidents after coming home from the war zone than have died in Afghanistan? (here, bottom article)

    It isn't some little problem. It's big but no one talks about it. There is a good article from Maxim here. (It's so good the link has been scrubbed from their own homepage.)

    A cat is a camel designed by lobbyists for the hump industry

    by bobinson on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 05:33:45 PM PST

  •  Just give me a clue as to where the hell all of (none)
    this shit is going, will someone please?  

    We sold six of our major ports to a foreign control, got ya:  we have a vice president who, possibly under the influence, shot one of his best buds, got ya:  we have a government, in collusion (sp?) is rewriting the FISA laws, got ya:  the Patriot Act is a done thing, got ya:  Secretary of State Rice wants money for Iran, we can't rebuild Afghanistan or Iraq with all of the billions of dollars we can't account for, but hey Iran is in need, got ya:  New Orleans is screwed because FEMA is controlled by idiots and that buck keeps passing, got ya!

    We are so fucked, and where the hell is MSOC when we need her?????

    I am not your beast of burden: I will not be forced to carry your baggage.....Humanistic Property Manifesto (-5.13, -4.77)

    by panicbean on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 05:35:19 PM PST

  •  Haliburton!!!! (none)
    I suffer from asbestosis. I just received a settlement from Haliburton. $52 of which $21 went to the lawyers. I got a whopping $31. Haliburton's asbestos division declared bankruptcy and this is what the judge awarded me.
  •  This is fascism. (none)
    Corporate government.  Government in business of making money.

    Thanks, SusanG, but damn, this makes me sick to my stomach.

    I'm not a believer anymore, but this is the closest thing I can think of to a pure evil.

    -9.25, -7.54

    Who's a guy got to deny having sex with to get impeached around here?

    by Marc in KS on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 05:42:05 PM PST

  •  freedom isnt free...? (none)
    all those purple fingers are what makes its all worthwhile...?

    freedom is on the march! ?

    you're just a bush hater....?

    thats all snark and not very funny fyi - i am wondering what a bush cultist would say after reading your diary?

    "Sometimes it's like his record skips or like some coke-dusted and liquor-glazed synapse is unable to fire and he's just stuck" RudePundit

    by christhughes on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 06:08:52 PM PST

  •  Well... as long as H'burton's happy. nt (none)

    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 06:52:43 PM PST

  •  What a bunch of bastards (none)
    Bushco and Halliburton that is
  •  Propaganda bonus (none)
    The report doesn't mention whether the insurgents exploit Halliburton profiteering for propaganda value.  I bet they do.  So probably, Cheney's pigging out is directly costing American lives.  If Cheney were a judge, how could he justify ruling on a Halliburton case?  There's no way that could be allowed.
  •  Um... (none)
    Knight Ridder:

    In Iraq it is estimated that the human toll includes nearly 1,000 [American] spouses who have been left behind, alone, and more than 2,000 [American] children who have lost a parent to the war.  [Not that we're being self-centered in neglecting the indirect Iraqi tolls; we're just not really sure about those numbers because there's a gag on actually following this war.]

    There, is that more accurate?

    -4.00 -4.15. So apparently I'm Ghandi's twin.

    by onetwostep on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 07:38:50 PM PST

  •  This is stupid to say, but reading this crap (none)
    MAKES ME ILL!  (excuse the caps... I use them for emphasis - I'm not yelling!)

    How can these people do this?  They act like nothing's wrong.  I think we need to tell them over and over and over that it is wrong!

  •  "share the spoils with shareholders." (none)

    unblushingly honest statement

    fact does not require fiction for balance

    by mollyd on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:17:51 PM PST

  •  You haven't heard the half of it.... (none)
  •  Death Total (none)
    This site seems to be pretty reliable and is consistent with the 30K # often sited.

    And it certainly doesn't appear to be pro war.

  •  Racist Comments (none)
    What is racist is equating the actions of Mossad with the good Jewish people of Israel. Its like saying that all Americans are responsible for the criminal actions of the CIA.


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