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I don’t know anything about the psychology of numbers. Specifically, the magnetism round numbers seem to have for us, specifically round numbers ending in zeroes. It’s an attraction that can’t be denied. Such a number is closing in on us right now. It could arrive before the New Year. A number that will receive – no matter how transient and meaningless it actually is – extensive blog and megamedia attention. 3000. The horrible tally of U.S. troops dead in Iraq.

Let me tell you about two young men. Their résumés are short. They died young.

Lance Corporal Darwin Judge

Darwin Judge was a recently deployed 19-year-old when he was killed. Born and raised in Marshalltown, Iowa, he was active in his church and Boy Scouts, pitched for his All-Star team in Little League games, got his first newspaper route at age 8. At 16, he went to work at a grocer’s. Summers he baled hay. He loved riding his motorcycle and woodworking, at which he excelled. He made a grandfather clock for his mother. He signed up for the Marines his senior year in high school, completed basic training after graduating and was shipped overseas. Two weeks after being assigned to his detachment he was killed.

Corporal Charles McMahon

Charles McMahon was not quite 22 when he was killed. He grew up in Woburn, Massachusetts. As a kid he earned pocket money mowing lawns and delivering papers. He and a good friend practically lived at the local Boys Club, shooting pool, playing ping pong, but most of all learning how to swim and dive. McMahon spent so much time swimming that when he was old enough, the club hired him to teach other kids. It’s said he was good with them. The club’s director, a former Marine, drew McMahon’s avid attention with his stories of the Corps. At 19, McMahon joined, assigned at first to the Military Police. After a year and a half, he signed up for a special course of intense security training. Two weeks after being assigned to his detachment, he was killed.

If you’re thinking of looking for Charles McMahon or Darwin Judge listed at the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count Web site, forget it. You won’t find them counted on the site’s map either.

Neither were they among those whose names some compatriots and I read aloud on a corner near a Southern California shopping center nearly six months ago.

Because these brave men weren’t killed in Iraq. They were two of the last Americans killed in Vietnam 31 years ago.

The last two to die, not for a mistake, as Senator Kerry would have it, but for a pack of lies. Lies long since exposed, yet repeated even today by imperialist ideologues whose spilling of other people’s blood and spending of other people’s treasure is the highest form of patriotism. From their perspective, you’re either with them or you’re a naïf afloat in a tooth-and-claw world you’re too innocent and uninformed to comprehend.

This week, as I awaited and then read the "bipartisan" Baker-Hamilton Commission’s belated assessment and mostly obsolete-on-arrival recommendations for unfubaring what that man in the White House and his pals have done, I thought a lot about McMahon and Judge, men I never knew. I also thought about Manny Miller, my high school friend, killed in Vietnam in 1965, aged 19, months before American fatalities reached 3000 there.

Mostly, however, I thought about who will be the last Americans to die in this latest war built on a pack of lies, lies exposed yet still repeated by that man in the White House, his pals and their stinking coterie of embedded pundits.

One of the last Americans to die for these lies may have just turned 16. She could be sitting in front of her computer in eastern Oregon searching for more information about the Mexican-American War for the research paper her teacher assigned. Or working her after-school job at  Mickey D’s in southern Indiana. She may speak Spanish at home. She could die before she’s legally old enough to drink. Another of the last may be 37 right now, with 15 years of Army service and a sleeve full of stripes. He may have arrived home this week on early leave for the Christmas holidays to see his wife and kids. After which he’ll go back for his third tour in Iraq.

The last could be anyone of any color, religion, political party, ethnicity, linguistic heritage or set of life skills. She could be a whiz on a skateboard. He could play fantastic blues on the piano. They could be only children, or have a ton of siblings. She could be gay. He could be straight.

We don’t know who these last will be or when they will die. We do know that a great many others will precede them. Perhaps thousands of others. All because that man in the White House and his pals and the pundits and some riff-raff known as public intellectuals mixed some truths, some half-truths, some quarter-truths and some outright fabrications into a propaganda barrage devoted to persuading enough people not to stand in the way of their morally squalid project. Their murderous project. Concocted in their years out of power and conveniently launched from atop the rage engendered by Nine-Eleven.

A project that has wedged us into what many believe is a can’t-stay, can’t-go situation.

Three thousand dead Americans from the Navy, the Army, the Marines, the Air Force and the National Guard will soon be in the count. Dead, in many cases, as we have seen, because of the incompetent know-it-allness of an Administration still swarming with chickenhawks. But dead, fundamentally, because of lies. Killed, like McMahon and Judge, heroically trying to save the lives of others. Or killed like my friend, Manny, just for being in the wrong place when the shrapnel came tumbling out of the night.

Whether shattered by an IED at some crossroads in al-Anbar province, Xed out by a sniper round to the throat deep inside Baghdad or crushed in a Humvee rollover in Mosul makes no difference. Heroic or not, no difference. They are dead for lies. Futilely dead. Dead because war criminals sent them abroad fraudulently in the name of liberation, security and prevention.

Dead because of people who waved the bloody shirt of Nine-Eleven in one hand, Old Glory in the other, and simultaneously managed to shred our Constitution and decades of international law. People whose closest brush with battle was reading the Cliff’s Notes version of Sun Tzu, which they promptly forgot. People who, if this were a just world, would soon be making journeys in shackles to The Hague.

As I said, I don’t understand the allure of round numbers. Especially in this case. Because they don’t come close to telling the real story. Already, as of today, 3174 coalition fighters have died in Iraq. Mostly Americans, to be sure, but also dead are Brits, Australians, Bulgarians, Danes, Italians, Salvadorans, Hungarians, Estonians, Dutch, Thais, Romanians, Slovakians, Urkrainians, Poles and a Kazakh and a Latvian. If you add in the contractors and the journalists, hundreds more are dead.

Not to mention the dead Iraqis. Who knows how many? Estimates diverge wildly. Let me just say I think any count below hundreds of thousands is off the mark. Hundreds of thousands dead, still larger numbers injured or maimed, more than a million in exile, several hundred thousand internally displaced. All for a pack of lies.

The best face that can be put on the Baker-Hamilton Commission is that it has told part of the truth about Iraq. The mission isn’t accomplished. Major combat operations have not ceased. Progress has not been made in quelling the violence, in stopping the insurgency and the sectarian massacres, or in slowing the slide toward full-blown civil war. Who can deny that it’s refreshing to finally hear an official body concede the gravity of the situation. So huzzah for that.

But what’s missing from that document they’ve been working on since the Ides of March is an assessment of the lies that took us to Iraq, not just the screw-ups that have taken place since the U.S. shocked and awed everyone. The recommendations making up such a large part of  the commission’s report might have achieved their ends if implemented two or three years ago. But now? Missing from the assessment and from those recommendations is a broader truth: American troops cannot be the solution because they have become so much the problem. Also missing - understandably given the "bipartisan" but far from balanced nature of the commission - are recommendations for a complete makeover, a paradigm shift, if you will excuse the cliché, in U.S. foreign policy.

What the Baker-Hamilton Commission has delivered is a fragment of truth together with yet another version of the apocryphal pottery barn rule, the message we've received for two-plus years from various parts of the political spectrum: "you break it, you own it." In short, we're told once again, the U.S. dares not make a "precipitous" or "premature" withdrawal or redeployment of American forces because this would worsen the situation.

In other words, nothing new. Exactly what we’ve been told since at least December 2003 – the month that some NeoImps had predicted, before the invasion, would mark the start of bringing our men and women home. Since the time it was finally conceded that, yes, there were insurgents in Iraq and that there was an insurgency, we’ve been told that Iraq would turn the corner soon enough, if America stayed the course.

And so we have done these past 45 months.

As the bodies accumulate. As the rehab hospitals fill up. As the violence goes from bad to awful to yet still worse. Now Baker-Hamilton tells us again, give it another year. Or so. Another year to train the Iraqis to fend for themselves.

Like the guys in this story, they mean? 'About Five Minutes Into It, We Had to Take Over':

The scene played out during Operation Lion Strike, the U.S. soldiers recalled. The goal was to capture insurgents in the Fadhil district of central Baghdad. It was the first time the Iraqi army's 9th Division was to be in complete control of an operation in the two years it has been training under the Americans. Teams of U.S. advisers remained close, but planned to leave the fighting to the Iraqis.

"It started out that way. But about five minutes into it, we had to take over," Staff Sgt. Michael Baxter, 35, said.

While the battle was in progress, U.S. military leaders had called it an "outstanding" example of Iraqi forces taking charge. They said the Iraqis captured 43 insurgents while suffering few casualties.

But interviews the following day with U.S. and Iraqi soldiers at Camp al-Rashid in Rustimayah, where they are based, painted a more complex picture. ...

While some Iraqis froze in indecision, others fired wildly as they ran across streets. Hollywood heroics, one soldier called it.

"I'm just thinking to myself, oh God, get me out of this because these guys are going to get me killed if we stay here," Baxter said. [Boldface mine – MB]

What if another year of training on top of those two years doesn’t make a difference? What if half those soldiers being trained put their skills into the service of a death squad or militia – as some have clearly already done?

Anyone with a drop of sympathy for Iraqis cannot be immune to the conventional wisdom that says the slaughter will widen and deepen if the Americans leave before Iraq is stabilized and the Iraqi military is ready to hold its own in keeping the peace in a unified nation. True, not everyone is sympathetic. "Genocide Bill" O’Reilly  suggests the U.S. just let the Shi'ites and Sunnis kill themselves "and then we can have a decent country in Iraq."

Most human beings, on the other hand, get queasy when we think of how the world’s governments ignored Rwanda a dozen years ago. And how most are, for all practical purposes, ignoring Darfur now. Who can read stories like Baghdad's Morgues Working Overtime or The Disappeared or As Trust Vanishes, Many Iraqis Look to Gunmen as Protectors without wondering how much worse things can get?  

Some say: much worse. And the thought of an Iraqi Cambodia in the wake of an American departure cannot help but give pause. Until one remembers that, despite all the promises, Iraq has not gotten better with U.S. troops killing and dying there. Merely protecting themselves has become ever harder. If the current fatality rate holds, more Americans will die this month than any previous month since the war began.

If Russ Feingold’s August 2005 proposal for withdrawal had been adopted, the last American troops would be leaving Iraq in a couple of weeks. We might already know who the last one to die for the lies of that man in the White House and those of his pals. But Feingold’s, and the proposal by Brian Katulis and Larry Korb, and John Kerry’s, and Jack Murtha’s and Wes Clark’s have all been ignored. So, the skulls are stacked, American, Iraqi and others, the bloodbath goes on, and the dithering ceases not.

With no end in sight.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:40 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It really boggles the mind, doesn't it? (35+ / 0-)

    Even worse, after we finally leave Iraq someday, the nightmare will not be over for the Iraqis. Who will be the last of them to die after the military pulls out? I suspect we will not find out for decades.

    There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress. -Mark Twain

    by Bonne Vivante on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:44:28 PM PST

  •  Malkin called us haters in San Francisco (33+ / 0-)

    for opposing school yard recruiting of kids in public school.  

    It's too bad the rest of the country doesn't "hate" as much as we do.  These kids might still be alive.

    •  They would "hate" as much as we do (6+ / 0-)

      if Bush had not laid down the condition that the ISG report only be forward looking, and the group accepted this condition. That's why it doesn't address the lies and hubris that got us into this mess.

      I strongly suspect that since Bush is simply gaffing this report off now, the wise men are now regretting making the deal. At least if they had torn apart the very basis for us being there, maybe then the rest of the country would realize that all we are doing now is wasting lives and treasure just to try to give Bush a legacy. Well guess what, neither Wilson, Hoover, nor Johnson got much of a legacy from sticking to a misbegotten mistake to the bitter end.

      Give a man a fish, he dines today, teach him how to fish, he dines tomorrow, teach him how to sell fish and he eats steak! Anon.

      by Serendipity on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:58:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Malkin is psycho . . . and the best they can get (6+ / 0-)

      not good for the winger cause.

      Parker: It's the damn company. What about our lives, you son of a bitch? Ash: I repeat, all other priorities are rescinded.

      by Cartoon Peril on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:33:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't agree with banning military recruiters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sam I Am, The Angry Rakkasan

      If high school seniors want to join the military, assuming that they know the risks and what they are signing up for, I have no problem with it. SF is wrong to ban recruiters from high school.

      Just because you, as a parent, don't want your own kid enlisting doesn't mean that you should have the right to prevent other parents and kids from speaking with recruiters. You don't have the right to make your choice every other parent's choice.

      This reminds me of the debate over one parent trying to get Harry Potter banned from high schools. The author stated that she agreed that parents had the right to determine what material is suitable for their children. However, she also argued--and I agreed with her--that parents don't have the right to make their choices about what is suitable for their children every other parent's choice. For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

      by jiacinto on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:35:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If high school seniors want to sign up... (14+ / 0-)

        ... what's wrong with expecting them to go to the local recruiting office?  They know how to find a Burger King to get a job there, after all.  

        Military recruiters should be kept in cages, if you ask me.  Didn't you see Fahrenheit 9/11?

        -4.50, -5.85 In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. --Orwell

        by Dallasdoc on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:42:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          acnetj, The Angry Rakkasan, JML9999

          I did see F 9/11. But I also realize that Moore often does take libery with the facts. After his vote for Nader in 2000 I take Moore with a grain of salt.

          While I agree that there are some recruiting practices that are questionable, and that some recruiters do cross the line, banning them from high schools doesn't help the cause of ending the war. It makes it look SF "hates the military". That is how it comes off to many people. To be blunt the recruiters are just doing their jobs. They are doing what amounts to be a necessary evil.

          Military recruiting is a job that most people probably would not want to do. However, someone has to do that job. We can't not have a military. Some people actually do want to serve and succeed in such environments. Just because it isn't for you doesn't give you the right to make that choice for other people.

          I have no problem with parents wanting their children's names dropped off of contact lists. I have no problem with high school students telling recruiters not to contact them. But I do have an issue when others want to make their choices everyone else's choices.

          You state that "military recruiters should be kept in cages". Then how do you propose that the US have a military then? Unless you want to bring the draft back, if the US is to have an all-volunteer force, then having recruiters is a necessary part. If you are against military recruiting, then do you support a draft?

          I was not in favor of war with Iraq. I agree that it is sad when a young man or woman, in the late teens or early 20s, dies in combat. However, in all honesty, if people want to join the military, honestly know what they are getting into, and understand the risk, I don't have a problem with them signing up. I do agree, though, that recruiters should be extremely upfront with potential volunteers, clearly stating what is at risk.

          But I think banning recruiters altogehter is wrong. If liberalism and progressive are about protecting peoples freedom of choice, then that should also mean allowing people to make the decision to serve in the military even if others don't agree with it.

 For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

          by jiacinto on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:55:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry there's doing the Job and then there's (9+ / 0-)

            "misleading" to make a quota.
            Army Recruiters Accused of Misleading Students to Get Them to Enlist

            Nov. 3, 2006 — An ABC News undercover investigation showed Army recruiters telling students that the war in Iraq was over, in an effort to get them to enlist.

            ABC News and New York affiliate WABC equipped students with hidden video cameras before they visited 10 Army recruitment offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

            "Nobody is going over to Iraq anymore?" one student asks a recruiter.

            "No, we're bringing people back," he replies.

            "We're not at war. War ended a long time ago," another recruiter says.

            Last year, the Army suspended recruiting nationwide to retrain recruiters following hundreds of allegations of improprieties.

            One Colorado student taped a recruiting session posing as a drug-addicted dropout.

            "You mean I'm not going to get in trouble?" the student asked.

            The recruiters told him no, and helped him cheat to sign up.

            During the ABC News sessions, some recruiters told our students if they enlisted, there would be little chance they'd to go Iraq.

            But Col. Robert Manning, who is in charge of U.S. Army recruiting for the entire Northeast, said that new recruits were likely to go to Iraq.

            "I would not disagree with that," Manning said. "We are a nation and Army at war still."

            Manning looked at the ABC News video of his recruiters.

            "It's hard to believe some of things they are telling prospective applicants," Manning said. "I still believe that this is the exception more than the norm. ... I've visited many stations myself, and I know that we have many wonderful Americans serving in uniform as recruiters."

            Yet ABC News found one recruiter who even claimed if you didn't like the Army, you could just quit.

            "It's called a 'Failure to Adapt' discharge," the recruiter said. "It's an entry-level discharge so it won't affect anything on your record. It'll just be like it never happened."

            Manning, however, disagrees with the ease the recruiter describes.

            "I would believe it's not as easy as he would lead you to believe it is," he said

            Be carefull what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

            by JML9999 on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:09:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did you read what I just said? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I stated that I didn't support misleading, questionable, or inappropriate recruiting practices. I admitted that some recruiters do cross the line. I don't support that. I said that already.

              But let me ask you the question I asked in the previous reply: How do you propose that the US have an all-volunteer military if you want to "put all recruiters in cages"? As unenviable as that position is someone has to do it. Those recrutiers are simply doing their jobs. Or do you want to have the US return to the draft, which would eliminate the need to have recruiters in the first place?

              I wasn't favor of war with Iraq, but I also realize that the military needs personnel to remain in business. That means that someone has to volunteer. Again I don't have a problem with people enlisting if they fully know what they are getting into and understand the risks. That's their choice to make.

              So I am against banning recruiters because it's not right for you to make your choice everyone else's choice. If there are people willing to risk their lives in Iraq, and they know what is involved with enlisting, then I support their right to join the military.

     For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

              by jiacinto on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:17:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  High Schoolers Are NOT COMPETENT ADULTS (13+ / 0-)

            mature enough to consider exposing themselves to maiming and death.

            If it's not big tobacco's job then it's NOBODY'S. FUCKING. JOB.

            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 Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:27:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So then (0+ / 0-)

              let me ask you this. How do we have a military then? Should the minnium age be raised to 21? Do you support bringing back the draft or keeping the all-volunteer force? How do you propose then that the military get the personnel that it needs?

     For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

              by jiacinto on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:29:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That might be a start. (11+ / 0-)
                Minimum age of 21... The drinking age is 21 for a reason, isn't it? Something to do with immature judgement and faulty risk assessment?

                If the US insists on recruiting soldiers too young to grasp what they're getting into, why draw the line at those fresh-faced 17 and 18 year olds? Why not have the courage of your convictions and recruit ten-year-olds they way they do in Angola, Colombia, Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda?

                Heaven forbid you should let them get old enough to think for themselves and make an informed adult decision to join after fully weighing the risk.

                Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

                by Canadian Reader on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:54:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well (3+ / 0-)

                  The reality seems to be--and if I am misinterpreting what some of you are thinking, I apologize in advance--is that some of you just seem inherently hostile to the military or to the idea of people joining. Mainly it seems to be that, beneath this discussion, the real deeper issue is that some of you don't want people joining or have issues with having a military in general. Again, if I'm wrong about this, please accept my apologies.

                  The reality is that the US needs to have a military. And it needs people to join. If, as I expect, most of you are against mandatory conscription through the draft, then there have to be recruiters. If we are to have an "all-volunteer force" recruiters are needed to find the "volunteers" for it. Bluntly someone has to "volunter"--even if you and I don't want to.

                  I agree that parents should have the right to have thier children "opt out" of being contacted by recruiters. But again, as I stated at the beginning of this thread, you don't have the right to make your choices everyone else's choices. If you don't want your children to join, fine. But that doesn't give you the right to make that decision for other families.

                  It's the same logic that I saw in a thread about conservative parents wanting to ban Harry Potter. For while the thread did agree that parents had the right to determine what was suitable reading material for their children, they didn't have the right to make libraries acquiese to their demands and make their choices every other parent's choices.

                  As for raising the minnium age I think that having it at 21 might make sense. You do have a point about maturity, that 18 year olds may not have the greatest maturity to handle life-and-death situations. But there are greater societal issues that extend beyond this thread.

                  Ultimately I guess that the point that I wanted to make is that attacking recruiters isn't going to end the war. They are just doing their jobs. Attacking recruiters is attacking a symptom of the problem, which is the Iraq war.

                  Again I wasn't in favor of going to war with Irag. I just don't think that banning recruiters is going to end the war sooner. What it will do, however, is make it easier for Bush et al to paint anyone opposed to the war or wanting to change current policy as being "anti-military" and "anti-troop".

                  I don't support banning recruiters because ultimately, if people want to enlist and understand what they are getting into, then that's their right.  I don't see how banning recruiters is going to bring an end to the war in Iraq. If anything it will backfire.

         For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

                  by jiacinto on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:34:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think, though, that the specific issue (5+ / 0-)
                    is that people want to ban recruiters going into high schools and exerting adult social pressure to join up on kids too young to be able to assess the risk.

                    The tender age of the targeted recruits really is the point that is raising objections. If the minimum age for enlistment were set at 21, there wouldn't be nearly the same level of anger. I mean, where do you draw the line? If fifteen year olds, then why not ten year olds? Hey, and shouldn't those recruiters be able to go into the kindergartens, too? After all, weapons are getting lighter and easier to carry every day.

                    Yes, you need soldiers. But if you can't get enough soldiers by asking adults to join up, if the only way to get your soldiers is by appealing to half-grown youths who aren't old enough to evaluate your offer properly, then there's something seriously wrong with the deal. It's not just a question of parents' rights. Kids whose parents aren't actively shielding them from being pressured deserve some protection, too.

                    You say the recruiters are just doing their job. But if their job is to get kids to sign up in the place of adults, then their job is a con job, and they shouldn't be allowed to do it.

                    Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

                    by Canadian Reader on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 03:03:05 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  if they are republican 10 year olds (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  axle w ryn

                  id consider it....

                  its a snark so dont go off on me...

                  life is not a dress rehearsal

                  by johnfire on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 06:11:25 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  We build our military out of (4+ / 0-)

                young repuglican college students! Why go after High school students? Why can't they wait until our kids are at least in their second year of college and have the ability to thoughtfully support this mis-adventure? I'll tell you why. High Schoolers are more eaisly led down the garden path with patriotism and promises of a beter life. If we feel the need to protect our High School kids from sexual predators we should have the right to protect them from our Desperate Military recruiters.

                Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

                by eddieb061345 on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 05:16:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  How do we have a military then? (5+ / 0-)

                "sorry", but I want to ask an even more fundamental question--

                where in our Constitution does it say we citizens are responsible for or are to PAY for U.S. military efforts at nation building/democracy building?

                it doesn't.

                in fact the Constitution specifically prohibits the agreement by our military with Afghanistan to aid in their "drug war", unless approved by congress.

                Article 1, Section 10:

                No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

                did congress vote on this agreement with Afghanistan? I don't believe they did.

                in addition, this is what the Constitution states in terms of funding war:

                Article 1, Section 8:

                To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

                ??? the Iraq quagmire has now gone on longer than WW II, with no end in sight.

                yes, congress can continue to appropriate funds, and that is what they have been doing. but clearly the Founders are indicating here that war efforts are not to funded for eternity.

                "Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." Spinoza

                by Superpole on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 05:44:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Miltary Recruiters can be on campus (0+ / 0-)

            when it's career day. Or when College & University represenatives are on Campus. Not just roaming the High School campus for recruits. IMO

            "A child miseducated is a child lost" John F. Kennedy

            by Pam from Calif on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 08:53:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  reduce the military (0+ / 0-)

            "someone has to do that job. We can't not have a military."

            Not true, we don't need the military we have. We don't need 30,000 nuclear bombs. Most importantly, we don't need to conquer and dominate the world.

            We have choices, we can choose to be non-violent, we can choose to have enough for our mutual defense and no more. We can choose to pull the blood-sucking parasite called our military off our body. We would be better off by far. No more death squads in South America or Latin America or in Iraq. No more assassinations of democratically elected leaders who are only replaced with brutal dictators who turn around and torture thousands while our leaders smile in approval. No more lies and propaganda directed to the American people. No more black programs that suck billions of our hard earned money and only benefit private corporate interests. No more making the world safe for Coca-Cola and the rest of corporate America at the expense of true freedom and countless lives spent enslaved in their sweat shops with no hope for a better life.

            Just say no more.

            "Tyranny has come -- aggressive, remorseless, murderous, mad."

            by brenda on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 02:47:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Live in the real world (0+ / 0-)

              America isn't going to support th  far left idea of "reducing the military". Your proposal is DOA and electorally nonviable. Running against the Pentagon amounts to electoral suicide.

              I do agree, though, that there are wasteful programs and weapon systems that should be cut or reduced. But this far-left mentality of gutting the military or having the Pentagon operate under a "bake sale" mentality is unrealistic.

     For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

              by jiacinto on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 03:36:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I do live in the real world (0+ / 0-)

                and I do understand that my proposal is "DOA and electorally nonviable". I am simply making the point that there is a choice. There are always alternatives and to claim otherwise is not living in the real world.

                The legitimacy of governments flows from the the people up and not from the top down. We have the right and the ability to make other choices than the narrow range others would have us believe are available. We are free to choose a different path. That is my point, nothing more.

                "Tyranny has come -- aggressive, remorseless, murderous, mad."

                by brenda on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 03:59:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Using that logic (0+ / 0-)

        "If high school seniors want to join the military, assuming that they know the risks and what they are signing up for, I have no problem with it."

        So using that logic if high school seniors want to use Meth, assuming that they know the risks and what they are getting into, you'd have no problem with Meth dealers visiting schools looking for new customers.

        The occupation of Iraq is being prolonged indefinitely to save face for Duhbya and his crew of NeoCon nitwits.

        by Lefty Coaster on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 11:07:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You don't see Michelle Malkin reporting from the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      malc19ken, bigjacbigjacbigjac

      Green zone. Or Have I got the Wrong Malkin.

      Be carefull what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

      by JML9999 on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:05:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  IED Fodder (0+ / 0-)

      The pentagon wants them, and the younger the better.
      The younger they are the easier they are to brainwash during basic training.

      I think voting for pResident Shit for Brains should be a prerequisite for all recruits sent into Iraq

      That way we would only be sending America's dimmest and dumbest to Iraq to be roving targets.

      If they were dumb enough to vote for pResident Shit for Brains then they should be the ONLY ones put at risk to save face for Duhbya's lying ass.

      The occupation of Iraq is being prolonged indefinitely to save face for Duhbya and his crew of NeoCon nitwits.

      by Lefty Coaster on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 10:51:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's only 1 (27+ / 0-)

    The one you knew

    The one you love

    The one you are.

    How fucking sick to squander our best this way

    Save $ on image hosting account at smugmug - use my mYYrlt9brzUDE token to save $5

    by Blue in VA on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:46:34 PM PST

  •  Looking at that map (34+ / 0-)

    Does anyone find it curious that the largest concentration of troop casualties seem to be along the east coast, LA County and the San Francisco Bay Area with smaller bubbles in the northern industrial centers?  Meanwhile the rest of America, the areas that voted for Bush seem to have the least amount casualties.  Ironic, huh?

  •  My mind just cannot (16+ / 0-)

    wrap itself around the bullshit anymore. It is time to pull our troops out now. No more just trying to save face. There will be NO victory, no success in Iraq. It is time to say when.

    Frodo failed....Bush has got the ring!

    by Alohaleezy on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:49:33 PM PST

  •  They weren't old enough to vote (18+ / 0-)

    when the Iraq War resolution was passed.

    But they are paying the ultimate price for those warmongers who voted for that.

  •  the ISG is actually the WSG (16+ / 0-)

    the dubya study group; and they basically said that Bush was an incompetent liar.

    that is their most important contribution.

  •  Is my perception off... (15+ / 0-)

    ...or does that map seem to show a lot more casualties from blue states than red states?

    Not only do we care more about human life than the Rethugs, but our states seem to be called upon to sacrifice more lives for this dumbass war of Dumbya's self-aggrandizement.

    Thwarting the forces of idiocy since 1978. -6.38, -6.00

    by wiscmass on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:51:03 PM PST

  •  Thanks for this diary (17+ / 0-)

    Bush has done a superb job, with the corporate media's co-operation, of course, of keeping the faces of the young women and men of our armed forces who have died in his war from being seen.  Your diary, telling their stories, and, more importantly, putting a face to the numbers, really drives home what it is at stake here....american kids.

    I wish it were possible for a diary like this to post a picture of every American man and woman killed or injuried in pursuit of Bush's Folly.

    Wayne Madsen is posting pictures today of his tour of the Nuremberg Courtrooms.  According to Wayne:

    Nazi leaders in Nuremberg were charged with four counts: 1) Conspiracy against world peace; 2) Planning, unleashing, and executing an aggressive war; 3) War crimes and offenses; 4) Crimes against humanity

    Sound familiar?  My hope is that justice prevails and we, as Americans, insist that those leading our government be held accountable, as we have so insisted in regard to others.

    •  Yeah, the faces....... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pam from Calif

      Just look at that kid at the top of this diary.  Lance Corporal Darwin Judge.  Taken from the warmth and comfort of his home and family, shaped and molded into a blank-minded fighting beast, sent abroad to kill, killed two weeks into his stint, age 19.  You look at him you just know he was the light of his parents' life, all the joy of life and all the promise of the future embodied in him, and suddenly he's gone forever.  How did his family take it? What has their life been like since his death?  And just think:  Same thing for fifty thousand plus other families.  And now the same dance of death goes on in Iraq.  How many families are to be crushed and lives blighted by the criminal gang now entrenched in the White House?

      If there's any justice in this world the next two years will drive the Emperor insane and leave him to the mercies of his adversaries.  He'll end up shuffling down the halls of the White House, drooling and talking to himself.  Let's imagine the scene (I'll quote Lady Macbeth here):  "Out, damned spot!!" and "What, will these hands ne'er come clean?" and "Here's the smell of the blood, still.  All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand."  (Act V, Scene 1).

      George!!  Go to your room!!

      Liberal = We're all in this together
      Conservative = Every man for himself
      Who you gonna call?

  •  Until the people get loud (15+ / 0-)

    the politicians will dither.  Roughly 60% of the American people now oppose this war.  All it would take to push getting out of Iraq to the top of the agenda is for 2 or 3% to become publicly active in their opposition.  Untill that happens, though, the foot-dragging, the evasions, the continuing lies, the continuing carnage and death are inevitable.  The politicians are much too busy divvying up the plush offices and whining about having to work more than two days a week.  Until the people push them, openly, vocally, publicly, that will not change.

  •  They and we are all just their pawns (4+ / 0-)

    What is more important to them, destroying freedom or making more money?  It is certainly not these soldiers, nor any of us.

  •  You are our laureate, MB. (17+ / 0-)

    ... we now know a lot of things, most of which, we already knew... (-dash888)

    by Tirge Caps on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:54:31 PM PST

  •  Sadly ... (3+ / 0-)

    truly an excellent discussion and laying out the situation ...

    And, the only reason I have been hesitant on 'get them the hell out' is that I'm terrified that it could get even worse (or even FAR worse) that the horrible situation that already exists.  

    Will we sit and watch on CNN as millions die rather than 100,000s? Will we watch a Kampuchea live?

  •  Frankly Dubya doesn't care about the casualties (17+ / 0-)

    They're not his friends or his people so why should he care?  That's the way he sees it.  The man is a sociopath.  He probably doesn't mind that the mess we're in.  His whole life was changed by his dad's loss to Clinton in 1992 apparently.  And so just by taking out Saddam and winning reelection, he's outdone his father in his own mind.  It's the rest of these conservative fuckers who we have to stop.  Right now they're kinda hiding behind Bush.  We need to expose them for what they are.  Dubya isn't an idiot.  He's an evil sociopath but his idiocy consists of supporting policies that are bad for the country and just plain stupid.  Those policies are the cornerstone of the right wing movement.  I hope that we all realize that.  Conservatism is bad for this country.  

    •  Wholeheartedly disagree (4+ / 0-)

      Bush is an idiot.

      Granted - he's an evil, smallminded sociopath with delusions of grandeur. But he's an idiot nonetheless.

      When presented with the watered down results from the "bipartisan" ISG report - He had no questions and the members were baffled.

      I suppose he's bright enough to know that any questions would begin with "B-b-but I'm the decider," and there may have been a tape recorder or a video cam nearby.

      The man should be selling women's shoes at Pay-Less and happy to have a job.

      "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization" - Eugene Debs -8.88 -5.08

      by SecondComing on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:01:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm so very sorry, Darwin Charles (7+ / 0-)

    and Charles McMahon.  

    My words can do nothing for you.

    But I hope if Meteor Blades and I and how many more can put enough words out there, this atrocity will end.

    I'm sorry.  Peace be with us all.

  •  "The Pottery Barn Rule" (12+ / 0-)

    That idea was planted early, and has served well,  The problem is, that it is a totally false metaphor.  This wasn't a store, a public place where we were among the normal clientele, and accidentally broke something taht we ahve to pay for.  This wasn't a store, it was the Iraqi people's house we barged into, with willful violence.  Now they want us to leave.  If you barge ito someone's house and smash their family heirlooms, and they tell you to leave, you leave.

  •  Same old tragedy. (21+ / 0-)

    It is so fitting your started with the casualties from Vietnam.  For those who've argued Iraq isn't the same waste of humanity, waste of money, waste of time, I beg you to tell me the difference.

    I love politics.  I love the debate, the details, the excitement.  So why is it I end up crying while reading here so very often?  Whatever has been going on the last six years is not politics.  It's something evil.

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2900+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

    by Miss Blue on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:56:05 PM PST

    •  Talking about the polis, (8+ / 0-)

      debating the good society, is supposed to be exhilerating.  It's an expression of humanity.  A good-faith debate on how a people ought best to govern themselves, to conduct their affairs with another, is one of the miracles of our capacity as human beings.

      When it is blasphemed upon by those who would abuse it for reasons having nothing to do with the good of the polis, the good society, but for reasons of domination greed and death, they sin upon their species.  Crying is wholly appropriate.

      "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

      by LithiumCola on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:14:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well said (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miss Blue, lotlizard, axle w ryn

      I could barely finish reading this beautiful peace by MB. My words just cannot convey how this affected me.

      My brother died at 19 in the senseless tragedy that was Vietnam. I have not been able for a long time to see Iraq differently. Our departure from Iraq will be every bit as ignominious as our departure from Saigon.

      They're just playing with words now- there will be no victory and George Bush will live with this horror as his "legacy."

      I was listening to Imagine by John Lennon while reading this & I think it just amplified the effect.

      "Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind." John F. Kennedy

      by vcmvo2 on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:00:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems the Iraq Report just bought them more (5+ / 0-)

    time. And no resolution at all.

    "Israel's keeping territory, would create a revanchism for the rest of the century." Dean Rusk 9/11 happened because of our FAILED middle eastern policies.

    by mattes on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:56:48 PM PST

    •  I think dissembling was part of its function (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, axle w ryn

      and the rest a public chastisement of the worst president in the world whose evil has assumed Sadaam-like proportions. He tortures, kills, usurps civil liberties, imprisons the innocent, and commits many of the acts for which he wants Sadaam killed.

      Our cruel and evil leader deserves equal justice.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves. William Pitt

      by 4Freedom on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 06:23:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They have been stalling Impeachment since (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      axle w ryn

      Katrina IMHO.

      Right now, exiting Iwreck is all about dancing out the Pottery Barn door without Bush exposing his bare ass.

      by Carbide Bit on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 06:59:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This needs to be said (5+ / 0-)

    over and over again. Thank You.

  •  ...when will they ever learn, (3+ / 0-)

    when will they ever learn?

    "step on the gas & wipe that tear away..." - the beatles

    by rasbobbo on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:57:59 PM PST

  •  Right on, Meteor Blade! (9+ / 0-)

    As the bodies accumulate. As the rehab hospitals fill up. As the violence goes from bad to awful to yet still worse. Now Baker-Hamilton tells us again, give it another year. Or so. Another year to train the Iraqis to fend for themselves.

    ...What if another year of training on top of those two years doesn’t make a difference? What if half those soldiers being trained put their skills into the service of a death squad or militia – as some have clearly already done?

    What the ISG failed to note is that with the Bush failures thus far, why should we trust this man with ONE MORE DAY as commander in chief?

    Investigate! Impeach! Indict! Incarcerate!

    by Cato come back on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:59:32 PM PST

    •  Some folks refuse to learn (5+ / 0-)

      Yeah, we're going to train Iraqis to kill their fellow Iraqis, fellow Arabs, just like we trained the Vietnamese to kill their fellow Viets, Khmers and Lao people to kill their own kind. All for the benefit of those foreign invaders and occupiers.

      It didn't work then and it won't work now. Let's get the f*ck out of there and let these people settle their own differences.

      Remember all of the dire predictions of what would happen in SE Asia if the US were to pull out? The same bullshit is floating around about the Middle East today. No doubt there will be some rough times but our presence is the major part of the problem and our presence is not going to make things better. They don't need us "white boys" to tell them what is best for themselves.

      The tactics have been flawed, the strategy flawed and the foreign policy flawed. Same ole, same ole.

      We've learned nothing from the past.

      •  Good points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't think the Iraqis need us to train them how to do anything.  They are not stupid.  They weren't living in the Stone Age, at least they weren't until we effed up their country.  They don't go and fight properly after 2 years of training because they don't want to do it.  They take our training probably just to have a job, but have no intention of doing what we want.  I wouldn't bust my ass to please no bunch of occupiers, that's for sure.

        It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something. - Russ Feingold

        by zett on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 03:10:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  tragic (6+ / 0-)

    What can we say.  What is more tragic than the loss of a young person with their whole life ahead of them.  All of their talent, all their goodness, all their love, all the promise that led them to volunteer for what they were brainwashed into was defending America from terrorism.

    On the Newshour they have a nightly feature of putting up the pictures of the most recently killed in Iraq.  I have to turn away most of the time, I cannot bear to see these precious lives wasted in an unnecessary war of choice waged by evil and heartless men.

    "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

    by Michigan Paul on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:01:02 PM PST

  •  Sigh (17+ / 0-)

    After reading this diary, I am reminded again of the phrase, "A Terrible Beauty."

    And let's remember what Feingold said the other night, because he's the only one who 'gets' it:

    ...we need a real timetable to bring the troops out and I send that message both to the Republicans and Democrats; the American people spoke in the elections.  They want our troops out of Iraq.  And you know what?  They are right.  That's the right thing to do.  And Democrats and Republicans need to get serious about this right now.

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:01:39 PM PST

  •  title correction suggested (4+ / 0-)

    Breathtaking diary.

    Suggestion - you might consider changing the title to something like "last to die for Bush's *#&%(! lies" or changing the word "their" to something like "the Bush administration's". My first read of this title was that the people who are dying were the ones lying.

    Maybe I just read the headline that way because it's late night and I'm tired, but I'm just sayin'.

    I remember a time when the American President was the leader of the free world. ****** Repeat after me: "Neoconservatism has failed America."

    by land of the free on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:02:16 PM PST

  •  we're not leaving until we (0+ / 0-)

    accomplish the mission. end of story. 3.000, 4.000, whatever it takes. until Dubya can hand it over to the new Dem president. then, apparently, the mission will have been accomplished.

    call mean's radio show at 1-800-853-6035 11:30pm to 2:30am EST

    by meangene on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:02:22 PM PST

  •  Wow, MB. (11+ / 0-)

    Just...brilliant. And stunning. And sad.

    My cousin just came home from Iraq, to his wife and his three kids. We don't know yet if he'll have to go back. I fear for him, and for them all.

    "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." -- Gandhi

    by akasha on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:02:37 PM PST

  •  Americans wanted to believe the lies. (13+ / 0-)

    Many of us knew they were lies. We said they were lies.

    Despite the cheerleading by the media--you get that in every war--every American had a chance to see the massive antiwar rallies. Every American had a chance to read the antiwar screeds, here and elsewhere.

    Most of all, every American had the chance to see Colin Powell speak before the UN. They saw Bush speak before Congress. Did anyone really not see that both men were lying? I would like to meet these people, as I have a bridge to sell them.

    No, deep down, nearly all Americans recognized the lies. They chose to believe lies rather than face the truth.

    Perhaps the lies played on their racist sympathies. Perhaps they were fearful of not going along with the lies others believed. Perhaps the patriotic feeling swelling in their chests felt too good to give up.

    But they knew these were lies. They chose to believe them. And many, many people died because of the choice they made.

    Now all those people--the majority of Americans, remember Bush's approval ratings?--must live forever with the choice they made.

    Perhaps that is the worst tragedy of all.

    •  No They Didn't (5+ / 0-)

      Almost no Americans saw massive anti-war rallies.

      They heard a few news sentences and saw maybe a dozen seconds, over the whole period, of some crowds of radicals. Along with the patriotic counter-demonstrators too.


      No, deep down, nearly all Americans recognized the lies.

      No way. Just absolutely, no way. There's simply no logistical means for 'nearly all' Americans to know any truth where the economy's interest is contrary.

      Not in a country that believes creation over evolution 3:2 or so, or that still has a slim majority believing Saddam was involved in 9/11.

      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 Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:26:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  These are good parallels. (8+ / 0-)

        No one believes in Creationism or in a Saddam-911 link because they are misinformed.

        They have a will to believe which comes from somewhere else--to be seen as one of the faithful, perhaps.

        They have chosen to make themselves immune to rational argument.

        Supporters of the war were making a similar choice to believe, even as they considered the overwhelming evidence that the argument for war was based on lies.

        In that, they were not and are not victims, but perpetrators. The blood of American kids--sometimes their own kids--and that of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis is on their hands. It will never be washed away.

  •  Thanks for this thread (4+ / 0-)

    The map is very interesting.  I'm amazed there is nobody from my area of Southwest New Mexico!  There are tons of flag waving Bush supporters around here too and I always think of it as an area where lots join the military.  

    I am wondering if their "home of record" moves to be on a base somewhere when they enlist and so the concentrations represent places where there are bases?

    •  That could be. (0+ / 0-)

      But I'm fairly sure that in the case of reservists, they get assigned to bases near their homes.

      Since so many of the Iraq troops are reservists, their base locations would also represent their homes.

      I remember reading that most of the recruits are coming from impoverished areas (such as the Louisiana rural communities).

      Investigate! Impeach! Indict! Incarcerate!

      by Cato come back on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:20:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's someting that strikes me about that map.. (12+ / 0-)

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    "History will judge the GOP's abdication to the NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

    by BentLiberal on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:08:12 PM PST

    •  Noticed it too. Sorry didn't know whether to post (0+ / 0-)

      here or the thread above re electoral vs kia

      no, no, no by Fraggle, Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 12:25:52 AM EST

      Be carefull what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

      by JML9999 on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:45:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Enough with the South bashing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, TomP

      For the most part, the largest number of casualties come from the population centers.  Per capita, the south has its share of casualties.  We have both jerks and good people all over the country.

      The point here is that the Iraq occupation is a trajedy for everyone touched by it.  Mourn the loss without insulting part of the country.

      "Davis-Bacon prevailing wage, I'm not sure what that is" Sen. Jeff Sessions

      by Hens Teeth on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 07:41:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please Don't Project "South Bashing" on me (0+ / 0-)

        as it wasn't mentioned in my post...and wasn't what I was doing.

        "History will judge the GOP's abdication to the NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

        by BentLiberal on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 12:48:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Worse than Vietnam: A Reverse Domino Theory (10+ / 0-)

    The neocons were the ones that were going on and on about the domino theory in Vietnam. All of southeast Asia was supposed to fall into communist hands if the US left Vietnam. It didn't, and the theory was put in the trash heap.

    But the Rumsfelds and Cheneys of the world just couldn't admit that they were wrong. So they came up with the reverse domino theory--which is even stupider than the original. Now a liberated democracy in Iraq will spread democracy throughout the Middle East, topple radical Islam, and end the threat of terrorism. That idiotic theory is the reason why Bush invaded Iraq.

    There are problems with this: what happens when the people elect leaders we don't like? Or a fundamental misunderstanding of the way a democracy develops--always from within, with institutions built by the people of a nation to suit the challenges of that nation. You can't just invade a country and install democracy.

    And the dominos aren't going to fall--just like they didn't fall in the 1970's. The utter tradegy of this is that had Bush paid attention to history, the war never would've happened, and these brave men wouldn't have died.

    •  Worse than Vietnam because we had Vietnam (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, Paul Goodman

      as an example.

      The only legitimacy left for 'my' war was that it would serve as a counterweight to those who would go to war without due deliberation and a Congressional declaration.

      The war in Iraq has actually compounded the agony and uselessness of the war in Vietnam.

      Right now, exiting Iwreck is all about dancing out the Pottery Barn door without Bush exposing his bare ass.

      by Carbide Bit on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 07:09:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oil is the true reason... (0+ / 0-)

      It's controlling the oil/petroleum reserves, having permanent bases in Iraq, Sadam's wish to change from petro dollars to euros, and Carlyle Group benefits from the "war machine".

      WMD's, 9-11 attacks, fight them there not here, Sadam is an evil dicatator, bringing Democracy into the region are some of the reasons we have been give, but they are all lies.

      "A child miseducated is a child lost" John F. Kennedy

      by Pam from Calif on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:31:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i can never the escape the fact (21+ / 0-)

    that this whole sorry escapade just reeks of...waste. none of this had to happen. yet it has because a number of war criminals, as you correctly label them, for a number of reasons, none of them good, decided we had to have this war. what makes me so angry about the deaths of young americans in particular is how these ghouls in the white house and at the pentagon and at AEI manipulated these young people's patriotism to make this tragedy happen. they played on their sense of duty to country, their sense of righteous anger after 9/11 (and ours as well) to sell this war. all these young people as well as the nation as a whole, were told rather explicitly that the way to protect the nation and all that is wholesome and good from the evil that attacked us in 2001 was to invade a country that they knew, THEY KNEW had no connection to that tragedy at all. yet it was the easiest and most effective way to sell the war to the nation.

    the deliberate conflation of al queda/osama/saddam/WMD that still has so many americans confused about the real reasons the cheney-istas pulled the trigger will go down as one of the most shameful and disgusting periods in the history of our republic.

    the repeated assertion that the osama/saddam/mushroom cloud threat was so grave and so imminent that we had to go to war NOW and essentially by ourselves should be more than sufficient to see the authors of such lies locked away for the rest of their natural lives.

    to gitmo with the lot of them.

    "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

    It's time: the albany project low UID's going fast!

    by lipris on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:12:02 PM PST

  •  numbers. (21+ / 0-)

    are indeed amazing, but so very abstract.

    For an idea of what ~3000 looks like, check out my project below, in my sig.

    I really hate whoring my work out....but I'd really like as many people as possible to view it at some point...

  •  Like when we went in. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, Cato come back, flumptytail, TomP

    In short, we're told once again, the U.S. dares not make a "precipitous" or "premature" withdrawal or redeployment of American forces because this would worsen the situation.

    Well done, MB.

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

    by muledriver on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:15:01 PM PST

  •  Thank You (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this post. After reading an anonymous comment posted to my blog accusing me of wanting to "abandon" the Iraqis because I was happy the Democrats won last month, it absolutely hit the spot.

    You are right, of course. This whole enterprise is murderous, and the incompetents who planned it are murderers.

  •  Wonderful testament to the fallen (6+ / 0-)

    Meanwhile, and not to denigrate what you've written (probably backs up your contention), I sit most days at lunch as a 57 year old Army veteran of the Vietnam war with similarly aged (given a decade or so) Marine veterans who served in Vietnam also,  or Korea, or both Gulf Wars and we even have a couple of younger guys in the Marine Reserves who have served in Iraq.

    Mostly ex-Marines I lunch (and work) with, but one day I pointed out how each of us in our spunky youth had been just citizen-civilians one day and then eight weeks later were graduated from the basic training of our particular branch of the Armed Services and then ten weeks later, we were graduated to full-status, well -trained, prepared for combat troops.

    To a man, we don't understand what's taking so long to train the Iraqi troops. Each group of trainees should be ready to go in five months - max.

    So what's the hold-up? Too few trainers? Then we ask why. Too few enlistees? Then we ask, "What the frig?"

    How many more years before the Iraqis stand up? We are heartened Maliki claims they can take over battle operations about mid-July '07, but that remains to be seen, doesn't it?

  •  Well, at least for Tony Snow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, FrankFrink

    we know that 3000 will only be a number.

    •  Just for the record, Snow's actual ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, Caldonia, vcmvo2

      ...quote was "It's a number." The intent of that ing shill was that it's only a number, but the word "only" wasn't included.

      •  Just a comma for Bush... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ....just a momentary lapse in the synapses for Cheney.  A few misplaced electrons and then nothing.

        That map, when I think of some of the disgusting smear rhetoric going on about the "bay area" by the Republican incumbent in CA- 04 the idjiots sent back to congress this November, when I think of the harping on and on about it.... somebody really needs to print that out and just bury his office in it. Literally. Every day into eternity, to represent eternity. Paper origami snowflake children.  And then somebody should do one of Iraq. Same thing.  And then make him pick them up, one by one. And dig a hole for each one. And tuck it in the ground. Forever.  

      •  You're right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

        but I didn't quote him. I just indicated what was in his mind like you did. (-:

  •  Thank you for writing this n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnonymousArmy, flumptytail

    "now my foes tell me plainly I am an ass: so that by my foes, sir I profit in the knowledge of myself"

    by looty on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:17:14 PM PST

  •  Remember, When Nixon Announced Secret Plan (9+ / 0-)

    to withdraw the U.S. from Vietnam, our total casualties were only halfway along.

    And that was when the Commander-in-Chief himself had committed to withdrawing.

    We aren't anywhere near that far along in Iraq yet.

    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 Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:17:20 PM PST

  •  I couldn't read it in one shot... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joynow, aimeeinkc

    I had to take a breather between most paragraphs. Dead on though. Infuriating, but sadly true.

    Bush, n. - a Frat-boy from Connecticut that couldn't find oil in Texas.

    by Squirrel2634 on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:18:20 PM PST

  •  How is it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Canadian Reader, ActivistGuy
    that any attempt to reign in our own aggression is automatically treated by media, a huge chunk of Dems, and Repubs as "weak"?

    I mean, how is it that "sensible" is a synonym for "defeat"? One that's hardly ever challenged or undermined. Why isn't it that sensible = strong? When it quite often is.

    The Bush crimes will continue every single day for the 746 between 1/04/07 and 1/20/09. Every single day. Our plan to stop him is...?

    by Jim P on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:20:18 PM PST

  •  My confusion is confounded (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, AnonymousArmy

    by not knowing what the mission is supposed to be training an Iraqi army or training Iraqi police because every ----,-----,-------- Bush enabler or supporter speaks as if they have one and the same purpose.  

    But that confusion pales next to my utter disgust at political a---------s (people?) hailing fake ISG bi-partisanship up as some wonderful "accomplishment" while the real people of valor are still dying.  Political DC is saying lets be a F-----G lemming and not blame the rightful instigators for this FUBAR.  Nor do they have any Courage to do what is right and say the war was won militarily, lost politically and this is the best exit plan available.  Instead the namby pamby's are all self congratulating each other on their ability to get along.  America has lost its way in a field of fake leaders.

    Every time history repeats itself the price goes up - Anon.

    by Pithy Cherub on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:25:42 PM PST

  •  please dont' censor the bush adjectives above (4+ / 0-)

    He doesn't deserve it.

    That pathetic fuckstick in the White House deserves to be called everything he is. He deserves to be called a shitlicking bastard.  He deserves to be called a worthless sump filled with pig urine.  He deserves to be named as the second tier demon of the two-bit hell that he is.  He deserves an FTD bouquet of skunk cabbage, pinned to a tender note detailing his origin as a cancerous blood clot shat out from his mother's stinking hole.

    Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

    by Cheez Whiz on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:27:52 PM PST

  •  It breaks my heart to day (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickWn, zett, snazzzybird

    as it broke my heart then.  May those whose lies have brought about the painful death and maiming of so many promising young men and women burn in hell for this crime, if for no other.

    Thanks, MB, for reminding us again why we must continue to fight to put an immediate stop to this abominable war and the criminal behavior of this president and his enablers.  We Dems may have come out on top in the election, but haven't really won anything yet....

    •  We still need the Presidency (0+ / 0-)

      It will take a miracle for the war in Iraq to end without considerable more bloodshed until we elect a new President.  Meteor Blades doesn't comment on that, but he does credit several people with having war ending plans that have been ignored.  Namely, Feingold, Murtha, Clark, and Kerry.

      In my view, we must nominate someone with the best possible credentials for bringing this disaster to a close.  And we must not fail to elect them.

  •  Your map is interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Notice how most of those KIA in the war are in blue states. There seem to be a lot of fatalaties in the LA area, SF area, and in the area known as "Megalopolis" extending from DC to Boston. Notice that, in the red part of the map, there aren't as many casualities. I would expect to see more dots in the red part of the map, given how the right claims that conservatives are more "patriotic". Then again the soldiers dying in the blue part of the map could be conservative parts of blue states. Any thoughts? For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

    by jiacinto on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:30:40 PM PST

    •  Population density (7+ / 0-)

      The high concentrations of deaths are the high-density population areas.  The dying look like America.

      •  and in places with more poverty, I'm guessing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        it's no secret that many people who cannot afford college, but want to better themselves and develop new skills join the military. And, unfortunately so many of these people are victims of this horrible war.

        What I would like to see is a breakdown of people who signed up for active duty versus those who signed up for the National Guard and Reserves - those who signed up for service who expected they would be called up in the US during states of emergency here.

        I remember a time when the American President was the leader of the free world. ****** Repeat after me: "Neoconservatism has failed America."

        by land of the free on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:41:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If you adjust the map (0+ / 0-)

      to reflect a consistent population density, then Long Island becomes bigger than Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and North and South Dakota combined and would provide a graphic where the distribution would look much more even.

      I hate using the map of the US in political discussions because of the lack of adjustment for population density.  It makes the Red states look so much more important.

  •  round numbers (0+ / 0-)

    the first guy to claim that the square root of 2 was an irrational number got thrown in the lake with stone tied to chest.

    That gives me an idea.

    We don't have time for short-term thinking.

    by Compound F on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:30:43 PM PST

  •  Compelling (5+ / 0-)

    Everyone has honey-do lists for the incoming Congress but it is clear that the overwhelming duty is to remove all funding for the occupation and war in Iraq, remove every dime except for the airlift home, and full funding for the Veterans' Affairs Committee. There is no greater task than this.

    If Democrats succeed in this regard, the reversal of the horrors of the last six years will begin, and democracy in the US has a chance. Without success in stopping all authorizations and appropriations for Cheney and Bush's war, Democrats will have ignored the prime directive of the 2006 election that tossed some of the bastards out: end the war, end the occupation, bring the troops home now.

    This is what the Iraqi people want. This is what the American people want.

    Compelling prose, MB. Good Job.

    The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.--Mark Twain

    by skywriter on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:31:21 PM PST

  •  Wedged bet'n a rock and a hard place. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnonymousArmy, Phil S 33

    So very well put. I feel as if I'm holding my breath, waiting until this whole thing is over. I recall having the same feeling when I was younger, watching the news coverage of Vietnam. It's such a distressing feeling.

    Thanks MB for a poignant diary.

    In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but its effects. ~ J. William Fullbright

    by IndigoBlues2 on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:31:33 PM PST

  •  Treacherous scum who dragged us into this war (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glitterscale, aimeeinkc, Hens Teeth

    will get gold medals and big contracts, instead of what they really deserve, which is prison at a minimum.

    Parker: It's the damn company. What about our lives, you son of a bitch? Ash: I repeat, all other priorities are rescinded.

    by Cartoon Peril on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:32:39 PM PST

  •  And sadly, Scott Ritter was right: (4+ / 0-)

    We say that we care about the war, but we don't even really know what we're fighting for.
    Scott Ritter

    Bush and his goons never had a clue.

  •  This should be Front Paged! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, AnonymousArmy

    Excellent take on an awful situation.

    I truly believed that America had learned her lesson when it came to sending children to be maimed or die for a "very bad idea" in 1975. I was nieve.

    Today, I've graduated to misanthrope. Tomorrow, curmudgeon, perhaps..

    Talking monkeys should not be allowed automatic weapons.

    Much less - to fancy themself "Commander in Chief."

    "Hail, Imbecile."

    This shit's gotta stop.

    "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization" - Eugene Debs -8.88 -5.08

    by SecondComing on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:36:19 PM PST

  •  TV Pundit: "The ISG Has Bought Bush Time"... (8+ / 0-)

    ... At least a year, as their timeline’s earliest withdrawal date was in 2008.  My immediate reaction was—bought Bush time, at the cost of more US troops’ lives.

    I could be wrong, but I got the distinct impression that our leaders seem to think that they’ve done their part—telling BushCo what everyone else in the world has known already for some time—that things in Iraq are bad—really, really, really bad.  They keep saying that now it’s in Bush’s hands and he has to make decisions.  No one in DC seems to be at all troubled that American troops are dying at alarmingly increasing rates while everyone is waiting (in vain) for Bush to make changes.  Bush said previously that he would be leaving resolution of Iraq to the next President.  I believe that’s still his plan; the only difference is that now he’ll just say he’s considering the ISG’s recommendations for the next two years.  

    And what are we asking our troops to do in the meantime?  Patrol the streets of a hostile country—magnets drawing the fire of both Sunnis and Shia while they continue to fight their civil war as if our troops weren’t even there.  I believe that this exemplifies what Albert Einstein said:  "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    •  The corporate warmongers have made their money (0+ / 0-)

      and now it's time to git.

      It's just not proving so easy.

      Remember Rummy's dream of streamlining the military? The Pentagon finally brought him down. Now the military has money for new weapons and an expanded mandate under this President.

      Who can contain the Pentagon after all this and redirect the military? Definitely not the Bushco loyalists on the ISG. And the New Congress has many of the elements of the Old Congress, and some of the New will be in lockstep with the Old on backing the military.

      We do live in interesting times.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves. William Pitt

      by 4Freedom on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 06:43:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steelman, AnonymousArmy, flumptytail

    very well said.

    This is among a total of three things, in all the time I've been on this blog, that I just saved from here to my computer.

    Thank you. I'm not even sure what else to say.

  •  Thank you, thank you, thank you (4+ / 0-)

    This is a superb diary. Thinking about those I knew who died in VietNam. The old isolationists were right; we should not send troops beyond our borders unless clearly attacked.

    Blessings for this wonderous diary.

    •  The words of John Quincy Adams (12+ / 0-)

      a true patriot on America's place in the world:

      America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government. America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity.

      She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own.

      She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

      She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

      She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit....

      [America's] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.

      How far we have strayed from that mark.

  •  One of your best MB (8+ / 0-)

    Pardon me while I gush - damn this is a thing of beauty. Tragic beauty of course, but I swear that I held my breath as I read it. I know I didn't move. A stunning piece of work on a topic every single one of us wishes did not have to be covered.

    Thank you.

  •  Well done.... (4+ / 0-)

    You have done a helluva lot of work, Blades, on this big posting: impressive and powerful work. Thank you for it. I wish it would circulate widely to the general public and to Congress.
    If politics is the art of the possible, what IS possible now as regards Iraq? I don't give a hoot about W "saving face" and all that. Eleanor Clift's
    new Newsweek (www only) riff on GHWB's bursting into tears in Florida the other day pretty well puts the seal on that subject. Who can take W seriously? (In my case, who ever did?) And who really gives a damn about what face is saved?
    If something is to happen in Iraq that is creative and good --- it will have to come from Congress,
    beginning early January --- and it will have to come from the general public.
    Let's get to work.  Thank you again, Blades; that was damn good journalism.

  •  Most heartbreaking to me... (5+ / 0-)

    ...are the comments I read daily from loved ones of the fallen who at least half the time (and I cover every soldier/marine/airman killed in Iraq) plead for us not to abandon 'the mission', saying that do so means their loved one will have died in vain.

    And I wonder just when, and how horrifically, the truth will finally dawn on them...

    "Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." -- Ernest Hemingway

    by spread the word IRAQ NAM on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:58:42 PM PST

  •  Thankyou,MB, enough said.n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnonymousArmy, flumptytail

    *a hundred years from now, the future may be different because I was important in the life of a child*

    by bonesy on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:58:49 PM PST

  •  I remember VN and now this terrible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnonymousArmy, flumptytail


    Well said. VN Well remembered. What a tragedy.

  •  The ISG took the easy way out of this quagmire (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hens Teeth, TomP

    They said "we dont want to know how we got here but we want to move forward".
    How can the country extricate itself from this quagmire without acknowledging THAT mistake in the forst place? How will the citizenry be rallied when GWB hasnt acknowledged the truth and and apologized and sought help with a genuine attitude and recognition that this is beyond the US alone?
    How does the country reassure itself that this type of error wont occur again if the country hasnt studied and acknowlegdeg the mistake in the first place? How do "we" learn from history.

    The other large looming question is what happens in Iraq after the troops are withdrawn? Is the projected violence (caused by the irrational policies of GWB in the first place) reason enough to maintain troop levels to kinda mitigate an obviously worsening and violent cesspool of disorder? It reminds me of which came first the chicken or the egg! Is the withdrawal predicated on lessing the violence or is the violence worsend by high troop levels.
    Oh by george what the fuck did you get this country into?

  •  Wonderful article MB... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, flumptytail

    ... just the focused subject matter which, IMO, needs to be at forefront of public discourse.  The reason: so that the deceptive, delusionary, propagandist means by which GWB & co. have executed this travesty are made clear to the public so that such a thing can never happen again here.  

    Of late, I've begun thinking of this (hopefully emerging) process as our (US) equivalent of Japan/Germany's post WWII cathartic reckoning... eg: a national determination to do whatever it took so that the horrors perpetrated by their leaders (by much the same means as GWB BTW) never can happen again.

    I do hope new dem leadership can articulate the profound difference between honoring & embracing the truth, for it's own sake, vs. cocaphany of right wing voices accusing dem oversight as nothing more than "Bush Bashing".  Since the 2k election, the time has never been more ripe for just such a reckoning.  

    "My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted." -- Steven Wright

    by jdmckay on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:05:55 PM PST

  •  No money = No war (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, 4Freedom, tallmom, TomP

    Bring troops home - Save money - Develop smart terrorism stategy

    Congress needs to get a hold of the purse strings.  That is their power right?  

    --Develop smart terrorism stategy

    I like that because it links in with Bush's image as not being the smartest President

  •  another (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, AnonymousArmy

    excellent diary, Meteor. We never learn do we?

  •  I've stopped reading as much about (4+ / 0-)

    this unspeakable fiasco and Bush's "@#&*%$#^ Lies." Not because I don't care--I care too much and so have to ration how much I read lest I spend the day in rage and tears.

    Just when I think it's impossible to express how vile, despicable, hateful, ghastly, horrific the entire thing is--see? you run out of words--Meteor Blades comes along and makes as much sense as anyone can of the whole fubar event we call the Bush administration. And gives me hope that we can, after all, do something about it.

    Thank you.

    The degree to which you resist injustice is the degree to which you are free. -- Utah Phillips

    by Mnemosyne on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:22:39 PM PST

  •  Bush War Haiku (4+ / 0-)

    Protect the Ego.

    Dubya's rep is on the line now.

    More kids down the hole.

  •  Time to get arrested !! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If Dems don't deliver with their new powers.

    "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it." -- Abe Lincoln

    by munky on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:24:42 PM PST

    •  Not quite. (0+ / 0-)

      The sad fact is that Dems have precious few new powers.  It's the Presidency that has most of the power, and until the Dems have that - I'll stay out of jail and on the trail to the Whitehouse.  Then, if we win, and still there's no reprieve, it'll be time for jail.  

  •  all I have to say is (5+ / 0-)

    damn, dude.

    If every person in America read what you wrote, I think it would get our troops home sooner.

    Thank you.

    We won! We won! Thank god almighty! We won!

    by Jerry 101 on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:29:37 PM PST

  •  "what’s missing from that document" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, AnonymousArmy

    odd that we should comment about the same question at nearly the same time:

    What is absent from the ISG report?

    You're the only other person I've encountered who has discussed what is missing from the Report.

    'squalid' is right, btw. very fine commentary, as distasteful as the subject is.

  •  Smell the Coffee Time! (0+ / 0-)

    This is what American militarism has wrought: 3000 dead troops who died NOT for their country, but for a government, or worse yet, for Bush.  It is one thing to die for a principle, yet quite another to die for a prince.  Don't doubt for a New York minute that if the US military was against this war at the beginning, it never would have happened. So let us all stand and give a big round of applause to the Pentagon and the Dept of Defense whose mindset brought us Vietnam, and now this, Iraq, and sooner more than later, Afghanistan, defeat after defeat after defeat.  Maybe Joe McCarthy was right, there are treasonous bastards within our armed forces, careerist pigs who are soldiers first, Americans second.  There should be a major purge of the officer corps, and the armed services disbanded.  There is an institutional rot at the very core of the US military, being populated with parasites who thump the Bible to soak our flag with our blood, in the name of self-aggrandizement.  I fear the US military more than the Mafia. With our coming ineluctable defeat looming in Iraq, let us hunt down the bastards that brought us all again to grief and may they be all be liquidated.

    •  neocynic, i agree with many of your points. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but i caution one thing. i think there are a number of very good officers who are caught up in something they can't stop and stay there to help their men. many of them have died also. when it comes to pace and that numnut who made the speech about jesus (sorry his name escapes me), you are more than correct.

  •  On the night John Lennon was shot (12+ / 0-)

    some 26 years ago tonight, the Metropolitan Editor of The New York Times was Sydney H. Schanberg.  Sydney won the Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for staying behind in 1975 when Phnom Penh fell. He was the only westerner who did so. The Times had kept a phone line open for more than 40 hours afterwards, but then the line went dead.  No one knew where he was for more than 3 weeks -- 3 weeks during which that beautiful capital city descended into chaos and bloodshed and Sydney was kidnapped and escaped death only through the entreaties of his translator and assistant, Dith Pran.  

    On the night that John Lennon was shot, some five years later, Sydney still had a picture of Dith Pran on his desk.  He kept it in a drawer at night, and removed it from the drawer and placed it where he could see it every morning, because, some five years after he had gotten out and come back and written the story and gone to the Metropolitan Desk . . . Dith Pran was still missing, still trapped in Cambodia, where some 2 million people (one third of the population) eventually would die.  (It was Dith Pran's story, and Sydney's, that was told in The Killing Fields.)

    Now, a quarter of a century later, we are witnessing the same governmental venality, the same petulant refusal to see the truth, the same horrors, the same bloodshed, the same torture, the same chaos, the same blockheaded stubborness all over again . . . . how many thousands of young American men and women must die or be maimed, how many millions of Iraqis?  I do not see how it will not be millions.  All for lies.  All for lies.

    And no end in sight.

    1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora.

    by noweasels on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:14:03 PM PST

  •  Part of me says, "give it a rest" (0+ / 0-)

    I guess I'm saying that we all know what you are saying, it's self-evident from, not least, the silent roll-call on Public Television, every night.

    For me, I'm done with that, as sad and tragic is it is, I don't need any more reminding of the folly that US foreign policy is.

    What are we going to do about it? That's the big question. The world awaits the answer.

    And who is going to stick up for the average Iraqui?

    For what it's worth, I ranted and raved when my country invaded Iraq, with no cogent reason.

    •  you'd be wrong. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aimeeinkc, snafubar

      I couldn't even read Meteor's post, in full.  The facts horrify me too much, and I knew he'd deliver.  It really is like watching a Quentin Tarantino bloodbath, only worse, real.  I know I won't personally collapse, but that is my urge when one faces the facts, to find and embrace the low-point of one's existence, like a shot-duck, diving to mouth-clasp the weeks at the bottom of the pond, to avoid further bodily insult.  I don't know if Ibsen was ethologically accurate, but the metaphor remains.

      We don't have time for short-term thinking.

      by Compound F on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 01:38:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, give it a harder push godammit. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is not the time for polite discussions. This is not the time for "honey vs. vinegar" arguments.

      The question is - - - and I would nominate David Gregory for president personally were he to use his tenacity on Tony Snowjob or Bush the Decider to ask,

      "How many Americans will have to die before you do change course in this war, Mr. Bush"

      "We'll stay until the job is done"

      "Is 5,000 not enough"

      "We'll stay until the job is done"

      "How about 10,000, sir, I want a number to show America how committed you really are."

      "We'll stay until the job is done"

      "Would 58,000 be a significant enough number for you, or would you then still feel as committed as you do now?"

      "We'll stay until the job is done"

      Come on....tell me you would not love to see David Gregory (Since we can't see Helen Thomas do it any more) carry this one until they carry him out to prove that Bush has no brain.

      George Orwell is banging on his coffin lid and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

      by snafubar on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:27:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  MY offering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Six WEEKS and out.

    The presence of American military forces is not achieving anything that is significant or long-standing and which justifies the price in American lives.

    The presence of American troops is demonstrably not making Iraq a quieter, safer place.  

    We can't make it that.

    Yes, there will be bloodshed when we leave--as there's bloodshed now, anyway.

    Get out.  Let it stabilize and resolve itself, somehow. And when, like Vietnam, it's a safe, stable society again, perhaps some incompetent American president can go and tour the country...

    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

    by ogre on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:32:49 PM PST

  •  Bush's plan (7+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that Bush is indeed working on bringing the troops back home.

    One at a time.

    To Arlington.


    by Lupin on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:38:01 PM PST

    •  Oh my God (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is it.   this is the sound bite that Howard and Pelosi and Murtha need to hear!

      Can I send it to them or shall you since it is your brilliant take on this?

      PLEASE send it to them - in a nice letter that tells them to USE THIS against Bush this way.

      •  By all means (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pam from Calif

        feel free to use it; it just came out, I don't think it's anything special but it does make a point.

        Last week I wrote on Gilliard's "A fool and his army are soon parted" and another person also expressed the desire to reuse it as a sig or something.

        Being a writer I'm flattered you like my work. Thank you.

        OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

        by Lupin on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 12:56:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wish, were there any way possible... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, flumptytail

    That I could give you 'five stars' for this diary, or even ten!

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:49:35 PM PST

  •  Keith? Is that you? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, flumptytail

    Wow and Amen!

    For as much as an effect that your words had as I read them, I, like so many others, wish that those words had never needed to be written.

  •  Wow (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, vcmvo2, flumptytail

    This was the most powerful piece I have read in a long time. Good job and I hope(but am pessimistic) that our elected leaders will hear yours and so many others call. Thank You!

  •  Thanks, Meteor Blades. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, flumptytail
  •  "We'll stand down as the Iraqis stand up" ..right (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, rlharry, 4Freedom, tallmom

    The fact of the matter is I don't think it's going to work, because what Iraqis are going to "stand up" for IRAQ?  This country is NOT a real entity that they have an emotional attachment to or an identity with.  Not enough to fight for, to shed blood for, or to die for.

    You have to CARE about your country to die for it.  What is Iraq?  It's something created by the British back in the 1920s.  It's something they've suffered and died for under a succession of horrible despots.  Why should they feel loyal to it?  What has IRAQ ever done for them?

    It's not going to work!!  You can't make them want to fight for something they don't really care about.  Maybe they think they care about it .. maybe they want to care about it.  But in truth, they don't, and they realize it at the moment of battle ... and they freeze, or run.

    Look, we care about our country.  We don't like the current administration, but we care deeply, deeply about our country, its (lost) ideals, its people, its promise.  We would fight for our country, if attacked.  But Iraqis DON'T FEEL THAT WAY about their "country".

    This whole Bush thing is a sham and an idiocy ... it's NEVER going to work.  Training Iraqis is not going to work ... why isn't anybody in the media looking at this issue and analyzing it?

  •  i just jumped to the end of the comments (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnonymousArmy, vcmvo2, mcmom, tallmom, what if

    your diary ripped my guts out.  and i do not think i can read through the comments tonight for fear it'll rip them out even more.

    19 for christ's sake.  19.  i turned 19 just as i was just finishing up my freshman year in college.  i was just 19, and just going home for summer break from college, to wait tables at a restaurant on the beach (the tips were excellent) and be a sloth and get a tan, eat lots of oysters, play tennis and work some more to save up money for the fall semester (since i had to pay for college myself).

    my god, judge looks to be maybe 16 at best.  he doe not look even close to being 19.  not by a long shot.  the world hadn't even BEGUN for me when i was 19, although i thought i knew just about everything, i also knew i had a lifetime ahead of me to apologize for any of the wrongs i was certain to commit in my youthful arrogance.  i knew i had a life ahead of me to live.

    i mean, look at him.  barely a reason to shave, and looking so goddam young.  i had just been taught how to shave correctly by my room mate in college (my dad was quite absent so i really had no clue how to shave "right").  while i really didn't need to shave all the time i was fortunate enough to have a room mate who was really cool and knew i lacked some of the "guy skills" i was supposed to learn from my dad...

    when i turned 19, reagan was in his second year of destroying the country, having survived being shot by some whack job whose family, it turns out, is close friends of the VPs family.  who knew?

    suddenly, when i was just barely 19, my father died.  that was an unexpected, powerful event for me.  being only 19, i also knew that i had time, lots of it, to now work through the shit i endured from him while i was growing up.  and i would be at liberty to work on it with him no longer there torturing me and beating me up.  i finally had breathing space and could now start to live no longer in mortal fear of him. his parents came for the funeral and were inconsolable -- not that i could have or would have, just that it would not have mattered if YHWH or lincoln or the virgin mary had tried -- nothing would have made this reality better.  nothing short of their son returning to life.  right now.

    they kept speaking of the rupture -- having a child die before the parent had died-- they could not sit during the wake - open casket - because that was their son, he was supposed to outlive THEM, not the other way around. seeing him dead exploded their last vestiges of order and rhythm and god.

    so, you show us his photo, of judge, only 19 years of age.  well, he was 19 and then, no more.  and for what?  for a lie, a series of lies, lies compounding more lies, lies that helped fuel bigger, more atrocious more violent more efficient ways of bombing and gunning and rocketing and exploding and losing.  

    i hope this is not taken the wrong way -- it is of absolutely NO concern to me that we "lost" vietnam. none.  winning and losing in this context, an actuarial table, a global economic arrangement, the folly of the protected and privileged who engage in a game of Risk using live subordinates as their game pieces-- they win and lose metaphorically, financially, politically, in bragging rights and cock-of-the-walk terms.

    judge and mMahon lost.  literally.  no more life.  gone.  vanished, expired, for real and forever.  

    it is of utmost concern that we actually lost a hell of a lot of lance corporal darwin judges and corporal charles mcMahons ad infinitum.  turned into possible collateral losses by those who map and plan and dehumanize and escape culpability, liability, responsibility.  and have no second thought for the judge's and mcMahon's they have sent there to die.  pontificate, platitudes, service and patriotism and the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation, a folded flag and now, no more judge or mcMahon.  

    god i hate them.

    sent off to defend our country by those who knew our nation needed no protecting, at least not from the "enemy" so defined by the powers to be ... (vietnamese, iraqis).  sent off to defend our country by exactly the folks it turns out we all need to be protected from...

    ironic perhaps, but the measure of irony in the case of war is a death count.  that's too expensive a price to entertain irony.

    and why? for what?

    There died a myriad,

    And of the best, among them,

    For an old bitch gone in the teeth,

    For a botched civilization,

    Charm, smiling at the good mouth,

    Quick eyes gone under earth's lid,

    For two gross of broken statues,

    For a few thousand battered books.

    *excerpted from hugh selwyn mauberly
    by ezra pound.

    your diary was beyond compliment MB.  it was eloquent and stunning.  and too much for me obviously...).

    i'd say thank you but that would be so inadequate.

    "sit ubu, sit. good boy"

    by dadanation on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 12:56:02 AM PST

    •  Thanks for the personal story, dadanation (0+ / 0-)

      It made me remember a little of what 19 was like.  I've forgotten a lot about that age because I was 18 when dad passed away, and 19 when mom followed him in 1963.  Then JFK was assassinated. They say everyone remembers where they were on that day.  Not me, no matter how hard I try.  I don't know exactly when I began to wake up, but I think it was sometime in 1966, when I went to my first anti-war rally.

      Anyway, your personal tribute to Meteor Blades diary is very touching.  Thank you.  

  •  Casualty Breakdown by race (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    White casualty 73.5% population 67.4%
    Hispanic  casualty 14.1% population  11%
    Black  casualty 10.6% population 12.3%

    Whites suffer casualties in Iraq disproportionately high in comparison to their representation in the general population.

  •  Vermonters ARE patriotic and BLUE (4+ / 0-)

    More than 10% of Vermont's population served in the Civil War, a greater percentage than any other state.

    Vermont population in 1860 was 315,098.

    More than 140 years ago, a brigade of 2,800 Vermonters fought off the Confederate Army in the dense forest of northern Virginia in a bloody struggle to prevent the rebels from capturing key ground and dividing the Union Army.When the Battle of the Wilderness was over, nearly half of the Vermont Brigade were dead,wounded or missing. The first day of that two-day battle in May of 1864 was the single worst day of casualties for the Green Mountain Boys in the entire Civil War. But they won their struggle to beat back the Army of Northern Virginia, allowing Gen. Grant to head south in his quest to destroy the Confederate army.

    The Civil War left no Vermonters untouched, and few families free from pain. More than 140 letters -- carefully selected from some 9000 in several archives -- convey in personal terms the combat experience of Vermonters throughout the war. Vermont raised seventeen infantry regiments, one cavalry regiment, three batteries of light artillery and three companies of sharpshooters -- nearly 35,000 soldiers in all. As a result of this impressive commitment, Vermont suffered one of the highest rates of military deaths of any Union state.

    Some of the greatest losses by disease during the Civil War occurred in regiments that were not subjected to the exposure of active service; regiments, which performed garrison duty only, and were provided with comfortable quarters and good food. The greatest loss by disease occurred in some black regiments which were doing garrison duty, and were stationed in the same district from which they had been recruited and where they had lived all their lives. Then, again, certain regiments among the white troops suffered from disease, unaccountably, more than others. The Vermont Brigade, while encamped in Virginia, in 1861, lost scores of men by disease, while the regiments in adjoining camps were entirely exempt; and, yet, these Vermonters excelled in physique, cleanliness and intelligence.

    Over 50,000 Vermonters enlisted or were drafted into military service during World War II. By the end of the war 1,233 Vermonters had lost their lives. Almost every family had one person in the armed forces and many had several. This personal connection was the primary motivation for continuing strong support of the war on the home front.

    What is believed to be the first state-sanctioned Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in the nation was originally dedicated on October 30, 1982, at the northbound rest area on Interstate 89 -- the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Highway -- in Sharon.

    In 2000, Vermont Governor Howard Dean announced that the rest area was scheduled to be rebuilt to serve as a state welcome center with a veteran's theme, with the Vietnam Memorial as the centerpiece of the facility.

    The building includes an octagonal visitors' center, a "dramatic" new setting for an existing granite monument honoring the 138 Vermonters killed in Vietnam, and an indoor display of Vietnam-related materials. An innovative, "living technologies" greenhouse, attached to the visitors' center, will process wastewater on-site.

    Even before the September 11 attacks, the Vermont National Guard proved itself an asset to the state and the entire country. Vermonters have played key roles in both World Wars, Korea, and Desert Storm. Since the end of the Cold War, the nation's defense strategy has come to rely more and more on National Guard forces because of their cost effectiveness and flexibility. The Vermont Air National Guard recently served in Saudi Arabia, providing air cover over Iraq, while various units of the Vermont Army Guard have sent personnel to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and other areas across the globe.

    There is no better example of the strength, quality, and dedication of today's Green Mountain Boys than the Vermont National Guard's magnificent response to the September 11 attacks. Soon after the news of the attacks, the 158th Fighter Wing scrambled many of their F-16 fighter jets based at the Burlington International Airport. Over the next 122 days, at least two of the units’ 15 advanced warplanes provided continuous air patrol over Washington, D.C., and New York City. No Air Force unit did more than this 1000-person force to reestablish control over our skies after that awful day. It was an impressive record-setting achievement.

    The second smallest state in population is rich in sweet syrup, cozy inns, and expensive ski slopes. But in the shadows of the Green Mountains, Vermont's rural poverty is encouraging young people to seek out a better life through the National Guard - and now disproportionate numbers of them are coming home in flag-draped caskets.

    Read this The Weekend Warriors War in the Boston Globe

    President Calvin Coolidge said: "I love Vermont because of her hills and valleys, her scenery and invigorating climate, but most all because of her indomitable people. They are a race of pioneers who have almost beggared themselves to serve others. If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the Union and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont."

    No one can question the patriotism of Vermonters - nor their common sense.

    •  Thanks for the excellent history. (0+ / 0-)

      You have uncovered some of the reasons Bush finds Vermont evil. Vermonters serve, they don't swagger.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves. William Pitt

      by 4Freedom on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 07:09:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Hawks Will Say 3000 Is A Small Number (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, Paul Goodman

    Many more lost in Vietnam. Many more lost in Korea. Many more lost in WW II, etc.

    There is something that is dehumanizing about that line of thinking. Many of these Hawks who claim this say they are Christian. They are not. Making this claim show a basic lack of respect for the value of a single human life and a total disregard for the horror that is war.  

    Beyond that, they pick and choose about what wars were worthwhile and what wars were not. Are they claiming that they never met a war they didn't like? Interesting how Bush compared himself to Harry Truman the other day. He might have a case that Truman was reviewed much more kindly by historians than he was by his contemporaries in 1952. Funny how he didn't compare himself to LBJ.

    This war has not been worth it by any measure, You can't compare the loss of life in this war with the loss of life in WW II. If the war is not worth it, any man who has respect for the dignity of human life would demand that it be stopped.

  •  We may have to wait for a Green Zone massacre... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...for those psychopaths and pasty, jowly do-nothings to wake the fuck up.

  •  The ONLY (really vocal) person in Washington... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tallmom, TomP

    who is correct about the Iraqi situation (Civil War, foreign-country invasion created anarchy, whatever you want to call it) is John Murtha.

    He's right:  we need to get the hell out.

  •  M.B. = *Measure Beyond Eloquence. (5+ / 0-)

    You raise the Dead with Your words, Meteor,

    My god.........................and that Map.....................that miserable map...........
    How will one's consciensce rest with the cinders of a Meteor shower raining down ?????

    Your words and the map are too much for me tonight.
    And to think I had almost returned to regular sleep......


    They. Must. Go.
    They are a DISGRACE.
    They are ruining the country.
    GET THE FUCK OUT.>>>>>>>
    THAT'S the point at which they can meet us half way.

    I can't help thinking that the guillotine would be too kind for their treachery.

    What is to be done about such treasonous crooks and liars?
    The pigs at the trough, feeding on "Defense", invoking the memory of the victims of 9/11??
    The shyster contractors peddling their vaporware as Homeland Security or rebuilding Iraq???

    What about a GSA, FEMA,and Christ, even The F.B.I.
    as easy pickin's for the politically connected GOP Fraudsters ???

    You know it actually is brilliant in a pathologically criminal way, the Felonious Activity and Dereliction of Duty on such an enourmous scale. Even a broad survey of the Status Quo renders the narrative as almost incredible.

    Just ten months ago - I shit you not - money - 385 MILLION - to Haliburton for "extra" detention camps for "immigrants" on US soil....

    What is to be done???>What were these villians doing leading people to death and destruction?
    I don't want an apology


    The crooked prosecutors in Gonzales camp at DOJ where charity starts at home??

    The high profile College Republican US Attorneys where the "fix is in"
    despite rational dissent and evidence to the contrary???

    We fight "them" over there for this shit at home??
    The War Profiteers? The Katrina Vultures?

    The habitual practice of using front contractors as conduits for graft to Administration cronies?

    All those who enriched themselves, looted the Treasury while sending thousands of American men and women to their deaths?? Sentenced TENS of Thousands more to a lifetime of catastrauphic disability?

    The Contractors who pimped, re - pimped, then pimped again contract after contract under the 9/11 mantra in such lurid greed as to see how many different ways they could fuck us? POLITICAL PEDOPHILES.

    I wasn't jawed by the cops when Cindy got arrested last Jan 31 for to get an apology.

    At this rate, Bush will be yukking it up in front of the cameras when the new Congress is sworn in. By the State of the Union, he'll photo op with the political human shields of decent Americans whose personal generosity he'll never know.

    Fuck it. The cold has set in here with a mid - night Meteor Shower in the East.
    Cinders raining down and It's FREEZING. Cinders of rage from Meteor Blades.

    Impeachment off the table?---> There is no fucking table.<--- <br>no table

    Democrats: Putting Intelligence Back Into National Security

    by Robert Davies on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 03:19:16 AM PST

  •  I'm sorry, but I just have to say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fuzed, Hens Teeth

    that our dead are not nearly the tragedy that the Iraqi dead are, and I think it's tasteless and jingoistic to worry about "our" (all volunteered-to-die) dead numbering in the tens of hundreds when the Iraqi didn't-volunteer-for-anything civilian death count already numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

    This smattering of soldiers just isn't that important in comparison to the scale of the tragedy that we've wrought over there and I don't understand how more Americans (and indeed American soldiers) aren't absolutely, completely, devastatingly horrified at the Iraqi deaths rather than just the American deaths (all volunteer and at a fraction of the count) that one is always hearing about.

    These are a few soldiers dead in an invading force. Those are masses in the hundreds of thousands of civilians dead who had no choice in the matter and were invaded. There is just no comparison.

    •  I find that cold (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      All of the deaths are equally tragic. Each and every single death, Iraqi or American, is excruiating.  None are more, or less, meaningful and yet useless, than the other. Yes, many Americans, and most all news coverage, focus on American deaths and that's ugly. Really ugly. But that can't be balanced by discounting American deaths.

    •  Maybe. (0+ / 0-)

      But our dead is what will stop this senseless war.

      WOMAN: My cat's in the tree! MY FATHER (a fireman): He'll come down. WOMAN: No he won't! MY FATHER: Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?

      by Bob Johnson on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 06:52:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you miss the references ... (0+ / 0-) Iraqis:

      Not to mention the dead Iraqis. Who knows how many? Estimates diverge wildly. Let me just say I think any count below hundreds of thousands is off the mark. Hundreds of thousands dead, still larger numbers injured or maimed, more than a million in exile, several hundred thousand internally displaced. All for a pack of lies. ...

      Anyone with a drop of sympathy for Iraqis cannot be immune to the conventional wisdom that says the slaughter will widen and deepen if the Americans leave before Iraq is stabilized and the Iraqi military is ready to hold its own in keeping the peace in a unified nation. True, not everyone is sympathetic. "Genocide Bill" O’Reilly  suggests the U.S. just let the Shi'ites and Sunnis kill themselves "and then we can have a decent country in Iraq."

      Most human beings, on the other hand, get queasy when we think of how the world’s governments ignored Rwanda a dozen years ago. And how most are, for all practical purposes, ignoring Darfur now. Who can read stories like Baghdad's Morgues Working Overtime or The Disappeared or As Trust Vanishes, Many Iraqis Look to Gunmen as Protectors without wondering how much worse things can get?

    •  I agree and said the same thing in my post (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nobody at all

      we need to look beyond our dead, who volunteered to be part of the world's largest and most deadly military to the havoc and pain that wreak.

      we are a democracy and soldiers kill because we tell them to.

      I also have a problem with the constant blathering of honor the troop, support the soldiers. They volunteer to join and support the war. Those that say they only volunteered to get college tuition and not to break down doors and terrorize iraqis are simply getting what they agreed to when they signed the contract.

      Bring back the draft, and I'll become a supporter of our soldiers. Until then, if there were no volunteer soldiers, there would be no one to kill iraqis and misguided wars would not be so easy to start.

  •  SIMPLE REPLY TO THIS: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, BoxerDave, Zero Carb Rob



    -4.00-6.31 I ask YOU to PLEASE urge YOUR congressperson to enact MANDATORY FUNDING of the V.A., H.R.2318. Don't let vets suffer.

    by glbTVET on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 03:55:43 AM PST

    •  Sadly, the Democrats will NOT impeach (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zero Carb Rob

      our shameless (but shameful) President.  The Democratic Party, since taking power in Congress, has said hardly anything about impeaching Bush. If I'm wrong on this, then please post some weblinks, because I haven't heard anyone making any noise about impeachment.

      Frankly, the silence from the Democratic congresspersons is shameful behavior.  I mean, come on, when will the Democratic Party begin to lead the nation in defining moral values?  If not over the deaths of so many in Iraq--a pre-emptive invasion based on a lie-filled agenda, and one that will financially haunt this nation for years to come--then when?  Or, will the party continue to let the Republicans define what is impeachable (such as a sexual tryst with a White House intern)?

      I wrote to my Congressman--Barney Frank, who is typically reasonable--and I've told him that I want Bush impeached.  I have not heard from him.  I wrote to my Senator, Ted Kennedy, about the same thing; I have not heard from him.

      •  I too (0+ / 0-)

        contacted my congressscritter and senators with the same outcome.

        I'm angry but what to do?

        -4.00-6.31 I ask YOU to PLEASE urge YOUR congressperson to enact MANDATORY FUNDING of the V.A., H.R.2318. Don't let vets suffer.

        by glbTVET on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 07:15:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  you know what? The Dems haven't taken power yet (0+ / 0-)

        despite what you say -- they won't until next year. isn't a bit early to give up? (I just got a letter back from Boxer re: the Sept. 22 vote on the Military Commissions Act (and this was an easy one, as she agreed with me) -- it always takes a couple months for them to respond.)

        Cynthia McKinney, a Democrat who many here find distasteful, introduced a bill (probably her last, as Congress adjourns for the year next week) to impeach George W. Bush yesterday -- no surprise you didn't hear about it here. You might want to give her some support?

        As I've been saying for years now, when and if impeachment or resignation happens -- and if I had to bet money, I would bet that GW Bush will not serve out his term  -- it will happen because the Republicans in Congress tell Bush they won't support him anymore - just like they told Nixon, who then resigned, rather than face impeachment.

        If what you want is the U.S. out of Iraq as quickly as possible, instead of just being impatient to feel better about things yourself, consider this: a too-early move by Democrats to impeach Bush will only give Congressional Republicans a leg to stand on in defense of their President and his policies. They're already abandoning him -- see WA GOP Sen.  Gordon Smith's comments yesterday about 'absurd' and 'criminal' Iraq policy and urging a pullout -- and my guess is a military pullout will happen quicker without a quick move to impeach -- which will give GOP Congressmembers an excuse to ignore the failures and lies in favor of partisan defense.

        Thanks, MB!

        •  Pelosi said she's not entertaining impeachment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jennifer poole

          Given that, I don't think it's unreasonable to be pessimistic (and angry) about how the new leadership is going to lead next year (and, yeah, they kinda already are in power in that Democratic leaders of Congress have been meeting with Bush).

          I'm not about political strategy here; I'm about doing the right things, regardless of what people may or may not think in '08.  It's clear to many of us (here and elsewhere) that: (1) we need to heed John Murtha's wise voice and get out of Iraq now; and, (2) the Congress needs to begin impeaching Bush.  In the long run, even if Congress tries and fails to impeach Bush, they will have gone down in history as trying to impeach him.  If they don't, then the Democratic Congress of 2007-2008 will go down in history as basically saying that they knew he lied to America about why we ought to have invaded Iraq, and that that is OK behavior.

          •  Pelosi said that before the election (0+ / 0-)

            she's a politician, politicians lead, they seldom follow. and yes, we have to push them to "do the right thing" -- what politicians say is "impossible" one day is "inevitable" the next. and when impeachment / resignation becomes inevitable all talk re: what is "on the table" and "not in the cards" will fly right out the window.

            please read my post again, you seem to have answered somebody who said Congress shouldn't ever impeach Bush -- I didn't write that, I've been psushing impeaching Bush since the Iraq invasion, here, on the street, and via letters to my elected reps, and I will continue. My bet is Bush won't serve out his term, one way or another (I certainly hope Cheney goes first). But my analysis above still stands, I won't repeat it, but please read it again, with that understanding in mind.

    •  I want to gag and puke... (0+ / 0-)

      ..when I hear Dems get all realpolitik-like and say, "we can't impeach! We have an agenda to pass!".

  •  Mr. Blades, so sage, so informed, WOW!... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcmom, tallmom, flumptytail

    This guy is extraordinary.  The way he can frame an issue, simplify it, clarify it, inspire by it...I'm (once again) completely blown away.

    Too bad decision-makers, on the whole, are not attuned to Mr. Blades soul-searching, truth-seeking perspective.

    Doesn't the untrammeled carnage visited on both Vietnam & Iraq have mostly to do with one thing:


    This will get attached to your comments.

    by zdog on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 04:09:00 AM PST

  •  Thank You (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, rlharry, tallmom

    I wish to thank you so much for your sombre and thought-provoking diary. This is undoubtedly the finest piece of literature that I have read in some considerable time on the mess that we call Iraq.

    Your piece should be taken up in the mainstream media and rubbed in the noses of those that appear not to understand the last five or so years of their nation's history.

    God Bless you, and all those that have suffered for the high crimes and misdemeanours, indeed war crimes of George W Bush.


    Men are from Mars, Women from Venus and Bush from Ur-anus!!

    by malc19ken on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 04:09:43 AM PST

  •  I Don't Understand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, Mehitabel9, Hens Teeth

    Why did you post that map?  I'm not sure what a map of African-American population density has to do with this Iraq War post.

    •  Weird Map (0+ / 0-)

      What does it track exactly?  Population?  Population density?  Poverty?

      The folklore is that it is patriotic Southerners, real Americans, who are serving in the armed forces and dying in Iraq, while Blue America sits around and laughs at them.

  •  That map tells me why the South favors the war (0+ / 0-)

    None of them are getting killed.

    Just a bunch of chickenhawks, like their crooked president.

  •  Crossing the line (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've never thought about it in those terms, but you're right, round numbers have significance to many. Retailers certainly know that. I think it's because each one represents a new threshold we've passed through. A new line in the sand, a little further out, that we've crossed.

    As to the Baker-Hamilton Commission, most of the clips I've caught of them (I admit to not having had time to read the report) appear to be more interested in spanking bush than solving anything. Of course, that could simply be what the media chooses to cover.

    Moving piece, Meteor Blades. One of your best. Thank you.

  •  Excellent MB (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, mcmom

    You need a tip jar for this one

  •  The biggest lie (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BoxerDave, chimpwatch, Hens Teeth

    is that these kids are dying to "protect America".

    The chickenhawks keep saying it, as do the MSM pundits, and the families of these kids believe it with all their heart.  And the kids that keep signing up for this clusterfuck of a war continue to believe it.  The truth is that what they're doing in Iraq, getting killed by IED's every day, doesn't affect me one bit.  I continue to go to work each day and shop at Wal Mart every weekend.  And that lie they keep telling themselves "that they're somehow protecting me" is just a lie.  I don't need their "protection".  I don't want their "protection".  I just want the war over so we can start spending those hundreds of billions of dollars on something worthwhile like improving Elementary Education, and providing funds for Higher Education, and HealthCare reform and Prescription drug benefits for seniors and passing a minimum wage increase, and protecting our environment, and HOMELAND SECURITY.  

    Sorry if this sounds like I don't care about the kids dying.  I almost don't feel sorry for them at all.  But I do.  I do feel sympathy for them.  Even though they know they're signing up to go to Iraq to maybe get killed.  Their proud families know it too. And in most cases, their families stand behind them 100%  But I'll admit, a logical part of me says "fuck em", "they're getting what they signed up for," "good riddance!" But it's not their fault.  They drank the koolaid. They don't know they've swallowed the biggest lie of all.  They weren't smart enough to see the line of bullshit being thrown at them for what it is.  Bullshit.  Thrown at them by the Chickenhawks and in a lot of cases, their own ignorant, but well meaning families and friends.

    I want us out of Iraq now.  Totally out.  All American soldiers, contractors, aid workers, everyone.  As soon as possible.  Then our country needs to apologize profusely to everyone in that part of the world for this epic blunder.  And we need to pay reparations and pay to help rebuild Iraq. And we all need to pray that the entire Middle East does not engulf into flames and World War III because of the gasoline we have thrown onto that fire.

  •  Tragic deaths in service to an evil empire (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, Carbide Bit

    Yes, that's what our country has become, an evil empire. The only good things to come from the human catastrophe of the criminal Iraq war and occcupation may be the unraveling of the US empire, and the discrediting of a vicious right-wing ideology.

    "Men use thought only to justify their wrongdoing, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts." Voltaire

    by chimpwatch on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 06:03:36 AM PST

    •  Interesting comparison of us vs. the former E. E. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Closing the Collapse Gap":

      The Jails Race once showed the Soviets with a decisive lead, thanks to their innovative GULAG program. But they gradually fell behind, and in the end the Jails Race has been won by the Americans, with the highest percentage of people in jail ever.

      The Hated Evil Empire Race is also finally being won by the Americans. It's easy now that they don't have anyone to compete against.

  •  Thanks for this. Newspapers do not have enough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carbide Bit

    courage to do a story like this.

    Because we are now training our future enemies, the last American to die from this screw up is a long time from now.

    and because it cost so much, our grandchildren will be paying China back for the financing.

  •  The Crusades (5+ / 0-)

    To over 1.5billion Muslims this must look like a modern replay of the Crusades.  This time, the Christians came for the oil.  This will not be forgotten, will be taught in every Muslim country for centuries, will foster hatreds, and possibly violence.  The evil done by the idiot president shall outlive us all.

    The delay of this ISG report, as with the Foley investigation, show that while many regret the world situation, the players are gaming the situation.  And they talk of "values."  Sadly, they feel no remorse, they've lost no family members, they made money, to them, the game has run its course.  They're probably studying the world now for the next arena.  They are the evil ones--the true murderers.

    Bipartisan here means heads you win, tails you win.  Everyone in the group has whored themselves.  Why did they wait for the election to be over?  It's a game--the bastards!

  •  The decider decides and he don't have to listen (0+ / 0-)

    to nobody to make his decisions!  But WE are the DECIDERS!  We decide who leads us!  We decide when we have had enough and over 2/3's of us have had it with Bush's malfeasance.

    We've run some of them out of office and we can run the rest of them out the same way or sooner.  Once the spotlight is on them, like the spotlight shown on Delay and Abramoff they left or were indicted.  Come on spotlights, let us see some glow!

  •  Supporting the troops and last man to die (0+ / 0-)

    are both poignant and attractive memes which we chant over and again to convince ourselves that we hate the killing but love the honorable soldiers. And I believe that up until Carter abolished the draft, these memes were pertinent. Too bad we didn't begin chanting them when soldiers were draftees and not volunteers.

    But now we have an all volunteer army, and while it may be that there are economic forces which push some to join the army as a means of class advancement, e.g. college funds, still they choose to join and therefore choose to fight, and choose to kill.

    Yes, we should honor Judge and McMahon b/c they were told to go and either didn't or couldn't seek deferment, and perhaps joined the Marines as a way to control a situation in which they had little choice. But today, if no one volunteered for the military there would be no soldiers to propagate war.

    Let's remember the  some 600,000 Iraqis -- civilians, collateral damage -- that our volunteers have had a hand in killing, either directly or indirectly. The blood is ultimately on our hands, Judge and McMahon's blood as well as the blood of these people: google

  •  War Powers Act ? (0+ / 0-)

    What's the company line regarding this easy out option ? Seems like Bush & Co. get all the rancor and your own ranks could summon this tool. Us disenfranchised third party types can only be as equally astounded by the Blue's lack of resolve as they gear up to take the reigns.

    LNC Region 7 Alternate LPNY At-Large-Representative

    by ESun67 on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 06:50:09 AM PST

  •  Thank you Meteor Blades. (0+ / 0-)

    With all my heart.

    Bush/Republican legacy: Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Cheney's Dirty War, Black Sites, AnalPlugs&Bodybags, Rendition, Torture, Waterboards, Murder, the Disappeared.

    by Yellow Canary on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 06:50:41 AM PST

  •  Thanks, MB. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "When the mission is completed."

    Another undefined lie that emanates from the mouths of the gung-ho desk warriors.

    I am so goddamned sick of all the lies.  This stuff is heart-brealing for all parties involved... save, for the cowards who continue to send our fellow citizens to their death or sentence them to a life of pain, spiritual and/or physical.

    WOMAN: My cat's in the tree! MY FATHER (a fireman): He'll come down. WOMAN: No he won't! MY FATHER: Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?

    by Bob Johnson on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 06:51:17 AM PST

  •  DARWIN JUDGE: Sad Parallel @Vietnam War Memorial (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stodghie, vcmvo2, what if

    I see that Darwin Judge, the first soldier mentioned in your article, was a pitcher on a Little League baseball team.

    On a 1992 visit to D.C., I stopped by the Vietnam War Memorial to find the names of a couple of hometown boys I knew who died in that war.  While searching, I noticed an autographed baseball and glove laid underneath one particular column (it was quite common, at least back then when that war was still fresher in mind, for folks who closely knew someone on the wall to leave some personal momento as a tribute to the fallen).  There was also a little plaque beside the baseball.

    It read: "[somewhere Pennsylvania] LITTLE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS, 1962".  The roster for the team was named underneath.  I suddenly realized: the glove had belonged to the star pitcher on that team, and the baseball was signed by each of his surviving teammates.  The pitcher, of course, now had his name on the wall.  That was one of the most moving, sad tributes to a sparkling, obviously well-liked kid whose young life was cut short by a tragically stupid war.

  •  Haveing read the above comments... (0+ / 0-)

    ...I consider them evidence for the need of a draft.

    If the leadership, corporate America, wants to have a war for oil and war contracts let their children and grandchildren go and fight and die in that war. If some Jewish Americans want the American Army to destroy Israel’s enemies then let their children and grand children fight and die in service of their desires and such a policy. If we as a whole people, which is how we should think of ourselves, consider a war just then we should be willing to fight and die if necessary in that war or, if too old, be willing to send our children and grandchildren to fight and die in our stead.

    That is why a viable democracy requires a drafted citizen soldier army to keep it's citizens responsible in their decisions thorough their representatives concerning war and peace. As a young man I found JFK's, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather ask what you can do for your country!" the core of responsible citizenship. It's just not all about any faction and their particular desires, in matters of war the load MUST be shouldered, like the minuteman's musket, by all.

    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

    by Bobjack23 on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 07:02:49 AM PST

  •  Fine posting, thanks (0+ / 0-)

    All those who dither while people die will wrap themselves in the immunity that the elitists always reserve for themselves.

  •  All for nothing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hyperstation, stodghie

    Well, maybe not nothing since Bush and Halliburton, et al, all have the vast wealth they've built with this war. They will retire to the comfort of their palatial estates to live out their lives drinking fine scotch and playing with their toys, toys bought with blood.
    I too am isck and tired of all these deaths. I am sick and tired of hearing how they fought for our freedom. I am sick and tired of people saying that those who have died are heros.
    Why more Americans are not calling not merely for the impeachment of Bush & Cheney, but their trials for murder, I'll never know.
    I am one who is lusting for impeachment. I know it takes time (do we have enough left?) but it is necessary. And to my fellow patriots who believe the same, be patient. I have a feeling that Pelosi and others are being silent on this since they do not yet have the majority in hand. Let's see what happens after Jan. 4th.

    All Truth is non-partisan

    by MA Liberal on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 07:21:19 AM PST

  •  That Map - hang on a sec (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought that another of the reasons the South was morally superior is that it provides most of the soldiers that fight and die for our country and those fucking coastal hippies need in California and the North East need to go jump in a lake and stop undermining our troops.

    So this map must be a pack of lies right?  Cos that ain't the picture it paints.

    If no-one around you understands start your own revolution and cut out the middle man...

    by ResponsibleAccountable on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 07:22:48 AM PST

  •  For a Pack of lies must be repeated over and over (0+ / 0-)

    Profound:  "Not for a mistake, but for a pack of lies."
    This struck me like a thunderbolt if I would survive a lightning strike in my head.  But it sure was a breath of fresh ammonia.  Repeat this over and over.  Don't pull any punches.  Don't call it a mistake.  What it should be is the end of empire.  What is should be is the end of this horrible Reagan/Bush Hitler wannabees.
    And if we think the answer is the Democratic members of congress that stood by and watched, we are fooling ourselves once again.  We want them out now. Let the investigations begin.  "Unleash Hell" (They did).

    "I dream of things that never were and ask "Why Not?" RFK

    by Cowqueen on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 07:24:09 AM PST

  •  I've been reading Dkos (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stodghie, s marie

    for quite a while now. This may be the best post I have ever seen here.

    "A hero would die for his country, but he'd much rather live for it."

    by idissent on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 07:41:39 AM PST

  •  Blacked-Out Expletives (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't really see why expletives aren't appropriate when discussing the Bushpigs.  In fact, I think they're necessary.  The first word that comes to my mind when I see Dumbya or Cheney is always the same - MOTHERFUCKER. Long ago I was taught that it's the ugliest word in the English language.  If they're not MOTHERFUCKERS, we might as well stop all use of the word.

  •  When the 3,000th soldier (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is announced sometime in the next 2 or 3 weeks, I think there is going to be a public outcry the likes of which we haven't heard until now because it will come so close to Christmas and remind  any empathetic person alive the cost of this war to themselves, relative, friends and neighbors.  The 500 billion just does not stack up with the loss of 3,000 kids, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and those thousands who have been permanently maimed physically, emotionally and mentally.  This, of course, will be in direct relation to how the news is either publicized or suppressed.
    Snowjob should once again say it is only a number.
    dumya just hit 30% on the Zogby poll and it is all downhill from here.  They have met the enemy and it is themselves. (With apologies to Pogo.)

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all - JFK- 5/18/63-Vanderbilt Univ.

    by oibme on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 08:08:53 AM PST

  •  Last to die, and the first to die, new lies. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    what if

    The philosophic paradox of being the last to die in a failed war is nothing new.  There will also be more first-and-last-to-dies in more failed wars, if we let these young men die without taking something from the futility of their deaths.

    The moral imperative of life is to live a life that detracts not at all from the lives available to those who will follow us into this world.

    We defend nothing if we cannot defend ourselves from the lies that will reach into the future and also take the lives of the children of these young men who were the last to die in this war.

    We must note here, some of these young men & women are the sons and daughters of men and women who died in Vietnam.

    The moral imperative of life is to live a life that detracts not at all from the lives available to those who will follow us into this world.

    Memorize it.

    We will not be able to prevent there being a last-to-die in this war, but there is something we can do about the first-to-die in the next.

    Don Robertson, The American Philosopher
    Limestone, Maine

    An Illustrated Philosophy Primer for Young Readers

  •  If I may (0+ / 0-)

    pimp a diary (well, mostly a link to a wonderful/heartbreaking article):  Click

    Article access to be found in the comments, courtesy of moi.

    With 95% of precincts reporting, it would appear that I am, in fact, chopped liver.

    by Mehitabel9 on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 08:14:06 AM PST

  •  Is the CIA running Iraqi death squads as in S.A. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Interior Ministry (130,000 are police, and 10,000 special commandoes) murder:

    (Neocon) Bayan Jabr is the latest appointment
    ...the front man, & let the Israelis run it.

    The secret commando units are a mix of Iraqis, Kurds, mercenaries, lead by Israelis.

    Who Started The Death Squads?

    Bush's neocons ...James Steele & Steven Casteel who were assigned to Paul Bremer, & they established the Interior Ministry's police force. CIA/Special Forces/DEA .... Previously, they established 'counter insurgents' (Death Squads) in S. America....

    The Death Squads are a small core of the police. ...leaders are mossad, & the structure consists of Israeli control over mercenaries, & ex-Iraqi military.

    Zionists will tell the world the CIA is behind it. The Shias will kill Sunnis, and the Sunnis will kill Shias. Marines will be told it's insurgents, & Muslims foreign fighters. When it's time for Iran, the Zionists will hit America w/ a false flag that points at Iran, & Bush will get on TV with his eyes watering, & scream for revenge.

    ...evidence of Anglo-American involvement in the bombing campaigns targeting Iraqi civilians, notably the brief arrest of two British SAS men found w/ a car packed with explosives.... It is impossible that the Iraqi resistance could account for this pandemic of fratricidal violence, whatever Adnan Thabit might say about insurgents in police uniforms. It is equally impossible that SCIRI & the Badr Brigade could account for much of it in a milieu dominated by CIA assets and US forces. ...both sides of the apparent sectarian violence are run as part of a huge CIA-lead intelligence operation designed to split Iraq at the seams. ...the Interior Ministry is contriving attacks on Sunnis and that British and US special forces in conjunction with the intelligence apparatus at the Iraqi Defence Ministry are fabricating insurgent bombings of Shias. Overseeing the entire operation is the ‘cream’ of CMAD under the direction of top-level US intelligence asset Mowaffak Rubaie...with the CIA and the National Security Council in the US.


    John Stockwell: the highest-ranking CIA official ever to go public. He ran a CIA intelligence-gathering post in Vietnam....  

    Now, the most significant thing that I got out of all of this, in addition to the fact that our rationales were basically false, was that we lied. To just about everybody involved.

    CIA covert actions have the function of keeping the world hostile & unstable....  Why does the CIA run 10,000 brutal covert actions? Why are we destabilizing a third of the countries in the world today (1987) when there's so much instability and misery already?

    (Vietnam vets) More of whom died violent deaths from suicide after they came back from Vietnam then died in the fighting itself.

    President Reagan.... talks about the glory of war, ...where was he when wars were being fought? World War II, & the Korean war. Hollywood,making films, where the blood was catsup.

    Now how do you teach torture?

    `I can teach you about torture, but
    sooner or later you'll have to get involved.'

    .... All they [the guinea pigs, beggars] could do was lie there & scream. & when they would collapse, they would bring in doctors & shoot them w/ vitamin B & rest them for the next class. When they would die, they
    would mutilate the bodies &  throw them out on the streets, to terrify the
    population so they would be afraid of the police & the government.

    This is what the CIA was teaching them to do. One of the women who was in this program for 2 years - tortured in Brazil 2 years - she testified internationally...`The most horrible thing about it was in fact, that the people doing the torture were not raving psychopaths.'  They were very ordinary people....

    ...the lesson is that it isn't only Gestapo
    maniacs, or KGB maniacs, that do inhuman things to other people, it's people that do
    inhuman things to other people. And we are responsible for doing these things, on a
    massive basis, to people of the world today.


  •  Maybe Kerry can give his 1971 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul Goodman

    How do you ask speech to the Senate from the other side of the desk this time!

    Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

    by truthbetold on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 08:17:45 AM PST

  •  Dying in war sucks whether it is a noble cause (0+ / 0-)

    or a lie.  If in fact, the war serves some real purpose, that purpose balances somewhat the loss and pain.  But when that death comes in a misbegotten adventure, nothing is left but the loss.  I spent 1971 in Vietnam as an infantryman and then company clerk.  That was the year John Kerry made his statement about asking a man to die for a lie.  By 1971, everyone knew the US was getting the hell out of Vietnam.  Troop levels and casualties dropped sharply that year but we still died for no other reason than to keep Richard Nixon from being a "pitiful helpless giant".  All told, another 4,300 Americans and god knows how many Vietnamese died between 1971 and our final exit in 1975.  Looking at Vietnam in the years since our exit, the country seems to have done okay and has not any threat to the world.

    Thanks for the history/reality lesson.

  •  Remember the Vigils... (0+ / 0-)

    when our losses reached 2,000? I met a group of people and gathered email address so we could work on campaigns together... shortly it will be time for the vigils for the loss of 3,000...a sad national "anniversary"

    Your diary speaks volumes... I will pass this along to them...thanks

    If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. -James Madison, fourth US president (1751-1836)

    by crkrjx on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 08:37:27 AM PST

  •  If impeachment fits, you must INDICT (0+ / 0-)

    With thanks to the late Johnny Cochrane for the basics of the phrase, it is only logical that if Bush does get impeached for high crimes, then he must also be indicted afterward because impeachment is not really justice for crimes committed.  Furthermore as likely discussed previously, even if Bush is not impeached for whatever reasons (no political will or lack of time), he still should be indicted for any provable crimes that can be brought against him after he is out of office!

    Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

    by truthbetold on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 08:40:58 AM PST

  •  Best piece you've ever written, MB (6+ / 0-)

    It's heartbreaking that the best work you do, is in service to describe accurately, and tell the truth in such compelling terms that anyone reading is forced to listen and deeply absorb, a tragedy of such immorally epic proportions.

    Thank you for this work.  Though I know I struggled with an internal rage churning with despair as I read the whole piece, I can only imagine the emotional toll it has taken on you as a writer to have to write such a piece.  

    I have added this piece to my sadly growing collection of pieces written about Iraq that moved or inspired me to continue the daily struggle against the machine.  The troops are not the only ones who show bravery amidst the sordid lies and deeply amoral actions of those in power.  The writers, the truth tellers of all stripes are as well.

    DISCLOSURE: After being a supporter and volunteer for John Kerry for years, I now work for John Kerry's PAC.

    by Casey Morris on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:03:31 AM PST

  •  There's no feeling better after, is there? (0+ / 0-)

    That's the problem with the use of military force.  No one ever feels better after.  They just feel relieved that they didn't die.

    And it will be the same for us non com's when the last of our forces comes home.  

    Much the same way, you can't jail an addict for his crimes - you have to send him to detox first, and then first timers get an offer of rehab for 30 days and time off if they attend a program.  

    I'm all for detox for the Commander-in-Chief, since kos says 'impeachment is off the table.'

    (-7.63,-6.21) Between Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama - Huh, and I'm a moderate Democrat with a VOTEBLUE tattoo.

    by ezdidit on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:14:57 AM PST

  •  Yeah, who cares about 2973. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, marina, Ari Mistral, what if

    It's not round. It's not even close, for there is not even one zero in it.

    Yet that was the vomit number for me, because that, dear Americans, was the number of dead on 9/11 that (according to a sickening number of people who vote and cheer for Bush) we started this war to avenge.

    You think this war is about WMD? You think this was about removing an evil dictator? You think it even has anything to do with Terrorism?

    Check again. Come to a small town and start a political discussion in the local diner, and you will still see people with froth on their lips that did not come from latte about why we are in this war - they really believe we are chasing terrorists who killed Americans - or to stop those who will somehow find their way to America to do it again.

    Holy Shit - that's right! If terrorists are coming to America to attack us, we should deploy the National Guard to protect us! Oh, wait....they're in Iraq. Nevermind....tangent argument.

    If you're really bored, check a few of my comments and diaries, because what scares me most is that we don't know just how much worse this is going to get. I am ashamed by the rank stupidity or embarassing gullibility of so many in this country.

    We had to get to 58,000 before we realized Vietnam was a futile waste of life and limbs - - - and that was a war with frequent protests in the streets and real disgust in almost every corner of the country. This war still has believers that attend the same church you do, sit on the PTA, and sit at the desks next to you or on the line beside you at work.

    3000 is a horrifying number, and I cry...I stop in the aisles in the stores that have memorials to a local man or woman who is dead to protect some politician's reputation...I cry because there are still so many left who think that more need to die to honor those who already have.  

    But 2917 was the number that made me freeze in shame.

    Apparently Speilberg did not quite make the impact with "Munich" he was hoping for.

    George Orwell is banging on his coffin lid and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

    by snafubar on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:19:24 AM PST

  •  My blood boils... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...and my heart weeps.

    Bring our people home. Now.

  •  Last to Die Indeed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    LEDE: "Photos confirm US raid child deaths." To read the article and see the ghastly photo, click on the following link:

    Now tell me who is "Last to Die for Bush's and His Pals' @#&*%$#^ Lies." I'd paste the accompanying photo from the article, but I can't figure out how to do so with this "@#&*%$#^" DailyKos system.

    Oh, excuse me, my source is Al Jazeera, and we all know how biased Al Jazeera is as a source. Only Western "journalists" can be trusted, and among them, only American "journalists" really can be trusted. Just us are "fair and balanced" ya' know.

    I am getting tired of a "progressive" movement, so keen on avoiding the image of anti-war opposition to Vietnam, attempting to wrap itself as a flag around "our troops." Let's try wrapping ourselves around those our troops are killing.

  •  God this hurts. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, moosely2006, what if

    It just hurts.

    We can't show the coffins arriving at Dover. We can't read their names on Nightline any more (because the show would be five hours long). We don't have enough Cindy Sheehans to build memorials on the president's lawn.

    It hurts to know that more will die, and that there are at this very moment who believe with all their heart that more should die to somehow justify the pointless sacrifices we have suffered so far.

    And to those who think this is about liberating or saving Iraqis because we value human life, I have one word for you.


    Oh, wait, two words.


    Oh, wait, three words,


    this list goes to Bush and co who think this war is about their value of human life, be prepared for God to slap you across the face before he sends you to hell for your deeds.

    Meteor, you are a stronger man than I to have given us this diary. Thank you, but how I wish you did not have to write this.

    George Orwell is banging on his coffin lid and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

    by snafubar on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:39:42 AM PST

  •  Outstanding (0+ / 0-)

    What an excellent diary Meteor Blades!  

  •  Very, very well said, MB. (0+ / 0-)
    How much more grief will Americans and Iraqis have to endure before we all say enough... too much!

    Bring. Them. Home.  Redeploy, whatever, however.  

    A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore. Yogi Berra

    by x on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:48:03 AM PST

  •  Reflecting on the U.S. Map of Deaths (0+ / 0-)

    Striking how the list of the fallen is concentrated in the BLUE states along the northeast, great lakes, and pacific, while the vast red wasteland is much sparser. Yeah, I know that's partly because a lower density of people live there. But the same goes for all those political maps the righties used to love to show. Used to show.

    George W. Bush is just like Forrest Gump. Except that Forrest Gump is honest and cares about other people.

    by easong on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:50:41 AM PST

  •  mb, this is a great diary. i sort of feel like i (0+ / 0-)

    am in my car and i see a wreck beside me. people are running around trying to help. i know it is a terrible sight, but i can't take my eyes awat. i have to watch. diaries like this take away the impersonal feeling we get from video and movies. it brings it home just as it should. thanks again!

  •  Beautiful, painful, diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carbide Bit, what if

    After Vietnam, I truly and naively thought that never again would I feel the gut wrenching, the profound mix of outrage and despair, that that unjust war engendered. Thank you for voicing the similarities between this war and that war in a way that others can understand. Thank you, Meteor Blades, for your passion and for your anger.

  •  Not to mention the dead Iraqis (0+ / 0-)

    God I hate that phrase....

    The USA is the aggressor in this war and there are too many dead Iraqis to count.

    it's sad that American soldiers are dieing but they are soldiers of an invading army that has destroyed another country FOR NO REASON.

    There may be 200 dead Iraqis for every dead American soldier. They are not a footnote. There are so many dead Iraqis that the military casualties are the footnote.

  •  "Should Bush Resign If He Doesn't Shift on Iraq?. (0+ / 0-)
  •  What if we stop ignoring Feingold, Clark, Murtha (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    What if we start working together to bring this senseless slaughter to an end?

    We can do that.  We can certainly do it once the next President is elected.  It makes me very sad to realize that we will probably not succeed before then, though.  But we can work together to insure that our next President is the one best qualified to stop the madness.

    Thank you, Meteor Blades, for one of the most excellent and important diary entries I've ever read.  And thank you for crediting some of those who have proposed reasonable ways out of the desert quagmire.

    •  We can also set the tone (0+ / 0-)

      by acting and organizing to make it political suicide for the next president NOT to end the war.  One of the major differences between Iraq and Vietnam is that there is already a large majority opposed to this war.  From now on it will be much harder for the pro-war forces to drive a wedge between antiwar activists and the "silent majority", because this time the "silent majority" is overwhelmingly against the war.

  •  Our lack of empathy and imagination.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is brought forward in this piece. So many of us are so disengaged. With no draft, no POW's to speak of relative to the numbers during Vietnam, and so many more ways to get lost in escapist pursuits than were available during the Vietnam era, it is all too easy to avoid even contemplating what we have wrought in Iraq.

    MB's description of who might be last to die in Iraq brought tears to my eyes. Every day now, my love for my sixteen and eighteen year old sons is haunted by the possibility that they may be drawn directly into this someday (we are all deeply drawn in more indirectly regardless of whether we are willing to admit that or not). Until our engagement in Iraq ends, we have no way to predict how it will end. I pray every day that at the very least, the war does not escalate. Every day I am less confident about that.

    If I am lucky and find my own sons do not have to lose their lives or limbs in Iraq or somewhere like it at some point in the future, I am afraid that I will not sleep much easier. My imagination and empathy are well developed enough that I understand too many others parents, here and in Iraq, are confronting their worst nightmares today.

    "What is clear is that most of the experimental evidence so far presented falls short of proof in almost all cases."

    by crick02478 on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 01:24:06 PM PST

    •  as long at there's no draft (0+ / 0-)

      your kids don't have to choose to join. If no one chooses, then there are no soldiers to propagate wars.

      •  read your title (0+ / 0-)

        Do you really think that the forever GWOT that will be carried out without a call for a draft at some point? Are you really sure that, if that happens, that Congress will stand up to that and not calculate their positions based on the political climate? With our military so stretched thin, do you really believe that as the decade(s) roll forward that circumstances will not "require" a draft, especially as the volunteers wane. Lastly, though I doubt that my sons will join voluntarily under present circumstances, do not think that I do not care about others caught up in this? For example, I do not think that many Iraqis seeing their loved ones die or maimed had the luxury of choice.

        The point of my comment is that if our husbands and wives, sons and daughters, are safe and sound with us, we should not so easily put Iraq our of our minds.

        "What is clear is that most of the experimental evidence so far presented falls short of proof in almost all cases."

        by crick02478 on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 05:03:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't want to hear it (0+ / 0-)

    Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis -- who, unlike these young American men and women, didn't participate voluntarily -- have died at the same time.

    Many of them have died at the hands of those American soldiers you have so much sympathy for.

    If American soldiers don't want to get killed, they can stop going over to Iraq to kill Iraqis.  

    •  this is pretty much what I said in my comment. (0+ / 0-)

      We get so lost in the 'gotta support the troops' meme we forget to think about the consequences when our volunteers volunteer to kill people in our name.

    •  If you are responding to my comment.... (0+ / 0-)

      you will note that I said that "too many others parents, here and in Iraq, are confronting their worst nightmares today."

      "What is clear is that most of the experimental evidence so far presented falls short of proof in almost all cases."

      by crick02478 on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 05:06:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i wasn't... (0+ / 0-)

        i agree with both of you.

        it's just a question of emphasis.

        compared to iraqis, any american -- i don't care how moving a sob story they may have about their lack of opportunity and underprivileged upbringing -- has infinitely more opportunities than any iraqi has, to terminate their own involvement in this outrageous slaughter.

        an american can leave iraq and go back to the US.  the worst they'll face is a dishonorable discharge, maybe some minor jail time in the most unlikely event.

        neither is any picnic, but i'm sorry, they chose to be there voluntarily.

        i have to reserve my sympathy for the people whom we have imprisoned inescapably in a tenth circle of hell we created ourselves -- not for the people who created it.

  •   I tell everyone I meet "BRING THEM HOME NOW!" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brian B

    EDWIN STARR lyrics - "War"

    War, huh, yeah
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    War, huh, yeah
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again, y'all

    War, huh, good God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Listen to me

    Ohhh, war, I despise
    Because it means destruction
    Of innocent lives

    War means tears
    To thousands of mothers eyes
    When their sons go to fight
    And lose their lives

    I said, war, huh
    Good God, y'all
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again

    War, whoa, Lord
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Listen to me

    War, it ain't nothing
    But a heartbreaker
    War, friend only to the undertaker
    Ooooh, war
    It's an enemy to all mankind
    The point of war blows my mind
    War has caused unrest
    Within the younger generation
    Induction then destruction
    Who wants to die
    Aaaaah, war-huh
    Good God y'all
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it, say it, say it
    War, huh
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Listen to me

    War, huh, yeah
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    War, huh, yeah
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again y'all
    War, huh, good God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Listen to me

    War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
    War, it's got one friend
    That's the undertaker
    Ooooh, war, has shattered
    Many a young mans dreams
    Made him disabled, bitter and mean
    Life is much to short and precious
    To spend fighting wars these days
    War can't give life
    It can only take it away

    Ooooh, war, huh
    Good God y'all
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again

    War, whoa, Lord
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Listen to me

    War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
    War, friend only to the undertaker
    Peace, love and understanding
    Tell me, is there no place for them today
    They say we must fight to keep our freedom
    But Lord knows there's got to be a better way

    Ooooooh, war, huh
    Good God y'all
    What is it good for
    You tell me
    Say it, say it, say it, say it

    War, huh
    Good God y'all
    What is it good for
    Stand up and shout it

    (-7.50 -6.31) "Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad." --Euripides

    by arkdem on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 05:57:05 PM PST

  •  The sad fact is that tens of thousands of (0+ / 0-)

    Vietnam era veterans, anti-war activists, and ordinary citizens who pay attention to the lessons of history, warned their government not to commence this war of aggression, and did so peacefully, and their advice was deliberately ignored. There has to be greater penalties for public officials in such cases.

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