Tuesday, December 05, 2006

When did actions stop speaking louder than words?

Why does it appear as if the Administration is purposefully allowing Iraq to go straight to hell? One would think they wanted a Civil War. Certainly refusing to call it as much prevents them from reacting appropriately. Is that the intention?

President Bush keeps touting the "success story", but his actions speak far louder than his words. He's not doing anything to ensure success. Few people, other than radical Republicans, take him seriously any longer. If he truly intended to obtain victory in Iraq he would have paid heed to his military advisors and sent the 400,000 soldiers they old him it would take. All this "lighter, meaner, modern" rhetoric Rumsfeld was forcing down the Generals throats was clearly naive at best, more likely it was derelict. Effectively having our soldiers fight with a hand tied behind their back. Why in the world would they do that? And lets not even mention equipment shortfalls. Even if it were an honest "experiment" at the beginning, it's been an obvious disaster for well over a year now. "Staying the course" becomes code speak for "taking the road to Hell".

In the mean time this war the camel's hair taking our nation into bankruptcy. Ignoring reciprocal costs such as higher energy prices, we've already spent nearly a half trillion dollars directly on the war. It's hardly possible to fathom such amounts. Perhaps some relative perspective can help. That kind of money could have bankrolled NASA for over 20 years. It's enough money to pay off every outstanding student loan in the U.S. 10 times over. Before the war there were an estimated 22 million Iraqis. We could have given each man, woman and child, more than $20,000 each. Does that help?

All that money, and what do we have to show for it? 3,000 dead soldiers and another 10,000 maimed beyond normalcy. Plus innumerable lives and wounds of innocent Iraqis. And a new world reputation of repugnance and disrespect. Money well spent?

And now here we are in the miserable end-game. The President won't commit the man power needed to win. And honestly, the situation is so bad now that on its own it would no longer be enough. Nor would he have the backing of the people --he's long spent his so-called "mandate". Nor will he commit to the only sensible plan still left to us. As presented by Senator Biden, to split the country into provinces and adjust the mission to one of border control. (Yes, I know. What do we know about maintaining borders?) And it's a shame. Right now we desperately need some leverage with Iran and Syria. Putting out an opportunity of participation in a divided Iraq, with Syria involvement in the Sunni province and Iranian involvement with the Shia province, could make an immeasurable difference in our regional and world relations.

Unfortunately, the powers that be, have no such plans. Actual solutions seem beyond them. Which is really quite amazing. Why would anyone continue down a course of ensured failure? Almost any course of action is better than no course in such circumstances. Dismissing alternative courses out of hand is pointless, even reckless.

Then again maybe it's not so amazing after all. Maybe it's actually "the plan". On retrospect, the whole thing starts to add up to one nasty con-job. Oil and War industries make out big. Economic pressures on the U.S. will ultimately lead to a collapse in social programs (a Republican wet-dream) and Israel will be stronger and safer as all her enemy neighbors are busy fighting civil strifes among themselves. Iran might seem the kink in the plan, but Israel's already planning to bomb them with our backing. All the present huff is just lead up to that. Clearly such a plan can work in the short run, but they are playing a very dangerous game for the long haul.

Sound crazy? I'll tell you what's crazy. A President who says one thing and does another. And a citizenry that takes his word for it. When did actions stop speaking louder than words?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Death Plan

From the Daily KOS a thread on contigency plans for Civil War in Iraq. In the depths of the coorepsondence this message:

I finally heard from my son in Iraq (I hadn't for two weeks - I learned the true meaning of anxiety over this period of time) and what he told me mirrors very closely what the soldiers you've covered had to say.

He tells me the Iraqis fighting with our troops often have only a few bullets for their guns - when they run out, they die. They're also fighting in homemade sandals, because no one has actual boots. And that they mean well, they really do wish to defeat their enemies, but they really don't understand why they have to get up early in the morning to do it, or when they're tired, or when there's a soccer game shaping up. They say to our men, "Won't the enemy still be there when we're ready to get up?" If they are, then there's no hurry. And if not, we don't need to go at all."

I guess it's simply a cultural thing.

Also, morale is taking a sharp dip amongst our soldiers. They don't know who they're fighting, and it's like a huge game of whack-a-mole.

Recall the 40 Iraqi soldiers who recently were executed when they ran out of ammo? One of the longer discussions in this thread is about resupply issues. How many more problems can we withstand?

Given all the mayhem, what can the REAL plan possibly be? Sickening and sad as it is, maybe Joe Weismann is closest to the truth when he jokes, "Stay the corpse. We're turning the Coroner."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Women in Iran, Before and After the Shah

A question was posted on Chicago indymedia.

Under shah women had all the rights.
When Islam radicals took over they lost them.
How is that US imperialism?

Women4Peace.org had a very insighful answer: Women’s Rights in Iran If you don't have time to read it (although it is rather short) it ends with a very STRONG statement.

This is what Imperialism does. It supports the fundamentalist rule in Saudi Arabia, builds and arms the Taliban to overthrow a government friendly to the Soviet Union, arms and helps Saddam Hussein against the Iranian people for 8 years, supports the Turkish military massacre of the Kurdish people, assassinates democratically elected leaders in Latin America, and on and on. That is why US Imperialism has been and is the main impediment of peace and justice for people all over the world.

Gung-ho American's should really think about that.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Terror Is as Terror Does

Bruce Schneier lays out the proper perspective on "Terror". His piece is a must read.

It's nice to see deep comprehension put so well. And I will go a step further. Imagine, if you will, the day after 9/11, rather than rush to weak conclusions and hasty actions, we just went about our business, acting as if nothing significant had transpired other than an unfortuate "accident" that now had to be cleaned up. I know I'm stretching things to the extreme here, but I want to make a point. If we had acted like this, what would the "terrorists" have achieved? Right. Absolutely Nothing. Yes, they managed to kill a number of people and knock down a few buildings, but that's just a tactic, not their strategy. Their strategy is to instill fear and foolish, costly behavior. Sadly, we have allowed them to achieve their goals.

But knowing is half the battle! At least now we can set a new course: "Courage, gentlemen."

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Defeating Terror: The Word is Mightier than the Sword

The fundamentalist Islamic riots against Danish and Norwergian embassies over political cartoons should a loud wake up call to the West. The riots clearly demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the liberal democratic virtues of freedom of speech and the paramount importance of the separation of church and state. Without that right and that seperation, the beliefs of some will inevitably weigh heavy aginst the beliefs of others. But with the right and separation intact, a peaceful balance is maintained --and all for the reasonable price of a stiff upper lip against some things that we might find offensive. Isn't that the sacrifice asked of us in a liberal democracy?

And so I put the case to you that the "War on Terror" is really a war on ignorance. The only true way to bring the war to an end is through education. Despite how furiously some may wish to deny it, secular education was the very bread and butter of our Forebearers --of you, my dear Gentlemen. And as you certainly know, indeed since the time of Socrates himself we have known, that without such an eduction of the populace a democracy simply can not stand.

Secluar education is not wide spread in the Middle East. Instead theocratic schools dominate their cirriculum with the teachings of a single ideology.

From this basis then, I offer a long-term plan for true democratic liberation, and from it our own ensured secruity. It will take about 40 years to take deep effects on the region, at about which time the process will begin to snowball, and grow on its own.

Roughly spaking, this how it would work.

First we need to simplify security requirements in the region. There is an acient remedy for this need: city walls. Simple and effective. Afghanistan is the appropriate place to begin. Start with Kabul and work our way out to other towns. Within these walled "safe zones" establish secular education facilitates for all age levels. Enroll people living in the city but also bring volunteers in from outlying areas. Children can go to school full time, while parents attend part-time yet remaining gainfully employed. Train of these students to be teachers themselves, so they can eventually return to their home towns and carry on the important progress of modern education.

Let us not forget that this education is NOT against Islam. It was the Middle East peoples themesleves that preserved the cannon of this knowledge during the Wests own dark ages. It is their knowledge as much as it is ours. They have simple lost sight of it in a fashion much like we had, and now it is our task to return it. Islam will still remain, it is simply that the mid-east peoples will now find a purer, liberal Islam under the hard exterior of todays radical Islam. And it is this occurance alone that can save us all.

Change of Tender

I've decided to take a new tact torward the entires I make to this blog. In the past I have generally made critisisms, or pointed out important, ususally troubling, events, but with little constructive advice. Instead of exclusively commenting on problems, for now on I will begin to offer solutions with explination as to why they are better than, or at least along the better lines, than other possibilities.

Our nation and our world needs help. I hope by giving my ideas this venue, they might have some tangible effect.