George W. Bush’s War

Wars are started by small groups of people who manage to drum up enough fear among citizens to get their support. This is exactly what George W. Bush did in order to gain the support of the American people to invade a country that did not attack us. In addition to scaring and lying our country into a war, the execution of the war can been downright criminal.

George w. Bush’s lack of leadership really shines in the video found here. The transcript below is an outtake nonchalantly describing the rape of a 15-year old girl by soldiers reporting to George W. Bush.

IraqSlogger: Abu Ghraib video transcript

What else would you guys do?

What would we do?

****

Or we would take plastic and wrap it around their heads until they started choking….

****

CIA showed us a lot of shit….

****

…..crank generator, where we’d hook it up to their nipples or their nuts, fucking crank it and shock the shit out of them.

***

What was the most fun things?

The most fun thing, umm….definitely the women.

Yeah? They had chick insurgents, man?

No, they didn’t have chick insurgents.

***

Something goes down, they just grab everyone around, you know, fuck em. I mean, you gonna have 35 trials? No, you know. People are like, “Oh they’re innocent.” You know what, I don’t give a fuck. As far as I’m concerned, they’re all guilty. You know what? They should have kicked Saddam out themselves. Instead, we’re there doing the fucking job. We’re losing guys…..

***

Were those people in the World Trade Center guilty? No. Fuck them. They fucked us, so now we’re fucking them. Fuck them, dude, anyone with a fucking rag on their head is fair game.

***

….girl, she was probably like 15 years old. Yeah, she was hot dude. The body on that girl, yeah, really tight. You know, hadn’t been touched yet. She was fucking prime. So….

***

One of the guys started pimping her out for 50 bucks a shot. I think at the end of the day, you know, he’d made like 500 bucks before she hung herself.

Really?

Yeah.

She hung herself? How’s come she hung herself?

I don’t know. She wasn’t happy.

***

In their culture, it’s really shunned upon if you get raped. I guess she would have been stoned to death anyways by her people, you know. It’s fucked up.

She was fucked anyway, I guess. In more ways than one.

***

You didn’t get shit from the CO, did you?

Uh-uh, not until those fucking pictures came out. After then the biggest rule was no fucking cameras.

Via Jesus’ General.

Bush’s Illegal War Hurts Minnesotans

I’m still catching up on local news after returning from Las Vegas. It really sucks to hear that our Minnesota National Guard troops are going to be stuck in Iraq for even longer dealing with the mess Bush created:

MPR: Minnesota National Guard mission in Iraq extended

About 2,600 Minnesota National Guard troops will be staying in Iraq longer than they expected.

The Minnesota soldiers in the 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, were supposed to come home in March after a year-long deployment, but they will stay longer as part of the president’s plan to increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Keep in mind that a year long deployment is actually much longer than a year, because they don’t count time spent training or rotating in/out of Iraq in that year. It’s only boots on the ground time, as I understand it.

I just hope the strain of this type of news in all 50 states will somehow act as a catalyst for bringing this war to an end. We’ve already lost. How much longer will it be before Bush and Rice are willing to come to terms with the disaster they’ve created?

Oil and Permanent Bases

The Nation, via Yahoo, provides a concise explanation of why Bush is so stuck when it comes to Iraq:

There are two elephants in the room when it comes to Iraq, and for some reason the establishment press can never quite bring itself to broach the subjects: permanent bases and access to oil. It’s fairly clear that Bush is not going to withdraw from Iraq no matter what happens. Part of this is due to the fact that he has decided that as long as we stay in Iraq we can’t lose the war, and he doesn’t want to lose it. But there’s also the not-so-minor fact that if we withdraw from Iraq we’ll have a hard time establishing permanent bases and may not have any secure access to the country’s oil.

“Stay the course”

“You’re with us against us”

“When they stand up, we’ll stand down.”

“A New Way Forward”

All just ways to buy time for Bush with the American people. Time that costs billions of dollars and thousands of lives.

George Bush’s Iraq

The Saddest Year End Round Up You’ll See

  • The UN has to open a special branch just to keep track of the chaos and bloodshed, UNAMI.

  • Abovementioned branch cannot be run from your country.

  • The politicians who worked to put your country in this sorry state can no longer be found inside of, or anywhere near, its borders.

  • The only thing the US and Iran can agree about is the deteriorating state of your nation.

  • An 8-year war and 13-year blockade are looking like the country’s ‘Golden Years’.

  • Your country is purportedly ‘selling’ 2 million barrels of oil a day, but you are standing in line for 4 hours for black market gasoline for the generator.

  • For every 5 hours of no electricity, you get one hour of public electricity and then the government announces it’s going to cut back on providing that hour.

  • Politicians who supported the war spend tv time debating whether it is ‘sectarian bloodshed’ or ‘civil war’.

  • People consider themselves lucky if they can actually identify the corpse of the relative that’s been missing for two weeks.

Saddam’s Dead. Do You Feel Safer?

The only time I truly felt threatened by Saddam Hussein was when Colin Powell went to the United Nations and lied about weapons of mass destruction. If it wasn’t for Powell’s compelling yet completely dishonest presentation to the United Nations, I don’t believe we would have invaded Iraq.

Colin Powell, I hold you personally responsible for the death of every American soldier who’s died in Iraq and the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens.
Had Powell not lied to the United Nations, there’s a very good chance that Saddam Hussein would still be alive. While I’m pretty indifferent to the health of Hussein, I think it’s dispicable that 3,000 American soldiers have lost their lives in a trumped up war justified by making Saddam Hussein seem like an imminent threat to America. We now know that we were fed a load of crap, yet more soldiers will die tommorrow, the day after tomorrow, and the day after that. In fact, our president would like to increase then number of American soldiers in harm’s way.

Would Saddam have been a threat to America if we surrounded Iraq militarily, put sanctions on the country, and built up a world-wide coalition of countries opposed to any aggresive moves by Iraq? Of course not. And this could have been done without dropping a single bomb. Without sacrificing a single soldier’s life. But it would have involved maturity beyond the capability of our current president.
Do I feel better knowing Saddam Hussein is dead? Absolutely not. He presented no threat to me sitting in jail, so killing him simply makes a martyr out of him leading to even more hostility against the United States.

The Backlash to President Ford Criticizing Bush in Death

Joe at AMERICAblog offers a quote and commentary regarding President Gerald Ford’s criticism of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld’s Iraq policy as confessed to Bob Woodward this past summer:

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth

“Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction,” Ford said. “And now, I’ve never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do.”

This morning, Bush said Ford was a “man of complete integrity.” Cheney said Ford was the embodiment of “decency, integrity, and devotion to duty.” Certainly a man with those characteristics couldn’t be wrong when he said the Bush and Cheney were mistaken about the war with Iraq. The White House staff has probably already started the attack on Ford’s character now that they know he spoke so candidly about Bush’s biggest failure.
It will be interesting to see how the White House attacks a dead man lying in state. Here’s an early take from gambling “ethicist” William Bennett:

“…just how decent, how courageous, is what Jerry Ford did with Bob Woodward? He slams Bush & Cheney to Woodward in 2004, but asks Woodward not to print the interview until he’s dead. If he felt so strongly about his words having a derogatory affect, how about telling Woodward not to run the interview until after Bush & Cheney are out of office? The effect of what Ford did is to protect himself, ensuring he can’t be asked by others about his critiques, ensuring that there can be no dialogue. The way Ford does it with Woodward, he doesn’t have to defend himself…he simply drops it into Bob Woodward’s tape recorder and let’s the bomb go off when fully out of range, himself. This is not courage, this is not decent.”

For those of you keeping score at home, it’s NOT okay to speak the truth before dying, but it’s okay to attack the dead for speaking the truth. That is some seriously twisted logic, but I suppose that’s what you have to do if you’re trying to defend the president, Rumsfeld, and Cheney on this one. Attack the delivery rather than the content of the message.

Strangely, Bennett’s argument is worth debating once his asinine pussification of a respected ex-president is dismissed. Would President Ford’s speaking out against the war and the trumped up justification for invading Iraq have changed history? Of course, we’ll never know, but the timing of the release now seems important as Bush attempts to escalate the number of troops in harm’s way.

Based on how the administration has treated others who were once trusted advisers who later spoke out against Bush’s policies (Richard Clarke, David Kuo, Anthony Zinni, to name just three), it’s pretty clear why Ford would avoid the unavoidable backlash from the White House. Would you want a nasty battle with the White House to consume the last two years of your life?

Cost of Looting in Iraq

I figure day to day life in Iraq much be pretty rough. With limited access to power, thus refrigeration, things we take for granted like drinkable milk in the refrigerator become impossible.

Unemployment numbers are insanely high, but beyond that, something like 2 million people have be dislocated from their homes due by either having their homes destroyed or simply due to the danger they faced living in their now-dangerous neighborhoods.

So, what does a person without a job, a home, refrigeration, and general safety do? I imagine just about whatever it would take to provide those basic needs for themselves and their families. I’m certain that if someone kicked down my door in an attempt to find WMDs, the first thing I’d do after they left would be to repair the darn thing. Would you be able to sleep at night without a secure door on your home?

With this in mind, I find the behavior of the US troops in this video from Iraq absolutely disgusting. According to the non-FOX News reporter, the US troops featured in this video stumbled across a group of men and children who were looting lumber. This, of course, is a crime and deserves some attention. Considering my preface to the video above, what would be an appropriate solution to deal with this situation? I’d like to see something like this:

1. Ask them why they’re looting lumber. Maybe they have a justifiable reason.

2. Arrest them.

3. Make them return the lumber.

Or, you could do what the US troops did: shoot the looter’s car then crush it with a tank.

I’m not sure what the punishment is for looting lumber in the United States, but looking at the lumber on their car, it looks like it would probably be a misdemeanor charge in most states. I imaging a typical US judge would listen to the defendant’s case, “Your honor, the doors to my home were destroyed by US troops, and my kitchen is missing due to an errant shot from a tank. This is why I look, your honor.” Somehow, I think the sentence would fall somewhat short of a crushed car given the circumstances.

My questions:

Why didn’t the troops arrest the looters?

Isn’t there a criminal justice system set up to deal with things like this?

Does the punishment fit the crime?

Who made the troops the judge and jury?

What do these troops do when the camera isn’t running? When a reporter isn’t standing right there? When children aren’t present?

Any thoughts?

The Cost of Staying the Course in Iraq

An interesting comparison of the opportunity costs associated with the wasteful spending on the needless war started by President Bush without justification:

Crooks and Liars » The Cost of “Staying the Course�?

Taxpayers in California will pay $40.3 billion for the cost of war in Iraq. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:

* 16,733,296 People with Health Care or
* 627,551 Elementary School Teachers or
* 4,767,634 Head Start Places for Children or
* 25,168,314 Children with Health Care or
* 235,246 Affordable Housing Units or
* 4,390 New Elementary Schools or
* 7,685,109 Scholarships for University Students or
* 616,017 Music and Arts Teachers or
* 741,482 Public Safety Officers or
* 117,140,845 Homes with Renewable Electricity or
* 601,790 Port Container Inspectors

Go check out what the trade-offs are for your state.