Friday, December 10, 2004

War News for Friday, December 10, 2004 Bring ‘em on: One US Marine killed in fighting in al-Anbar province. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier wounded by roadside bomb in Baghdad. The Army we have. “The Army Reserve is facing an extreme shortage of company officers, a situation aggravated by a surge in resignation requests. The shortage — primarily of captains — has seriously reduced the capabilities of the Reserve, and continued losses will further reduce the readiness of "an already depleted military force," according to an Army briefing document submitted last month to Congress. Army Reserve resignation requests have jumped from just 15 in 2001 to more than 370 during a 12-month period ending in September. To preserve its leadership ranks, the Reserve increasingly has rejected resignation requests, forcing some officers to stay on even after they have fulfilled their initial eight-year service requirement.” Fallujah: “All men of military age will be processed using a central database; they will be photographed, fingerprinted and have iris scans taken before being issued ID cards. The entire process should take about 10 minutes per man, Sattler said. The system has been in use for several months in Iraq, but until now only to catalogue detainees. No civilian vehicles will be permitted within city limits as a precaution against car bombs, which, along with roadside bombs, are the deadliest weapons in the insurgent arsenal, Sattler said. All cars will be left on the outskirts of Fallujah, and residents will be bused to their homes, district by district.” Fallujah: “US troops fire off another volley of shots amid the trashed houses of Fallujah, hunting down new adversaries carrying a potentially deadly weapon that threatens to plague reconstruction efforts. But this time the marines are not chasing down the insurgents who they defeated in a devastating assault on the city last month. Their quarry is stray animals grown fat on the flesh from corpses and who could harbor rabies.” Mosul: “For the next 20 minutes, Smiley's platoon engaged an invisible enemy on Mosul's streets in the kind of clattering midafternoon gunfight that has become commonplace here in recent weeks. The ensuing chase led Smiley's men and a small Iraqi National Guard contingent into a sophisticated ambush -- and exposed the risks facing U.S. soldiers here and across Iraq as they struggle to face down a determined insurgency before the Jan. 30 elections.” Suck it up. “He lost his arm serving his country in Iraq. Now this wounded soldier is being discharged from his company in Fort Hood, Texas, without enough gas money to get home. In fact, the Army says 27-year-old Spc. Robert Loria owes it close to $2,000, and confiscated his last paycheck.” CBS News, where’s my paycheck? “CBS Recruiting Anti-War Bloggers to ‘Talk Up’ Army Deserter Story? The owner of Nonviolence.org, Martin Kelley, said he got an interesting phone call yesterday from a CBS News publicist for—you guessed it—Dan Rather’s 60 Minutes Wednesday, the same program that carried the infamous bogus memos. ‘Yesterday I got a call from a publicist for CBS News’s 60 Minutes. They’re running a story tonight on ‘Deserters,’ U.S. military personnel who have fled to Canada rather than serve in Iraq. She was requesting that I talk up the program on Nonviolence. In nine years of publishing the peace site, I can’t remember ever getting a call from a publicist before. I’ve talked to reporters from major news networks and papers, and I’ve talked a booking agent or two to arranging appearances on radio shows, but never a publicist.’…Other liberal/anti-war bloggers who have talked about the upcoming story in preparation for tonight’s broadcast include No Capital, Daily War News, Bankrupt Artist v.3” Commentary Editorial: “The toll of Americans who have given their lives in battle has surpassed 1,000. The official estimate of total casualties - soldiers killed and wounded - is about 10 times that. The departing CIA station chief in Baghdad has told the administration in a memo that the security situation is getting worse, and will deteriorate further. Soldiers from two National Guard units who are about to go into Iraq from Kuwait have asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to his face why they have to scrounge in landfills to salvage scrap metal and bullet-proof windshields to try to reinforce their underarmored Humvees. What are Americans to make of this picture? First, it confirms that President Bush and the Pentagon completely misread what would be necessary to pacify the country once Saddam Hussein had been removed from power. The nature and strength of the insurgency caught the Americans unprepared and undermanned.” Editorial: “Even more remarkably, he shifted all blame for what many believe to have been a woefully inadequate troop commitment. ‘The big debate about the number of troops is one of those things that's really out of my control,’ he said. Out of the defense secretary's control? ‘I mean, everyone likes to assign responsibility to the top person and I guess that's fine,’ Mr. Rumsfeld explained. ‘But the number of troops we had for the invasion was the number of troops that General Franks and General Abizaid wanted.’ But reporting by Bob Woodward and others shows Mr. Rumsfeld ordering Gen. Tommy R. Franks to rewrite plans for Iraq to reduce the number of troops; the one general who said he thought more would be needed for postwar control, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, found himself unwanted in Mr. Rumsfeld's Pentagon.” Opinion: “Say this for Rumsfeld: At least he publicly engaged challenges from the rank and file. How often has President Bush been held accountable? Certainly not by a supine Congress. And the president slipped through the election by scaring us to death about his opponent's national security skills. Maybe a few brave soldiers will shame the rest of us into confronting the powers that be with the questions our leaders should have faced all along.” Opinion: “Like Vietnam, Iraq has become a war in which sacrifice is asked of only a few -- the soldiers, Marines, guardsmen and reservists who already have suffered more than 1,000 deaths and more than 10,000 wounded. Actually, it's even worse than Vietnam. While the wealthy wallow in tax cuts for which there is little, if any, justification, Bush refuses to challenge even a dime of pork-barrel spending by a profligate Congress. He's the only president in memory who has refused to veto even a single spending bill, however outrageous.” Casualty Reports Local story: Florida soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Virginia soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: New York soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Vermont soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Iowa soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier wounded in Iraq. Rant of the Day I'm always amazed how conservative nut jobs process information. (I can’t bring myself to apply the term “thinking” to this process.) A CBS publicist contacted an anti-war blogger about an upcoming 60 Minutes show featuring American soldiers who have deserted over Bush’s War. The blogger provided a link to the 60 Minutes story, broadcast times and some commentary about bloggers and CBS. A conservative website that exists to target CBS news in general and Dan Rather in particular breathlessly reported CBS news is “recruiting” “liberal/anti-war” bloggers to talk up the 60 Minutes show, and linked to three blogs, including this one, that also linked to the CBS story. The writer claimed these links were provided “in preparation” for the 60 Minutes story, implying the story links on these other blogs were also provided at the request of CBS News. In other words, the conservative nut job who wrote this piece made the mental leap from one blogger who provided a link at the request of a CBS publicist to a vast conspiracy of bloggers consisting of every anti-Bush War blogger who linked to the CBS story. This is a classic example of a thinking process impeded by a fixed delusional system. The story of this conspiracy is now rocketing through the conservative Monkey Network. I’ve found four conservative blogs carrying the story and linking to my blog. Martin Kelley, who posted the link at the request of CBS, has counted many more. Thus, a complete fabrication becomes established truth within the conservative mind. For more insight into conservative mental health issues, see some of the comments posted by the monkeys at Little Green Turdballs in reference to this story.


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