War News for Monday, August 22, 2005
Bring 'em on: Three policemen injured in car bomb attack in Kirkuk
Bring 'em on: Two US soldiers killed on combat patrol in Tal Afar
Bring 'em on: Five Iraqi kidnapped in the oil refining town of Baiji
Bring 'em on: British soldier injured in IED attack in Basra
Bring 'em on: US soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Tikrik
Bring 'em on: Two police commandos shot dead in Baghdad
Bring 'em on: Policeman shot dead in Samarra
Bring 'em on: Interpreter shot dead in Samarra
Bring 'em on: Two Shia workers gunned down at a Mosque in Baquba
Bring 'em on: Three killed and nine injured by car bomb attack in Baghdad
Hmmmmmm the Lancet Report that was rubbished
Civilian deaths in Baghdad in July were more than New York City had in all of 2004, and that's excluding car bombings and suicide bombings.
Time magazine reports the surge in non-combat related violence is due to the various sects in Iraq who want to start a civil war.
Reports that death squads are entering quiet Baghdad neighborhoods and killing innocent civilians are growing.
Baghdad central morgue director, Faiq Amin Bakr, said 880 violent deaths occurred in the city in July.
You go to War with the Army you have
: "They're coasting on legacy fleets," said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group, an aerospace and defense consulting company in Fairfax, Va. "They planned to coast indefinitely ... and it would have worked just fine if it hadn't been for Afghanistan and Iraq."
Go to War without experts
: The problem is there aren't nearly enough EOD soldiers to go around — especially those with the experience to handle the most dangerous parts of the job. Lair and his comrades in the 744th Ordnance Company typify the personnel shortages hitting the wartime military.
The Army is so short of EOD soldiers that it is paying bonuses of up to $20,000 for recruits willing to sign up and awards as high as $50,000 to keep experienced soldiers. It has also taken the unusual step of assigning two full-time recruiters to do nothing but persuade other soldiers to leave their jobs and become EOD specialists. The shortage of specialists has also led the Pentagon to hire outside contractors to dispose of the hundreds of thousands of tons of leftover munitions in Iraq.
Opinion and Commentary
The main thing to realize is that it at this point it's just a matter of time. The first objective -- using democratic elections to entrench Shi'a power -- has been achieved. The next step, now underway, is to consolidate that control and begin maneuvering the Americans out of Iraq entirely (which is why, unlike Juan Cole, I find it entirely believable that Iran is supplying new, more powerful road bombs to the Sunni resistance. Such weapons won't enable the insurgents to overthrow the government in Baghdad, but they have raised the number of U.S. casualties, turning up the heat on the Cheney administration to begin withdrawing. Once we're gone, there will be time enough to deal with the Sunnis.)
The third objective -- the declaration of the real Islamic Republic of Iraq, bound by a perpetual treaty of friendship to its fraternal Iranian ally -- can also wait. Because while the Pentagon may be able to figure out a way to keep 100,000+ troops in Iraq through 2009, the political will to do so is likely to expire much sooner than that.
It would only delay in the inevitable in any case. America can't keep an army in Iraq until judgement day, which is how long it would take to block the Iranians and their Iraqi colleagues from claiming their hard-won prize.
Attaturk does rant well
These fools don't support the troops for the troop's life, they support the troops for their policy agenda.
The fact that Iraq is in the toilet only makes things worse for them. Like a cultist the day after the world was supposed to end according to their "leader" they hold fast, having so sold themselves to the notion that to abandon it, means abandoning all their words of advocacy, it means accepting they were wrong, that they were fools.
You can make an individual do all sorts of things, but unless they are actually faced with brute force, they will never humiliate themselves. Not having to put their life on the line, or being threatened in any real substantive way, the stakes are raised for others but not them. They will hold to their ideology come what may, and when it is shown (as it is being shown) to have been both foolish and craven they will not abandon it, for rationality goes out the window, just like a cult. To preserve their status, their self-worth, they will not accept being wrong. They will look for scapegoats -- and those scapegoats are almost ALWAYS the folks that were correct from the beginning.
At the time the Statue of Saddam fell down, Andrew Sullivan was busy questioning our patriotism for doubting the Iraq invasion. Now that "Mission Accomplished" is nearly two and a half-years gone and the war worse than ever, he still clings to the notion that it was a worthy cause. He cannot remove himself from the notion that he staked so much credibility, wrongly, on the lying and manipulative Bush Administration. To do so means that he, Andrew Sullivan, accepts that he applauded as 1,863 Americans and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis were killed because of people like him enabling it. He accepts that he enabled more than 15,000 Americans to be permanently wounded physically for his cheerleading...God only knows how many Iraqis. Plus there are the psychological scars of untold thousands.
I shouldn't single out Sullivan, except that he suffers from bouts of extreme jingoism that causes him to go over the top and engage in empty finger-pointing. For the enablers he is actually among the most realistic, there are many, many, worse than him -- from Instapundit to Hitchens to Captain's Quarters and kook-coop of Little Green Footballs and FreeRepublic. Sullivan at least is willing to blame the Bush Administration for overselling (without too much of an admission he continued to buy well past the point of rationality). He also is willing to point fingers, like Bill Kristol, at Bush for fucking up his lovely little war (i.e. Policy good, execution of it Bad). But still, no recognition that those who counseled against this war were neither traitors, nor "appeasers", but rather were four-square correct.
But we will never be seen as correct by them. To do so means abandoning their notions of "patriotism" being not love of country, but love of parades, cheerleading, marches, empty platitudes -- Policy as being the ultimate game of "Risk", without actual risk to them, indeed it gives the benefit of filthy lucre.
We have far too many people leading policy in this country who think they are Bismarck, but whose closest connection to the actual man is their love of pastry.
Their era of sarcastic accusations against the left is over, now watch them become increasingly serious in their accusations of treason, we already see it, we will see it some more. But they'd rather betray what they see as tools, cannon-fodder, their fellow citizens, than betray what they actually believe constitutes their nation...THEIR POLICIES.