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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Now I know that George Bush has really and truly destroyed the reputation of the USA.

I got this spam at gmail (hey isn't gmail supposed to stop spam) ?

Dear Sir,
I have managed to sneak out this email to you from my confinement here in one of our military bases in Germany.My name is Col. Jason Taylor of The US Army. I was based in Iraq until recently,I was sent back to Germany because of the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal in which I was unfortunately implicated. I am still under House Arrest,pending the outcome of investigation.
During my sojourn in Iraq, I was able to successfully smuggle US$ 21.7m out of Iraq to a location in Europe. ...

So the spammers think that the reputation of the US armed forces has sunk to the level of Sani Abacha's widow or something. OK OK they also think I wouldn't have noticed the imprisonment of a colonel in the Abu Ghraib scandal (and I am naive enough to think a colonel would be prosecuted).

Still grim grim news.


Anonymous said...


May 14, 2007

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

1st Lt. Andrew J. Bacevich, 27, of Walpole, Mass., died May 13 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit during combat patrol operations in Salah Ad Din Province, Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.


Anonymous said...


July 6, 2006

What's an Iraqi Life Worth?
By Andrew J. Bacevich - Washington Post

In Iraq, lives differ in value -- and so do deaths. In this disparity lies an important reason why the United States has botched this war.

Last November in Haditha , a squad of Marines, outraged at the loss of a comrade, is said to have run amok, avenging his death by killing two dozen innocent bystanders. And in March, U.S. soldiers in Mahmudiyah allegedly raped a young Iraqi woman and killed her along with three of her relatives -- an apparently premeditated crime for which one former U.S. soldier has been charged . These incidents are among at least five recent cases of Iraqi civilian deaths that have triggered investigations of U.S. military personnel. If the allegations prove true, Haditha and Mahmudiyah will deservedly take their place alongside Sand Creek, Samar and My Lai in the unhappy catalogue of atrocities committed by American troops.

But recall a more recent incident, in Samarra . On May 30, U.S. soldiers manning a checkpoint there opened fire on a speeding vehicle that either did not see or failed to heed their command to stop. Two women in the vehicle were shot dead. One of them, Nahiba Husayif Jassim, 35, was pregnant. The baby was also killed. The driver, Jassim's brother, had been rushing her to a hospital to give birth. No one tried to cover up the incident: U.S. military representatives issued expressions of regret.

In all likelihood, we will be learning more about Haditha and Mahmudiyah for months to come, whereas the Samarra story has already been filed away and largely forgotten. And that's the problem.

The killing at the Samarra checkpoint was not an atrocity; most likely it was an accident, a mistake. Yet plenty of evidence suggests that in Iraq such mistakes have occurred routinely, with moral and political consequences that have been too long ignored. Indeed, conscious motivation is beside the point: Any action resulting in Iraqi civilian deaths, however inadvertent, undermines the Bush administration's narrative of liberation, and swells the ranks of those resisting the U.S. presence.

Gen. Tommy Franks, who commanded U.S. forces when they entered Iraq more than three years ago, famously declared: "We don't do body counts." Franks was speaking in code. What he meant was this: The U.S. military has learned the lessons of Vietnam -- where body counts became a principal, and much derided, public measure of success -- and it has no intention of repeating that experience. Franks was not going to be one of those generals re-fighting the last war....


Anonymous said...,0,2798862,print.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

November 7, 2006

Fighting Over Who Lost Iraq: As with Vietnam, the ugly argument over the war will ultimately have a cleansing effect on the U.S.
By Andrew J. Bacevich

WITH VARIOUS neoconservative notables acknowledging in a forthcoming issue of Vanity Fair that the Iraq war is a disaster, the debate over "who lost Iraq?" has begun in earnest. As was the case with Vietnam, this argument promises to be bitter and protracted. As with Vietnam, the outcome of the debate will have a large effect on the future course of U.S. policy.

The protagonists divide into three broad groups.

The Bush dead-enders. Although dwindling in number, President Bush's defenders will ascribe failure in Iraq to a loss of nerve, blaming media bias and liberal defeatists for sowing the erroneous impression that the war has become unwinnable. Bush loyalists will portray opposition to the war as tantamount to betraying the troops. Count on them to appropriate Ronald Reagan's description of Vietnam as "an honorable cause." Updating the "stab in the back" thesis, they will claim that a collapse of will on the home front snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Baghdad as surely as it did in Saigon.

The buck-stops-at-the-top camp. Adherents of this second view are currently in the ascendant, attributing the troubles roiling Iraq to massive incompetence in the Bush administration. In a war notable for an absence of accountability, demands for fixing accountability are becoming increasingly insistent. Parties eager to divert attention from their own culpability are pointing fingers. Senior military officers target Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Congressional Democrats who voted for the war and neoconservatives direct their fire against Rumsfeld and Bush. The theme common to all of these finger-pointers: Don't blame us; the Bush team's stupidity, stubbornness and internal dysfunction doomed the American effort.

The conspiracy theorists. Even before the United States invaded Iraq, critics on the far left and far right charged that powerful groups operating behind the scenes were promoting war for their own nefarious purposes. Big Oil, Halliburton, the military-industrial complex and Protestant evangelicals said to be keen on defending Israel all came in for criticism and even grassy-knoll-style paranoia....


Anonymous said...

May 16, 2007

Former Soldier, Now a Professor, Loses His Only Son to a War He Actively Opposed

BOSTON — The father, a longtime military man, from West Point to Vietnam to the first Persian Gulf war, became an early public critic of the war in Iraq, writing frequently and potently about its causes and effects.

But when his only son joined the Army and was sent to fight in that war, the father, Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, expressed only support, said a family member and colleagues.

"My father, he was first and foremost a father to his son," said Jennifer Bacevich, one of Professor Bacevich's three daughters. "They loved each other very much."

On Sunday, two soldiers came to Professor Bacevich's home in Walpole, Mass., with the kind of news that a military man knows is always possible: First Lt. Andrew J. Bacevich, 27, the son, had been killed by a bomb while on patrol in Balad, Iraq.

"My father," Ms. Bacevich said in an interview on Tuesday, "is heartbroken."

Michael T. Corgan, an associate professor in Boston University's department of international relations, who also has a military background, said Professor Bacevich knew the risks his son was taking.

"Having been in combat himself, he knows the amount of chance involved," Professor Corgan said, "that no matter how careful you are, no matter how well prepared you are, bad things happen."

"But what can you say to somebody who's lost his only son in Iraq?" Professor Corgan said. "What makes it hard is we all know how Andy feels about this war."

Professor Bacevich declined to be interviewed on Tuesday, but his views on Iraq are well known, and they appeared to be given a certain weight in public discourse, in part because of his background as a retired Army lieutenant colonel, an observant Roman Catholic and a self-described political conservative.

Last month in The Los Angeles Times, he wrote: "The truth is that next to nothing can be done to salvage Iraq. It no longer lies within the capacity of the United States to determine the outcome of events there. Iraqis will decide their own fate. We are spectators, witnesses, bystanders caught in a conflagration that we ourselves, in an act of monumental folly, touched off." ...


Anonymous said...

Suggested by Juan Cole:


A Supermarket in California
By Allen Ginsberg

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for
I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache
self-conscious looking at the full moon.

In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went
into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!

What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families
shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the
avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what
were you doing down by the watermelons?

I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,
poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery

I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the
pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?

I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans
following you, and followed in my imagination by the store

We strode down the open corridors together in our
solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen
delicacy, and never passing the cashier.

Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in
an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?

(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the
supermarket and feel absurd.)

Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The
trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be

Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love
past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?

Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher,
what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and
you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat
disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

-- Berkeley


Anonymous said...

Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher,
what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and
you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat
disappear on the black waters of Lethe?


Anonymous said...

So, we find this morning that since the surge began insurgent attacks in Iraq have been steady while tragically Americans killed have increased. I rather think then the statistics showing a lesser increase in Americans wounded or injured is sadly no more than a changed and an incomplete accounting.

Linda Bilmes attempt to account more fully for casualties needs to be taken ever so seriously. We could not have gone from over 50,000 casualties to under 22,000 with simply a sudden number change on a military accounting website. I am disturbed at how such a change could have been forgotten almost immediately if ever even noticed.


Anonymous said...

Also, in the impossible lunatic tragedy, the Iraqi government has not only long stopped giving Iraqi casualty figures to the media but has begun stopping coverage of bombings which as reported by the American military have risen.

Remember, then, when courageous Congressman Colonel John Murtha stood alone to ask that American soldiers leave Iraq immediately but rather was immediately called a cut and run coward.


Anonymous said...

We need to leave Iraq, immediately, and I do not care a fig to listen to the apologists for war and occupation and colonization from before the beginning and beyond telling of all the reasons we canot leave immediately. Let those creeps go.


Anonymous said...,0,3650600.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

'Your Iraq plan?' is a Pointless Question: Candidates should acknowledge that Bush's war is a failure and look beyond Iraq.
By Andrew J. Bacevich - Los Angeles Times

April 9, 2007

FOR TODAY'S presidential candidates, the question is unavoidable: What is your plan for Iraq?

In interviews and town hall meetings, on talk shows and at fundraisers, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Rudolph W. Giuliani and all the others aspiring to succeed President Bush confront a battery of Iraq questions: Are you for the surge or against it? If the surge fails, what's your Plan B? How will you help the troops win? How will you get the troops out?

However sincere, such questions are also pointless. To pose them is to invite dissembling. The truth is that next to nothing can be done to salvage Iraq. It no longer lies within the capacity of the United States to determine the outcome of events there. Iraqis will decide their own fate. We are spectators, witnesses, bystanders caught in a conflagration that we ourselves, in an act of monumental folly, touched off.

The questions that ought to be asked now — but so far have not been — are of a different order.

Recall that Bush saw Baghdad not as the final destination of his global war on terror but as a point of departure. He imagined that liberating Iraq might trigger a flowering of Arab democracy. He was counting on Saddam Hussein's ouster to jump-start a regional transformation. He expected a forthright demonstration of U.S. military might to enhance America's standing across the Muslim world, with friend and foe alike thereafter deferring to Washington.

None of that has come to pass. Baghdad has become a cul-de-sac. Having plunged into a war he cannot win, Bush will not relent. Iraq consumes his presidency because the president wills that it should. He has become Captain Ahab: His identification with his war is absolute....


Anonymous said...

There has been and is only 1 plan for Iraq each day these last 4 terrible years, and that plan has been to leave and to leave completely and immediately. Leave; give over the insane idea, however supposedly masked by the jargon of capitalism and democracy but shown clearly by Viceroys and Czars, give over the idea of a colonial America. Leave Iraq, immediately.


Anonymous said...

Showing how insane Amnerican foreign policy, or would be foreign policy, has become Juan Cole reports that Admiral William Fallon has essentially refused civilian orders to send a third carrier groups to the waters about Iran.


Anonymous said...

Whether the report about Admiral William Fallon opposing the sending of a third carrier group to the waters about Iran is true, can only be a speculation. I would though like to understand better attitudes of civilian defense strategists as opposed to Admiral Fallon's.