In the U.S., motorists do not pay their way.
The US government spends more on highways and other auto-related expenses than it receives from auto-related taxes, unlike almost every country in Europe. In a recent report [pdf], Mark Delucchi
calculates automobile-related costs and revenues in three different ways and concludes the subsidy is around 20-70 cents per gallon or $24-105 billion in 2002. But what are automobile-related costs, you ask? [more inside]
posted by salvia
on Oct 2, 2007 -
"Last year, I completed my first tour of duty, in Basra, southern Iraq. I kept a video diary. This is the film I made, which details the experiences of both myself, and my colleagues, told in my own words."
posted by Mwongozi
on Sep 29, 2007 -
Billions over Baghdad.
"Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency—much of it belonging to the Iraqi people—was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad
, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Some of the cash went to pay for projects and keep ministries afloat, but, incredibly, at least $9 billion has gone missing, unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed. Following a trail that leads from a safe in one of Saddam's palaces to a house near San Diego, to a P.O. box in the Bahamas, the authors
discover just how little anyone cared about how the money was handled."
posted by homunculus
on Sep 27, 2007 -
Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion--
Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar.
("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here
, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
posted by amberglow
on Sep 25, 2007 -
A Kurdish-controlled Iraq?
The goal of human society, ibn Khaldun thought, was the development of culture and the sciences.
For a variety of reasons, namely "geopolitical reality," it'd never work, but a poli-sci friend of mine did call it "philosophically interesting and compelling even."
posted by kliuless
on Sep 24, 2007 -
"Hey look at this shiny trinket, I think I'll pick it up and see what it---OH GOD MY FACE." A Pentagon group has
encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.
posted by null terminated
on Sep 24, 2007 -
: "Filmmaker Deborah Scranton
talks about and shows clips from her documentary The War Tapes
, which put cameras in the hands of Charlie Company, a unit of the National Guard, for one year in Iraq. The soldiers' raw footage and diary excerpts tell a powerful, unsettling story of modern war.
posted by McLir
on Sep 20, 2007 -
Scott Ritter on Book TV
: "Opposing this war is the easiest thing in the world to do, because it's the right thing to do. And yet, the anti-war movement can't get it's act together. That's why I wrote this book
. The anti-war movement thinks that a strategy is holding a demonstration on a street corner, holding hands, lighting candles and singing Kumbia... No, that's not a strategy. That may qualify as a tactic. But a tactic divorced from strategy is just the 'noise before defeat
.' ...That's why when I say, 'Waging Peace: The Art of War
for the anti-war movement
,' I use that terminology. I know there are some people in the anti-war movement that are against it. They say, 'There's no way we can support something like that.' Well then you will continue to get your butts kicked." [Previously]
posted by McLir
on Sep 7, 2007 -
The killing of Jamie Dean.
"Police in rural Maryland staged a military stakeout and shot a troubled Army vet. As his family plans to sue, they are asking how a soldier being treated for PTSD could be shipped to Iraq."
posted by homunculus
on Sep 4, 2007 -
Brookings Institution analysts Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack last week called for another "six months or so
" in Iraq.
The month before, "This is a decisive phase
," a member of Petraeus' staff told [Joe Klein] and began to laugh. "...It's always a decisive phase. But this time, I guess you'd have to say, it actually is."
"Pinky swear?" Klein held out a soft, pink, gullible digit expectantly. "Pinky swear!" the aide responded, shrugging. You people will believe anything.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders
on Aug 8, 2007 -
When everything that could go wrong goes wrong, it is awesome to see that something like this happened.
posted by dov3
on Jul 29, 2007 -
...The U.S. has probably not yet fully woken up to the appalling fact that, after a long period in which the first motto of its military was "no more Vietnams," it faces another Vietnam. There are many important differences, but the basic result is similar: The mightiest military in the world fails to achieve its strategic goals and is, in the end, politically defeated by an economically and technologically inferior adversary. Even if there are no scenes of helicopters evacuating Americans from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, there will surely be some totemic photographic image of national humiliation as the U.S. struggles to extract its troops. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have done terrible damage to the U.S. reputation for being humane; this defeat will convince more people around the world that it is not even that powerful. And Bin Laden, still alive, will claim another victory over the death-fearing weaklings of the West.Iraq hasn't even begun (more within)
posted by y2karl
on Jul 22, 2007 -
The Iraq war is lost. Of course, neither the president nor the
war's intellectual architects are prepared to admit this. Nonetheless, the
specter of defeat shapes their thinking in telling ways. The case for the
war is no longer defined by the benefits of winning -- a stable Iraq,
democracy on the march in the Middle East, the collapse of the evil
Iranian and Syrian regimes -- but by the consequences of defeat. As
President Bush put it, "The consequences of failure in Iraq would be death
and destruction in the Middle East and here in America." Tellingly, the
Iraq war's intellectual boosters, while insisting the surge is working,
are moving to assign the blame for defeat. And they have already picked
their target: the American people...The Iraq War Is Lost
by Peter Galbraith July 18, 2007
See also Imperial Overreach: Washington’s Dubious Strategy to Overthrow Saddam Hussein
by David Isenberg November 17, 1999 (PDF
posted by y2karl
on Jul 18, 2007 -
It's been said before that the US Army is broken: in April,
last December by Colin Powell
and Pat Buchanan
, by the head of the Army Reserve in 2005
, by several generals as far back as 2004
But now, even as another Republican senator, Domenici, joins Warner, Voinovich, and Lugar
in abandoning support for Bush's War, Joe Klein in Time Magazine
says the end is inevitable, regardless of what politicians want:
According to the Broken Army clock, troop levels will begin to wane in March 2008, no matter what Congress decides in September; the current 20 brigade combat teams will be reduced to 15 by August 2008. There is growing speculation in the military that Bush will try to pre-empt the Petraeus testimony by announcing a gradual drawdown from 20 to 15 combat brigades later this summer.
posted by orthogonality
on Jul 6, 2007 -