You Too Can Profit From The War on Terra "You’d think with both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars well under way and with the war on terrorism being more than two years old that the share price of any bullet proof vest manufacturer would be fully valued. Not so! The company that manufactures the amazing life saving bullet proof vests that Sgt. Travis L. McKinney wrote to from the Iraq front line is not only undervalued but is a screaming takeover candidate that is poised to enjoy an up to 450% increase in its stock price." Operators are standing by...
Did America Walk Into A Trap? In stories reported by Newsweek and Fox News it appears possible that the armed resistance now being encountered by US/British forces was part of Saddam Hussein's plan all along. The documents that have been found essentially say that should Baghdad fall, the Baath party loyalists should fade into society and extract vengeance on the occupying soldiers bit by bit. The nightmare scenario before the war was urban combat, Mogadishu style. But now it appears that Hussein may have upped the ante with this "guerrilla-type campaign".
'No real planning for postwar Iraq' "The officials didn't develop any real postwar plans because they believed that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops with open arms and Washington could install a favored Iraqi exile leader as the country's leader. The Pentagon civilians ignored CIA and State Department experts who disputed them, resisted White House pressure to back off from their favored exile leader and when their scenario collapsed amid increasing violence and disorder, they had no backup plan. Today, American forces face instability in Iraq, where they are losing soldiers almost daily to escalating guerrilla attacks, the cost of occupation is exploding to almost $4 billion a month and withdrawal appears untold years away." Bring 'Em On!
The First Casualty. The New Republic is one of the few left-leaning political journals who supported the war on Iraq. Now it seems like they've come to their senses and have written a very exhaustive story on how exactly Team Bush manipulated evidence to support the war on Iraq: "Rather, interviews with current and former intelligence officials and other experts reveal that the Bush administration culled from U.S. intelligence those assessments that supported its position and omitted those that did not. The administration ignored, and even suppressed, disagreement within the intelligence agencies and pressured the CIA to reaffirm its preferred version of the Iraqi threat. Similarly, it stonewalled, and sought to discredit, international weapons inspectors when their findings threatened to undermine the case for war."
Not All Iraqis Dancing in the Streets. To watch the
neutered embedded reporters, you would think that every Iraqi is overjoyed to see America in his or her country. But the reality seems to be quite different: "Why are you here in this country? Are you trying to take over? Are you going to take our country forever? Are the Israelis coming next? Are you here to steal our oil? When are you going to get out?"
Iraq Body Count is a web "button" that can be cut and pasted to a website showing an updated tally of civilian casualties in the upcoming Iraqi war. Their methodology is to survey a broad swath of news sites and come up with a "high" and "low" number. They're probably more credible than Saddam's government or the Pentagon. (via TalkLeft)
If Saddam Hussein were to use chemical/biological weapons in an Iraq conflict, how safe would soldiers in the field be? The Department of the Defense says "no problem", but some of the men on the ground seem to believe otherwise. The gear the soldiers will use to protect themselves and their water supply appears to be old, prone to failure while the training received in the usage of these tools looks inadequate. It could be the return of "Gulf War Syndrome" (PDF).
Daschle Accuses Bush of Politicizing Iraq Debate "You tell those who fought in Vietnam and World War II they are not interested in the security of the American people" because they are Democrats, Daschle said. "That is outrageous. Outrageous." The full text of Daschle's comments. Do we finally have an opposition party?
A Blast from the Past. In 1998, George Bush, Sr. explains why Saddam was not removed in the Gulf War: "Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome."
Post-Saddam Iraq? Not Our Problem. "President Bush Monday told world leaders it will be the responsibility of the whole international community, rather than the United States, to determine what kind of regime should replace Iraqi President Saddam Hussein if his government is toppled by U.S. military action, European diplomats told United Press International." How's your shining beacon of democracy doing today?
Plans For Iraq Attack Began On 9/11 "CBS News has learned that barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq — even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks." Rumsfeld: "Go massive ... Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
How Al Qaeda Slipped Away "American officials concede that there was a mass escape from Tora Bora—as well as a broader exodus by various routes into Pakistan and Iran—but insist that Al Qaeda now is crippled and too busy running to do much damage. “Perhaps we could have got them wholesale,” says one senior Defense official. “Now we’re doing it retail. In the end, it doesn’t make much difference. We’re getting them.”" We might want to take care of this before we "invade" Iraq.
U.S. Blueprint to Topple Hussein Envisions Big Invasion Next Year "The planning now anticipates the possible extensive use of bases for American forces in Turkey and Kuwait, with Qatar as the replacement for the sophisticated air operations center in Saudi Arabia, and with Oman and Bahrain playing important roles. As to any war plan itself, the military expects to be asked for a more traditional approach than the unconventional campaign in Afghanistan. Such an approach would resemble the Persian Gulf war in style if not in size and would be fought with even more modern weapons and more dynamic tactics." There is no doubt Saddam is a bad guy but as his poll numbers return to earthly levels how exactly can Bush justify sending off 70-250,000 American soldiers to fight (and die) in Iraq - while we will most likely still be engaged in Afghanistan (looking for Osama) and ripping up Al Qaeda?
Massoud's Last Words The last interview with the leader of the Afghani opposition, who was killed right before this whole mess. Somewhat relevant as the US may ally with these rebels in the coming months.
Appeasement. Chamberlain sat at a table with Hitler in 1938 signing a treaty and proclaiming "peace for our time". Shortly after, World War II began. Killing innocent people does not solve the problem, but sitting at a table with your enemy and proclaiming peace (when he just wants to kill more) does no good either.
Selective Service: "Beliefs which qualify a registrant for CO (conscientous objector) status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man's reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest. In general, the man's lifestyle prior to making his claim must reflect his current claims." Why is this opt-out and not opt-in? Isn't restricting it to men sexist? (I support women's right to serve in combat). Isn't the whole idea of America that you choose whether you want to fight for your country and not who ever happens to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania? You can check on your own registration here.