Monday, November 13, 2006

My last posting on this subject was November 1st. Now it is November 13Th and during these past 12 days we have lost ANOTHER 31 souls to the misguided "war" in Iraq and an additional 153 have been wounded! The totals are now 2848 DEAD and 21572 WOUNDED. These are REAL PEOPLE! Click on this link to see the sons and daughters and brothers and sisters that are being KILLED;

This is an URGENT crisis and there is no time for government red tape!

During those 12 days American voters have gone to the polls and rejected the current administration's "war" policy. Citizens have indicated that they want change and they want it NOW. The Republicans are floundering and many are jumping off their "ship to nowhere" with reckless abandon. Conservative radio talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh are even turning their backs and their voices. Even he could not sustain blind partisanship in the face of administration that has proven itself to be nothing more than an inept bully. Americans no longer need to worry about the "terrorists" or others that would wish us harm becoming "emboldened" should we leave Iraq because they already are emboldened! Why is this? To the extent that the military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan are actually a fight with "insurgents" or "terrorists", which doesn't appear to be the worst problem (at least in Iraq), the U.S. military has not been allowed (to date) to do what they would have to do to get rid of this presence.

We keep hearing of the 140,000 plus troops that are in Iraq. How many of this amount are actually engaging the "insurgents" or terrorists"? How many are having to try and keep a lid on the sectarian "war" that is taking place throughout the country? I suspect that a larger portion of U.S. troops are mired in the latter strategy. Was the current President and all his advisers actually under the impression that the various ethnic and religious groups in Iraq were going to "magically" embrace each other and "just get along" when we took out Saddam Hussein? How could they all be so naive? I find it stunning that virtually everyone on this team was lulled into that belief or was intimidated into silence at the expense of the lives of so many of their fellow Americans. The actions taken (and not taken) by the current administration during the past four years has been shameful at best and treasonous at worst.

The Democrats have gained enough political victories in the recent election to be able to exert pressure on the Bush Administration to PAY ATTENTION and to face the FACTS of this self-imposed debacle. The Democrats MUST also be fully prepared to accept the RESPONSIBILITY of the "power" they have regained. This is NOT a time to sink into an endless series of hearings and investigations to point out what has gone wrong and who did it. We the people already know those answers! It's time to step up and be the leaders that you say you are and validate the results of our recent elections. American citizens are demanding positive and successful action and our troops DESERVE it!

Our troops are bravely "following orders" and would continue to do so indefinitely because that is their job. It is the responsibility of the civilian authority of the United States Government to figure this out and get our troops out of the shooting gallery they are in now. If our mission is to battle the "terrorists" now in Iraq or Afghanistan then give the military the orders to actually win and not just engage in a look and wait policy. The struggle between the various religious factions throughout Iraq (or Afghanistan) will NEVER be solved by US military actions and more importantly, that's not our business. The American people and the new Democratic leadership must continually separate those two issues because that is a major element toward bringing our involvement to an end. We keep hearing that we will leave as soon as the Iraqi government is able to provide effective security for Iraq. If the combined resources of the American, British and other nation's military might has shown no real sign (in close to four years) of stopping and controlling the daily violence, we must ask the obvious question. How will it be possible for Iraqi police or the Iraqi military ever be able to "protect" themselves and all the citizens of Iraq, especially when the individuals being recruited into the Iraqi forces are themselves partisan members of the sects they are supposed to control. Militias and "death squads" are more prevalent on the streets of Iraq than are the Iraqi officials. Unless there is a fundamental change in the mindset of the Iraqi people and their new government and a willingness to co-exist in their own country, it doesn't matter what "we" do or how many troops we have there or how long we stay. The ONLY thing that does continue to matter is that EVERY DAY more Americans (and Iraqi or Afghan civilians) are being killed or wounded and THAT MUST STOP!

It's Time to Think Again!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


It's November 1st, 2006 and in 6 days the United States will conduct the mid-term elections to determine which major political party will have the majority in Congress for at least the next two years. The candidates, the media (especially the media) and all the political pundits on T.V. and the Internet are consumed with the numbers to "suggest" to us by citing endless poll results who will "win" their election.


Let me say that again;


The numbers that SHOULD matter to ALL of these candidates and media and more importantly each and every American Citizen are;

2817 and 21419

The number 2817 is the number of American military personnel that have been killed in the 1323 days since WE began our "war" in Iraq.

The number 21419 is the number of American military personnel that have been "wounded" in the 1323 days since WE began our "war" in Iraq.

While the politicians here in the U.S. beat each other up with their "war" of words and accusations and character assassination and try to "buy" our votes with empty promises to maintain or gain a seat of power in Congress more than 2 Americans are dying EVERY day and more than 16 Americans are being wounded EVERY day.

Back on August 16th I made a posting to this site called "When are WE Going to Get Mad" (which I suggest readers go back to and read again). At that time the number of American military personnel who had been killed stood at 2602 and the number of wounded stood at 19,511. In the 77 days since then 215 MORE Americans have perished and an additional 1908 have been wounded. As bad as that is an even worse shame is that in those 77 days the situation in the war zone of Iraq has gotten worse and even more dangerous for our troops exposed to the killing zone each and every day. In these 77 days the leadership of the United States continues to do nothing substantial to bring this madness to an end. The Republicans (for the most part) continue to blindly follow a confused policy "just because" and the Democrats run around complaining about the policy and direction of the "war" without any of them offering a specific and workable plan to change the course of this "war".

The REAL problem is that the current administration rumbled into Iraq without a specific and effective plan on what to do after the much touted "shock and awe" blitz undertaken to drive the regime of Saddam Hussein from power and then remained "confused" as the sectarian violence and insurgent disruption grew to today's levels. Funding has been basically rubber stamped for the past five years with almost no oversight or accountablility and the out-sourcing of many functions of "reconstruction" and supplying our military has resulted in staggering amounts of corruption from both the contractors and within the newly formed Iraqi government.

So, here we are at November 1st, 2006 and all the reasons that got us to where we are today really don't matter now. The ONLY things that do matter are coming up with a PLAN that will stop the two important numbers (deaths and wounded) from continuing to grow. The Republicans insist that America must not "cut and run" because it would embolden the "terrorists" and bring them to America to attack us here. I would submit that to the extent the "terrorists" are causing the problem in Iraq (and by the way Afghanistan), the "terrorists" are ALREADY emboldened due to the fact that the combined resources of the United States military and the British military have been unable to put them down during the past 1323 days (and longer when Afghanistan's timetable is considered). I would submit that the world at large (and especially potential enemies) has seen that the veil of invincibility previously projected by the United States has been pulled back and exposed as not real.

I would submit that a fundamental ingredient to our "winning" must be the "perception" of our willingness to bring overwhelming force to bear to achieve victory. The people we are fighting can and will continue to commit thousands and even millions of deaths to their own people as they drain our resources (people, money and our will). I would suggest at this point that we begin a deliberate and systematic relocation of all the "innocent" Iraqi civilians from the towns, villages and cities in Iraq in preparation for a massive assault on anyone left in those areas that wishes to continue fighting. The cost of this action would be enormous and many Iraqi citizens would have at least a temporary resentment but in the end this "plan" just might bring an end to the both carnage being brought to bear on the Iraqi people AND more importantly (to me) our American military personnel. It is always quite possible that just the mention of a plan like this and the sight of preparations being put into action might get the attention of the "insurgents" and those Iraqis that are just as bad or worse than the outside "terrorists" to understand that WE are now very serious about ending this situation by whatever means necessary even if it means completely destroying vast areas of the country.

If the United States and Great Britain are NOT willing to take the extreme measures mentioned in the paragraph above then ALL parties must entertain the most logical and least costly (in terms of the loss of life) option which is to divide Iraq in three basically autonomous territories made up of the Kurdish north (which has really already taken place), the Shia south and southeast (again the provincial capital Basra already commands respect) and the western and central Sunni territory. These three divisions should be monitored by a central "government" which would have authority over oil revenue distribution (especially as it relates to the Sunnis because their terrority would not be located in oil rich areas) and other interests that pertain to the whole of Iraq. This sectarian separation will end up happening anyway but the goal should be to do it officially and try to avoid the tens of thousands of future deaths which will absolutely happen if the present folly is continued. The heavily populated area in and around Baghdad where sunnis and shias and some kurds all reside will present a fundamental test. The people there must make the decision to either co-exist or relocate to their ethnic and religious territory.

If the Democrats gain "political control" of the Congress next week or gain the White House in 2008 or both they MUST come with a real plan to turn this mess around. If they don't the American people will be even more upset than they are now under the failed Republican leadership. The message to the Democrats is; "Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it". It in this case may be one of the worst nightmares they could imagine.

As we begin this month of November, 2006 please keep the numbers 2817 and 21419 in your minds as THE MOST IMPORTANT numbers. I can almost assure you that the 605,900 Americans that represent the immediate family and friends of our dead and wounded certainly believe these numbers are much more important than any political poll numbers being shown on their T.V. sets.

Just to take a moment to acknowledge the sacrifice of others, there have been 237 deaths in Iraq of members of the "coalition of the willing" nations. In case you're interested, aside from Great Britain (120) and Italy (33) the other 84 deaths were citizens of the military forces of Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, Spain, Denmark, El Salvador, Slovakia, Estonia, the Netherlands, Thailand, Australia, Hungary, Kazakstan, Latvia and Romania. Absent from the list of our grand coalition are Russia, France, Germany, Japan, Indonesia, Canada, Mexico and all of South America. Oh, I almost forgot. The involvement in our effort to stem the tide of world terrorism by the nations surrounding Iraq (meaning Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Turkey) is ZERO. There is also no involvement by our allies in this "war on terror", meaning Pakistan or India or any other mid east or asian country. Remember that "we the people" are being told that we are under a global threat and our military personnel are being killed everyday to protect all those nations that have chosen not to become involved.