Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Arms Race: Don't blame Putin, blame Bush and Cheney

For those who say that we only have another year and a half of George Bush and why waste the energy and divisiveness in the country to start impeachment hearings, I say look at the dangers out there and how Bush responds. Today Russian President Putin warned the US and EU allies they are playing with fire when they consider installation of Missiles in former Soviet Block countries so close to Russia.

I don't blame President Putin. How did we feel when the then Soviet Union was installing Ballistic Missiles right next door in Cuba? This "strategy" from the same President Bush who said, "I can see into the very soul of President Putin". Well Mr. President you misjudged and misread Mr. Putin, you squandered and wasted that relationship, as well. This is reminiscent of the time when the whole world was with us after 9/11 and this President squandered that too and invaded Iraq. Can't you see we need to put this President and Vice President on defense, as when they are on offense they offend everyone!

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What's wrong with Obama's Universal Health Care plan?

Senator Barack Obama has a serious flaw in his proposed Universal Health Care plan for the 45 million uninsured. In a few words, it doesn't consider how to include or pay for the estimated 12 to 20 million Illegal aliens.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

War in Iraq: When all else fails President continues to redefine "success"

Redefining success in Iraq seems to be a sport that many of us can play. Our President has had a head start on us with 4 plus years experience in this area and is considered a Black Belt in this sport. For example, at the early stages of the Iraq invasion here's a list of what success was defined as:

* Removing Saddam Hussein from power (accomplished)
* WMD's and their growing threat to America (unsuccessful)
* Saddam Hussein's suspected connection to Al Qaeda (incorrect then, correct now)
* Human Rights abuses by Saddam Hussein (well documented then, now we write a new chapter of our own abuses i.e. Abu Ghraib)
* Rooting out any terrorists who may have found safe haven there under Saddam's rule. (We found a way to attract a lot more recently: Just stay there with no plan to leave!)

Then after the invasion and we were there for a while we changed the definition of success to:
* Mission accomplished
* Help Iraqis build a democratic government
* Elected government
* Ensure that one brutal dictator is not replaced by another (Where's a good dictator when you need one? :)

Lately Bush has defined success as follows:
* Demanding more from Iraq's Elected Government.
* Sectarian violence down
* An acceptable level of violence
* Either we'll succeed, or we won't

Now I would like to add my own definitions of success in Iraq:
* If we stay in Iraq they won't throw us out until their Army or Militias are strong enough! Then we will know the training has been successful.
* As long as I (Bush) am President, we haven't lost. I still have until Fall of 2008, unless they impeach me.
* As long as gas prices are high, Americans won't even be thinking about Iraq.
* As long as I can keep a volunteer Army in place, Americans will be satisfied and won't really mess with my (Bush) Administration. Hope they keep enlisting!

Feel free to leave one yourself.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007: Fathoming 3463 U.S. fatalities in Iraq.

UPDATE AGAIN: Double click on the chart. It shows the total number of U.S. Fatalities over the 4 years. Each data point is a full year and as you can see the trend is very alarming with nearly 1000 deaths this past year alone. Trying to make the war more personal to me, I wanted to see how many of our brave young men and women have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The photo above was taken from an archive photo of Arlington National Cemetery. I counted every headstone and there are 131 in this picture. To get an idea of how many soldiers have died to date, multiply this picture 26 times and you are still short a few. This is unbelievable. On this Memorial Day remember those who gave their lives in service to their country, even though their leader could have avoided this war. It's not too late to admit a mistake and save some lives. I watched CBS 60 Minutes last night and it was so sad to see the disappointment of the families at home when they were told their loved ones had an extension of 120 days and could not come home as promised, because President Bush extended their tour of "duty". We have a duty to our soldiers too. Stand up and be counted on this Memorial Day and every day hereafter. The war must come to an end. Bring Home the Troops!

There are 112 soldiers dead and 116 seriously wounded so far this month. There are also 4 contractors dead who are Filipino and many countless Iraqis.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wafu Sultan speaks to power again on Al Jazeera

There is a post about Al Jazeera on The Moderate Voice today, in which they describe Al Jazeera as a force for change and they cite an example of this by using the video clip below, to show they show divergent views on Al Jazeera, which they in fact do.

The more important aspect of this post is they have a video clip which is remarkable and worth every minute of viewing. The person speaking is Dr. Wafa Sultan, of Los Angeles, who I have also mentioned about before on my Blog. Listen to her remarkable exchange, as it is not reported by our news media outlets. This woman has done more for America's positive image than the entire Bush Administration for their 6 plus years in office.

Click on this Link to watch the video: Dr. Wafu Sultan on Al Jazeera

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

We need Al Gore NOW! Bush trashes Germany on greenhouse gas cuts

The Bush Administration angers Europe's leaders again, this time by rejecting calls for controlling and cutting greenhouse gases proposed by Germany and endorsed by France, Italy, Britain and now, Japan. This is truly amazing with all the talk that Bush had finally endorsed the idea that Global Warming is real and man-made. He still rejected a new call by our allies to step up to the plate and make at least one good decision before leaving office. This is continuing that perfect streak of bad decisions this President's legacy will eventually show, when historians record the facts and they are entombed in his Presidential Library, hopefully, forever. It will ensure no Bush ever gets elected again. Amen brother!

Want to know why Tony Blair was here last week? It wasn't just a last farewell to the country and visit his "friend", George Bush, now was it? It was to try to change George Bush's mind and stand on the topic. It looks like we need Al Gore to step into the Presidential bid and help us change another bad Bush policy

Read the entire NY Times article today, by clicking here.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Congress passes War funding against wishes of the people they serve.

In the face of greater than 70% of an American public that wants the war to be over and the troops to come home, Congress passed the revised $120 billion spending bill on Thursday, providing $95 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September. My poll results back where the American people are. Here's the results of this poll I asked my readers:

Should the Congress

1. Give Bush all the funds requested? 0%

2. Include non-binding benchmarks? 0%

3. Include restrictions on the funds? 50%

4. Cut off the funds? 14%

5. Vote to stop the war? 36%

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

U.S. Fatalities in Iraq: An overview

Above is a chart (double click on it for easier viewing) of all US Fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan from June 2003 to May month to date, 2007. As you can see the chart is not flat nor heading down but instead is going up significantly. Many say you can't tell on a monthly basis whether things are getting better for our military in Iraq. But I think the data is clear from taking a longer view of 4 years. This is the real "surge" not mentioned by President Bush.

I post this today because the Senate is poised to pass the War Funding bill without any date for ending the hostilities and bringing our troops home. The Bill, if passed, will be funding more of our soldiers dying. As we approach Memorial Day weekend, let's have the courage as a country to make the tough decision to bring the troops home. If it were your son or daughter there, wouldn't you want someone to vote to bring them home?

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Senator Biden reconsider your planned vote on Funding the War!

As many of you know I have supported Senator Biden for President on this Blog. However, today, because of his announced plan to vote for the "compromise", I have contacted him and told him that, if he does support the Bill, I will not support him for President. It is important for our next President to be willing to change their minds when they are wrong. I hope the good Senator does listen to his conscience AND the will of the American people and vote against the Bill. If he votes for the Bill I will not support him for President and look for another candidate. I agree with Keith Olbermann of MSNBC’s Countdown, when he said this evening that tomorrow will be a seminal moment in choosing our Presidential candidates for 2008. We all will be watching!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Making Memorial Day special again.

There's talk of an additional "surge" of troops beyond current figures. A Hearst newspaper report suggests many ten's of thousands of troops will be added to the Iraq theater, as we rotate some forces to come home. Which means there will be an overlap of forces after September, which will significantly increase our footprint there. There isn't much reported about this but I heard this on my local CBS affiliate radio station in San Francisco an hour ago (KCBS).

Whether you agree with this or not, as we approach this Memorial Day weekend, I have a request to make to all my readers. When the flags are put at half-mast to honor the dead, we keep the flags at half-mast until the troops come home. To do this we need to put pressure on our Congressmen and Senators to pass a bill to require all U.S. Flags be required to be flown at half-mast until at least we have a 30 day period where no soldier is killed in combat. If you like this idea, pass it on and let's all make this Memorial Day have the meaning it was intended to have: To honor those fallen heroes who now, as was before them, gave their lives in service to this country.

God Bless them all and their families and God Bless America, because we really need it.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Fathoming 3422 U.S. fatalities in Iraq.

Trying to make the war more personal to me, I wanted to see how many of our brave young men and women have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The photo above was taken from an archive photo of Arlington National Cemetery. I counted every headstone and there are 131 in this picture. To get an idea of how many soldiers have died to date, multiply this picture 26 times and you are still short a few. This is unbelievable. The war must come to an end. Bring Home the Troops!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Largest U.S. Embassy in the World to open in Iraq in September

Plans have been moving ahead for an Embassy in Iraq and that its total cost is expected to be $592 Million and occupy over 120 acres of prime land in Baghdad. It is to be the largest Embassy in the world. It should hold at least 1000 personnel according to reports and is scheduled to open in September. They claim this has been built with blast proof walls and it will be safe. This prediction is brought to you from the same people that expected this to be a cake walk and that the Iraqi's would welcome us with flowers.

My thoughts on this are this was another bizarre byproduct of this Administration. My suggestion is that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney should be the first residents of this Embassy and move their offices there, as soon as possible. I believe in accountability for this war and that there needs to be consequences for good and bad decisions. If this is a good idea, then those that think it is a good idea should be willing to be the first residents there. Besides, if the Iraqi's love us so much they should welcome the both of you with open arms. I'm sure they have that in mind if you choose to take up the offer, but the "arms" they will offer are of a different variety, I would suspect.

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Illegal Immigrants and the War in Iraq: Can one solution solve both problems?

How to solve both of these problems with one solution is challenging at best but not so remote as one would think. Try this on for size.

The problem we face in Iraq is that our military is broken and we aren't able to recruit enough new soldiers to relieve those in Iraq on any meaningful and predictable schedule. Many soldiers are on their 4th tour of duty with little time at home with their families. I have proposed that we institute a DRAFT in recent postings, which has not been popular with our elected officials because they know there would be a backlash with voters back home in their Districts.

But here's a thought. If there were a DRAFT and it required every person 18-25 years old to register again, as was the case when we had the DRAFT before, with a Selective Service Dept., any persons of this age group without a Selective Service card would automatically be Drafted and required to serve at least 2 years. All illegal immigrants would fall under this rule by just being here, and while we wouldn't return them back home, we could bring them into the military and have them replace current troops serving.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Gonzales values friendship over his country.

Lest there be any doubt about Gonzales, it is now obvious, with a vote of no-confidence coming in both the Congress and the Senate, that Gonzales puts the friendship and support of his friend, President Bush, above the interest of his country. Gee, come to think of it, so doesn't President Bush.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tony Blair's goodbye to Bush and the country

I know I didn't expect eloquence when President Bush was speaking in his joint conference with Prime Minister Tony Blair, but even Tony Blair had to be embarrassed by this President's lack of command of speaking in whole sentences and making sense in his ramblings. Listen to the clips and you too will be embarrassed by Bush. Compare how the Prime Minister speaks easily and candidly. My God I wished we had Tony Blair and the Brits had Bush. It wouldn't be so tragic as it is.

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Ashcroft, Gonzales and Comey: the wrong one remains

Being very honest here, I had been disillusioned by many of the Republicans serving in the Bush Administration. The entire Administration has disappointed me over the past 6 plus years. I didn't vote for Bush but I had voted in the past for another Republican President, Ronald Reagan.

However, I have seen the light now. There were at least two serving the President, who I now admire. Their names: former Attorney General John Ashcroft and his Deputy John Comey. When I heard the testimony of James Comey (how he had to race back to the hospital bed of the then recovering John Ashcroft to prevent then General Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Andrew Card, Chief of Staff, from pressuring Ashcroft into signing a document to make the Wire taps of Americans law) and how Ashcroft mustered the energy after his surgery to rebuke Gonzales and Card. It was important testimony that came to light. As much as I didn't like Ashcroft as I thought he was drinking the Kool-Aid too. I take it back now and want to publicly praise Ashcroft for his stand.

The Democrats are doing the country a service by initiating these hearings. It is obvious that the President knew these Wire-Taps were illegal. It is therefore an impeachable offense. But the Senate and Congress don't appear to have the courage to impeach this President. I don't know if they would have the votes or not, but it is definitely worth pursuing in my opinion. It would say to the entire world, The American People own and claim their country and are willing to confront their own evil doers, especially starting with Alberto Gonzales!

Read today's NY Times Editorial for more on this.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Why an increase of attacks on US and Iraqi forces?

Listen to this quote and you'll know why: "The escalation in attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces as well as the upsurge in violence particularly in the Province of Diyala is due to “the great number of orchards’, according to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki."

It is also reported that, "Thousands of families are fleeing Baaquoba as well as other areas and for some there is almost nowhere to go.

Violence has in fact surged in Iraq since U.S. and Iraqi forces began their security campaign to subdue Baghdad almost three months ago.

As the troops focused their attention on subduing Baghdad, the outlying towns and villages in addition to several other areas fell to Qaeda."

For the story click here.

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Gonzales's "but"....

I heard a doosey minutes ago on C-Span, where the Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, was speaking to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Here's the quote, "U.S. Attorney's should prosecute cases based upon the facts and not based upon whether they are Democrats or Republicans, BUT they serve at the pleasure of the President and are political appointments........"

Here's that "but" again that erases everything that comes before that word.

May's 2 week total fatalities in Iraq

U.S. Military fatalities for the Iraq war in the first 2 weeks of May totaled 50. For the entire month of May 2006 there was a total of 69 fatalities. For the first 2 weeks of April, 2007 there were 51 fatalities so we are on our way for another record month for fatalities.

There are also 3 soldiers who are missing in operations in Iraq. I pray for all our soldiers and their families.

Bring the troops home!

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Iraq news by Iraqis: Differences in what makes news

Iraqi's report different news than what's reported by U.S. mainstream media. Here are a few examples of what is being reported in Iraq by a local Iraqi news group:

Azzaman, May 9, 2007

"Baghdad inhabitants say the presence of armed groups has intensified since the start of U.S. military operations to pacify the city more than two months ago.

More and more armed groups are springing up in Baghdad, they say, and restive quarters like Doura and Ghazaliya have turned into major insurgent strongholds.

The Ministry of Interior which plays a big hand in the current operations targeting armed and rebel groups in the city would not comment on reports on the escalation of the number of armed in the city.

But a ministry source, refusing to be named, said, 'The security forces are striking with a fist of iron all the hatcheries of armed groups in various areas (of Baghdad) and the provinces by capturing many of them every week.'

But Baghdad residents have different stories to tell.

Kadhem Abedsada who has been forced to flee al-Ghazaliya district, said security conditions have aggravated since the government began its security plan.

'I have never seen such a wide presence of armed groups before. Their hideouts dot al-Ghazaliya and they are breeding like mushroom.'

'They call themselves resistance but they kill and kidnap on identity cards and ask for massive ransoms,' Abedsada said."

Another story from the same newspaper:

Azzaman, May 13, 2007

The residents of Adhamiya have vowed to destroy the walls U.S. troops are constructing to separate Baghdad neighborhoods on sectarian grounds.

“We shall destroy the walls the notorious occupation is constructing and keep our city an integral part of Iraq,” a statement by a newly formed resistance group said.

The statement emailed to the newspaper, said the wall separating Adhamiya from the rest of Baghdad 'must be brought down' and this will be “achieved through the power and muscles of all the residents of Baghdad.”

The group, the Adhamiya National Youth, said U.S. troops have divided their neighborhood into two parts with aim of weakening its resistance.

'Those who constructed the wall realize that the attacks targeting Adhamiya from all sides are being carried out by the death squads which the occupation and Israeli intelligence have set up,' the statement said.

In another development, the inhabitants of Kadhimiya, a Shiite-dominated neighborhood have joined forces with the Sunni majority Adhamiya to have the pulled down.

The two neighborhoods are working to demonstrate that the two sects can tolerate each other and live peacefully together.

The neighborhoods and their elders are lobbying the parliament which recently passed a resolution demanding the destruction of the wall.

They are also mobilizing the inhabitants to stand firmly against U.S. plans to encircle Baghdad neighborhoods with concrete walls, urging the young to dismantle the existing ones."

And lasly this news item:

"Fuel shortages spark demonstrations

By Abdullah Ajel

Azzaman, May 13, 2007

Hundreds of farmers in the agricultural province of Wasit have demonstrated against lack of fuel for their agricultural machines and tools.

The farmers, who assembled at the mayor’s headquarters in the provincial capital Kut, said fuel shortages were preventing them from harvesting this year.

They raised placards and shouted slogans denouncing the government and the Oil Ministry for failing to make fuel available at a time the country sits on massive oil reserves.

Salman al-Awsi warned that the shortages, if not alleviated, will eventually lead to the destruction of this year’s grain produce.

Wasit is major wheat, barely and rice producer in the country.

Awsi said prices of fuel on the spot market were beyond many farmers’ reach. 'If we buy from the black market that means the costs of planting and harvesting will soar,' he said.

He said huge swathes of agricultural land planted with grains cannot be harvested because of lack of fuel.

'There are more than 6,000 families whose livelihood depends on having the crops harvested as soon as possible,' he said.

Iraq faces acute fuel shortages and its refineries which met domestic needs under the former regime of Saddam Hussein are working much below capacity, forcing the authorities to import huge volume to meet demand."

Obviously we are getting different news here. If one can put their bias aside for a brief period and read these 2 articles, it sounds like our news has reporting all wrong. Remember most reporting by U.S. news services are done by many reporters who do not have access to the people of Iraq. I don't want to influence your conclusions from the above two stories by my drawing conclusions and writing them here but I invite your comments, as it might inspire some dialogue.

To read more news items from this source ( click here.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

How Democrats and Republicans can win the Iraq war funding battle

It doesn't take a genius to figure out how the Democrats and Republicans can actually win this battle with President Bush's veto threat all the time. The problem is they don't think like Karl Rove. But if they did here's how they would make it a "slam dunk".

They stand accused by the President of not supporting the troops. Their claims, that they are supporting the troops, seems not to be getting the necessary traction. Many Republicans are worried still supporting the President and so they side with the President and ensure a veto will be sustained. However here's a strategy that is a guaranteed success. First, the Democrats need to craft a Bill, which includes the following:

1) Funding of the troops with a timetable for withdrawal and
2) Includes the language and money necessary to reinstitute the DRAFT.

One could make a very good argument that what the troops need now are
re-enforcements and use the President’s own “surge” strategy as proof. They could use the General’s own comments in support of the need for more troops and the fact that the military is either broken or close to it.

If the President vetoes the Bill, he is denying needed re-enforcements AND the money to support the troops. If he signs it, he and the Republicans will get some heat from their constituents, but by signing the Bill, he has also agreed to a timetabe for withdrawal. He can blame the Democrats for instituting a Draft but he can no longer say they aren’t supporting the troops. Republicans win because they too want to increase the size of the military and that supports the troops. Besides we need to consider the fact that Congress has already approved increases in the Army and Marines but they are not finding volunteers to fill the ranks. If we have a Draft with a lottery system, many will vote to end the war and not be so quick to go to war again.

This strategic choice would quiet all voices that the Democrats are wimps and won’t protect the nation. There is no downside here.

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The fundamental truth and only options left in Iraq

Read these words carefully: "BAGHDAD — The commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq said Friday that he did not have enough troops to deal with the escalating violence in Iraq's Diyala province, an unusually frank assertion for a top officer and a sign that American military officials might be starting to offer more candid and blunt assessments of the war."

This story by the L.A. Times suggests 2 things:

1) First, we can't solve the crisis in Iraq because we don't have the troops!
2) We have been lied to all along by our Military leaders, as they haven't had the courage till now to offer candid assessments!

I can't think of any other evidence needed to bring the troops home before another is killed unnecessarily. Unless you want a DRAFT reinstated, because that is what it is going to take, you supporters of the Bush policy should start speaking out and siding with the opposition to the war.

Read the entire L.A. Times story by clicking here.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

U.S. Fatalities for the first week in May

U.S. Military fatalities for the Iraq war in the first week in May totaled 27. April had 28 fatalities for the same period. This is at a pace equal for a month of over 100 fatalities again, to be exact a pace of 108 for the month.

For the entire month of May 2006 there was a total of 69 fatalities, again showing the increase in fatalities, while the supposed "surge" is touted by Bush as the answer to the situation we find ourselves in Iraq.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

My 2nd Anniversary of Blogging- Thanks!

This is my second anniversary as a Blogger. I started the process by picking out a Template and learning some code, so that I could add simple things at first like underlining, bolding and using italics. Then I changed my Template to this format and have left it the same since.

It's been an excellent year for me as my readership has increased about 7 fold this year compared to last year. I want to thank all of you who have visited this site and found something interesting to read, even if you don’t agree with me. I don't investigate to make news but to report on the news on some topic that has bothered me or I want to praise someone. This past year, my main topic has been the Iraq war and the Bush Administration. It has occupied my thoughts, increased my frustration levels and made me wonder about the lot of us.

I have been disappointed in the American public and wondered how they can still support a President, Vice President and Administration that have obviously been so incompetent. Is it everyone is “too busy” to care about this stuff? I have wondered are we as a society so consumed with sex (avoidance or promotion) that anything related, if it involves the President, we want them impeached. But for going to war on lies and twisted logic, for spying by our government on Americans without Court approval, for ignoring laws passed by Congress with "Signing Statements" which say to government employees don't follow these parts of the law I have singled out, or for torturing people we call enemy combatants in violation of the Geneva Convention, we are all fine with that. Not me as you can see from what I have written this past year.

I heard on Bill Maher this Friday that the French have a voting record of about 85% of their citizens voting in every election. We can't even muster 50% as a nation even in the worst of times. Which usually means that less than 25% of us really elect our President and our Congress. Scary, isn’t it? That is why the Religious Right have gotten their way. They are well out of proportion of the rest of the population, but THEY VOTE! And yet we scorn the French. Go figure. Maybe if we had listened to them we wouldn't have gone into Iraq in the first place and found ourselves with this mess on our hands.

Yes, you can see this Administration is the cause of my getting interested in speaking out. I guess I have to thank George Bush and Dick Cheney for contributing to the Blogger community as they have single handedly created and promoted a new voice of Democracy: Bloggers. I am proud to be called one and proud to be associated with all those great Blogs I enjoy reading: The Moderate Voice, Kiko's House, Cognitorex, Sideways Menchen, Foreign Policy Watch,, Andrew Sullivan of Time, Centrist Blog Digest, Charging RINO, The Debate Link and BackTalk.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Terrorist tape taunts us not to leave Iraq

According to AP in an article today, "A new video of al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader released on Saturday mocks President Bush and U.S. legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, saying the bill would rob the group's fighters of the chance to kill more Americans."

When al-Qaeda asks you to do something, do the opposite. If they mock us for withdrawing, that is exactly what we need to do. Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahri taunted Bush today according to AP, "recounting an April 12 suicide bombing in Baghdad's heavily protected Green Zone when an attacker slipped through security and killed a Sunni legislator in the Iraqi parliament's cafeteria. An al-Qaeda-led amalgam of Sunni insurgents in Iraq claimed responsibility.

'And lest Bush worry, I congratulate him on the success of his security plan, and I invite him on the occasion for a glass of juice, but in the cafeteria of the Iraqi parliament in the middle of the Green Zone,' al-Zawahri said."

The complete article can be read by clicking here.

Looking at the AP Photo above, it looks as though the picture was taken in an educated person's home from the books on the shelves. It is a guess but I would wager it is in Pakistan and this backdrop was used to embarass President Musharraf and anger the U.S., as they continue to use Pakistan as a safe haven.

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Republican calls for Impeachment- News that's still relevant

Editorial by a top Republican calls for the Impeachment of Presdient Bush. First the Editorial and then my comment:

"A National Emergency

On Aug. 12, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson declared a state of emergency 'due to a chaotic situation involving illegal alien smuggling and illegal drug shipments' on his southern border. Three days later, Gov. Janet Napolitano followed suit in Arizona.

Reason: the crisis on the border. The ally-ally-in-free immigration policy of George Bush and Vicente Fox, beloved of corporate America, has created a hell on our southern border.

Those Southwestern states are being inundated by illegal aliens trashing ranches, killing cattle, committing crimes and eating up tax dollars. The traffic in narcotics and human beings from Mexico is a national scandal and a human-rights disgrace.

What is true of New Mexico and Arizona is true of our nation, which is now home to an estimated 10 million to 15 million aliens who have broken our laws and broken into our country. It is a mark of the cowardice of our leaders that they are so terrified of being called 'bigots' they tolerate this criminality. The moral rot of political correctness runs deep today in both national parties.

A president like Teddy Roosevelt would have led the Army to the border years ago. And if Fox did not cooperate, T.R. would have gone on to Mexico City. Nor would Ike, who deported all illegal aliens in 1953, have stood still for this being done to the country he had defended in war.

What are these Bush Republicans afraid of? Dirty looks from the help at the country club?

The question of whether America is going to remain one nation, or whether our Southwest will wind up as a giant Kosovo – separated by language and loyalty from the rest of America – is on the table.

Where is Bush? All wrapped up in the issue of whether women in Najaf will have the same rights in divorce and custody cases as women in Nebraska. His legislative agenda for the fall includes a blanket amnesty for illegals, so they can be exploited by businesses who want to hold wages down as they dump the social costs for their employees – health care, schools, courts, cops, prisons – onto taxpayers.

Not only have Richardson and Napolitano awakened – they are on the front lines – so, too, has Hillary Clinton, who has spoken out against illegal immigration with a forthrightness that makes Bush sound like a talking head for La Raza.

Why is a Republican Congress permitting this president to persist in the dereliction of his sworn duty?

George Bush is chief executive of the United States. It is his duty to enforce the laws. Can anyone fairly say he is enforcing the immigration laws? Those laws are clear. People who break in are to be sent back. Yet, more than 10 million have broken in with impunity. Another million attempt to break in every year. Half a million succeed. Border security is homeland security. How, then, can the Department of Homeland Security say America is secure?

Who can guarantee that, of the untold millions of illegals here, and the scores of thousands ordered deported for crimes who have disappeared into our midst, none is a terrorist waiting for orders to blow up a subway or mall and massacre American citizens?

Most of these illegals come to work to send money back to their families. They are not bad people. But because they are predominantly young and male, they commit a disproportionate share of violent crimes.

Why should U.S. citizens be assaulted, robbed, raped and murdered, and have their children molested, because their government will not enforce its own laws?

Is this not an indictment of democracy itself? What dictatorial regime would put up with this?

The Republican Party claims to be a conservative party. But what kind of conservative is it who, to cut a few costs or make a few bucks, will turn his family's home into a neighborhood flop house?

In a recent poll, 40 percent of Mexicans – 40 million people – said they would like to come to the United States, and 20 percent expressed a willingness to break in. Time to cut the babble about how NAFTA is going to solve the problem. This is a national emergency.

Twice, George Bush has taken an oath to 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.' Article IV, Section 4 of that Constitution reads, 'The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion.'

Well, we are being invaded, and the president of the United States is not doing his duty to protect the states against that invasion. Some courageous Republican, to get the attention of this White House, should drop into the hopper a bill of impeachment, charging George W. Bush with a conscious refusal to uphold his oath and defend the states of the Union against 'invasion.'

It may be the only way left to get his attention, before the border vanishes and our beloved country dissolves into MexAmerica, what T.R. called a 'polyglot boarding house for the world.'"

Now my comment:

This Editorial commentary was written by Pat Buchanan, the former Republican Presidential candidate, on Aug. 29, 2005. We should have listened then to his call for impeachment, as nothing has really changed regarding Border Security, or should I say Border Insecurity. Then add on all the illegal wire tapping, the redefinition of what torture really means, the 800 signing statements ignoring laws that are passed and the same course of action in Iraq, and you have plenty of additional valid reasons for pursuing impeachment, even at this late date. Both Bush and VP Cheney should be impeached as it is not a waste of time but rather would tell the world we aren't all crazy here.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Supporting the troops - Dare we?

I have never been in battle, nor do I wish to be. But many brave young men and women have freely made that choice. They now serve our country in Iraq and Afghanistan and many other places around the world. They don't complain, they serve honorably because they want to defend all of us and keep our country strong. They rightfully allow us the freedom to have the debate about the war, whether we disagree with it being chosen as a course of action by our President, or whether we support the action taken. I have pondered the question as to what does it mean to truly support our troops who are in harms way.

Many worry that the funding of our troops before Congress will hamstring this President and the General's ability to conduct the war. Other's worry that the war is lost and the best thing that can be done is to stand up and refuse the funding, as a means to stopping the war. In the meantime, our troops are there, many on several tours of duty, not able to get home to see their families as was expected because we don't have enough troop replacements. Many argue that the Military is either broken or in serious condition and on its way to be broken. I have a client Executive who had served in the military and was there during the initial invasion of Iraq. He thought he would be home for another year with his wife and very young children, but he received orders he must go back in the next month or two, cutting short his tour home by a year.

There is little talk in the Congress or in the Administration of shared sacrifice. many of us go on our daily routines without even thinking about the war except when we see the news or hear from a neighbor that a relative was wounded, lost a limb or was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. We hear a lot about the benefits of an all volunteer military and that they wouldn't want it any other way. Well I think it is time to truly consider what it means to support the troops and their families and the country. The time may have come to reconsider instituting a DRAFT or National Service required of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 28 for a minimum period of 2 years and a maximum of 4 years. Many of my age group joined the Peace Corps. They gave the world a better impression of America than any wars could create.

None of the politicians, with the exception of Rep. Charlie Rangle D-NY, has even given the topic serious consideration. Rangel argues that until there is shared sacrifice, we will not be in alignment as to what we should do as a country. He has a good point. There are fewer that 10% of the Congress and Senate members son's and daughters serving in the military. Neither the President, nor the Vice President, ever really served in battle, and yet they took us into war. It seems that Presidents who have not served in battle, are the ones always staring wars. Maybe it's time we have another General run for President. Those Senators currently running for President or who had considered running for President have strong opinions about the war. Senator McCain has called for many more troops in Iraq in the past several years than anyone else. Senator Kerry (D) wants the troops to come home as does Senator Chuck Hagel (R). Both served their country in Vietnam. Maybe there is something to picking a President who at least has served in wartime and in battle. If I remember correctly, even General Wesley Clark, who ran for President in 2004, was against this war.

I think it's time to debate the need for a DRAFT. It isn't as though we have people standing in line to volunteer to join the military. many feel it is political suicide to even discuss the topic. That is why we non-politicians must raise our voices on this topic and that time is now. Adding more troops to the military is truly SUPPORTING THE TROOPS.

This is not the first time I have written on this topic and you can read what I previously wrote by clicking here, but at this time of the "surge", it is worth serious discussion again.

I add this below as it reminds us of the human costs to this war. This was published in January 2007:

"Divorce rates among Army officers dropped a whopping 61 percent last year following a 2004 spike that sent shudders through the service. In 2004, 3,325 Army officers divorced, but that number dropped to 1,292 in 2005, Army officials said. Divorces also were down slightly among enlisted members, from 7,152 in 2004 to 7,075 last year.

Army spokesman Martha Rudd said percentages tell the story more clearly, particularly in the officer corps. In 2004, 6 percent of married officers divorced. In 2005, the figure dropped by more than half: 2.3 percent of married officers divorced.

Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Pete Frederich, family ministries officer for the Army Chief of Chaplains, said there's no concrete explanation for why divorce rates climbed in 2004 or why they dropped last year. "There are many, many anecdotal reasons," he said, noting that every marriage and every divorce is different. But most likely, the stress of multiple deployments and an increased operational tempo throughout the Army played their part in the 2004 increase, Frederich acknowledged."

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Funding the Iraq War- Mini poll

A new Mini poll has been posted regarding the Funding of the war in Iraq. The question is, Should the Congress:

1) Give Bush all the funds requested
2) Include non-binding benchmarks
3) Include restrictions on funds
4) Cut off the funds
5) Vote to stop the war

The former mini poll asked the following question:

As we approach the 4th Anniversary of the Iraq War, which of these 2008 political candidates do you see as mature and informed on Iraq, and has good ideas, as to how to resolve this conflict?

Results of the Poll showed the following % of the vote:

Senator Joe Biden the winner with 22%
Senator Barack Obama next with 19%
Al Gore with 15%
None of the others with 11%

All the other candidates were in the single digits.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Republican Presidential Debate: What's missing?

Tonight, the one candidate, who would make this Republican Presidential Debate most interesting, isn't going to be there. That candidate is Senator Chuck Hagel. The major issue for the country right now is the Iraq war and Hagel is the only Republican candidate that that has a different position than his colleagues and his voice will not be raised in what appears to be a more dull evening than the Democrats were. At least they had Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) who not only favors cutting off the funding but also favors impeaching VP Cheney. He certainly isn't considered mainstream but it is good the Democrats represent both ends of the spectrum, Far left and the Center, with most Americans favoring a pullout from Iraq. The real question is whether those Republicans that oppose Amnesty for illegal aliens voice this concern and push their colleagues on another popular position with the majority of the American people. What the country is begging for is a candidate of either party that wants us out of Iraq and that want real Border Security before Amnesty is even considered.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The "surge" .....NOT!

The chart above, when compared to the chart on U.S. Fatalities in the previous post, shows clearly that not only has there been an increase in deaths in 2007 but also the wounded. When you consider the "surge" was to increase to 21,000 troops consider these facts and why the surge really isn't a surge.

First, remember the "Coalition of the Willing" including the Brits brought their troops home = 17,000.
Add to this the number of U.S forces killed in the past 6 months = 530
Add the wounded for the past 6 months = 3047

That equals 20,577 troops out of action. Compare that to the "surge" of 21,000. Seems to me that the data speaks for itself. There really isn't a "surge", it's troop replacement.

UPDATE: May 3rd, 8:00am PST

Latest from Iraq about the al-Maliki government says that they are planning a 2-month vacation while the surge is at its peak. US Congressmen are outraged they would take a vacation while our soldiers are dying to give them a respite to work together to make the necessary political compromises. See Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn., comment and outrage in this linked news article by clicking here.

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