Thursday, August 30, 2007

U.S. Fatalities for August. What's working in Iraq?!

This the last day remaining in August and the Administration pointing to the "facts" that the "surge" is working and citing the lower count in U.S. Fatalities as the evidence, I had to set the record straight. August's total U.S. Casualties is now 81, and last year the number was 65. These are real facts. What else has been distorted? They cite that this is the lowest month for U.S. Fatalities since the high back in May where 126 had died. This is nothing but spin. Yes, there were 126 deaths in Iraq in May, and we have come down steadily each month. That is fact. But let's look at the numbers for the same period for each year from May to August.

2004 May through August 242
2005 May through August 297
2006 May through August 244
2007 May through August 389

Is there any doubt now about how the data is being misused?!

Here's more real data. From the chart above you can see that for the same periods each year, that is from Sept. to Aug., which is a full year, this period of the war by far has been the most deadly. President Bush and his minions in the Administration are not only misleading the American public but also, more importantly, making a dishonest representation of the facts.

From Sept. 2003-Aug. 2004 693 U.S. fatalities
From Sept. 2004-Aug. 2005 902 U.S. fatalities
From Sept. 2005-Aug. 2006 759 U.S. fatalities
From Sept. 2006-Aug. 2007 1095 U.S. fatalities!

Bring the troops home before the list grows. Bring home the troops before this President starts another war, this time with Iran. If the troops aren't there they can't be used to launch another war of choice. If you are truly a patriot you will start speaking out more forcefully and more often. The Silent Majority has been too silent for too long!

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Gonzales gone & Rove gone. Was there a quid pro quo?

The timing of both Karl Rove leaving the White House and now today, Roberto Gonzales announcing his "resignation" is suspicious to me.

I bring forward another suspicious event which happened just 2-3 weeks ago and cause me to wonder what was going on. The evening before the summer recess was to start for Congress, the Senate was embroiled in late night voting on a number of issues. One which passed surprisingly, was the bill that gave the President more, rather than less, authority to expand the wiretapping and surveillance program which Senate Democrats had proclaimed is unConstitutional. Many on the Left have wondered how this could have happened.

My question is this. Was there a Quid Pro Quo with the President and the Administration which was agreed to that if they promised to get rid of Rove and Gonzales, the Democratic controlled Senate would pass the bill?

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Attorney General Gonzales resigns but why now?

This is the story's background, "One of Gonzales' chief critics, Sen. Charles E. Schumer released a statement Monday praising Gonzales for resigning.

'It has been a long and difficult struggle but at last, the Attorney General has done the right thing and stepped down,' said the New York Democrat.

'For the previous six months, the Justice Department has been virtually nonfunctional and desperately needs new leadership,' said the Schumer statement. 'Democrats will not obstruct or impede a nominee who we are confident will put the rule of law above political considerations. We beseech the Administration to work with us to nominate someone whom Democrats can support and America can be proud of."

So why now? The President wants to control the flow of information and as sure as I am sitting here typing this now, President Bush will make a recess appointment of someone with guaranteed loyalty to the President, so he can keep the information, regarding the Attorney General's firing of U.S. Attorney's as well as the illegal wiretapping surveillance program, secret and out of the hands of Congress. Just watch the maneuvering. With the quotes he made above, Schumer is baiting the President not to announce a replacement while Congress is still in recess, but we all know there is no hope of that happening with this President, nor this Vice President. They simply do not want to be investigated.

For the rest of the story click here.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Iraqi Casualties during the U.S. "Surge"

This from Associated Press:

"Iraq body count running at double pace
By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD - This year's U.S. troop buildup has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels, but the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago.

Some of the recent bloodshed appears the result of militant fighters drifting into parts of northern Iraq, where they have fled after U.S.-led offensives. Baghdad, however, still accounts for slightly more than half of all war-related killings — the same percentage as a year ago, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press."

All this while we have exceeded the 66 U.S Casualties for last year for the month of August, now at 67 for this month, with 6 days remaining in the month. So much for the "surge"!

To read the entire story click here.

UPDATE Monday Aug. 27, 2007

The Total U.S. Casualties for the month of August is now 74. Need I say more about the "surge" not working, except that it is killing more of our sons and daughters as well!


Whose mess is it to solve? Iraq, Infrastructure, Social Security

Given the current troop levels in Iraq, the extended tours of duty our troops have undergone this past year and comments from many generals that are retired and can freely speak their mind, we are more exposed than ever in defending America. Should there be a need to address our treaty obligations with other countries in the world, we are in peril of being defeated as a Nation, unthinkable just 7 years ago. But it is a real concern today.

No matter whether you are for continuing this war, whether you think we did the right thing going after Saddam, or whether you think we should never have gone into Iraq in the first place, our military resources are in a state of disarray, needing repair or replacement. The only war we could fight now is one where we only could use the Navy and Air Force.

What does this mean for the future of this country? It means that for the next decade, we will need to rebuild the military. That means that we will have increased Military budgets and no money left at a time when we can ill afford a recession. WE have painted ourselves into a corner that we will not be able to get out of. And we have done this while our own currency has dropped over 30% in real value as compared to the Euro, over the past 5 years. We have pressing problems to address such as rebuilding worn infrastructure in this country such as bridges and roads, funding and securing Social Security system, ensuring Medicare doesn't go bankrupt, addressing the countries needs in Education to ensure our competitiveness in the world, and finally addressing our own homeland security by securing our own borders from terrorists who wish to come here and destroy our way of life. This, at a time, when the influx of both legal and illegal immigrants are swelling our cities, putting strains on our healthcare system and causing deep divides between us. This is causing many to rethink our entire attitude of whether we are a place in the world that is still open to immigrants to come and partake in the great American dream or will we close our doors and become anti immigrant.

Many of these issues have been facing us for decades. But over the past 6-7 years President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the rest of this Administration has squandered our resources, decreased our ability to respond effectively to crisis here at home (i.e. Hurricane Katrina) by using our National Guard in Iraq, and have divided our country to such a degree that permanent damage may have been done in our ability to come together once again as a Nation and word together in a bipartisan way for the good of the country.

Is there a solution to this problem? I don't know. We will definitely have another chance and I pray to God that we have a leader that is truly someone who can work for the betterment of the people here and the country. But in this poisoned environment, it will not happen going down the same paths we choose daily to engage each other. It will take something to jar our conscience into rethinking our choices and raising the level of discourse so that we listen to the wise elders in our midst.

We had a chance back on September 11, 2001. We were united then, as was the world. Unfortunately it may take another tragedy to give us one more chance before our luck has run out. Will it be written by historians that as the last superpower standing after winning the Cold war, that we threw away our chance to be the Nation most admired, loved and praised in the world. The choice is in our hands to decide. The problem is that we have hitched our wagon on greed and the almighty dollar and on actions that divide us economically, socially and spiritually.

In the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, staring Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, one scene particularly stands out to me. The scene was when faced with choosing the cup used by Christ, when the greedy evil character chose the wrong cup, tasted the water from the fountain and since it was NOT the cup of Christ, melted and dissolved before our eyes, the Knight exclaimed, "He chose poorly!" Then Harrison Ford looked at all the cups on the table, picked the one he thought might have been the one from a poor carpenter, as was Christ, and dipped it into the fountain and drank from it, wondering if he too had chosen poorly was surprised that the water was fine. Then the Knight exclaimed, "You chose wisely!"

That is what we must do. Not just when we elect our candidates from each party for this election for their Primary. We must start now by getting involved as if this were really our country, our choice as to our future. It's time we stop blaming our elected officails, as WE voted, them into their office. WE must blame ourselves and do something about it. I know you don’t feel that the rest of the free world depended on you to make the right choices, but it does rely on each of us. I'm to blame as much as anyone else. Remember, we can't fix something unless WE own it. The first step of the 12 Step process is admitting we have been in Denial as individuals, that we have given away our power and choices to change things, especially when less than 50% of us actually vote in any election and that a mere 26% of us choose who will become our next President. We must admit that this is our problem to fix, NOT someone elses! Don't like the debates? Start providing better questions to them to ask. Write to your candidates or during this campaign season, go where they are and have the courage to ask your question to them.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vietnam and Iraq -Bush learns lessons from history. From what school?

President Bush’s speech at the VFW Convention in Missouri was laced with comparisons between Iraq today and the Vietnam war ( link to BBC story) and that the lessons of history for him were many such as, "The price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens." Mr. Bush, you still don't get it. If we didn't go in to Iraq in the first place, we wouldn't be discussing your premise that we can't leave. Your arguments for staying in Iraq are irrational and illogical and demeaning to intelligence of the American people.

Also in the speech Bush had warned "a US withdrawal from Iraq could trigger the kind of upheaval seen in South East Asia after US forces quit Vietnam." Mr. President again you don't get it. The kind of upheaval in the Middle East today has been caused by your invasion in the first place and to end the upheaval, we must leave. Listen to the well-respected fellow Republican Senator John Warner. He has been the military's most ardent supporter. He says we should announce we are reducing troop levels in a few weeks. Of course Mr. President, you are not moved by reality but by your own version of truth. And since you have lied to us so often and with the repetition of someone not wanting us to forget the message, even you have come to believe those lies as dogma. I don't know which God you truly pray to, but that God seems to love war, not be compassionate to those truly suffering, and is strange bedfellows with the almighty dollar. If I remember sir, aren't those the attributes of the one driven out of heaven?

Even your earlier suggestion, that the Iraqi people should consider replacing their leader because their government wasn’t working for the benefit of the people and that Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Maliki wasn’t getting the various constituencies to form needed compromises, was an interesting idea. Can you give us some ideas as to how we could get you replaced too, as obviously we are having similar problems right here in the good ole US of A. under your leadership or lack thereof?

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Iran and Cheney

Worth looking at is the Foreign Policy Watch post by Jeb on the reported discussions within the Administration about Iran and Vice President Cheney. Read the post here.

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U.S. Fatalities for the first 3 weeks of August

U.S. Fatalities for the first 3 weeks in August now total 63 with the latest tragedy of a Helicopter crash in Iraq, resulting in 14 deaths.

It seems now certain that the August numbers will have more U.S. fatalities than last year, and possibly all 3 other years. Here's the data for all of August for the past 3 years:

Aug. 2006 65
Aug. 2005 85
Aug. 2004 66

This war of choice brought to you by its authors, President George Bush. and Vice President Cheney. Bring the troops home now!

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Bush, War and History

The basic backdrop for a speech to be delivered to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) convention in Missouri today is the following headline, "Bush: History to prove Iraq war worth it". There are two things certain about History. The first being, yes, there is always debate about wars, but that's because individuals still alive have a biased viewpoint depending on whether they supported the war in the first place or didn't. Secondly, there will be no doubt when the history is written, that this President, President Bush, will be recorded as the worst President the United States ever had in its history, even if that history is written 500 years from now.

I hope and pray that the populace of the United States, learns and reads history so that we never repeat voting for a President that was an addict again. The main theme of an addict is denial, and the record was set on the number of times he would be in a state of denial, when this President first took office and never will be broken. He lives in a constant state of denial and, as a Nation, we are all far worse off for it.

I have considered reading several devaint newpapers or rag sheets as they are often called. You might ask "Why?" Investigative reporters should spend some of their time exposing addictions of our Presidential candidates. Then they would truly be serving the public interest. Maybe I really should start reading the NY Daily Post or Enquirer as my source of knowledge of these candidates. Watching the debates or reading political articles from Main Street media aren't helping expose their faults.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

An Open Letter to the people of Iowa

My fellow Americans, in your hands is the opportunity to influence the rest of America. The media has already done a good job for you of selecting your Democratic choice for president. It is all but a slam dunk for Hillary to be the candidate for President and to end this idea of the people's choice in just a few months. Unfortunately, there are many good candidates who won't have a chance. You can change that by shaking up this coronation by how you vote in your Caucuses.

Ask yourself the following questions:

If I didn't vote for Hillary who would I vote for?
Who do I trust more on Foreign Policy decisions when it comes to Iraq?
What message do I want to send to the rest of America with my vote?

If you would be willing to share your answers here, I would be most interested in reading them. I watched the ABC debate today and had some refreshing insights into some of these leaders , especially the conversation about Iraq and ending the war and also on the issue of Education and teachers. Let's hope that Iowans were watching as well. This is the most important election in the past 50 years. Our very survival and standing in the world depends on all of us making the best decision to preserve our Constitution and restore our image across the world, as a country that indeed is one of compassion, peace, and wisdom.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Cheney -In his own words

Jumping on the Band Wagon, I have a link to the Cheney 1994 video clip from YouTube, as he is asked about why we shouldn't go all the way to Baghdad in the first Gulf War. This should be required viewing for all Americans.

Here's the Link in his own words.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Petraeus report- truth or consequences?

OK, the latest news on General Petraeus's report we have all been waiting for on Iraq, due on Sept. 15th, will be written by the White House. You remember, this is the same White House that wrote the reports on Global Warming where they said the data is misleading and more is needed before Global Warming can be found to be caused by humans. Remember, this White House also told the expert James Hansen, Goddard Institute for Space Science, a bureau of NASA on Global Warming, that he could not deliver any speeches unless reviewed and approved by this incompetent Administration before Hassen’s presentation of the report.

Can't wait to see what they do to the General's report to Congress. If it wasn't so infuriating, it would be funny.

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U.S. Fatalities for the first 2 weeks of August

U.S. Fatalities for the first 2 weeks in August totaled 41. Previously reported was fact that he first week of August had 21. However, as I have always focused on U.S. Fatalities, one must not forget of the tremendous loss of life of Iraqis in the past few days, with over 500 killed as a result of several coordinated car bombs.

It seems most probable that this August numbers will have more U.S. fatalities than last year, and possibly all 3 other years but I pray not. Here's the data for all of August for the past 3 years:

Aug. 2006 65
Aug. 2005 85
Aug. 2004 66

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Suicide Bomber's Nationality

Worth reading today is a post at Kiko's House on the Nationality of the suicide bombers. It is an illuminating post and a good piece of writing. Can you guess the nationality of all the suicide bombers? Check Kiko's House for the answer.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Finally something good in the news involving Iraq

Today, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to promote political talks in Iraq amongst the country's ethnic and religious groups. This in an attempt to bring some peace to Iraq by finding some remedies towards a peaceful resolution for the parties involved. This is indeed a good day. The resolution was sponsored by the United States and Great Britain. To read the story, click here.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

U.S. Fatalities for the first week in August

There were 21 deaths in this first week in August.

In the first week of March we had 24 fatalities.
In the first week of April we had 28 fatalities.
In the first week of May we had 27 fatalities.
In the first week of June we had 28 fatalities.
In the first week of July we had 27 fatalities

While the numbers for August look encouraging as compared to the past 5 months, I have learned that one week of data can be deceiving in projecting the whole month. Here's the data for all of August for the past 3 years:

Aug. 2006 65
Aug. 2005 85
Aug. 2004 66

This happening while our Congress is on its vacation. Many, including myself, ridiculed the Iraqi Parliament for taking a vacation as they complained it was too hot to work during August. Well our own members of Congress can't use that excuse as they have air conditioning. So why aren't they working and trying to get the votes to end this war. When they go home to their districts, they will get an ear full if they dare show up in public. Oh, and they had the audacity to pass what President wanted regarding warrantless wiretapping. Shame shame shame on Congress, as Congress is a sham, sham sham!

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Monday, August 06, 2007

China's defective products

Don't be looking anytime soon for our government to resolve these issues, nor to keep us safe from them. Take responsibility yourself and STOP BUYING ANYTHING MADE IN CHINA! if we allow for market forces to work, these problems will be resolved by the Chinese government. We have the levers, so let's use them for our collective well being and to teach the Chinese government and people about free market economies. We could send a signal heard around the world in less than 30 days, if we do this. I am committed to read every product label going forward, are you?

If we do this, as China prepares for the Aug. 8, 2008 opening of the Olympics, the impact will be very significant to their economy. It is the price they need to pay if they want to continue to enjoy Most Favored Nation status with us.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Today's Republican Debate

I watched the Republican debate today hosted by This Week's George Stephanopoulos, and was surprised at what impressions I walked away with. There was so much bluster and machismo about fighting a war and attacking our enemies that no wonder we are in Iraq. It seemed to me, with the exception of Ron Paul, every candidate wanted to fight someone, somewhere and sometime. If you like war most of the Republican's running this time won't let you down. I must admit I was impressed with Ron Paul and secondly by Mitt Romney, of all the candidates. Mitt is very smart and it showed today.

I did like the question on whether candidates favored a "Fair Tax", which I beleive is a consumption tax. I do support a Consumption tax so that everyone would have to pay a tax based upon what they purchase. The more you purchase the more your tax is. The less you purchase the less taxes you pay. It would help to eleminate the IRS.

The one inconsitent position of all the Republican candidates, except Giuliani, was their support for Pro Life at a time when they all espoused the killing of life by this war of choice in Iraq.

Overall, I wish that there wouldn't be so much talk of waging a war, continuing the war in Iraq, the use of Nuclear weapons to bomb the holiest mosque of the Muslim world located in Saudi Arabia. Cool down the rhetoric please.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

U.S. Fatalities in Iraq: UPDATE

So why did I make such a fuss about the numbers in my previous posting for July U.S. Fatalities. I'll answer that question. Because the number that was first reported was 78 and not the 81 from the revised reporting, it allowed the Bush Administration to say that JULY was the lowest month of the war this year. You see, the previous "lowest" month this year was both February and March, BOTH WITH 81 reported deaths. By not reporting the 3 in July that were added on August 2nd for the July period, it gave the Adminstration propaganda to mislead both the Congress and the American people. But some of us are watching and reporting the truth for all to see the sham. Shame, shame on President Bush/Cheney and their team of "yes" men. Did you listen to the Larry King interview of Vice President Cheney? Can you believe he could lie like that so easily? I do. He has no honor, nor does President Bush. We need to pursue charges against them AFTER they leave office, if you believe the excuse Congress has cited, "there is no time now left to impeach them."

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

U.S. Casualties- Let's revisit the numbers and the manipulation

Well, reports tonight that there are 3 additional deaths being attributed to last month’s data. It seems to me that DOD is playing some propaganda moves on us. Remember on August 1st, all the numbers were in and it showed 78 deaths for U.S. Fatalities. Now rechecking the numbers, they have added 3 more today on August 2nd. The propaganda promoted in the media has been that there was the lowest number of U.S. Fatalities in July than any other month in 2007. This is both true AND misleading. When you compare this July with past July's you decide. Here's the data:

July 2007 81
July 2006 43
July 2005 54
July 2004 54

When comparing data it is of course important to compare the same month. Some months are hotter than others and when the temps rise to 125 degrees even the enemy finds it too hot to do much activity even though they are more accustomed to the heat than our troops are.

When comparing the same periods to previous years the data continues to show the truth. I report it here for those who may have missed it, as these are our brave young men and women giving their lives for a war of choice by this President Bush and Vice President Cheney, who have never served in battle and actually did what they could to avoid it. Here's the real data again:

Aug. 2006-Jul. 2007 1078
Aug. 2005-Jul. 2006 779
Aug. 2004-Jul. 2005 883
Aug. 2003-Jul. 2004 662

Facts don't lie but people do manage to shape the truth. Getting back to why there are three more deaths added in July. I think it has been deliberately done to make August numbers when reported by DOD seem less than last year. I wrote about this also several months ago as the same shenanigans occurred. If they can show truly one month less than the number of deaths last year I might actually believe things may be turning. But without that kind of data, we are being manipulated and if we believe their lies, we are as bad as they are for not being more informed. We'll here's their benchmark for August below:

August 2006 65
August 2005 85
August 2004 66

As far as I am concerned the number of U.S. Fatalities is NOT as reported as 2, but 5.

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