Monday, November 07, 2005

Sacrifice, Updated

Doesn't it seem like just yesterday we were noting that 2,000 troops had been killed in Iraq? It wasn't yesterday---but almost. Click here to see the updated body count. The rate of KIA's continues to increase.

The White House and Pentagon have gone to great lengths to make this war appear sacrifice-free. But they can't hide the body count, nor the thousands of troops with horrific permanent injuries who are becoming increasingly visible here in the U.S.

I continue to read variations of "we must honor the sacrifice of those who have already died and stay the course." One of the slams against Cindy Sheehan over the summer was that her son "knew what he was getting into" and that she shouldn't speak for him. Now, to support their own hypocritical and deceptively appealing line of reasoning, some from the honor-the-sacrifice-by-staying-the-course crowd themselves presume to know the wishes of those who have died.

There may indeed be good reasons for "staying the course." Invoking the presumed wishes of dead troops to justify more losses is not one of them.


Blogger D.Boyer said...

President Bush is a business man, maybe he can explain this to me: When a stock is tanking, must you honor the money you have lost so far by buying more of the said stock?

11/07/2005 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, but Bush is a failed businessman which nullifies the question.

11/07/2005 9:34 PM  
Blogger panoptican said...

Don't forget the 20,000+ Iraqi civilian casualties.

11/07/2005 9:37 PM  
Anonymous phoebes said...

You're asking the right questions. Too bad no one in the Bush administration will answer.

11/07/2005 10:07 PM  
Anonymous jay said...

Looks like everybody forgot Poland.

US UK Other* Total

2056 97 103 2256

But now I forgot: The 'coalition of the willing' has been 'scrapped' in January...

11/07/2005 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stock analogy is very good; so is the failed businessman comment.

What's up with Cheney still fighting to allow the CIA to torture people anywhere in the world?

When did these guys ever make sense and use good reason. Their ideas are DOA to sensible people because they trump up their data to get their way and most of the time their arguments end up way out in left field. You question their arguments, and they club you with their bat.

11/08/2005 1:14 AM  
Blogger James Finkelstein (Ga.) said...

If George Bush & Dick Cheney were just two guys spouting their opinions, would anyone pay them any attention for more than two seconds? It's kind of like when athletes or movie stars come out with political comments- we pay attention because of who they are, not because of the validity of their arguments.

So let's not play their game: let's just meet their arguments head on, and ignore the clubs they may be wielding.

11/08/2005 1:35 AM  
Blogger 277fia said...

The Israeli propaganda machine is operating at full force over at the TPM Cafe via one of the usual pipelines: MEMRI to the Daily Telegraph to a bought off Democrat. This one's name is Kenneth Baer.

Everyone is up in arms over an Iranian cartoon. Drudge probably carried the cartoon story but I'm not checking.

I actually watched the cartoon on the MEMRI website. It was not about killing Jews, it was about stopping an evil Israeli soldier named Ariel who massacred innocent civilians. Sound familiar?

If the US is expected to go to war with Iran over cartoons, the Israelis better be in the front line this time. 40 Israeli soldiers blown to bits and 800 of them maimed ought to be about the right ratio.

The Israeli military is profiting handsomely from the Iraq war. Israelis should have been part of the coalition of the willing. The members of the coalition, after all, were liberators and the Iraqis would have seen the Israeli soldiers in the same light that they see American and British soldiers.

Israel has a problem with corruption in its military. It also has a problem with organized crime. For starters, money laundering is rampant. The Bank Hapoalim case is the tip of an iceberg.

If the Israelis won't fight, they certainly don't need the billions of dollars in defense money that the US taxpayers give to them every year. It's a waste of money if we have to do their fighting for them.

I'm sick of and tired of the Israelis shooting off their big fat mouths while hiding behind Americans.

Cartoons. Unbelievable.

11/08/2005 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

277fia, what an idiotic post. Even our incompetent administration knows that having Israeli troops fighting in Iraq would have been a PR disaster with negative ramifications throughout the middle east. Not that the war isn't a total catastrophe, but having Israeli troops as part of the "coalition" is about the stupidest thing I've heard.

11/08/2005 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Lord said...

No one forgot Poland, we just remember Vietnam.

Heard one looney say this was all the result of Reagan's withdrawal from Lebanon and we have to bring it all to an end. End of the world I presume. But Lebanon is a democracy these days, and they did it on their own (more or less). We don't give them enough credit to solve their own problems.

11/08/2005 2:04 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

The Israelis already did fight, beating the Arabs in 1967 and 1973. So the Arabs have taken the war to the rest of the civilized world and successive U.S. administrations got suckered into it. Welcome to the new millenium...

11/08/2005 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As our men and women die in Iraq, should our government be treating Judy Miller's Ahmad Chalabi as a dignitary?

'Chalabi deserves a subpoena, not photo-ops with administration bigwigs.'

'Don’t Be Surprised If “The Chalabi Motorcade Speeds Up When They Pass the Department of Justice”'

'While the Department of Justice is actively investigating this man for wrongdoing that could have endangered American troops and American lives, the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury are hosting him like some sort of dignitary. So don’t be surprised if you watch the Chalabi motorcade speed up when they pass the Department of Justice.'

11/08/2005 4:14 PM  
Blogger porchwise said...

Anyone who uses the phrase "knew what he was getting into" obviously hasn't been in the military. We spoon feed our children unrealistic doses of 'war' and only those who've been there know what it's really all about and the gungho attitude is quickly forgotten in the realism of battle. War is more than hell, it's the indicator of just how uncivilized man really still is...

11/09/2005 11:59 AM  
Blogger 277fia said...

anon, My comment about Israel contributing troops to the coalition was meant to be sarcastic. I think it was Paul Wolfowitz as US Deputy Secretary of Defense who said that American troops would be greeted as liberators in Iraq. I think it was Richard Perle, a member of the US Defense Policy Board, who said George W. Bush would have a square in Baghdad named after him.

To this day, I still do not know if the Pentagon deliberately lied about what would happen in Iraq after it was conquered or the Pentagon monumently miscalculated the Iraqi backlash.

thirdeye, Your position seems to be that the Israelis were done fighting 32 years ago. Fine, then the Israelis do not need the $3-6 billion in US taxes that the US gives to Israel for defense every year. $500 million annually sounds like a reasonable amount to me to provide Israel with enough weaponery to defend its borders.

If the US were to go to war with Iran, there is no question that it would be as an adversary of the Iranian people. Israel should contribute Israeli troops to show its appreciation of American lives sacrificed on behalf of Israel's security.

I am sure that Israelis treasure the lives of Israeli troops every bit as much as Americans treasure the lives of their own soldiers.
And that goes for Poland and every other member of the "coalition of the willing".

I doubt many members of the original coalition will be joining the US in a war against Iran.

My comment was about how Israel's conduct in the past few years appears to me. I am a moderate Democrat from Long Island who has never questioned Israel's right to exist. I grew up with the Holocaust photos in Life magazine
and remember the "Plant-A-Tree for Israel" campaigns.

What I never considered growing up was the Arab world's side of the story.

The way I see it, Israel learned over the years that it would get a huge return on investment from buying leverage in the US Congress. If I was an Israeli, I would think that strategy is smart.

The "Arabs" have not taken the "war" to the rest of the civilized world. The governments of Israel and Egypt, for one, are on at least cordial terms. Jordan is another example. I think Bahrain and Qatar have also taken recent steps towards creating a peaceful relationship with Israel.

The government of Pakistan, of all places, has apparently been doing business with Israel for awhile now. I suspect, as in Turkey, some of the business has to do with US tax dollars given to those countries for military aid.

I have written here before about a phony penny stock company, Eagle Building Technologies, which tried to swindle the US government out of $50 million after 9/11. The SEC investigated Eagle but did not make public information about Eagle's partner-in-crime, Biosterile.

Biosterile, liquidated under Chapter 7, claimed to have sold three cargo scanning machines to the Turkish military before 9/11 on its now-defunct website. Whether Biosterile ever actually delivered those machines is not clear to me. I do not know if Biosterile ever even had cargo scanning machines to sell to the Turkish military.

Israel is represented by Ariel Sharon and the Likud Party just as the US is represented by George Bush and the Republican Party. Many Americans disagree with the Bush administration now but the rest of the world has every right to assume that the Bush administration represents the will of the people in the US.

I, on the other hand, have every right to publicly disagree with the Bush administration and Republican conservatives or anyone else in the world.

I referred to Kenneth Baer as being a bribed Democrat. I actually do not know if Kennth Baer is a Democrat, only that he is posting on a liberal website. He is a "media consultant" in Washington DC and I do not know anything about his clients.

Promoting a MEMRI article published by the UK Daily Telegraph about an Iranian cartoon makes me question Mr. Baer's

On the TPM Cafe website, I wrote a response to someone who questioned my original comment to Kennth Baer's post. I explained my concerns about MEMRI and the Daily Telegraph in my comment.

11/09/2005 2:20 PM  
Anonymous jay said...

@ porchwise:

"Anyone who uses the phrase "knew what he was getting into" obviously hasn't been in the military. "

Oh, yeah?

The US government had "no comprehensive policy or regulatory guidelines” in place for staffing the management of postwar Iraq, according to the top government watchdog overseeing the country’s reconstruction.

Italian secret services warned the United States in January 2003 that a dossier about a purported Iraq-Niger uranium deal were fake, an Italian lawmaker said Thursday after a briefing by an Italian intelligence chief.

One month before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, three State Department bureau chiefs warned of "serious planning gaps for post-conflict public security and humanitarian assistance" in a secret memorandum prepared for a superior.

"State Department Warned Pentagon Was Unprepared For Insurgency.

CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight (8/18, Pilgrim) reported that there are new assertions that the Bush Administration "failed to prepare for the post-war Iraq. Three top State Department officials say they warned US military planners about serious planning gaps, saying the Pentagon was totally unprepared for an insurgency." CNN (Koppel) added that a memo written by those State Department officials "was just declassified today." "

And so on....

11/10/2005 10:56 AM  
Blogger 277fia said...

jay, I read about the State Dept.'s report when it was made public but my question about the Pentagon is still unanswered.

The first Bush administration stopped short of Baghdad in 1991 for a couple of reasons. One, overthrowing Saddam was apparently not part of the deal with the Saudis and Kuwaitis. Two, the administration did not think it was capable of managing the chaos in Iraq that would ensue if Saddam was overthrown. The Pentagon would have had a lot of input into that assessment.

For ten years, the Pentagon has been planning what to do in Iraq in the event that Saddam Hussein's regime was overthrown. Generals Myers, Pace, Jumper and the rest of the highly educated top brass at the Pentagon did not get Iraqi amnesia after 9/11.

What no one at the Pentagon is saying is why there was no apparent post-war planning in place after combat operations ended in Iraq. We have some very intelligent and thoughtful people in our military. No one at the Pentagon simply "forgot" to plan for post-war Iraq.

I suspect that the chaos was orchestrated. I also suspect that there are members of the military who disagreed with the "chaos" strategy but they cannot say anything publicly.

Imagine if it came out that the US military deliberately planned to let an entire country fall into chaotic violence?

11/10/2005 4:49 PM  
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