Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sacrifice Update

2,500 U.S. troops have now died in Iraq. Since we have neither a viable exit strategy nor, we know now, any real desire to ever withdraw, we should expect the next tragic milestone to be 3,000 during the next few months, then 3,500, and eventually 5,000 and beyond. Today the Pentagon also said that 18,490 troops have lost arms, legs, hands, feet, eyes, faces, or futures. Remember, we're not supposed to think about any of this beyond officially-approved bromides about "supporting the troops" or maybe doing something a bit radical like putting one of those yellow ribbon stickers on the car bumper. What are you doing to really remind others?


Blogger chumly said...

Keep praying that they come home soon and safely is in all my friends daily prayers. Plus that and counting the days when Bush will leave office.

6/15/2006 8:00 PM  
Blogger Automax4000 said...

Chumly, with all due respect, "praying" and "counting"? That's it? If you supported Bush, his heedless rush to war and his continuing active obliviousness I hope you will question and re-question your beliefs and the decisions you make.

6/15/2006 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I perioically pass this on to friend and foe alike, wishing them a happy weekend.

"U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 2497
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 3
Total 2500
DoD Confirmation List
Latest Coalition Fatality: Jun 15, 2006"

6/15/2006 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

I'm pointing out articles like this. It didn't have to come to this.

6/15/2006 9:49 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

I'm writing about the corruption which has spread like cancer throughout the Defense Department in the last six years. While the rank and file get their heads blown off in Iraq, the top brass is busy stealing from the taxpayers.

I suspect that the media might be going lightly on news about corruption in the military because it is wartime. Bad for morale, etc. How many people know that the highest ranking officer in the Air Force, General T. Michael "Buzz" Mosely and his predecessor, retired General John Jumper are being investigated by the FBI for illegally awarding a $50 million contract to their good buddy, General Hal Hornburg?

The now-cancelled $50 million contract was for large-scale video shows at erformances by the Air Force Thunderbirds. Records show Hornburg and Jumper tried to make the contract no-bid. The terms of the contract only came to light because the second highest bid was $24 million and the bidder complained to the Air Force. Air Force legal counsel and Congress agreed that the contract was a waste of money and should never have been awarded in the first place.

That's $50 million that was going to be thrown down the drain so casually by the Defense Department. General Hornburg is the guy who promised last year to clean up the Air Force after the $6 billion Boeing scandal.

At the TPM Cafe, I am writing about Mitchell Wade and MZM. Wade is one of the guys who bribed Duke Cunningham. What no one has covered in the press, as far as I know, is how Wade financed MZM between 2000 and 2003. For example, Wade obtained a $1.7 million mortgage in July 2001 for an office building even though MZM had no revenue. MZM had 71 high-priced employees in 2002 but no revenue.

Three former directors of the Defense Intelligence Agency were on MZM's payroll at one time or another. That's three generals who made careers out of sticking their noses in other people's business and yet none of them suspected that Mitchell Wade was a crook? What does that tell you?

I am beginning to suspect that Wade was a front and that some of these government intelligence people got together and created a fake company to milk the intelligence budget.

Me, I think that there should be premium attached to war profiteering. Double the usual prison sentence and triple the fines.

6/15/2006 10:00 PM  
Anonymous wmr said...

I think the most tragic milestone will be 3,021, when the number of troop deaths will equal the number of casualties on 9/11.

6/15/2006 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Antonie said...

But the president had a good week this week: Zarqawi, visit to Iraq, smoke and mirrors.

I am guilty of doing nothing at all. If I say something about it, people declare me a bad patriot. They say that the soldiers signed up for duty voluntarily, and that's what it takes to make our country safe. People have to come to their senses all by themselves. Unfortunately, some are learning the hard way, with casualties in their own family. I feel very sorry for them. They also need to be able to swallow their pride, which is a very difficult thing to do for many conservatives.

Concerning the debate on whether to stay in Iraq or not, has anyone done a cost-benefit analysis? If we're spending more and losing more lives just trying to protect our presence there than Iraq as a whole, that's definitely a signal to pull out. Each time I hear the word "green zone" or that we're building an embassy the size of Vatican City, I hear "We're trying to protect our presence, not the Iraqi people."

The link above to Greg Palast's article was interesting. There was a Plan after all, and it all makes sense. The hearts and minds, let alone the livelihoods, of Iraqis didn't count for a thing.

6/16/2006 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have friends in the Reserve and friends who served in the first Gulf War but are now too old. When I mention the US death toll, lack of body armor, cutting Veterans' Services budgets, etc. etc., they are with me to a certain point. "Yeah, yeah, we gotta vote out the Congressmen who did that," never taking the blame any higher.

But if I make the slightest, tiny little insinuation that the war was or is not worth those costs, they immediately contradict me. "No, no, you don't understand, we want to go over there and serve our country. Even if we have to blow kids to bits, even if we have to die or get maimed. War is hell, but that's our job, it's what we want to do. We don't want no stinkin' handouts from the VA, we don't want charity, we'll get by, so don't you dare suggest we need to vote out pro-war politicians just because they mishandle the VA."

I do think the majority of soldiers choose to do this, this violence, even at great cost to themselves. During a just war, that's a wonderful thing. During this war, it's a crime, both by them and against them. In any case, I think the old cliché is true: it's the soldier's job to kill people and break things, not to pick the battles. We citizens have to do that for them, through our elected representatives. (Although the system seems to have broken down in this case, assuming Bush was actually elected.)

While numerous, I suspect that people like this Daniel are exceptions to the rule. I think most soldiers want to do these horrible things, whether it's just from glorified inexperience or overzealous patriotism, or whatever. Sometimes, there's a place for that. This time, not. (Damn if that article about "Daniel" didn't have me on the verge of tears, sitting here reading it at work.)

6/16/2006 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all the talk, I don't believe that most Americans give a flying fuck about the soldiers being ground up in Iraq, and they care even less about Iraqis. It's not like anything happening in our Mesopotamian adventure is secret, in the way that, say, the Politburo could keep unpleasant aspects of its interventions in Czechoslovakia or Afghanistan secret. But the sad fact is, the decades-old project to vilify the very notion of public life has paid off handsomely. Americans essentially shrugged their way into this bastard, hopeless war. Folks who warned then about what we're seeing now were written off as "activists" -- another way of saying "obsessive assholes".

I hate to say it, but I think the big experiment of 1789 is coming to a close, and the conclusions aren't good. The political system drawn up by the founders is no longer capable of responding to contemporary problems. We've been evading the consequences of our energy habits for 30 years now. Fifteen years ago, we decided to ignore the implosion of the only power that might have presented an existential threat, and opt for an especially dim-witted and unacknowledged kind of empire. Two years ago, we had the chance to eject a government that's run by a pack of unindicted co-conspirators who are plainly out of their depth -- but roughly half of our fellow "citizens" opted for more of the same.
-- sglover

6/16/2006 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As these guys found out, "The price is so high for telling the truth."

These are dangerous times, we attack truth-tellers, courage, commonsense and heros, and we give medals to incompetents and praise the liars and cruel. On Tavis Smiley last night, the guest was talking about moderate Republicans changing to the Democratic party because they believe in evolution, and the blue collar laborers who were always Democratic are going to the Republican party because of the brand of "values" being sold.

A quote from "The Majestic" always seems to apply:

(Peter) Actually I do not want to be contrary, but I think there is. Gosh, I don't know what to say. There is . .. I have never been a man of great convictions. I never saw the percentage in it. Quite frankly I suppose . . . I . . .ah . . . lack the courage. See I am not like Luke Tremble. He had the market cornered on those things. I never met the guy, but . . . I feel like I got to know him. The thing is I cannot help to wonder what he would say, if he was standing here right now. He would probably tell you that the America represented in this room is not the America that he died defending. I think he
would tell you that your America is bitter, and
cruel, and small . . . I know for a fact that his
America is big. . . Bigger than you can imagine .
. With a wide open heart . . . Where every
person has a voice. Even though you don't like
what they have to say.
(Chair) you are out of order.
(Chair) Enough. You are out of order.
(Peter) If he were here; how would you respond. You could explain to him what has happened to his America.

6/16/2006 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all the comments here I don't believe that any of you (TCR included) give a flying fuck about the troops and care even less about any other people on earth. You are exploiting there deaths to rail against a war that you never supported. Your attempts to sound righteous ring hollow and you are not fooling anyone but yourselves. So go ahead and pat yourselves on the back, look into the mirror and repeat, I am a good person.

6/16/2006 11:49 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Maybe they are real christians and actually have a moral philosophy. A relic of the old America like the Quakers. 99.9% of Americans have no moral philosophy. They worship State power. Mussolini won WW2 after all.

6/16/2006 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all the comments here I don't believe that any of you (TCR included) give a flying fuck about the troops and care even less about any other people on earth. You are exploiting there deaths to rail against a war that you never supported. Your attempts to sound righteous ring hollow and you are not fooling anyone but yourselves. So go ahead and pat yourselves on the back, look into the mirror and repeat, I am a good person.

Well, speaking for myself, 1) I'm a vet, and 2) I happen to live within a mile or Walter Reed Army Hospital, so every few days I get to see young guys going into town to try out their new prosthetic arms and legs. I share some little rite-of-passage experiences with these guys, and I got to miss one big ugly experience. The whole thing bothers me cuz it taps into these emotions called "empathy" and "sympathy". I know right-wingers like to downplay them, or dispense with them entirely, but some of us aren't so advanced.

Another thing. You're right, I figured Iraq would be a misbegotten clusterfuck from the start. I always knew it would be a waste of resources in general, but as a resident of the DC area I've got a more specific take, too. See, DC's been attacked, and remains pretty high on anyone's target list. So I gotta wonder about priorities, when I see billions of my tax dollars pissed away in the desert, while obvious vulnerabilities go unaddressed (e.g. railroad tank cars loaded with chlorine, rolling through the center of the city), because that would interfere with Holy Commerce. Don't even get me started on how "Homeland Security" wants to spread the wealth to defend hotbutton targets like Akron....

Nope, I always say, if you wanna hear some hollow righteousness, listen to the guys who talk long and hard about our glorious war, but won't enlist, and won't even demand that the government levies sufficient taxes to pay for its wars. So I can understand why you left your remark anonymously: If I'd made your comments, I wouldn't want to attach my name to them, either. More of that empathy thing, you might say....
-- sglover

6/16/2006 2:20 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Please check out Arkin's post today. Then ask yourself, if we had an Iraqi army operating at Level 1 status, would we be able to stay in the country for a decade standing them up while we stand ourselves down?

6/16/2006 5:10 PM  
Blogger semper fubar said...

you got it right, sglover. start to finish.

This war is about one thing only- stealing the taxpayer's money, in the biggest war profiteering scam of all time. Screw the soldiers. Screw the citizens of this country. And most of all, screw the the citizens of Iraq.

Money, honey. That's what it's ALL about.

6/16/2006 6:21 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

"You are exploiting there deaths to rail against a war that you never supported."

Anon, C.R. supported the war as I am sure others here did to. I did my own homework and spent a lot of time looking at different kinds of information from different sources before I made up my mind that I did not support the war.

I don't know anyone in the service and I don't know how I could be of any help to anyone stationed in Iraq or anywhere else overseas. If someone told me to sign up as a volunteer somewhere, I would. But about the most I could do is offer to shop in the NYC metro area for hard-to-find items or run errands. I am happy to spend my own money but on what?

I registered at because I am interested in the troops and the military in general but I feel like an intruder when I am on the site so I'll read some stuff and leave. If someone in the military wanted to tell me why my views are so f**ked up, I'd love to hear from him or her. Again, I'm clueless about as to how you make any kind of contact with anyone in the service.

I know Greg Palast is considered to be a leftie reporter but he has a fascinating interview online with Jay Garner. Garner is the retired general who was relieved of his position as head of the CPA after only a couple of weeks on the job. Garner claims that. as head of the CPA, he insisted on promoting good government and free elections before taking on any other projects in Iraq. He goes on to say that Paul Bremer's main objective was privatize Iraq's assets as quickly as possible including the oil industry.

Garner is almost outright accusing the Bush administration of looting Iraq's assets. He thinks the Iraqis got wise to the Bush gang and their anger helped fuel the insurgency.

Paul Bremer and the CPA had possession and control of $9 billion in pre-war Iraq oil revenue in cash. Stuart Bowen, the inspector general for the reconstruction of Iraq, reported that all of the $9 billion was stolen.

Anyone who thinks the Iraqis stole all that money has his head up his ass. Bremer was there to make sure that money found its way out of Iraq. The Bush administration made sure to cast the CPA as a non-US entity and not subject to US law to avoid having Bremer or anyone else in the CPA subject to a US investigation.

Go ahead and tell me that you know no one in the Bush administration would ever steal $1 billion or $5 billion or even $9 billion.

Did you read the news about the Total Information Awareness (TIA) project today? TIA was never shut down as Congress demanded. Instead, the NSA took it over and jettisoned all of the privacy and audit controls.

Apparently, every intelligence agency in the US now has access to this giant database of information about everyone in this country. So do private contractors. Crooks like Mitchell Wade and Brent Wilkes now can access all sorts of information about people for their own nefarious reasons.

Government corruption is a big deal and does affect all of us. Maybe no one will ever read what I write but at least I know for myself about some of the corruption and what is going on.

I am genuinely concerned about how much time I have left to openly criticize the government and I'm taking every minute I can now to do so. I don't care if I end up on somebody's list as a malcontent. I am a malcontent and for now, I have the right to be one.

I know you don't give a flying f**k what I think because you are sure you already know me and I don't give a flying f**k what you think because I am beyond caring about other people's opinion of me.

6/16/2006 9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed because it linked to malicious content. Learn more.

6/16/2006 10:19 PM  
Blogger semper fubar said...

After reading 277fia's commnent, I'd like to amend my own, and add 'stealing Iraq's assets' to my list.

I started wearing a little button back in 2002 - "No blood for oil." I was naive to think at the time that it was just about oil. Oil's only a little part of what these criminals intended to steal.

6/17/2006 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when have facistic regimes cared about anyone but themselves?

All the GOP is interested in is to make sure they and their wealthy, loyal supportes get what they want - money, money, money - and screw everyone else.

If some citizen are stupid enough to enlist and get chewed up in Iraq, that is their bad luck, but we make sure that when they come back and then needs help the VA will screw him again. We don't like to waste our money on these stupid veterans. We don't believe in social welfare, only corporate welfare. They should be satisfied and happy when we say such nice things about our soldiers, but well we have better use for our money.

And the nice thing about it, is that the american public is so stupid that they swallow all our spin (bullshit) and do not bother to find out the truth. So why should we be moral, ethical and square with the public.

6/17/2006 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I email a large list of friends the current casuality count once a week.

6/17/2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Thank God for our troops and their mission.

6/18/2006 1:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Donna ... what is today's "mission" du jour???

6/18/2006 11:47 AM  
Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Bring 'em Home!!!!!!!

6/18/2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

to anonymous:
First you ask your relatives serving in the ME about their mission, and I'll ask mine, then we can compare notes.

6/18/2006 4:25 PM  
Blogger kaimu said...


Okay Bush is bad for getting us into the quagmire in Iraq. Now its time to vote in the other idiots that got us into the quagmire in Vietnam(Kennedy and LBJ)that killed some 10 million people including 58,000 US Soldiers. I'd love to hear the spin on that one if any of the "three stooges"(Kennedy, LBJ and Nixon) that yelled "fear communism" in the late 50's were still alive today. They're all lucky they're dead! Now our biggest trading partners are communist countries. Good old Rummy was just in Hanoi shaking hands with the leaders that kicked our butts out of Aisa in 1975. I wonder if Rummy got a tour of the bomb holes from our daily carpet bombing sorties in 68? The same foe that our draft dodging leaders of today hid from ... You know who they are ... Clinton, Bush and good old 4F Cheney! It is amazing that such losers like our alchy coke head, Jesus freak President and 4F heart attack trigger finger Cheney could ever be elected to any thing. Back in the days of the draft Bush and Cheney ran yet they have no qualms sending our kids(not their kids)to Iraq.

Only a corrupt monetary system in the hands of corrupt elected leaders with no accountability and above all no "brakes" could spend its way to a $1trillion war. Back in 1971 Nixon threw the brakes out the window when he disconnected us totally from the gold standard. Without brakes on our money printing endless wars are now possible.

Whats the definition of political insanity? Keep voting the same idiots(Dems and Reps) in office and expect something to change ... Vote out all Reps and all Dems ... clean house ... and we have a slim chance to get our US Constitutional values back. Do we really need military bases in 133 countries worldwide? BIG government is in your face so let go of your entitlements(welfare) and you just may spare your kids future ...

6/18/2006 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

15 Year old get death threats for voicing her opinion about the Iraq war.

98% of the adult US population doesn't have the courage this young person does. A lot can't afford to voice their opinion, most just don't care one way or another.

6/19/2006 2:39 PM  
Anonymous todd said...

< What are you doing to really remind others? >

Tony Snow, White House Communications Director, is doing his best to remind us of the number of Americans killed in Iraq. Said Snow : "It's just a number."

6/21/2006 9:45 PM  
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