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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, December 7, 2006


Today is the 65th Anniversary of the second most disastrous day in the history of the United States, the bombing of Pear Harbor. There are many who survive today that were there on December 7, 1941. I know that there are at least a few World War II veterans who receive Note from a Madman and I wish to offer them my thanks. -Noah Greenberg


Less Rhetoric, Please

"We need the White House to become the `Iraq Results Group,'"
-Senator Hillary Clinton (DEMOCRAT-NY)

Sounds bites... And this time coming from a Democrat. I mean, it's nice and all, but what about substance? It's true that the Bush administration, assuming that they're no longer going to cow-tow to special interests ands war profiteers, is going to have to think of something to ease the tensions in Iraq if there is ever going to be even the illusion of peace there.

Reading this week's US News and World Report, you have the feeling that soon there will be no citizens wanting to live in peace there. Of the 27 million, or so, person who call themselves citizens of Iraq, almost two million have already fled from the violence. And to make matters worse, Iraq's neighbors Saudi Arabia and Jordan aren't helping out these new refugees. Saudi Arabia has outlawed the fleeing Iraqis while Jordan is doing everything short of making them criminals to keep them away. Syria, while offering up their nation as a temporary-to-permanent cite for the Iraqi's may soon bring a halt to the exodus itself. If Syria did that, it might just be the final straw in the camel's back, so to speak.

Of course, the dumbest suggestion in the report is the suggestion that somehow, Iran and Syria will forget about all else and see the situation in Iraq as we see it. Hey, Iraq Survey or Study or whatever Group: Iran and Syria want us up to our eyeballs in Iraq problems. Anything that keeps our Army busy is good news to them.

"I'm skeptical that it's realistic to think that Iran wants to help the United States succeed in Iraq,"
Senator Joseph Lieberman (DEMOCRAT - For the time being - CT)

We need real answers and it isn't too late, unless, of course GW and his "base" of "haves and have mores" still are trying to squeeze that last nickel so that their "friends" at Halliburton, Bechtel and Blackwater stay in the black.

Mrs. Clinton ought to have called the commission headed by Howard Baker and Lee Hamilton the Iraq Observation Group with an emphasis "observation". We al know the problems in Iraq. We all have TV's and radios and some of us, even today, still can read a newspaper. We can turn on any of the Cable News Channels (except Fox News, of course, who is still looking for Natalee Haloway or the next missing white girl) at any hour of the day of night and figure out that it's just not good news in Iraq, no matter what Toney Snow and the other white House big mouths say.

The solution I was hoping to hear went something like this:
1- To keep the initial peace, triple the troop size in Iraq to 500,000 troops. I, for one, don't think that 20,000 more targets wearing American flags is a good idea. If we're not going to get out now and let the chips fall where they may, then we need to supply a real police force to begin to preserve the peace. And it all shouldn't be Americans. Is anyone at the UN listening?

Back on June 28, 2004, I had a letter published that suggested Egypt, with an army of 300,000 troops; Saudi Arabia, with 200,000 troops; and Jordan, with 100,000 troops should all be trying to help us keep the peace in Iraq today. It still goes.

2- The ISG suggestion that we allow a few soldiers to work in the ranks of the new Iraqi army as trainers and advisors, I have but one thing to ask Mr. Baker and Mr. Hamilton: ARE YOU GUYS NUTS?

These trainers would be sitting targets in the midst of questionable protection. Are you guys looking for kidnap victims and martyrs for the US cause? If not, then scrap this incredibly stupid idea.

3- Use the Kurds and the Kurdish territory. This is what we should have done after Bush(41) invaded Iraq. The J\Kurds, who basically run a sovereign nation of their own right now, would allow us military bases on their territory which would allow us to get back into the lower parts of Iraq when necessary. It would also serve the purpose of keeping a watchful eye on other goings-on in the middle east, and, let's face it, that's what we want a base there for in the first place, isn't it?

3- Three separate nations sharing the wealth. If we think, and many of us do, that Iraq will never be a nation united in spite of their sectarian issues, then we need to allow them to create geographical sovereignties based along ethnic lines. This would create a Kurdish nation (all but created already - in spite of what Turkey says); a Sunni nation; and a Shia nation. The only thing they would share would be the oil revenue.

4- Get tribe leaders involved. By now, we all know that the people of Iraq are more loyal to their local tribe leaders than they will ever be to a federal government. As I have stated before in Madman, it's necessary to use these relationships to our advantage. Many of these leaders have already created militias (like Muqtadr al-Sadr's powerful Shiite militia) so why couldn't we negotiate with these Sheiks and Imams to allow them to have their people police their people? we could pay them instead of paying for our present-day rent-a-cops who either run at the first sign of a fight, change sides when it suits them or get blown up waiting in line to register.

In fact, had we used this policy immediately after "Mission Accomplished", it is my belief that the mission would, indeed, have been close to being accomplished.

We can't police Iraq any more than we could have policed Vietnam, and we shouldn't be trying to. It's time to talk to the right people about initial help, followed by getting the REAL Iraqi leaders involved in their own nation helping their own people get back on their own feet.

And getting the Iraqi people back on their feet is job-one.

-Noah Greenberg

One Dad's Soldier-Son

To the Editor:

I have a son in Iraq: the 1st Armored Division of the Army, stationed at a remote outpost near the hotbed Ramadi.

Last week his platoon lost two to injuries -- one a result of shrapnel to the testicles, the other a leg wound from small arms fire. They're down to 15 in the platoon. Nearly every day they're out on patrol, generally by foot. Every day, they're vulnerable, their lives held open to the potential of death or injury.

Two weeks ago he called by satellite phone, awakening Amy and me in the dead of the night. Machine gun fire was all around him, the sound of war filling our ears and hearts with grief and fear of loss. He wanted to tell us that he loves us, that he was on a dangerous patrol and that if anything happened to his life, he would take his love for us to his death and beyond.

He made it through that day and night. As this is written, he is still here with us. His tour was to end the first week in November but he was extended until next February.

He said that the morale of the platoon was at an all-time low. He said that the war is creating more insurgency, rather than less. He says that he cannot trust anyone in an Iraqi military uniform. He said that most of the Iraq people do not want us there. He says that this war cannot be won! He has no faith in the politicians who sent him there.

Question, America: Whom would you listen to, the soldier in the field or the padded politician in office in reference to how this war is really going?

Malin, Oregon

-Forwarded by Jenny Hanniver

In response to the Iraq Study's Group's, "The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating," David W. offers up:


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-Noah Greenberg