Today's Note From a Madman
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
We will be able to make "some fairly substantial reductions" in troops by next spring IF the political process remains on track AND Iraqi forces assume more responsibility for securing their country.
-Gen. George W. Casey Jr.
Colonel Yoswa, can you rephrase that, shall we?
“I wouldn’t be able to confirm that we’re conducting any planning on that line. What I can say is that as we have stated for a long time, as the secretary (Rumsfeld) has stated multiple times, that any adjustment to force levels is going to be condition-based, rather than any fixed timeline. And at this point, there are no withdrawal plans and there is no withdrawal timeline.”
-Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Yoswa, Pentagon spokesman
Well that clears it up, doesn't it?
Some U.S. forces will be needed in Iraq “for a long time.”
-General John Jumper, Air Force Chief of Staff
They will? Boy am I confused.
“We have been managing and will continue to manage the size of the force that’s there, as deemed [determined] by the commander on the ground. General Abizaid and General Casey talk to the secretary often and inform him on what they believe they need in the field, and we have continued, and will continue, to provide them the forces, the trained and experienced forces, that we’ve been providing them.”
-Lieutenant Colonel Yoswa
I hope they're not trying to send US "Mexed Missages."
More on "Substantial Reductions" and "Mexed Missages"
"We don't want any delays (in getting an Iraqi Constitution written). They're (Kurd, Sunni and Shiite leaders) simply going to have to make the compromises necessary and get on with it. That's what politics is about."
-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
What on Earth does any member of the Bush administration know about "compromise"?
Any delay in the process (an Iraqi Constitution) would
be "very harmful to the momentum that's necessary. We have
troops on the ground. People
Lest we forget, THESE are the people making sacrifices. I wish someone out there would tell me one... just one sacrifice George W. Bush ever has to make in his life. I know from emails that there are many, many GW supporters out there. This challenge if to you.
"They need to demonstrate that they're a big country, they're a wealthy country, that they'll be around a long time, and they don't really like it."
-Rumsfeld, regarding terrorists coming in from Syria and Iran
"I wouldn't say that it's necessarily a stalemate. Insurgencies need to progress to survive, and this insurgency is not progressing. There's been a change in tactics, to more violent, more visible attacks against civilians. That's a no-win strategy for the insurgents."
I agree with General Casey here. There is no way that attacking civilians will make them more sympathetic to their cause. Just look at the effect it had in Israel. Oh... wait a minute... I don't see the Palestinians rising up against Hamas, Hezbollah and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade even six years after the most recent Intifada began in 1999. Maybe the General should check with history on this one. Maybe he should look at a newspaper once-in-awhile.
Iraq must provide more trainees "so that as soon as it is feasible, we can transfer the responsibility for Iraqi prisoners to the Iraqi government."
These "trainees" have become the favorite target of the insurgency. They kill these new policemen as fast as they can find them. Being an Iraqi trainee might be a way to get a job, but it certainly puts one's life in danger, as well as their families' lives. But, like here in America, a military job might be the only one available for poor Iraqis. They might not have a choice. These Iraqi recruits don't get a $15,000 sign-up bonus, however.
Why hasn't the Bush administration taken advantage of the offers from some of our European allies who offered to train Iraqi policemen outside of Iraq? We know that General Jay Garner was right about keeping the Iraqi military together as a police force. There's nothing we can do, however to turn back those hands of time. Even here in the US we train our soldiers, marines and other servicemen and women away from the distractions of home. Our larger cities even train our police their police recruits that way.
Mr. Rumsfeld also said Iraq should "find opportunities" to thank allied countries for their contributions over the past several months. He stated that many countries would be paring down their forces in Iraq or withdrawing them altogether or converting them to trainers under a NATO training mission in Iraq.
Quote On Second
"Hitler, in his philosophy, was, you know, he hated Jews, he was murdering Jews, and there were some people he liked. But he never went to the level that these people (fanatical Islamist terrorists) are going to,"
-Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ 7th)
"He's an idiot. How did this guy ever get into office. How do people like this ever get elected. He's just so ignorant."
-Perry Greenberg, A fervent "G"lobal "W"arming Bush supporter
Assuming CAFTA's passed, what is to prevent China from exporting goods to Central America, having "Made in Honduras" stamped on the item, then shipped to the US? How would we be able to tell if a factory somewhere in China or Central America actually made the goods.
The good people of Central America might truly be our allies now and they do need jobs. If we are going to lose jobs in the US to someone, why not lose them close to home to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The Dominican Republic is also part of a similar deal.
But how can we trust the leaders of these countries to look out for their workers? Without amendments to the CAFTA bill, we can't.
"80 percent of Central American exports already enter the United States without tariffs"
-The Washington Post, July 26, 2005
I didn't know that.
"CAFTA is opposed by "pro-poor" groups in the region. But this claim is troubling on two levels. First, CAFTA would actually help the poor: It would create 300,000 new jobs in shoes, textiles and apparel; it would create a new mechanism for enforcing labor rights; and A WORLD BANK STUDY has found that the vast majority of poor families in the region would gain from the deal. But second, the defeat of CAFTA would help not anti-poverty movements but anti-American demagogues, starting with Mr. Chavez. For them, the retreat of the United States from partnership with Central America would be a major victory."
-The Washington Post, July 26, 2005
They almost had me. Then I saw four words that made me stop, think and wonder: A WORLD BANK STUDY. Has this organization ever done anything to help poor countries? Are we to believe anything an organization headed by Paul Wolfowitz says?
I remember what NAFTA did to my industry in the 1990's. It helped kill the garment trimming business in New York and Los Angeles (although some would say it had one foot in the grave anyway). What we also know is that NAFTA didn't open Mexico's markets for out "higher quality US goods" and it didn't bring up Mexico's standard of living to one above that of a third-world nation. Some people say that it facilitated an insurgence of illegal immigration to menial US jobs that Mexico's President Vincente Fox said that "not even blacks want to do in the United States."
Protect our hard-working people here at home, in the United States and protect our friends in Central America. Make sure that there are labor protections and verification procedures in the Central American Free Trade Agreement and it will be a lot easier for all of US to swallow.
This week celebrates
the 40th anniversary of Medicare, one of the
great achievements of modern American
society. Medicare has reduced poverty and provides
affordable health care access to those with the greatest need - the disabled and
Though great progress has been made, 45 million Americans now lack health care insurance. Health care costs have hyper-inflated making our nation less competitive in a tough global economy. For instance, Toyota recently decided to build a large SUV plant in Canada instead of the United States mainly because of the lower cost Canadian national health care system.
The United States remains the only industrialized nation with no national health care system. The time has come for our elected leaders to work on this issue. One possibility is to transform Medicare into a system that covers all Americans. There is a Congressional bill called the United States Health Care Insurance Act (H.R. 676) that does that. Please urge your Congressional representative to support this bill.
Birthday Greeting to Medicare and best wishes for national health care
IRAQ REFLECTION: The Other Iraq
The Other Iraq was the one that had weapons of mass destruction. It was the one that had nuclear laboratories on the backs of huge semi trucks that could move around so the U.N. couldn't find them. It was the Iraq that purchased uranium from some African country. The Iraq that was somehow connected to Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden and the attacks on September 11. It was the Iraq that never had a problem with depleted uranium. It was the Iraq that was a menace to freedom and freedom- loving nations throughout the world.
Today, the Other Iraq is flourishing, free from oppression and fear. The city of Fallujah, in the Other Iraq, is safe from insurgents. It is the Iraq where the militants that somehow gained access across the borders are in their last throes. Anytime now the U.S. will defeat them. It is the Iraq that has elected a stable government and that is creating a viable constitution where other Iraqi citizens will soon live in safety and freedom.
The Other Iraq is the Iraq where the U.S. will be able to start reducing its troop level by the end of the year. It is the Iraq that has an abundance of water, electricity and jobs and where the medical situation has never been better. Reconstruction in the Other Iraq thrives. All the money that goes to rebuilding the country finds its way into the local economy. It is the Iraq that continuously welcomes the U.S. occupation. It is the nation that has trustworthy politicians and well-trained, honest and just security forces.
In the Other Iraq they still don't have a problem with depleted uranium.
In the Other Iraq only a handful of U.S. troops have committed human rights violations against other Iraqi civilians and prisoners. In the U.S. prisons in the Other Iraq, 90% of the prisoners are guilty and only 10% are innocent but will be freed soon with full apologies. In the Other Iraq the concerns of the voiceless are always listened to.
The Other Iraq is the Iraq that you have heard about in the speeches made by George W. Bush and referred to by vice-president Dick Cheney. It is the country in the Middle East that is the furthest along on the path to democracy.
The Other Iraq is nothing like the real Iraq. The real Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and was not connected to Osama Bin Laden. It is not flourishing. The voiceless are never listened to. There is little water or electricity and unemployment is said to be as high as 40%. The real Iraq is the Iraq that George W. Bush does not talk about. Real Iraqis understand this. When they hear Bush talk about the Other Iraq, they want to know where the Other Iraq is.
-Greg Rollins, from the Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq, as forwarded by Stephen Spiro and Jenny Hanniver
"When a conspiracy is unraveling, and it's every liar and his lawyer for themselves, the story takes on a momentum of its own. When the conspiracy is, at its heart, about the White House's twisting of the intelligence used to sell the American people a war - and its desperate efforts to cover up that flimflam once the WMD. cupboard proved bare and the war went south - the story will not end until the war really is in its "'last throes'."
-Frank Rich, The New York Times
-forwarded by Robert Scardapane
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