Are we now going to ignore for another three years the public mandate of 2006 against this costly, preemptive war based on deceit? And how can we justify putting thousands more U.S. troops into Afghanistan? We have already exhausted our treasury. We are also close to exhausting our soldiers.
Can there be any doubt that the enormous war cost has contributed to the financial crisis here at home? The expense of waging two Middle East wars, plus the loss of revenue caused by the previous administration's tax cuts, have skyrocketed the national debt to a record high. Do we ever consider what the interest alone is on our $10-trillion national debt -- much of it paid to China?
Frankly, we cannot afford a two-war commitment year after year if we want to balance the federal budget and restore our economy. The huge bonuses that directors of failing corporations have awarded themselves and their chief executives have rightfully angered people, but those figures are peanuts compared with the $12 billion a month we have poured into Iraq and Afghanistan over the last six years.
The above is from George McGovern's guest column named "George McGovern urges pullout from Iraq this year" (Los Angeles Times). Apparently the headline writer didn't feel McGovern's name in the byline was enough. I don't really know who McGovern thinks he's going to reach with the above. I don't disagree but I didn't hitch my wagon to Barack Obama and sell that War Hawk Corporatist as the Prince of Peace. I didn't sully my reputation. Use the link to watch McGovern before the excerpt try to lead the Cult of St. Barack in a cheer before getting down to business. That was always McGovern's problems -- and so obvious in 1972 -- too much time spent leading cheers, far too little time addressing reality.
Barring the US military announcing a death, the next entry will open with Cindy Sheehan and you can read the two and see the differences in approaches. McGovern's struggling to restore his legacy. On the plus side, at least he realizes it's in danger which puts him far ahead of the likes of Joan Baez. On the negative side, he really thinks he can offer weakness in the face of an ongoing, illegal war and have it stopped. It's as though he's asking someone at the table to pass the gravy. It's pathetic.
I should be more 'forgiving' to him possibly, but I never fell for the McGovern nonsense (I did vote for him). I never believed the hype and that was long before he sold women out in Miami. He did sell women out and it's a damn shame so many women, to this day, refuse to tell the truth on that to younger generations. Whole generations have grown up never grasping what a back stabber he was or how some women enabled him. So I'm not really in the mood for him to make nice with Barack. He's proven he can be a cold blooded, heartless snake and that he'll stab his most loyal supporters in the back. As a result, watching him try to play footsie with Barack at the beginning of the column does nothing for me. I'm sure it does for him.
I will say, as I have before, that had he been elected in 1972, he would have immediately began pulling troops from Vietnam. He would have been sworn in Januray 1973 and US troops would have been home, under a President McGovern, before Christmas of that same year. I don't care for him but I won't deny him his credit on that, the only big issue he would have stuck to.
McGovern winds down by 'urging' Barack to take action. George knows damn well you have to demand and it's a real sign of cowardice on his part that he refuses to demand.
Meanwhile, repeating December 23rd, the Iraqi Parliament Speaker was ousted. Mahmoud Mashadani had been the speaker. Even the US State Dept admits that. See their report released last week [PDF format warning] "Iraq Status Report." It doesn't get much clearer than, "The COR has yet to reach a consensus on appointing a new Speaker since Mahmoud Mashadani was ousted on December 23, 2008." Liz Sly didn't grasp it and neither does Timothy Williams who serves up "Critic of Maliki Is Chosen to Lead Iraq’s Parliament" in today's New York Times. It is truly amazing to find the New York Times in disagreement with the US State Dept. You can count on one hand any time that happens in any decade (the Times exists as the mouthpiece of official-dom). But apparently their extreme hatred for Mashadani allows them to grudge f**k the truth into the ground on this story. For those who have forgotten, in the summer of 2006, the Times was filing 'reports' on Mashadani where he was 'despondent' and 'upset' and 'hiding out' at his father's home. The reality was that Mashadani was on an official visit to Jordan while the Parliament was on the break and that the Arab press was reporting on the visit. The Times never corrected their lie of Mashadani-done-got-smacked-down-and-I-tell-you-what-he's-hiding-out-and-refusing-all-visitors. It takes a lot of hatred of one individual to work so hard to lie about them. And it was a lie, not an error. An error gets corrected. The Times never corrected it. So Timothy Williams is just continuing the grudge f**k of Mashadani. Iyad al-Samirrai is the new Speaker and his 'career' is best summed up by Williams as follows: "an engineer by training, fled Iraq in the 1980s during Saddam Hussein's rule, but returned after the American invasion in 2003."
While al-Samirrai was becoming the new Speaker, Williams reports al-Maliki was yet again sounding the alarm:
Even as Parliament was voting, Mr. Maliki appeared before hundreds of uniformed commanders at the Interior Ministry and warned that factions within Iraq threatened national unity. As he has in recent days, he suggested that opponents -- whom he did not identify -- were seeking to undermine his government.
"Today we face a new war of subversion, sedition and suspicion," he said. "We have to warn ourselves, myself and all you, of the sedition that was defeated in the battle and is being provoked in a certain problem here and another problem there."
Eddie notes that the Dallas Morning News has an Iraq brief here. Last Monday's snapshot included the following:
Sunday the 5 US soldiers killed on Friday arrived at Dover Air Force Base. Jeff Montgomery (Delaware's News Journal) observes, "It was the heaviest loss of American lives in Iraq in 13 months, and the largest number of casualties returned to America in full sight of the public since the Defense Department opened the process to news coverage last week, after a 18-year blackout."
The Defense Dept identified the five as: "Staff Sgt. Gary L. Woods Jr., 24, of Lebanon Junction, Ky., Staff Sgt. Bryan E. Hall, 32, of Elk Grove, Calif., Sgt. Edward W. Forrest Jr., 25, of St. Louis, Mo., Cpl. Jason G. Pautsch, 20, of Davenport, Iowa, and PV2 Bryce E. Gautier, 22, of Cypress, Calif." Sheryl Edelen (Courier-Journal) reports on Gary L. Woods Jr., "Woods' father, Gary Woods St., said that his son, who went by his middle name, Lee, was a talented musician who sang and played the trombone, drums, piano and guitar while a student at Bullitt Central High School. He was also a member of the school's football team. But after finding satisifation in ROTC classes, his son entered the military after high school, he said." Bob White (Lebanon Junction News Enterprise) adds, "Woods is surived by his parents, siblings and a wife, Christie, his father said." Tony Bizjak (Sacramento Bee) reports on Bryan Edward Hall, "Hall, 32, had served in the military for 14 years and had been deployed in Iraq since September. . . . Hall had received three Army commendation medals, according to military records, as well as several Army achievement, good conduct and war on terrorism medals." Dave Marquis (Sacramento's News10.net) quotes Debbie Lords, who is a neighbor of the Bryan Edward Hall's parents, stating, "I don't know what I'm thinking. I just really feel for John and Betty right now. It was their oldest son, their oldest child." Paul Hampel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) reports on Edward Forrest Jr., "Forrest was based at Fort Carson in Colorado and lived near the base with his wife and two sons, ages 2 and one month. Forrest was a 2003 graduate of Rockwood Summit High School. He was on his third tour of duty in Iraq." His sister Melissa Forrest-Pliner tells Hampel, "I asked him not to re-enlist. I told him I didn't want him to be a hero. I just wanted him to be my brother." South County Times adds, "In high school, Sgt. Forrest, known as 'Eddie,' was a long distance runner on the track team, and was also on the wrestling team" and quotes his coach Rolland Garrison stating, "He was a very enthusiastic member of the track and field program here at Rockwood Summit. He was a very good kid with a great smile." Molly Hottle (Des Monies Register) reports on Jason Graham Pautsch, "David Pautsch was informed of his son's death Friday night, just 12 hours after the two had spoken on the phone. 'He believed n what he was doing,' David Pautsch said. 'This is what he wanted to do'." Nicole Murphy (WAQD, link has text and video) spoke with David Pautsch who explained the call he received, "'On behalf of the Secretary of the Army I just want to let you know, give our condolences and notify you that your son was killed in Mosul." Pautsch continues, "You're stunned and you're shocked and you find it hard to believe that it could actually be happening but then it seeps and that's when the emotions hit." Pautsch goes on to explain that he believes his son was protecting the US from the "terrorists" in Iraq and he also shares, "I'm thrilled for Jason that he's in heaven." Eugene W. Fields (Orange County Register) reports on Bryce E. Gautier, "Gauier, a medic, joined the Army in January of 2008 and had been in Iraq since January of this year, according to Army documents. He received the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Gautier graduated in 2005 from Rancho Alamitos High in Garden Grove, according to school district spokesman Alan Trudell." Tom Roeder and Maria St. Louis-Sanchez (Colorado Springs Gazette) note Gauier's MySpace page and add, "His sense of humor is evident from a posting on the site, which Gautier last updated three days before his death. 'Winners make the rules, losers just follow them,' Gautier wrote. 'In the Army now.' Gautier's brother, Even, left a simple eulogy on his Web page: 'My brother Bryce was one of the American soldiers killed in the suicide bombing in Iraq this morning. I love you bro. I will miss you'."
Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Court-ordered" went up last night.
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