Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Hate The War

Here's the way this entry is working, we're focusing on Iraq issues in the e-mails. I didn't realize I had to do an entry because I wasn't thinking, "It's Thursday." I was thinking, "It's New Year's Eve." Elaine called this evening and mentioned "I Hate The War" and that was the first I had even thought of it. Today I've already done my columns for two newsletters, the snapshot and two entries this morning and I still have to figure out the year-in-review (which I haven't had time to think about). So this is just going to be going through the e-mails. There's an Iraqi politician that died (the Anbar Province governor) [1-1-10 Correction: The politician who died was a provincial council member, Saadoun Dhiab, not the governor.] and we'll cover it tomorrow morning. We're just focusing on the Iraq e-mails.

First up, angry e-mail to the public account of a how-could-you nature. How could I say those 'awful' things in the snapshot and claim to be a Democrat? Those 'awful' things? I've said them all along. I've been very vocal since June on the fact that the US should not be taking part in the negotiation. I only got more vocal when military families started bringing it up in July when we'd speak to them. If Bush had done it, I would've hit just as hard. I don't play that game of, "It's only wrong when the other side does it."

In an apparent attempt to shame me, the e-mailer lists (and copies into the e-mail) three right-wing pieces decrying the action. To which I respond? I can't believe it's only three. There must be more. But I'm not shamed by the fact that some on the right are calling this out. Allah Pundit at Hot Air calls it out. He or she writes:

The left’s defense of this, I assume, will be that we’ve let Sadr run free for six years so what’s the big deal about Khazali? The answer: By that logic, why not repatriate those Yemeni Gitmo detainees pronto given that there’s already plenty of AQ in the field over there? If you’ve already neutralized someone, especially a fully funded Mughniyeh-esque proxy of Iran, for god’s sake, keep him neutralized.

The 'left's defense'? I'm not play left, I'm not faux left. I'm part of the actual left and I'm not defending Barack's decision. Hot Air would do better not to paint with such broad strokes. I'm sure some people will defend Barry O's nonsense. But they're going to make fools of themselves. I'm guessing, for example, Arianna (of the center) is going to stay silent on the issue. I don't see her calling Barack out. If she tries to defend him, she's going to get slammed with her own words. So she'll probably stay silent but this is an issue that's wrong on so many levels including the role Barack has as commander in chief over two ongoing wars which require him to deploy US troops there. He's telling these troops he takes them very seriously and is highly concerned about their safety. Then he says 1 British life is worth more than the lives of five American soldiers. It doesn't play well.

The e-mailer linked to Bill Roggio at The Weekly Standard and that's a straight reporting post. So I guess the 'big offense' to the e-mailer there was that it was The Weekly Standard. This is still a reporting post by Bill Roggio but it has more of an issue that might inflame some:

Did the Obama administration, by releasing Qais and Laith Qazali and more than 100 members of the Iranian-backed Asaib al Haq, violate an executive order put in place by President Ronald Reagan to prevent negotiations with hostage takers? Senators Jeff Sessions and Jon Kyl asked that very question to the Obama administration in a letter sent to the president in July. The full text of the letter is below, or you can read the signed letter here in PDF form.

According to a congressional staffer, the Obama administration has yet to answer the letter.

We're a site for the left and we don't link to the right wing. But I've never been one who could be bullied into silence or shamed into changing their mind so to get that point across to the e-mailer, we provided all three links. And, might I add, unlike the e-mailer, I don't read these sites. The e-mailer accuses me of being a 'bad' leftist but he's the one haunting right-wing sites.

And just to repeat, this shouldn't be a right or left issue. Barack is not president of the world. American citizens elected him. Gordon Brown was within his rights and duties to try to drum up help from any nation he could. But Barack's first duty was to Americans. He was elected to represent the country and its people. It's a real stab in the back that he's releasing thugs and killers of Americans. There might be a justification for it. For example, if Jill Carroll's kidnapping had taken place right now and there was a demand for the release, Americans could say, "Well she's an American citizen." They might agree with the decision, they might not (I doubt all of those enlisted would agree -- or their families). But American President Barack Obama would be addressing an issue of an American's safety. His addressing the issue of a British citizen's safety? When doing so means letting go the ringleader responsible for 5 American deaths? That's going cause problems and raise questions.

Another visitor e-mails to gripe that I have stated Iran was involved in the kidnappings. I said that? When did I say that? I didn't say that in the snapshot and we presented the BBC News assertions that Iran wasn't. I stated that war with Iran was wanted. I stated that if people were mad about the trade (and many will be), they should remember who was behind it: Barack. I said that nothing in this should be used to argue for war on Iran. Iran may have been behind it, it may not have been. I'm steered by the visitor towards "another article by Deborah Haynes." By Haynes, Francis Elliott and Fiona Hamilton and it states that Peter Moore says he wasn't in Iran.

A) Deborah Haynes is a strong reporter and proved that while reporting from Iraq.

B) Peter Moore doesn't know the fate or status of Alan McMenemy. Who's convinced you that Peter Moore has all the answers?

C) Peter Moore's fat.

I'm not trying to insult him. He's overweight.

My point is, few hostages end up overweight. Most hostages end up skin and bones by the time they're released. Moore was treated differently than the four men he was kidnapped with. His statement that he wasn't taken to Iran may be correct (I have no reason to disbelieve him) but that doesn't mean the other four weren't. (Nor does it mean they were.) Peter Moore was not treated like the others. He had a laptop in the last months of his imprisonment. And satellite TV. He wasn't treated like a hostage at that point. (I'm not trying to imply he wasn't in danger or that he shouldn't have been scared. He had every reason to believe he was in danger. I'm stating that hostages don't usually have so many benefits.)

The Guardian is standing by their story. They note it in a new editorial:

The revelation in this newspaper that the kidnap of five British men in Iraq in 2007 was masterminded by Iran's Revolutionary Guard caps an unhappy week, the last of a parlous decade. The kidnap had two motivations – to bargain for the release of the Shia cleric Qais al-Khazali, and to prevent Peter Moore, the only British hostage to have survived, from installing a computer system that would have prevented millions of dollars of international aid from falling into the hands of Shia militia groups in Iraq. This story should serve as the epitaph for the invasion. Far from stabilising, or spreading democracy, the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan and Iraq proved combustible. But the follies of the old decade are set to last into the new one.

There's no reason to believe The Guardian would intentionally lie. Equally true is the fact that they knew before they published the story that Gordon Brown and those serving with him would insist that the paper was wrong. They stood by their article and continue to do so. The Guardian goes out of their way, being a New Labour organ, to avoid picking fights with Brown (or Tony Blair before him). The story may turn out to be wrong but it's very difficult to believe the paper set out to lie. That just doesn't make sense because there's no win in it for them.

And the last e-mail we'll note from a visitor (last for this post), James Cooper asks to be noted by name and says he's figured out the 1400 suite clue in Tuesday's snapshot. Yes, James, you did figure it out. That is the US-based oil company. James writes that if his guess is correct (it was) a better clue might have involved noting "Watergate or even JFK's enemies." That's true. And if we're going to talk JFK enemies, let's note that the "Fair Play For Cuba" offices had two addresses because they had entrances on two streets. (See Oliver Stone's JFK if you don't catch that.) The same is true of the oil company (though it's headquarters are not in the state of Louisiana).

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4371. Tonight? Still 4371.

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