Saturday, June 21, 2014

I Hate The War

An angry e-mail insists that I ignored the human costs of war and that "it's just so selfish of you to write about the financial cost."

Maybe it was.

But let's walk through.

First off, you're commenting on one snapshot.


Thursday's addressed human costs at length.  I still haven't seen, for example, any media outlet note, in light of Barack's claim that the latest round of troops sent to Iraq will not see combat, that after Barack's August 31, 2010 speech announcing the end of combat missions in Iraq, 66 US troops would die in Iraq.

With Barack claiming no combat for the current crop, I think that number is significant.

We also noted the civilians in Falluja who are being killed by Nouri bombing residential neighborhoods.

I attended 3 Congressional hearings this week, none of them made it into the snapshot -- and one was about Iraq.

Iraq is on fire.

There is too much to cover.

Because there is US coverage, I've got friends asking for links to their MSM outlets.  I've worked in that as I could.  But there are friends who feel that I have ignored them.

There is too much to cover.

This past week, we moved from the basic of the snapshot which is really a mixture.

Instead, we went with big themes -- such as the financial cost issue.

I do think the amount of money already spent is an issue.  I do think that before Barack attempts to send more troops into Iraq, he needed to explain the financial costs and that, if he doesn't. Congress needs to be demanding it.

I also think he's failed to define what the mission is.

This is as bad as Bully Boy Bush and it was 2007 before markers were finally provided to judge 'success.'  I love those markers, they demonstrate the illegal war was a failure.

None of the 18 benchmarks were achieved.

They were all supposed to be implemented in 2007.  Instead, everyone pretended like 'progress' on some of them was adequate.

Stop.  Lloyd Doggett.  US House Rep Doggett did not pretend.

He repeatedly cited those benchmarks in 2007 and 2008 hearings, long after supposed 'peace voices' like US House Rep Barbara Lee had 'forgotten' the benchmarks.

But Dems, then not in control of the White House, pretended to care about Iraq.

They wanted oversight!!!!

So Stuart Bowen's office was created (Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction).

They wanted tools to measure progress or they were cutting off funding!!!!!

So Bully Boy Bush's White House came up with the 18 benchmarks.

But the Dems didn't want to end the war anymore than Bully Boy Bush did.

So when no benchmark was reached in 2007, they looked the other way.

When no benchmark was reached in 2008, they looked the other way.

And Stuart Bowen?

With Barack in the White House, Dems in Congress wanted no more oversight of Iraq.

Oh, sure, they whined about how Hillary Clinton's State Dept was stonewalling them and refusing to give them information.

They never did a damn thing about it.

They didn't want oversight either.

It's really funny if you think about it.

I don't believe our society is over-regulated.

I personally believe business needs more regulations and that the lack of regulations caused the economic crisis.

And Dems are supposed to want regulations and oversight.

But they walked away from it, didn't they?

Not only did the Dems let Stuart Bowen's office die out by refusing to renew the original mandate, they were fine with Hillary operating with no oversight.

For Barack's entire first term, there was no IG over the State Dept.

Now look instead at John Kerry.

This issue is raised to him in an April 2013 hearing.  He says he agrees with oversight and that they are working on finding an IG.  By the fall, an IG has been confirmed in the role.

An IG should not be seen as an enemy but didn't Hillary see the office of such?

This is not minor.

Especially if Hillary runs for president.

She went four years refusing an IG.

Is this because of the fake scandals when her husband was president?

If so, after Whitewater, et al, that is understandable.

That said, a president who doesn't believe in oversight?

Who would be stupid enough to elect a president like that?

(Probably 33% of Americans but hopefully no more than that.)

Hillary's getting fluff from idiots on CNN (I'm referring to CA) and it's outrageous.

She needs to be asked how she can defend her four years at the State Dept with no oversight?

Let's remember she also refused to comply with the courts when she was Secretary of State.

Camp Ashraf.

She was court-ordered to do a review and she refused it and refused it and refused it.

It was with real anger and contempt that she finally complied -- after repeatedly missing the deadline.

(The court felt the MEK was wrongly classified as a terrorist organization.  In the end, Hillary finally agreed.)

So as Secretary of State, she ignored court orders and she refused oversight and this is a person qualified to be president?

These are questions that need to be asked while she's getting free air time to plug a really bad book.

Did we cover the above this week in the snapshots?


No time.

The e-mailer may expect me to be defensive or offended but I'm not.

We've done what we could and that's what happens.

But the e-mailer could have noted -- and maybe meant to -- that we moved away from daily violence.

Because I trust Iraqi outlets and the reports were harder to come by last week.  So we instead made an effort to note Iraq Body Count's count instead of individual incidents.

So I do think the e-mailer, especially if they were getting at the lack of daily violence coverage, has a solid point.

But I did as much as I could.

Despite my hopes and plans to reduce the size of the snapshot by at least half, we didn't.

In fact, one of last week's snapshots was the longest we've ever done in all the years of the snapshot.

If there's a complaint, I do mull it over.  I'll have an immediate response and then, for example, go sit through a Congressional hearing or go off to speak.  I'll then think about it after.

I do see the e-mailer's point.

I also think it's valid to point out that you need to also consider what was in the snapshot the day before.

And, again, this week was about exploring issues the press was not exploring and also tossing out things that we should be thinking about it.

Thursday morning, I raised the issue of Embassy in Baghdad and how a discussion on that needed to take place.  A few e-mails came in insisting I was helping Barack.

The White House doesn't mistake this site for a 'helper.'

If you missed Thursday, there's fear the US Embassy in Baghdad will be toppled.  That's a maybe, a possibility, not a sure thing.

It's why some staff is being relocated.  It's why some troops are being sent in to provide additional security.

And I argued Thursday that the issue needed to be addressed.  I argued specifically that Barack needed to float this possibility.  It needs to be part of the conversation.

That's because this is a democracy.

I also noted that if Barack started this conversation, the majority opinion would be that America doesn't 'slink away' in the face of threats.

To go beyond that reaction (which I consider knee jerk) you'd need three weeks minimum of people calling and arguing for the Embassy to be shut down for it to have any real impact on the public.

Point being, there's no time for that sort of reaction to be rallied.

Barack raising the issue would get a quick conversation.  Not an in depth one.

But democracy thrives on any discussion.

For Barack, raising the issue would have immunized him on it.

The public would have gone along with arming and protecting the Embassy.

Therefore, if the embassy fell (and that is a possible result), Barack could say he raised the issue, the majority of the American people were comfortable with keeping the embassy open.


If it falls, Barack has no immunization.

He did not present that as a possibility.

And if it falls, he'll be held solely responsible.

That's why politicians should utilize democracies -- it's basic cover-your-ass strategy.

We weren't here in 2002 or 2003.  But before the Iraq War started, when I was speaking out, I wasn't afraid of pro-war opinions or anything else.  I can't make anyone think the way I think.  I can speak my mind.  I can try to do so in a persuasive manner.

And on that I bite my tongue because I'm entering into territory that Ava and I are considering for our piece at Third.

But I don't fear opposing views.  I also don't think I get to win every argument.  (Although, I honestly do believe history proves me right repeatedly.)

So instead, let's note that Iraqi-American Dr. Dahlia Wasfi will be on Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox which airs live on Sunday.

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!)

The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4489.

The e-mail address for this site is


Added 6-21-2014, 7:21 pm.  "Can't" -- sorry, "I can't make anyone think the way I think."  I've fixed that and bolded the sentence.  I've also added, in parenthesis, "Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction,"  Stuart Bowen's office was not named, my bad.