Active Lieutenant Colonel Writes About Failure in Iraq

April 27, 2007 at 9:57 am | Posted in Afghanistan, American politics, Bush Administration, Iraq, Military, Rumsfeld, Vietnam, violence, War | 3 Comments

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Yingling writes in the Armed Forces Journal about the failures of the generals in Iraq. He steers clear of attacking civilian political leaders (because well, it’s not his field or expertise). But he holds nothing back in stating quite accurately how terribly wrong the generals have been about the war in Iraq. He writes: Continue Reading Active Lieutenant Colonel Writes About Failure in Iraq…

Finally Some American Realism!

February 18, 2007 at 6:39 pm | Posted in American politics, Bush Administration, conservatives, Hezbollah, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Military, neo-conservatives, North Korea, Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan, Republicans, Rumsfeld, Vietnam, violence, War, War on Terror, World Events | Leave a comment

This is the second time I recommend an interview on the Hugh Hewitt show, but he’s getting people on there who are unafraid to tell it how it is. This time, he has Retired General William Odom who said it like it is and smacks Mr. Hewitt’s attempts to smear him back to the stone age. I’m glad to see some smart talk finding its way again on the conservative side. It’s been a while. Perhaps someday soon conservatives will realize the poison they’ve been drinking at the well of neo-conservatism.

After the bump, I’ve got some of the better sections of the interview. Upon reading these quotes, note that you are reading the words of a man who is not afraid. Note the use of fearmongering in Mr. Hewitt’s questions. Instead of following the bait, General Odom paints the clear picture of reality. Continue Reading Finally Some American Realism!…

On Pre-Iraq War Intelligence

February 10, 2007 at 8:23 pm | Posted in American politics, Bush Administration, George W Bush, Iraq, Military, Rumsfeld, War | Leave a comment

Watch the video. See the fact that there is only one Republican Congressman present. Note how badly they abrogated their Constitutional responsibility to hold the Executive branch in check, and how badly they let the White House and Rumsfeld’s Pentagon (and then the media through the Weekly Standard) bamboozle the American public with intentional false information.

Republicans, you guys gotta realize, this is going to haunt your party for a long time to come.

He Could Not Understand, He Had Seen A Vision

December 12, 2006 at 9:47 pm | Posted in American politics, Christianity, Democracy, Democrats, Evangelicals, freedom, Iran, Iraq, Israel, King George, Muslim, Peace, Religion, Republicans, Rumsfeld, Torture, violence, War, War on Terror | Leave a comment

I have written a poem that I would like to share with my political readers. Please follow the link and tell me what you think.

He Could Not Understand, He Had Seen A Vision

The Dumbing Down of the Political Language

December 11, 2006 at 9:21 pm | Posted in American politics, Democracy, Iraq, King George, Military, neo-conservatives, Republicans, Rumsfeld, San Francisco, Thoughts, War, War on Terror | 1 Comment

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

—By George Orwell

Orville Schell has a great article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the dumbing down of our political language here in America.

He quotes Thucydides who said:

“What used to be described as thoughtless acts of aggression was now regarded as the courage that one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was taken to be just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly character; ability to understand a question from all sides was taken to mean that one was totally unfitted for action. Fanatical enthusiasm was taken as the mark of a real man, and to plot against an enemy behind his back was viewed perfectly legitimate self-defense. … Indeed, most people were more willing to call villainy rather than cleverness simple-minded honesty. They are proud of the first quality and ashamed of the latter.”

Does that sound familiar? The question of why such rhetoric is even considered, let alone actually used is vital to the health of our nation. Mr. Schell continues:

As words have lost their descriptive power, we have suffered a break in the normative order. Our whole process of describing, thinking, discussing and acting has been corrupted at its source. Indeed, it is hard to know how to break out of this self-perpetuating feedback loop characterized by spin and deception so that political discourse actually conveys truth and meaning.

“If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought,” Orwell continued. “To think clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers.”

So advanced is the degradation of language into artifice, and so confused have so many people become over the verbal deception heaped on them by political leaders, that if our republic is to survive, it is a truly urgent matter that an antidote be found.

He continues by quoting Confucius who said:

“If the names are not correct and do not match realities, language has no object. If language has no object, action becomes impossible — and therefore all human affairs disintegrate.”

I’m learning programming languages like PHP and MySQL right now. These languages have to match exactly their definition and reality, or else they do not work. If you listen to Tony Snow on any given day, any day you choose, can you honestly say his language is correct and matches reality?

Mr. Schell finishes:

The warnings are there, if we care to heed them, that when a country’s democratic leaders lose the ability to describe reality accurately and in a believable way, its people become handicapped in their quest to understand and solve their problems.

Can we ever solve any problem if we cannot even properly identify a problem? If we call Iraq “progress” when in reality it is probably worse than a civil war, are we even helping ourselves? If the purpose of the use of such false language is to bring about victory at election polls, are we not undermining our own national security? Can we ever hold someone accountable for such false words and actions?

Why Do Mormons Still Support Bush So Strongly?

December 3, 2006 at 4:32 am | Posted in America, American politics, Cheney, Christianity, Church, Congress, Democracy, Democrats, Iran, Iraq, Israel, King George, Lebanon, Military, Mormon, Religion, Republicans, Rumsfeld, Syria, War on Terror | 12 Comments

I’m really befuddled. Why do so many Mormons still support Bush?

Just today, his departing Secretary of Defense, Mr. Donald Rumsfeld sent Bush a memo which he, no doubt, leaked to the press as well, which in effect calls the Iraq strategy a failure. One fascinating aspect about this memo is how he recommends the very same policy John Murtha recommended ONE YEAR AGO! Here is what Rumsfeld said:

Another option calls for redeploying American troops from “vulnerable positions” in Baghdad and other cities to safer areas in Iraq or Kuwait, where they would act as a “quick reaction force.” That idea is similar to a plan suggested by Representative John P. Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, a plan that the White House has soundly rebuffed.

Here is what John Murtha said one year ago:

I said over a year ago, and now the military and the Administration agrees, Iraq can not be won “militarily.” I said two years ago, the key to progress in Iraq is to Iraqitize, Internationalize and Energize. I believe the same today. But I have concluded that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress.

Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, Saddamists and foreign jihadists. I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraqi security forces will be incentivized to take control. A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis.
I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy. All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United States occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a “free” Iraq.

My plan calls:

To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
To create a quick reaction force in the region.
To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines.
To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq

This war needs to be personalized. As I said before I have visited with the severely wounded of this war. They are suffering.

Because we in Congress are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, it is our responsibility, our OBLIGATION to speak out for them. That’s why I am speaking out.

Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME.

This was the typical reaction from Republicans:

Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) declared: “Murtha and Democratic leaders have adopted a policy of cut and run. They would prefer that the United States surrender to the terrorists who would harm innocent Americans. To add insult to injury, this is done while the president is on foreign soil.”

Here is another conservative:

In a statement that has angered, embarrassed and humiliated Marines around the globe, one of our own — a retired Marine Corps Reserve colonel — has called for the legendary fighting force to retreat from Iraq and surrender to the terrorist organization that has killed thousands of Americans at home and abroad. He has even called for the United States to enter into negotiations with al Qaeda. This vermin’s demand for retreat, surrender and negotiations with the enemy is so committed to assisting al Qaeda in their efforts in Iraq that he has posted his unspeakable demands on his website in the form of an official statement.

The traitor, Democratic Rep. John P. Murtha, agrees 100% with Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al Zarqawi that the Marine Corps, which is mangling the enemy on a daily basis in Iraq and suffering comparatively light casualties, should lay down its arms, call it quits, and abandon the people they are defending in the fledgling democracy of Iraq.

Furious Marines from wars as far back as World War II are spitting mad at the cowardly colonel and many want his head on a stake in the middle of the Marine Corps Commandant’s lawn. Personally, I would not soil that good earth with so vile and despicable a piece of offal.

Encouraging retreat is viewed as aiding the enemy by the Marines and is a violation of Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is punishable by death. Currently serving Marines, active duty or reserve, who encourage surrender are in violation of Article 100 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, an offense also punishable by death. Because Murtha is retired, he is virtually assured of not being prosecuted.

However, he will be celebrated by al Qaeda and other terrorists around the world. At this very moment, al Qaeda communications specialists are likely prepping pieces of propaganda using Murtha’s traitorous tirade as a tool to recruit fresh killers by showing them that even an American Marine (apologies to Puller) believes his allegedly beloved Corps is so inept in battle that retreat and surrender are the Marines’ best option and perhaps should, in fact, be added for the first time to the Leathernecks’ vast, quasi-mythical repertoire of operational art and battlefield strategy.

Murtha joins the likes of traitor Clayton Lonetree, the Marine security guard who gave top-secret intelligence to the Soviets, and traitor Robert Garwood, the Marine who went over to the enemy during the Vietnam War and was involved in holding and abusing US prisoners of war in North Vietnam while wearing the uniform of the enemy.

The Marine Corps is famous for its members standing their ground and winning fights against outrageous odds. Battles with names like the Peking Legation, Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh and Fallujah decorate the hallowed halls of Corps history. Especially repugnant is how Murtha is insisting upon surrender while the Marines are decimating the enemy en masse.

Marines should ask Murtha if Chesty Puller would order retreat and surrender before the enemy.

John “The Jellyfish” Murtha should be shunned by all Marines and, if possible, legal steps should be taken to prevent this betrayer from being buried in a national cemetery upon his demise.

And yet another:

Jack Murtha’s call for immediate disengagement took him far outside the boundaries of legitimate disagreement. He has never been able to articulate any plausible basis for his position on Iraq. There is a simple reason for that. There isn’t one.

Reasonable people cannot differ about whether or not the United States should press forward with our war against the terror masters. For the time being Iraq is inevitably the principal front in that war. A congressman who tries to duck his share of the responsibility for prosecuting that war is displaying moral cowardice. Any American who recommends retreat is injuring his own country and calling his own patriotism into question.

Almost all the Democrats in the House understand this, which is why only three of them would vote on the record for retreat.

We mark the boundaries of legitimate disagreement by the way we characterize arguments that lie outside them. What Jack Murtha did last week wasn’t just wrong. It was cowardly and disloyal. That’s the truth and Jack Murtha deserves to hear it.

But, Mr. Murtha was right. And now the departing Secretary of Defense agrees with Mr. Murtha’s recommendation. I wonder if we will hear the same venom, the same call for his head from these same people as they did to Mr. Murtha. I doubt it.

Anyways, that’s a side topic. Let’s get back to Bush. His departing Secretary of Defense released a memo that states clearly that their Iraq policy is not working. Meanwhile, Bush continues to look cheerful even as he says:

“I recognize that the recent violence in Iraq has been unsettling,” Bush said.

Unsettling? Fifty-One people just died today in three coordinated market blasts. Unsettling? Why do Mormons still back this guy?

Worse yet, no leader in the Middle East supposedly trusts the Bush Administration to get it right.

But instead of flaunting stronger ties and steadfast American influence, the president’s journey found friends both old and new near a state of panic. Mideast leaders expressed soaring concern over upheavals across the region that the United States helped ignite through its invasion of Iraq and push for democracy — and fear that the Bush administration may make things worse.

President Bush’s summit in Jordan with the Iraqi prime minister proved an awkward encounter that deepened doubts about the relationship. Vice President Dick Cheney’s stop in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, yielded a blunt warning from the kingdom’s leaders. And Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s swing through the West Bank and Israel, intended to build Arab support by showing a new U.S. push for peace, found little to work with.

In all, visits designed to show the American team in charge ended instead in diplomatic embarrassment and disappointment, with U.S. leaders rebuked and lectured by Arab counterparts. The trips demonstrated that U.S. allies in the region were struggling to understand what to make of the difficult relationship, and to figure whether, with the new Democratic-majority Congress, Bush even has control over his nation’s Mideast policy.

The Saudis are warning Cheney, Rice gets at best a cool reception in Israel and Palestine, Bush was snubbed by the man he needs desparately in Jordan, King Abdullah of Jordan warns of more civil wars in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Iran continues quietly to build their nuclear program. Syria continues interfering in Lebanon, and the world now further distrusts America.

So I ask again, my Mormon friends, why do so many Mormons still think this guy is a good guy? Do we not believe that by their fruits we shall know them? What are the fruits of President Bush? A divided America, civil war in Iraq, further civil wars possible throughout the Middle East, no one trusting Bush. Could any president have done more to weaken America’s standing in the world than Bush has these past six years? No. That’s not only bad for America, but that’s also bad for our church. I am asking that you join with me in calling for the resignation or impeachment of President George W. Bush. Believe in your conservative principles. Where’s the shrinking of the government? I’ve not seen it these past six years. Where’s the fiscal responsibility? Why are we putting our wars on credit cards for our children to pay? Why are we going to war with countries based on faulty intelligence, and then when things start going bad, we blindly, stupidly, stubbornly say we need to “stay the course,” when staying the course is the worst possible option to choose? There are so many things wrong with the Bush administration, so many ways that they act counter to Conservative principles. How can you guys still back him? Is it because he throws you a bone—whether it be gay marriage, or abortion, or tax cuts—so you stay mollified and silent while he goes counter to all your other conservative principles?

I pray that you consider my request. Before this gets even worse. Think about it, how can Bush act effectively with the rest of the world if he is no longer taken seriously by anyone?

Don’t Take Bush Seriously Anymore…If You Ever Actually Did

December 1, 2006 at 6:25 pm | Posted in American politics, Democracy, Iraq, King George, Rumsfeld, War on Terror | Leave a comment

Marc Sandalow has an article in the San Francisco Chronicle talking about how not to take Bush literally anymore. Take for example:

It would be reasonable to conclude after watching President Bush in the Middle East this week that the administration has no plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

“This business about graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all,” Bush said at a news conference Thursday morning in Jordan with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Yet some experts say it would be foolhardy to assume, just because Bush said it, that the statement is true.

There is mounting evidence that the world of public Bush-speak — from his vigorous support for al-Maliki and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to his rejection of direct diplomacy with Syria and Iran — bears little relation to what goes on behind the scenes.

Senior White House officials even tangled this week with reporters who suggested that al-Maliki had snubbed Bush at a dinner with Jordan’s King Abdullah. A three-way dinner had never been planned, the officials insisted — until the reporters forcefully pointed out that it had been on the president’s public schedule for nearly a week.

Everybody remembers what support Bush gave his defense secretary just a week before he fired him. So which Bush is the sincere one? The one who said Rumsfeld was to be his defense secretary until 2009 or the one who fired him a week later?

As he announced Rumsfeld’s departure at a news conference several days later, Bush said he had lied because “I didn’t want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign.”

“And so the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer,” Bush said with a laugh.

There’s probably the real Bush, one who sees fit to lie to Americans in order to distract them before a major election.

So in such a horrendous situation as we have in Iraq, can America trust a man who no longer can be taken seriously, as the leader who will guide us to victory?

Donald Rumsfeld Quote of the Day

November 8, 2006 at 9:14 pm | Posted in Iraq, Rumsfeld | 1 Comment

“We know where they [Iraq’s WMD] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat.”

Interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC This Week, March 30, 2003

Rumsfeld Stepping Down

November 8, 2006 at 5:58 pm | Posted in American politics, Congress, King George, Rumsfeld | 5 Comments

Awww, Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down as Defense Secretary, even though Bush said just before the election that he would keep him on for full term. I guess Mr. Rumsfeld didn’t really want to be held accountable to Congress the way Congress is supposed to hold him accountable. So long, Mr. Secretary. And don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

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