Monday, July 23, 2007

About Time

After years of calling for the United States to attack Iraq (prior to the 2003 invasion) and after years of defending the invasion of Iraq and after claiming that significant progress is underway there, Bill Kristol left on Sunday for his first trip to Iraq.

Which reminds me, in the editing process of my recent Washington Post rebuttal to Kristol's article (in which Kristol claimed George W. Bush will win the Iraq war and end up a successful president), a line was cut. I had snarkily asked, "By the way, how many staffers and interns of the Weekly Standard has Kristol encouraged to postpone their journalistic careers and sign up for Bush's war in Iraq?" I understand how such a remark can come across as a little too personal and too sharp for punditry purpose, and I have no complaints whatsoever with the editing of the article. But there is a serious point here.

If one only has to sit in an armchair and bark out demands that others go to war, doesn't that make it a bit too easy to launch a military action? And if the war in Iraq is essential for the survival of the United States--as Kristol and other neocons contend--shouldn't they be pushing the people they know to sign up for the battle? When the leftist of the 1930s argued that the United States should support the Spanish government against the attacks of Franco and his forces, many of those leftists went overseas as part of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to help the Spaniards. They placed their bodies were their principles were: in the foxhole. Where are the young neocons and young Republicans these days? is there a Ronald Reagan Brigade out there? (Check out Max Blumenthal's recent and popular video about the latest generation of rightwing chickenhawks.)

In any event, Kristol did all he could to make sure that American soldiers would lose lives and limbs for a policy he had been pushing for years. Seems to me that if he were a serious fellow, he would have been publicly urging everyone who qualified for miliary service--including relatives and workplace colleagues--to join in this grand sacrifice for his noble cause. But, as far as I can tell, he hasn't.

I wish him a safe trip to Iraq.

Posted by David Corn at July 23, 2007 10:31 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

Such a trip (I'm sure in a group of like minded crazies) will only serve to validate the insane claims of progress upon return.

The surge is working, no matter the facts on the ground.

I keep hearing about the surge (working and failing) and am always reminded that the "surge" was a last ditch effort to save a failed occupation and failed policies (or lack thereof).

The results were a given and the excuse that more time is needed is just more delay and more denial of our great mistake.

Thanks for all of your work.


O'Reilly said...

Billy goes to Bagdhad.

Who gives a shit? Seriously. I appreciate Corn's rebuttal to Kristol's sycophantic enabling of the BushCo criminal abortion of our constitutional democracy but who gives a shit where Kristol goes unless its out of a position of influence in national media?

Corn, are you still firmly against impeachment? How do you propose to publically rebuke and formally condemn BushCo's criminal conduct and unconstitutional massive power grab? We're respecfully waiting for your response. Don't tell us you're too busy with other Democratic prioritite... please.

capt said...

Conyers: 3 More Congress Members and I'll Impeach

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has said that if three more Congress Members get behind impeachment he will start the impeachment proceedings.


*****end of clip*****

I am trying to get Heather Wilson on board but . . .

Only three . . (The audacity of hope, eh?)


capt said...

The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See

An excellent explanation of why the only responsible choice is to take action to curb climate change.


capt said...

** Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches **
** Visit the Dahr Jamail website **
** Website by **

Living Becomes Hard in a Dead City

Inter Press Service
By Ahmed Ali*

BAQUBA, Jul 23 (IPS) - Life in the violence-plagued capital city of Iraq's Diyala province has become a struggle for day-to-day survival.

Heavy U.S military operations, sectarian death squads and al-Qaeda militants have combined to make normal life in Baquba, 50 km northeast of Baghdad, all but impossible.

Movement from the city to another destination is extremely dangerous. Kidnappings have become rampant in a lawless city where government control is only a mirage.

Lack of security and mobility have meant severe shortages of fuel, food, medical supplies and other necessities.

The central market in the city of about 325,000 has vanished. It is not just the shopping that is gone. People used to meet acquaintances in the market to socialise and sometimes do business.

The ongoing violence has ended all that. The market has become scattered around city districts. Many shop owners have reopened smaller shops within their houses, and abandoned their business locations.

About two or three persons have been killed or abducted in the market daily on average in recent weeks. This had started to happen even before the U.S. military operation Arrowhead Ripper was launched last month with the intention of targeting al-Qaeda forces. Now residents say it is much worse.

"The troops have closed all the outlets from the city, and never allow cars to move," Amir Ayad, a 51-year-old assistant professor in the sciences college at Diyala University told IPS. "To get my college, I have to get a cart as other people do. It is five kilometres, and it is better than walking."

"For the final examinations which were held unfortunately during this period of military operations, students had to walk hours to get to the exam centre," Prof. Majeed Abid told IPS. "They were exhausted and sweating."

Animal-drawn carts have now become a new business in Baquba. Most of these are drawn by donkeys, and each cart carries 10-15 passengers who pay two to three dollars a journey.

"Every day I bring vegetables four kilometres by cart and pay 25-35 dollars for this," 29-year-old Adil Omran told IPS. "For this reason, the prices have increased tremendously."

"A tomato, which is grown commonly in Iraq, is usually around six cents," said Mahmood Ali, a retired teacher. "Nowadays, we buy it for 1.25 dollar. Families now tend to buy one or two bags of potatoes (30 kilos each) because they cannot afford the increasing prices of other vegetables."

Complicating matters is the already unsteady disbursement of salaries due to the volatile security situation.

"Officials used to receive their salaries every month, but for a year and a half now we receive our salaries only every 50-70 days," Kadhim Raad, a 44-year-old official in the municipality of Baquba told IPS.

"The staff at the Ministry of Education have not received their salaries for three months because no money is available in the banks," Sara Latif, an official in the finance department of the Directorate General of Education told IPS.

People are now looking for ways to leave this city of continuing violence, delayed salaries, lack of jobs, lack of open markets, closed factories, no functioning municipal work, and very little farming due to lack of water and electricity.

The average house in Baquba gets one or two hours of electricity a day. It is not uncommon for three or four days to pass without a minute of electricity.

Most people have bought small generators, but lack of fuel often makes it impossible to run these. Before the U.S.-led invasion, a litre of petrol in Iraq cost five cents; today in Baquba it is nearly two dollars.

There are no functioning fuel stations. Instead, people buy 20-litre jugs.

"People have forgotten there is something called a petrol station," Hamid Alwan, a 46-year-old taxi driver told IPS. "The owners of petrol stations sell the tankers of petrol before they are brought to Baquba to make more money."

And all this is less than the biggest concern รข€“ to find a way just to stay safe.

(*Ahmed, our correspondent in Iraq's Diyala province, works in close collaboration with Dahr Jamail, our U.S.-based specialist writer on Iraq who travels extensively in the region)

Mookie said...

Notice the adherence to authority, the belief in racial and cultural superiority, the fear-based approach to making sense of world events, and the ever present understanding that being wealthy just makes them plain better than everyone else. People like this are the cause of many, if not most, of the world's troubles.

Gerald said...

A Trap for Fools

David B. Benson said...

capt --- Fortunately I can't watch videos on this computer, so I'm not terrified, for that reason at least...

capt said...

New Thread