Our Mad Mad World: On Buddy's Bemusings    
 On Buddy's Bemusings9 comments
picture26 Jun 2007 @ 23:56, by Paul Quintanilla

My Google web crawler brought up this piece I wrote two years ago, which appeared on Bemusings on July 14, 2005. For whatever it’s worth, here’s a glmpse at the past, and through the past at the present, since nothing appears to have changed in two years. Except the mounting dead and destruction. And the opposition to the war, which has only increased over time. And will continue to increase.

How many American soldiers were dead by July 2005? Nearly 1800.

Today's statistic is 3565. ( [link] for that source.)

When it comes to Iraqis there is no way of measuring. The number, though, is enormous.

Buddy’s Bemusings then: [link]

Buddy’s Bemusings today: [link]


BACK TO JULY, 2005...............

Some backers of the war may say, "well, if al Qaeda is attempting to break our will, our resolve, we must stay the course. We can't let the terrorists win!"

But if the policy is wrong, if the "course" is wrong, if we have no business being there - none of the rationales for the invasion and occupation proving true - should we continue to lose American lives, billions of dollars, and American prestige in this futile war?

The quagmire we are now in? Oh what a fantasy it is to believe that "democracy will bloom from the desert" if we stay the course. And the terrorists will go away. Sure: especially with permanent US military bases there.

What are the reasons then to remain in Iraq?

Pig headiness? Patriotism? Pride? The inability to admit we were wrong? The humiliation of losing a war? The latest fantasy the Bush administration has offered us? (That democracy will expand throughout the Middle East? Or that most absurd argument that if we "don’t fight the terrorists there we will have to fight them here?")

Welcome to the quagmire!

Is national pride, patriotism, and refusing to give up our dream of an Americanized Iraq worth:

Two or three American dead a day? Many more wounded?

More than a billion dollars a week?

The loss of respect of most of the world? Not to mention fanning Arabic hatred and resentment?

How many times does it have to be said that our presence in Iraq creates terrorism? That our occupation offers an incentive to terrorist recruits? Is this what we want to continue? And if we stay, whose side will we take in the growing civil war? The Shiite or the Sunni?

And what about the recent alliance the Iraqi government made with Iran? Does this indicate a desire on Iraq's part to become a compliant ally of the United States? For if they truly have a democracy they can go whichever way they want, right? They are free to choose. Or is it a Pax Americana we are actually attempting impose?

And then there are the permanent military bases. We rarely hear about them. Did the Bush administration ever intend to leave? I think not. They just didn't expect the quagmire? They lived in never never land.

And now they are attempting to lie their way out of their follies and mistakes, hoping for the best. No. To use a vulgar phrase, this is just throwing good money after bad money. It is foolish to remain out of pig headiness, pride, patriotism, an inability to admit you were wrong. Or because you can't accept that your policies (GWB, the neocons, the lockstep Republicans) have lead to a bloody and useless military fiasco.

Yes, we are in a quagmire. I don't know what the best answer is, or even if there is any good solution. I do know that we can not continue the same.


2.

And what about allowing terrorists to enjoy their successes? Here is an argument I recently read which sums it up. "Most nations have a policy of not giving in to terrorist demands just as most cities do not capitulate to the demands of hostage takers. It does tend to encourage that action each time you give in."

Spain is often brought up as the no. 1 example of this. But why should Spain have stayed? A vast majority of Spaniards opposed the war? Why follow the baton major in chief (GWB) when he's leading everyone off a cliff? Continuing a mistake does not make it right.

Many of the so-called "coalition of the willing" countries are quitting. Why? For the simple reason that they do not believe in wasting their resources, political capital, and the lives of their young. "Giving in" certainly does encourage terrorists. And Al Qaeda must gloat over their vicious victories.

But once again we must ask ourselves: is maintaining face, our national pride, waving the flag ever more vigorously postponing what may be inevitable (like Vietnam?) worth:

Telling mothers and fathers their sons and daughters must die in Iraq?

Betraying the faith and confidence young soldiers have in their nation and government?

Continuing the horror? The countless mounting dead, both Iraqi and American? Not to mention thousands more maimed and wounded?


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27 Jun 2007 @ 00:57 by quinty : What struck me as interesting
about that two year old piece, is that the arguments haven't changed. That we are still slogging over the same fundamental issues.

Of course, things have only gotten worse. And there has been a "dawning" in America. Though thirty percent still believe this president.  



28 Jun 2007 @ 09:27 by jazzolog : More On Profits
Here's Robert Scheer Tuesday~~~

The Banality of Greed
By Robert Scheer

As the Iraq war that Vice President Dick Cheney created continues to shred American—and many more Iraqi—lives, further documentation has emerged proving that, even during failed wars, the merchants of death profit. No company has profited more from the carnage in Iraq than Halliburton, which Cheney headed before choosing himself as Bush’s running mate. One shudders at the blissful arrogance of this modern Daddy Warbucks, who sees no conflict of interest over the blood-soaked profits garnered by the once-bankrupt division of the company that left him rich.

This week’s evidence of the continuing corruption of Halliburton and its subsidiaries profiteering from contracts costing American taxpayers an unbelievable $22 billion stems from a report by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. The report, only one of many about Halliburton’s recently severed subsidiary KBR, focuses on work done in Baghdad’s super-secure Green Zone. While parent company Halliburton insults U.S. taxpayers by relocating its headquarters to the tax shelter of Dubai, subsidiary KBR has been spun off to focus more directly on the American military contracts that form the core of its operations.

Those operations have already produced a litany of condemnation by congressional and administration oversight bodies, and the June 25 report hardly details the company’s most egregious activities. However, the Green Zone, the site of this latest instance of taxpayer fleecing, is instructive because, safely removed from the risks of battle, it deprives these war profiteers of their favorite excuse: that construction in a battle zone is inherently more costly. While KBR’s Green Zone shenanigans covered by this report may seem small in comparison with the enormous waste attendant to the U.S. reconstruction program in Iraq, they are illustrative of the feeding frenzy that has fueled the American effort.

The corrupt reconstruction project has left a wasteland of failed energy, water, educational and political reform plans. As report after report details, garbage is not collected, hospitals are not staffed, schools close soon after they are opened and factories sit idle in shocking refutation of the vaunted efficiency of the United States’ political economic model.

KBR’s role in this fiasco is easily exposed by a basic Google search, beginning with a stop at the website of Henry Waxman, the California congressman who heads up the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Waxman deserves a Medal of Freedom for trying to figure out what happened to those $22 billion that KBR received but are now lost to U.S. taxpayers, as well as to the once hopeful but now bitterly disillusioned Iraqi people. Indeed, six months ago, the inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart W. Bowen Jr., termed the high level of official corruption in Iraq the “second insurgency,” stating that the siphoning-off of U.S. dollars is a major source of funds for the anti-American fighters in the country. It was estimated that last year upward of $100 million in stolen oil funds went directly to the insurgents. In the context of that horrid record of waste and corruption amid the destruction of Iraqi society in which “democratic nation building” transmogrified into fascist mayhem, KBR’s antics in the Green Zone seem petty.

But the fact that KBR played loose with our tax dollars even in the safety of the Green Zone is evidence of the company’s contempt for the sacrifice of U.S. taxpayers. For example, concerning KBR’s mismanagement of the fuel distribution program, the inspector general wrote: “We found weaknesses in KBR’s fuel receiving, distributing and accountability processes of such magnitude that we were unable to determine an accurate measure of the fuel services provided.” Yet, it was paid for by American taxpayers.

Or, take the extra $4.5 million spent on the company’s food service and the cost of billeting 90 percent of KBR personnel in single quarters, as opposed to the doubling-up practiced by regular Army folks.

That was chicken feed compared with other examples of taxpayer rip-offs, as revealed in one case by the Army reducing payments to KBR by $19.5 million following Waxman’s first “fraud, waste, and abuse hearings.” It is hoped that there will be other efforts at forcing accountability for the billions of dollars that have been spent to advertise the efficiency of the United States’ free-enterprise model to a skeptical Mideast public.

It is claimed by American officials that KBR’s accountability issues are being addressed. In one instance cited, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad—a spiraling enterprise well on its way to becoming a nation-within-a-nation akin to the Vatican in Italy—announced that, as a means of avoiding food theft, its personnel would no longer be allowed to bring large bags into the eating halls. Such sacrifice for the mission of securing Iraqi freedom.

[link]



Ten minutes before he was killed, Sergeant Freeman L. Gardner Jr. was assigned to watch this street as bulldozers cleared debris feared to conceal IEDs. (Photo by Ashley Gilbertson)  



1 Jul 2007 @ 17:41 by culture and health Rep 4peaceoutreach @67.68.147.56 : war
its called a waste of tax payers expense money that the government took from the American people and many more soldiers has fallen into the sands of Iraq to be barred with lies from dear ole uncle sam and the number of 4000 dead sum odd soldiers are now laying dead in Americas ground because they were brain washed and lead it was there freedom to fight against the insurgents that had caused the attack of 9/11 that they the insergents there self will not come and fight on Americas soil. 4why the reason is we are in Iraq
"Now look what happen in Scotland and England has caused a flow of violence there that thinking fighting there enemy's there they were not able to make harms way from the shores from Iraq and Bali
I feel now there are a lot of counter intelligent s are being used with technologies
to counter act with Islamic fractions.
that are in other countries and that who are living in Europe. every body are not all bad its those who are just "Mad"
if we could only change the course history and make it better for the children of our society they would not grow up to hate other ppeople or make war with other when they grow up  



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