Category Archives: The Shrub War

It’s the Sixth Anniversary of the Iraq War

Does anyone care? Seems like it’s just me.
Well I do care. I’m very upset. And I don’t think Obama is doing enough to get us out of Iraq, and I also don’t see how it’s any different than what Bush did, if he sends more troops over to Afghanistan, like he’s talking about.
Feels a little like in the months after 911, frankly. When everybody was all “yea us!” while Bush moved in on Iraq, and everyone assured me that we would do the right thing.
I’ll say it again: Waiting a year to close Guantanamo is wrong.
Not even mentioning the sixth anniversary of the war – just plain wrong.
I know the economy is everyone’s first priority, but stalling on taking action on Guantanamo and Iraq, when lives are at stake, can’t be right.
That’s what it feels like is going on right now.
I waited a day, as I often do, to see if I still felt this way, before sharing my feelings with you. But I just felt stronger about it this morning. So there it is 🙂

Obama and Our New Congress Need to Stop the War NOW

I just watched this nice Blueprint for Change re-edit outlining part of Obama’s big plan for change.
Yay! Immigration reform! Yay Data Transparency! Go Team!
Ok so now that that’s all out of the way, I’d like to talk seriously about putting pressure on the new congress coming in to
end the war immediately.
I was updating the words to my anti-Iraq war song, In the Spirit this morning…
It started out with “30,000 faces disappear” – I was referring to the Iraqi civilians that were killed in our first sweep of invasions in 2003.
Well, since that time, five years have passed, and a lot more people have been killed. And I make a point to say “killed” rather than “died,” because I want it to be clear that none of these people died from anything that would have happened to them had their not been a war.
This was also the point of a report published by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which stated:

As many as 654,965 more Iraqis may have died since hostilities began in Iraq in March 2003 than would have been expected under pre-war conditions, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. The deaths from all causes

“I’m Back” Again! – And Hometown Bagdad

I know I do this every year or so, but I’ve been going through a lot of incredible changes and realizations in my life lately, and one of them was *yet another* realization of the piece of me that is missing when I’m not blogging on a regular basis.
I’ve been getting caught up in a lot of crap lately that ultimately, in the larger scheme of things, doesn’t matter, and forgetting the important things in life, like getting the word out to people about important issues that affect their lives — or, hey, are just plain cool to watch and talk about.
So with that…I bring you the latest episode of
Hometown Baghdad
— in incredible video blog coming out of Iraq that the creators have been nice enough to remind me about every so often.
Here’s a brief description:

It shows the aftermath of the US troops killing the innocent uncle of one of our subjects. In the video you can see a cheery, largely US-friendly family turn fully against America and the troops. It is chilling. And perhaps the most moving entry into our series.

Love you all and thanks for waiting around for me to start paying attention again!
Every time I post, the response is so gratifying. You’ve all become a very important part of my life, and it feels like an old friend I’ve been neglecting or something…
Let’s see if I can keep it going this time. So much going on. So much to learn and share!

Does the end justify the means? Who are the other four-six dead people in the Al-Zarqawi Raid?

Was it two men and a woman and her child? Or three women and three men?
Does it really matter?
This is how we show the insurgents that violence is wrong?

Zarqawi lived briefly after attack

By Kim Gamel and Robert Burnss, Associated Press Writers
(AP Military Writer Robert Burns also contributed to this story from Washington.)

At the news conference, the spokesman also provided a revised death toll from the attack.
Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in
Iraq, had said four people, including a woman and a child, were killed with al-Zarqawi and Abu Abdul-Rahman al-Iraqi, the terrorist’s spiritual consultant.
Caldwell said it now appears there was no child among those killed. He cautioned that some facts were still being sorted out but said that three women and three men, including al-Zarqawi, were killed.

Continue reading

Andy Rooney Gets Heavy – The Military Industrial Complex Has Taken Over The U.S. – Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

This is from the October 2, 2005 program of
60 Minutes
This contains the “Military-Industrial Complex Speech” by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961.
Andy Rooney’s really a stand up guy! One of the few on television these days to have the courage to tell it like it is.

Video – Andy Rooney On The Military Industrial Complex Taking Over The U.S.
(6 MB)

Audio – Andy Rooney On The Military Industrial Complex Taking Over The U.S.
(MP3 4 MB)
Dwight D. Eisenhower:
“We must guard against the aquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disasterous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

Andy: “Well, Ike was right. That’s just what’s happened.”

Complete Transcription:

I’m not really clear about how much a billion dollars is. But the United States, our United States, is spending five billion, six hundred million dollars a month ($5,600,000,000.00) fighting this war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into. We still have 139,000 soldiers in Iraq today. Almost 2,000 Americans have died there. For what?
Now, we have the hurricanes to pay for. One way that our government pays for a lot of things is by borrowing from countries like China. Another way the government is planning on paying for the war and the hurricane damage is by cutting spending for things like medicare perscriptions, highway construction, farm payments, Amtrak, national public radio, loans to graduate students. Do these sound like things you’d like to cut back on to pay for Iraq?
I’ll tell you where we ought to start saving, on our bloated military establishment. We’re paying for weapons we’ll never use. No other country spends the kind of money we spend on our military. Last year, Japan spent $42 billion dollars, Italy spent $28 billion dollars, Russia spent only $19 billion. The United States spent $455 billion. We have 8,000 tanks, for example. One Abrams tank costs 150 times as much as a Ford stationwagon. We have more than 10,000 nuclear weapons. Enough to destroy all of mankind. We’re spending $200 million dollars a year on bullets alone. That’s a lot of target practice.
We have 1,155,000 enlisted men and women, and 225,000 officers. One officer to tell every five enlisted soldiers what to do. We have 40,000 Colen and 870 generals.
We had a great commander in WWII, Dwight Eisenhower. He became President, and on leaving the White House in 1961 he said this:

“We must guard against the aquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disasterous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

Well, Ike was right. That’s just what’s happened.

The U.S. Spends 455 billion dollars a year on the military.

Rumsfeld On Meet the Press – February 6, 2005

This is from the February 6, 2005 program of Meet the Press.
Update 2/8/05: I’ve broken it down into 2 halfs, and made MP3s of it
I still have to break this down into smaller clips, but I wanted to make complete video and audio available for press folks and things that might need it asap.
Basically, Tim Russert is ruthless with the flinging of the fact.
Rummy loses it a couple time, although he quickly recovers. He admits that he may have “mis spoke” a couple times, and disregards those facts and figures that he wasn’t prepared to respond to.
I will be putting up smaller clips and better analysis soon, promise.
For now, this stuff is here:

Video Of Rumsfeld On Meet The Press

60 Minutes On the 15,000 “Uncounted” Deaths and Casualties Of The Shrub War

This is from the November 21, 2004 program of 60 Minutes.
This story is about the Shrub Administrations efforts to hide thousands of American deaths and casualties of this war by simply not reporting them, claiming they are “non-combat injuries.” The families of dead soldiers and shell shocked soldiers who have lost limbs/become paralyzed/will never be the same again are pretty upset about it.

The Uncounted


Our Own National Guard Troops Are Treated Like “Inmates With Weapons”

Hel-lo? Is there anybody out there? Now our government is sending National Guard troops to old WWII Prisoner of War camps and treating them like prisoners themselves before shipping them off to Iraq to become inevitable casualties of War.
They are treated horribly, given poor combat training, and then sent off to perform extremely dangerous tasks for a government that doesn’t care if they live or die.
Many of them are going AWOL. Who can blame them? They are running off to see their families one last time before being sent to their deaths. (Theoretically, many are coming back after Thanksgiving. To these people I say: “Save yourself! Keep going! Don’t ever come back if you want to stay alive!”)
Will somebody please do something to stop this madness? I feel so helpless hearing about this stuff. So powerless to do anything to stop these nut cases in charge of our country.

Guardsmen Say They’re Facing Iraq Ill-Trained

Troops from California describe a prison-like, demoralized camp in New Mexico that’s short on gear and setting them up for high casualties.
By Scott Gold for the LA Times.

Members of a California Army National Guard battalion preparing for deployment to Iraq said this week that they were under strict lockdown and being treated like prisoners rather than soldiers by Army commanders at the remote desert camp where they are training.
More troubling, a number of the soldiers said, is that the training they have received is so poor and equipment shortages so prevalent that they fear their casualty rate will be needlessly high when they arrive in Iraq early next year. “We are going to pay for this in blood,” one soldier said…
“I feel like an inmate with a weapon,” said Cpl. Jajuane Smith, 31, a six-year Guard veteran from Fresno who works for an armored transport company when not on active duty.
Several soldiers have fled Do

One In Six U.S. Soldiers Coming Back From Iraq Have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The usual anti-depressant drugs aren’t working for these guys. Remember that most of these Vets will have to get lawyers to get the medical benefits coming to them anyway — so all of this is combining to form a big stinking mess — that our boys/girls returning from this war are going to have to clean up for themselves.

These Unseen Wounds Cut Deep

A mental health crisis is emerging, with one in six returning soldiers afflicted, experts say.
By Esther Schrader for The LA Times.

A study by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research found that 15.6% of Marines and 17.1% of soldiers surveyed after they returned from Iraq suffered major depression, generalized anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder