Archive for March, 2007

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Is Andrew Rove “Prepared For War”?

March 19, 2007

You know, this argument has been brought up so many times,  I’m surprised it managed to make it into the LA Times op-ed section: Why aren’t the Bush daughters in Iraq?

The president tells us Iraq is a “noble” war, but his wife, his children and his nieces and nephews are not listening. None has enlisted in the armed services, and none seems to be paying attention to the sacrifices of military families. Until Jenna’s trip to Panama, the presidential daughters performed community service only when mandated by a court after they were cited for underage drinking. Since then they have surfaced in public during lavish presidential trips with their parents, bar-hopping outings in Georgetown and champagne-popping art openings in New York.

Now, this argument isn’t a bad one, per se.  There is something to be said about standing behind your beliefs, and it sure doesn’t look like the Bush family is willing to risk anything for this endeavor they are so enthusiastically supporting.  On the other hand, have you seen the Bush daughters?  I know it shouldn’t, but it kinda weakens the argument.  In reality, their participation would probably do more harm than good anyway.

As often as people bring up the Bush twins, I’m kinda surprised that no one really talks about a kid who goes by the name Andrew Madison Rove.  Andrew will be turning 18* this year, and his father seemed to mention something about “preparing for war” awhile back:

Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.”

I assume Andrew has already enlisted?  Just curious.  We already know that Karl doesn’t want him picking tomatoes or making beds in Las Vegas, so perhaps that really is the plan?**

andrewkarlrove.jpg

*That link has A. Rove born in 1989, but wiki (and a few other places) have it as 1987.  Considering that a little over a month ago, Rove said “my 17 year old son”, I’ll lean towards the former.  I haven’t seen an exact date anywhere, but I’ll update it if I do.  I know it doesn’t effect the argument too much, but I want to maintain accuracy,  if possible.

**I don’t really want to use Rove’s kid as a political punching bag on this, but I think if you’re going to make this ‘sacrifice’ argument, maybe it would be more persuasive to include him.  I really am curious, nevertheless.

Update: I did some more searching, and this has come up on the blogs before.  Previously on HuffPo: Draft Karl Rove’s Son, Operation Yellow Elephant: Military Recruiting Lead: Washington, D.C 

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Rocky Anderson Speaks Out/ Iraq War Enters 5th Year

March 19, 2007

I don’t know a whole lot about the Salt Lake City Mayor, but I liked what I heard in the Situation Room:  Video: Salt Lake City Mayor calls for Bush impeachment

“If impeachment were every justified, this certainly is the time,” says Anderson, “This president, by engaging in such incredible abuses of power, breaches of trust with both the Congress and the American people, and misleading us into this tragic and unbelievable war, the violation of treaties, other international law, our constitution, our own domestic laws, and then his role in heinous human rights abuses; I think all of that together calls for impeachment.”

I think that’s what it comes down to.  I don’t see why this is even a right or left issue.  If we allow this president to sit in there and do these kinds of things, what precedent does it set?  If we unquestioningly hand over unchecked power under the guise of being “at war”,  it inherently provides a motive to keep that situation ongoing, or to provoke more war.   In light of the situation that we find ourselves in starting the 5th year in Iraq, it’s hard not to think that’s exactly what they’ve been doing. But, not to worry, Bush want to reassure us that he’s got everything under control today: President Bush Discusses Fourth Anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Prime Minister Maliki and General Petraeus emphasized that the Baghdad security plan is still in its early stages, and success will take months, not days or weeks. Yet, those on the ground are seeing some hopeful signs. The Iraqi government has completed the deployment of three Iraqi army brigades to the capital, where they’ve joined the seven Iraqi army brigades and nine national police brigades that were already in the area.

Are we just prolonging the inevitable?  Does Bush just recycle the same talking points to buy time until ’08?  There was another blogger that beautifully chronicled the rhetoric over the past 4 years : Tracing the breadcrumbs from a chimp’s mouth is a painful reminder that we’ve been duped

To achieve victory over such enemies, we are pursuing a comprehensive strategy in Iraq. Americans should have a clear understanding of this strategy. – November, 2005
U.S. Fatalities: 2,192

Even if Bush’s had the best of intentions this whole time, it still makes him some sort of vigilante.  Would we want a vigilante president?

“I’m against vigilantes in the United States of America.” – Bush, March 23, 2005

I guess not.

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The Iraq War In Two Images

March 19, 2007

I was doing some late-night surfing for more info about Iraq’s southern provinces when I stumbled upon a pair of images that gave me pause. Both pictures were allegedly taken in Az Zubayr, Iraq, in January 2005.

An Iraqi woman flashes the victory sign with a purple finger, indicating she has just voted, at a polling station in the centre of Az Zubayr, southern Iraq.<br>  Photo: AFP<br>

A British soldier aims his gun at an Iraqi woman in Az Zubayr, January 26

It’s also worth noting that Az Zubayr was one of the southern Iraqi towns under British jurisdiction.  Britain has since declared victory in her mission out there, and it appears that the locals aren’t sure that’s a good thing, even 2 years after the infamous ‘purple finger’ picture was taken: Sunnis and Shias appeal for British to stay on

“I request the British people and commanders to keep British forces working in Az Zubayr until the Iraqi security forces have the authority to run affairs,” he said. “If I inform the Sunni people of Az Zubayr that the British are leaving they will leave too.”

He said that once the militias became aware the British were leaving they would prepare to move into Az Zubayr to overrun the police.

The sheik’s pleas were even echoed by the rival Shia-backed Tharallah party. Salan Maki Mohana, the party leader in Az Zubayr, said it would be “very dangerous” for the British to leave.

“Lots of people will take advantage of the bad security,” he said.

Incidentally, Az Zubayr is one of the areas in Iraq where Shia and Sunni have lived together in relative peace. 

Just another stop on the road towards my understanding of this conflict.  It’s pretty hard to wrap your mind around it all, so on occasion I’ll make efforts to expand on what I know.  I can’t help but wonder about that woman with the purple finger, however.  She went nameless in every caption I’ve found, but that image is quite possibly the most memorable one taken from this war thus far.  I think it’d be interesting to find out who she is and how she’s doing now.

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Go Gophers! (unbelievable goal)

March 19, 2007

This was a nice St. Patty’s present for the Gopher hockey fans here in Minnesota.  What a terrific game.  All capped off by an absolutely heroic goal in overtime to win the WCHA and the Broadmoor Trophy:

Wheeler’s Goal for the Ages Lifts Minnesota to 3-2 ot Win, Final Five Title

A night after recording his first career hat trick, sophomore center Blake Wheeler scored a goal for the ages with a diving shot at 3:25 of overtime to lift the second-ranked University of Minnesota men’s hockey team to a 3-2 win over No. 7/6 North Dakota and the 2007 WCHA Final Five Championship at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Mike Vannelli with Broadmoor Trophy

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Saturday Showdown In D.C.: Wingnuts Vs. Moonbats

March 15, 2007

A big ‘moonbat’ event has been spotted by ‘moonbat watch’….and it has trouble written all over it…

A collection of various anti-war groups have banded together and decided to mark the 4th anniversary of the Iraq war by organizing a march in Washington D.C. on March 17.  Members include Code Pink, Gold Star Families for Peace, Cindy Sheehan, etc.  In response to this, a grassroots-level organization of concerned citizens, veterans groups and bloggers have formed the base for a counter-protest, dubbed the Gathering of Eagles.

marchonpentagon.jpgVSgoe-ad-banner.jpg

I’m not going to pick sides on this one. I can tell you that the battle has already begun, however, and it’s lookin’ ugly. In fact, the GOEers accused the ‘moonbats’ of hacking their website last week: Having Fun, Leftards?

And to the pus blisters who apparently finally took their hands off their wing-wing long enough to rub two tired, pot-saturated brain cells together and infringe upon our right to free speech, may I just say that I hope you die a horrific death, filled with every manner of sexually transmitted disease known to man. If it’s even possible to get an STD from self-wanging too much. And if the parties responsible for this little escapade plan on being in D.C. next weekend, stop by and say hello, that is if you haven’t rubbed all the skin off your balls from overhandling.

Now that’s some pretty unhinged cyber-rage!  I’m not sure if it’s all going to be out of everyone’s collective systems by Saturday afternoon, but we’ll see.  Out of fairness, I’ll post youtube vids representing both groups.  So….

In this corner, you have the ‘moonbats’:

And in this corner, the ‘wingnuts’:

One of the bloggers at Jawa report seems to think the wingnuts have the edge (naturally):

(Besides, I’d put my cash on a pissed-off veteran against any 100 stink-ass hippies.)

Hhhmmm….these veterans?

Any bets which side does more to embarrass themselves on Saturday?

Update:  Well, it seems that things went fairly smoothly yesterday in D.C.  There is an excellent photo essay up on The Redhunter: A Gathering of Patriots

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We Won The ‘War On Terror’ In March ’03

March 15, 2007

I just got done having a discussion with the lizards on LGF.  The topic this evening: Pentagon Transcripts Show Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Confesses to Sept. 11 Attacks

It’s the ‘confesses’ part that is news, I suppose, since the 9/11 Commission gave him the credit for the masterminding of 9/11 some time ago.  It could be debated whether this new development really means anything at all with regards to what happens in Washington. Or, should serve as some sort of closure, on some collective level?  I’m not sure.  Anyway, here’s some what I posted on LGF (out-of-context comments removed):

Well, if you take the statement at face value, it looks like a pretext to end the WoT (as in, the response to 9/11, or the intentions of Congress when drafting the AUMF), and get back to the normal ‘war on terrorism’ that has existed for decades. The way that statement looks, this is THE guy. Or, looked at another way, you could say that the single most major threat that existed out there ended the day we nabbed him, making the whole Iraq war completely superfluous…..

This guy confessed to pretty much everything. I mean, you could almost say “we got him” here. In other words, Bush has been hyping a threat that pretty much dissolved March of 03. The threat is below pre-9/11 levels. How to handle the threat that remains is definately worth debating.

I’ve always viewed this WoT as a political tool more than an actual war. Something where ‘victory’ can be declared at any given time, since there’s no way to prove who’s won or lost. Well, gee whiz. The guy confessed…’Victory!’ then continue on with the cloak and dagger stuff they’ve always done…only a little better this time.

Like many people, I’ve tried to make the distinction between our actual, legitimate counterterrorism efforts and ‘War on Terror’ (the slogan). I can’t help but be reminded of the Bush apologists’ favorite talking point.  You know, the “We’ve gone X years since 9/11 with no attack on the homeland” bit.  Well, could it be because we’ve had the real boogeyman in custody since March of 2003?

There’s also a good post on this over at Hot Air

Related: U.S. War on/of Terror will end in Oct. 2008

Update:  OK, here’s an AP article that quotes ‘experts’ backing me up a bit: Experts: Mohammed arrest slowed al-Qaida

Experts agree the arrest was a major setback for bin Laden’s terror network, and one from which the group has never quite recovered.

Along with the arrests of other top bin Laden lieutenants, such as Abu Zubaydah and 9/11 coordinator Ramzi Binalshibh, Mohammed’s capture forced the group — evicted by a U.S.-led invasion from its sanctuary inside Afghanistan — to evolve.

Many of the world’s recent terror attacks — such as the March 11, 2004 train bombings in Madrid and the July 2005 attacks in London, were carried out by local groups with no proven links to bin Laden’s inner circle. Although undoubtedly inspired by bin Laden’s call for global jihad, al-Qaida no longer could lend the kind of direct support it offered the 9/11 hijackers.

“The role of al-Qaida has changed a lot,” said Talat Masood, a former Pakistani general and security analyst. “It has become devolved and amorphous. It’s a more ideological and inspirational force and does not have a centralized command anymore.”

In other words, just when we had al Qaeda on the ropes, we invade Iraq. The ’cause celebre’.  But, hey, if a Democrat were president, we may get hit again.

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Things Worth Knowing Before You Start A War

March 14, 2007

I was cruising Digg again today and spotted this: What’s the Difference: Shia vs. Sunni

sunni-shia-map.jpg

And I was instantly reminded of this:  Ambassador claims shortly before invasion, Bush didn’t know there were two sects of Islam

Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam–to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”

I don’t think we’ll be seeing Bush on Mt. Rushmore anytime soon.

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