Archive for Chickenhawks

daughterofsoldier.jpgBush asked for $200 Billion dollars. Congress is giving him $50 Billion with conditions of beginning troop withdrawal, allowing soldiers ample time home between deployments, and recognizing that waterboarding is torture. Bush will veto the bill and call Dems troop hating jihadists, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles these days in Washington.

CNN: “The Democratic-controlled U.S. House Wednesday approved a war-funding bill with a timeline for troop withdrawal from Iraq and substantially less funds to conduct the war than President Bush has requested.

Sen. Harry Reid says restrictions must be part of the bill or “the president won’t get his $50 billion.”

The 218-203 vote was largely along party lines.

Fifteen Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the bill while four Republicans voted in favor of it. The vote was far short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto, which Bush has threatened.

The bill states that the primary purpose of the money “should be to transition the mission of United States Armed Forces in Iraq and undertake their redeployment.”

It demands that Bush begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within 30 days of passage, with a goal of having American combat troops out of Iraq by December 15, 2008.

The $50 billion “bridge fund” is about a quarter of the nearly $200 billion the Bush administration has requested to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for 2008. Most of the money is slated for Iraq, where the Pentagon estimates the cost of its operations at about $10 billion a month.

lather.jpg“The fact is, we can no longer militarily sustain the deployment in Iraq,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California. “Staying there in the manner we are there is no longer an option.”
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The legislation also would require the Pentagon to give troops the same amount of time at home as they were deployed into combat, and bans government agents from using “waterboarding” — a technique the United States once prosecuted as a war crime — against suspected terrorists.”

This vote follows the Defense Dept. appropriation bill, which passed last week without a hitch. The Defense appropriation will ensure that our troops have all the beans and bullets they’ll need.

The logical step, if Dems are serious about ending the war, is to actually defund it and force Bush’s hand. If he keeps troops in Iraq without funding, then it’s his intransigence that’s endangering them. I don’t expect Dems like Shuler and Reid have the stomach or the backbone for that kind of stand off with George W. Bush.

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Nov
11

Veterans’ Day Part II

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anderson.jpg Today, for my family, Veterans Day is about Del. He died in July, less than a month after we moved here. At a Kennedy Center concert this afternoon, the DC Veterans for Peace will name their chapter after him. He was my husband’s second Dad.

From his WaPo obituary:

During World War II, when Mr. Anderson was serving in the Army, he contracted hepatitis and was unable to join his unit during an offensive. When many of his comrades were killed or wounded in battle, Mr. Anderson determined that he would dedicate his life to helping veterans.

Real story: WWII was so horrible, he spent the rest of his life trying to make up for surviving.

In 1964, he became director of social work service in the VA’s Department of Medicine and Surgery. He supervised 2,600 social workers in 171 veterans hospitals and in hundreds of other facilities across the country. At the time, it was the largest social service program in the United States.

Mr. Anderson brought a new understanding of social work to the agency, emphasizing the social circumstances surrounding illness and disability. He helped design programs to enable injured or ill patients to return to their families and to productive lives in their communities.

Real story: Social work concepts were as foreign to military types after WWII as PTSD treatment is today. But in the 60s, administrations actually tried to make good on their health care promises to veterans. So Del and his colleagues were able to make substantive advances in VA services that have stalled into what constitutes malpractice for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

At his retirement in 1975, he received the VA’s Distinguished Career Award. He was the first person named to the Association of VA Social Workers Hall of Fame. In 1971, he wrote the entry on veterans services in the Encyclopedia of Social Work.

Shame on the Bush Administration. Shame on the current Veterans Administration. If people like Del are currently working at the VA, I’m sure they are the most frustrated people on the face of the earth.

We’ll miss you, Del.

Categories : Chickenhawks
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Nov
11

Veterans’ Day

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Juan Cole:

“Some 48,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and have difficult coping with life back in the US.

It is no surprise, then, that 200,000 veterans have been homeless at some point in the past year, and that veterans make up 26% of the homeless, even though they are only 11% of the population. Experts fear that many Iraq and Afghanistan vets will also end up homeless. The homelessness seems to me obviously an outgrowth of PTSD (which can lead to alcoholism and to the break-up of families, and generally to a reduction in emotional and kin support for an individual who seems habitually angry, distant, and acting a bit oddly). The article says,

‘ Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job. Some advocates say the early presence of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan at shelters does not bode well for the future. It took roughly a decade for the lives of Vietnam veterans to unravel to the point that they started showing up among the homeless. Advocates worry that intense and repeated deployments leave newer veterans particularly vulnerable. “We’re going to be having a tsunami of them eventually because the mental-health toll from this war is enormous,” said Daniel Tooth, director of veterans affairs for Lancaster County, Pa.’

Ironically, among the best things you can do to support the veterans is to give regularly to your local homeless shelter. (We should all be doing that anyway, since it is not a cause that is easy to raise money for, and government has tended to fall down on the job in this regard. One third of the homeless are families with children. You can easily find out which is the major local homeless shelter in your area.)”

Supporting our troops and our veterans means doing more than putting a yellow ribbon magnet on your SUV. It means striving for peace, so fewer future mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters will have to bury their loved ones. It means beating your swords into plowshares. It means that war must always be a last resort, because no matter how we romanticize it, war is hell.

Scrutiny Hooligans salute our veterans who have put love of country over personal safety. Thank you for risking it all, even if your government rushed to war and stubbornly keeps us on a battlefield that will have no military victors.

Categories : Chickenhawks, Iraq
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Nov
01

Trifecta of disgustingness

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UNO

State Department diplomats don’t want to serve in Iraq and one of them said this in a meeting at a DC auditorium:

“It’s one thing if someone believes in what’s going on over there and volunteers, but it’s another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment,” Croddy said. “I’m sorry, but basically that’s a potential death sentence and you know it. Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?”

Talk about separation by class. I wonder what these people think of the police or firefighters who risk their lives for us here. At a third or a quarter (or a tenth) the salary . . . and probably none of the bennies.

I guess my point here is: if they don’t want to go, they are free to look elsewhere for employment.

DOS

We stole this land. “Relocated” the residents, who now live in poverty. Now we use it for torture. Ever heard of Diego Garcia?

TRES

McHenry’s buddies at Blackwater think it’s okay to use media gag contract clauses to silence suing relatives.

Blackwater is pursuing a bold legal strategy, going so far in a North Carolina case as to seek a gag order on the lawyers for the families of four Blackwater employees killed in an ambush in Falluja in 2004. The company argues that the dead men had signed contracts that prohibited them from talking to the press about Blackwater and that this restriction extended to their lawyers and their estates even after death.

Wonder if Mom or the kids can hold them to the salary and work clauses of the contract? What else should we know about your buddies, Pat?

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Oct
27

Pants-Wetting Republicans Awareness Week

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Also known as Islamo-fascism Awareness Week. Josh at Veracifier pwns David Horowitz. Watch the whole thing.

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John H. Richardson from Esquire Magazine writes “n the years after 9/11, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann worked at the highest levels of the Bush administration as Middle East policy experts for the National Security Council. Mann conducted secret negotiations with Iran. Leverett traveled with Colin Powell and advised Condoleezza Rice. They each played crucial roles in formulating policy for the region leading up to the war in Iraq. But when they left the White House, they left with a growing sense of alarm — not only was the Bush administration headed straight for war with Iran, it had been set on this course for years. That was what people didn’t realize. It was just like Iraq, when the White House was so eager for war it couldn’t wait for the UN inspectors to leave. The steps have been many and steady and all in the same direction. And now things are getting much worse. We are getting closer and closer to the tripline, they say…”

“…This is what Leverett and Mann fear will happen: The diplomatic effort in the United Nations will fail when it becomes clear that Russia’s and China’s geopolitical ambitions will not accommodate the inconvenience of energy sanctions against Iran. Without any meaningful incentive from the U.S. to be friendly, Iran will keep meddling in Iraq and installing nuclear centrifuges. This will trigger a response from the hard-liners in the White House, who feel that it is their moral duty to deal with Iran before the Democrats take over American foreign policy. “If you get all those elements coming together, say in the first half of ’08,” says Leverett, “what is this president going to do? I think there is a serious risk he would decide to order an attack on the Iranian nuclear installations and probably a wider target zone.”

This would result in a dramatic increase in attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, attacks by proxy forces like Hezbollah, and an unknown reaction from the wobbly states of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where millions admire Iran’s resistance to the Great Satan. “As disastrous as Iraq has been,” says Mann, “an attack on Iran could engulf America in a war with the entire Muslim world.”

I highly recommend you read the entire article.

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[Ed: Click below screengrab to enlarge]

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Where I would love if this is true, it has got to be that Republican Party Spokesman Ann Coulter just got hacked! Which is appropriate since she is a hack.

 

See it for yourself…

Update: Apparently, it has been taken down…

 

=)

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Sep
28

A Simple Question for Our Congressman

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Congressman Shuler – a few days ago you, along with 340 of your colleagues in the House of Representatives, voted in favor of condemning MoveOn.org (who, it may be worth remembering, organized a massive phone banking effort on your behalf last fall) as well as “any effort to attack the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces.”

Our question, Congressman, is this: Will you take the same stance regarding Rush Limbaugh’s crass and callous dismissal of our men and women in uniform as “phony”?

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Sep
18

Pants-Wetters Vs. Reality

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not-terrified-712860.jpgThe Islamofascist-Caliphate-fearing media warriors are doing their level best to inform us that Iran, which may be able to have a nuclear weapon someday, is almost as dangerous as liberals. Rumors of planned airstrikes against Iran are all over the place, and we’ve got a President whose mission from God likely includes turning that nation into a devastated wasteland.

General John Abizaid has this to say:

“Every effort should be made to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but failing that, the world could live with a nuclear-armed regime in Tehran, a recently retired commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Monday.

John Abizaid, the retired Army general who headed Central Command for nearly four years, said he was confident that if Iran gained nuclear arms, the United States could deter it from using them.

“Iran is not a suicide nation,” he said. “I mean, they may have some people in charge that don’t appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon.”
[…]
“There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran,” Abizaid said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. “Let’s face it, we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we’ve lived with a nuclear China, and we’re living with (other) nuclear powers as well.”

How many days until the pro-war neocon right, still mired in their indignation over MoveOn’s perjorative reference to Gen. Petraeus, start calling Abizaid a traitor?

Categories : Chickenhawks, Iran
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Pentagon ‘three-day blitz’ plan for Iran

The Times Online is reporting “The Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.

Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.

Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: “Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.” It was, he added, a “very legitimate strategic calculus”.

President George Bush intensified the rhetoric against Iran last week, accusing Tehran of putting the Middle East “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”. He warned that the US and its allies would confront Iran “before it is too late”.

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Read the rest of the article.

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UPDATE: From Daily Kos

“We Are Going To Hit Iran. Bigtime”

This particular blog post was debunked. Hattip to Paul at Brainshrub

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UPDATE:

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock: Countdown to Midnight in Persia

Chris Floyd writes “Day after day, almost hour by hour, fresh confirmation comes of the impending American attack on Iran. Yet the same surreal malaise that hung over public affairs before the war of aggression against Iraq has descended again. Everyone knows the war is coming and nothing will stop it, but the strange, ludicrous shadow play of sham “debate” goes on, as if there were some kind of political or diplomatic maneuver out there that could deflect the Bush-Cheney junta from its long-chosen course. But nothing will stop them, just as nothing — not even 10 million people in the streets around the world, the largest protest in human history — stopped them from the rape of Iraq. It’s what they want to do — and they will do it…”

The latest confirmation arrives from Juan Cole’s new spin-off blog, “Global Affairs,” where Barnett Rubin writes:

Today I received a message from a friend who has excellent connections in Washington and whose information has often been prescient. According to this report, as in 2002, the rollout will start after Labor Day, with a big kickoff on September 11. My friend had spoken to someone in one of the leading neo-conservative institutions. He summarized what he was told this way:

They [the source’s institution] have “instructions” (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects. It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don’t think they’ll ever get majority support for this — they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is “plenty.”

Of course I cannot verify this report. But besides all the other pieces of information about this circulating, I heard last week from a former U.S. government contractor. According to this friend, someone in the Department of Defense called, asking for cost estimates for a model for reconstruction in Asia. The former contractor finally concluded that the model was intended for Iran. This anecdote is also inconclusive, but it is consistent with the depth of planning that went into the reconstruction effort in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read the rest of the article

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Could the Bush Administration really be this stupid? Wait, don’t answer that.

Almost every decision they have made has been a disaster, and that alone lends credence to articles above.

It just makes me sick.

Happy Labor Day…

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