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Monday, January 01, 2007

A Rundown on Stupidity

In reading the news and blogs for the day I kept coming back to one comment that was running through my mind. Stupidity. So, that is the theme of the post.

This starts with someone named Christy Hardin Smith over at Firedoglake, with a post called "Not just a number".

That this Administration and, indeed, so many in America, cannot seem to look themselves and the consequences of their choices and actions squarely in the face — no matter the number of deaths, the number of injuries, the number of allies who back away in horror at the mess that we are making of the world around us — that this is how the Bush Administration conducts itself because they are too cowardly, too full of pride to admit a mistake to themselves, let alone the rest of us, is folly. Of the most dangerous sort, because in refusing to see the entire truth, the only things that are considered are the ones which back up the continued delusions and failures of the past.

I would ask her to "acknowledge" the outstanding work of the troops, instead of using our soldiers and the deaths she "uses" to make her political points. After all, as I pointed out here, they have done an excellent job, especially when compared with other wars.

Civil War, 1861 to 1865: 1 Million participants and 133,821 Deaths in Service.

Spanish-American War, 1898-1902: 392,000 participants and 11,000 Deaths in Service.

World War I, 1917 to 1918: ONE YEAR: 4,744,000 participants and 116,000 Deaths in Service.

World War II, 1940 to 1947: 16,535,000 participants and 406,000 Deaths in Service.

Korean Conflict, 1950 to 1955: 6,807,000 participants and 55,000 Deaths in Service.

Vietnam era, 1964 to 1975: 9,200,000 participants and 109,000 Deaths in Service.

Source for Death Tolls. ( Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, July 1998)

[UPDATE] 01/02/07- Editor and Publisher has an article that is a must read. [End Update]

How about instead of USING our dead for political purposes, you try thanking our troops for a job well done to date, and furthermore how about you try LISTENING to what they have to say.

For example: A college newspaper interviews a soldier, this college newspapers does a far better job in speaking for our soldiers because they are using the soldiers ACTUAL words.

Q: What did you think about when you found out your unit was being deployed to Iraq?

A: 1 – This is the right enemy in the right place at the right time. 2 - Because we are going over there, we are keeping them from doing evil over here. 3 – We, America's soldiers, are willing to fight and die in order that their (even the terrorist's) children will have a chance to grow up and live in freedom and liberty. They (the terrorists) are willing to kill our children and anyone else in order to force the world to be the way they want it to be (dictatorial, repressed, stagnant). There is no moral confusion or equivalency here.

Q: What has been your most memorable moment here?

A: I escorted Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for four days, including Christmas. I watched this remarkable man let himself be pawed over and hugged, stand for thousands of photos, sign hundreds of autographs, shake every hand offered, for four days, with a smile on his face and joy in his heart. This man loves the American serviceman and woman and truly appreciates what we are doing here. He never left a place until every soldier was satisfied. Incredible devotion to duty.

Q: Has your opinion about Iraq changed since you've been here?

A: Yes. I believe more than ever that this will be a great nation in only a few short years. The people here work hard, have an entrepreneurial spirit and want their lives to be better. They know they have a chance never before given to an Arab-region peoples: to live in freedom and democracy for the first time in 10,000 years. There are lots of problems here but this is an ancient region, the cradle of civilization, and they have the pride to make a better future happen.

Q: Do you think the news coverage presents an accurate account of the Iraqi conflict?

A: Are you kidding me? The national media outlets are so far out of touch with the real story here they might as well be making it up. All they care about is getting video of blood. Death sells and brings in viewers. The real story is in the daily SWEAT-M analysis that is going on all over the country: Sewer, water, electricity, academics, trash and medical improvements and development. All more and better every day. Also improvements in the training and deployment of the Iraqi Army and police forces, and in the development, spread and adoption of the rule of law after 10,000 years of the rule of the tyrant.

Q: What is the morale of your troops and peers and if low, why?

A: Contrary to popular opinion morale, it is not about the president, our national agenda or media, or the big picture mission. Morale is always, always, always about the front-line leadership of the troops. If that Sergeant, that Lieutenant, that First Sergeant and Company Commander are squared away, look out for their troops and prove day in and day out that they really care about their men. The troops could be burning feces every day and morale would be high. Contrarily, soldiers could be on a high-speed mission and having tactical successes, but if their front-line leaders are dirt-bags looking out for themselves first, the morale will be low. Our morale is generally high. The soldiers understand their mission and its importance, where they fit in and they have leaders looking out for them. It goes up and down. That's normal.

These are the people on the front line, in Iraq and they are speaking to us.... will we listen?

The college paper does a better job of getting to the truth than good ole Christy.

What about the fact that our reenlistment rates , are at an all time high, is that not the military talking with their boots on the ground? Regular enlistments are also above the goals set, these are people that KNOW they will be going to Iraq.

An Army Chaplain does a very good job in explaining the actuality from the fantasy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006-:

Not a war, but reconstruction

One of the things I've noticed about the coverage of the war in Iraq, back in the US, is the absolutely negative way in which everything connected to it is being portrayed. This includes the media, and members of both political parties. And it comes from people who lack a very basic knowledge of the region or its people. Read this article on CNN for an example. Now, I understand that not every American knows that Al Qaeda is a Sunni organization, but shouldn't the guy who will be heading up the House Intelligence Committee know this?? Seriously... and these politicians are the ones telling us we're "losing."

What bothers me is the way that members of both parties have, a) Turned the war political, and b) Begun to talk about winning or losing in ways that we cannot. Coming back to the States for a bit, and seeing the TV coverage blows me away. What's getting lost in the mix are the Iraqis.

Let me offer a different way of thinking about this: We won the war in Iraq. Yes, past tense: we won. You see, militarily, we invaded Iraq, defeated their Army, and captured their leadership. On this point, we had a crushing and overwhelming victory. No questions about it. We did what we said we were going to do: invaded the country and deposed Saddam (remember, right before the war started, we gave Saddam 48 hours to leave office), and we inforced the weapons inspections. That was the "war." We won that.

What is happening now is the reconstruction and reconstitution of Iraq. In other words: putting it back together. We helped the Iraqis democratically elect a government. Check. We have trained and Army and Police Force. Check. The problem is that the government and military of Iraq are not doing a good job. That is the point on which things are failing. We have to stop thinking about this phase as winning or losing a war.

Over the past two years, we had one political party (the Democrats) pretending that nothing was going right over there, and we had the other political party (the Republicans) pretending that everything was going right over there. (In other words, BOTH are to blame) In the meantime, the Iraqis get hurt by our own self-obsession.

Things are failing because we have been so self-focused that we have failed to stop and ask "what do we need to do to improve the situation?" We have sat and argued about pre-war intelligence, about whether we should call it a civil war or not, about whether the Iraq war is part of the greater war on terror or a separate war, etc. In the meantime, we seem to have forgotten about.... the Iraqis.

What I find interesting about the Iraq Study Group report- which works under the assumption that we're "losing"- is that the people who seem to object to the report the most are the Iraqis. The reason: I think they see that America is getting bored, and is getting ready to leave them in a precarious position. It's kind of like a mother having a baby, and wondering why the baby isn't full grown after three years, and deciding that the best option would be to send the baby off on his own.

I wonder if we have the virtuous resolve to complete our committments, even when they turn out to be more difficult than we first believed?

Well said and very educational.

This morning I turned on the television and one of the first things I saw was a soldier, I didn't see the question he was asked but I did catch his answer.

He said that those that say they support the troops but not the war and say they are "losing" in Iraq, obviously do not have confidence in us. (he swept his hand around to all his fellow soldiers standing there in Iraq)

Have you no shame to make our soldiers feel that way when they are fighting and many losing their lives for us. No problem, I am ashamed of you enough for 10 people.

The next bit of stupidity I saw was one already written here in the last post "Sympathy for the Devil". All I have to add to what he said is that this love affair that the NYT has with terrorists, al-Qaeda, dead dictators and living ones alike, is simply CREEPY.

Nuff said about that.

Then we have Crooks and Liars condemning Hannity for his trip to Iraq and I have a question there too. When did YOU bother to go to Iraq and let the world hear our soldiers words? When did YOU take time out of your busy life to go interact with the soldiers that are fighting? When did YOU give them a forum to speak to?

It IS a pity that the war in Iraq has become so political, but it HAS. Clearly the lines on Iraq are drawn between political entities. It is what it is. I do NOT see Crooks and Liars asking the AP, or NYT to stop politicizing the war and start giving both, I only see criticism from the left come when the message is not theirs.

I personally have no problem with all the news coming from Iraq, good AND bad. This one sided media frenzy is the reason half the Americans do not know anything BUT the death toll "milestones" in Iraq.

What about the news coming out of Iraq other than the body count? Who tells the American people that news?

For example: Sunday, December 31, 2006:

BAGHDAD — Coalition and Iraqi forces killed six terrorists and captured 32 suspected terrorists today, military officials reported.

Coalition forces killed two terrorists and detained two others during a raid against al Qaeda terrorists today in Baghdad. While moving toward the targeted building, coalition forces encountered two armed men who had exited nearby buildings. Coalition forces assessed the two armed men as an immediate threat and engaged them. Both men were wounded.

Coalition forces immediately rendered first aid and transported the two men to a nearby medical facility. Upon further investigation, coalition forces determined the men were local nationals. The men are in stable condition.

Additional forces performing security outside the targeted building were confronted by two armed terrorists during the raid. The terrorists began maneuvering toward coalition forces despite the ground troops' repeated attempts to halt the men. The terrorists were noncompliant and continued to maneuver toward the coalition forces who engaged, killing the two armed terrorists.

Ground forces entered the targeted building and found a weapons cache consisting of AK-47s, which was seized. Two suspected terrorists were also detained during the raid.

Elsewhere, coalition forces killed four terrorists and destroyed two buildings along with nearby cache sites containing improvised explosive device equipment during a raid today in Thar Thar.

Intelligence reports indicated roadside bombs were being produced in the targeted buildings. Upon entering the first building, coalition forces were engaged by armed terrorists. Coalition forces returned fire, killing four terrorists.

While searching the targeted buildings and surrounding area, ground forces found a significant cache consisting a large amount of IED-making material, including 16 pounds of homemade explosives, one 60-pound and one 80-pound bomb.

Also found on the site were multiple batteries, blasting caps, a rocket-propelled grenade,100 feet of detonation cord, suicide vests, grenades and machine guns.

Coalition forces coordinated an air strike that destroyed the buildings containing the weapons cache.

In another operation, special Iraqi police forces, with coalition advisers, captured two suspected insurgent cell leaders during operations today in Bahbahani, near Iskandariyah. The suspected insurgents are allegedly responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Iraqi civilians in the area.

The insurgent cell leaders, who are tied to al Qaeda in Iraq, are also implicated in numerous roadside bomb attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces in the Babil and Karbala provinces.

In other developments, coalition forces detained two suspects during operations today in the Ad Dawrah area of southern Baghdad to capture a suspected member of al Qaeda in Iraq who allegedly plans and participates in the kidnapping of Iraqi civilians. He is also alleged to advise on and facilitates violent activities, kidnappings and murders perpetuated by other insurgents.

Additionally, special Iraqi army forces detained 13 suspects during operations today in Salman Pak, southeast of Baghdad, to capture the alleged commander of illegal armed group elements responsible for sectarian violence and attacks against Iraqi civilians in the area.

The Iraqi-led operation, with coalition advisers, involved entry into the Salman Pak mosque. The mosque was reportedly used as a base of operations for planning and conducting attacks, kidnappings and murder. Credible intelligence also indicated the mosque was being used by illegal armed groups as a place to store and traffic weapons.

Iraqi forces entered the mosque and confiscated a large weapons cache consisting of 21 armored vests, two rocket-propelled-grenade launchers, three heavy machine guns, 10 assault rifles and 12 grenades.

Twenty RPG rounds were also found, but destroyed near the objective after explosive ordnance disposal personnel determined their condition prevented transport. The rounds were destroyed in a location that minimized any damage to the mosque.

Who reported this? What news agency? How many are aware that this is simply one of hundreds of articles that do not get reported on? These articles come out on a daily basis but go largely ignored and the American people are never told this, because all they are told is the latest milestones in deaths.

Then we have the ultimate in stupidity, in which it isn't what was written, but what is being ignored that makes it way to the list.

We ignore Iran at our own peril. Here is a link to all my posts on Iran, read it and understand what ignoring this monster will ultimately do to us.

There is some good news on the war on terror front, the Islamists in Somalia are getting their butts kicked....Good.

Kudo's to LGF's for smacking down the NYT and pointing to their lie or stupidity or a simple matter of not fact checking their story before publishing it, you pick which it is.

Just a few examples of the stupidity that kicks off the first day of a new year.

Have a good one folks!!!!!!