Recently in Iraq Category

Meanwhile Back At The Desert

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The Great George W. Bush Doctrine continues at a pace.

What BushCo™ Was All About

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I think this story epitomizes what the Bush Administration was all about; greed and corruption. The aftermath of the Iraq Invasion was a foreshadowing of what they had in store for us here in the homeland.

God, I even hate typing that last word. It is just so damn dirty.

A Sign O' The Times

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MSNBC

BAGHDAD - Iraq will not authorize Blackwater Worldwide, the U.S. Embassy's main security company, to operate in the country anymore, a senior Iraqi official said Thursday.
Nothing warms my heart more than to see Blackwater lose an account. If ever there was a clear example of modern fascism, Blackwater Worldwide fits the bill. Now, if we could just eliminate other privitization companies. There are simply some things the goverment ought be doing, not private corporations. If for no other reason than the astronomical costs of contracting out services.
CNN

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- At least 900 Christian families have fled Mosul in the past week, terrified by a series of killings and threats by Muslim extremists ordering them to convert to Islam or face possible death, officials said Saturday.
Hate to say it, but under Saddam, the Christians were safe. Again, just another fine example of the failure of George W. Bush.
Star Tribune

U.S. officials say militant attacks in Afghanistan are becoming more complex, intense and better coordinated than a year ago. Monthly death tolls of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan surpassed U.S. military deaths in Iraq in May and June. And last Monday, a suicide bomber attacked the Indian Embassy in Kabul, killing 58 people in the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since 2001.
This should not be a news story. Afghanistan should not be a problem right now. But, because our piss poor excuse of a president decided to prove he was better than his father, we blundered into an invasion of Iraq. This depleted the military strength required to take out the people truly responsible for the attacks on September 11th, 2001. So, instead of a secure, safe Afghanistan, we have Afghanistan slowly degrading into chaos -- if ever it really had seen stability.

Eschaton: Lable Correctly

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It is a rare day indeed when I link to Atrios, but none-the-less, he makes a good point.

The Savaging of Scott McClellan continues. But it is not just the right that is tearing him apart. Several of our own progressive members of Blogstonia appear to be piling on just as righteously. Over at TPM, there are continued posts of Scott's past statements that, by his own recent admission, were misleading and lies. And yet, despite his admissions, he is being ridiculed, mocked, and smeared.

Was David Brock, a man most of us know to have been instrumental in the defamation, and eventual impeachment of Bill Clinton, held to this level of scorn and ridicule? Obviously not, considering his website, Media Matters, is the go-to site for all things propaganda.

Over the last 6 plus years, since the run up to the invasion of Iraq, a nation obviously not capable of mounting any type of attack against us, we have been demanding that the administration acknowledge it's propaganda agenda. Time and again, on blogs and websites across the progressive spectrum, there has been anger and disgust at the lack of honesty and forthrightness.

Now, finally, Scott McClellan steps forward, announces quite loudly, and convincingly, that the Bush administration used propaganda in the run up to the invasion, and what does he receive? Our derision and scorn.

"Where the hell were you back in 2002? Why the hell did you not resign in protest back then?" Here are some links: CampusProgress, The Register-Guardian, MetaFilter, Oliver Willis, All Spin Zone.

Stop. It. Seriously. Stop it right now.

Scott McClellan has stepped forward, just like David Brock, just like Paul O'Neill, just like Richard Clarke. Now, when those three stepped forward, did it make a difference? Did Paul O"Neill's account of the fiasco that is the Bush administration's handling of the economy make things change? Doh! Of course not. Did David Brock's admission of being instrumental in the propaganda machine -- The Mighty Wurlitzer -- of the conservative right result in the failure of the propaganda machine? Do I need to type Doh! again? And do I really need to point out the lack of serious security despite Richard Clarke's admissions? Yeah, I thought not.

Okay, maybe Scott could have done the honorable thing and bowed out earlier. In the end, it would not have mattered one iota. They simply would have filled his position with another mouth piece. Gee, in fact, they've done it twice since he's left.

So, how about instead of bitching about what he didn't do, because it doesn't really matter, and take comfort in what he has done. Because, unlike David, Paul, and Richard, Scott's book, and it's timing, might actually prevent the invasion of Iran. He has become an ally to our cause. How about we accept him?

Besides, if you really want to bitch about someone doing the right thing and preventing this mess, how about you bitch about this. Because, in the end, having a different man as president would have been the only way to prevent the failure that is the Bush administration.
I know I said I was not into politics at the moment. But Scott McClellan is coming out with a book on Monday that a CNN White House correspondent called, and I am trying to recall this from memory, candid and straightforward.

Already the Mighty Wurlitzer's screeching harpies are lining up for blood.

Frances Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to Bush, said advisers to the president should speak up when they have policy concerns.

"Scott never did that on any of these issues as best I can remember or as best as I know from any of my White House colleagues," said Townsend, now a CNN contributor. "For him to do this now strikes me as self-serving, disingenuous and unprofessional."

Only problem with that:

A former spokesman for Bush when he was governor of Texas, McClellan was named White House press secretary in 2003, replacing Ari Fleischer. McClellan had previously been a deputy press secretary and was the traveling spokesman for the Bush campaign during the 2000 election.

He announced he was resigning in April 2006 at a news conference with Bush.

"One of these days, he and I are going to be rocking in chairs in Texas talking about the good old days of his time as the press secretary," Bush said at that conference. "And I can assure you, I will feel the same way then that I feel now, that I can say to Scott, job well done."
Obviously, Scott didn't coordinate this announcement with the White House; it's not Friday. But more to the point, how can they denounce Scott's job performance when the president himself proclaimed a job done well? Yeah, I know, they will anyway.

Damn, just when I thought I'd gotten away, they pull me back in.

Update: Here are two more links; C&L and Politico.com

Codpiece Day

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I have to give Digby credit for coining Codpiece Day. However, Kyle E. Moore over at Comments From Left Field makes the point for the day.

Well, boys and girls, we’re still in Iraq, and since declaring the end of major combat operations, a full 97% of the men and women who have died in Iraq have done so following that potentially great day. And, of course, if we choose to elect John McCain as our next Commander in Chief, we will have many more Mission Accomplished Days to celebrate.
Do I really need to add to that?

Oh hell, of course I don't. Besides, rhetorical question. Duh.
Bringing "Democracy & The Rule Of Law" to a middle east country near you.

All Spin Zone
The Hastings Star Gazette

About 50 Hastings-based soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard will soon be returning to Iraq for their second deployment in four years.

The soldiers are part of Charlie Company of the 834th Aviation Support Battalion of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade. They’ll be leaving near the end of May for an approximately year-long tour, Shane Hudella, a spokesman for the National Guard said.
After 5 years this should not be happening. Putting aside the lies, the deception, and the manipulation that led us into this occupation, if the current administration had any competent leadership abilities, this type of extreme rotation would not be needed. Instead, there would already be an international coalition in Iraq, with the Iraqis themselves supply the bulk of security in their own country.

Instead, we are left as the major, if not sole, security force in the country that does not want us there, while a certain vice-president's company reaps a whirlwind profit. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Army was soundly rebuffed by local militias and shows no signs of being able to improve its standing.

CBS News

In the past, Katz has repeatedly insisted while the risk of suicide among veterans is serious, it's not outside the norm.

"There is no epidemic in suicide in VA," Katz told Keteyian in November.

But in this e-mail to his top media adviser, written two months ago, Katz appears to be saying something very different, stating: "Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among veterans we see in our medical facilities."

Katz's e-mail was written shortly after the VA provided CBS News data showing there were only 790 attempted suicides in all 2007 - a fraction of Katz's estimate.
What the hell do you say to this type of cover up?

Suicide is an extremely serious problem. Denial on the part of those responsible for helping the veteran's struggling with depression clearly means our military personnel are not getting the help they need. Katz is suppose to be focusing on the welfare of his patients, not the greater good of the military.

The man acted dishonorably, tarnishing the reputation of our military personnel, many who are now struggling to overcome the psychological damage caused by what was clearly an untenable situation.

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