Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

Obama Signed Up For A Hard Job

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Recently, Barack Obama has taken to blaming George W. Bush for problems such as our economy. It is true George W. Bush did screw up the economy pretty well but eventually Obama is going to have to take credit for it.

Obama signed up for a bad job when he ran for President. Being President normally is a hard job. It becomes an even harder job when you are President and start off with a recession and two wars going on.

I guess the only really good part about starting off with a country in a lousy condition to run is it is pretty easy to make things seem better.

Barack Obama

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Barack Obama has now won the 2008 Presidential election. I did not vote for Barack Obama but I wish him well. I hope Barack Obama brings home the troops and closes the prison on Guantanamo Bay as well as realizes there is no longer the financial incentive to continue the war on drugs.

Former New Mexico Governor Endorses Ron Paul

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson has endorsed Ron Paul in the Republican primary. In a press release Gary Johnson stated

“I am endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican nomination for President because of his commitment to less government, greater liberty, and lasting prosperity for America. We are at a point in this country where we need to reduce our dependency on government and regain control of our future. To this end, Ron Paul will bring back troops, end the War in Iraq, and will strengthen the U.S. dollar and the economy. For these reasons and more, Ron Paul has my support, respect, and vote.”

Gary Johnson was a Republican Governor of Mexico who was very libertarian oriented when he was in office.

VIolence May Be Down But People Are Still Fleeing Their Homes In Iraq

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

The Washington Post reports that a new report from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society states that Iraqis have been leaving 2.3 million Iraqis displaced since February. Over 83 percent of those driven out have been women and children.

In many ways this is a result of ethnic cleansing as areas like Baghdad become more divided. Areas with the largest amount of civilian displacement are those with previously mixed ethnic populations such as Baghdad. Philip Carter points out in Slate that violence is now down in Iraq due in large part due to ethnic cleansing:

However, the most persuasive explanation for the good news is that the Shiites have won the battle for Baghdad. Shiite militias and partisans have killed or expelled tens of thousands of Sunnis, changing the ethnographic map of the ancient city. The few Sunnis who remain in Baghdad do so under the protection of U.S. military forces, secured by a labyrinth of concrete blast walls, checkpoints, and security bases. Violence is down because the Shiites have fewer Sunnis to kill, and the Sunni insurgents now find it harder to move around in order to strike with suicide bombers, rockets, and roadside bombs.

It would be unseemly for Lt. Gen. Odierno to claim credit for ethnic cleansing, or to find a silver lining in the deaths of thousands of Sunnis, but this is the unavoidable, if unspoken, truth about the decline of violence in Baghdad. But on Thursday, Odierno didn’t just talk around or downplay the truth, he flatly denied it, saying, “I’ve not seen any significant shifts [in the ethnic composition of Baghdad] that have changed it from January, when we got here, to now.” His own troops patrolling the streets of Sunni neighborhoods in Western Baghdad say otherwise, as do a number of reporters who have tracked the ethnographic composition of the city since the surge began. Baghdad has Balkanized into armed camps, protected for the moment by a mix of American troops and local militias.

“This attack ignited sectarian and ethnic arms conflict throughout Iraq on a scale never seen before. Thousands of Shiites had fled Sunni areas and vice versa,” the report said. “In addition to their plight as being displaced, the majority suffer from disease, poverty and malnutrition.”

U.S. Deaths In Iraq Down; a Trend or an Anomoly

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

U.S. combat deaths in Iraq are down this month for the lowest total since March 2006.

Violence in Iraq is down somewhat but it has more to do with the cooperation between various Iraqi factions and the U.S. military.

With growing numbers of recruits joining Iraq’s army and police, and tens of thousands volunteering for neighborhood watch groups, overall violence has dropped significantly, commanders said. Part of the reason is that many insurgents have stopped fighting U.S. troops and begun working with them, the commanders said.

The escalataed push of the surge just enraged the enemy

U.S. casualties had soared earlier this year as troops under the buildup poured into Iraq. Under a new tactical plan devised by Gen. David Petraeus, the overall U.S. commander in Iraq, they deployed on street patrol and fought in dangerous neighborhoods, setting up forward outposts with Iraqi army and police. Iraqi insurgents pushed back against these aggressive new tactics, and U.S. casualties rose from the low 80s in the first few months of 2007 to 104 in April and 126 in May, before beginning to subside.

It is not really surprising that a country will be safer when protected by its own countrymen rather than foreign invaders.

Sure U.S. troop deaths for the month are down but is this just a statistical outlier. It is too early to see a pattern at this point. As the graph above shows, U.S. casualties have gone down previously this may just be a temporary drop in the violence.

Dick Morris Has His Head In The Sand

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Dick Morris thinks Americans have their head in the sand because they did not view terrorism as the biggest problem facing America.

Asked in the latest Gallup Poll what are the major problems facing America, an incredible 4 percent said terrorism. Ninety-six percent are living with their heads in the sand. Thirty-three percent cited Iraq, 22 percent mentioned some economic problem, 13 percent spoke of healthcare issues and 9 percent mentioned immigration

It is understandable that more Americans would be concerned with the war in Iraq over the war in terrorism because more Americans are dying because of terrorism in the war in Iraq. Just since the surge started in February there have been 743 American and 40 British casualties.

Peolosi Plasses The Blame

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Nancy Pelosi has recently taken to blaming the Republicans for the Democrat’s inaction on Iraq:

In an hourlong interview with the editorial board of The Boston Globe, Pelosi said responsibility for the war no longer lay just with President Bush but with her Republican counterparts on Capitol Hill, who she said are more interested in protecting Bush than working to redeploy the 169,000 American troops now in Iraq.

“We have to make it very clear to the American people that it was George Bush’s war [but] it is now the Republicans in Congress’s war,” she said.

The Republicans may be inactive in ending the Iraq war but the Democrats have not been much better. Pelosi needs to take some of the responsibility, the Democrats do control both houses of Congress. And the plan Pelosi proposed by the President is a similair table for withdrawl.

The Military Is Afraid of The Internet

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

The military was able to push out a number of stories in the media this week about the military’s development of several YouTube channels. The YouTube channel can be reached here. Lt. Col. Christopher Garver told the Los Angeles Times “This effort was not designed to combat what ends up on extremist Web sites.” Garver went on to say “But we understand that it is a battle space in which we have not been active, and this is a media we can use to get our story told.”

At the same time the military is requiring super strict regulations of blogs run by military personnel. Under the new rule military bloggers would have to contact their superior officer before each posting. This will have the effect of reducing the postings of miliblogs to a trickle. The military is using security as a scapegoat for this crackdown but as Julian Sanchez points out there the Army’s own Combined Arms Center concluded that there were few security grounds for concern. Posting of classified materials is already a crime. The soldiers that are posting classified material will likely continue posting thus the military that has decided in a war whose length will be determined by public opinion that they will give up on the blog PR war.

Turning the Corner in Iraq

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

For almost four years now the military and the administration have repeated that we are about to turn the corner in Iraq. Or we are being told that the insurgency in Iraq is in its last throes or some other such crap. This sure is one long corner with no light at the end of the tunnel to add in another cliché.

Sure I’ve just made baseless rhetorical conjecture but the evidence does not look much brighter. In fact Iraq has seen a 91% rise in terrorist incidents over the last year. The number of terrorist incidents in Iraq rose from 3,468 in 2005 to 6,630 in 2006.

So the evidence seems to state that things are not getting better in Iraq. Yes, people are going to die in Iraq but why do they have to be Americans?

The Fiscal Costs of The Iraq War Add Up

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

We will soon be approaching four years since the start of the war in Iraq and the bill is beginning to add up.

When the new funding for the war passes, the total will rise to $564 billion. McClatchy lists some of the other purchases that the government could make with the money being spent on Iraq:

“What could that kind of money buy?

A college education – tuition, fees, room and board at a public university – for about half of the nation’s 17 million high-school-age teenagers.

Pre-school for every 3- and 4-year-old in the country for the next eight years.”

Of course the government shouldn’t be spending any more money. This war has been paid for through increasing government debt. The large federal deficit has hurt the value of the U.S. dollar and increasing government debt leads to investment in government securities as opposed to capital investments that will stimulate the economoy.

Long term fiscal costs must be considered that will be needed to care for veterans. Four years of war produces veterans with needs that will have to be addressed for lifetimes.

Maybe a relatively small amount of money for peanut storage in exchange for hundreds of billions saved ending the war in Iraq.