Home > Uncategorized > Iraq: The Rest of the Story

Iraq: The Rest of the Story

Rush and Sean were all aglow last week with the news out of Iraq and even Chris Arend was on my show, extolling how the tide had turned for the U.S. Why? Because W. had gone to Iraq for a grand total of five hours. But, as predicted, things have settled back to normal. More death. More bombing. More destruction.

Check out today’s Washington Post to see how alarmed the U.S. Embassy has become:

NEW YORK The Washington Post has obtained a cable, marked “sensitive,” that it says show that just before President Bush left on a surprise trip last Monday to the Green Zone in Baghdad for an upbeat assessment of the situation there, “the U.S. Embassy in Iraq painted a starkly different portrait of increasing danger and hardship faced by its Iraqi employees.”

This cable outlines, the Post reported Sunday, “the daily-worsening conditions for those who live outside the heavily guarded international zone: harassment, threats and the employees’ constant fears that their neighbors will discover they work for the U.S. government.”

It’s actually far worse than that, as the details published below indicate, which include references to abductions, threats to women’s rights, and “ethnic cleansing.”

As a footnote in one of the 23 sections, the embassy relates, “An Arab newspaper editor told us he is preparing an extensive survey of ethnic cleansing, which he said is taking place in almost every Iraqi province, as political parties and their militiast are seemingly engaged in tit-for-tat reprisals all over Iraq.”

Among the other troubling reports:

— “Personal safety depends on good relations with the ‘neighborhood’ governments, who barricade streets and ward off outsiders. The central government, our staff says, is not relevant; even local mukhtars have been displaced or coopted by militias. People no longer trust most neighbors.”

— Iraqi staff at the embassy, beginning in March and picking up in May, report “pervasive” harassment from Islamist and/or militia groups. Cuts in power and rising fuel prices “have diminished the quality of life.” Conditions vary but even upscale neighborhoods “have visibly deteriorated” and one of them is now described as a “ghost town.”

— Two of the three female Iraqis in the public affairs office reported stepped-up harassment since mid-May….”some groups are pushing women to cover even their face, a step not taken in Iran even at its most conservative.” One of the women is now wearing a full abaya after receiving direct threats.

— Embassy employees are held in such low esteem their work must remain a secret and they live with constant fear that their cover will be blown. Of nine staffers, only four have told their families where they work. They all plan for their possible abductions. No one takes home their cell phones as this gives them away. One employee said criticism of the U.S. had grown so severe that most of her family believes the U.S. “is punishing populations as Saddam did.”

— Since April, the “demeanor” of guards in the Green Zone has changed, becoming more “militia-like,” and some are now “taunting” embassy personnel or holding up their credentials and saying loudly that they work in the embassy: “Such information is a death sentence if overheard by the wrong people.” For this reason, some have asked for press instead of embassy credentials.

— The overall environment is one of “frayed social networks,” with frequent actual or perceived insults. None of this is helped by lack of electricity. “One colleague told us he feels ‘defeated’ by circumstances, citing his example of being unable to help his two-year-old son who has asthma and cannot sleep in stifling heat,” which is now reaching 115 degrees.

— “Another employee tell us that life outside the Green Zone has become ’emotionally draining.’ He lives in a mostly Shiite area and claims to attend a funeral ‘every evening.'”

— Fuel lines have grown so long that one staffer spent 12 hours in line on his day off. “Employees all confirm that by the last week of May, they were getting one hour of power for every six hours without…..One staff member reported that a friend lives in a building that houses a new minister; within 24 hours of his appointment, her building had city power 24 hours a day.”

— The cable concludes that employees’ “personal fears are reinforcing divisive sectarian or ethnic channels, despite talk of reconciliation by officials.”

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  1. Kirk in SLO
    June 19, 2006 at 2:24 am

    ANOTHER Iraq message? Let me save everyone the trouble, and summarize the comments that will follow.

    Rich will provide a cogent counter-arguement, with cites and facts.

    New Tone will back up Rich, but without citing his sources.

    Bob will pick one small, possibly unrelated point and demand that someone from the right answer it.

    Jerry, who’s caps lock key was melted into the on position by the hot Phoenix sun, will laugh his ass off while throwing daggers at the lefties.

    And newcomber Brett will challenge Jerry to go to some other random website to argue with people that are apparently more capable at arguing than Brett is.

    Yawn.

    Can’t we get back to local issues? Maybe talk about how Grover Beach has spent a gazillion dollars on brick inlayed crosswalks while the residential streets have foot-deep potholes? Or how about the power hungry greed-heads at Cuesta who wanted millions for unneeded schools are wondering why even those of us who went to Cuesta told them to sod off?

    Heck, even talking about The Sewer(tm) is more interesting than watching the same cast of characters here respond to a bunch of cut and paste Iraq stuff from other sources.

  2. Rich from Paso
    June 19, 2006 at 2:57 am

    Amen, Kirk, you have summed up everything that has transpired on this blog for the last 6 months. The truth in summary was so true I laughed out loud. Brilliant!!! Thanks for the “cogent counter-argument with cites and facts, by the way.

    I have to ask you, Dave: Your obsession with being Debbie Downer on Iraq is becoming pathalogical. No matter what inkling of good news comes out of Iraq, you come down like the hammer of a gun and do your damnest to blow it away. Your desire to foist your depression about Iraq on the rest of us is tiresome at best.

    Kirk is absolutely right, Dave. You did a really good show on Thursday about the comedians and comedy in general. (Johnny Carson was a favorite of mine growing up, I saw Bob Hope live in Indianapolis in 1989; today, I love Lewis Black and there is a guy named Mitch Hedberg, who tragically passed away last year. He was hilarious) You had the lady from Los Osos on to talk about Sam Blakesley’s proposal to find a remedy for the Los Osos Sewer issue (Now there’s a quagmire 100 times greater than Iraq). Where is coverage on the campaign to unseat the Governator by Phil Angelides? Dave, I’m starting to feel used and I think that Bob should feel that way, too. Do you put these Iraq posts after posts on your blog (I understand it is your blog) with the intent to use Bob and my passions on the subject to keep interest in your blog up? It may be cynical but I can’t help to think that it is true. You get 18, 20, as many as 42 posts from Bob, New Tone, Jerry, now Kirk and I on Iraq but you got TWO posts on your “Good luck Jeff” and 9 posts on your trip to the Reagan Library. Are you telling us that the local issues on the Central Coast are boring and only Iraq and slamming the Bush Adminstration are the only way to keep up activity on the blog?

    I think that I have said all that I am going to say on Iraq for a while. Bob, just look at the archive for the answers you feel you need to post and spare the rest of the blog with another long-winded post. I have been too long-winded as well (like now). I am going to take a breath and just READ posts for a change and refrain from commenting on Iraq, Bush and the Democrats for a while.

    So, how ’bout them Giants?

  3. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    June 19, 2006 at 4:50 am

    Rich, I agree with you, but this time I actually have proof that the left will expose Bush and by the way, I always try and back up my sources. Lets get local!

  4. Anonymous
    June 19, 2006 at 5:55 am

    Why all the secrecy Mr. Bush? Are you making some secret deals with the puppet IRAQUI government you don’t want the American People to know about? We know the war is about you, your friends, and your business interests. Come on, bring our soldiers home. You are wrong in going there, being there, and going back in Secret. There is nothing in IRAQ except poor helpless people caught in the middle of the Oil War. Is Iran next on the list? http://www.action4justice.com

  5. Bob from San Luis
    June 19, 2006 at 6:32 am

    One small point, which is related in every conceivable way; here is a link that shows a real time clock of the cost our nation is spending in Iraq. $289 Billion dollars, so far, over 2500 American service personal killed, 18,000 wounded; is that link. Kirk, you want local topics; how much impact would San Luis Obispo county have from a portion of that $289 Billion, if invested in infrastructure? How many leaders of tomorrow were taken away from us because they served our country with honor, and died in this invasion and occupation? How many returning Vets will be impacted in the daily lives here in San Luis County, physically, mentally and emotionally? All politics are local, and politics impacts all localities.

  6. shawn
    June 20, 2006 at 5:34 am

    Sometimes it’s like a whole bunch of hyper nonsense. And Bob wins the contest for longest bit of hyperlinked text ever.

  7. Bob from San Luis
    June 20, 2006 at 5:48 am

    Sorry, I apparently didn’t close my tags properly. The point I was trying to make, Kirk, is that this “war” is taking away our future and our children’s future as well, due to the outrageous expense of lives, injuries and finances which is for all intents is being put on the national debt “charge card” that is only being accelerated by the tax cuts put forth for the last 4 years. So, if this is a “war”, why were those 2 soldiers reported as “kidnapped”, not “captured”, which is what you do in a “war”, isn’t it?

  8. Bob from San Luis
    June 21, 2006 at 2:15 am

    Apparently those two soldiers were killed. This is sad, when will it stop? I don’t want to argue with anyone as to whether or not this is a war anymore; we need to have the Iraqis stand up, soon, so we can remove our troops from harms way, the sooner the better. Perhaps if the Iraqi leaders were given a timetable, they would be forced to produce results that would help them the most.

  9. Rich from Paso
    June 22, 2006 at 1:49 am
  10. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    June 22, 2006 at 6:36 am
  11. Bob from San Luis
    June 22, 2006 at 7:38 am

    Rich: Wow. Have you seen the segment on Fox News where Alan Comes confronts Senator Santorum? Here is the link to a video of that confrontation. I have held you in respect because of your service in the military, and the fact that you were actually in Iraq, but I fear you, like Senator Santorum are grasping at straws in trying desperately to find justification for this illegal, immoral, never in our modern history first strike invasion of another country and the ensuing confusion of the following occupation that was not planned well or executed well by the civilian leadership. 500 weapons found over the course of 3 years in a country the size of California, and that is the justification? Please look up the term “shelf life” as it relates to chemical weapons before you try to give this “report” any more credence.

  12. Rich from Paso
    June 22, 2006 at 9:18 am

    Bob, get your head out of your ass. Again, I said on the radio almost a year ago that my brigade found old artillery shells with mustard gas and sarin in them. I also said that the reason why the adminstration didn’t come forward with that information was for the very reason that they were so old. I posted that link to demonstrate that, almost a year ago, I was 100% correct on that. Furthermore, I reiterate that where there is old chemical weapons, the possibility still exists that we haven’t looked hard enough for the new stuff.

    I love how liberals will say or do anything to defend the bad guys and to furhtertheir agenda. Your response to the brutal murder of our two soldiers was to lament the symantic definitions between capture and kidnapped and to say that we should leave so that they terrorists can have their way. Where is your simple outrage at the slaughter of our soldiers? It’s just not there. We’re the bad guys and they got what they deserved, right Bob? The liberal position on everythig related to the war is shallow, selfish and devoid of any courage. It is the very heights of cowardice to leave because two of our soldiers were killed. We should stay because those are the same sonzabitches that have been doing that to the Iraqi people for three years. You need to get back on America’s side, Bob, and try to bring your liberal friends with you.

  13. Bob from San Luis
    June 22, 2006 at 3:53 pm

    Rich: You ask where is the outrage about the American deaths in Iraq? I am outraged at the deaths of Americans in Iraq; where the difference lies between people like you and me is where is the responsibility for those deaths to be placed. The right wants to blame the Iraqis who have become the insurgents; you know, the same people who we went to liberate, the ones who we cared so much about that we had to go to Iraq to help, but now many on the right just want to kill. Speaking only for myself, the responsibility for the deaths of Americans in Iraq is squarely on the shoulders of this administration; those deaths wouldn’t be happening if we weren’t there, period.
    We went to Iraq to find WMDs; the only “leader” who claims we have found them is Senator Rick Santorum whom the Defense Department disagrees with. We were told we were in Iraq to dispose Saddam Hussein, that has been done, and President Bush claimed that military action in Iraq has achieved it’s goals, mission accomplished; the war is over. We are occupiers, our troops are targets and are being murdered; we need to leave, but until the “contractors” have no need of our protection, we will remain there to protect them. That is wrong, period.

  14. Rich from Paso
    June 22, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    It’s too bad you can’t go to Iraq ans see just how full of S%&t you are, Bob. You have no clue what reality really looks like. You listen to your liberal talking heads that tell you exactly what you want to hear. The simple and sad truth is that liberal America didn’t give two squirts of piss about the estimated 350,000 Iraqis that died between 1992 and 2003 and you all don’t give a squirt of piss about the Iraqis now. Your short sighted and simple minded approach to this situation is galling. How can you even begin to lecture anyone on what is right and wrong in that country? I know this is America and you are entitled to your ignorant opinions, but, damn, just once actual feel empathy for someone other than the terrorists and try to see things from something other than your myopic point of view. It is 100% irrelavent how and where or when the terrorists came to Iraq. NOTHING WE HAVE EVER DONE IS JUSTIFICATION FOR THE DISMEMBERMENT AND DESECRATION OF OUR SOLDIERS’ BODIES!! Did you hear what I said? Your rationalization is a slap in the face of everyone in the military and the families of those who serve, have served and those who died in the service. I am damn sick and tired of you arm-chair generals tell those of us who have been there what we saw. I am sick and tired of the anecdotal B.S. like Dave’s posting of that weepy embassy memo. Oh, it’s just so tough being an embassy worker– we need to pull out. Every story ends with “we need to pullout”, except for the ones talking about the Senate rejecting John F’n Kerry’s pulloout timeline 86-13 or the House rejecting the same plan with a vote of 403 to 3. Murtha and his two bestest buddies are not the voice of the majority in this country, maybe al Jazeera and the insurgents and the Europeans, but not America. Watch “Black Hawk Down” again (if you have ever even watched it) with the context that those two days and the subsequent pullout (cut and run) by Bill Clinton is what emboldened bin Laden to begin orchestrating his campaign of terror against America. That is exactly what will happen in Iraq if we pullout. Somalia is still a chaotic shithole because we let that country in shambles. After Bill’s approval ratings took a hit on Somalia, he didn’t go back to fix his mess he created with his “mission creep” into seizing Adid and trying to stop the warlords. Now Somalia is so jacked up we would have to invade that country again with just as many forces as we have in Iraq to stop the al Qaeda forces from setting up another Taliban style government in Somalia. That is the future you want for us and the Iraqis, Bob, if we pull out. I’m sorry God didn’t bless you with a stomach for violence or the determination to finish things once they get started, but please, for once in your life, think beyond your own little world and understand that “the big picture” world exists and that every desision has consequences and if we pull out pull out of Iraq now, the bloodbath that will ensue will put the 350,000 that died before Saddam was remove will pale in comparison.

    Why is the left obsessed with Iraq and the incessant drive for us to fail there? Two words: Florida 2000. The left is determined to, at any cost, deligitamize the Bush Adminstration in EVERYTHING Bush does. There is nothing, your own words Bob, that Bush has done right in 6 years. The left will shit on America’s good name overseas (no, Bush did not do that with the Iraq invasion) every time they leave the country to speak out against the president, they shit on our soldiers every time they convict our troops of murder in cold blood before the trial has even started and they encourage the terrorists to stay the course and wait us out every time there is a new call from Bob or Kerry or Murtha or Fienstein or Boxer or Biden or (Notso) Albright or Dave or any other liberal that demands our retreat from Iraq. You all are so misguided that you actually believe that all of the damage you are doing with your words and deeds will instantaniously be undone once the Democrats take back the House and Senate and impeach Bush. Yeah, your like-minded sycophantic appeasing liberals in the media and Europe will love you to death, but the terrorists will have their way with us on America’s streets because they will know, once and for all, that America is weak and easily beaten. God help us all if the Democrats regain control of the Congress this fall. The 12th Imam that Majmoud keeps talking about and the world-wide Jihad that the Imam’s return is to usher is right around the corner.

    Lastly, piss on anyone who says “I support the troops but I don’t support the mission”. If that is what you believe, then you don’t support me because I and my buddies still in Iraq support the mission. They are not mutually exclusive. If you don’t support what I do/did then you don’t support me. Its no different than saying “I support Dave, but I don’t support radio talkshow hosts”. Either you support what I do or you don’t support me, it’s that simple.

    Sorry for going on so long, but I am absolutely fed up with all of the whiny, wussy, moral equivalence, terrorist appeasing bullshit going on these days.

  15. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    June 22, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    Thank you Rich, many of us agree with you and that just pisses people like Dave and Bob who know nothing about war or killing bad people. I am THANKFUL that our military is in Iraq and other places cleaning up the earth from these muslims that want to kill us as directed by their so called holy book, the Koran. The Koran, unlike the Bible, instructs followers to kill the people who do not convert to Islam. Peaceful Religion?

  16. Bob from San Luis
    June 23, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    Rich: Yes, it is too bad that I or anyone who would want to can’t go to Iraq to see the “reality” you speak of; like how dangerous it is outside the green-zone, for instance? You rail about how “liberal America” didn’t or doesn’t care about the estimated 350,000 Iraqis that died between 1992 and 2003, yet do you question how Saddam got to be as powerful as he was? Were did the knowledge and the foundation strains of those chemical weapons come from? It was the US, among other nations that supplied Saddam with those WMDs, during the Reagan Presidency. Surely you remember the infamous photo of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein? Saddam was evil, no doubt; but he did not simply rise to his power without help and even though the US was not the only country to help him, we did give Iraq the most support both in technologies and military strategies during the Iraq/Iran war.
    I started some research into how Republican leaders have supported dictators over the years, and I am disgusted with what the US has done in propping up fascists states in the name of fighting communism. The thing that made me most ill however was learning that every single President since Wilson has supported a dictator, that includes the Democrats, and even though they supported fewer dictators, they still supported some, even Jimmy Carter who pushed for human rights issues during his presidency. Here is a link that has quite an astonishing library of how the US has not only supported dictators, but we have supported and even trained terrorists! Look specifically at what President Reagan supported during his terms and tell me that America hasn’t done these terrible deeds.
    A stable, democratic Iraq will certainly help keep the middle East out of the hands of those who would chose to harm us through terrorist attacks, there is no argument about that. The problem isn’t what is trying to be done in Iraq, it is how it is not being accomplished. If there were no US corporations doing business in Iraq, would we need to have our military there at all?

  17. Rich from Paso
    June 23, 2006 at 5:38 pm

    I don’t know which is more disturbing about you, Bob, either your illogical leaps of logic or your shear ignorance. Only in your ignorant liberal mind would one photo between Rumsfeld and Saddam equate to us giving him chemical weapons technology. The fact of the matter is that the French, Chinese and Russians gave Saddam everything he needed to make his WMDs. Yes, the United States has supported dictators, especially during the Cold War, but that in no way should tie our hands from remedying the situation. Just as many terrorists were supported by Democrats as Repuclicans. Just because we supported Saddam against Iran in the Iran-Iraq War is no reason to leave him in power to butcher more of his people. By the way, Saddam rose to power during the Carter Adminstration, not Reagan’s, or either Bush.
    I just sigh when I see you try to make some connection between corporations(no doubt your tired and worn out bullshit Halliburton conspiracy theory) and our presence in Iraq. It is jsut a worthless and stupid thing to assert. Give it up Bob, you just don’t know what you are talking about.

    Still waiting to hear you condemn the butchering of those two Marines at the hands of those human pieces of excrement, Bob. Still looking for your human compassion for American soldiers, eh, Bob?

  18. Bob from San Luis
    June 24, 2006 at 5:22 am

    Rich: The murder of those two Marines was one of the most upsetting occurences in this occupation so far. What do you want me to say, nuke the place? I am deeply saddened by the brutal murder and torture these two men suffered. How come the families of these men learned about their deaths on the news? You yourself have spoke to the “hell” of warfare, this went beyond the pale however and this does point out that this is not a “war” because the “rules” of warfare are not being adhered to.
    Saddam Hussein became the ruler of Iraq in July of 1979, when he and his personel “assasins” killed some twenty cabinet members who were of “questionable” allegence to Saddam. Jimmy Carter was President at that time, but it wasn’t until Reagan took office that the US started covertly supporting Saddam’s regieme. US companies were supplying chemical weapon “precursers”, until the Reagan Administration finally stopped in 1984.
    My “obsession” as you call it with corporations, especially in Iraq has to do with the lack of accountability that being a corporation affords a business entity. The “contractors” operating in Iraq as security forces do not have any law that they have to follow, nor do they follow the Uniform Military Code of Justice; “Chancelor” Bremmer issued a decree proclaiming that US corporations did not have to adhere to Iraqi law while they were in Iraq. That is the main crux of my problem with the corporations in Iraq, along with the near 80% unemployment of Iraqis while the US companies are not doing all of the work they were no-bid contracted to do. Remove the US corporations from Iraq and how many of our forces need to be there?

  19. Rich from Paso
    June 24, 2006 at 7:56 pm

    What you are advocating, Bob, is a draft. The unassable fact is that the contractors are doing the job the military cannot do due to the lack of funding for additional troops. There is a 10 division Army and a 3 MEF Marine Corps; that’s it. Without contractors, the Amry and Marines would have to pull troops off of security missions to provide the basic level of sustainment needed to keep the soldiers in the field fed, housed and taken care of. So, without contractors, we would need a draft to replace the manpower the contractors provide. So, Bob, wither you suck up a larger military or you suck up the no-bid contracts to Haliburton and the other contractors. THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THAT WE ARE LEAVING IRAQ WITHOUT COMPLETING THE MISSION. Is that clear? So, pick your poison. Furthermore, contractors did not, in any way, shape, matter or form, create the desire to go into Iraq. So, if the contractors go away, the mission will still be there. Yeah, there are a lot of contractors, but like I said, they are doing the job soldiers would be forced to do. Your contractor conspiracy theory is baseless on its face. Maybe in the Clinton Adminstration the tail wags the dog, but in the Bush Administration, the dog does the waging. Oh, before you say it, Haliburton go the LOGCAP three months after 9/11 a full year or more before Iraq was invaded. Haliburton is losing money since they got the contract as I have stated in earlier posts. Face it, Bob, you are in an indefensable position. Either you are for pulling our troops out and subjecting the Iraqi people to an unrestrained open civil war that will result in hundreds of thousands of civilians or you are for seeing it through and stabilizing the country. It is black and white. As for the Democrats “plan”: it is written on white paper with white ink… there is nothing there. J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t write fiction like the Democrats do when it comes to drafting “a new direction for Iraq”. Oh, there is a direction alright: straight to hell. So, lament contractors and the anecdotal hard life stories of Iraqis caught in a war, but that is the reality of today. Tomorrow is a stable, democratic Iraq smack dab in the heart of Islamic fundamentalistic arab lands. You are on the wrong side of this issue, Bob, and I know there is nothing I can do or say to convince you otherwise. It must suck waking up every day, looking for the bad news in Iraq, counting the bodies of our soldiers and the Iraqis just so you and your liberal friends can be right and Bush can be wrong. What a shallow, empty political existance. No wonder the Democrats are going to lose seats this fall.

  20. Bob from San Luis
    June 26, 2006 at 6:31 am

    Rich: I’m sorry, I didn’t differentiate what I meant when I was mentioning the contractors in Iraq, please allow me to explain what I meant. I do understand that our military can be more efficient if they don’t have to do everything that is required to keep the military machine operating. Many of the contractors are doing exactly what they are supposed to do, they are doing on time, at the cost promised and doing the job well. Unfortunately, not all of the contractors have done so well, and here is a list of some of those:
    Newsweek, The American Conservative, Corp Watch (.com), Think Progress (.com), The Nation Magazine, A Congressional Report, MSNBC.com, The New Standard, The Center For Public Integrity, The Center For Media and Democracy, and again The Center For Public Integrity. My “contractor conspiracy theory” as you put it, isn’t as baseless as you would like it to be, if the focus is narrowed onto those who deserve it.
    I know that many on the right like to vilify the Democratic plan as “cut and run”, but the plan is to draw down troop strength gradually, with a target date so the Iraqi forces will have to get up to speed as soon as possible. Now, if you want to call that “cut and run”, would you say that about this person outlining a similar plan? As far as leaving Iraq in a state of civil war, it may not be an out and out civil war at this moment, but it is apparently pretty close, right now, and our troops are paying the price, like the two unfortunate Marines who were murdered recently.
    Rich, I don’t know anyone who actively looks for bad news from Iraq; I for one would prefer that everything happening in Iraq would turn out great. I have no interest in trying to make President Bush or any other Republican in office look bad, the news media should be doing the job of reporting misdeeds, but since most of the national media is corporate owned, they choose what to report, or more importantly, what not to report. The idea of Iraq being the “Democratic Beacon” smack in the center of the Middle East is inspiring, to say the least; it seems though, that the establishing of a democracy was an unintended benefit, not what was stated as the goal for the invasion. I sincerely want to see the “mission” in Iraq succeed, Rich, but the mission was never well defined, it wasn’t well planned by the civilian leadership, and if you will put any credence to links I provided, you can see how part of the execution of the mission has not been carried out as well as it could have been. I know that you don’t put any faith in polling, so go ahead and ignore the fact that most of the country doesn’t think this administration is doing a good job, and we will see how the polling (voting) that counts turns out in November.

  21. Rich from Paso
    June 26, 2006 at 3:00 pm

    Let me summarize:

    You and the Left hate Haliburton- I got that from you already. Let me clear some things up. When your Congressional report says that KBR was responsible for giving soldiers contaminated water. That’s bullshit. How do I know? I was on that camp for a year and three months before KBR ever showed up. I can tell you that our showers used non-potable water and if a soldier was stupid enough to drink the water that was pumped straight out of the Euphrates River, they got what they deserved. We drank exclusively from bottled water. The water that was used by KBR in our chow hall was supplied by an Army Reserver water purification unit to the tune of 5,000 gallons of water a day. I ate two meals a day in that chow hall for a year and I never had any problems with contaminated water or any kinds of disintary that the report talks about. And once again, Haliburton is losing money from OIF because the LOGCAP contracts are fixed at cost plus 2% which means they don’t get reimbursed when a convoy gets blown up or supplies get destroyed. They suck that up. I can also tell you that I know people who have retired from the Army and have gone to work for Haliburton and KBR and they have nothing but good things to say about how the operation is being done. Once again, it is the difference between actually being there and knowing people who have first hand information (me) and just relying on the media for your information (you and the Left, Bob). Furthermore, it is our soldiers and again, I know some of them, charged with securing and transporting those cashpacks that one of your articles talked about. It may be disconcerting to have people handle that much cash, but it happens every day. Also, when those cashpacks are picked up, every dollar is counted and signed for. When that soldier signs for the money, basically they are saying that they agree to go to jail if any of the money is missing. And trust me, every one of those Army Finance soldiers knows that’s exactly where they will go if they think that they are going to skim a little off the top. When the money gets disbursed out to the contractors, that’s a whole nother story. I agree that oversight on those guys needs to happen and I can’t speak to what kind, if any for that matter, oversight is taking place, but 2% is still a pretty small number when it comes to the $350 billion spent.

    Blackwater hires people who get lost and die from it

    Custer Battles is a shitty company- I’ll concede that point.

    $7 billion of the $320 billion spent on OIF and OEF is unaccounted for- which is 2% of the total amount spent on the war. There will be, I guarantee you, more fraud, waste and abuse from Hurricane Katrina rebuilding than in all of the War on Terror.

    You want to paint all contractors with the “corrupt contractor” label but your sites only mention six by name. If your problem is with those six or sixteen or sixth, just focus on them and narrow the discussion.

    Bush and Rumsfeld said from the start that the generals, not Congress, will determine how and when our troops will pullout. So when Gen. Casey proposes a drawdown plan that is totally different than Sen. John F’n Kerry throwing a dart at a dartboard to determine when the troops should come home. It’s almost like the Democrats are trying to use the Magic 8-ball to try to divine what timeframe the generals will use so they won’t look like the anti-american defeatist quitter cowards that they are. You can’t say, “see, I told you so”, when Casey proposes a timeline after people like the unassailable idiot, John Murtha say things like stationing the “redeployed” troops in Okinawa would enable them to go back into Iraq quickly. The Army was asked how long it would take to get back into Iraq from Okinawa and they said “a month”. That just goes to show you what an idiot political opportunist Murtha is, well at least to any objective observer. By the way, Robert Novak and others were kind enough to remind America that Murtha was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1980 Abscam scandal where Murtha said he wasn’t interested in the sting money “at this point”. You can read about it here. Sure sounds like Murtha had written the book “How to Take Bribes and Peddle Influece” long before Abramoff or Rep Jefferson (D-LA) ever did. From the same website, here is an article that calls Murtha’s status as a war hero into question, just like John F’N Kerry’s bogus Purple Hearts. Back on point, only the Democrats can demand that everything that is being done in Iraq right now be done in Iraq as a part of the Dem’s “New Direction in Iraq”. Dr. Dean is the biggest idiot of them all when he says that the focus should be on “training, logistics and counter-terrorism”. I guess Dr. Dean wasn’t watching any TV when Zawquri was killed or that there are 30 some Iraqi battalions in Iraq or any of the training going on. The Dems have lost the debate on Iraq and just making fools of themselves to the American electorate.

    One other thing… Hamid Karzi was on CNN’s Late Edition yesterday where Wolf Blitzer asked him to comment on a Newsweek story about how bad things are in Afghanistan. Karzi just devestated Newsweek by saying that everything in the story was wrong and that the western people would be better servered with reporters that would stay in Kabul for more than 3 days and if they would actually go out and talk to the Afghan people. I said to myself, “Wow. The press operates the same in Afghanistan as it does in Iraq.” The media is lazy, biased and agenda driven. Well, at least Time and Newsweek are. I like US News though, they do a good job.

    Enough for now.

  22. JerryDinAZ
    June 27, 2006 at 4:50 am

    I HAVE ONE THOUGHT FOR ALL OF YOU…LAW’S HOBBY CENTER…GO THERE AND GET ONE! THESE DIATRIBES ARE WAY OUT OF CONTROL.

  23. Anonymous
    June 27, 2006 at 5:51 am

    “And newcomber Brett will challenge Jerry to go to some other random website to argue with people that are apparently more capable at arguing than Brett is.”

    No, they aren’t more capable just more motivated. Jerry needs to find some happiness somewhere somehow. I had hoped he would have reached nirvana in AZ but I guess not. I guess the anger runs deep. Brett

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