Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Several Things Today

My energy level, for health reasons, is erratic and has been somewhat low recently. Several things are in the news and I’m pretty comfortable at the keyboard today, so…

Can this be true?

I regard British news media as interesting reading, because it seems less, shall we say, reserved than American media, or perhaps less full of crap.

Today, online at Comment is Free one Dr. Azzam Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London says in part,

Of all the hot spots in the region, Iraq is the only place where sectarian tension has tipped over into bloody conflict. But that only happened in the aftermath of the invasion. The US and Britain, having failed to come up with any evidence to justify their aggression, claimed that their aim was to rescue the Shia majority from Saddam's Sunni regime. In fact, there is no census evidence showing the Shia as a majority nor was there any credibility to the claim that Saddam's regime was Sunni. It was secular and nationalist, and the ruling Ba'ath party was believed to have more Shias in its ranks than Sunnis. Thirty-two of the 52 names on the US most-wanted list were Shias, and Saddam punished whoever rose against his regime, irrespective of religion or ethnicity.

Despite the US-Shia alliance that brought his rule to an end, sectarianism did not become serious until the US-led occupation replaced Saddam's regime with one based on quotas, a process destined to divide Iraq along sectarian and ethnic lines.

Much of that is conjecture, presumably informed, but conjecture nonetheless. One statement is factual, however, can probably be proven, and really stands out,

Thirty-two of the 52 names on the US most-wanted list were Shias…

That rather horrifies me. Assuming this is true, then the whole thing that our government has promulgated about the Sunni minority domination of the Shia majority is a lie, and this is evidence of an even greater depth of dishonesty then we knew. Dr. Tamimi’s assertion, then, that the bloody sectarian violence that we decry in Iraq being actually of our making would seem to be true, or at least substantially true.

An Army in tatters

In Afghanistan our soldiers are shot at, see two supposedly armed men run into a building and, rather than chasing them, call in massive air strikes. Nine women, children and old men are found dead. The two armed insurgents are nowhere to be found.

An American convoy is attacked by a suicide bomb and our soldiers react by shooting in all directions. Sixteen civilians are killed and no armed insurgent bodies are found among them.

Again from a British news item (which I read yesterday in the Independent, but cannot locate today), British Army people are very nervous about the American prosecution of battle in Afghanistan. It seems they do not like the extreme violence we use and the amount of “collateral damage” we inflict. Our proclivity for killing civilians and destroying homes turns the Afghan population against us and toward the Taliban.

A British soldier was quoted as saying that America “has the best equipment and the worst soldiers” while England “has the worst equipment and the best soldiers.”

A full squad of US soldiers unwilling to pursue two insurgents. US soldiers firing wildly in all directions, a criticism we level at untrained Iraqi troops.

I am by no means any kind of expert, but this sounds to me like an Army that is overstressed, overdeployed and undertrained. This sounds like soldiers who have been in harm’s way for too long, too many times, with too little relief in between tours.

This sounds like an Army not approaching the breaking point, but one that is at the breaking point or past it.

Libby found guilty

Yeah, so what?

Everyone is whooping about what a black eye this is for the Bush Administration. You think they care? They do not. “We’re not running for reelection.”

Bush and his cronies are facing a hostile Congress, but so what? Congress has quite adequately proven that it is utterly useless. Congress will do some posturing, will make some meaningless noise, will hold some showy investigations that will reveal what everybody already knows, will hold absolutely no one accountable, and then will go home and campaign for reelection.

And in 2008 this country will elect a different monarch. Big deal.

I had hope for democracy after November of last year, that hope is fading fast

Terrorism threat overblown?

John Stossel at Real Clear Politics asks today is Fear of Terrorism Overblown?

Well, duh.

Read the article. This is something I’ve been saying for several years. We should have put 9/11 behind us years ago, not forgotten it any more than we would forget Pearl Harbor, but moved on as a nation out of the shadow of fear and into the light of freedom.

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