Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday This'n'That

  • Hey, Eddie Campbell has a new blog!
  • Thanks to Bob Heer for steering me to it.

    I've received a couple more unsigned emails from an old Kubert School classmate, whom we've (yep, I've consulted with a couple of my old cronies) narrowed down to one of two likely classmates of yore.

    I know you wish me well, despite the tenor of your judgemental Christian rhetoric, but until you sign your emails, sorry, I'm simply not engaging. It's a curious game you're indulging. Curious, too, how my vocabulary obviously offends you more than our own President's pro-torture, anti-life warmongering seems to.

    I love that about America.

    More talk about the draft circling Washington, once again springboarded as a means to discuss the war and the state of our military, resulting in mucho posturing from both parties about how the draft just won't happen -- without discussing what we as a country are going to do as President Bush and his cronies simply refuse to engage with the increasing toll this insane war is taking on our volunteer military and the National Guard.

    The toll on the willingness to volunteer is also being sidestepped, with the elephant in the room -- who trusts the standing Commander in Chief enough to volunteer in the numbers needed? -- not being commented upon one whit.

    So many core issues being avoided, so many consequences self-evident...

    An observation on the current state of the Iraq War, reflective of my own, as our government and military leaders argue the semantics of the term "Civil War" (which, arguably, we're still engaged in our own over a century later, as the last two Presidential elections demonstrated with the 'Red/Blue State' divides so closely approximating the War Between the States divisions of the 1860s); this from HomeyM of Jamaica, VT this morning:

    "I heard an amazing interview with someone just back from the Middle East on Amy Goodman tonight. He pointed out, quite convincingly, that Iraq is in total civil war, in the Middle Eastern mode, with local leaders and militias (i.e., you are not going to make much of an impression unless you have a militia) battling each other for turf. He pointed out that Bush is just one of the "local leaders" with a militia (viz., the U.S. military), but not one of the more powerful or popular ones. Prime Minister Maliki is also a local (Baghdad) militia leader, also of secondary power, lacking widespread popular support. The most powerful militia leader is Moqtada al-Sadr and his "Mehdi Army." Al-Sadr has the support of the Shiite majority. The Kurds are in pretty good shape. The Sunnis are completely outnumbered and will be slaughtered, under any scenario. Saudi Arabia and I believe Egypt and Jordan and Syria are predominantly Sunni, while Iran is Shiite, so there is going to be massive war for as long as a decade ahead, as the Sunni countries come to the support of the beleaguered Sunnis. Ironically, he said, the U.S. will now be seeking to defend the Sunnis (formerly called the "Ba'athists," the people of Saddam Hussein) under pressure to do so by the Saudis. First we set the Shiites on the Sunnis to displace the "Ba'athists," but now will be reversing directions and seeking to support the Sunnis against the Shiites!

    He pointed out that anything the U.S. does is absolutely hopeless, and that the only sensible thing is bring back all the troops immediately, as any American killed is truly in vain, for no purpose whatsoever. Might as well save our own boys and pull 'em out of the slaughter fields. There is nothing that can be accomplished by the death of an American soldier in Iraq. He emphasized that the U.S. absolutely and single-handedly caused all this, and that the resultant bloodshed that will proceed for a decade or more in a totally destabilized Middle East is all on the hands of the U.S. We destabilized the Middle East. We are great great geniuses at blundering. We didn't just fail to accomplish a thing, we detonated a whole part of the world into endless war.

    It's truly horrible, and the karma that we have created is going to be very ugly for us.
    Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are fleeing with no possessions, hoping that way to sneak into Jordan, etc., i.e., if they carry no bags so they may be able to sneak in unnoticed. No one wants them of course. It will be one of the great refugee crises in the history of the world. Perhaps his most cutting remark: The U.S. did accomplish one thing no one had thought was possible; we have made Saddam Hussein look good."