Friday, September 30, 2005

Another step along the path to the new Vietnam

"Bush and company then proceeded to do many things which played into bin Laden’s hand" - - the Polis

The Guardian
Bin Laden's little helper
US administration lectures about God delivered to Muslims are a dangerous folly

Sidney Blumenthal

"Many people around the world do not understand the important role that faith plays in Americans' lives," she said. When an Egyptian opposition leader inquired why Mr Bush mentions God in his speeches, Hughes asked him whether he was aware that "previous American presidents have also cited God, and that our constitution cites 'one nation under God'."

. . .

Pape's research debunks the view that suicide terrorism is the natural byproduct of Islamic fundamentalism or some "Islamo-fascist" ideological strain, independent of certain highly specific circumstances.

"Of the key conditions that lead to suicide terrorism in particular, there first must be the presence of foreign combat forces on the territory that the terrorists prize. The second condition is a religious difference between the combat forces and the local community. The religious difference matters in that it enables terrorist leaders to paint foreign forces as being driven by religious goals.

"If you read Osama's speeches, they begin with descriptions of the US occupation of the Arabian peninsula driven by our religious goals and that it is our religious purpose that must be confronted. That argument is incredibly powerful, not only to religious Muslims but also secular Muslims. Everything Hughes says makes their case."

One needs to ask
  1. Why has Bush worked so hard not to win this war?

  2. Why doesn't Bush want to win this war?

  3. Why has Bush continually failed to access the American Muslim community to keep him from making these PR messes in the Muslim world?

    Actually Bush has failed to access the American Muslim community for any information about the Muslim world. This information could have either helped him win the war, or kept him from waging it in the first place.

    The only information the American Muslim has been continually "asked" about are the possibility of terrorists on American soil. Even in the "asking" the administration has bungled it so badly as to cause fear, mistrust and paranoia within the American Muslim community.

    Thursday, September 29, 2005

    Bush proves Weekly World News correct!

    Yesterday I received email from my sister "Working With Idiots Can Kill You." Then to prove her point she forgot to include the attachment, a scanned jpg of the story. ;-)

    She resent everything with the attachment today.

    The story says in part:

    Stress is one of the top causes of heart attacks -- and working with stupid people on a daily basis is one of the deadliest forms of stress, according to researchers at Sweden's Lindbergh University Medical Center.

    It goes on to give some anecdotal evidence, and is really quite a humorous story.

    ( The story originated from the Weekly World News, to be fair to my sister the scan she sent me did not include any indications where it was from. I'm not sure if she knew. She also turned 40 this month and your brain turns to mush when that happens.*)

    So intrigued, I went searching for the story and where it came from. Just under the google listing for the Weekly World News Story is the Snopes/Urban Legend rebuttal.

    Darn! I thought of all those poor people who would be denied medical reasons for missing work, getting workman's comp or taking early retirement for medical reasons.

    But then I thought about our President, and the myriad of stupid decisions he's been making (hey even conservative are now wondering about him). So I just had to ask, does Bush actually prove the Weekly World News correct?

    * I turned 43 this month so I can say this. I am sending a link to this post to my sister, so I will not have said anything behind her back -- lol, "Hi, sister dear!" -- I love her greatly, even though she did vote or Bush in the last election. My parents, who I don't think have ever voted for a Republican, can't figure out where they went wrong!

    While waiting for her response I'm going to incase my computer in some type of inflammable material and go get the fire extinguisher.

    (Just a little ribbing between sisters.)

    Wednesday, September 28, 2005

    Things you see driving around in Massachusetts

    I saw this while the light was red. Thankfully I found the camera before the car ahead began to move. It gave me a chuckle, hope it does you too!

    Did Bin Laden know the American people better than Bush?

    When I play either a board military game or computer military game I play one of two ways to win. I either play a war of attrition or I win by overwhelming force. With few variations, this is how I play. I’m not an inspired tactician, or even a good tactician, but I also try not to be the reincarnation of General McClellan (Civil War).

    My husband knows the way I play. I don’t know if you would call him inspired but if he can knock me out of the way I tend to play, he will win. Actually he almost always wins, though I have learned to throw a few surprises his way.

    It has long been a military or even a business axiom to know ones enemy. But the only one who seems to have heeded that lesson was Osama Bin Laden, not our president or military leaders.

    Early on Bin Laden told us he knew us. He told us we could not fight a war of attrition, but he could. Bush and all sort of laughed and said we could. Maybe we could, but Vietnam is still fresh and will be until those on both sides of the war (the protestors and those that fought) are no longer with us. Bush and company then proceeded to do many things which played into bin Laden’s hand and may prove him right. I want to highlight two.

    First when facing an enemy who declares that he can withstand a war of attrition is to make sure the war never gets to that point. You don’t need to be a brilliant tactician to understand that. You are creative and you come in with overwhelming force. You move fast and you don’t forget history. Bin Laden hasn’t.

    As far back as the Reagan years we have left areas when the death toll rose and we wondered why we were there. Even if one thought that after 9-11 it might be different, why risk it? If Bin Laden was right and we could not take a war of attrition, why send in a military that is far under strength for the job at hand? Why test his theory? Why prosecute this war in Iraq in a way that insures that it becomes a war of attrition?

    If there was any doubt that we not only had problems remembering history or did not understand how to prosecute this war, it all should have been erased when Jessica Lynch’s supply convoy was attacked. The administration looked shocked! It acted as if an attack such as this were unheard of. But attacking supply lines, routes and convoys has been a constant military practice since long before Alexander the Great rolled through the area. Was this arrogance because we thought the enemy stupid?

    We’ve done this before. Pappy Boyington (WWII) wrote about how he had been trained to think of the Japanese as bucked tooth simpletons in thick lensed glasses. But once fighting them in the AFG he realized that not only was that wrong but that stereotyped racism actually made him underestimate the enemy and under fight him as well. In sort he did not fight as well or to the best of his abilities. (After getting through the shock that the enemy was not as presented he then fought to the best of his ability)

    Or were the problems in prosecuting this war correctly due to the incompetence of those planning this war? Not only was Lynch’s convoy ill protected ( lack of sufficient troops), but it didn’t even have the necessary armor.

    The second failure I want to highlight here is a failure in leadership. Rumesfeld may want to rewrite history, but the fact is there is a man named Hans Blix who found no WMD. Not everyone believed that Saddam had WMD, not every intelligence report supported it. It has even come to light that the CIA massaged intelligence reports about WMD, or failed to give reports of opposing intelligence. We are can speculate as to why; a white house that is filled with “yes” men and fear of giving the president anything that does not support his already formed conclusions, retaliation for Saddam’s attempt on Bush Sr. life, oil, etc. of possible reasons for this, there is no shortage.

    But the real face of all of this is that the White House did something it can never do when asking someone to serve and to die in it’s service, and that is lie to them as to why. Mothers, fathers, spouses and even a nation will begin to turn when the lie is discovered.

    The lie shortens the ability for the public to support the war, no matter how long needed, or how many mistakes in it’s prosecution are made. An administration who lies to the American people to justify a war, undermines itself. And it shortens the nation's tolerance.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    NOLA is fine, the US is fine, go back to sleep

    When I go to the supermarket and see some fantastic headline in the gossip tabloids I don't believe it unless I see it in two other tabloids. Then I figure, it must be true.

    One night when we were all waiting for the federal government to finally get it, that their were people in need of dire help, my husband and I turned on the BBC News only to be greeted to a gun fight. At first we were confused, was this NOLA or Iraq? It was NOLA.

    Those types of scenes (though I don't know if any of the American media was, as this BBC crew was, taping a gun fight as it happened) of desperate people hungry, tried, thirsty, stressed and scared living in every growing piles of trash and filth, might have made it easy to believe that everything was coming apart at the seams in NOLA.

    Now Daily Kos, AmiercaBlog have both picked up on the Pre$$titutes "Extreme NOLA Makeover" story now going on over at The Corner. The right wingers are decrying the exaggerations given by the MSM and NOLA officals. "They" have just discovered it.

    But look below at Dr. Dentene's post and follow the first link. That information was already out there. And it was put out there by the left leaning media. As much as Dentene and I disagreed over this post (and we did, sitting across the table while playing a board game. He even accused me of being part of the problem) I have to admit he was on top of this.

    While the media reports of massive deaths and rapes was exaggerated. The HELL that these people endured that the MSM reported was not exaggerated and FEMA's inability to respond was not exaggerated. The governments problems, our lack of perparedness, money wasted, cronyism, poverty, the gulf between rich and poor, black and white, etc. was laid bare. And it was laid bare for the whole world to see.

    I for one will forgive the media it's exaggeration, if it means the rest of it critical eye will placed back on these issues that it has too long shied away from. It may have just been "confusion" of someone waking up, trying to make sense of things after long asleep.

    NOLA was far from an "unpleasant situation" or even a "nightmare" it was hell.

    Times-Picayune: Read the whole story