Saturday, March 31, 2007

No, freedom is not on the march

Via Reuters:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The Iraqi government raised the death toll on Saturday from a truck bomb in the town of Tal Afar to 152, making it the deadliest single bombing of the four-year-old war.

Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier Abdul Kareem Khalaf said 347 people were wounded in Tuesday's attack on a Shi'ite area. There was another truck bomb in the mixed northwestern town on Tuesday, but it was small.

Khalaf said 100 homes had been destroyed in the main blast, which officials have blamed on al Qaeda. The explosion left a 23-meter (75-ft)-wide crater.
The past week has been the bloodiest in Iraq since the government launched a security crackdown in Baghdad in February aimed at halting the country's slide toward civil war.

Bombings blamed on Sunni Islamist al Qaeda have killed 400 people in Shi'ite areas across the country in the past week.

Now, first of all, it is a civil war. Let's all agree about that, shall we? Just how much more evidence do you need when attacks like this are not aimed at the occupiers but are squarely targeting other Iraqis?

Meanwhile, as Democrats are more than eager to continue funding the war and the failed "surge", Bush was busy complaining on Saturday about all of the pork attached to the supplemental spending bill as if his Republicans have never added their own bacon to previous bills. And, while Bush has been crying about how the troops will run out of money and that an acceptable bill must be signed "within weeks", the truth is that the military has more than enough funds to last until July.

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a House panel on Thursday that after April 15, without emergency funding, the Army would have to begin curtailing some troop training, which "could over time delay their ability to go back into combat."

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that if the funds were not approved by May 15, the Army might have to extend some soldiers' tours, because other units would not be ready, and reduce equipment repair work, among other things.


WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. Army has enough money on hand to finance the Iraq war through most of July, according to a congressional study that challenges President George W. Bush's assertions that an infusion of funds is needed more urgently.

According to a Congressional Research Service memo dated March 28 and sent to the Senate Budget Committee, "The Army could finance the O&M (operations and maintenance) of both its baseline and war program ... through most of July 2007" by shifting around money in existing accounts.

Poor Bush. Having to veto the Dems' generous war-funding bill because he doesn't like not getting his way. Very few in congress though seem to actually want to end this war as soon as possible. How many more people will die thanks to the Democrats refusing to stand up to the most corrupt commander-in-chief ever? Why would they take impeachment "off the table" as Nancy Pelosi did in a bargain of Faustian proportions when this president clearly deserves it? What, exactly, are the Democrats waiting for (besides the '08 election, which brings absolutely no guarantee that this war won't go on endlessly)? Why are they continuing to fund this war at all?

I say the entire congress should be forced to go and spend a month in Iraq - outside of the Green Zone - and then come back to their constituents and explain why they think continuing this war into March '08 or whenever is in anyone's best interests. This idea that hell will descend on Iraq after US troops leave belies the fact that hell actually has already descended on that country with a fury.

Saturday: 1 GI, 59 Iraqis Killed; 94 Iraqis Wounded.

That is Iraq, day after day, month after month, year after year. Every single congressperson owns that now unless they are calling for an immediate pullout. It's been 4 years and it's getting worse, not better.

There is no "winning" to be had. Everybody has lost. There is no glory in continuing a bloodbath when your very presence escalates the nightmare and gore. War for war's sake is the privilege of those who are never touched by it directly. For millions of others who actually have to live through it, it's the worst curse imaginable.

Tortured mangled bodies, dead children, extreme pain, grief and trauma. That is what war is on a daily basis. It certainly is no glorious display of humanity. It's a scourge perpetrated by the powerful against the powerless. It's a crime of the highest order. Yet some attempt to stand on their pedestals of moral purity while proclaiming they are the righteous when they are in fact the morally bankrupt who continue to drag their followers into a pit of endless destruction. It's all a lie. All of it. There is nothing "just" about war.

Why is peace so threatening?

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