Sunday, August 19, 2007



The British military is telling the new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to withdraw the 5,500 British troops left in southern Iraq immediately. According to the Sunday Independent, all the British are hoping for is "an orderly withdrawal."
Two generals told The Independent on Sunday last week that the military advice given to the Prime Minister was, "We've done what we can in the south [of Iraq]". Commanders want to hand over Basra Palace – where 500 British troops are subjected to up to 60 rocket and mortar strikes a day, and resupply convoys have been described as "nightly suicide missions" – by the end of August. The withdrawal of 500 soldiers has already been announced by the Government. The Army is drawing up plans to "reposture" the 5,000 that will be left at Basra airport, and aims to bring the bulk of them home in the next few months.

The Bush Regime is apoplectic over the decision to leave at least in part because it threatens the crucial U.S. supply line from Kuwait as well as depriving the U.S. on important facilities used to spy on Iran. Oh... and it's where most of the oil is.

But, according to Sunday's Times the Brits have more on their mind that Cheney's favorite liquid. Murdoch's once respected right-wing Times claims that the Bush Regime has information that the Iraqis plan to make the British eat shit on their way out.
Stephen Biddle, who also advises the US commander in Iraq, said Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias in the south would try to create the impression they were forcing a retreat. “They want to make it clear they have forced the British out. That means they’ll use car bombs, ambushes, RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades]... and there will be a number of British casualties.”

The comments coincide with British military estimates that withdrawal could cost the lives of 10 to 15 soldiers.

Some British officers believe they are facing a “humiliating” retreat under fire to Kuwait or the southern Iraqi port of Umm Qasr.

“I regret to say that the Basra experience is set to become a major blunder in terms of military history,” said a senior officer. “The insurgents are calling the shots... and in a worst-case scenario will chase us out of southern Iraq.”

In all likelihood, new U.S. troops will have to be sent to southern Iraq to replace the withdrawing British. That means more surgin'. And a draft? Tom Mazzie from MoveOn thinks it's a distinct possibility.
Americans have seen some news reports over the last few days suggesting that the White House "might-maybe-could-possibly" bring some troops home from Iraq next year. If this happens, that's great. But don't break out the confetti just yet. Every other indicator is that these are fairy tales cooked up by the White House PR machine to try to cauterize their bleeding support. Almost like clock work the White House breaks the glass of their magical PR machine every time they're about to lose it.

The story hasn't changed. This is still an endless war. And, now a military draft is on the table.

Today's NY Times has a powerful OP-ED by 7 American military men who are serving in Iraq, half a dozen sergeants and an Army specialist, The War As We Saw It. They politely point to the lies emanating from the Bush Regime propaganda machine that claims the "surge" is working. "To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day."
A few nights ago, for example, we witnessed the death of one American soldier and the critical wounding of two others when a lethal armor-piercing explosive was detonated between an Iraqi Army checkpoint and a police one. Local Iraqis readily testified to American investigators that Iraqi police and Army officers escorted the triggermen and helped plant the bomb. These civilians highlighted their own predicament: had they informed the Americans of the bomb before the incident, the Iraqi Army, the police or the local Shiite militia would have killed their families.

As many grunts will tell you, this is a near-routine event. Reports that a majority of Iraqi Army commanders are now reliable partners can be considered only misleading rhetoric. The truth is that battalion commanders, even if well meaning, have little to no influence over the thousands of obstinate men under them, in an incoherent chain of command, who are really loyal only to their militias.

To these seven men the Bush-Cheney-Lieberman-McConnell-McCain escalation is just dragging out the inevitable. And that's really the question. How soon before the Americans are facing what the British are facing in trying to achieve that orderly withdrawal? Or will our governing elite demand more deaths and more destruction and... a draft?

I read this kind of stuff and I go into psychological orbit. I know I'll never be happy because until Bush and Cheney are punished for what they have done-- and I know that will never happen-- I'll always been dissatisfied. Lackies and enablers, however, are reachable. No one, for example, is more responsible for Bush being able to thwart the will of the American public that his disgraceful puppet in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell. And he'll be facing a restive electorate next year when he has to fight for re-election. Our Blue America page is very much dedicated to helping to remove these cancerous ulcers on the body politic of this country. You want to end the war in Iraq? Help Tom Allen defeat Susan Collins. Help Rick Noriega defeat John Cornyn. David Reichert is a rubber stamp Republican who has voted for every Bush-Cheney disaster. Darcy Burner has opposed this madness from the beginning; trade in Reichert in the eastern Seattle suburbs for Darcy and you will be one step closer to ending the war. Same in northern California, where fanatic warmonger John Doolittle faces defeat by Charlie Brown. In Colorado and Ohio, Angie Paccione and Victoria Wulsin are seeking to replace two of the worst rubber stamp imbeciles in the enter Congress, Marilyn Musgrave and Mean Jean Schmidt. Donate $5 or $10 today; it may make you feel good. No? Then watch this short video clip about Mitch McConnell's role in the deaths of our soldiers in Iraq.

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