Sunday, March 16, 2008



"Oh, it was blown up? Well can you help my little buddy here find another place with some nice rug bargains?"

Did anyone imagine that when McCain announced he and his two best buds were going over to Europe and "the Middle East" on Armed Services Committee "business" (and, after being caught lying, later admitted that they would also be doing a campaign fund-raiser in London) that they wouldn't also scurry off to do another photo-op in Iraq? You think there was any chance Lindsey Graham was going to be in that part of the world and not go looking for more $5 rug bargains in Baghdad?
"We were informed that John McCain landed in Iraq Sunday morning. A meeting will take place with the Iraqi government," said Ali al-Moussawi, an official in the Iraqi prime minister's office.
There were no details immediately available about McCain's meetings and his schedule for the day apparently remained in flux, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity as the official was not authorized to release the information.

McCain would learn about as much from reading John Burn's "Week in Review" article in the NY Times, "Five Years" than he will cloistered in the Green Zone with a couple of Iraqi puppets and with General Petraeus, who recently indicated he could sink McCain's presidential ambitions by repeating how the surge is a failure a few times. After 5 years of American occupation, Burns finds the situation "surreal." He isn't the only one who does-- although obscuring that fact is the only card McBush has in his hand that he believes will propel his lifelong lust for power.
On April 9, the day the Marines entered Baghdad and used one of their tanks to help the crowd haul down Saddam’s statue in Firdos Square, American troops stood by while mobs began looting, ravaging palaces and torture centers, along with ministries, museums and hospitals. Late in the day, at the oil ministry, I discovered it was the only building marines had orders to protect. Turning to Jon Lee Anderson, a correspondent for The New Yorker who had been my companion that day, I saw shock mirrored in his face. “Say it ain’t so,” I said. But it was.

Looking back, it has been fashionable to say the Americans began losing the war right then. At the least, it was the first misstep in what quickly became a long chronicle: the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, the primary cause the Bush Administration had given for the war; the absence of a plan, at least any the Pentagon intended to implement, for the period after Baghdad fell; the disbanding of the Iraqi Army, and thus casting aside the help it might have given in fighting the insurgency that began flickering within 10 days of American troops entering Baghdad; the lack of an effective American counterinsurgency strategy, at least until the troop increase last year finally began bringing the war’s toll down.

Beyond these, there were the instances when America’s intentions were betrayed by its troops in more personal ways, with the abuse and torture of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib, with the shooting deaths of 24 civilians in Haditha and with the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl at Mahmudiya, along with the killing of three other members of her family, all leading to court-martial hearings that tore at the heart of anyone who starts from a position of admiration for the American armed forces. The Marine offensive that recaptured Falluja from Islamic militants in November 2004, virtually flattening the city without achieving more than a temporary change in the arc of the war, may also draw its share of condemnation.

At the fifth anniversary, the conflict’s staggering burden is a rebuke to any who hoped Mr. Hussein’s removal might be accomplished at acceptable cost. Back in 2003, only the most prescient could have guessed that the current “surge” would raise the American troop commitment above 160,000, the highest level since the invasion, in the war’s fifth year, or that the toll would include tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed, as well nearly 4,000 American troops; or that America’s financial costs, by some recent estimates, would rise above $650 billion by 2008, on their way to perhaps $2 trillion if the commitment continues for another five years. Beyond that, there are a million or more Iraqis living as refugees in neighboring Arab countries, and the pitiful toll of fear and deprivation on Iraqi streets.

Maybe McCain, Lieberman and Graham should visit some American gas stations and supermarkets instead of Iraq so they could confront the problems really bothering Americans-- or at least get a grip on what they are. Maybe even a little visit to Wall Street for something other than a fundraiser would be timely about now. "The cash squeeze that brought Bear Stearns to its knees is fanning fears that other investment banks might be vulnerable to the crisis of confidence gripping Wall Street. Investors are bracing for another volatile week in the markets as bankers and policy makers deal with the fallout from their bid to rescue Bear Stearns." The venal creature McCain seeks to replace is utterly clueless, as he proved again this week, when it comes to the economy. And, McCain virtually admits he knows less-- i.e.- cares less-- about it than Bush does!
President Bush admitted on Friday that times are tough. So much for the straight talk.

Mr. Bush went on to paint a false picture of the economy. He dismissed virtually every proposal Congress is working on to alleviate the mortgage crisis, sticking to his administration’s inadequate ideas. And despite the rush of serious problems — frozen credit markets, millions of impending mortgage defaults, solvency issues at banks, a plunging dollar — he said that a major source of uncertainty today is whether his tax cuts, scheduled to expire in 2010, would be extended.

This was too far afield of reality to be dismissed as simple cheerleading. It points to the pressing need for a coherent plan to steer through what some economists are now predicting could be a severe downturn. Mr. Bush’s denial of the economic truth underscores the need for Congress to push forward with solutions to the mortgage crisis — especially bankruptcy reform to help defaulting homeowners. Lawmakers also must prepare to execute, in case it is needed, a government rescue of people whose homes are now worth less than they borrowed to buy them.

McCain-- more wars, less prosperity, 4 more years of George W. Bush. Or, as Mike Rogers says: "John McCain: A Bridge to the Nineteenth Century."

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At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


My daughters' 18th birthday was Sat. We celebrated not only her 18th, but being able to vote.Her first vote here in PA will be for Obama

My best friend voted for Chimpy twice. Her present to my daughter(announced in a room of 60 people)? She changed her registration from a wingnut to a Democrat so she can vote for Obama here in Pa.

She drank the Republican kool aid for 7 years and she's totally disgusted with the Republican "brand"
NEVER thought that would happen...


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