Saturday, June 28, 2008
"though he found for the defendants, the judge laid out in an 82-page decision many problems he identified within VA from three weeks of testimony. Veterans for Common Sense complained that VA needs better oversight to ensure programs are in place and well-run, and that delays and gaps in mental-health care have led to problems for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, including lost jobs, ruined relationships, homelessness, accidental overdoses in VA facilities and suicide while under VA care."
I heard about a Iraq vet on the streets of Gainesville before I left for Minnesota. A friend reported giving him a ride. He still had his buzz cut and marks on his head from brain surgery . He was incoherent and on the streets. Thanks for the support!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The Missing “Analysis”
While Gordon’s “analysis” tells us that the Basra and Sadr City operations “curtailed the powers of the militia,” for anyone with a little knowledge of guerrilla warfare it appears to be just the opposite. I have no idea if the “chief military correspondent” of the New York Times is familiar with the concept of guerrilla warfare. I’d be shocked if he were not. Yet, in his “analysis” of what is going on in Iraq, he failed to mention the concept, thereby missing a really great opportunity to help United Statesians to understand the nature of the conflict in Iraq.
The Iraqi resistance to the U.S. occupation is complex, and only part of it has taken the form of a guerrilla war. (For a great discussion of this, see Michael Schwartz, “Contradictions of the Iraqi Resistance: Guerilla War vs. Terrorism.”) Still, understanding just a tiny bit about the principles of guerrilla warfare can help us understand what is going on in Iraq. For that purpose, let’s hear from three well-known theorists of guerrilla warfare: Mao Tse Tung, Ché Guevara, and Carlos Marighella.
Mao, in his classic 1937 work “On Guerrilla Warfare,” explains that “When guerrillas engage a stronger enemy, they withdraw when he advances; harass him when he stops; strike him when he is weary; pursue him when he withdraws.”
In 1961, Ernesto “Ché” Guevara wrote “Guerrilla Warfare,” in which he said, “The great desperation of the enemy army . . . will be to find something to receive his blows. Instead he will find a gelatinous mass, in movement, impenetrable, that retreats and never presents a solid front, though it inflicts wounds from every side.”
Both Mao and Ché were operating in a largely rural environment, but in 1969 the Brazilian guerrilla fighter Carlos Marighella wrote his famous “Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla,” which may apply more directly to the situation in Iraq today. Here’s what he said: “With the arrogance typical of the police and the military authorities, the enemy will come to fight us equipped with heavy guns and equipment, and with elaborate maneuvers by men armed to the teeth. The urban guerrilla must respond to this with light weapons that can be easily transported, so he can always escape with maximum speed without ever accepting open fighting. The urban guerrilla has no mission other than to attack and quickly withdraw.”
As we can see, in a guerrilla war the weaker guerrilla force will never stand to face the stronger enemy. So it is entirely predictable that the Iraqi army would meet little or no resistance when they drive into Basra or Sadr City. Gordon even reported in his article that “leaders of Mr. Sadr’s militia, the Mahdi Army . . . told one reporter [before the attack] that the militia was convinced that military operations were imminent.” So, as expected, they “melted away.”
Thursday, June 19, 2008
"This is not intended to be a mere discussion of violations of law that have occurred," said convener Lawrence Velvel, dean and cofounder of the school. "It is, rather, intended to be a planning conference at which plans will be laid and necessary organizational structures set up, to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the Earth."
Friday, June 13, 2008
Here is an exposition of the underlying philosophy applied when the secret Energy Plans and plans for war converged in Cheney's Office 6 years ago, much to our great cost in blood and money. It also predicts how that continued path now verging on Iran could bring our ruin.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
former CIA Director and Medal of Freedom winner, George Tenet, can be forgiven for being somewhat apprehensive these days. For he has lied under oath regarding what Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks and how early Bush knew it.
Tenet at Breakfast on 9/11
No one wants to believe that the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, could have been prevented, but we do a disservice to our country, and to one another, if we stay in denial.
No one wants to believe that President Bush had considerably more forewarning than he acknowledges, but it is very clear that he did. It is equally clear that George Tenet has been a prime mover in hiding the amount of intelligence available to Bush to act on.
Reviewing the evidence on May 26, 2002, Michael Getler, then-ombudsman for the Washington Post, alluded to one very telling sign leaping out of a conversation between George Tenet and former Sen. David Boren over breakfast on 9/11.
When an aide rushed up to tell Tenet of the attacks, Tenet’s immediate reaction was “This has bin Laden all over it…I wonder if it has anything to do with this guy taking pilot training.”
Getler notes for his readers that the reference is to Zacarias Moussaoui.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Virginia Senator Jim Webb appeared on The Daily Show last night to promote his new book, A Time to Fight, but ended up spending the entire interview wondering with Jon how anyone could possibly vote against his 21st century GI Bill, John McCain included.
Watch the video on Countdown and of Kucinich on the house floor. Waxman is now a co-sponsor.
Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley joined Keith to commend Kucinich and his impeachment bill.
Download | Play Download | Play
Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich spent some 290 minutes on the House floor Monday, reading Articles of Impeachment against President George Bush. Not that you would notice, as there was a virtual media blackout on the story, but Keith Olbermann ran with it right out of the gate on Tuesday’s Countdown.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The link above will take you to the list of charges for impeachment against the Bush administration. Last night I watched Dennis Kucinich read them to an empty House of Representatives. It took almost two hours to read the whole list and make comments! Hurrah for Kucinich! Another American hero!
Here's the link to the MSNBC poll to vote on impeachment: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10562904/
With almost 600,000 votes, it's 9 to 1 in favor of Impeachment.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
A longer view of our present foreign policy
Friday, June 6, 2008
The US is holding hostage some $50bn (£25bn) of Iraq's money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement seen by many Iraqis as prolonging the US occupation indefinitely, according to information leaked to The Independent.
Iraqi critics of the agreement say that it means Iraq will be a client state in which the US will keep more than 50 military bases. American forces will be able to carry out arrests of Iraqi citizens and conduct military campaigns without consultation with the Iraqi government. American soldiers and contractors will enjoy legal immunity.
The US had previously denied it wanted permanent bases in Iraq, but American negotiators argue that so long as there is an Iraqi perimeter fence, even if it is manned by only one Iraqi soldier, around a US installation, then Iraq and not the US is in charge.
The US has security agreements with many countries, but none are occupied by 151,000 US soldiers as is Iraq. The US is not even willing to tell the government in Baghdad what American forces are entering or leaving Iraq, apparently because it fears the government will inform the Iranians, said an Iraqi source.