"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Gen. Casey visited Hawaii in a region tour to talk with soldiers and their families, he plans visits to Japan, South Korea and Alaska. While fielding questions a woman in the group voiced concern that in the 1990's deployment lasted for six months, then it increased to 12 months and now she is hearing of the 15 months now with the announcement two weeks ago, her question seemed to be is this going to end? Casey responded to her that he could not guarantee that.
which brings me to my point, Casey also said the demand for forces exceeds the supply, we can break that down anyway we want but the military is stretched to the breaking point and a lot of this is falling on the backs of the military families. The military we have today has done a most tremendous job and with the agenda that we are trying to maintain we are just heaping onto the backs of this military and their families.
Without holding Iraq to any kind of benchmarks and no kind of deadline, how much can we expect them to do? The administration keeps putting out more talk and more talk without showing us anything, show us something other than escalation of car bombings and civil war show us something other than the majority of Iraq hating our guts and wanting us out of the country, all I see is the PM and others wanting to keep their jobs. And who is paying the price the military and their families, that is who is paying the most, and the Iraqis themselves who are caught in an ongoing civil war with constant blood-letting as daily the dead are gathered up off the streets and none as of now knows whatsoever what victory in Iraq means, it's like we have come to the point people want us to remain in a civil war without ever knowing how to define victory there and the Congress has bent over backwards in my opinion to try and get something workable out of this mess, to keep increasing tours of our military is not the answer, benchmarks will have to be set and met.
Top general: U.S. needs a bigger Army faster - CNN.com
Former CIA director George Tenet puts out a book that claims the administration ignored warnings that Iraq was degrading into a Civil War.Tenet accuses the White House of having no strategy for handling post-war Iraq and concludes that the recent effort to deploy more troops has come far too late.
"It may have worked more than three years ago," Tenet wrote, "before a country that believed it had a national identity reverted to the politics of religious and ethnic identification."
Sharp criticism of Vice president Dick Cheney, Secretary Condoleezza Rice and also Stephen Hadley, are to be had in this 549 page book, Tenet also admits the CIA errors involved in the so called 'weapons of mass destruction,' he contends no strategy whatsoever when the troops hit the ground in the invasion and no strategy at all on what should be done afterwards? Hmm,,
White House Ignored Warnings, Tenet Says
Majority of Americans side with Reid, why we may ask? Because Iraq needs to step up and begin to govern itself. If we have an absolute open ended agreement to stay indefinitely there then Iraq is not going to be able to stand on it's own. And don't be fooled of a lot of talking points on the news indicating otherwise, let me say this, of course the PM and officials want us to stay with no talk of ever leaving, if it was our job would not we do the same? But every poll taken of the citizens themselves show otherwise and a big majority percentage last year even condoned attacks on our military, are we to believe this has changed in a few short months as we see the carnage increase day after day?
America is smarter than this my friends, we know by the history and how this war has progressed, we have seen it these past few years, and it scares me even more to think what we have not seen. So it is no amazement to see the majority of Americans when they are polled giving us these numbers, and it is no surprise that a majority of Kentuckians have been polled and we know that Mitch is not on solid ground as he may think, America basically is sick to heart of the B.S and the polls are bearing this out.
MyDD :: Americans Agree with Harry Reid that Victory is Not Possible in Iraq
Burnt Orange Report
I never thought I would see this come up in the campaign but it has, the tactics of fear is back on the table again. I am to assume that McCain will now become the front runner for the Republican party now, but I am guessing we will see how this plays out. The old scare tactics from 2004 are now making news again be afraid America, be very afraid. The war on terror has become a revolving door around Iraq, apparently we have all the terrorists hemmed up over there and the only ones to keep us safe are the Republicans,,well I am guessing again but I don't think America is going to buy into this fear tactic again.
"The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."
Giuliani Broadens His Message on Terrorism - New York Times
Not agreeing with Reid's assessment of how Iraq is progressing, put his thoughts into words. That being said it is noted that no bill will go forward, with any hint of a withdrawal written therein, and the troops will remain indefinitely or until "I" decide when they will return here,,,I have spoken.
The deadly attack yesterday has pushed this month total at over 70, I am sorry but it is very hard to see improvement in the Iraq chaos with figures emerging like this almost on a daily basis. Also in this article it is noted that the surge has caused the insurgents to take up positions farther North, we are back pedaling here one of the generals that was there made a statement that the surge could cause the insurgency to take up positions elsewhere.
To protect some neighborhoods in Iraq the military will erect concrete walls about 11 and a half feet tall, the walls are being built to try and control the civil war there. Because we that have been reading and studying the events going on there we can see clearly that Iraq is entangled by a civil war that has been going on for over a year now between the Shia and Sunni, and Iraq has been divided along sectarian lines since Feb of 2006 and on the end of this article it does list this.
Some residents believe that this could sharpen the tensions of sectarian violence, by these walls being built and gates being put in place where the going in and out will only be from these entrances. The feeling seems to be that these walls will affect national reconciliation and they are probably right by feeling this, as one great American said, "United we stand, divided we fall."
The PM of Iraq has asked the wall be halted due to the outcry of the people from the neighborhood, the build-up continues in Baghdad.
Halt the wall
People's Daily Online -- US troops erect more walls in Baghdad
USDA puts up Social Security Numbers for 63,000 people, what I am wondering is who came up with this decision? The article goes on to say that this information has not been misused, but they have been up apparently since 1996. At an estimated taxpayer cost of $4 million, Agriculture is offering each of them free credit monitoring for one year. Federal Web site exposed private data Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
Due to a Supreme Court ruling on abortion, a woman has few options even if it is medically necessary, she will have to prove it in court. We knew this was on the way and only a matter of time because we saw how the court was stacked to the extreme right, ruling; "is the proper manner to protect the woman's health if it can be shown that in discrete and well-defined instances a condition has or is likely to occur in which the procedure prohibited by the act must be used."
The way I am reading this is that the woman would have to prove in court that it is medically necessary to abort, at any rate the government sticking its nose in women's business is enough for me. As I have said time and again that should be between a woman her family and if necessary her doctor, all that is happening here is the courts infringing on the rights of women to decide what is the best for them and their body.
Abortion Case Limits Health Exception - washingtonpost.com
Nancy gave a message that Congress and the administration must work together to wind down this Iraq War, more mass bombings are taking place now in Baghdad and the Independents of America have jumped the G.O.P ship most because of the stand on this war. After meeting with some Iraq veteran's and families of veteran's she issued a straight to the point message and I must say it is a good read. As we read the news today we see the mass bombings and murders in Iraq approximately 183 were killed in these bombings that took place in some Iraqi markets and a lot of the interviews and news people speaking with survivors there, listen, who are they blaming? They are blaming America.
Tony Blair announced back in February that British troops would probably drop to 5,000 by the end of the year down from their 7,200 they have there, leaving Iraq is not surrendering as John McCain would have you believe, it is simply allowing the Iraqi government to begin to stand on it's own. Staying and dying indefinitely should not be an option with us, some kind of withdrawal plan needs to be addressed, I know it is a big mess but we have to start somewhere and John needs to look hard for plan B, because it is obvious that plan A is not cutting it.
Pelosi: We Must Work Together to Wind Down the Iraq War
Guns in themselves are merely tools, individuals decide how the tool is to be used. First off anyone who has read within reason blog should know that my politics lean left and when I thought about writing this post I reasoned in myself how I could write it to maybe get a point across.
Over really the past few years or so we have seen an upturn in violence and many times guns are used in that violence, henceforth they become a target to direct our anger toward but in doing so we miss part of the point. Some out there have actually protected themselves by having them and then at this point they become a tool for good, what has changed here is the society in which we live and I dare say some of us have become lazy. Many warning signs were noticed in the individual which carried out the deadly and senseless attack at Virginia Tech and I believe in the last interview I saw an English Professor had reported it and some knew this individual was unstable but no action was taken, however the professor went on to say that he (the shooter) was worked with at some point.
I have been around guns all my life of course the military and in civilian life, being around guns or growing up with them does not make one a crazed killer. But I realize also that they are unstable individuals out there, that don't need within a hundred feet of one. But let us look further into this,, when I grew up and when a lot of you grew up we never heard of this did we? So what has changed? Society has changed. When I grew up for one thing we had more discipline in our schools and we had it at home also didn't we, now when discipline is warranted a threat of calling the police is issued to the parent and I must say I have been a witness to it myself, yes, I have heard kids say this to their parents. First can you or I imagine saying that to our Father or Mother? Not many are attending church or sending their kids to Sunday school these days either.
Another thing that has changed is the constant bulling in school, yes we had those when I went to school also, but, after a few visits to the principle's office and a few whacks with the ruler put that at bay didn't it. What has changed? Discipline has changed, respect for the parents have changed and video games and music have taken the place of communicating with the parents. And in these times or in this decade one person can't make a living, it takes two people working to earn a decent living in this country and to support the family and by the time we get home we are so tired we just want to go to sleep and this also plays a role, by leaving us very little time if any to pass on values to our children.
So by this post I have given you a 'few' reasons on how society has changed over the years, guns have not changed since then,,,,society has changed.
Over the past 6 months American troops have died in Iraq at the highest rate since the war began. From October last year through last month 532 American soldiers have been killed. No wonder I found this article buried, March also marked the first time that the military saw four straight months of 80 or more fatalities. And April is not shaping up any better with at least 58 deaths through Monday and shaping up to be one of the deadliest months since the war began. The death numbers have swelled to 3,305 and at no sign is slowing anytime soon.
Another thing going on is the search for a war czar and apparently they are having a hard time filling the position, must be set up for a fall guy or something for this mess they are in. Apparently John McCain came clean on admitting he has no plan B for Iraq, so if what they are doing does not work then were do we go from here? In the news reports we do get coming out of Iraq it is plain to see that a beefed up force in the inner city just causes the violence to spread out a little farther. Wait,,is not this what the Generals said that were replaced?
KRT Wire | 04/16/2007 | U.S. troop deaths climbing in Iraq
No Plan B?
An announcement is to be made Monday of the departure of Muqtada al-Sadr's six ministers of Iraq's government which control the ministries of Health, Agriculture and transportation. The withdrawal will not affect Sadr's 30 members on parliament. Al-Sadr is widely popular in the Shia communities and his Mehdi Army Militia has fought with the Iraqi Army and U.S forces, the Iraqi Study Group has put his numbers of militia in the neighborhood of 65,000 strong and it is noted this is an old number and could be even more at this time.
This decision came on the heels of earlier this month when tens of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets in a major protest that called for outside forces in Iraq to leave, according to the spokesman for al-Sadr the decision was made because Iraq's Prime Minister did not respect the will of the people by demanding deadlines for the foreign troops who are there. It is clear to see the fragile state of the Iraqi government, and no one knows when the government can actually function on it's own nor whether it ever will be able to stand alone and govern itself, we are over four years in and little if any progress has been made.
Al-Sadr spokesman: ministers to leave Iraq government - CNN.com
Late Thursday Microsoft reported a vulnerability exists in its DNS server that could allow a hacker to take over the service. E-mail is routed via DNS, so a hacker could misdirect e-mails, DNS holds a trusted relationship with its users because it directs them to web sites based on the URLs that are typed into the browsers. It seems corporations would be at higher risk that use Microsoft and it is noted in the article that consumers using large ISPs run their DNS servers on Unix or Linux and draws the conclusion that these would not be at risk. The article also notes the attacks could go on relatively unnoticed.
And now my take on this, this does happen to be fresh news, but the new world we live in concerning the Internet or phones for that matter. Be aware that our privacy has been damaged so much in the last few years that it really is non-existent now, call this food for thought. I could write this under politics because I believe that and the news stories in the past verifies it, but I will put it under tech, but also be aware that more than likely this is the tip of the iceberg.
PC World - DNS Hole Puts E-Mail at Risk
Error Forum Blog (March article)
A devided Pennsylvania court kept alive a lawsuit concerning the touch screen voting machine, the machines at best have been plauged by glitches. Electors have alleged the machines are unreliable and charge them of losing votes, changing votes and losing votes. In a democracy to which we live being the greatest on Earth, you would think we could surmise a solution to this problem. During the last election many machines did break down and glitches were noted, to read more concerning the voting machines read the articles I have on them under voting. There have been many different articles concerning this process and we as Americans should be most concerned.
Lawsuit on electronic voting machines survives Daily News 04/14/2007
Car bomb kills 56 and wounds 70 about 50 miles south of Baghdad today according to the report the bomb was a huge one, and knew no age barrier. According to the report Karbala is a destination of a yearly pilgrimage of Shiite Iraqis and hundreds have been killed traveling back and forth from the city.
The so called fortified Green Zone took a suicide bombing Thursday killing 8 and wounding about 23. This hit came hours after a hit on a major bridge in Baghdad that sent cars into the Tigris River that killed at least 10 more people. The bridge was a main artery in Baghdad that links the two halves together across the Tigris River. This account says that 20 were wounded in the Green Zone blast but other reports have put the figure at 23, the Green Zone is one of the most heavily fortified in Iraq.
The head of the Turkey armed forces also has issued a statement to conduct operation's against the Kurd's who are one of the smaller sect's in Northern Iraq, his intentions are to crush Kurdish rebels who are hiding there.
In the neighborhood of Fadhil Tuesday saw a day long battle and some of the worst fighting since the so called surge began 2 months ago. A suicide bomber exploded her bomb at a police recruiting agency killing at least 9. A lot of the military personnel were worried the war could spread to other close proximity locations and the head of Turkey's military could be bearing this out, Turkey is an ally of the U.S however, the Kurds are one of the only sects in Iraq who have a positive toward the U.S.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates extended tours of duty by 3 months, jumping it from 12 up to 15 months of deployment. It does not take a genius to realize that the military is stretched very thin and the need for longer deployments is showing this. Add all this to Turkey wanting to fight in the Kurdish regions of Northern Iraq just adds to all the unrest of the region.
After reading a few articles in the news I see John McCain who is holding only 12% of the Republican primary vote and I can see why, with all the killing, bombing and dying in Iraq, even in the Green Zone he continues to beat a dead horse. And he continues to blame the Democrats? Well might as well blame about 70% or more of Americans also John, because when you are preaching your nonsense to them you are preaching it to us.
Wake up McCain
Turkey weighs in
Soldier's tours extended
CTV.ca | Blast kills 8 in Iraq parliament in Green Zone
This article really makes a statement to me and part of it is in relation to my wife who was a type-1 diabetic, and my mother being a type-2 diabetic. This article in itself gives hope to thousands of Americans who are devastated by this disease. You recall back in last years election how Micheal J. Fox made the case for more federally funded stem-cell research, and the many polls of Americans on this matter supports this and politically a lot of Republicans support this funding also, but some along with President Bush appose this type of funding based upon mostly their religious beliefs. I am not going to get into a long drawn out process of what actually takes place but the bottom line is this, Stem cells are cells that have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. Serving as a sort of repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells for as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each "daughter" cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell. Diabetics that have started using stem-cell therapy have been able to stop taking insulin shots, diabetics take anywhere from 2/4 shots a day. This has some real potential to help the many diabetics not only here but around the world, diabetes takes its toll on the organs in the body over time, the kidneys and heart are affected as well as other organs in the body and over time could slow circulation in the legs and feet. Stem-cells have potential to treat this and many other diseases out there including Parkinson disease and I for one am glad Micheal had the courage and passion to get out there and promote this very promising treatment and when I read this article it gives me hope, the hope that a lot of diabetics out there could lead a less painful life and rid themselves of this disease. It is also of note that the stem cells apparently were harvested from the patients own blood and its implications are rather promising, I would like to read more articles like this one as scientists have always maintained that stem-cells looked to be a promising therapy. Diabetics cured by stem-cell treatments Questions concerning stem-cells Blastocyst Just got this off the CNN ticker, it seems the Senate has voted to roll back the 2001 Bush limits on embryonic stem-cell research by a vote of 63-34 however, it is not enough to over ride the Bush veto.
On the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad tens of thousands of demonstrators poured out in protest of the American military, some demonstrators were wearing Army uniforms. And as this thing draws on past the four year mark and in all the news coming out of Iraq it looks like a majority of people want us to leave, that is a stark contrast from when we first entered the theater and were told we were liberators of an oppressed people. The demonstrations seemed held to unite the Iraqis in their quest to oust the U.S from their country. Now John McCain is still touting that he disagrees with the majority of Americans and believes the war is winnable although he has back paneled a lot from his original comments, the sad part is none of these individuals who claim the tide will turn in our favor is able to describe just what a victory in Iraq means and this my friends is the heart of the problem.
New York Times
From hiding, Sadr rallies against the US | csmonitor.com
John McCain's Iraq Problem
The cleric Muqtada al-Sadr urged his militia men to double their efforts to oust the U.S forces from Iraq, the weekend saw the death of 10 more American soldiers including 6 killed Sunday. At least 47 people were killed or found dead Sunday, 17 execution style victims were found dumped in the capital. Al-Sadr urged his followers to turn all their efforts against the Americans, Iraq has been in the grip of a civil war since early last year.
Shiite Cleric Urges Fight Against U.S. - Netscape News
How does the Iraq War stack up against our other wars? Who is paying for this mess? All the American people have left is their vote and that vote is precious to shape our future.
Sharing the burden of war and taxes - The Boston Globe
It is official that Billy Gillispie of Texas A&M has excepted the position of head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats, he done a splendid job for Texas and I believe that he can bring us back to our glory days. We were looking for a coach with the passion for college basketball and we have found it with Billy Gillispie, a giant pep rally in Lexington says it all, welcome Billy to the die hard BIG BLUE FANS. Billy says he is excited to be be here and is looking forward to finishing the roster, we are continue to maintain and turn up the tempo of the game, lets all do it together.
Well, this is what we are reading in the headlines, what is being swept under the rug and you don't read about is that also three Republicans have also visited Damascus last week, now I wonder why this could be? All of the countries around Iraq would play a role in whether it becomes a success or not. The dialog has been shut down by this administration because of differences and I too realize that there are many things that we don't agree on with some of these countries, what is really a tragedy is that our Congress or Senate have to develop a foreign policy and open up talks with these countries to try and get some kind of stability in the region, as long as you are talking with these countries there is hope that some stability will return there. Iraq is not able today as it was when this war started to take upon itself and maintain any kind of order there.
I don't see this as any challenge to anyone, whether it is the Republicans or the Democrats that have visited the region, these are Iraq's neighbors and is part of the stagnation we see in the region now, because of our isolation of these countries and as we read the world news we hear a lot of statements we heard when we were still in grade school.
And now we come to the funding issue that has been brought up just recently and we know that a clear majority support this also, if America was pleased of how this war was going then last November we would have maintained the status quo, that did not happen. It seems for the most part the ones being ignored here are the American people themselves and it is also clear that when we beef up the troops in one area the violence simply moves out to another area, Iraq has been in a death grip of a civil war since before last February and thousands have died with hundreds of thousands displaced because of the civil unrest.
So having went this far everyone should understand that the neighbors of Iraq would have to play a role in their future and it is also painfully obvious that the government of
Is winning the war making a few blocks of Baghdad safe? Just don't leave the green zone and if you do make sure you do it like the great John McCain did, wear plenty of body armor and make sure you have a bunch of snipers on the roof-tops and a brigade surrounding you, now does that really seem safe to you? Now going back to the point of this article, it does not matter if it is a Democratic Congress person or a Republican, someone has to take the initiative to step up to the plate and try to make some headway, I guess Cheney and Bush want to take their basketball and go home,, but wait recess is not over yet.
Back in November of last year Syria renewed its diplomatic ties with Iraq, In a reversal of 25 years of foreign policy, Syria and Iraq agreed to restore full diplomatic ties, ending a political discord that began when Syria sided with Iran during the Iran-Iraq War in 1980.
Pelosi challenges Bush policy by visiting Syria | Israel and the Middle East | Guardian Unlimited
Related; Syria's Role
Blogs; From The Left
The Peace Tree
Iraq is not able today as it was when this war started to take upon itself and maintain any kind of order there.When the Iraqi Army was disbanded we had to start from scratch, heck, a lot of the Army are absent here and there because they have to go home and bury their dead that is how bad it is. The war must be won politically and I think as I said before it seems the only ones who know this is the American people themselves and of course the majority that we ourselves elected to carry out our wishes and no one has ever to this day told us what the definition of winning in Iraq really is.
It is a start on trying to control some of these carbon emissions, the Supreme Court has decided that the EPA should regulate carbon-dioxide. The ruling does not order any specific regulatory action, but it does open the door for future cases that does. The auto industry is already crying and saying this will increase prices, they should have been thinking of this 20 years ago. The fact of the matter is they will continue the status quo until some laws are passed to make them alter their course. A truck cost us today, what we paid for our houses a few years back, so they really is no need for them to have an excuse, they have been sticking it to us for years.
VOA News - Environmentalists Cheer US Supreme Court Ruling on Car Pollution
At a point when we should be seeing the Iraqis taking charge of their destiny and as some politicians say it, "stepping up to the plate." What we are seeing is the near opposite of this scenario, the fact is that in March our U.S military saw twice as many deaths as the Iraq forces did.
This is very significant in itself, another thing is that the violence is still occurring and is increasing in the surrounding provinces.
The departing generals of the field had came to this conclusion long before they were replaced by 'yes men,' in other words if you beef things up in Baghdad then the surrounding provinces will see an upturn in violence and the numbers are bearing this out, this information was taken from an associated press article.
The military has came up with something that according to sources can stand up to the roadside bomb among other heavy artillery. It is called the Cougar and I saw a documentary on it today and one great thing is it gets the 'gunner' inside, it can be used with machine guns or heavier rounds. From what I have read about this thing it looks to be one grand war machine, made from steel and bullet proof glass it is one great machine plus it keeps all personnel inside including the gunner.