Archive for August 9th, 2007

09
Aug
07

The latest oxymoron… “Military Progress”

In this bloggers humble opinion, following in the uncompromising traditional paradox of “Military Intelligence” and “Military Solutions” follows the idea of “Military Progress”:

Even some critics of President Bush’s Iraq war policies are conceding there is evidence of recent improvements from a military standpoint. But Bush supporters and critics alike agree that these have not been matched by any noticeable progress on the political front.

Despite U.S. pressure, Iraq’s parliament went on vacation for a month after failing to pass either legislation to share the nation’s oil wealth or to reconcile differences among the factions. And nearly all Sunni representatives in the government have quit, undermining the legitimacy of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite.

OK, so apparently there has been no real governmental progress in Iraq, no political stability. What they do have is a stalled legislature, parliament on vacation and the mass departure of all Sunni reps. But that troop surge sure is is going good!! Yay for “Military Progress”!! So that’s why we are there is it? Military progress? Huh?

Actually, read the second paragraph of the excerpt again… I think the real reason we are in Iraq is hidden in there. I’ll give you a hint… Black Gold… And notice that it comes before the reconciliation of the different factions… Yeah…

Petraeus asserted that “we are making progress. We have achieved tactical momentum in many areas, especially against al-Qaida Iraq, and to a lesser degree against the militia extremists.” Still, he told Fox News on Tuesday that “there are innumerable challenges.”

Yeah. Innumerable. Like the fact that terrorists are guerrillas whose modus operandi usually does not include toe-to-toe battles with conventional armies. We can’t beat terrorism with sheer force of numbers people. Wake up!

“Barring a miracle, there will be very little political progress to point to in mid-September,” Cordesman said Thursday in a briefing on his trip.

Michele Flournoy, a former Pentagon defense strategist and now president of the Center for a New American Security, said that “the clock in Washington is running down pretty fast. There’s sort of a wall next March-April. That’s when they’ll have to start replacing units, which will hit the 15-month mark.” Bush recently extended tours of duty from 12 months to 15 months.

“They’re going to have some very tough choices then. Either the ‘surge’ will de facto end and they’ll start bringing people out because there’s no units to replace them. Or you’re going to have to have a presidential decision to extend tours from 15 months to 18 months,” Flournoy said.

Yeah. Lets just keep increasing the tour lengths. Throw more troops out there. Keep on burning our tax dollars on a fruitless pursuit of terrorists hiding on their own turf with home court advantage. They will keep hiding until we leave. 6 months from now, a year, it won’t matter. And just think, in the interim we can create more terrorists by racking up civilian casualties engage and eliminate insurgents. You know. While we are in the neighborhood… Yeah. Great plan.

“The problem is that nobody in the United States sees any significant progress on the political front. The Shiites and Sunni factions in the government don’t seem to be able to get along. And that makes Congress wonder whether we’re making any real progress. Because, even with better security, the country can’t figure out how to take care of itself,” Thompson added. – [Yahoo/AP]

Thank you! Finally! A voice of reason. We can chase terrorists till we are blue in the face. If that country is unable to maintain a working, self regulating government, all on it’s own, it will all have been for naught. We should have thought of that before we even went in there. Oh. That’s right. We let the military do the thinking…

Iraq critics concede military progress – [Yahoo/AP]

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09
Aug
07

Facebook – CIA recruiting tool?

Interesting article about FaceBook…

Facebook has 20 million users worldwide, is worth billions of dollars and, if internet sources are to be believed, was started by the CIA.

But there is a dark side to the success story that’s been spreading across the blogosphere. A complex but riveting Big Brother-type conspiracy theory which links Facebook to the CIA and the US Department of Defence.

The CIA is, though, using a Facebook group to recruit staff for its very sexy sounding National Clandestine Service. – [The New Zealand Herald]

Kinda explains why they are so uptight compared to MySpace…

Facebook – the CIA conspiracy – [The New Zealand Herald]

09
Aug
07

The family that shoots together…

Given the number of times I have made passive references to the futility of gun control in a few of my last posts, I thought it was interesting to come across the following:

The Second Amendment tells us that ‘a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’ Two hundred years later, in 1999, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimated that there are about 215 million guns in America–at least one firearm in half the households in the country. The anti-gun Brady Campaign, however, puts that number at 192 million guns, owned by 39 percent of the population. – [MSNBC]

Now I found this article interesting because I find that I have been ranting a lot lately about how folks like to blame everything but themselves or their society for the problems of the world. The Brady Campaign is one such organization. They have taken it one step further and decided to make an inanimate object the focus of their efforts.

Their site expresses their “outrage” at the increase of “gun violence in America” and whatnot. However, they do not seem to care much about what causes that violence. Their only concern seems to be that firearms ought not be involved. I find that an incredibly narrow minded, tunnel visioned way of thinking.

Ironically, the Brady Campaigns gun ownership statistics were highly skewed when compared to the figures the BATF estimates. Now given that the BATF is a government agency that works with these cases first hand, on a daily basis, and the Brady Bunch would rather not see any guns in existence at all, I’m inclined to think that the BATFs numbers would be more accurate. An unrealistic view of reality, in my opinion, is generally the result of a campaign based on emotion, rather than logic.

It’s a cliched phrase, but it bears repeating. Guns don’t kill people. Ignorant / Unimaginative /Badly raised people with guns kill people. The Brady campaign is focusing all of it’s efforts on reducing the overall number of guns in the hope that this will reduce gun violence. But I believe that only a fool wages war on an inanimate object. They are only tilting at windmills. I’m not going to go over the arguments why this is a waste of time, because you’ve probably all heard them.

However I will say that this is yet another, particularly ludicrous, crutch. According to the BATF, over half the households in the country own at least one firearm. This means that gun owners are not a minority, nor are they limited to criminals, or gun crazed nut jobs.

There has to be another reason for the increase in gun violence. I would submit that it is an overall increase in violence in general. The Brady campaign doesn’t seem to want to even acknowledge that possibility. And they have wasted who knows how much money campaigning to reduce the symptoms of the problem without, as far as I can see, spending a dime trying to diagnose and cure the disease.

Our society needs revamping. Our parenting skills need improvement. Our culture is breeding a new kind of angst. And the victims of this form of self/world hate are not particular about how the decide to get the message across. If there are no guns, they will use improvised explosives. If there are no explosives, they will use knives. If knives are  outlawed (heh) Some could decide to go on a vehicular manslaughter rampage. If cars get outlawed, they will simply poison the water supply. There is no end to it.

The presence of any weapon, is at best only a means to an end. And the means are many.  in order to solve the problem, we have to identify and solve the root causes, not blindly chase after the symptoms.

One nation, under gun – [MSNBC]




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