Obama Gets Iran Deal, GOP Freaks Collective Shit

Just go ahead and get yourself elected, Lindsey, and you can do that (heck, this is the kind of stuff we want debated before we elect Presidents…and note how we elected Obama twice, to do just this kind of stuff).

The hatred of Obama and the cover it provides for the GOP has led to some very interesting and, frankly, openly seditious, behavior.

I have to wonder if the Tea Party is going to die off before the reality they inhabit is just too far gone from the rest of us to continue moving forward together.

Look at how many in the GOP talk about reality itself, and you begin to see this issue.

What the Obama administration has done (if the deal holds) is the same thing the Bush administration claimed to have wanted to do, stop Iran (Iraq) from obtaining WMD.

The difference here is that Iran, unlike Iraq, had an active program and Obama, unlike Bush, was able to do it without a decades long war, thousand of lives and trillions of dollars.

The discrepancy here is massively huge and, it would seem, the only choice the GOP has is to double and triple down on the Obama-hate.

Sad, but there it is.

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Iraq records huge rise in birth defects, the Cost of War, Continued….

It played unwilling host to one of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq war. Fallujahs homes and businesses were left shattered; hundreds of Iraqi civilians were killed. Its residents changed the name of their “City of Mosques” to “the polluted city” after the United States launched two massive military campaigns eight years ago. Now, one month before the World Health Organisation reveals its view on the legacy of the two battles for the town, a new study reports a “staggering rise” in birth defects among Iraqi children conceived in the aftermath of the war.High rates of miscarriage, toxic levels of lead and mercury contamination and spiralling numbers of birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to brain dysfunctions and malformed limbs have been recorded. Even more disturbingly, they appear to be occurring at an increasing rate in children born in Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad.

via Iraq records huge rise in birth defects – Health News – Health & Families – The Independent.

There is “compelling evidence” to link the increased numbers of defects and miscarriages to military assaults, says Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, one of the lead authors of the report and an environmental toxicologist at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. Similar defects have been found among children born in Basra after British troops invaded, according to the new research.

US marines first bombarded Fallujah in April 2004 after four employees from the American security company Blackwater were killed, their bodies burned and dragged through the street, with two of the corpses left hanging from a bridge. Seven months later, the marines stormed the city for a second time, using some of the heaviest US air strikes deployed in Iraq. American forces later admitted that they had used white phosphorus shells, although they never admitted to using depleted uranium, which has been linked to high rates of cancer and birth defects.

The Iraq War happened.  Even when many in this country can’t remember how Wall Street destroyed the economy four years ago and are now poised to vote for a Wall Street Tycoon, err, “Job Creator, we also forget about the nearly decade long occupation of Iraq.   There’s going to be more to this story.  I’ll write about it from time to time, but if anyone wants to dedicate their lives to solving a real and horrid problem…this is a good one.

You can also continue to advocate against offensive, BASED-ON-UTTER-BULLSHIT WARS!!

The problems they cause tend to last for generations.  Generations.

If you’re wondering why I fight for peace so hard, this is reason N!.

Seems like a good week to end Wars

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday declared an end to the Iraq war, one of the longest and most divisive conflicts in U.S. history, announcing that all U.S. troops would be withdrawn from the country by year’s end.

Obama’s statement put an end to months of wrangling over whether the U.S. would maintain a force in Iraq beyond 2011.

“After nearly nine years,” the president, “America’s war in Iraq will be over.”

via Obama announces total Iraq troop withdrawal – seattlepi.com.

Wonder if this guy will ever get a prize for doing so much to bring peace and freedom to the parts of the world that long for it.

....aaaand done.

Iraq Libya Bush Obama Apples Oranges Fruit and War (and footnotes regarding freedom [x])

So it looks like we are at war again. 

Or in an unusual style I should say “we” [1] are at “war”[2] again [3].

-fin-

[1] We, the United Nations, of which I, as a United States citizen, am kinda a member. 

[2] It’s more of a humanitarian effort cloaked in war robes.  Well, let’s not cut dice here…what do we call this?  I think using “war”, flat out, is a bit extreme, especially referring to only the U.S. and Libya, and forgetting Europe and the Arab League, all of which are part of this…action.  This is a different type of thing [7], and I prefer it much to the other.[4]

[3] The U.N. is also intervening in other places….link…that needs to be updated…[5] 

[4] Iraq.  This is not the same thing as Iraq.  This is not a year of build-up, a parade of fake evidence, a cascade of fear-mongering, 500,000 300,000 (after Rummy got a hold of it) troops, multiple fleets, U.S. tanks rolling across the sand…this is just not the same thing.   This is a place called Libya.[6] 

[5] It’s Wikipedia, do it yourself.

[6] Libya.  It’s right here.  Between Egypt and Tunisia.   You might think, hey, wait, it’s barely between Egypt and Tunisia.  Well…yea…it does hang down a bit.  You remember hearing about the vastness of the Sahara Desert?  Yea…that’s what’s hanging there. “Libya” the piece of land, is better understood as the trade route by the Mediterranean connecting Egypt and Tunisia.  Note the bright line in the same place here, right along the sea.  Benghazi, the city that Kwudaffee [sp], was about to destroy, is right on that curveback part of the Med, where you can take a shortcut over sea.

The Tunisian people, just rose up,  and overthrew their authoritarian dictator.

The Egyptian people followed suit, rose up, and the overthrew their authoritarian dictator.

The Libyan people rose up, and got bombed and sniped and who knows what else.

[7] This “action” as I mentioned, falls into what I consider the “just war” category.  It is war based on justice.  Which, in pretty much every case, calls for a great deal of restraint, which we have shown in this case.

I am greatly saddened in this regard by Iraq.  On the one hand, great, I’m very glad that everyone now (welcome to the club, Republicans) is concerned about the cost and validity [8] of war.   I think Iraq re-taught that lesson to a lot of people.   On the other hand, I think that lesson came with it the somewhat cynical notion that all use of force, particularly by the United States, is “war” of the same caliber and just-ness as the one in Iraq.

They aren’t.  That’s the entire point of “just war” theory.  The notion that there is a time to unleash the Hogs. [8]

 [8] The President of the United States through the War Power Act of 1973 gets to do so when, and I quote…

SEC. 2. (c) The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

That (2) up there, in this case, is the U.N. Security Countil resolution, adopted 10-0 by that body.  The U.S. is a signatory to the U.N. treaty, so here comes the Constitution..

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Emphasis mine.  BTW, we have veto power in the U.N., so it’s not like “they” could ever order us to attack anyone we didn’t want to.   So that’s how the President “gets” to do this.  When somebody takes a shot at us, Congress tells him to, one of our treaties authorizes it (i.e. an attack on a NATO ally), or if he’s feelin’ really dirrty, whenever he wants.   Here’s the rub…

It is important to note that since the War Powers Resolution’s enactment, over President Nixon’s veto in 1973, every President has taken the position that it is an unconstitutional infringement by the Congress on the President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief. The courts have not directly addressed this question.

Remember folks, the President controls the Army, the Congress controls the purse strings.  That *is* the check and balance.  The rest is largely show and politics (and we get to vote out either next time ’round).    Congress has told itself it can cut off fuding after 60 (or 90) days.   It takes Congress a lot longer to do anything in most cases, hence the wiggle room written into pretty much every law concerning this stuff (if you read the law technically, simultaneously assassinating every member of Congress in an inconspicuous manner would make it impossible for the U.S. to ever strike back, as it violates none of the rules specifically listed in [8 – Sec.2.(c)(3)].)

All that being said, comparing this entire situation, from start to [current], isn’t  anything like Iraq.  If, perhaps, the people of Afghanistan had risen up and overthrown the Taliban, and the people of Iran has risen up and overthrown their Theocracy (as they’ve tried a couple times), and the people of Iraq rose up…and got gunned down by Saddam Hussein…then…perhaps then, we’d be talking about the same thing (at least it would be closer goegraphically and geo-politically.)   

Hindsight gives us this insight, for if Iraq had been the just war it was claimed, we would have a) found the WMD, b) been welcomed and c) the mass killing would have stopped by now.  We didn’t, they weren’t, and they haven’t.  We’ll know this about Libya much sooner [it won’t take 3 years for everyone to notice that if it’s going to fester for another 1o], but as it stands one can’t say the rest.

Iraq was spoiled from the start, to use it as a template for judging all war is folly.   Here, we seem currently and to me at least, to be on the righteous path.   A priest should not stand by and watch a slaughter he could stop with little effort, I daresay I don’t understand how a President could either.  

In this sense the apples and oranges can be compared on their own merits and not just lumped into that big basket of fruit called “war”.

[x] It ain’t free, but it is very much worth fighting for.  Like oil.  Which, like freedom, makes life flow much more smoothly.   Take that as you will.   If the right wants to take up the “war for oil” mantra, things will go uber-bizaroo and Trump might actually win (and have an army to fire people with).

[we’ll see how long this goes on.  Obama doesn’t seem to get into fights unless he knows he’s going to win, and he pulled the trigger here just about as soon as the i’s were crossed and t’s dotted.

You Say You Want Some Revolutions, Well ya know…

…here’s a couple. 

From the recent past…

The reign of Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali is over. His government’s response to the steadily growing unrest in the country was marked by successive tactical retreats: On Jan. 12, he declared his intention to immediately do away with restrictions on the press and step down once his term expires in 2014. When that concession only emboldened the protesters further, he responded on Jan. 14 by sacking his government and announcing that new elections would be held in six months. And now, the latest news suggests that the military has stepped in to remove Ben Ali from power and the president has fled the country.

Given the historical ineffectiveness of Arab publics to effect real change in their governments and the Tunisian regime’s reputation as perhaps the most repressive police state in the region, the events of the past week are nothing short of remarkable. And while reports and analyses have focused on the extraordinary nature of the protests, it is equally important to consider what has been missing — namely, Islamists.

[full article]

BTW, don’t feel bad if this link provides you some information you didn’t ask for.  😉

This week’s revolution is taking place in Egypt.

You will find a lot of info here, it could be in arabic so you will have to use translate.google.com. Please reddit get the word out, you will find pictures and videos posted.

Twitter is blocked right now, probably facebook later that’s how people managed to organize this. Right now I am trying to make a guide how to use proxys, if anyone could help me with any other simpler way I would appreciate it.

I will try to update as much as I can

Main requests:

  1. Reassembling of people’s assemble.
  2. Canceling(is that the correct word?) marshal law which has been up for over 30 years now.
  3. Not allowing the president to reelect himself after 2 times.
  4. Setting a minimum for wagers of 1200 local pounds.
  5. Sacking of minister of interior affairs.

Excuse my grammar and english, I am pretty tired.

  • The main protest in AlTahrir Square(stream is down) is still holding, they cut off all supplies from them, including mobile network. pic
  • Confirmed news that food and water and tents are getting through to protestors in AlTahrir.
  • Live ammunation is being fired in Suez, Alexandria and Ismailya.
  • First death in Suez, 20 year old Moustafa Reda Mahmoud.
  • Second death in suez, 31 year old Soliman Saber Aly.
  • Sources say army units are being dispatched in Cairo and Alexandria.
  • Unconfirmed sources that Gamal Moubarak – the president’s son – have fled with his wife along with 97 bags of luggage to london.
  • After live ammunation being shot in Alexandaria and crowds were scattered, they are regrouping right now and it’s said the numbers are in 7000 right now.

[full link with requisite nonchalance]

This should, hopefully, make the real news soon.  With foreign desks slashed or non-existent for all the 24-hour-outrage stations, don’t expect this latest revolution to be a big story.

Here’s another first hand account of the day’s action.

We’ll see how both of these turn out, and if the internal, technology-driven revolutions provide better results than the external, bomb-driven ones.

U.S. Occupation of Iraq More Than Doubles Poverty, Sickness — Leaves Country a Total Disaster

http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/147928

According to the U.S. Census of 2000, 80 percent of the 285 million people living in the United States are urban dwellers. Those living in slums are well below 5 percent. If we translate the Iraqi statistic into the U.S. context, 121 million people in the United States would be living in slums.

If the United States had an unemployment rate of 25-50 percent and 121 million people living in slums, riots would ensue, the military would take over, and democracy would evaporate. So why are people in the United States not concerned and saddened by the conditions in Iraq? Because most people in the United States do not know what happened in Iraq and what is happening there now. Our government, including the current administration, looks the other way and perpetuates the myth that life has improved in post-invasion Iraq. Our major news media reinforces this message.

The end[?] result of the last time we got back at “them” for 9/11.

“Roy, wake up. A plane has hit the World Trade Center”

“Roy, wake up. A plane has hit the World Trade Center”

Rep Joe Wilson, Illustrating the real problem with the U.S.
Calmly calling the President a liar.

I was sleeping when I heard those words.  I don’t remember what my dream was that day, as I lay all comfy in my bed.

I had recently left a job in Colorado and was planning on moving to New York City to continue life and see if a long distance relationship could turn into a viable short distance one (it didnt’).   During the move I was staying with my folks in Dallas on that fateful morning, eight years ago.

Quickly rising from my slumber, I moved immediately to the television and watched in horror as the rest of the days events unfolded.

I had planned today to write a bit more about the current health care reform agenda and how those opposed to it aren’t really interested in anything resembling an honest debate.  Instead, you can read about that here [1], as I’m going to tell the other half of my 9/11 experience.

Most of the rest of that morning was spent frantically calling on the phone to my girlfriend, and her family and friends, trying to find out if she was all right.  She lived in an apartment on Ave A and 3rd street, and I remembered the calm moments of climbing to the rooftop of her building and marveling at the views of the Twin Towers, and the amazing accomplishtments of modern man, as I would enjoy the simple comfort of a cigarette, basking in the glow and energy of the City.

Ultimately a call finally got through, and some semblance of peace returned to my heart.  Over the new few weeks the stench of burning bodies and debris became too much for her, and a long bus ride brought her back to my arms, ending the first half of this story.

Fast forward to three years later, and I am living in New York, single, and wandering the town around the time of the Repbuclian National Convention in 2004.   Our country had since surrendered its sanity to fear after the events of that September day three years previous, and was currently conducting a war against a country that had no involvement in the attacks.  I had marched against the war a number of times, pointing out, again and again (sometimes loudly, sometimes softly) that the war and 9/11 had little connection outside of a tenuous religious and skin tone one.

Vast conspiracy theories about the attacks and the war had been created, and cynicism and skepticism about our government and its aim was rampant.   While I never felt that even someone as evil as Dick Cheney could allow such an attack to occur, I was, and am, more than willing to say that politicians are often willing to use the fear they create to accomplish their own agendas.

I am was lamenting this fact in a random bar after a couple of Dewars and waters and having struck up a conversation with the bartender and a couple of patrons about whatever and whatever.

It was then that the other side of the 9/11 hit me.

“I lost seven friends on that day,” the bartender said.

And so the convesation came to a screetching halt.  What had been a general lament became a personal attack, and I crossed a line from which it was impossible to pull back.

Now we are seeing the same distrust and conspiracy theories come up around an overhaul of a health care system, and economy, that is eating away at our future prosperity.

It is this level is distrust in one another, and working from vastly different sets of facts and evidence that make the conversation about how to go forward from here so frustrating.   In this sense, the attacks on 9/11 pale in comparison to the response to those attacks.   As we give into the fear and terror that a collapse of our economic way of life engender, our ability to rationally address the problems diminish.  They way forward becomes lost in a cloud of conspiracy and distrust.

This, to me, is the saddest legacy of those attacks.  We still haven’t recovered, we have simply transferred the fear of the other, to the fear of the self.

And so it goes, eight years on.

[1] : Most Republicans made clear during the day that Obama’s speech had done nothing to lessen their opposition.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio stuck to Republican positions that the Democratic health-care proposals would give illegal immigrants health care, pay for abortions, and establish panels that make life-and-death decisions. Obama said they would not.

PolitiFact.com, a truth squad run by the St. Petersburg Times, found that there was no subsidy for illegal immigrants in the legislation, no “death panels,” and no public money for abortion.

The World This Week, March 22, 2009

[videos forthcoming]

US NEWS

People thieving the electrons.

Obama: Economy hurts.  Duh.

Obama Budget Strategy raises questions.

New home construction gets a lift (month-to-month).

Small business help on the way.

Fed prints money like mad.

A couple economists agree that printing money is a good idea…today.

China wants a new global currency standard.

Palin to preach to choir.

McCain Twitterview a joke, a stilted lagging joke.

Feel the outrage….

….oh wait, we did that?

Probe into AIG bonuses launched.

Gassley suggest suicide for AIG execs, then back off to resignation and public flogging.

Laid off worked parades in front of AIG mansion.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Pakistan moves closer to rule of law.

Iraqi government wants heads to roll.

Dead Sea Scrolls authors existence questioned.

Georgia v. stem cells.

Pope v. witchcraft and tribalism.

Everyone of the Book (Christian, Muslim, Jew) vs teh Gays.

Stop-Loss phasing out.

Obama talks to Iran.

Iran wants more than talk.

SCIENCE/TECH

The Frogopalypse.

Veggie garden makes a return to White House lawn.

Obama gets schooled on Special Olympics and bowling.  NOTE: Bowling not a particularly intellectual pursuit.

The Great Unkowns and the Unknowables.

Lest We Forget

I’ve been having a few economic discussions lately with various people in various places.

Everyone seems to be gung-ho against any sort of stimulus package that isn’t perfect.  Sorry, folks, this is why we have a “democracy” so we can make decisions even when a bunch of folks on TV and Radio whine about helping toddlers.

I mean…improving toddler care…what a waste, let’s buy bombs instead!

The simple fact of our economy is this…mentioned here previously…

Well, it looks like that move to leveler playing field happened a lot quicker than even I expected.  And the War in Iraq seems to be gone from the economic discussion.  Does not one realize that is why Bush, et. al. had to let the shennanigans on Wall Street continue so long?  Without the myth of great wealth, we couldn’t fund his War.   And that’s where the other 3 trillion went.

Does no one remember that Bush took the deficit from this…

Instead, the president explained, the $5.7 trillion national debt has been reduced by $360 billion in the last three years — $223 billion this year alone.

This represents, Clinton said, “the largest one-year debt reduction in the history of the United States.”

To this…

Are you surprised? Times Square’s National Debt Clock, which has been tallying up money owed by the U.S. government since 1989, is running out of spaces.

In September 2008, the digital dollar sign was eliminated to make way for an extra digit—the “1” in $10 trillion (the national debt is currently $10.2 trillion). Now, a new clock is in the works that will make room for a quadrillion dollars of debt, according to the Associated Press. Anticipated completion is early 2009.

A little history on the clock: It was created in 1989 by Manhattan real estate developer Seymour Durst to inform the public about the nation’s snowballing national debt (back then, it was $2.7 trillion). Seymour died in 1995, and the clock is now owned by his son, Douglas Durst.

Bush ran up a $4,500,000,000,000 tab.

Lest we forget…

Robots and Pirates in the News (Ninja absent…but they’re Ninjas…so…)

There have been major news stories in the last couple of weeks involving robots and pirates making war.  The ninjas are staying out of the spotlight, but as that is their nature, this shouldn’t be noted as evidence that they aren’t very busy.

First up, the pirates…

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) — Pirates who hijacked a crude oil tanker off the coast of Kenya are approaching a Somali port, the U.S. Navy says.

The Sirius Star — a crude “super tanker” flagged in Liberia and owned by the Saudi Arabian-based Saudi Aramco company — was attacked on Saturday more than 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa, Kenya.

The crew of 25, including British, Croatian, Polish, Filipino and Saudi nationals, are reported to be safe.

U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet Cmdr. Jane Campbell said the super tanker weighs more than 300,000 metric tons and “is more than three times the size of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.”

Oil industry insiders say a tanker of this size can carry up to 2 million barrels of oil, and the ship’s operator, Dubai-based Vela International Marine Ltd, says it is fully laden.

[full story]

That piracy has been on the rise off Africa’s east coast is nothing new.  The general lawlessness of the area contributes to, well, lawlessness, which is an environment in which the pirate thrives.

One of the problems with this piracy issues is that people (governments and private companies) have been giving into pirate ransom demands to release ships and crew.  This then funds the pirates to attack more and bigger ships.  That super tanker mentioned above has over $100,000,000 worth of oil on it, and enough to cause a major environmental problem  (the Exxon Valdex spilled about 10 million barrels, this tanker has about 2 million…but cleanup would be severely problematic, see: pirates).

Not to be outdone, the Robots have also been making news around the world…

Pakistan has summoned the US ambassador in Islamabad to protest at a US missile attack deep inside Pakistani territory on Wednesday that killed five people.

The attack, in Bannu district, killed five local militants, officials say.

Previous drone attacks have been in the strip of territory along the Afghan border known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), a region where huge areas are under the control of militants rather than the central government.

But Bannu is in the North West Frontier Province where the government claims far more control.

“The American ambassador has been called to the Foreign Office to lodge a protest over the missile attack in Bannu,” a foreign ministry official told Reuters news agency.

The US embassy said that ambassador Anne Patterson would relay Pakistan’s concerns to Washington.

[full article]

Some intersting stuff there with the robots.  The U.S. has been using these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) or “flying robots” to take the fight to the enemy in places where it is quite difficult for leg-bearing humans to wander.

The question of using robots to fights one’s battles (which goes against something of the “warrior spirit”) is going to be an exercise left to the reader, but I can’t help but look at the news stories of the week and have the immediate reaction of…

…aim the robots at the pirates. 

Trust me, you want to get this whole thing resolved before the ninja make an appearance…which they won’t…poeple will just start dying.

With that truth in mind, you can see how the ninjas actually are in effect.  They’ve been a big part of the “Surge” in Iraq.  You don’t hear about exactly what they’ve done, and you won’t for years and years, but they’ve been very, very busy. 

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The dramatic drop in violence in Iraq is due in large part to a secret program the U.S. military has used to kill terrorists, according to a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward.

The program — which Woodward compares to the World War II era Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb — must remain secret for now or it would “get people killed,” Woodward said Monday on CNN’s Larry King Live.

“It is a wonderful example of American ingenuity solving a problem in war, as we often have,” Woodward said.

In “The War Within: Secret White House History 2006-2008,” Woodward disclosed the existence of secret operational capabilities developed by the military to locate, target and kill leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgent leaders.

National security adviser Stephen Hadley, in a written statement reacting to Woodward’s book, acknowledged the new strategy.

[full story]

And there you have it.

The absolute latest in robot, pirate, and ninja news.

Regarding World War II and the Great Depression

I put together a video of an argument last night that I would like to share with you.

If you are a youngin’ and completely lacking in historical context, here’s a bit of it…

That’s it for now, as I went out and about after finishing the video and am now somewhat incapable of consistent coherent thought. I might flesh out the argument tomorrow with more typing, but I hope the video speaks for itself.   If you have any questions, please feel free to put them forth.

UPDATE: Here’s another video of some of the destruction of Germany.  The text of the video makes it VERY clear that the entire purpose of the U.S. bombing campaign was the destroy Germany’s industrial infrastructure.  It was the destruction of the Germans and French and Russians and English and Japanese and Italians and Chinese that allowed the U.S. to establish a naturally advantageous (i.e. still in existence after the war) industrial and economic position that persisted for nearly 60 years.

BTW, this fortuitous situation also fed into the “Project For a New American Century” and their plans to keep this dominance going for another 40 or 100 years.  As we all know now, the centerpiece of that global strategy, invading and controlling IRAQ, was a clusterfuck of such massive proportions it has greatly accelerated the trend to a more level playing field.  Which is to say, screwing up Iraq will be seen in history as the biggest single reason for the end of U.S. economic dominance.   It was not the not the whole of it, but it did serve as a rather large piece of straw on a montrously laden camel.

UPDATE: 2/17/09:

Well, it looks like that move to leveler playing field happened a lot quicker than even I expected.  And the War in Iraq seems to be gone from the economic discussion.  Does not one realize that is why Bush, et. al. had to let the shennanigans on Wall Street continue so long?  Without the myth of great wealth, we couldn’t fund his War.   And that’s where the other 3 trillion went.

Does no one remember that Bush took the deficit from this…

Instead, the president explained, the $5.7 trillion national debt has been reduced by $360 billion in the last three years — $223 billion this year alone.

This represents, Clinton said, “the largest one-year debt reduction in the history of the United States.”

To this…

Are you surprised? Times Square’s National Debt Clock, which has been tallying up money owed by the U.S. government since 1989, is running out of spaces.

In September 2008, the digital dollar sign was eliminated to make way for an extra digit—the “1” in $10 trillion (the national debt is currently $10.2 trillion). Now, a new clock is in the works that will make room for a quadrillion dollars of debt, according to the Associated Press. Anticipated completion is early 2009.

A little history on the clock: It was created in 1989 by Manhattan real estate developer Seymour Durst to inform the public about the nation’s snowballing national debt (back then, it was $2.7 trillion). Seymour died in 1995, and the clock is now owned by his son, Douglas Durst.

Bush ran up a $4,500,000,000,000 tab.

Lest we forget…

Petraeus on Palin’s “Victory” Campaign

The outgoing commander of US troops in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, has said that he will never declare victory there.

In a BBC interview, Gen Petraeus said that recent security gains were “not irreversible” and that the US still faced a “long struggle”.

He said he did not know that he would ever use the word “victory”: “This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade… it’s not war with a simple slogan.”

BBC NEWS | Middle East | No victory in Iraq, says Petraeus.

[quick note….this is why I use the tag “victory” over there in the tag cloud…so…yea…me and Petraeus are the same page there]

[another quick note…why all the Palin crap? Because it’s hilarious and historic. This is one of the bigger snowjobs in history. The most recent being the one about Iraq being a danger to the U.S. I saw through those lies and I see through these. We all see, now, how that turned out. And McCain/Palin is nothing more than Bush/Cheney with the roles reversed, i.e. the out-of-touch Cold Warrior at the top and the likable everymanwoman with a deep faith and profound ignorance of the world outside his her state on the bottom. ]

Now the meat…Palin quotes…

…on Obama

And there is much to like and admire about our opponent.

But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform – not even in the state senate. [ed note: not true]

This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word “victory” except when he’s talking about his own campaign.

…on McCain…

He’s a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years, and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight.

…on Iraq…

Victory in Iraq is finally in sight ..

And just as a reminder from the guy on the ground…the one running the “surge”…

[Petraeus] said he did not know that he would ever use the word “victory”: “This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade… it’s not war with a simple slogan.”

Looking at the single interview that Saran Palin has been so gracious to grant to her adoring public, it’s pretty evident that explaining the real nature of the conflict would be completely lost to her. Learning cultural nuance and history isn’t something you cram for, it’s something you study for years and only the people with a real passion for it ever get close to having decent grasp on things.

And someone should point out that tying 9/11 to Iraq, as she has done a number of times while pimping her son, is a sign of a deep and dangerous ignorance.

BTW, I completely believe she is pimping her son. This is a boy who was “adamant” about not wanting any publicity for his enlistment. I have a working theory on why that is, and because Palin has used him so blatantly to cover her own lack of patriotism (if your husband being in a secessionist party is anything like having a wife who’s black, this whole patriotism thing needs to be looked at again), I think it is time to share.

It entirely possible to have a son in a war and not trumpet it to the rooftops, and use it like it’s a qualification for being Commander-in-Chief. McCain was able to stand on his own decisions, why can’t Sarah?