Iraq paint jobs reveal Bush whitewash

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Surely everyone has encountered a situation that is so absurd that it is beyond belief. I had such a moment recently.

A truly magnificent book regarding the various factions that rule Iraq has been written titled The Prince of the Marshes, by Rory Stewart. If only every American would read this book, there then might possibly be a more universal understanding of why America cannot possibly "succeed" (however that is defined) in Iraq.

One of the absurdities pointed out by the author was that hundreds of millions of dollars are invested by our great nation to provide unemployed Iraqi workers with jobs. At the time the book was written, laborers were hired to repaint bombed-out schools that would never again be used as schools because teachers are given permanent time-outs (bullets to the head) if they dared to step foot in any one of those freshly painted schools.

Now here's the absurdity. In calling up an additional 20,000 troops and attempting to rationalize America's new multibillion-dollar investment, President Bush announced that unemployed Iraqis would be given jobs painting schools.

It truly is a sign of insanity that our political "leaders" continue to make the same mistakes again and again, while expecting (or at least telling us, the proletariat) that the outcome will be different this time.

This absurdity might be amusing if it were not for the fact that it is the expenditure of hundreds of billions of tax dollars and hundreds of thousands of people's lives, the dead and the maimed, that is enabling our leaders to exercise and display their proclivity for insane governance.

Robert Gilbert, Aiken, S.C.

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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/17/07 - 06:11 am
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Mr. Gilbert. Congratulations

Mr. Gilbert. Congratulations on being able to parrot the mantra of the far left. You carp well. We hear the whine. Now comes step two. How would you improve the situation in Iraq? Should we continue to ignore the fact that virtually all of the "sectarian" violence is financed by enemies of the U.S. effort? Should we have not attempted to allow the elected Iraqi government a chance to get control of their own country? Should we abandon all hope for Iraq and pull out our support and let the chips fall where they may? Should all decisions and actions be microwave quick? What step would you take next? Any fool can repeat the political drivel of the left wing press, but wouldn't it be nice if you took step two so you could be criticized after the fact. Everyone now knows you have 20/20 hindsight. Let's see some foresight. hint: ["run away" has already been suggested ad nauseam]

sportswriter
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sportswriter 01/17/07 - 09:19 am
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In the not so distant future,

In the not so distant future, GW Bush will be remembered as one of the worst president's in the history of this nation. How's that for foresight?

giveitsomethought
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giveitsomethought 01/17/07 - 09:24 am
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So Patricia do you feel like

So Patricia do you feel like you are a better person after a personnal attack on others? When we don't think things through, what we say can be part of the problem

concernednative
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concernednative 01/17/07 - 10:22 am
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Here is the problem Patricia,

Here is the problem Patricia, President Bush went into the war that has claimed thousand of lives of American soldiers, even more lives of the Iraqi's that we are supposed to be saving from death, and billions of our tax dollars. And the problem with that is he didn't have a STEP TWO that you are looking for. That is the Commander in Chief's responsibility not the average citizen. Before you make a move into WAR you better have a thorough plan and no matter how you feel about Bush you know he didn't have a plan beyond invasion. That is a serious leadership failure when he should have known the stakes would be very high. So I am opposed to this administrations poor handling of the war as much as I am against the war itself. We still don't know what victory is, we still don't have any true allies Maliki is a Shiite and they are fighting us also, and we have had a moving target on why we are there WMDs, 9/11 connection, spread democracy, fight terror, save Iraqi lives, bring stability to the Middle East, oil. Leadership should be able to communicate a clear vision. That is why in the military they call it Mission so they know what they are trying to accomplish.

Queen4842
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Queen4842 01/17/07 - 11:10 am
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Isn't it extremely funny that

Isn't it extremely funny that anytime an American says something bad about the war that they are called parrots of the left wing liberal trash talkers? But yet isn't it funny that the right wing conservative nut jobbers have to ask us the taxpayers to fund their war? Patrica we are done as a nation with your presidents war. As wise people have said a million times before it is time to [filtered word] or get off the pot honey. We the tax payers no longer care to fund your private republican agenda. Now as someone who voted for Bush twice I have earned my right to criticize this president, he is by far IMO the worst president in the history of America!

jack
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jack 01/17/07 - 11:17 am
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Whether one agrees with the

Whether one agrees with the the war in Iraq or not, one thing is for sure and that is once committed, there is no substitute for victory. The one thing it seems to me is that most Americans do not know what war is as do our older generations of WW II, Korea snd Vietnam. Some one said this war has lasted longer than WW II, yet we have lost over two thousand less dead than went ashore at Normandy or Iwo Jima. This is not to trivialize the death of our troops, as anyone of their death's is a tragedy. However, I, as a retired vet of Vietnam am tired of the whining of spineless Americans, most of whom have never worn a uniform. War unfortunately, is brutal and people die. it seems to me that some of the good news that leaks our of Iraq (certainly not in the man stream media) is that the Iraqi economy is growing, they have their own elected government, security forces etc, which is far more along than our own government after the revolution. To cut and run will only send one signal to these radial muslims that would destroy us and the world and that is we have become a nation of spineless couch potatoes.

The Knave
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The Knave 01/17/07 - 11:54 am
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For Patricia ---- Here's a

For Patricia ---- Here's a "solution" for you ----
A "war on terror" is in many ways the perfect war for a bankrupt empire. Perfect for its enemies, too. It allows the homeland team to marshal resources it does not have for a war it cannot lose. Terrorists can only irritate the great empire; they cannot bring it down. No, the empire will have to bring itself down. And for that, we don't need terrorists. We have Congress and the White House.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
For Jack ---- Here's what one whining, spinless Amercan says ----
"The commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions – or bury the results." LTG Gregory Newbold, USMC Ret.

agnellus
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agnellus 01/17/07 - 01:01 pm
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Patricia: The sad reality is

Patricia: The sad reality is that there is no easy solution, but the Study Group recommendations would be a plan were it not for the fact that Bush is so convinced of his own delusions he is unable to accept any view not consistent with what he wants to hear. Concernednative is correct. There was no plan other than to invade and rout Saddam's conventional and inept army. Do you remember "Mission Accomplished"? For Jack: whining is not the special province of those who are truly concerned for what this war has done to our soul, our spirit, our values. When you whine about us not understanding that war kills, and a few thousand dead is not that many, all you do is show that your need for swagger is more important than thought. Perhaps your tour in Vietnam was in the paddies. Or maybe it was in a mess tent.

CW3_RET
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CW3_RET 01/17/07 - 01:16 pm
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I cannot believe the audacity

I cannot believe the audacity of some of you that have no ideas, no guts and no hope in the strength of America, demean the service of a Vietnam Vet by intimating that he spent his tour in the mess tent. By the way, cooks inthe Army have guns and fight and can get killed just like everyone else. Those of you who are so upset about MY President's war should be ashamed, I have not liked every President I served under while I was in the Army, but they were all MY President! People like you are why the Vietnam Conflict is considered a black mark on our nation. You and your ilk wanted us out at any cost, then you spend the next generation crying about how we "lost" in Vietnam. I suppose we should withdraw from the Middle East and appease the terrorists. Who cares if they take over the entire Middle East, North Africa and Spain to establish a new Caliphate? If you do not know what I am talking about, go read some history. Try to read something other than the rabid rantings of the Left.

agnellus
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agnellus 01/17/07 - 04:32 pm
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CW3 Ret: How about your own

CW3 Ret: How about your own audacity to assume that someone who does not mimic your blind loyalty has no ideas, no guts and no hope. The fact of wearing a uniform alone does not give anyone anything other than experience and a perspective. A perspective that is different depending on your particular duty. Mr. Bush didn't serve in harm's way, Mr. Cheney didn't even pretend to serve. But they warrant your loyalty because of how effectively they play the fear factor? The people you admire certainly didn't have any trouble disparaging the ideas and opinions of Max Cleland and John Murtha. The Vietnam war was ill conceived. We stumbled into it as a consequence of our fear of the Soviet Union. Republican President Nixon very wisely recognized that the outcome was inevitable and had the courage to cut our losses. Is Vietnam an issue today for any but those who believe that a great country has to crush every opposing idea. Is it possible that you are the one who has no hope in the true strength of America?? An America of ideals and principles and respect for human rights and self determination that made America a beacon of hope for the world.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/17/07 - 05:13 pm
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History tells us that we were

History tells us that we were attacked by radical islam at least seven times between 1992 and 2001. Three of these attacks were on American soil, the most memorable being the razing of the Trade Towers. Until the 9/11 attack the war on terror was treated as a police action. Foreign attacks were reported to the U.N. and attacks on our soil were handled by the FBI. 9/11 changed all of that. The anti-islamist war was not started by the U.S., it was foisted on us by religious radicals that feel anyone that does not think as they should die. Since the American president took the war to the radicals, the war has stayed on their property. This changed everyones attitude. With no threat to us, why have a war. The current attitude now is to let the radicals run rampant. They'll never come here again. They'll never go to Europe again. They'll never go to Aisa again. All is well with radical islam and President G.W. Bush is the enemy. There's no doubt about the power of the press. Wouldn't it be nice to bring all of our military back to the U.S. so if we have any problems all we'd have to do is call 911 and all would be well. At last we'd have world peace. I finally understand the left.

Queen4842
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Queen4842 01/17/07 - 06:58 pm
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Patricia what have you been

Patricia what have you been smoking even Bush and his admin has admitted that Iraq had nothing to do with the attack on American soil by radical islam. So please do us all a favor and get your facts straight before you come to debate the issue.

The Knave
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The Knave 01/17/07 - 07:23 pm
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For Patricia ---- Your

For Patricia ---- Your arguments lose whatever credibility they might otherwise have, and you cause many people to close their ears, when you repetitiously refer to opponents of the Iraq debacle as being on the "left" or, as you say, parroting the mantra of the "far left." What you are doing with your words is precisely what is at the heart of the Iraq situation. Iraq is in a state of civil war because so many inhabitants of that country have chosen sides, have sterotyped those who have differing political and religious views (right vs left, Suni vs Shia), and have labeled those with other viewpoints as infidels and devils. This demagoguery ("left" vs "right") is so unproductive and so sophomoric, and the rhetoric is incredibly shallow. My opposition to the Iraq invasion and occupation has nothing whatsoever to do with political affiliation or inclination. It has everything to do with common sense and concern for the destruction of this Republic from within. In general, I have no regard for Demon-rats or Republi-cons, as I think both are roughly equally culpable for the sorry state in which we find ourselves.

The Knave
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The Knave 01/17/07 - 07:41 pm
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For agnellus ---- I must

For agnellus ---- I must take exception with the credit you ascribe to Richard Nixon for his involvement in the Vietnam War. The facts are that Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara had concluded that the war was unwinable. Therefore, toward the end of the Johnson Administration, they refused their Generals' requests to send more American troops to be put into the meat grinder. Then, in came Nixon, Kissinger, and Melivin Laird. They drastically escalated (or in King George II parlance, "surged") American involvement. This, of course, ended very badly. The striking statistic is that of the 58,000 or so Americans killed (with hundreds of thosands of American maimed and milllions of Vietnamese casualities), two-thirds of those casualities occurred after Nixon took office.--------------------------------------------
For CW3 RET -- I lived though the Vietnam horror as an Army officer. I will neither forget nor forgive the mendacity, cupidity, stupidity, and egotism of the politicians, Republi-cons and Demon-rats, that caused that horror. You are blaming the wrong people for the disaster. And, you would do well to remember that "The last refuge of a scoundrel is patriotism."

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/17/07 - 11:18 pm
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Mr. The Knave. Why is

Mr. The Knave. Why is patriotism bad? Why aren't we fighting radical islamists? What do you stand for? I already know fourteen things you're against.

agnellus
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agnellus 01/17/07 - 11:35 pm
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Patricia: Patriotism is not

Patricia: Patriotism is not bad. The pride of looking at our flag waving in a breeze; the sweet sound of America The Beautiful; the soulful viewing of Arlington Cemetery. What is distasteful and despicable is when politicians seek to use patriotism as a tool to rationalize blind conformance and Mr. Bush's administration is notable for that; accusing its critics of being disloyal, non patriotic, traitors and all of the rest. Patriotism can be gratitude to our military for their sacrifice, confidence in the constitutional liberties we enjoy and must retain, pride in the spirit and ideals of an America that was and should be again an example to the world. And rightful suspicion of politicians who seek to hide their failed policies behind that noble flag baptized in the blood of true patriots.

CW3_RET
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CW3_RET 01/18/07 - 10:50 pm
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Agnellus, my loyalty is to my

Agnellus, my loyalty is to my country and our safety, not to Bush and Cheney, whether I support them or not. ---------------------------Knave, what a fitting name. You might want to go back and read some more accurate history books about the Vietnam War. I will not call liberals "the left" anymore since it disturbs your sensibilities, even though I can be called a "right wing lunatic" with no condemnation of those that use that term. I will instead use the terms Right and Wrong. You sir, are wrong. I will continue to display and celebrate my Patriotism, if that makes me a scoundrel, I will wear THAT label proudly!

Ambergris
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Ambergris 01/18/07 - 11:47 pm
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Talking about history, let's

Talking about history, let's not forget that Islam has been in Europe, 300 years in Spain, and Spain is richer for it. Islam was not "radical" until WE, the US made them radical. Weather we lost or quit in Vietnam is not important anymore! Vietnam turned out quite allright without us, and they probably would have been even better if we had not bombed and napalm the heck out of them! Irak will turn ok also, when they stop hating each other's guts. We can't solve what has been brewing for generations in that tribal land.

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