Brian Clement of Gardiner, an Army veteran, said during a talk at the University of Southern Maine on Thursday that he started his yearlong duty in Iraq believing America hadn’t gone to war for the right reasons, but “thought I could do some good.”
However, Clement, who was with the 1st Cavalry Division, said that in his job driving a truck around Iraq, including such hot spots as Fallujah and Sadr City, “I didn’t see anything positive about our being in Iraq.”
Clement, who returned home last March and received an honorable discharge from the service in June, has since joined Iraq Veterans Against the War.
“I support the troops wholeheartedly,” he said, “but I don’t support the misuse of our armed forces as they are being used now.”
Clement was part of a five-member group invited to USM’s Portland campus to discuss the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Four members of the panel spoke out strongly against the war in Iraq.
NPR Survey: Republicans Lose Ground on Foreign Policy, National Security; Opportunity for Democrats
The first thought that came to mind when reading this poll is how conservatives were ever perceived as stronger on defense in the first place. Democrats won the two big wars that really counted. General Douglas MacArthur blew it in North Korea. President Johnson lied about the Gulf of Tonkin, but he didn’t lose the war, we had to wait for Nixon and Kissenger to not so much lose as give America’s military and their families the shaft. Bush and crew’s incompetence is not something that they invented , ineptitude has always been part of the core of the conservative movement. If Reagan had not supported Saddam Hussein during the eighties either Iran would have won and moved toward a more moderate Islamic state by now or we would have had an impotent Saddam whose delusional dreams of power would have been snuffed out.We can look at the self appointed grand pooh-pahs of national security in two ways. One, they had good intentions, but never thought about how one falling dominoe would effect the next. Two, the conservative world view has a fairly deep contempt for science and the scientific method. They gladly embrace the destructive potential of science and the next generation of weapons, but reject the rationalism that makes those weapons possible along with the next generation of medicine or energy production. If, as the conservative movement has done, you only grab bits and pieces of rationalism when it suits your needs you’ve already neck deep in ineptitude. Ineptitude is corruption’s Siamese twin. They’re joined at the hip. Cheney-Halliburton, Delay-K-Street-power mongering, Abramoff-lobbyists, Harris-Abramoff, Rep. “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif.- MZM contracts for “intelligence services”, attacking a somwhat secularized Muslim nation instead of Muslim terrorists, doing nothing about nuclear proliferation or port security. The only absolutely true believers in Republican leadership on national security issues are AM radio shock jocks and the listeners who swallow their bilge without question.
* Democrats win every security debate in this poll and when voters are asked who they trust more on issues including the Iraq war, foreign ownership of US ports, and homeland security issues, Democrats come out on top. The only exception is the nuclear threat in Iran, where Republicans have a narrow 5 point advantage.
* These results are a reflection of Bush’s collapse and the growing determination of Americans to vote for change. There has been a tectonic shift in the electorate with two thirds of the country now wanting to move in a new direction. Bush’s approval stands at 39 percent. 58 percent disapprove of his performance, and 45 percent of America disapproves strongly
Just a month ago Bush supporters in blogistan were calling for a nuclear first strike, not sure which way they’re leaning this week. Iran has become a big problem rather then a small problem because Bush blew it in Iraq. Not Michael Moore or Senator Reid, The Dubya Wrecking Crew had their collective heads shoved deep, deep, deep up some dark recesses where they couldn’t even plan on adequate body armor, much less how this would effect the political equilibrium of Iran’s moderation toward the west. We are currently reaping the wizbang results of the conservative mind as it plays a game of chess wth millions of lives.
Over the last few years the usual suspects have produced so-called smoking gun evidence that Omar Somebody had bagels and locks with somebody from al-Queda’s uncle in 1998 and the expense report was found in Saddam’s left desk drawer. Here we go again, Operation Iraqi Freedom Documents . From what I have read so far, the righties will have some stuff to shape and mold until it suits their purpose, yet there’s more then enough evidence in these documents so far to maintain the case that Saddam was hardly al-Queda’s best buddy or a top level exporter of terrorism to the U.S. If exporting terrorism was a sack race, Saddam was stumbling along in the rear compared to several others. Saddam Was Trying to Capture Zarqawi
The Bush administration repeatedly made the presence in Iraq of Abu Musab Zarqawi a pretext for invading the country and overthrowing Saddam Hussein. They implied that he was a client of Saddam and that Saddam had arranged for hospital care for him.
Newly released documents from the captured Iraqi archives show that Saddam had put out an APB for Zarqawi and was trying to have him arrested as a danger to the Baath regime!
Neither side of the blog isle should get too excited one way or the other. CMPC-2003-006430 is a little interesting as far as having a peek inside Iraq’s intelligence agency, Mukhabarat. Just a couple paragraphs I found interesting,
The Propaganda Office conducts psychological warfare, including the dissemination of false stories to improve the reputation of the regime and to paint the enemies of the regime (such as the Kurds, Iran or King Hussein of Jordan) in an unfavorable light.
Directorate 5. Counter-Intelligence
Counter-Intelligence Directorate responsibilities involve detecting and countering foreign agents, with a particular focus Syrian intelligence. D5 works in co-ordination with D3, D4, D14, Dl 8. The Director of D5 is Brig Sadoon Ali Al Tikriti, from Auja, and the Assistant Director of D5: Lt. Col. Ahmed Lahij Al Dulaimi, from Falahat village.
Polar Inertia “nomadic and popular culture” anywhere and everywhere.
This is hardly a time for levity.
I’ve discovered a serious error
here in the accounts of your last
BIALYSTOCK MOVES AROUND THE DESK TO EXAMINE THE LEDGER.
According to the backer’s list you
raised $60,000. But the show you
produced only cost fifty-eight
thousand. There’s two thousand
dollars unaccounted for.
I went to a Turkish bath, who cares?
The show was a flop. What
difference does it make?
It makes a great deal of difference.
That’s fraud. If they found out,
you could go to prison.
Why should they find out? It’s
only two thousand dollars, Bloom,
do me a favor, move a few decimal
points around. You can do it.
You’re an accountant. The word
‘count’ is part of your title.
But that’s cheating!
It’s not cheating … It’s charity.
Bloom, look at me … look at me!
I’m drowning. Other men sail
through life. Bialystock has
struck a reef. Bloom, I’m going
under. I am being sunk by a
society that demands success, when
all I can offer is failure. Bloom,
I’m reaching out to you. Don’t
send me to jail. Help! Help!
from THE PRODUCERS by Mel Brooks