No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expedience

Seven US Soldiers Speak Out – The Iraq War As We See It

Viewed from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is surreal.

Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched.

As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)

The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but our successes are offset by failures elsewhere. What soldiers call the “battle space” remains the same, with changes only at the margins.

It is crowded with actors who do not fit neatly into boxes: Sunni extremists, Al Qaeda terrorists, Shiite militiamen, criminals and armed tribes. This situation is made more complex by the questionable loyalties and Janus-faced role of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Army, which have been trained and armed at U.S. taxpayers’ expense.

Probably the most interesting conclusion of these seven soldiers is that only a political solution arrived at by letting the Iraqis work agreements among themselves. It might messy, but it is better then inserting American force in the center of tensions. That the Bush administrations has simply traded the hell of the Baathists with opportunistic criminals and religious factions that are exploiting our presence and the void of any consistent order. I don’t what these guys personal politics are and don’t care – Buddhika Jayamaha is a U.S. Army specialist. Wesley D. Smith is a sergeant. Jeremy Roebuck is a sergeant. Omar Mora is a sergeant. Edward Sandmeier is a sergeant. Yance T. Gray is a staff sergeant. Jeremy A. Murphy is a staff sergeant. But hell hath no more bitter petty vindictiveness then the Republican bloggers and pundits whose views these brave men have dared to challenge. They’re not only still risking their lives- ” Staff Sergeant Murphy, a U.S. Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head” (they write he is expected to survive), but they also risk the wreath of conservative flagship The Weekly Standard and assorted basement warriors – see Scott Beauchamp. Will right-wing bloggers be e-mailing these soldier’s command and then swearing they have a written repudiation of the article they wrote.

Pangloss has changed the poison ribbon in his old Royal typewriter, dons blindfold and writes the kind of childish gibberish and lie ridden trash that war dead enders have come to know and love, National Review’s Victor Davis Hanson is dismayed by the criticism of the war in Iraq from congressional Democrats

[I]t is hard to recall of any war in our history — the Vietnam hysteria aside — that a sitting Senate majority leader declared it lost in the middle of hostilities. We have not previously witnessed senior opposition senators alleging that their own American servicemen were analogous to Nazis, Stalinists, Cambodian mass murders, Saddam’s Baathist killers, or engaging in habitual terrorizing and killing of innocent civilians.

The great Hanson can’t be bothered to sight a single documented case of any sitting Democrat in either House from making those comparisons. That is probably because there are no such examples. There are plenty of instances where the Right has tried to twist what Democrats have said to suit their nutty echo of the day. Pangloss wouldn’t want to be intellectually honest at this point it would ruin his record and get his Kool-Kidz membership revoked. As to being critical of the Mess in Mesopotamia, most American’s know that we’re in Iraq on the premise of unending lies, distortions and manipulations. Iraq is acting as a kind of terror growth hormone rather then stopping terrorism. The only cause that has been served by putting boots on the ground is Bush’s re-election in 2004, an excuse to chip away chunks of our Constitution, create socio-political divisions between Americans, ratchet up the level of fear and reach levels of national debt that are a threat to every American’s future and generally weaken us as a nation. Yep Vic old boy we shouldn’t be criticizing the inept frat boy from one of America’s richest most powerful families, thats just like throwing eggs at Thomas Jefferson while he’s writing the Constitution.

“No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expedience.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Fire Fighters wallpaper

Fire Fighters wallpaper

Fire House wallpaper 

Fire Fighters II wallpaper 

Lack of Water Hindered NYC Firefighters

Fighting a fire in a high-rise office building next the World Trade Center site was complicated by a lack of water and little easy access in the tower that has stood abandoned since the Sept. 11 terror attack.

Two firefighters died battling the blaze that started Saturday in the former Deutsche Bank building, which was damaged by falling wreckage from the collapsing trade center towers and contaminated by toxic dust and human remains.

The Man Behind the Utah Mine Collapse

Murray has used his platform as spokesman in the tragedy to continue his defense of the industry. On Tuesday, he delivered what the Washington Post called “a general paean to coal,” threatening that, “Without coal to manufacture our electricity, our products will not compete in the global marketplace…and people on fixed incomes will not be able to pay for their electric bills.”

[ ]…Murray has given heavily to Republicans, including, according to the Post, $100,000 last year alone from his political action committee to GOP congressional candidates.He has used his ties with important Republicans—particularly Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whose wife, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, oversees mine safety—to avoid facing the music for safety violations. The Utah mine’s safety record was fairly average, despite fines for safety violations in the hundreds of thousands, but nationally, Murray’s mines have a shoddy safety record. When confronted in 2002 with safety violations, Murray threatened to have the inspectors fired, referring to his close friendship with McConnell. “The last time I checked,” he said, “he [McConnell] was sleeping with your boss.”

Poor safety record to which Murray responds by going off on some incoherent tirade about the nation’s need for coal. The nation needs both coal and safe minds. If Mr. Murray is suggesting that America cannot meet its demand for coal in a way that takes the most basic precautions for its workers then maybe he’s in the wrong business or he could move to China and operate mines there since they seem to have a lot in common.