Norman Rockwell: They Remembered Me, A Drum for Tommy, Rosie the Riveter, Girl With Black Eye

They Remembered Me. I was going to put this up the other day, but thought that I would take a little time and get the others prepared. They’re all relevant for this time of year and the times we live live in. On Veterans Day, A Sobering Look At The Iraq War’s Toll

Although average U.S. soldier in Iraq is older than average Vietnam soldier, those being killed and injured are disproportionately young.

A Drum For Tommy. Every year I forget to do my part in the “War on Christmas”. O’Reilly’s Contrived ‘War On Christmas’ Is Back

– Describing the “War on Christmas,” O’Reilly claimed “Every company in America should be on its knees thanking Jesus for being born. Without Christmas, most American businesses would be far less profitable.” [11/29/05]

– O’Reilly compared Catholic leaders’ silence over “war” on Christmas to Church’s reaction to pedophilia scandal. [12/14/05]

– “[Y]ou’re a moron … [i]f you don’t believe” the “secular progressive movement” is behind “war” on Christmas, claimed O’Reilly on his radio show. [12/19/05]

– O’Reilly lauded Wal-Mart’s decision to use the phrase “Merry Christmas” as a victory in the “culture war battle” for those who “want to retain the Christmas tradition.”[11/13/06]

I’m not a Biblical scholar, but there are searchable Bibles on-line. None of them even mention Christmas much less retailing or Wal-Mart.

Rosie the Riveter. His original conception of her, though there were several versions by as many artists. As much as I would like to credit the whole sixties brouhaha with a great wave of change in American culture. That change probably started its inevitable march when women went to work in the mills and factories not just to maintain the economy, but were essential in winning the war against facism and imperialism.

Girl With Black Eye. A reminder of the adage that nothing much changes except the history you don’t know. Every ten years as far as I can tell anyone and everyone with a soapbox declares that this is the worse generation ever. Not so much really. The names and faces and a few details change.

They say they’re the official Norman Rockwell site and the requisite entry at Wikipedia here.

Who’s the Enemy? – In Iraq, It’s Getting Harder to Find Any Bad Guys

Who is the enemy? Who, exactly, are we fighting in Iraq? Why are we there? And what’s our objective?

Nearly five years into the war, the answers to basic questions like these ought to be obvious. In the Alice in Wonderland-like wilderness of mirrors that is Iraq, though, they’re anything but.

We aren’t fighting the Sunnis. Not any more, anyway. Virtually the entire Sunni establishment, from the moderate Muslim Brotherhood-linked Iraqi Islamic Party (which has been part of every Iraqi government since 2003) to the Anbar tribal alliance (which has been begging for U.S. support since 2004 and only recently got it) is either actively cooperating with the American military or sullenly tolerating what it hopes will be a receding occupation. Across Sunni-dominated parts of Iraq, the United States is helping to build army and police units as well as neighborhood patrols — the Pentagon calls them “concerned citizens” — out of former resistance fighters, with the blessing of tribal leaders in Anbar, Diyala, and Salahuddin provinces, parts of Baghdad, and areas to the south of the capital. We have met the enemy, and — surprise! — they are friends or, if not that, at least not active enemies. Attacks on U.S. forces in Sunni-dominated areas, including the once-violent hot-bed city of Ramadi, Anbar’s capital, have fallen dramatically.

Among the hard-core Sunni resistance, there is also significant movement toward a political accord — if the United States were willing to accept it. Twenty-two Iraqi insurgent groups announced the creation of a united front, under the leadership of Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, a former top Baath party official of the Saddam era, and they have opened talks with Iyad Allawi, a secular Shia who was Iraq’s first post-Saddam prime minister.

We aren’t fighting the Shia. The Shia merchant class and elite, organized into the mostly pro-Iranian Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council and the Islamic Dawa party, are part of the Iraqi government that the United States created and supports — and whose army and police are armed and trained by the United States. The far more popular forces of Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army aren’t the enemy either. In late August, Sadr declared a ceasefire, ordering his militia to stand down; and, since then, attacks on U.S. forces in Shia-dominated areas of Iraq have fallen off very sharply, too. Though recent, provocative attacks by U.S. troops, in conjunction with Iraqi forces, on Sadr strongholds in Baghdad, Diwaniya, and Karbala have caused Sadr to threaten to cancel the ceasefire order, and though intra-Shia fighting is still occurring in many parts of southern Iraq, there is no Shia enemy that justifies a continued American presence in Iraq, either.

It might be getting crunch time for the Iraq occupation dead enders. If things are going so well, then why are Americans still there and still dying. WE certainly can not stay based on the canard that we’re striving off Iran’s influence while simultaneously supporting an Iraqi leadership with such close ties to Tehran.