Monthly Archives: July 2010

Victory In Afghanistan Present Of Tooth Fairy?

General James Mattis, assumed leadership of the Central Command, and issued the normal boast of someone who takes over a military position–we will win! Oh, he told the media, “we will have some bad days ahead, but as long as we hold fast and adapt tactics faster than the enemy, the enemy’s situation will continue to worsen.” He is not worried about the issue a deadline, because as he told members of Congress, “It’s a date when the process begins. It is not a hand off of a hot potato.” Nor, is he worried about our allies in Pakistan because cooperation with those military leaders is as at an “all time high.” Of course, recent release of secret documents offers a rather different perspective on cooperation from our gallant allies, but, it is important to remain optimistic.

Has the general ever considered the possibility that Taliban leaders will alter their strategies as they learn more about those of the United States? Every indication suggests the Taliban are winning, but, then again, we have the tooth fairy on our side so victory is at hand.

Veil Not Issue In Muslim Religion

Current controversy over women wearing a niqab or a burqa reflect creating an issue where none really exists. Imam Sayed al Tantawi of Al-Azhar, the great Muslim university, argues there is nothing in the Koran which justifies women wearing a veil or covering their heads. In fact, he urges banning use of veils by women attending the university. Al Makin Yogyakarta, writing in the Jakarta Post, goes even further and notes that of the 6,000 verses in the Koran only two make any reference to face or head coverings which would indicate the topic was of no great interest to those writing the document. In Indonesia, few women wore a veil until recent times and for many it is a fashion statement as much as a religious one. Some religious fanatics have seized upon this issue and attempted to transform it into one of serious import to Muslims.

According to Yogyakarta, “Looking at classical Islamic literature, one will discover that this piece of cloth was never a serious subject of discussion among Muslim jurists.” Perhaps, it is time for Christian politicians in Europe to cease creating an issue where none exists. For example, in France which has about 2,500,000 Muslim women about 2,000 wear either the niqab or burqa.

No WMD In Iraq Claims UN Leader

Hans Blix, former head of UN weapons inspectors, told the Chilcot inquiry American and British leaders should have paid more attention to what they were being told concerning the alleged presence of WMD in Iraq. He admitted telling former prime minister Tony Blair in 2002 that Saddam might have secret weapons, but after UN inspectors went into Iraq and were unable to find any trace of those alleged weapons, Bush and Blair should have held off on invading Iraq in order to find WMD. “When we reported that we did not find any weapons of mass destruction they should have realized, I think, both in London and in Washington, that their sources were poor.” He even pointed out to Blair, “wouldn’t it be paradoxical if you were to invade Iraq with 250,00 men and find very little? I gave a warning that things there had changed and there might not be so much.” He pointed out UN inspectors visited 30 sites based on tips from American and British intelligence, but never found any WMD.

Blix charged the Bush administration was high on use of the military and “they felt they could get away with it and therefore it was desirable.” In other words, Bush lied to the American people, Blair lied to the British people, and over 4,000 Americans and British soldiers died because of these lies. Of course, those who lied will not be punished. In fact, they will be hailed as heroes by Fox News.

PM Cameron Blasts Israel In Gaza

UK Prime Minister David Cameron at a meeting with Turkish business people launched an attack on Israel for its Gaza policy and warned it was time to end maintenance of the blockade of that area. “The situation in Gaza has to change. Humanitarian goods and people must move in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.” He also made clear his disagreement with Israeli actions against the flotilla from Turkey. “The Israel attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable” and he made his position clear in his contacts with Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu that an honest investigation must take place as to what happened. His comments comparing Israel action against the flotilla to Somali pirates aroused anger from Israel officials who condemned his failure to blame Hamas for its repressive actions in Gaza.

Yes, Hamas has acted in repressive ways in Gaza, it has killed opponents, but that does not excuse Israel actions. Five years ago, Turkey and the United Kingdom were strong supporters of Israel, today they are furious at actions of the Israel government. Isn’t it time for Israel leaders to take some responsibility for changing attitudes toward their country instead of always blaming negative comments on the ever present, ‘anti-semitism” argument? Wake up Israel, it is time to change your policies and pay attention to other nations of the world.

Is It A War Crime Or Is It War?

The release of thousands of documents concerning operation of American forces in Afghanistan has raised interesting issues regarding the legality of establishing hit lists of people to kill during wartime. Actually, in most wars, there are either formal or informal lists of those in enemy forces you desire to kill. Task Force 373 was provided lists containing names of the enemy they were supposed to kill. I guess in wartime we say, “kill,” rather than “murder.” but what the heck, in the end, the person is dead. The documents reveal incidents like an operation in June, 2007, when Task Force 373 set out to kill a militant leader and in the ensuing fight, by accident, killed members of the Afghan National Police. The military would term their deaths, “collateral damage.” In another operation, Task Force 373 fired rockets in an attempt to kill an al-Qaeda leader, and failed in the attempt, but also killed several children.

The enemy shoots at you, fire is returned. That is war. But, is it war to fire rockets into civilian areas in order to kill a member of the enemy forces even though there is a strong likelihood civilians might get caught in the cross fire? Is this war? Is this criminal behavior? That is the question to be decided.

Criminals Use Get Out Of Jail Pass In Mexico

The young men and women crowded the dance floor shouting expressions of joy and singing along with the music. Suddenly, the door burst open and four men entered the room. Within a few moments they had sprayed over hundred bullets into the crowd leaving 17 people dead and dozens wounded. It remains a mystery why this crowd of youngsters who were dancing in a hotel in the city of Torreon in Mexico were the subject of the deadly assault. As detectives picked through the mess they found bullet casings which came from an AR-15 assault rifle. But, further investigation revealed the rifles came from guards at a prison in the neighboring state of Durango. Detectives concluded that prison guards had been releasing groups of inmates, lending them weapons, and sending them off in official vehicles so they could carry out drug related killings. Four prison officials, including the director, Margarita Rojas and her security chief and now under arrest. This is a fascinating discovery since it raises questions if criminals are now seeking to get into prison in order to secure work as killers.

What next is the real question? We argue the next step is for the United States of America to legalize drugs and place sale of drugs under the control of special government stores. Let’s end opportunities for drug lords to make money. Let’s legalize drugs and shut down these criminal gangs just as ending Prohibition ended the lucrative liquor crime lords.

Long Live Cuban Revolution–Or Should It?

Revolution Day is an occasion for old revolutionaries who fought with the Castro boys a half century ago to come out in public, shout, “Long Live The Revolution,” and enjoy a day when the entire Cuban population pays tribute to your gallantry–or at least, most of the population. Ordinarily, the Great Leader, Fidel Castro, gets an opportunity to talk, and talk, and talk for a few hours in order to hear the sound of his voice echoing through the country. After all, what would Revolution Day be without a six hour speech by the Great Leader? Of course, he has been sick, and those on the stand waited patiently for HIS appearance, but only brother Raul showed up. At one point, Raul rose, only to speak with another man, then returned to his seat while minor figures of the Revolution poured out cliches about the REVOLUTION and how it had transformed Cuba into a model state of equal opportunity poverty.

The crowd waited and waited but Fidel never showed his face. Is he still ill? Is the government going to relax economic controls? Will political prisoners be released? Tune in next year for Revolution Day and we assure one and all those questions will have been answered by that time.

Just Another Day In Afghanistan-Did Anyone Die?

It was just another report from Afghanistan, or should we say it was just another two reports from Afghanistan. One claimed NATO rockets had killed 52 men, women and children in the city of Rigi in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. The other from NATO headquarters insisted the investigation into the “alleged” attack “has thus far revealed no evidence of civilians killed or injured.” President Karzai of Afghanistan sent his condolences to people who apparently were not killed or wounded. It was just another normal day in Afghanistan in which fighting the Taliban MUST result in the deaths of innocent people. That is what a guerrilla war is all about. Insurgents do their best to make certain civilians die and government forces do their best to ensure no one kills them.

It was just another NATO report that said all quiet on the eastern front. Oh, a drone might have fired something and maybe hit something, but we are certain if it did, the object of the attack were Taliban leaders. Just another report today, that all is quiet on the eastern front.

WHAT WENT WRONG WITH BARACK OBAMA

It seems like light years ago when the American people welcomed the election of Barack Obama as offering a new direction for a nation that desperately wanted change. It seems like years ago, there was hope a new president would adopt sensible policies in Afghanistan and end the seemingly endless war that will never conclude. It seems like light years ago, there was hope a new president would tackle the economic crisis and develop a comprehensive job program. Alas, that was not light years ago, that was last year. Where did Obama go right and where did he go wrong?

1. He was correct to push for a massive stimulus bill that saved Wall Street and other major corporations.
2. He was wrong in failing to establish firm guidelines on pay for executives who received federal money.
3. He was correct to order a review of the war in Afghanistan.
4. He was wrong in failing to establish deadlines for reform of the Afghan government and in demanding that President Karzai install a government of experts, not buddies. Obama was wrong in failing to establish a departure date of January 1, 2010. President Kennedy, before his death, had decided to end American involvement in Vietnam. President Eisenhower in 1954 turned down requests from France to help in their war in Vietnam. A wise leader knows when to take a step back, and Barack Obama failed to take that step, instead he embroiled himself even deeper in the well of corruption and inefficiency that is Afghanistan.

Barack Obama frequently has compared himself to Franklin Roosevelt in the thirties. Sorry, Barack, but you don’t have the faintest awareness of how FDR functioned in the Depression.
1. He nonstop blamed corporate America as the villain and cast himself on the side of the middle and lower classes.
2. Within ninety days after assuming the presidency he had nearly a million people working in the CCC and within another year millions engaged in productive work to rebuild this nation.
3. Only Barack Obama could create a situation in which Republicans portray themselves as defenders of the middle class!!

Obama has behaved as an individual who is part of the American elite, rather than as an American who has been screwed by the wealthy and the Republican party. He was elected to change directions in America. After nearly two years in office, the rendition program is still operating, men captured in Afghanistan still rot in prison without being accorded due process, and the jobless rate continues to rise.

Yes, he did offer a much needed stimulus package. No, he has never provided either in actions or words the portrait of a leader of America who seeks social justice. If you doubt me, ask Shirley Sherrod.

Respect Dignity Of Prostitutes

The Chinese police recently issues a warning to police officers to respect the dignity of prostitutes while enforcing laws against prostitution. This is an admirable thought and, hopefully, it will be considered by Americans this fall when they go to the polls. We have a Congress filled with men and women who daily prostitute themselves before the gods of business in order to secure money that allows them to remain in office in order that they can obtain money from business lobbyists in order to get elected. It it time for a federal law to protect the rights of members of Congress who are among the most blatant prostitutes on this planet. Most prostitutes seek the cover of darkness or hidden corners in order to ply their wares. Congressmen hit out for the most expensive restaurant, not only to get an expensive meal, but the money they need for continuing in public office. Of course, while on the subject of selling out for money, we could include the executive branch.

Of course, when considering the president and his associates, the easiest way to get them to do anything is simply to loudly shout: “If you don’t do as I say, it will be on Fox News, tonight. What does on term prostituting oneself before Fox News?