Saturday, February 25, 2006
THIS WAS SO PREDICTABLE!
Actually, every thing I predicted about this whole fiasco has come to pass. It has turned into a mini Viet Nam, a war of attrition we can't possibly win (unless we institute a draft and increase our troop strength there by 150%). 7 more US soldiers and couple of hundred Iraqis dead in just the last few days. I also predicted that Iraq's three major ethnic/religious groups would never be able to put together a stable government, and that there would be a civil war. That too appears to be an accurate assessment .
We have reached this point in history by once again underestimating our enemy. In this case, cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr, whom the US once sought to arrest on murder charges, has brilliantly out maneuvered all his religious and political rivals. To the point he now challenges Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani as the leading authority among the majority Shiite community. His party ran a brilliant campaign in the recent elections, and garnered a large number of seats in the parliament. He then maneuvered brilliantly behind the scenes to get Ibrahim Jafari re-appointed as Prime Minister. Jafari is politically weak and now owes his position to al-Sadr. And moderate Shiites, formerly aligned with US ally Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and angered by US demands that they compromise with the Sunnis, are now lining up solidly behind al-Sadr and his strong anti US stance. Which means the number of our friends, and our influence, is diminishing rapidly.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, has been facilitating negotiations between the Sunnis and Shiites. He is frankly pessimistic that civil war can be avoided. A civil war that could radically change the balance of power in the middle east, and make it a much more dangerous place than it is today.
THE PROFITS OF WAR from the Agonist
Note that Haliburtons profits from military revenues are up 293%, and Raytheon's profits are up 109%. This war may be bankrupting the country... but it sure as hell is enhancing the portfolios of "Dead Eye"Dick Cheney, and "the Donald" Rumsfeld!
AND FINALLY, THE HOCKEY PICKS:
First hats off to the Hockey Goddess, Karen, for being 100% correct on her Olympic hockey pics! I am in awe!
As for me, of the teams I picked to medal, only Sweden remains. As for my semi final picks, I went one for two, having changed my pick in game 1 to Sweden after I learned the Czechs were starting an NHL cast off in goal instead of Thomas Vocoun. However, I badly miscalculated on the Russians, as the Finns appear to be for real.
So my medal round picks. Russia over the Czechs for the bronze. Sweden over Finland for the gold. Before you run out to your bookie and place your bets, however, I should tell you that the Hockey Goddess is taking Finland. I guess she is betting that goalie Antero Nittymaki can play way over his head one more time!
Now cooking at THE CHURCH POTLUCK: Cajun Stuffed Peppers
I'm immediately inclined to quote Churchill: "Never have so many owed so much to so few" ... uhhhh, except this time the affects are not positive. We, as you say, are bankrupting the nation so that a handful can profit. Good living.
Fingers are now crossed EXTRA hard that grad school in Canada comes through. :)
You mean...ousting Saddam didn't work? But the mighty US was supposed to bring peace and stability and democracy and prosperity, etc.! I am shocked, shocked, I tell you!
We don't need 300,000 troops.
We'll be greeted as liberators. Geneva Conventions? Quaint.
They need US to free them because they're helpless brown people.
Karen - as I said, I bow down and kiss our toes.
tshsmom - but didn't george tell us what serious scholars of history he and Vladdy were?
wc - with five Red Wings on the Swedish squad, ou know where my loyalties are gonna reside.
And, I know bitter sarchasm when I see it!
VV - yeah, I vaguely remember that too. Talk aout counting your chickens....
Brig - yep, and pretty damned well too!
laura - I gotta agree with tshsmom, I don't think Dubya ever studied anything anymoe than he had to to get by, and his aactions would tell us that history wasn't his best subject. Arrogance is generally the by product of ignorance.
Gotta agree GWB. I don't think Bush's preppy education would have included the study of Middle Eastern history. I know the public schools don't teach this subject.