Here are some links to pages by US troops in Iraq or recently
Non-partisan, with a variety of political viewpoints. Strong
advocates for not shortchanging our troops in medical care
and other veterans' benefits. This administration has given
them plenty of policies to oppose.
Al Lorentz. A letter he wrote, pointing out that our opponents
are guerrillas, not a formal army. By trying win by body count
score, we end up killing civilians too and inspiring new guerrilla
recruits. We can win against guerrillas,
but we have to use different tactics. For his honesty, he's
facing up to 20 years in prison. Guess the Bush administration
won't be accepting his advice.
D. A soldier in Iraq guarding convoys of Halliburton trucks.
The Halliburton drivers are paid five to eight times as much
as their military buddies. The mostly non-US Halliburton drivers
aren't trained in wartime defensive driving (avoiding bombs
and ambushes, etc). So US taxpayers pony up to support Halliburton's
profits, while the troops pony up their bodies to keep incompetent
Halliburton drivers alive.
Contrast this with traditional US Marine policy. Every Marine
is a rifleman, whether his/her job is cooking beans, mowing
lawns, or driving trucks. As Iraq and the Battle of the Bulge
proved, you never know where the front line will be.
October 7, 2004
The most obvious example of Bush's incompetence is Iraq. He
fired the whole Iraqi army, but didn't ask for their guns.
About 400,000 people were fired. A week later, the armed opposition
went from miniscule to huge. Bush and Cheney say they would
do it exactly the same way given the chance.
What we did in Iraq was exactly the right thing to do.
If I had it to recommend all over again, I would recommend
exactly the same course of action.
But that's not what really set me against Bush. It's his
He loves to complain about "tax and spend" liberals.
But the budget deficit is going through the roof, even without
defense spending increases. And the defense
budget is larded with pork, bacon, and pancetta, but is
"squeezing funds for war essentials such as training,
weapons maintenance and spare parts."
But he does cut taxes. Of course, if you don't cut spending,
that's just a loan we'll have to pay back with interest. With
He's worse than a tax and spend liberal. He's a tax and spend
September 27, 2004
I'm going to vote for Kerry. I'm not passionate about him.
Many of his policies are Bush's policies, frankly. The problem
with Bush is, he's promised to do twice as much mischief if
Kerry will continue our occupation of Iraq. But with our
armed forces stretched to the breaking point, Bush is LOOKING
for more wars. '[S]enior Pentagon policy official William
Luti hinted in an August conference call with congressional
aides from both parties that a second Bush administration
may carry its pre-emptive war strategy to five or six other
nations beyond the current “axis of evil,” possibly
putting Syria and others in the cross hairs.'
Do you remember when Republicans used to argue FOR avoiding
foreign conflicts? To never risk American lives for ill-defined
rhetoric? To quote the 2000 Republican presidential candidate,
"The force must be strong enough so that the mission
can be accomplished. And the exit strategy needs to be well
defined." These were good and sensible ideas. Now their
leadership wants "Four more wars!" No joke.
So now our VA hospitals will see increasing numbers of wounded
vets. Which is why Bush tried to cut
funds for veterans medical care.
Why? Because Bush hates our fighting enlisted men and women.
I'm still pissed that Bush is prosecuting the enlisted folks
from Abu Ghraib instead of the officers who told them what
School districts with military bases can't levy property
taxes on federal land, so the Feds give "Impact Aid"
to those districts. Bush cut Impact Aid for 2004 and froze
it at the same level for 2005. So I guess he hates their kids
And he tried to cut pay
bonuses and death gratuities for soldiers fighting in
Iraq and Afghanistan. While our soldiers remain on the edge
of poverty, private contractors doing the same jobs can
easily clear $100,000
per year. While at the end of the first Gulf War we had
1 contractor per 100 soldiers, we now have 1
per 10. Often, they do the safest jobs such as serving
food or maintaining lawns for $80,000 per annum or more.
Perhaps if Bush can just sell the whole military to Halliburton,
he'll finally stop cutting their pay. Guess he'll do that
during his second term.
June 18, 2004
I don't know if you can tell, but I'm a liberal. But when
I spout off on Iraq and American foreign policy, two of my
biggest influences are conservatives.
Retired Army Colonel
David Hackworth was the basis of Marlon Brando's character
in Apocalypse Now. He was not, however, fat and insane. But
he didn't follow the Pentagon's rules, and he understood how
to beat the Viet Cong. He destroyed his career when he announced
on national television that the Pentagon never drew up a plan
to win in Viet Nam, and couldn't win without one. He's still
alive and kicking, and his personal mission is to "ensure
that American troops are never put in harm's way without the
right training, the right equipment, the right leadership,
and the right mission." Our soldiers in Iraq lack all
of these, so Hackworth has been pretty brassed off lately.
Unlike me, he opposes having women in the military. What
can I say, he's a conservative.
William S. Lind
is the other one. He's the Director of the Center for Cultural
Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation. I disagree with
90% of the FCF's opinions. But I agree with their 90% of their
opinions on budget deficits and defense. America's leaders,
at present, are not
seriously attempting to win in Iraq. They're trying to
look good for the election (Democrats included).
Wanna know who's Iraq policy he likes? Ralph Nader. I guess
even conservatives can be open minded.
June 15, 2004, a few hours later.
This will be a rant. If you want comics info, move down the
page a bit.
What the Hell happened to my America? The Justice Department
the use of torture on suspects. President Bush supports
the use of torture as long as it's legal(?). Torture can
only be used on unlawful combatants, but
the President can declare anyone, including US citizens on
US soil, an unlawful combatant. The Justice Department
then claims the power to hold you forever, without trial.
So the President says he can imprison, torture, and kill
anyone without legal restraint.
I don't think any human should have that kind of power. But
in case you're one of those folks who thinks Bush is infallible
and incorruptible, consider this: every president after Bush
will have those same powers. Including the presidents you
June 1, 2004
Some interesting news
from Iraq. While I'm horrified by how the Rumsfeld and the
Army brass have run the war, we can be proud of 99% of our
enlisted men. Honestly, I can't fully express the admiration
I feel for people who volunteer to protect me and my loved
So here's a report
from a sailor helping to train the new Iraqi army. It's a
mixed force of Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, and Yazidis.
Yep, the "devil worshippers" from Top 10. And they
actually seem to be getting along.
King Peacock would be proud.
For those defending how the US Army's generals have handled
Iraq, note how the Marines
are doing in Iraq. Not
perfect, but they're not covering it up either. They don't
have any big scandals (in Iraq) because they quash discipline
problems before they become widespread. You can't find a better
force than the USMC.