Tag Archives: war on

Paul Fussell

It’s hard to say just how much his writings shaped my thinking and life.

I will always remember taking the train out of Riga going to teach class and reading Fussell.

He was under appreciated.  PBS Newshour didn’t do a segment about him tonight.  That’s on them, not him.



Hackers vs. drug dealers.

This looks to be a time when we will see if the power of exposure is greater than the gun.

I’m 100% behind this.  I don’t care if it is fake or not.  Just the idea of a group of internationals getting together and saying no, you will not do this is very powerful.


You Tell Me if This is Weird

From our local wingnut talk stations here in Houston:

Operation Desert Storm: 20 Years Later
Analysts: withdraw was the right thing to do.
By Nik Rajkovic
Monday, January 17, 2011

It has been two decades since Americans became glued to their radios and television sets as coalition forces began to bomb Baghdad.

Just like many of us, retired Army General Bill McClain also was watching the coverage on television, but from inside a briefing room at the Pentagon.

He says although the first assault came as somewhat of a surprise, the U.S. military began preparing the day Iraq invaded Kuwait.

“We knew it was going to come, because Saddam Hussein wouldn’t give up on anything,” says McClain.  “It was a good feeling to say now this is getting started.”

In what appeared to be an easy victory for U.S. forces, some still question the decision to pull back without taking out Iraq’s leadership, adding we could have avoided the most recent conflicts in the Middle East.

But Texas A & M military history professor Joseph Dawson says Bush One made the correct call.

“The American military as strong as it was,” says Dawson.  “We still did not have complete plans for occupying the country.

For those who argue we could have prevented going back or even the events of 9/11, former ambassador Ryan Crocker disagrees.

“I would see no connection at all to 9/11,” Crocker says.  “Osama bin Laden simply didn’t care about those things, operating on a completely different ideological structure.”

In fact, all agree that the time between the two Gulf Wars allowed U.N. sanctions to set it, and U.S. officials to develop a plan for occupancy before Operation Iraqi Freedom got underway in 2003.


Again, what?

While Others Have Forgotten Them

The last combat troops are out of Iraq.  While it’s not everyone, it’s what was promised.  And don’t give me any crap about The Surge.  This could have been achieved sooner and with less loss of life without The Surge.  And don’t tell me that Obama is doing the same thing in Afghanistan.  APPLES AND ORANGES.

Here’s John McCain.

And just look at what Kathleen has been blogging about.  It’s not Iraq.

This is very good news, especially since it is ahead of schedule.  Here’s hoping Afghanistan can work out the same way.  After hearing Petraeus last Sunday, I do have hope.

Added later — and I remember all of the trepidation I felt when I knew W was keen on invading, all of the political pressure put on the House and Senate to vote before the first midterm elections, all of the name calling — especially calling those of us against the invasion traitors, all of the smart-ass and holier-than-thou nonsense of Kathleen (she still clucks over whether your comment is “civil” and never apologizes for name-calling or admits to being wrong).  I remember following what had happened to Margaret Hassan.  I remember being so frustrated with someone at work over her opposition to a peace march that I almost lost my job.  I remember Bill Bennett claiming that if we would do in Iraq what Ethiopia had done with Somalia at that time, we would “win” in Iraq.  Clue bat: the Ethiopians are still struggling in Somalia.  It’s no better or even worse than it was in 2006.

It just all comes flooding back, especially how people like Kathleen were cheer leading while it was fashionable, but later, forgot, because you know politics is all about the current shiny thing.

How Convenient

I caught this on memorandum this morning:

Planned 300x66

It’s about a woman who was the director of Planned Parenthood in Bryan/College Station, Texas for two years.  Prior to being the director, she had worked and volunteered there for a few years.

On the way home, I heard an interview Dan Patrick had with her.  It’s unclear how long she actually worked there — she told Patrick 5 years;  the news article says 8.  Patrick has tried twice to pass a bill in the Texas Legislature to force any woman seeking an abortion to first pay for ($500) and view an ultrasound.  Not unsurprisingly, this woman claims to have had her change of heart after viewing and abortion through an ultrasound.  She was the one operating the ultrasound wand.  Also not surprising is that the sermon at her church the very next day was about some scripture she couldn’t remember, but it goes something like if your hand does something evil, cut it off.  The last non surprise is that Patrick plans to call the woman in for hearings when he goes for his third try at passing his abortion tax and punish legislation.

I’m skeptical.  The Coalition for Life is just down the street from Planned Parenthood in Bryan/College Station.  The woman admitted meeting with them.  She also claims that the for-profit organization that runs the PP (along with a non-profit) wanted to make more money (because the non-profit part had been in the red) and the way they decided to do it was to perform more abortions (in the news article) or more ‘chemical’ abortions (what she told Patrick).

The most ridiculous thing about the interview was Patrick’s characterization of what the woman claimed to have seen.  Of course, he referred to the embryo or fetus as a baby, but he also claimed that the ‘baby’ tried to run away from the cannula during the procedure.

All this reminds me of what the poor woman who was the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade went through.  These groups like Operation Rescue and Coalition for Life are what make the American Taliban label stick so well.  They are determined to terrorize women for as long as it takes to get their way.