Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Non-combat troops in Iraq WILL SEE COMBAT

OK, now that the facts are in that the word “non-combatant” doesn’t mean Jack:

Some of the U.S. forces likely to remain in Iraq after President Barack Obama fulfills his pledge to withdraw combat troops would still have a combat role fighting suspected terrorists, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

Let me spell it out for you Kool-Aid drinking Obamiacs:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that a holdover, or "residual," force would number in the tens of thousands.

His spokesman said Wednesday that assuming there is such a force, it would have three primary functions: Training and helping Iraqi forces; protecting Americans and U.S. assets in Iraq and limited counterterrorism operations in which Iraqi forces would take the lead.

On the signature issue that got him the Democratic nomination (even with Hillary’s campaign management schwaffles, she still would have won, otherwise) …
“I think a limited number of those that remain will conduct combat operations against terrorists, assisting Iraqi security forces,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. “By and large you’re talking about people who we would classify as enablers, support troops.”

He’s a fucking liar.
“We are now carefully reviewing our policies in both wars, and I will soon announce a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war,” Obama said in his address to Congress on Tuesday.


Non-combatants will conduct combat operations.

Enablers? That’s any Obamiacs who are going to try to claim down is up now that the cat is fully and officially out of the bag.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Be patient with Obama on Iraq? While how many more die?

We were at an Iraq Moratorium vigil in downtown Milwaukee last week when a young man stopped to say, with a rueful smile, "Can't you give him a little time?"

He was referring to the sign a couple of students were holding, calling for an end to "Obama's occupations."

The vast majority of the people at that vigil voted for Barack Obama. There may have been a few Green votes. I'd bet my bottom dollar there weren't any McCain backers in the crowd.

So, should we be patient?

I pointed out to the young man that while it's true Obama's only been in office a month, that's been enough time for him to decide to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, he's waffled on his campaign pledge to bring US troops home from Iraq in 16 months. And the report today is that he is leaning toward a 19-month withdrawal.

What's three more months when you've already been there for six years?

Not much in the grand scheme of things, right?

Unless, of course, you are one of the people who will lose their lives during those extra three months, or be wounded, or widowed, or have a loved one killed or maimed or permanently damaged psychologically.

Depending upon who's counting, more than a million Iraqis have died, several million have become refugees, and 740,000 or more women have been widowed -- almost 10 per cent of the female population between the ages of 15 and 80.

We don't know for sure how many Iraqis have been killed, because we don't even care enough to count their dead.

This is not a time to ask the antiwar movement to be patient, to quietly wait an extra three months.

It's time to ask the question John Kerry asked about Vietnam: Who will be the last one to die for this mistake?

We might add: How many will die for this mistake after Obama had said it would be over?

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Sunday, February 22, 2009




"Pete Seeger: Waist Deep in the Big Muddy"
Pete tried to warn us.

Before You Knew It, We Were Ass-Deep In The Big Muddy. And The Big Fool Said To Push On.

Certain terms will stick in the mind, intended though they are to avoid our attention altogether, or confuse it. "Terminate with extreme prejudice" turned out to mean "kill," in plain English. "Extraordinary rendition," is kidnapping on an international scale. "Advisors" are combat troops we don't want to acknowledge sending into situations where they don't belong.

The United States had "advisors" in Vietnam in the 1950's. Evidently, their advice wasn't very good. In 1965, we sent the whole First Marine Division in to "advise" the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army out of existance. Nine years later, we got our asses kicked out of there, with 58,000 dead, 300,000 wounded, and untold thousands of mentally disabled and drug-addicted Americans, some of whom are still homeless today, to show for our "advice." The war put us into a decade-long recession, and sidetracked progressive programs for forty years. Vietnam was left a bloody mess, from which they are only just starting to recover. They lost millions of souls, men and women, children and old people, civilian and military. Their country was destroyed. We dropped more bombs on them than on Germany & Japan combined in WWII. That was Nixon's "secret plan for peace": Bomb them back to the Stone Age, as the Air Force gleefully put it. It didn't work.



No one knows what the secret plan is now. It's a secret. One wonders if our new President has been fully informed. Once they get rolling, our military seems to just keep rollin' along, no matter who is the putative CIC, or what new policies are put in place. Obama did promise to move the "War on Terror" to Afghanistan, and to pursue Al Qaida into Pakistan "if necessary." So, maybe he did order these "advisors" in. Maybe he is the one planning a major long-term commitment in South-West Asia, or maybe he's just going along with his generals, like LBJ did in Vietnam. But we don't know, do we? It's a secret. From us, the taxpaying voters of the United States.

Maybe we should ask. Yeah, we'd like to crush Al Qaida and capture Bin Laden. Yeah, we have to straighten out the messes we made in Iraq and Afghanistan. But we voted to end the war, not to extend or expand it. We don't want to start another mess in Pakistan. After all, they have nukes, and missiles to deliver them. And they're chronically corrupt and unstable, with the constant threat of war with India, and terrorism from within. They make their other neighbors, like Iran and China, very nervous too. It might not be such a good idea to start another Vietnam in Pakistan, from which we might have to run away with our tail between our legs because it just ain't do-able, no way, no how, any more than Vietnam ever was. Except we'd be leaving behind a nuclear-missile-armed potential Islamic fundamentalist State that would have very good reason, as Iran does, to be hostile to the West. Especially toward us, the tax-paying voters of the United States.

So, hey, advisors. Let's think about this. Before we get ourselves ass-deep in another Big Muddy. A radioactive one.

"US advisers training Pakistani troops"
They're admitting to 30, multiply by a Military Bull Sh*t Factor of ten, so that's at least 300. And now it's escalating.

' A U.S. effort to train Pakistani troops in their fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban is larger than previously acknowledged. The New York Times reports the task force of about 70 advisers is helping the Pakistanis with intelligence and advises them on combat tactics. But it isn't taking part in any fighting. The Times report cites U.S. military officials. Most of the advisers are Army Special Forces soldiers. They include combat medics and communications specialists. Last year, Pakistani army officers said about 30 American advisers were training troops in northwest Pakistan, near the Afghanistan border. '

"Secret U.S. Unit Trains Commandos in Pakistan "
Not so secret any more. Let's see, official Army body count of 60, divided by an MBS Factor of ten, so we got six guys. Oh, and we're running Pakistani Air Force operations out of the U.S. embassy in Islamabad. Spooky.
' They make up a secret task force, overseen by the United States Central Command and Special Operations Command. It started last summer, with the support of Pakistan’s government and military, in an effort to root out Qaeda and Taliban operations that threaten American troops in Afghanistan and are increasingly destabilizing Pakistan. It is a much larger and more ambitious effort than either country has acknowledged. Pakistani officials have vigorously protested American missile strikes in the tribal areas as a violation of sovereignty and have resisted efforts by Washington to put more troops on Pakistani soil. President Asif Ali Zardari, who leads a weak civilian government, is trying to cope with soaring anti-Americanism among Pakistanis and a belief that he is too close to Washington. Despite the political hazards for Islamabad, the American effort is beginning to pay dividends. A new Pakistani commando unit within the Frontier Corps paramilitary force has used information from the Central Intelligence Agency and other sources to kill or capture as many as 60 militants in the past seven months, including at least five high-ranking commanders, a senior Pakistani military official said. In addition, a small team of Pakistani air defense controllers working in the United States Embassy in Islamabad ensures that Pakistani F-16 fighter-bombers conducting missions against militants in the tribal areas do not mistakenly hit remotely piloted American aircraft flying in the same area or a small number of C.I.A. operatives on the ground, a second senior Pakistani officer said. '

"Vietnam: U.S. Advisors 1955-1965"
A little parallel history: Advisors on the march.
' The U.S. military advisory effort in Vietnam had a modest beginning in September 1950, when the United States Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Vietnam, was established in Saigon. Its mission was to supervise the issuance and employment of $10 million of military equipment to support French legionnaires in their effort to combat Viet Minh forces. By 1953 the amount of U.S. military aid had jumped to over $350 million and was used to replace the badly worn World War II vintage equipment that France, still suffering economically from the devastation of that war, was still using.
. . .
By 1961 the steady progress of the insurgency was near crisis levels. The new Kennedy administration increased American support for the Diem regime to prevent a collapse. By December of 1961, 3,200 U.S. military personnel were in Vietnam as advisors, supported by $65 million in military equipment and $136 million in economic aid. Military assistance was reorganized as the United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), formed under the command of General Paul D. Harkins in February 1962. MACV was there to support the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) to defend the country. MACV included Army Special Forces (Green Beret) instructors and CIA personnel organizing the Montagnards in the mountains.
. . .
South Vietnam was going to fall to the Communists unless the U.S. intervened, but Pres. Johnson hesitated to increase the commitment of troops, trying to balance his interest in big domestic programs against the mounting crisis in Southeast Asia. Then came an incident in the Gulf of Tonkin, 2 August 1964. '

"Learn About the Vietnam War"
A majority of the Vietnamese people just didn't want us there. But their corrupt, incompetent, hated US puppet government couldn't live without us.
' To support the South’s government, the United States sent in 2,000 military advisers, a number that grew to 16,300 in 1963. The military condition deteriorated, and by 1963 South Vietnam had lost the fertile Mekong Delta to the Vietcong. In 1965, Johnson escalated the war, commencing air strikes on North Vietnam and committing ground forces, which numbered 536,000 in 1968. '

"‘Big Red One’ Takes on Iraq Military Advisor Training Mission"
Advisor = Advance Man. Iraqi Security Forces = ARVN. "War On Terror" = Vietnam.
' An entire Army combat division has been given the mission of training U.S. military advisors for duty within Iraqi army and police units, a senior U.S. military officer in Baghdad said yesterday. The U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan., is now responsible for training U.S. advisors for service in Iraq, Army Brig. Gen. Dana Pittard, commander of the Iraq Advisory Group, told reporters at a news conference in the Iraqi capital city. The change represents “a huge investment,” Pittard said, noting two brigade combat teams based at Riley also are committed to training advisors. Pittard said he works in tandem with Army Brig. Gen. Terry Wolff, commander of the Coalition Military Assistance and Training Team. Pittard and Wolff, who also attended the press briefing, have oversight over military advisors that support the Iraqi army, the national police, as well as the Department of Border Enforcement. “We really cover two different areas, but have very, very similar goals, and that is to support the Iraqi security forces,” Pittard said. '

"US, Iraqi forces launch anti-al-Qaida offensive"
"Support" only. So, nobody is at risk? MBSF is off the charts!
' The offensive comes more than a year after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki promised a "decisive" battle in Mosul against al-Qaida in Iraq. But Iraq's third-largest city has continued to face violence, particularly against Iraqi security forces. Al-Jubouri said American troops were only providing support, if needed. '

"Sunni lawmaker wanted in connection for Green Zone attacks"
And this guy is IN the government. He shoulda heard about the Surge by now. This is not going well.
' A Sunni Arab lawmaker is wanted in connection for a string of retaliation attacks and mortar strikes on the fortress-like Green Zone compound after a pair of his senior bodyguards stepped forward with incriminating confessions, a military official said Sunday. The two ex-bodyguards said Sunni parliament member Mohammed al Dayni ordered them to carry out a 2007 attack on a Green Zone cafeteria in which a suicide bomber blew up his explosive vest. One lawmakers died and 22 others were wounded. '

(Cross-posted at blog me no blogs.)

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