Category Archives: Iraq

four years

I’m too lame wiped out to post anything today, but Ame sent along a compelling plea:

Today is the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war. There are vigils tonight and, yes maybe they don’t make much difference, but maybe they do. I chose to believe they do. Plus, it gives you a chance to be around other people who also think this whole thing is crazy. Please join me in going to one tonight if possible. Yes it’s short notice, but what the hell.

If you can’t, take a moment to acknowledge where we are, four years into this war:
View: an update and a video on my site (Pixel Lava)
Do: Register at MoveOn and get involved

Kind regards ~ Ame

P.S. If you can make it to the vigil tonight in San Diego, it’s at 6pm at the corner of 6th and Laurel. Bring a sign and/or candle.

So go forth. There are signs that we can finally put an end to this idiocy, and every little bit counts.

like a flan in a cupboard

Nick sent along this depressing article entitled “Thirty-Six Sure-Fire Signs That Your Empire Is Crumbling.”† In other words:

You know your empire’s crumbling when it’s considered an achievement to pretend that you’ve halved the rate at which you’re adding to the massive mountain of debt you’ve already accumulated.

You know your empire’s crumbling when you’re spending tens of billions of dollars you don’t own on new nuclear warheads and space weapons that don’t work, to be used against an enemy you don’t have.

You know your empire’s crumbling when gays and immigrants are used as diversionary issues to keep people from thinking about the pillaging of their country and their wallets actually taking place. And it works.

I’d go on, but it’s all so distressingly familiar.

how that trillion dollars could have been spent

I’ve said this kind of thing before, but John Allen Paulos at ABC News has an interesting spin on how the $1,000,000,000,000 we’ve spent on Iraq to date could have been put to better use. For example:

The cost of the war can also be expressed as approximately 28 HS’s, where HS, the annual budget for the Department of Homeland Security, is about $35 billion. Really securing the ports and chemical plants would have only eaten up a few of these HS’s. A few more could have been usefully spent in Afghanistan.

Alternatively, if the money was spent in an even more ecumenical way and a global mailing list was available, the Treasury could have sent a check for more than $150 to every human being on earth. The lives of millions of children, who die from nothing more serious than measles, tetanus, respiratory infections and diarrhea, could be saved, since these illnesses can be prevented by $2 vaccines, $1 worth of antibiotics, or a 10-cent dose of oral rehydration salts as well as the main but still very far from prohibitive cost of people to administer the programs.

Nicely said. I sure hope we can stop being so thunderingly stupid about how we spend our money before another $1 trillion goes down the drain.

continuing the permanent war

So I was reading the latest comments by William Kristol on opposition in Congress to the escalation of hostilities in Iraq, and they sounded a bit familiar:

Itís so irresponsible that they canít be quiet for six or nine months and say the president has made a decision, weíre not going to change that decision, weíre not going to cut off funds and insist on the troops coming back, so letís give it a chance to work.

(Emphasis mine.)† I kept getting that tickle in the back of my brain, so I searched this very same blog for the phrase “six months” and found something eerily familiar:

Six months.† Just let this play out.

Date written?† May 2006, about “six to nine months” ago.† (Follow that link for a similar chain of six-month timelines, stretching back to 2003.)† How many more six-to-nine-month extensions are we going to be asked for?† How many thousand-death promissory notes?