Current Events: Shiite rallies mark anniversary of Baghdad’s fall

This is a quote from an MSNBC article about the Shiite rallies on Monday, April 9th, 2007.

The rally was called for by powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who commands an enormous following among Iraq’s majority Shiites and has close allies in the Shiite-dominated government.

A day earlier, the renegade cleric issued a statement ordering his militiamen to redouble their battle to oust American forces and argued that Iraq’s army and police should join him in defeating “your archenemy.”

It appears that even even a portion of the Shiite population wants the US to leave. We are viewed as foreign occupiers rather than a force provifing security while Iraq forms a government. This is one very compelling reason to get the hell out. I have heard it said that our government is afraid that Iran will sweep in and take control if we leave. It has been said that would be bad for the region. I’m not sure that is a good enough reason to stay if people in Iraq want us out.


A few key quotes from this article tell the truth about the war in Iraq. These quotes are from a letter home.

Maj. Michael Mundell told his 17-year-old, Erica (nicknamed “Eddie”), on Friday, Oct. 27, 2006. “It’s a fight of 10 man squads in the dark, of ambushes and snipers and IEDs. When I go out to fight, it’s usually with less than 20 men … And I go out to fight almost every day.”

In another letter he writes,

“Folks, I am very tired. We seem to be doing little, the city is mostly trash, rubble and AIF [Anti-Iraq Forces], and frankly I am tired of being a walking bull’s-eye for anyone with an AK and nothing better to do, which includes most of the populace, apparently. We have found three IEDs before they could explode under our trucks.”

See the full article on MSNBC

This is a war where the objective has changed from weapons of mass destruction to getting Saddam to being targets in the middle of a religious war. How can we “win” as Bush says? How many armies have ever won a war by engaging in the type of combat our troops are fighting in Iraq? On top of this, Bush threatend to veto a bill to get our troops out by September of 2008, which is far too long if you ask me. If we are going to leave, then what is the point of throwing lives and resources away? Imagine if we put the resources we put into the war into rebuilding New Orleans?

Current Events: Bush is not getting the message!

House approves 2008 deadline for war pullout
Bush calls it ‘political theater’ and vows to veto bill

Updated: 7:39 p.m. ET March 23, 2007
WASHINGTON – A sharply divided House voted Friday to order President Bush to bring combat troops home from Iraq next year, but the president reiterated his vow to veto the bill, saying the House had “abdicated its responsibility.”

See the full article on MSNBC.

Hmmm, lets review the situation.

  • Public opinion is in favor of ending the war in Iraq.
  • Americans voted to put Democrats in Congress in hopes they would get us out.
  • The Bush administration seems to be the only people in support of our current course.

More people want to get out than stay. What part of this does Bush not understand? At this point I don’t think we are helping the situation by keeping troops over there. It just seems like we are bomb targets most of the time.

In the big picture, I think we expect too much by forcing them to build a democratic government modeled on ours. The Middle East is not the United States. Let them use whatever form of government works for them and protects basic human rights and religious freedom.

And that’s my rant for the day. 🙂

From the news: War bill includes tempting projects

This is the major flaw with our law making system. Some things should be voted on without “pet projects” added in. At a minimum, we should write and bundle line items in a bill differently.

“House Democratic leaders are offering billions in federal funds for lawmakers’ pet projects large and small to secure enough votes this week to pass an Iraq funding bill that would end the war next year.

So far, the projects — which range from the reconstruction of New Orleans levees to the building of peanut storehouses in Georgia — have had little impact on the tally. For a funding bill that establishes tough new readiness standards for deploying combat forces and sets an Aug. 31, 2008, deadline to bring the troops home, votes do not come cheap.”

See the full story on MSNBC.

OK thats my political rant for the day.

Oil Conspiracy?

I read an article by Steven Mufson of the Washington Post titled, Oil prices feed Bush conspiracy theories. I noticed the Valley News also ran the article on the front page of last Saturday’s paper.
An important quote from the article is,

But the roller coaster in oil prices this year without any supply disruption has fueled conspiracy theories about why gasoline prices went up and why they are coming down. After seeing a Washington Post report about oil traders scrutinizing supply and demand, one reader responded online: “LOL!!!! They’re looking at the approach of November elections!!!!! Care to wager how soon after the elections a ‘catastrophic’ event will occur to re-inflate the prices at the pump?????”

How long after the elections will price go up is a good question.
The article ends with,

But Public Citizen’s Slocum said an indictment of BP traders for allegedly
trying to corner the propane market shows oil giants can sway prices.
Furthermore, he noted, big oil companies have political preferences.

Slocum said 81 percent of the $63 million in political contributions by major
U.S. oil companies since 2001 have gone to Republicans.
But Slocum thinks the recent price drop isn’t the result of a plot by big oil companies. Instead, he notes the flight of money invested by financial “speculators” in oil

“Do I think Karl Rove or George Bush is whispering in the ears of
the oil companies? No. That’s silly,” Slocum said.
“But some folks in the government sent strong signals to the speculators. Was that related to the elections? I don’t know.”

I realize there are many factors affect the market price of oil and the price at the pump, but the idea of a connection between big oil companies and the Bush administration is anything but “silly.” Look at their political contribution and record profits.

Anyone else think there is a kernel of truth to these conspiracy theories?

Tech News: Will Google gobble up YouTube?

MSNBC Article: Will Google gobble up YouTube?

We have all seen YouTube clips on Dr. Nik’s Wednesday Web link post. Google has offered 1.6 billion for the business. This is an amazing success story for the creators of the Website. A quote from the article says, “YouTube was founded in February 2005 by three former employees of eBay Inc.’s PayPal electronic-payment unit.”