Thursday, September 06, 2007

Put a hit out on you

The Price of War, Front and Center.

In the HBO documentary “Alive Day Memories” Dawn Halfaker, 27, a former Army first lieutenant, is sitting in a chair on a stark stage, talking, somewhat incongruously, to James Gandolfini, the star of “The Sopranos.”

Mr. Gandolfini serves as the interviewer in the film, set to have its premiere Sunday night at 10:30. It deals with the recovery of American veterans from devastating injuries inflicted during the war in Iraq.

I doubt I could bear to watch this (not that I have the choice as I don't have HBO). Too heavy. I find it difficult enough reading about it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Compass of Fury

British Army Leaves Basra:

British commanders have countered that their continued presence draws attacks and that the main problem in Basra is not an insurgency but criminal gangs.

“General Mohan’s strategy is that we come out of the city because it allows him to deal with the Iraqis himself without the presence of the multinational forces, which are clearly a magnet for indirect fire at the moment,” Brig. James Bashall, commander of the First Mechanized Brigade, said in July. “If we are out, then it makes it easier for the Iraqis to deal with Basra themselves.”

'Easier' will certainly leave it a long way from easy. Still, as was obvious from day one of the occupation, the presence of foreign forces is generating a lot of angst and is hindering the chances of Iraq sorting itself out.

The Brits, as usual, more reasonable than the next invading/occupying force (no doubt from their experience in Northern Ireland) are moving in the right direction.

Unfortunately, further murder and mayhem cannot be avoided. Nice work team.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Enron style accounting

Juan Cole:

I saw on CNN this smarmy Bush administration official come and and say that US troop deaths had fallen because of the surge, which is why we should support it. Just read the following chart bottom to top and compare 2006 month by month to 2007. US troop deaths haven't fallen. They are way up. Besides, they would be zero if the US were not occupying Iraq militarily, so if we should support a policy that leads to fewer troop deaths, that is the better policy.

Not only are they prepared to sacrifice the lives of their own troops, the Bush admin won't admit to the deaths (or the rate of).