If you are looking for something to read for a few minutes, go over to the right side of this page and scroll down till you get to the 'links' part and click on Michael Yon's online magazine. Then read the newest dispatch called "superman". This guy has been there in Iraq for most of two years or more. If you want to know what is really happening over there, read some of his previous dispatches. He tells it like it IS and not just gloss and bullshit like the MSM. They tell us every day how many of our kids are being killed over there and we need to get the hell out of there! Funny but you don't hear very much about the 6000 teen age drivers that get killed here in the US every damned month!! I wonder just what their frame of reference might be for that statistic? Another two 16 year old girls killed in a smashup, ho hum, four die in an IED explosion in Iraq, Holy shit! the Army, Navy, Marines, all the military is destroying our nations youth!!! Katy Couric needs to get a dose of reality shoved down her throat!! TIFN


Anonymous said...

Observing that three dozen Chicago public school students have been killed this year, Sen. Barack Obama noted the figure is higher than the number of Illinois serviceman who have died in Iraq in 2007.

Rob at his blog 'Say Anything' “wonders when the Democrats will be calling for a withdrawal from Chicago.”

Anonymous said...

"In his most optimistic remarks since the U.S. troop buildup began, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday that Iraq has undergone a “sea change” in security in recent months, and that this will influence his recommendation to President Bush on how long to continue the current strategy."

Sam said...

Despite 75 percent of Americans thinking that the battle of Iraq is wrong, lost, and may lead to regional conflict it is good to hear at least something good - I'll give you that much credit.

Unless there is some giant miracle, Bush will retire in January 2009 and the question is whether we send a significant amount of military servicemen and civilian contractors home before that date. That's the way it is looking right now.

I'm just trying to be realistic. Meanwhile, the battle in Afghanistan is becoming quite ugly, with Pakistan showing instability and more and more evidence of US/UN troops killing innocent people. Why didn't we do a "surge" in Afghanistan instead of Iraq?

And please, please, please do not compare our fighting and support military people - who defend our flag to the very end - to a bunch of teen age drivers or ghetto deaths in Chicago. That is insulting in the extreme. If you want to show support for our troops don't talk like that.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that Obama's comments were aiming to compare the deaths of Illinois servicemen with the Chicago school students who were killed during this year. From what I have read, his intention was to draw public attention to the disturbing number of students who have died violent deaths in Chicago and that these deaths have not prompted the citizens of Chicago to raise the question of "How to best protect their children?" For the record, one of the young Chicago students died as he saved the life of one of his schoolmates. Both were travelling on the city subway when shots were fired outside of the train. One of the bullets fatally wounded this young student as he pulled his classmate to safety. His dying words- Tell my parents I love them.

So let's keep spending billions of dollars to shore up a government in Pakistan that on one hand pledges support to the US and on the other shelters Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Let's keep spending billions of dollars to destroy and rebuild Iraq as we patiently await the birth of Iraqi democracy, all the while children die in our own country from inner city violence and inadequate health care.

Maybe we should try to protect the vulnerable among our own population as much as we try to protect the Shia and Sunni?

I do not pretend to know what is the correct course of action for the US with regards to Iraq. But I do know that we should not ignore the suffering of our own citizens, in order to fund the institution of democracy in countries that have not -apparently- chosen to secure this path for themselves.

The troops are fighting to preserve the American way of life. It is our responsbility, here at home, to do our part to make sure that the American way of life is protected and advanced. I believe that this means we work to insure that our citizenry- particularly those who are most vulnerable- are protected and given the opportunity to live in safety. Cutting the additional police hires implemented by the Clinton adminstration ( I am not a Clinton fan- but this was a good policy.) has left the inner city rife with gang violence.
Granted --policing does not address the larger issues at play here--but at least it was a way of maintaining some peace and safety.

So, what do we do to support and advance the American way of life here at home?

Anonymous said...

We should invest in wind, sea, nuclear and geothermal power, and kiss the Middle East goodbye. It is our involvment in the region which has caused the ire of the vast majority of the population.

Anonymous said...

Sam, A good source of military info is Strategypage.com, Afghanistan is another example of an improving situation being twisted by the news media by reporting every piece of bad news so it sounds like a quagmire. The taliban have been losing badly and shifted tactics, here is the reason more civilian casualties are being 'reported':

July 6, 2007: The sudden spate of claims that many civilians are being killed by smart bombs was traced to Taliban telling villagers to make these claims, or face retaliation. The Taliban have largely abandoned efforts to win civilian support, and are increasingly dependent on pure terror to gain what they need from civilians (silence, support, lies). Taliban attacks on civilians are increasing. These includes beatings, kidnappings and murder. As a response, villages are increasingly fighting back. Taliban have to be careful entering villages. If the villagers have too many guns, the Taliban will be driven back.

Sam said...

I didn't mean to sound alarmist, and frankly am baffled by the media. The Europeans seem a little less biased in their reports but are notoriously known as being against all the mid-east wars, so by now my head is spinning off its roots!

I just read a NY Times article that "Bush Aides See Failure in Fight With Al Qaeda in Pakistan." Wow, five billion a year in payments to Pakistan (my tax money, mind you) and it only gets worse, and the money seems to end up in the Taliban and Al Qaeda to fight the war in Afghanistan. I wouldn't call that a success.

I'm clueless as to why we're talking about domestic policy at the same time as foreign policy, and can only guess that you're talking Election Politics.

Why do you think one political party or another could do a better job on either? I don't have much faith in any of the son-of-a-guns!

Anonymous said...

Um, 'ghetto deaths'? Excuse me? A life is a life no matter where it is lost! How incredibly demeaning and 19th century.

Sam said...

Sorry for the poor choice of words, but have you been to the poor side of Chicago, like ever?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that you can ever draw a clean dividing line between foreign and domestic issues as they tend to inform each other to some extent.
I remember a building project I had underway during the days were in the "Shock and Awe" phase of the Iraq invasion. Somewhere in the process the price of plywood climbed about 25% ( at least). Why? Because we were shipping it over to Iraq to help rebuild what we blew up. So, not only did my tax dollars fund this foreign policy action, it increased the cost of a building project.

Also something to think about is that war changes a country, not only Iraq- but it changes our life at home also. In some cases, the engines of war have been known to consume the very life that one is trying to protect as soldiers fight to protect a way of life. A point eloquently addressed by Louis Grassic Gibbons in his classic work "A Scot's Quair."

What kind of way of life do our soldiers return to? Will they find decent employment, decent and affordable housing. Will they receive the health care that they need? I'd like to think so, because it is the least that they deserve.

Moreover, I'm sure you'd admit that our "domestic" need for oil and cheap labor has certainly influenced some of our foreign policy decisions.

Additionally, I'd like to think we'd be as interested in securing the safety of a rather crime-ridden New Orleans as securing the safety of a Sunni stronghold.

Again, hundreds of billions have gone to Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. At what cost -beyond emptying the taxpayer's pocket- has this inflicted on the American public?

My interests are not election year politics, but to recognize that we need to exercise responsiblity at demanding accountability from our politicans- and ourselves- to make sure that the American way of life remains one worth protecting.

Anonymous said...

Would the deaths of these kids matter more to you if they happened to be white?

pinkey said...

To me it doesnt matter more if the kids are white it matters if they just die. You know talking about this stuff is not fun to me at all.

Pinky said...

Sorry I meant to put Pinky.

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
good listener said...

Has anyone stopped to ponder the possibility that we have already lost our own country to the vast amount of foreigners that have taken up residency here? I believe there is a deliberate plan slowly taking hold and one morning we will wake up and America as we wish we knew it will be gone. (Just some more fodder for discussion.)

Everett said...

I'd take any article I read in the NYT with about a pound of salt! They have slanted every story they have written since this war began to make Bush and Co. look as bad as possible. I expect the "Aides" were probably one disgruntled person, and he 'arranged' his comments to suite the boys in the 'Gray Lady's' board room.

On the News last night a big graphic goes up shouting, "71% of people say the surge in Irag is not working"! I'd like to know just exactly how many of those 71% have been over there to determine that it is not working! My guess is exactly ZERO! They take as gospel whatever is spouted at them by a very BIASED MSM. How many reporters and newsmen are there out with the troops every day, going to these places where the surge has supposedly failed? None, or MAYBE, two or three. Michael Yon goes every day, but he is an independent reporter, and what he sees and puts out there to read is NOT revised by some copy editor sitting in his air-conditioned room in NYC.

It really is time for the people of this country to yank their heads out of their asses and realize just what is going on around them before it is too late. Daily bashing of GWB isn't going to solve anything.

Oh and BTW, whatever happened at the Senate yesterday? After twenty hours of vilification, chest pounding, and spouting of all the tired old 'saws' about the war and troops coming home, the most treasonous son of a bitch in the USA, Harry Reid couldn't get it done, again! It must be that those "Good Ole Boys" tell him one thing to his face, but vote their constituents will, when the showdown time comes. I'm sick to death of the whole damned bunch of them!

If you read some of the blogs, written by people who LIVE in the theatre, you get a very different picture of whether or not the surge is working. Check out Haditha and some of the other places where Al Queda USED to be in charge. Not any more, the local people got tired of being blown up and the now, regularly, give up the location of IED's to our guys, and more importantly, where the bad guys are hiding out!!

And to answer 'Good Listener' above, Yes I wonder and ponder EVERY DAMED DAY what is happening to this country and why some who live here wish to give it, and our traditions, away so easily! We WILL wake up someday living under Sharia law if we continue in the subservient, kiss ass, bend to the will, attitude of any PC group that comes along the pike! Well, I won't be around to see it happen, but I continually fear for my grandkids, and their progeny! Shit! I'm going to go get plastered and forget all this crap for an hour or two!!! TIFN

Anonymous said...

News Flash:
The new Reuters Approval Rating poll is out and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have pulled an upset: They have managed to make George Walker Bush twice as popular as Congress.

Congress 14%
Bush 32%

Cheer up Everett, we wont go sharia anytime soon. Most likely socialism would come first.

Anonymous said...

Oops, my bad, Bush has 34% approval instead of 32.
I see we netted a big fish in Iraq, Khaled al-Mashhadani, personal go-between guy for AQ in Iraq and OBL and Zawahiri.
That'll make 'em lie low till they can figure how much info the infidels have compromised.

Anonymous said...

Maybe sharia isnt that far away, Everett. Seems the democrats are trying to welcome our muslim overlords:

House Democrats are trying to block a provision in a homeland security bill that would protect the public from being sued by the likes of CAIR if they report suspicious behavior: Democrats want ‘John Doe’ provision cut.
The legislation, which moves to a House and Senate conference committee this afternoon, will implement final recommendations from the 911 Commission.
Rep. Pete King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican, sponsored the bill after a group of Muslim imams filed a lawsuit against U.S. Airways and unknown or “John Doe” passengers after they were removed for suspicious behavior aboard Flight 300 from Minneapolis to Phoenix on Nov. 20.
“Democrats are trying to find any technical excuse to keep immunity out of the language of the bill to protect citizens, who in good faith, report suspicious activity to police or law enforcement,” Mr. King said in an interview last night. “This is a slap in the face of good citizens who do their patriotic duty and come forward, and it caves in to radical Islamists,” Mr. King said.
“I don’t see how you can have a homeland security bill without protecting people who come forward to report suspicious activity,” Mr. King said.
Republicans aides say they will put up a fight with Democrats when the conference committee begins at 1 p.m., to reinsert the language, but that public pressure is also needed.

Sam said...

Oopsy-daisey, more politics!

But yeah Everett (saw your note) it would be good to get some unbiased information from Iraq. As you know, most of the major news companies have pulled back to the Green Zone, an insulated fortress, or abandoned the country altogether. What they did was hire some local contractors. It's not a good living for the local contractors because so many have died.

So we're at the mercy not only of media corporations that want to sell information that draws advertisers (volume), but the local bias from the contract reporters themselves. I don't have any proof but I would expect a Sunni and Shiite reporter to have two completely different stories on the same event - it makes sense to me anyway.

Finally, remember that summer is the slow season for news, especially if there is no "shock and awe" about horrible hurricanes. The media has stopped so low as to pick up storylines on famous people in rehab. For shame.

At least you read around different sources and can compare them, and read the discussion forums and all. I think that's a great idea ... but how come you still watch Katie on TV when you hate her guts?

Anonymous said...

"Congressional Democrats today failed to include a provision in homeland security legislation that would protect the public from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior that may lead to a terrorist attack"

So there you are, on a flight, some guy is acting wierd and you consider it dangerous. Do you report it or just sit there and piss your pants cause you dont want to get sued?
Thanks dummycrats

Anonymous said...

Back to the original topic of this thread:
"American support for the war in Iraq has risen somewhat as the White House has continued to ask the public to reserve judgment about the war until General David Petraeus files his report in the fall.
In a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted over the weekend, 42 percent of Americans said taking military action in Iraq was the right thing to do, while 51 percent said the United States should have stayed out of Iraq.
Support had been at all time low in May, when only 35 percent of Americans said the United States’ involvement in Iraq was the right thing and 61 percent said the United States should have stayed out."

Sam said...

So the point is .... ??? Perhaps it made you feel good inside or something to know that support for the Battle of Iraq rose from the tar pits to slightly more moderate. How about a story I read that many manufacturers of bullets and ammo are nervous because they fear the battle is winding down, sometime between now and when Bush leaves office. As I've said before, it is a question not of "if" but "when."

I agree with Everett that some good actually happened and is still happening, in spite of all the bad news. But when asked if we could win or lose the Battle of Iraq, I'd say we were a complete and utter failure, and we lost any hope well before the recent surge. Perhaps it is not a matter of winning or losing, but of trying to do a little good.

Bear with me here because my point is that support for the battle has nothing to do with whether we actually won or even could win - I think we gave up on that years ago. There are benchmarks, which were themselves a failure, but in about six weeks we should have an official report about battle progress and political progress. So far, no magic has fallen out of the sky and it sure looks grim. It is clear that the Iraqi government wouldn't even exist unless it was for American protection in the Green Zone.

Wait until Turkey starts attacking the Kurds and the warring tribes of Pakistan try to take over their country. It will not be pretty.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, the morning smells like...victory:

"Thanks to courageous, principled and tenacious efforts by key legislators like Rep. King and Sens. Lieberman and Collins, the American people are going to be free to do their part in the War for the Free World – serving as indispensable eyes and ears for those trying to protect us against terrorism – without fear that the likes of CAIR will be suing them for doing so."
Drink up, its after noon somewhere.

Anonymous said...

This is the point Sam:
"Most of what we’re doing doesn’t get reported in the media,” he said. “We’re not fighting a war here anymore, not in this area. We’ve moved way beyond that stage. We built a soccer field for the kids, bought all kinds of equipment, bought them school books and even chalk. Soon we’re installing 1,500 solar street lamps so they have light at night and can take some of the load off the power grid. The media only covers the gruesome stuff. We go to the sheiks and say hey man, what kind of projects do you want in this area? They give us a list and we submit the paperwork. When the projects get approved, we give them the money and help them buy stuff."
And thats Everetts point too, we are daily bombarded by negative reports in the media that have people beleiving its a 'quagmire' when the truth is far from it. read the whole article at michaeltotten.com

Anonymous said...

More news from the "Quagmire"
"What most of the troops, and Iraqi civilians, notice is the lower level of violence. Since the surge offensive began four months ago, Iraqi (military and civilian) deaths have declined by more than 50 percent, and American casualties are down by over a third. U.S. troops are still taking the lead in moving into hostile areas, and being exposed to ambush and IEDs. But U.S. tactics and training have made enemy efforts much less lethal. This has helped demoralize an increasing number of terrorists. Many are tired of killing Iraqi civilians, and the increasing difficulty at getting at American troops. Look at this from the Iraqi perspective. In a very good month, Iraqis make a hundred or more attacks a day on American troops, and kill, on average, about four of them. While the terrorists make a big deal out of every American killed, they know that most of their attacks were not only failures, but got a lot of their buddies killed. On average, 10-20 terrorists die for every American killed. This has been going on for years, and an increasing number of Iraqi fighters are demoralized and quitting. Many either become informers, or surrender and speak freely. This is resulting in fresher intelligence, and raids that are catching terrorist cells preparing for operations, and in possession of weapons, bombs and incriminating documents."
And dont worry about Turkey, they wont be invading Kurdistan. They will just conduct cross-border operations against PKK camps like they've been doing since forever. And the Paki tribes wont be taking anything over. 70% of the country, including the Army, support Mushy. They also made the mistake of going after Chinese citizens, not a good idea to make the giant on your doorstep mad.

Sam said...

Hey no problem and I respect all opinions, no matter if you have to quote them at length from somebody else's opinionated blog. That's America - love that freedom of speech thing.

Hey but why do most security experts agree that the threat from Al Queda is greater than ever? Is Homeland Security Director Chertoff full of it or what? Rand Corporation? Recent Intel report? Bush himself?

Honest, I'm not trying to be a butt-head. But sometimes I take a look at how this country seems to be falling apart, as we finance fixing up another nation. I appreciate your comments and certainly don't mean to be antagonistic. Many of us, including me, are slightly confused and don't know what to think.
sam wells

Anonymous said...

Sam, We're confused because the news media keeps us that way, for example:
"Hey but why do most security experts agree that the threat from Al Queda is greater than ever?"
Another false statement that the media would have us believe. If you read thru the article, no one ever says they got stronger, just that they have rebuilt themselves almost to where they were before 2001. As for Michael J Totten's Mideast Journal. If you read his articles you will see he is one of the last of the true Journalists, not some hack writer doing stories off the news wire. He is very balanced in his reporting and has lived in Lebanon for years, and writes from the perspective of the locals.

Anonymous said...

With all the gloom and doom in the US news about the stock and housing market , its ironic one has to read the BBC to get the good:

The US economy grew faster than expected over the past three months, figures have shown, recording the best quarterly performance since early 2006.
The economy grew by 3.4% on an annual basis, bouncing back from a dismal first quarter where it grew just 0.6%.
The figures were keenly anticipated following signs that the slump in the US housing market has been having a negative impact on the wider economy.
The figure exceeded expectations by analysts who expected a 3.2% increase.

Anonymous said...

Think the housing prices'll drop any lower so those of us who didn't experience the 3.4 can buy a house?

Everett said...

Good luck with the housing prices on BI! They go up 3.4% every time the paper comes out! The ONLY way a kid from the Island is ever going to own a home out here is if it is left too them or the family has a big enough piece of property that they can put up a modular! Witness Kirks house.

Sam said...

I heard that, or I'd have bought some! But hack to GDP versus the stock market. Are you saying that everything is good even though half a trillion in investor money was lost is three days on the US markets? Are you saying oil over $70 is good?

I'm not criticizing but clearly things are not so great in la-la land. GPD is up, employment is up, taxes are down, gasoline is down, and the investment sector lost its butt. Sweeping statements one way or the other might be too simplistic to describe what's happening.

Maybe you read one writer who probably smoked something funny when he said the housing market was the worst since the Great Depression. True, many house prices (outside BI of course) are actually going down, and the rate of GOOD credit defaults is dramatically increasing - both of which only happened in the Great Depression. But there again, there's no comparison.

Face it should, most Americans don't play the investment market except maybe some 401K stuff. The house is their only investment in the future for most Americans. If this spirals out of control, well, people could be on the street.

But no, this should not happen. Here have been three "soft landings" since the Great Depression, the last in early 2002. So far, there does not seem to be a Bear Market except that housing, credit, and equity markets have taken a thorough bashing and may not recover for quite some time.