Political Critic Archives - December 2006

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Friday, December 29, 2006 - 7:30pm

Death Comes to Us All...

For Saddam Hussein, it comes sooner rather than later.  The former leader of Iraq is set to be executed tonight and the hour could not come soon enough.  The murdering dictator will be hanged after being found guilty of killing 148 people in 1982.  It was just one of many crimes Hussein committed during his reign.

 

 I am not a big fan of capital punishment.  Anytime you let the government legally execute people, you are asking for trouble.  History shows us that the judicial system is flawed and mistakes are often made.  In addition, our very own government has already demonstrated the willingness to lie, cheat, and deceive in order to further their tyrannical goals.

 

All that being said, I am willing to make an exception in the case against Saddam Hussein.  Even if only 1/100th of what the U.S. government tells us about Saddam is true, he should still die for his heinous crimes.  He's had it coming for a long, long time.

 

Unfortunately, Saddam's death will not change anything on the ground in Iraq.  American soldiers will still be in danger and the civil war will rage on.  George Bush, the American dictator, will declare Saddam's death a success in the war on terror, but we all know that not to be true.

 

Hussein's death will be a positive for the world, but there are many more dictators that are ready to fill the void that Saddam vacated.  Much more needs to be done to eradicate them for good.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 12:00am

Approaching 3,000

Much is being made of the number of deaths in Iraq in comparison to the number killed in the September 11th tragedy.  Unfortunately, the mainstream media is comparing the two grim numbers without telling us that one had absolutely nothing to do with the other.  Sure, George Bush would like us to believe that 9/11 and Iraq are somehow connected, but they are not.

 

 To date, 2,978 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq.  The number killed from the 9/11 attacks was 2,973.  The only comparison to be made between the two should focus on how this administration conned the American public into believing that we needed to invade Iraq due to the September 11th attacks.  Other than that, the two are not related to each other.

 

Soon there will be 3,000 American soldiers dead in Iraq.  Hopefully, the media will focus on that tragedy and how we can prevent more from dying.  That's probably asking too much though.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 12:30pm

Time to Come Home

Even though I was completely against the war in Iraq, I have been against withdrawing troops until the country has been stabilized.  Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that this war cannot be won with the current civilian leadership in charge.  At this point, we are better off withdrawing American forces and bringing our boys home.

 

The only way the United States could've won this war was to put 400,000 troops on the ground three years ago when the generals asked for them.  That is no longer possible.  The U.S. doesn't have that many forces to implement that strategy anymore.  The most the U.S. can reach is about 165,000 troops and that is not nearly enough to stabilize Iraq.

 

Without adequate forces on the ground, we cannot win.  American troops are dying every day and no progress is being made to stabilize Iraq.  Even if we stayed another six months, one year, or longer, the situation on the ground would not change.  Iraqis will still be killing Americans and the country will not be any safer.

 

It is time to withdraw before another 3,000 Americans die and tens of thousands of others become seriously injured.  We need to do this now before the military breaks.  The U.S. can maintain the no-fly zone over the country and keep some of their forces in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but they need to remove everyone else as soon as possible.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 12:00am

Listen to the Generals

President Bush wants to send more troops to Iraq to help minimize the violence in the country.  Unfortunately, he can only increase his forces by about 35,000 as the military is stretched painfully thin.  The Joint Chiefs do not want the additional troops and feel that they will simply give the insurgents more targets.

 

Nearly four years ago, the Generals begged the President for hundreds of thousands of more troops.  The military leaders saw a clear need for additional troops to prevent a surge in violence.  The President declined.  As a result, thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians died.  Iraq has also devolved into a civil war.

 

Today, the military no longer has the ability to increase troops in Iraq to 300,000+.  That would be more than double the current strength.  If they could increase troop strength to that number, I believe the violence would come down, but that is no longer possible.

 

Bush wants the increase and the military does not.  The disagreement, in and of itself, is very alarming.  Military leaders rarely, if ever, publicly disagree with the Commander in Chief.  For them to do so shows the gravity of this situation.

 

The Joint Chiefs believe that the civilian leadership and the Iraq war is breaking the back of the military.  It will surely break if forces are increased now.  In the past, it might have been feasible to boost troop levels, but that day has come and gone.

 

We need to listen to the Generals.  I believe and trust these military leaders.  I do not trust elitist, rich politicians who sit at their desk in Washington, D.C. worrying about their own hide. In 2003, the administration refused to listen.  If they refuse again, the military could very well break.

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Monday, December 18, 2006 - 12:00am

John Edwards Joins the Race

A third legitimate contender for the Democrats has thrown his name into the ring to become President of the United States in 2008.  John Edwards joins Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as the top players for the Democratic nomination.  Edwards will have his work cut out for him as Hillary already has the money and Obama has the rock-star following.

 

 That being said, John Edwards has an edge in some of the early presidential nomination states.  He has spent a lot of time in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina in the last few years, as he sought the Democratic nomination in 2004.  Unfortunately, he became John Kerry's running mate, which hurt his standing.

 

Does John Edwards have a chance?  Probably not.  He hasn't proved that he can raise enough money to keep up with the big boys and he's already come up short once before.  Also, Al Gore might join the race, which would further split the vote.  Edwards will probably stay in through the South Carolina primary, but will realize he doesn't have enough momentum to go further.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 12:00am (updated 6:35am)

Democratic Senator Undergoes Brain Surgery

South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson (D) was hospitalized yesterday after suffering what was thought to be a stroke.  It was later determined that he did not have a stroke, but he underwent brain surgery early this morning.  There is no further news on his current condition.

 

If Senator Johnson dies or resigns, the Governor of the state is allowed to name his successor. It just so happens that the Governor of South Dakota, Michael Rounds, is a Republican.  He would likely put a Republican in the seat. 

 

If that comes to pass, the Republicans would regain control of the Senate!  Feel free to begin the conspiracy discussion.  I won't argue against it.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 12:00am

Iran Becoming a Major Problem

It's a good thing Israel actually does have nuclear weapons.  It might be all that stands in the way of the lunatics in Iran coming after the sovereign nation.  Much has been made of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's nuclear slip in which he admitted that Israel had nukes in their arsenal. However, considering the threats around Israel, I find it hard to criticize him on the point.

 

The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, reiterated his statement that Israel will soon be wiped off the map.  He referred to the Holocaust as a 'myth' and continued on a racist rant in front of delegates at an international conference.

 

His words were condemned in many places and by many countries and they are condemned here.  The president of Iran showed his hated, intolerance, and ignorance yet again.  His only hope in making these remarks was to improve his standing in the Muslim community, but even they are beginning to catch on to his insanity.

 

Ahmadinejad is trying to take advantage of the weakened position of the United States, knowing they would be hard-pressed to attack his country right now.  If not for the war in Iraq, the U.S. would not stand for such disgusting talk.

 

The bottom line is that Iran must never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.  They don't have them yet, but may only be a few years away.  I do not have any faith that George Bush can prevent it, but somebody needs to.  If Iran develops nukes, their first target will be Israel.  We cannot permit this to happen.

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Monday, December 11, 2006 - 7:15pm

William 'Cold Cash' Jefferson Goes Back to Washington

I have lost what little faith I had in the American electorate.  In what can only be described as moronic, the voters of New Orleans re-elected William Jefferson (D) to Congress in a special run-off election this weekend.  Jefferson, as you may recall, is the Congressman who was caught with $90,000 in cash in his freezer after accepting a bribe. 

 

The scary part is that the election was not even close.  Jefferson took 57% of the vote to beat fellow Democrat Karen Carter.  This is further proof that the voting public doesn't care and doesn't pay attention.  Jefferson may still be indicted during his new term, but that's about all we can hope for. 

 

The FBI needs to hurry up on this one.  We cannot have a politician in Washington whose seat is for sale to the highest bidder.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 10:00pm

Iraq Study Group Recommendations Flawed

The bipartisan commission called the Iraq Study Group (ISG) has finally released its report on how to solve the problem in Iraq.  The primary recommendations include a gradual reduction of combat forces, additional training of the Iraqi army, and to begin diplomatic talks with Iran and Syria.  Many of the other recommendations in the ISG are purposely vague so that both Democrats and Republicans can pull information out of it and defend their positions.

 

The recommendations made in this report are flawed at best and delusional at worst.  Let's take the first point, the gradual reduction of American forces by the first quarter of 2008.  That is the worst possible action to take.  You either withdraw as fast as humanly possible or you stay.  There is no in between.  If you go slowly, you place U.S. military, contractors, and journalists at enormous risk.

 

The ISG's second point focuses on the training of the Iraqi military, which should be the main focus.  Unfortunately, the Iraqi military has not been trained properly for the 3+ years that we've been there and that is not addressed.  Apparently, the ISG believes that all of a sudden the Iraqi military will get trained exponentially faster and before the American forces leave.  The report is correct to focus on the training, but makes no mention of how to stop the corruption, infiltration, and safety issues that they face.

 

The third point is to talk with Iran and Syria, which we should have been doing all along. However, this is secondary.  Opening diplomatic relations with those two nations may help, but it will not solve the problem.

 

The recommendations in this report will not fix the disaster in Iraq.  It is delusional to assume that the Iraqi military will be able to defend themselves in 16 months when Americans leave. The report also fails to take into account what will happen afterward.  If these recommendations are followed, it will make Iraq even worse.  American troops will be further exposed and the conflict will spread to other neighboring countries, including Saudi Arabia.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - 12:00am

Bolton the Bully Packs His Bag

You see, balance of power in Washington really does make a difference.  The Democrats haven't even taken control of Congress yet, but were still able to force the resignation of John Bolton, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.  In less than 18 months on the job, Bolton had already developed problems with many European ambassadors and others.

 

 John Bolton was exactly the wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time.  The last thing the United States needs right now is for someone to come in and bully other nations around.  The U.S. is in a precarious position because of Iraq and they need their allies now more than ever.  The world hates the United States and the appointment of Bolton made a bad situation worse.

 

Consider that Bolton was of the opinion that we should not even talk to Iran or Syria.  How are you supposed to resolve conflicts with your supposed enemy if you won't even talk to them?  Talking to them does not mean concessions, it simply means a conversation.

 

The fact is that Bush and his neocons have contempt for the United Nations and were intent on having a bully as the ambassador.  The administration loves the U.N. when it agrees with them, but despises the U.N. when they go against the powerful United States.

 

At some point, the U.S. government must realize that the world is not flat.  Other countries may actually have different opinions than America.  We have to work with them, not browbeat them into our position.

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Monday, December 4, 2006 - 12:45am

A Similar Story in Afghanistan

More than five years after the U.S. led invasion of Afghanistan as a result of the 9/11 attacks on America, the situation is bleak.  What fails the United States in Iraq is also failing them in Afghanistan.  The training of local police is abysmal.  The U.S. has poured billions of dollars into training Aghan and Iraqi police and have failed miserably.  Corruption is rampant and the local police are not able to handle basic responsibilities.

 

map of afghanistanThe administration states that American forces will stand down when Iraqis stand up.  That implies that Iraqi forces will be trained and will be able to secure their own country.  However, the U.S. administration has employed a similar strategy in Afghanistan, has had much longer to implement it, but still has failed.

 

If you want to know what will happen in Iraq in the next year if the strategy stays the same, look no further than Afghanistan. The United States has now been in Afghanistan for over five years and still has not been able to train enough Afghan police and military.  How do we expect Iraqi forces to be trained when we cannot replicate the same formula in Afghanistan, a nation that is, in comparison, more controlled?

 

The fact is that the civilian leadership does not know how to train Afghan or Iraqi troops.  They are wasting billions of dollars of our money and have now created instability in both countries. The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, estimates that he needs far more than the 70,000 officers just to stop the violence in his country.

 

Once again, this is a question of troop strength.  With a limited number of allied forces in Afghanistan, the country is not as stable as it once was.  As a result, police cannot be trained without being infiltrated and/or killed.

 

This situation cannot continue much longer.  The U.S. needs to drastically change their strategy in these two wars.  If not, the Taliban will once again rise to power in Afghanistan and Iraq will continue to decline.  The situation calls for more troops in both nations, but the United States is not able to provide them. 

 

At some point, the U.S. will be forced to choose between the two wars.  Either withdraw from Afghanistan or withdraw from Iraq.  They do not have enough troops to occupy them both for an indefinite period of time.

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Saturday, December 2, 2006 - 11:30am

The New, New Plan

Details of the plan by the Iraq Study Group are emerging and as expected, they tow the line between the administration's plan and the Democrats hope for redeployment.  For example, it has been leaked that the commission is in a favor of a gradual and slow withdrawal of American forces.  Since the commission was bi-partisan, they had to compromise on some issues, which is not necessarily the best strategy in Iraq.

 

 Gradual withdrawal of troops is a very bad idea.  You either stay or go and if you are going to leave, you must do it as fast as possible.  Otherwise, the American soldiers that remain will be at even greater risk of attack.  They are already undermanned, so to reduce the forces slowly would give the insurgents a much easier target to kill.

 

This Baker-Hamilton report will not be the saving grace that some expect it to be.  Their other recommendation is ridiculously obvious; to train and support Iraqi forces.  No kidding.  Isn't that the same failed strategy that Bush is currently employing?

 

The fact is that the civilian leadership has no idea how to win this war or how to leave.  That includes both Democrats and Republicans. They are all too concerned with the political ramifications of their actions.  They fail to lead out of sheer incompetence or fear or both.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 11:15pm

Mainstream Media Finally Wakes Up

Hey, did you know there was a civil war going on in Iraq?!?  According to the braindead mainstream media, that civil war started just this week.  First came the LA Times, then CNN, and finally NBC.  All of them have now decided that they will call Iraq a civil war and they have instructed their people to call it at such.

 

This is yet another example of how clueless the mainstream media truly is.  Iraq has been in a civil war for over a year, but the MSM continued to deny the obvious.  They use terms like sectarian violence and insurgency all in an effort to pander to the Republicans.  That's right, the media has been pandering to the Bush administration.  The right talks about liberal media bias, but it just isn't there.

 

There are six major news services and one of them (Fox) is basically government-run.  Fox doesn't even report news.  They simply discuss what conservatives want to hear.  The other four networks and the AP bend over backwards not to appear liberal, which makes them do stupid things; like refusing to call a civil war a civil war.

 

You may ask why the definition of the conflict means anything?  Well just pay attention to what is already happening as a result.  Moderate Republicans are moving toward the Democrats and away from Bush.  The President is being questioned more vociferously and is losing what little support he has left.

 

A civil war in Iraq means that it was a monumental mistake to invade the country.  Those that didn't know that already will now be forced to admit it.  The general public doesn't always understand fancy terms like sectarian violence and insurgency, but they are definitely familiar with civil war.  This country had one not too long ago and over 600,000 American soldiers died as a result.  We can understand that.

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