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Archive for the ‘Iraq War’ Category

Jim Hansen Out of Touch

Posted by Adam Graham on May 31, 2007

Jim Hansen was resoundingly defeated in his bid for Congress in my district. Well, I don’t like Simpson, I’m proud to say I didn’t vote for Hansen, who today writes:

My friends in the Peace Coalition reminded us that Idaho’s congressmen have refused to acknowledge the biggest moral error of our generation and again voted to extend the threat to thousands more US service men and women, their families and our communities. Not to mention, of course, expanding the threat to thousands of families in the middle east and America’s moral standing in the world.

Of course, the fact is that should the US troops withdrawal immediately as Hansen, the loss of thousands upon thousands of Iraqis will commence immediately thereafter.

He then concludes:

I encourage you to participate in a gathering put together by the Idaho Peace Coalition to Respect Fallen Idaho Soldiers, Support Troop Withdrawal, and DEMAND Idaho’s Congressmen to take their heads out of the sand and end this occupation.

Emphais mine. It’s the same old story. Our troops are the occupiers, not liberators, and certainly not heroes. (If this is an occupation.) But given that the US has said they’ll leave should the Iraqis ask, this is the darnedst ocucpation I’ve ever seen.

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No Fault Exit From Iraq

Posted by Adam Graham on April 29, 2007

Iraq’s most famous blogger, Omar from Iraqthemodel.com expresses confusion at recent Congressional action on Iraq:

“Just as we began to see signs of progress in my country the Democrats come and say ‘well, it’s not worth it, so it’s time to leave’. Evidently to them my life and the lives of twenty five million Iraqis are not worth trying for…”

It’s a stunning quote. It’s hard to come up with an answer to Omar for the actions of those in Congress whom I’m ashamed to call my countrymen. There are many truly inconvenient truths that war opponents prefer not to discuss.

Sixty-five percent of Americans supported the war going in. I was not among them, but when we went in, I wrote the following on the eve of the war:

“That support for our President and our troops must not be abated because of high causalities. This is the risk of war. If we look at a loss of military life and we say, ‘For 10,000 lives, it’s not worth it,’ we should not send them at all. Support our troops, remain steadfast in standing behind this war. Retreat is not option, only victory or defeat.”

What is at stake in Iraq is not only the lives of the Iraqi people, but the honor of the United States of America. If we leave Iraq, we will never have the credibility to wage war again no matter the circumstance, we’ll become the new France, known as cowards who run, and as a worst, a people without honor.

When I try and explain this, I’m given blank stares. After some thought, I’ve reached a conclusion. We’ve become to apply the laxity of our personal lives to our views of national affairs.

In a country of no-fault divorces and disposable marriage, we’ve forgotten the meaning of commitment. All the time, marriages break up for reasons as stupid as “the music died.” As a society, we’ve learned to say many things we don’t mean or won’t have the guts to follow through on when things get tough. We escape in order to avoid hard and uncomfortable work that’ll be necessary to preserve the marriage and sanity in the lives of our children.

While divorce is sometimes necessary, the flippant nature with which our society has embraced it leads us to a point where most American civilians have no grasp of commitment. Our military gets it, so do the Iraqis. Our covenant with the Iraqi people has been sealed by the blood of more than 3,000 American soldiers, and thousands of Iraqi soldiers, policemen, and innocent men, women, and children who have perished at the hands of terrorists. Our soldiers want to finish their job. While those who only watch the evening news tremble, our soldiers re-enlist in record numbers. They heed the words of Lincoln, “and from these honored dead, take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.” They refuse to let these deaths be in vain, so they fight on through the attacks of foreign terrorists who’ve overrun Iraq, a poisonous atmosphere of death and mayhem where they can’t tell friend from foe, and most painful of all, the lack of confidence in them expressed by the American media and a squishy coalition of Americans without honor.

I won’t argue that we made the right decision to go into Iraq. That was yesterday’s argument, which we can debate with 20/20 hindsight. Today, the issue is whether we’ll honor our commitment to millions of Iraqis who have dreamed of freedom, or through our premature withdrawal bring utter and complete darkness on a land that we promised freedom to.

While, we must make changes to our Iraq policy, running away is not the answer. There is no “good divorce” in Iraq, only a swath of death. Those who think otherwise, have gotten a divorce from reality.

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The Money Quote

Posted by Adam Graham on April 26, 2007

From a CNN correspondent via Newsbusters:

“Well, even more than that, if you just wanted to look at it in terms of purely American national interest, if U.S. troops leave now, you’re giving Iraq to Iran, a member of President Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil,’ and al Qaeda. That’s who will own it. And so, coming back now, I’m struck by the nature of the debate on Capitol Hill, how delusional it is. Whether you’re for this war, or against it; whether you’ve supported the way it’s been executed, or not; it doesn’t matter. You’ve broke it, you’ve got to fix it now. You can’t leave, or it’s going to come and blow back on America.”

Couldn’t have said it better. Hat Tip: Human Events.

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Sali on the Iraq Supplemental

Posted by Adam Graham on March 29, 2007

Congressman Sali reads the riot act to the Democratic Majority (via Right Mind):

How disheartening that Speaker Pelosi and her House lieutenants included in the bill the worst, rawest form of political bribery – spending on the parochial pet projects of wavering Members of Congress. By including everything from funding for Gulf Coast levees and shrimp subsidies to peanut storage money and a spinach program, Speaker Pelosi bought the votes of reluctant Congressmen – some who want an immediate pullout and some who don’t really support a timeline at all.

Mrs. Pelosi’s bill even included badly needed money for rural Northwestern schools, counties and highway districts. For Idaho alone, the bill provided more than $23 million for schools and counties – an extension of the “Craig-Wyden” funds. This item was included specifically so my Pacific Northwest colleagues and I would have to choose between a vote for the Democrat troop pull-out plan or a difficult vote against schools and roads.

If House Democrat leadership truly agrees with me that relief is needed for our rural schools and counties, they should be willing to permit a straight up-or-down vote. I have introduced legislation in the House to accomplish this, and Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo have introduced identical legislation on the Senate.

It shocks and infuriates me to see Mrs. Pelosi and the Democrat majority in Congress use Idaho’s schoolchildren and economic infrastructure as pawns in the War against America’s enemies.

It is wrong for Democrats to use political bribery to enact their military micromanagement, especially so wrong-headed a strategy as the one that passed the House. How ironic that Mrs. Pelosi was unwilling to impose a deadline on herself and her operatives in the arm-twisting battle for sufficient votes to pass her bill, but she is more than willing to impose a deadline on American military personnel fighting a real war in Iraq.

Last week in Iraq, terrorists used children as decoys to drive a car through a security checkpoint. After making it through the checkpoint, the terrorists detonated the car with the children in the back seat. This is the kind of enemy America faces in Iraq. They are not rational. They are not patriots. They care nothing for human life or dignity. They are murderers, and they must be stopped – on their soil, not ours.

Tying the war against America’s enemies in Iraq with issues here at home is politics as its worst.

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Grassroots Hope

Posted by Adam Graham on March 19, 2007

A boy in Massachusetts is helping take care of the troops. What an awesome example.

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Our World of Doublespeak

Posted by Adam Graham on March 14, 2007

There’s a move underway to undermine our Commander-in-Chief and to force a pre-mature withdrawl from Iraq that would no doubt lead to a worse and more bloody situation. So what does a liberal blogger call House Democrats who oppose this effort? Saboteurs!

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A Cartoon That Says It All on Iraq Surge

Posted by Adam Graham on February 17, 2007

Drew at Conservative outpost has the picture.

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Sali: More Than “No Is Not A Plan”

Posted by Adam Graham on February 16, 2007

The Mountain Goat Report did Congressman Sali a grave injustice in describing Sali’s one minute speech on Iraq:

Well you certainly can’t accuse Congressman Bill Sali (ID-01) of being eloquent…

Sali received one minute to deliver his speech on Feb. 14th. He opened with the words, “No, is not a plan,” and closed with the words, “No, is not a plan.” There was some other stuff in the middle although not much since he did only have a minute.

Hmmm…Nancy Reagan thought “Just say no” sounded like a pretty good plan. What does Congressman Sali have against Nancy Reagan?

Well, Nancy Reagan was talking about not doing drugs. In that case, no is a plan. However, in his one minute speech, Congressman Sali explained this clearly:

Mr. Speaker, for those who would support House Concurrent Resolution
63, I ask, what is your plan? ‘‘No’’ is not a plan.

We have three options to follow. The first is to stay the course. I don’t know
of anyone, including the President, who is suggesting we take that route. The second is to increase the troops level, which the supporters of House
Concurrent Resolution 63 are saying no to. The only other option is to reduce
troops.

I would ask you who will support House Concurrent Resolution 63, read the Baker-Hamilton report, a bipartisan report, that talks about the effects that will occur if we do withdraw from Iraq. There will be widespread violence
there, more than we are seeing today. And they warn us that a withdrawal
may require the U.S. to engage, once again, in Iraq to stabilize that area.

So for those of you who would support House Concurrent Resolution 63, I
again ask, what is your plan? ‘‘No’’ is not a plan.

Well said, by Congressman Sali. I’m not a big fan of the surge, but the Democrats are offering nothing but bashing the commandmer-in-chief. Of course, the response to this reasonable point is for the commenters to say Bill Sali only has two brain cells.

Posted in Iraq War | 2 Comments »

Yes, We Have Idiots In Idaho

Posted by Adam Graham on February 10, 2007

Some Idaho pilots were involved in a friendly fire incident that killed a British soldier.  This got British media out to Idaho to search for people’s reaction and what they found: There are idiots in every corner of the globe. Take this man, Eldon Anderson had some choice words for the British media:

Eldon Anderson is a Vietnam War veteran and neighbor of an Idaho Air National Guard A-10 pilot thought to be involved in a 2003 friendly-fire incident in Iraq that left a British soldier dead. Anderson, interviewed in front of his West Boise home, told ITN television that his neighbor-pilot is a "hero and it’s a damn good thing we have heroes like him in the United States to do the fighting that we’ve got to do against terrorists around the world. And you guys better get on board and that whole damn country of yours along with the rest of Europe.

"You are going to go merrily sucking your thumb like you did in World War II," Anderson continued. "We don’t need your damn help. We need your cooperation, that’s all we need out of you guys. It’s hard even to get that. We know you can’t shoot, move and communicate, but we’d sure as hell like to have your cooperation anyway.

Many Americans  have been quick to defend the Brits:

“As a US soldier who’s recently returned from Iraq I have personally seen the Brits doing a stand-up job and giving it their all. They are the finest group of soldiers I’ve ever seen. This moron from Idaho is an embarrassment to the state and the US…” wrote laspino.

“I am a former U.S. Infantry soldier. I LOVE the BRITS!!! The British Military is tops and I consider them all my BROTHERS!! I am sorry for this terrible accident. I am also sorry that this ignorant American who doesn’t understand [that] the Brits are our greatest allies,” wrote angry American.

While Anderson did apologize, it was not before his careless statements created a stir among brave veterans of the great war:

Furious RAF veteran John Milliken, 81, of Newtownards, Co Down, said he had delivered a “huge insult” to the memory of British servicemen. He added: “The only reason America entered World War II is because they were caught with their trousers down at Pearl Harbor.”

David Hunt, 67, of Horndean, Hants — who served with the British Army in Yemen in 1960, said: “He needs his backside kicked — and I would like to be the man to do it.”

This does show how one must be careful in today’s culture, the left wing blog, the Mountain Goat Report summed up the feelings of most Idahoans:

I would assert that most Idahoans do view the incident as an unfortunate accident and are saddened by the recent reports. I’d like to think, however, that most Idahoans don’t share Anderson’s narrow-minded views of the British, the U.S.’s closest ally for at least the last 100 years. Am I wrong?

He’s absolutely right. We have many intelligent, hard working folks in Idaho, but sadly what gets the media coverage of the world is one man sharing an idiotic opinion. So, i find myself in rare agreement with liberal Idaho blogs, because stupidity brings us all together for better or for worse.

Posted in Iraq War | 8 Comments »

Correction

Posted by Adam Graham on January 7, 2007

Last month, I linked to a story about John Kerry sitting alone in Iraq without any soldiers around. Based on work from TPM Muckraker’s Greg Sargent, the empty table was set off for an interview:

The wingers spent many, many hours on this photo, trying to prove its authenticity. I’m not going to dispute that it’s authentic. Rather, I’m here to report that I’ve now contacted at least two people who say they were at the table with Kerry. And it’s clear that the winger characterization of the photo is entirely bogus.

Specifically, it turns out that Kerry was at that table to conduct an off-the-record breakfast discussion with two reporters, so there would have been no reason whatsover for troops to be sitting with them. In fact, Kerry and the reporters even sought out empty seats, I’m told.

The two reporters who met with Kerry that morning are Marc Santora of The New York Times and Mark Danner of The New York Review, The New Yorker and other publications. Both Santora and Danner confimed to me that they met with Kerry — on the morning of Dec. 17, according to Kerry’s office and to Danner. (The person who posted the photo also confirmed that it was taken that morning.)

Danner confirmed to me that he’s the guy with his back to the camera, saying his jacket and the back of his head looked the same as in the photo. He added that his position in relation to Kerry was the same as the photo showed. And here’s what Danner had to say to me about the empty seats: “If there were empty seats it’s because we sought them out. We wanted an empty table so we could talk. It’s that simple.”

Ladies and gentlemen, to put it simply I goofed. I jumped on a fun story that seemed probable and for which photographic evidence existed. While, there had been reports of the interview from Dem. hacks, it wasn’t until Mr. Sargent’s digging had paid off that it was confirmed. I apologize for the error to both my readers and Senator Kerry.

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The Cost of War, the Cost of Peace

Posted by Adam Graham on January 3, 2007

Cross-posted from WhereIStand

One of my favorite bloggers has a post up where he puts death tolls coming out of Iraq into perspective:

With 16,273 deaths in 2006, is Iraq still at war? AP called fighting in the Sudan “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis” after the U.N. estimated 200,000 people died violently since 2003 — or twice the carnage of Iraq in the same time period.

Sudan’s population is estimated at 6.5 million; Iraq’s is four times that.

By the way, the 16,273 violent deaths in 2006 compares favorably to the 600,000 documented deaths under Saddam Hussein. Many more are likely.

Hussein’s carnage averaged 70 to 125 civilian deaths every day for the 8,000 days he reigned. His 20,000 civilian deaths a year (on average) were considered “peace” while last year, under war, there were 14,298 civilians deaths.

Now, of course Hussein’s slaughters would often occur in grand numbers with the gassing of a couple hundred thousand Kurds (you never could tell when that dictator felt the need for some old fashioned genocide) the deaths through the insurgency have been a steady stream. The numbers from Iraq are horrific when you don’t understand the reign of Hussein. Sadly, the numbers from the past year qualify as normal or near it from a pure body count standard.

Certainly, much needs to be improved and better policy is needed, but perhaps for a moment we can realize things are not as bad as they once were and salute the fine work of our brave soldiers in uniform who are fighting politics to try and win the peace in a land where peace will be hard to find.

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Kerry Gets Dissed

Posted by Adam Graham on December 27, 2006

Cross-posted from WhereIStand

Whenever a member of Congress goes over to Iraq, they generally have a whole crowd of people around them, particularly from their home state. Well, when John Kerry went to Iraq, there were people from Massachusetts there, but no one was there for John Kerry.

Yes, after John Kerry has made a career of bashing US soldiers as murderers and baby killers, the Troops stopped playing nice. They didn’t get in his face and yell. (No reason to debase their honor for Kerry.) But in a silent protest they send a message loud and clear.

(Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin)

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Christians Building a Shelter in Iraq

Posted by Adam Graham on December 19, 2006

According to Christianity Today, more than a million Iraqi Christians have had to flee Iraq in the aftermath of the Iraq War, most of them Assyrians. Those remaining want to make a difference:

Charles Klutz, a convert to the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, leads a congregation with many Iraqi immigrants in the Chicago area. He says Assyrians in Iraq “have to stay indoors continually, afraid to go to the shop, [that] one of these crazies will swoop down on them. They’ve lost churches in Baghdad because of this.”

Advocates for Assyrian Christians are pushing for a multiethnic self-governing region in northern Iraq, as a haven for Iraqi minorities.

The Assyrians can be traced back to 2400 B.C. They adopted Christianity in the church’s early years.

Michael Youash, director of the Iraq Sustainable Democracy Project, said that after the U.S. invasion, Assyrian Christians hoped for a form of self-government similar to what the Kurds had in northern Iraq. As the war continued, it was thought better to “wait for things to stabilize,” Youash said. “However, no one foresaw the severity of violence.” Now, he said, “change must be pursued much more aggressively.”

The Assyrians’ new plan is to push for self-government in the Nineveh Plains and western part of Dohuk—their ancestral homeland. Youash said other threatened Iraqi minorities—Shabaks, Yezidis, and Turkmen—would be welcome in this protected province.

Something has to be done about this and I think the creation of a zone in Iraq to protect minorities would be a great first step.

Hat Tip: Persecution Blog

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Meeting with the Enemy

Posted by Adam Graham on December 17, 2006

Cross-posted from WhereIStand:

In any war, you have to respect that America has one President at a time and American foreign policy is set by him. You don’t go off and meet a foreign enemy on your own initiatative as it can show a disunited front to the rest of the world. However, Democrats, apparently have been doing an end-run around the Administration:

TEL AVIV – A key Hamas official has confirmed reports from last week the terror group held meetings with "important Democrats."

Ahmed Yousuf, chief political advisor to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, told the Maannews Palestinian news website that Hamas officials met recently with high-ranking American figures, "especially members of the Democratic party."

He said Hamas also met with European leaders, including members of the British parliament.

Yousuf did not say when the meetings took place or which members of the Democratic party the terror group allegedly held dialogue with, but he stated the meetings were fruitful in introducing the Hamas political vision.

Last week, Maannews quoted a Hamas source claiming the terror group met with a delegation of "important Democrats" who expressed interest in relations with Hamas even if it doesn’t recognize the right of Israel to exist.

Of course, Hamas isn’t alone among terrorist organizations and states and nations in the hearts of the Democratic party, last week, Senator Bill Nelson headed to Damascus

WASHINGTON | Defying the Bush administration, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida met Wednesday in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying after the meeting that he believed that there was a "crack in the door" to continue discussions with Syria on curbing the violence in neighboring Iraq.

Midway through the conference call with reporters, however, the White House issued a statement denouncing the Syrian government’s human rights record and calling on it to "immediately free all political prisoners."

The White House has expressed reluctance about diplomatic outreach to Syria because of the country’s role in Lebanon, where it’s suspected in several political assassinations, and its support of the militant Islamist groups Hezbollah and Hamas.

John Kerry joined in the act with visits to Syrian and Iran. Meanwhile, Sen. Arlen Specter (RINO-PA) is making plans for a trip to Syria to make the decision to take our politics overseas bi-partisan.

The fact is that these Senators are meeting with people who are sending insurgents to kill our troops in Iraq. They are meeting with people who seek to destroy us and if it’s not treason, it’s first cousin to it. At best, it shows a disregard for the role of the President in making foreign policy, and at worse a willingness to grandstand with our nation’s enemies. Shame on them all.

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Good News In Iraq

Posted by Adam Graham on December 12, 2006

Despite some of the poor decisions and failures by politicians, our soldiers are doing a great job in Iraq. One key example is this post

Hat Tip: Wizbang!

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