Rumsfeld Admits “War OnTerror” Isn’t Going So Well!
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said in an internal memo last week that more than two years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks it remains unclear if the United States is winning the war on terrorism or whether the ranks of Islamic militants are growing faster than the US government can stop them.
In the memo, Rumsfeld acknowledged U.S. forces would be in Iraq and Afghanistan a long time. “It will be a long, hard slog,” he wrote.
Slog, Mr. Rumsfeld? I think the word you’re seeking is quagmire.
Among Rumsfeld’s observations in the two-page memo:
� The United States is “just getting started” in fighting the Iraq-based terror group Ansar Al-Islam.
� The war is hugely expensive. “The cost-benefit ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists’ cost of millions.”
Seems to me the “war on terror” is much like the “war on drugs.” If the government continues to do it the wrong way, it will never end.
In a world where we’ve all but abandoned Afghanistan, and our servicemen are trying to survive up to 35 attacks daily in Iraq, something is clearly wrong here.
Now, I’m not one of those democrats that just complains and never offers a solution. So here, for the first time, is RightwingSlayer’s plan for the war on terrorism.
1. Get bin Laden. Period. Forget Saddam. He hasn’t done anything to us. If the people of Iraq hate him so much, they’ll string him up. Yes, bin Laden should be the target. Remember him? He’s the dude who we believe orchestrated 9/11, and the Cole bombing, and the African embassy bombings. All Saddam did to us was… ummm… was… oh, could it be nothing? Continue a concerted manhunt to get the ones who struck at us.
2. Rebuild Iraq. Bring the UN in, of course, but we have to pay for it. We broke it. We gotta fix it!
3. Apologize to the world for being such asshole. Considering the hell we went through on 9/11, some of the world might understand. If we want the rest of the world to like us again, too, vote democratic and get Bush and his thugs out of the Washington.
4. Sink mucho resources into developing alternative fuel sources to lessen and eventually eliminate our dependency on middle east oil. Don’t give a flying rat’s ass how many fat cat rich Bush cronies get put out of work because of it. Let THEM see how it feels.
5. Send food, supplies, and humanitarian assistance for the Afghani people, including those in refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan. Do the same for the people of Iraq. Do the same for the the people of all poor undeveloped countries.
When possible, make sure the the people actually get the provisions. Use the military for that. If we can go in illegally and drop bombs, we can go in illegally and give out food and medical supplies.
The point is to get the people on our side. Then, they’ll eventually revolt against their leaders.
6. Make Christian proselytizing to these people a felony. They have their own religion and it isn’t the business of the United States to trade their superstitions for ours.
7. Slowly pull our military presence out of the middle east. Being there pisses them off.
US Soldiers to America: ”Bring us home now; we�re dying for oil and corporate greed!” – By Jay Shaft
This is a fascinating 5 part series on the opinions and attitudes of our men and women in Iraq
I had the unique opportunity to interview five US military servicemen who just got back from Iraq, or in the case of two men, corresponded with their wives so that I could ask questions of these soldiers by mail. When the two I corresponded with came back just last week, I was able to complete the interviews I started several months ago with some new details on how the war is actually going.
I was shocked and angered when I found out how many of the service men hate being in Iraq and want nothing to do with rebuilding and policing the devastated nation. From the conversations I had, many soldiers never wanted to go over to Iraq and fight, and the ones who had were now convinced of the awful crime that had been committed against Iraq and our own troops. I was told very few soldiers now believe in staying in Iraq, or want to stay in the country and serve any more days. more
Excellent article on Wesley Clark at salon.com…
Howard Dean is not the only Democratic candidate who has inspired an army of followers. Wes Clark’s ranks are growing, and they include Bush deserters.
Clark stirs something even in people who usually don’t fall for mawkish campaign rhetoric. On Oct. 14, Harold Bloom, the venerable Yale humanities professor, cultural conservative and defender of the Western canon, published a remarkable encomium to Clark in the Wall Street Journal’s ordinarily right-wing editorial page with the portentous title “Cometh the Hour.” In it, he references Edmund Gibbons “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” and writes, “It is not at all clear whether we are already in decline: bread is still available for most and circuses for all. Still, there are troubling omens, economic and diplomatic, and a hint or two from Gibbon may be of considerable use … We need, at just this time, a military personage as president, one who is more in the mode of Dwight Eisenhower than of Ulysses Grant. In Wesley Clark, we have a four-star general and former NATO commander who is a diplomatic unifier, an authentic hero, wise and compassionate. That Gen. Clark saved tens of thousands of Muslim lives in Bosnia and Kosovo is irrefutable, despite current deprecations by worried supporters of the president. They are accurate only in their anxieties.”
Many of Clark’s followers say that while Dean speaks to their rage, Clark, four-star general, intellectual, humanitarian and war hero, speaks to their longing for something higher. “He’s obviously the best man at this time in history,” says Alexandra Richards, a New Jersey stay-at-home mother with a 2-year-old child and an unemployed husband. Figuring that their economic prospects are unlikely to improve as long as Bush is in office, Richards and her husband are considering selling their house and moving to Clark’s home base in Little Rock to volunteer for the campaign full-time. “Dean makes me angry about the present,” Richards writes in an e-mail. “Clark, on the other hand, gives me HOPE for the future. Hope feels better than anger.”
Richards, like several other Clark supporters, was a Deanie until the general entered the race. There’s no statistical evidence showing that Dean’s supporters are peeling off in favor of Clark, but anecdotes abound. “Dean has a whole year on this guy, but I can tell you this, the Dean supporters I know, I’ve suggested that they watch Clark,” says Christopher Dale, a 34-year-old San Diego public relations executive. “When they have checked him out, he’s won all of them over.”
Many Clark supporters are grateful for Dean’s steadfast bravery in challenging the president on Iraq when few others were willing, and they appreciate his pugnacity, but they find him exhausting and can’t imagine him charming those who disagree with him. “The thing about Dean, a lot of people could find him unreasonable and a bit shrill,” says Moritz. “He reminds me a lot of the guys I marched with during the antiwar marches. You want to listen to what they’re saying, it’s invigorating, but you also know they are turning off a lot of people by their intensity.”
Dean promises to fight back against the right’s vicious partisanship. Clark’s supporters see their man as someone who can transcend it. “Dean’s rhetoric is not appealing to people who want a healing of the government, a healing of the American people from all this partisan warfare,” says Richards. “I give a lot of credit to Dean for raising the alarm about Iraq, but in order to be elected president, you have to have some sort of credibility with all Americans, not just angry white liberals.”
According to Ruy Teixeira, co-author of “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” Clark’s followers are right to suppose that their man’s appeal is demographically broader than Dean’s. In a post on the Emerging Democratic Majority blog, he analyzes an October Gallup poll to discern “The Demographics of Clarkism”:
“While Clark receives more support than Dean among both men and women, his margin over Dean among women is just 3 points (16 percent to 13 percent), but an impressive 12 points among men (29 percent to 17 percent),” Teixeira points out. “He also beats Dean in every region of the country, but especially in the South (25 percent to 8 percent). Also intriguing is how well he does among low income voters (less than $20,000), clobbering Dean by 26 percent to 5 percent. In fact, Clark bests Dean in every income group up to $75,000. Above $75,000, Dean edges Clark, 26 percent to 25 percent.”
Furthermore, unlike Dean, Clark seems to have significant support from black voters. He’s been treated gently by Al Sharpton and endorsed by Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y. “When Charlie Rangel speaks up for somebody like General Clark, it speaks volumes in the black community,” says Brazile.
Brooks-LaSure, an African-American who plans to work on communicating Clark’s message to black communities nationwide, points out that when Dean spoke at a black church in South Carolina, the audience was primarily white. Clark, he insists, will appeal to black voters. “The general’s experience growing up in Little Rock, and then in the military, where they boast of having more African-Americans in positions of management and leadership than any other organization in the world, you can tell [working with black people] is not something new for him,” Brooks-LaSure says.
Finally, Clark has support among a constituency that doesn’t relate to Dean at all — those who think that Bush is a basically decent man who’s doing a bad job as president.