Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Liberating Factor Or Aggravating Factor?

I cannot verify the authenticity of this video, but I am sure if it gets passed around enough eventually CNN or MSNBC will take notice and the identity of these "pranksters" can be revealed.

My first reaction when I saw this video was shock, humiliation and aggravation, I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

What kind of low life taunts thirsty children in the desert with bottled water? Anyone who keeps current on the situation in Iraq knows that Iraqi's do not have steady access to clean water and electricity.

It is easy to laugh when you are not the child who is living in poverty and who is living in a war torn countries for reasons you are not yet old enough to understand. But you are old enough to understand the cruelty in the "joke" that was played on you.

This kind of conduct, though hardly illegal is extremely unbecoming of a supposed liberator and is the type of conduct that should be reprimanded.

Chances are that kid wouldn't have had to run for several blocks for water he didn't even get before the war, so laughing, as the soldiers did in the video, was highly inappropriate and if you ask me downright immature, insensitive and cruel.

Update : The Pentagon is now to investigate this incident. See U.S. Soldiers YouTube Videos To Be Investigated By Pentagon
Robert Gates, White House Appeaser?

There was an audible sigh of relief the moment Donald Rumsfeld announced his resignation.

But in our jubilation, yes, jubilation, America forgot to ask who the proposed new guy was.

We knew his name, but little about his past, it didn't matter much, because Rumsfeld was leaving, and the celebrations could begin.

But Gates, may not be much better and may be much worse. Worse for America, that is.

In a White House of mistakes, lies and secrecy a confirmation of Robert Gates will only intensify the secrecy and White House boot licking.

But it should come as no surprise because the President himself is known for surrounding himself not with people who are competent and independent but with people who are appeasing ideologues who let something get in the way of their honesty and criticism.

Robert Gates has been nominated by two Republican presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the past for the position of director of central intelligence.

The first attempt to usher in Gates, known for his ideological support of the White House which often caused him to make bad choices on key issues failed after Gates withdrew.

Senate Intelligence Committee members did not believe Gates assertion that he could not remember the facts surrounding the Iran-Contra scandal. Specifically because it is well known that Gates has a superb memory but testified 33 times he did not recollect key facts surrounding the controversy.

The second attempt was successful and Gates was confirmed as director of the CIA. This apparent victory was narrow and Gates had received 30 votes against him making him the least popular CIA directed to be nominated in 60 years.

Gates has received a lot of criticism for his failure to tell the truth to power and received blunt criticism from former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III and George P. Shultz and the US military and is well known for politicizing intelligence.

With the Iraq War being presumably started on politicized intelligence wouldn't it be a very poor choice indeed to nominate Gates, who is known for politicising intelligence? Not if your George W. Bush and you need every political windsock in town stove-piping politicized information to the top.

This Gates has already been involved in suspicious activity in the Middle East that he apparently doesn't recall so I don't think it is wise to get him involved in more serious Middle Eastern activities that he won't recall in the future.

Because in the future it may be Gates who will testify that he does not remember the key facts about the Iraq War and his involvement in it, or the Iran War and his involvement in it, if the Iran War does indeed materialize, which it may under this man's direction.

Look at it this way : Would you hire a housekeeper if she had a reputation for leaving houses messier than she found them? Would you hire her on the basis that she was a nice girl who told you everything you wanted to hear, even if it were not true? Then why confirm Gates, who will most definitely do the same.

The resignation of Rumsfeld and the nomination of Gates doesn't show momentum, it doesn't show the President finally willing to change course after years of failure and actually try to win this war in Iraq.

It shows a President who is replacing Rumsfeld with the same archetype of political lackey to try to solve the most pressing issue this country is facing today which is a huge mistake and we will realize this in two years, when nothing has changed for the better in Iraq and we are possibly anchored in Iran with someone who was invoved in the Iran-Contra heading it all.

Don't confirm the worm!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Rangel Calls For Reinstatement Of The Draft

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y said on Sunday that he supported reinstating the draft and will propose such measures early next year. Rangel has proposed conscription in the past which has obviously been unsuccessful.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.

Rangal has called for reinstatement of the draft, stating that because of an all volunteer military wartime burden is often disproportionately placed on lower income and minority families.

Rangal and as many others who please to do so can call for reinstating the draft.

But I view it as something that should not even be considered unless there is a ground invasion in the continental United States or if the United States must face a dangerous state or military power that far outnumbers our own.

Young men and woman are not very likely to join the military if the country is at war and they do not support the policy of the war.

Trying to force young men and woman into war after a draft has been reinstated will only cause unrest and animosity among the youth in the nation as soon as they realize what is happening.

Rangals idea that the draft is somehow a deterrent to politicians who like to wage fruitless wars is absurd.

In wars that were fought in the past wave after wave of young men were sent off to die and the fact that the military was mandatory rather than volunteer only encouraged leaders to send more human beings off to die because they had a large pool of people to send.

Now that the military is volunteer only there is a limited amount of troops you can send and only so many wars you can wage at once, therefore it impedes upon the leadership that seeks to wage or prolong unjustified or unsupported wars, so it is necessary.

The idea of being plucked out of my home and being told I had to fight in Bush's insane Iraq War infuriates me. The idea that it is a supposed Democrat who is proposing such a forceful idea only infuriates me more.

Yes, let's give the cronies in Washington D.C. all the civilians they need to convert into soldiers to go unwillingly fight in their holy war extravaganza they helped manufacture over there in the Middle East.

Rangal can state all day long that he wants to reinstate the draft to "prevent" politicians from waging wars, but I see reinstating the draft as a way to give politicians more ammunition for their wars, rather than preventing them.

I am willing to fight for my country if my country is being assailed and I need to protect my homeland. I will fight for my country if we are ever faced with a real world power with military and technology comparable to our own.

But I will not go willingly if you are asking me to attempt to "liberate" a country that is being ravaged by civil war when the people apparently don't even want to be "liberated" by me and my very presence seems to only be hurting the civilians rather than helping them.

However, there is little reason to fear because Rangal has tried to reinstate the draft before and has failed and will most likely fail again.