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post #1 of 175 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Blood Bath in Iraq Continues

What better way to note the day of Bush's continuation in office than the note that in Iraq, a failed war launched on falses pretenses continues to deliver its daily load of guts and death. In the days since this thread was censored over at MBS, hundreds have died in assasinations, bombings and as a result of US aerial bombardments in civilian population centers. Let's start it off by looking at columnist John Conason assessment of the President, who delivered an inaugural yawner that showcased his continuing ability to live in fantasy land, in speech where he never even mentioned the word "Iraq":


All the president's fantasies

In his florid inaugural address, Bush proved that he's still living in his own private Idaho -- unwilling to acknowledge the bloody consequences of his policies.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Joe Conason
www.salon.com



Jan. 21, 2005 | To expect glory from an inaugural address is to be disappointed, and with most presidents, disappointment becomes even more inevitable with repetition. What was notable about George W. Bush's second inaugural speech was how he veered between the desultory and the delusional. Reciting the painfully crafted words of his speechwriters without passion, the president sounded oddly unmoved by their skyscraping rhetoric -- which, for roughly 20 minutes, encouraged us to soar above the bloody troubles of our "reality-based" world.

Now, there is nothing wrong with a ceremonial interlude of inspirational escapism every four years, even if the delivery falls flat. And there is nothing wrong with appealing to humanity's shared aspiration for liberty. Besides, these are traditions to be upheld. Like many of his predecessors, Bush clearly believes that on such a formal and solemn occasion, world-historical figures such as he should attempt high-flown and florid phrases that will echo in eternity. Or something like that. Anyway, specifics are a downer.

Mentioning Iraq by name, for instance, would have bummed out his cheering Republican audience, clapping their gloved hands in the frozen capital. So instead he referred to the "tens of millions [who] have achieved their freedom" because "we have acted."

Yet however unmoored from the bloody and expensive realities of life, the inaugural speech was not without political purpose. Its authors hoped to convince Americans, increasingly troubled by the costs of a belligerent foreign policy, that Bush has been acting in accordance with the nation's best traditions and implicit endorsement of the deity. They also sought to suggest, without offering any specific commitments, that somehow Bush will ameliorate the excesses of his first term, while pursuing the same policies.

The Iraqis, if they were listening, must have wondered what Bush was celebrating, aside from his own electoral victory. They have been learning the hard way that liberty is meaningless without security. Indeed, people in Iraq laugh bitterly whenever they speak of freedom and democracy. They are still hungry and live in fear.

Leaving aside the false premises the president cited in going to war against Iraq, his administration's incompetence has created an environment in that country closer to anarchy than freedom. He might at least have acknowledged the Iraqis' intense suffering and the enormous price they have paid for his mistakes. Instead he merely flattered his American audience for its "patience." In real life, Bush knows that patience is running out, with nearly 60 percent of Americans now expressing grave doubts about the war.

There was something quite unreal in the president's message to the rest of the world. When he spoke of America's opposition to tyranny and commitment to democratic reform everywhere, he wasn't talking about China, Russia, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, where realpolitik has consistently undermined libertarian principle. He issued his blustery warning to "outlaw regimes," a category that includes small and isolated targets such as North Korea, Iran, Myanmar and Cuba.

And when he spoke to America's traditional friends and allies, assuring them that "we honor your friendship, we rely on your counsel, and we depend on your help," he must not have been addressing "Old Europe," whose people don't believe his soothing words and remain deeply alienated from us. "Division among free nations is a primary goal of freedom's enemies," he said, apparently without understanding how he has achieved that precise objective.

His effort to link his worldwide crusade with his campaign to dismantle Social Security is almost too silly and bizarre to refute. His speechwriters believe in argument by assertion and so had Bush say that privatization derives from the same noble impulse that first created Social Security, the Homestead Act and the GI Bill of Rights. All three were "big government" programs, of course, that are anathema to Bush and his conservative cohorts. And nobody is supposed to notice that by privatizing Social Security, the president proposes to load future generations with debt while slashing their benefits. How that would serve the "broader definition of liberty" he has yet to explain in detail.

Patriotism, not detailed policy, is the stuff of inaugurations -- and to be authentic, patriotism must be inclusive and unifying rather than partisan. That is why the most poignant moment in Bush's inaugural address came when he promised yet again to unite rather than divide.

"We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes -- and I will strive in good faith to heal them," said the president. "Yet those divisions do not define America. We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart."

That curious combination of cynicism and sincerity is typical Bush. He seems to believe that he can revive the "unity and fellowship" that arose after Sept. 11 with a few words at his inauguration. But like so much else in his speech, that too is fantasy.


Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #2 of 175 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 11:06 PM
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RE: Blood Bath in Iraq Continues

Quote:
kvining - 1/21/2005 12:16 AM

...the President, who delivered an inaugural yawner that showcased his continuing ability to live in fantasy land, in speech where he never even mentioned the word "Iraq":

yet his legacy is hinged on it.. go figure... mission accomplish.. today was one of the scariest days i have experienced in my life... thank g i don't watch much faux news or i'd be going out of my mind...



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post #3 of 175 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 11:27 PM
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RE: Blood Bath in Iraq Continues

Kirk,

I look forward to this thread continuing to document the bloody massacre of Americans and Iraqis in this Bush/Cheney/Rice fiasco as it was doing on MBShop. Too bad that thread just disappeared. In the past delected threads went to a place moderators had access to, but now it seems they just go away entirely. Too bad, that was a nearly complete diary of the horror of this war since you started it. We need to be reminded of that by the hour, evey day of every week, month and year we engage in this mutilation of humanity to make our resolve to avoid it the next time that much stronger. I thought Vietnam was strong enough in our national memory, but it is clear the half life of the horrors of war is not extended by the unique graphic recording of that experience, the lost fathers, sons, brothers, wives, daughters, sister and numerous physically and mentally maimed Americans that came home. We have to throw this up in our own faces to keep the reality of these horrors fresh. Thanks, Jim
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post #4 of 175 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 11:50 PM
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RE: Blood Bath in Iraq Continues

totaly second JimS here... i think this whole thing is extrememly sad but seems we need reminders... never again used to be the cry... not sure what happened.



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post #5 of 175 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Blood Bath in Iraq Continues

The Brits give first hint that they have had enough:


Britain urges Bush to set out Iraq withdrawal timetable
By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor
Telegraph-News
www.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
(Filed: 20/01/2005)


Britain is urging America to announce a timetable for withdrawing coalition troops from Iraq over the next 18 months or more.

With a new Iraqi government due to take power after next week's elections, The Telegraph has learned that British officials believe the time is ripe for the coalition to announce an "indicative timetable" for its departure.


An Iraqi family watch as a US patrol passes them in Khatoon
There would no firm deadline and the withdrawal would depend on the gradual ability of Iraq's armed forces to take over responsibility for security – probably not before the middle of next year. Such an announcement would be the first time the coalition had set a clear target for leaving.

British officials say that a timetable, however tentative, would signal an exit strategy, bolster the transitional government and undermine the insurgents' claim that America intended to occupy Iraq indefinitely.

The Government is hopeful that President George W Bush will agree to make a formal announcement within two or three months.

"Giving a timetable would be an important political signal that we intend to leave Iraq," a well-placed Whitehall source said. "The main Iraqi parties are already talking about when coalition forces should be drawn down. America knows it will have to deal with the issue soon."

Washington has resisted committing itself to a pull-out date for its 150,000 troops, fearing that it would be seen as a sign of weakness and encourage the gunmen.

Condoleezza Rice, who is expected to be confirmed today as the new secretary of state, said this week: "I am really reluctant to try to put a timetable on that because I think the goal is to get the mission accomplished - and that means that the Iraqis have to be capable of some things before we lessen our own responsibility."

But pressure is mounting in Washington for the administration to explain its exit strategy. A senior source there said: "After the Iraqi elections we have to look seriously at the extent of American and coalition military presence. The more you turn things over to the Iraqis, the less there is the need for an outside presence."

Such comments mark a change of emphasis by the US and Britain. Only last month Tony Blair's central message when he visited Baghdad was that the coalition was unshakable in its resolve to win the "battle between democracy and terror".

The biggest problem for a coalition exit strategy has been the often lamentable performance of the Iraqi forces, with units sometimes melting away when attacked.

Iraqi security forces have borne the brunt of recent attacks as the Jan 30 election date approaches.

Miss Rice said the security forces were doing "relatively well" but conceded: "They do need to address these questions of leadership, which then lead to problems with desertion and the like."

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #6 of 175 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Blood Bath in Iraq Continues


Car bomb kills 14 at Shiite mosque in Baghdad
U.S., Italian soldiers slain; captors appeal to Chinese government


Karim Kadim / AP
MSNBC News Services

Updated: 8:54 a.m. ET Jan. 21, 2005BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide car bomber killed 14 Shiite worshippers as they left a Baghdad mosque on Friday in a campaign to divide Iraq’s religious communities ahead of elections in nine days.

Friday’s blast was the second outside a Shiite mosque in the capital this week and it came a day after chief terror leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi berated Shiites in an Internet audio recording.

Elsewhere, insurgents opened fire on an Italian military helicopter as it was patrolling southern Iraq on Friday, killing one solider aboard, a defense official said.

Some 3,200 Italian troops are stationed in Iraq, the third largest foreign contingent in the country after the U.S. and British forces.

Earlier Friday, the U.S. military announced the death of an American solider, killed in a predawn raid north of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, rebels threatening to kill eight Chinese hostages said in a new video tape they would treat them “mercifully� if China, which opposed the U.S.-led war to overthrow Saddam Hussein, banned all Chinese nationals from entering Iraq.

Separately, a dozen gunmen stormed a police station west of Baghdad on Friday, placed explosives inside and blew it up, said Iraqi police Capt. Abdullah al-Hiti. The station in Hit, some 100 miles northwest of Baghdad, was nearly empty because of the Muslim holiday; no one was hurt.

Worshippers targeted on Muslim feast day
The massive car bomb in Baghdad, which exploded at a small green-domed mosque in western Baghdad as the Shiite faithful finished praying, also wounded 40 people, including children, doctors said. A wall in front of the mosque was damaged and three cars were destroyed.

Jan. 20: The soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division are heading back to Iraq after being on the front lines of a tumultuous march to Baghdad that left 46 soldiers dead. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.
Nightly News


The wounded, many wearing smart clothes for Eid al-Adha, an important Muslim feast day, were taken to a nearby hospital where the emergency room was quickly filled with bloodied bodies, the screams of the wounded and worried relatives.

At al-Yarmouk Hospital, a distraught man sat beside his dead 14-year-old son, covered with a sheet, and cried out, “I had breakfast with him this morning. I told him, ’Let’s go to your grandfather,’ but he insisted on going for prayers first.�

A woman dressed in a black cloak, or abaya, fainted as she identified the body of her son in the hospital’s morgue. She was carried away by relatives.

Militants have stepped up violence and increased the number of kidnappings of foreign workers before the Jan. 30 election, determined to destabilize the country and undermine U.S.-led efforts to rebuild the country.

In the latest U.S. death, the soldier from the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, whose name was withheld pending notification of his family, was killed in an operation to kill or capture members of an insurgent bomb-making cell in the town of Ad Duluiyah, the military said in a statement.

One Iraqi was killed in the raid and another soldier was wounded.

Kidnappers appeal to Chinese government
Meanwhile, the Chinese men, who came to Iraq in search of work and were abducted earlier this month, were threatened with death in a tape released by their captors on Tuesday unless China could explain what they were doing in the country.

But in a new tape obtained by Reuters, the militants said they would be merciful if China responded to their demands.

“We ask your government to issue a statement forbidding Chinese citizens from entering Iraq and this will be considered as a positive gesture and will make us look mercifully on the detainees,� the insurgents said.

China’s Foreign Ministry has already urged Chinese nationals not to travel to Iraq, citing a grave security threat. Families of the eight pleaded on Thursday for their safe return.

Election tension
The mosque bombing is the latest in a string of attacks targeting Shiite leaders, mosques and parties representing the Shiite community, which has a 60 percent majority in Iraq.

Shiites are expected to finish on top in the election to the 275-seat national assembly after decades of oppression during the rule of Saddam Hussein’s rule, a Sunni, and before.

The expectation that Shiites will come to dominance has fuelled tension with the Sunni Arab community, which accounts for about 20 percent of Iraq’s population and has been the main source of support for the insurgency gripping the country.

Several Sunni Arab parties say they will boycott the poll because it is not safe for supporters to vote in Sunni areas.

Last week, a car bomb outside the head offices of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), one of two leading Shiite political parties, killed at least one person. That followed a bigger suicide car bomb attack in the same location last month that killed more than a dozen.

During the same period, at least two people considered close to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s foremost Shiite cleric, have also been killed. Sistani has overseen the formation of a strong Shiite-led alliance to contest the poll and has issued an edict obliging his followers to vote.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this repo

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #7 of 175 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 08:41 AM
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RE: Blood Bath in Iraq Continues

Somehow, this and other threads of this ilk remind me of a circle jerk. Can you say that here?
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post #8 of 175 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Blood Bath in Iraq Continues

Why? Do want to be "pivot man"?

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #9 of 175 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 10:48 AM
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RE: Blood Bath in Iraq Continues

Quote:
E300POS - 1/21/2005 8:41 AM

Somehow, this and other threads of this ilk remind me of a circle jerk. Can you say that here?
If you are into that sort of thing, try the "Open Discussion" at MB Shops.

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post #10 of 175 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 12:01 PM
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RE: Blood Bath in Iraq Continues

Quote:
E300POS - 1/21/2005 10:41 AM

Somehow, this and other threads of this ilk remind me of a circle jerk. Can you say that here?
Yes a bunch of butt buddies having a circle jerk to warm up for the main event.
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