Saturday, August 22, 2009

Israel Furious, Iraq Security Delirious, Calley is Serious

Paul Krugman
Kathleen Parker
Barack Obama

“ If ignorance is bliss, why are these people so angry?” — Len Kaminsky

“ Somewhere in this great nation of ours, Bill O'Reilly's math teachers are sobbing.” — The Countess of Nassau County

Shock and awe...You just can't make this stuff up... well, you could, but as I get older I find my imagination becomes more limited. In the aftermath of the corruption scandals in New Jersey involving Jewish Rabbis who could get you fresh organs for surgeries, culled from poor Israelis and Palestinians, the state of Israel did not protest the charges. Nor did they blink over other charges of money laundering... They may have hoped the news would quickly be forgotten with the larger busts of two New Jersey mayors and local businessmen. But when a newspaper in Sweden publishes an article saying that Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians for their organs, the: "Israeli foreign ministry officials have reacted furiously.

"It is regrettable that the Swedish foreign ministry does not intervene when it comes to a blood libel against Jews," Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said. This reminds one of Sweden's conduct during World War II, when it also did not intervene."
The Israeli government is trying to get the Swedish government to condemn the newspaper, do some kind of retaliation like they can do in less democratic countries.

The Swedish response was to have an official write a blog post! "In a blog post on Thursday evening, Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt wrote that he would not condemn the article, and that freedom of expression is part of the Swedish constitution." By the way, Sweden also has a wonderful public health care system... I know that Israel is trying to keep itself in the news, but this really isn't the best way to go about it. Letting Mr Lieberman loose shows off his bouncer roots and gangster habits, a total lack of class. I wonder what local militia he belongs to...

Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown...
Iraqi security forces may have been culpable in letting the two recent truck bombs drive up near to the Ministry Of finance in Baghdad that killed 95 people and injured 1,023 more. The Iraqi government has been called the most corruptible government in the Middle East, and who knows what will happen when the easy American bribe money goes away.

In Anbar province, which was the heart of the insurrection, the CS Monitor has a story about the difficulty of the US Marines stationed there to get the local judiciary to prosecute terrorists. Instead, they sit in the newly built $21 million judicial complex and try to look important: "In this city that became synonymous with Al Qaeda-linked violence, Iraqi forces are grappling with corruption and lawlessness so pervasive it threatens to derail the hard-won security of the last two years... not a single major case has been brought to justice in at least the last six months, according to US military officials.
As the capital of Anbar, a province where the Sunni insurgency once flourished, success in Ramadi affects security throughout central Iraq, including Baghdad. And there are concerns that Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and other insurgent groups may be reforming here."

Fighting soldiers from the sky, Fearless men who jump and die...
One of the most infamous incidents during the Vietnam War was the My Lai Masacre. Lt William Calley was charged and convicted of 22 counts of murder. After all this time, he has spoken publicly for the first time: "There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” Calley told members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus on Wednesday. His voice started to break when he added, “I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.” Violent experiences that happen to our soldiers will haunt them the rest of their lives, and you have to learn to accept it because no amount of drugs and alcohol will wash it away. I remember one friend freaking out and quivering in a dark place while we were having a 4th of July party. The sound of a neighbor setting off some firecrackers took my friend back to the machine gun placement in Vietnam where he was attacked, and his best friend next to him got hit and died. We had to calm him down then, but could do nothing for the nightmares that were unleashed over the next few months. Others, haunted by the killing and violence, disappeared into more isolated places where not even the VA administration could easily find them... there are still Vietnam veterans who haven't been able to tell their wives or children what happened to them, and have had to live with their personal hauntings tucked below the surface. With our current crop of soldiers, over-deployed and stressed past their limits, more coming back missing limbs and with major head injuries, I can only guess like the rest of us, what private hells had been cooked up in the desert heat...

"When asked if obeying an unlawful order was not itself an unlawful act, he said, “I believe that is true. If you are asking why I did not stand up to them when I was given the orders, I will have to say that I was a second lieutenant getting orders from my commander and I followed them — foolishly, I guess.” Calley then said that was not an excuse; it was just what happened." In Calley's case, the officers higher up on the command chain that were responsible for the decision to send his unit into a defenseless village were not tried. Just like what happened at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, soldiers were used as scapegoats...

some late night Iraqi prison jokes:

"The Bush administration renewed its call for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. So I guess they feel the only time that guys should be on top of each other naked is in an Iraqi prison." —Jay Leno

"Donald Rumsfeld visited that famous prison and he said he has all those guards under control now. In fact, he said he's got them all on a very short leash." —Jay Leno

"A Bush administration official told Congress yesterday that the war in Iraq could cost almost 60 billion dollars. President Bush said he plans to pay for it with a video series called 'Prison Guards Gone Wild." —Conan O'Brien

"President Bush apologized on TV to Iraqi prisoners. I don't know if the apology was sincere, because at the end, he says, 'I'm George Bush and I approve of this naked pyramid.'" —Craig Kilborn

"Who would have ever thought that more naked pictures would come out under the Bush administration than under the Clinton administration?" —Jay Leno

"Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that he was responsible for the abuse of the Iraqi prisoners. And today President Bush said the abuse was cruel and disgraceful and an affront to the most basic standards of morality and decency. And then he told Rumsfeld that he was doing a superb job. Then Rumsfeld said, 'What the hell do I gotta do to get fired?'" —Jay Leno

"Finally some good news for those naked Iraqi inmates, they just got hired for next year's Superbowl Halftime show." —Craig Kilborn

"It's a good thing there are no gay people in the military because otherwise weird sex stuff might happen." —Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update"

"Rush Limbaugh spoke out on the Iraqi prison pictures situation today. He said it's entirely generated by the media. What? Is this guy on drugs?" —Jay Leno

"Foreign policy experts say that this Iraqi prison abuse thing could be a real setback in relations between American and Arab countries. But it was going so well up until this." —Jay Leno

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