Tuesday, November 28, 2006

MAUREEN DOWD: Turning on the Puppet

The pictures show a handsome blond kid. Nick Rapavi’s family and friends described him as a tough guy with a selfless streak. He’d wanted to be a marine since high school, and his dress uniform had a parade of medals for heroism in Afghanistan and Iraq, including a Purple Heart. He was on his third overseas deployment, and planned to go to college when he finished this stint in the spring.

The 22-year-old corporal, the oldest son of a dentist, grew up in Northern Virginia in the shadow of the Pentagon. The kid described as being “full of life” died Friday in Anbar Province, the heartless heart of darkness in western Iraq, the hole-in-the-desert stronghold of the Sunni insurgency and Al Qaeda fighters.

His mother told The Washington Post that her son’s squad had approached a gate on patrol, and Nick told his men to “stay back while he went through.” He was shot in the neck by a spectral enemy that melted away, one of 2,874 brave Americans to die fighting in Iraq.

In Latvia, President Bush vowed yesterday that “I’m not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete.” But his words about Iraq long ago lost their meaning. Especially the words “mission” and “complete.”

At least in Anbar, the Pentagon may be about to pull troops off the battlefield. In another article yesterday, The Post, reporting on a classified Marine Corps intelligence report, said that “the U.S. military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq or counter Al Qaeda’s rising popularity there.”

The Post went on: “The report describes Iraq’s Sunni minority as ‘embroiled in a daily fight for survival,’ fearful of ‘pogroms’ by the Shiite majority and increasingly dependent on Al Qaeda in Iraq as its only hope against growing Iranian dominance across the capital.”

ABC Nightly News went even further last night, reporting that the Pentagon is “writing off” Anbar and will send the 30,000 marines stationed there to Baghdad. “If we are not going to do a better job doing what we are doing out there,” a military official told Jonathan Karl, “what’s the point of having them out there?”

President Bush is still playing games, trying to link the need to stay in Iraq with Al Qaeda. “No question it’s tough,” Mr. Bush said at a news conference. “There’s a lot of sectarian violence taking place, fomented, in my opinion, because of the attacks by Al Qaeda, causing people to seek reprisal.”

Never mind that W. dropped the ball on Osama, and that his own commanders have estimated that Al Qaeda forces represent only a fraction of the foe in Iraq. Al Qaeda wasn’t even in Iraq until the Bush invasion.

The administration still won’t admit the obvious, that our soldiers are stuck in the middle of a civil war and that it’s going to take more than Dick Cheney powwowing with the Saudis to get us out of it. Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, gingerly talks of “a new phase” in the conflict.

But reality does break through at moments. As Mr. Bush and Mr. Hadley head to Jordan to try to tell Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki not to go all wobbly, a stunning secret memo from Mr. Hadley has surfaced, expressing severe skepticism about whether our latest puppet can cut it.

Michael Gordon reveals in today’s Times that in a classified assessment, Mr. Hadley wrote that the Iraqi leader, who is getting pushed around by Moktada al-Sadr, was having trouble figuring out how to be strong.

“The memo suggests that if Mr. Maliki fails to carry out a series of specified steps,” he writes, “it may ultimately be necessary to press him to reconfigure his parliamentary bloc, a step the United States could support by providing ‘monetary support to moderate groups,’ and by sending thousands of additional American troops into Baghdad to make up for what the document suggests is current shortage of Iraqi forces.”

Just what the election said Americans want: More kids at risk in Baghdad. (W.’s kids, of course, are running their own risks, partying their way through Argentina.)

Mr. Hadley bluntly mused about Mr. Malaki: “His intentions seem good when he talks with Americans, and sensitive reporting suggests he is trying to stand up to the Shi’a hierarchy and force positive change. But the reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests Maliki is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action.”

It’s bad enough to say that about the Iraqi puppet. But what about when the same is true of the American president?


Anonymous said...

"He was shot in the neck by a spectral enemy that melted away, one of 2,874 brave Americans to die fighting in Iraq."

This statement in or out of context unjustifiably demonizes the "enemy".

Okay, Americans. I'm an American.

What you're reading about here today is what peak oil is all about. There is plenty of oil in the world, but cheap oil is getting scarce.

The U.S. economy is in a depression as is the rest of the world. This depression is due to the false precepts of laissez faire economics.

This is what the Libertarian ideal of the free market, laissez faire economics is all about. This is the Dictatorship of the Marketplace killing all these fellow human beings in Iraq, Americans and Iraqis.

Economic progress is simply seen as more important than human life. Even economic progress that leads to no where but hell is seen as more important than human life.

Economics is the enemy, economics and empiricism.

These Iraqis who are fighting and dying every day, they are the "nonage" cited by John Stuart Mills, those who deserve (according to Mills) no consideration for their lives or rights.

And the oil under their homes is the under-utilized resource referred to by the Libertarian economist, Ludwig von Mises in "Human Action, A Treatise on Economics".

Lou Rockwell who founded the Mises Institute and is President of this economics college is a free market Libertarian. These free market ideologues profess no morality but the marketplace.

Yale published Mises work, and Yale is a Libertarian funded University.

The Libertarian ethic of free trade rules our country, and rules the world by the fodder of soldiers fighting on either side of the war in Iraq.

The Libertarian ethic is wholly false, and misleading the world.

The Dictatorship of the Marketplace is leading this war even as it continues to degrade everyone's environment in an effort to keep the economy growing.

This is globalization at work attempting to secure for some assinine continued growth of the world's economy a cheap oil supply by stealing it from the Iraqi people who live above it.

There is no longer possible any pretense possible that this is a war of liberation, or a war to democratize the region.

This is a war of conquest, subjugation, wholesale murder and ethic cleansing that is being fought by deluded young American soldiers for their country's current ruling Dictatorship of the Marketplace regime.

This war from the honest point of view of the Iraqis is as just as anything that Ernest Hemingway wrote about.

We should be going there to fight the Americans.

It is time to bring this war home.

Don Robertson, The American Philosopher
Limestone, Maine

An Illustrated Philosophy Primer for Young Readers

Anonymous said...

A few facts about "peak oil"

- There is no energy crisis, never has been, never will be.
- All the oil ever drilled has been within 4km of the surface of the earth (0.07% of the radius, i.e. relatively nothing).
- If you want another trillion barrels of oil you drill another km deeper,
- Which begs the question, just how deep is all that vegetation from thre Cretaceous that allegedly turned into oil?
- Oil doesn't take millions of years to form, it takes twenty minutes to form. It takes millions of years to bury the carbon to the depth required for the correct temperature and pressure so that it may undergo auto pyrolis.
- You can prove it to yourself by putting a few cups of powdered limestone or marble, a couple of tablespoons of water and a teaspoon of iron filings (catalyst) into an autoclave and cooking it at 700 degF and 700 PSI for twenty minutes. Let it cool, instant crude oil. See Thomas Gold, Abiotic Petroleum.
- See Changing World Technologies: Anything into Oil
- There's a trillion barrels of oil right here (Athabasca Oil Sands):
- So... Oil is not the issue, carbon load in the atmosphere is the issue.
- The United States burns 20 million barrels of oil per day.
- All of human civilization burns a little over 80 millions barrels of oil per day.
- If you convert the energy from sun that interects the Earth each and every day, and convert it into barrels of oil equivalent it is equal to one TRILLION barrels of oil. Every day. Meditate on that. Thousands of times the economy of the world, for free...
- See Boeing Power Tower (it's been disappeared but you can find it at archive.org):
- The only power crisis, is a crisis of political power and strong long term leadership from the world powers.
- This was their last best chance to use oil as an excuse for empire building. Period.
- The game is up.

Anonymous said...

This President does not care what anyone thinks about his Middle East policy. He does not care about deaths. However, Iraq is a diversion. As the army attacks Iraq, the US gov't erodes rights at home by suspending habeas corpus, stealing private lands, banning books like "America Deceived" from Amazon, rigging elections, conducting warrantless wiretaps and starting 2 illegal wars based on lies. Soon, another US false-flag operation will occur (sinking of an Aircraft Carrier) and the US will invade Iran, (on behalf of Israel).
Final link (before Google Books bends to gov't demands and censors the title):

Anonymous said...

This poster is a troll or perhaps a bot. The same or very similar posts appear on just about any blog that mentions the middle east, oil, energy etc. The book is not banned by Amazon or anyone else. It's just garbage and not worth the first ten pages of paper it's written on.

Here's an example from page 8:
< Maximillian paced closer to his guests and continued, "This technological breakthrough provides an unlimited energy supply at not cost. Absolutely, positively, free energy. No more oil. No more gas. No more inefficient solar energy. No more unsightly windmills. No more disposal of dangerous nuclear fuel rods. Free energy, with no pollutants and no consequences." >

Utter garbage, not to mention the racist diatribe of the first paragraph.


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