News From the Front(s)

|

From Iraq: 60 Killed in Suicide Attacks Across Iraq

From Afghanistan: Afghan Security Forces Overwhelmed in Jalalabad

From Congress: $82 billion spending bill for wars heads to Bush

NEXT: Youth Movement

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Iraq:Barbarossa::Afghanistan:North Africa

    Just enough troops and equipment put into the earlier, smaller operation to never quite win. Should we put off the big invasion for six months or a year, and really bear down to make sure the smaller operation gets buttoned up? Oh, no, we can’t delay destiny. I’ve got a really big idea that couldn’t possibly go wrong, and it’s going to be over in a matter of months anyway. One great kick and the whole rotten ediface will collapse.

    Dammit.

  2. Joe, you forgot to mention that God’s on our side.

  3. Item 2: …the bill includes sweeping immigration changes, a nearly tenfold increase in the one-time payment for families of troops killed in combat, and money to build a sprawling U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

    Why, exactly, does it need to be “sprawling”? I guess because if it isn’t, the terrorists will think they’ve won. Or perhaps it will serve as a not-so-subtle reminder to our gracious hosts: We saved your ass once. Don’t make us have to come back and save it again. Drop all your thank-you cards, flowers and chocolate at the front gate.

    Item 3: The Afghani President noted that the protests illustrate the existence of democracy in Afghanistan despite the fact that Afghan security forces were overwhelmed by the protestors. “It is not an anti-US sentiment. It is a protest. It is a manifestation of democracy,” added Kharzai.

    So was Kent State, with similar results. These new governments learn fast.

  4. Reverse those item numbers. Leave the cannolis.

  5. Good post Nick. Nice grouping. I was worried over your “Oppose the war, support the peace” rhetoric. Good to know you still see the forest for the trees.

  6. ‘Why, exactly, does it need to be “sprawling”?’

    Cuz we ain’t no friggin COMMIES, that’s why!

  7. Well the comments in this thread are about as insightful as one might have expected going in.

  8. Or, SPD, one might ask why AP chose the descriptor “sprawling”? Why not “significant”? Or is an adjective even necessary (unless one has a bias to support)?

    Let’s suppose it is a big fat expensive building (or complex). In just about every reasonable scenario USA will have a big fat ongoing presence in Iraq, and one must figure that there’s no Saddam-era compound we could just take over.

    Last, perhaps it is also partially conceived as a make-work project for Iraqis. Kind of like the mammoth and sprawling work done by the WPA.

  9. As news spread that US soldiers desecrated the Qur’an at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where Taliban and Al Qaeda militants are being held, violence broke out in the Afghan city of Jalalabad.

    Will violence break out in Alabama if news gets out that I tore the page out of a Bible and used it to roll a marijuana cigarette?

  10. Will violence break out in Alabama if news gets out that I tore the page out of a Bible and used it to roll a marijuana cigarette?

    Was it The Book of Cannabis, Chapter 4, Verse 20?

  11. So, Josh, what sort of insights do you seek? The insight that this whole mess has been a clusterfuck from day one has been adequately covered already, I’d say.

  12. True enough, Jennifer. Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile. Pass me the Bible, Twba.

  13. Good thing we still have some Talibani in the hills of Afghanistan, and Saddam still around in Iraq. If we play our cards right, we can still restore the status quo ante-bellum.

    We’d probably have to blow up a lot of the skoolznhospitals and shit we’ve built to get things all the way back to where they were before we showed up, but whatever.

    I’m sure the Afghanis and Iraqis would be ever so grateful.

  14. RC-
    Their gratitude is nothing compared to the gratitude of the Iraqi women, who have been subjected to the liberating influence of Sharia law. So now the women all have to wear hijab and don’t dare leave their homes without male protection, but I’m sure what REALLY matters to them is that their current oppressors do not have names that rhyme with “Goddamn Insane” (which, by an amazing coincidence, does a good job of describing our whole Iraqi misadventure).

  15. God said, “I give you all plants that bear seed everywhere on earth…” Genesis 1:29

    Is it wrong to use the word of God to roll His gift?

  16. Drugs and terrorists are Hydra.

  17. Twba-
    Just don’t use the red-letter word-of-Jesus pages; they can release 420 harmful chemicals into your lungs when burned.

  18. >>Why, exactly, does it need to be “sprawling”?

  19. I find it interesting that the mentioned report fails to mention that part of the “Domestic national security programs” includes the Real ID provisions. Now we can all have our very own RFID enabled drivers license with our photo in a national database and every time you go through a tollbooth, feral building or public toilet your big brother will know about it. They will also know who was with you and how long you were there. But wait, there’s more, it’s also open ended so they can tack on new provisions that strike their fancy. Now, how much would you pay and pay and pay?

    Oh and you need not worry about counterfeits this stuff is “technologically advanced” so it’s foolproof. The only problem is the fools are in congress.

  20. $82 billion a year should buy a lot of skoolznhospitles. Too bad Bush won’t spend that kind of money building/fixing them here.

  21. “Congress has approved an additional $82 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan and to combat terrorism worldwide, boosting the cost of the global effort since 2001 to more than $300 billion.”

    “The Senate approved the measure Tuesday on a 100-0 vote”

    The inmates are running the asylum! The actions of our government made us the targets of terror in the first place. When state terrorism is counted, the US government is a leading financier of terrorism-some of it committed in the name of “fighting terror”!

  22. Oops, typo “feral building”, meant to put “federal building”. No Freudian slip there.

    I also forgot to mention I was referencing item 3.

  23. I read in Harper’s yesterday that the Baghdad-Basra Express no longer runs on time!

  24. Red letters reminds me of a little story of the little school I attended. A mother of one student asked why her precious needed to study a foreign language when English was good enough for Jesus. When asked to explain, she responded, “The red words are all English.”

  25. Oh, I’m sure it does… at least where the insurgents haven’t blown up the tracks.

  26. and shit we’ve built

    You did the first step of rebuilding (i.e., demolsihing existing buildings). Not sure about the rest of the steps though.

  27. 100-0 vote? How can I convince the Congress that giving me a few million somehow supports the troops and flags and yellow ribbons and bunnies and stuff? Just a couple million. That’s a rounding error to these guys.

    How long are we going to be flushing $100 billion a year down this toilet anyway? 2008? 2010? 2020?

  28. a,

    Most of the money — $75.9 billion — is slated for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while $4.2 billion goes to foreign aid and other international relations programs.

    The question is, does the $76 billion include funds to rebuild the stuff we blow up ourselves?

  29. Fighting Hydra is counterproductive.

  30. Do you mean Hydra the mythical beast, or H.Y.D.R.A., the evil organization founded by Baron von Zemo in Marvel Comics? I get a little confused sometimes…

  31. $82 billion spending bill for wars heads to Bush

    Well, as long as they keep throwing more money at the problem I’m sure it will all be solved. I mean, they’re from the government and they’re here to help! 😉

  32. SPD,
    Aren’t they one and the same?
    And what about Baron von Osama?

  33. The War on Terror (trademark, Fox News Channel) reminds me of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” When’s the wizard in charge of this place coming back?

  34. Hey, don’t be upset by this “60 people killed by suicide bombers in Iraq today” stuff we seem to be getting every day now. National Review says we are winning! Isn’t that good enough for you?…

  35. Sorry to keep bringing up film references, but in a memorable scene from Godfather II, Michael Corleone witnessed a Cuban rebel sacrificing himself with a grenade to kill a captain of the president’s troops. From this act, he deduced that the rebels might win, since the soldiers were paid to do their jobs and had to be there, whereas the rebels did their jobs for free because they wanted to be there.

    I’m not saying it’s an apples-to-apples comparison, but God help us all if that applies here.

  36. I would like to apolgize to RC Dean. It turned out that the US military is actually building stuff.

    source:

    U.S. commanders have decided to expand three existing [prison] facilities and open a fourth, at a total cost of about $50 million.

  37. “Fighting Hydra is counterproductive.”

    Actually, that’s not quite right. Cutting off hydra’s heads is counterproductive, because more heads grow back.

    Hercules killed hydra by sticking a torch into each of the stumps as soon as he cut off a head.

    Now that I’ve drawn the big picture, I’ll leave it to the lesser minds to fill in the details about how to translate this into an effective anti-terror stratety.

  38. Just drop a daisycutter on Hydra and get it over with.

  39. I’m very surprised that with all this talk about the $82 billion for the troops, etc., nobody’s mentioned that Real ID thing that just -happened- to be attatched to the allocated funds.

  40. joe,
    Can you picture Rummy or Condi sticking a torch into the stump of a freshly cut-off haid?
    Are they dexterous enough?
    Wait …Condi can play a mean piano.

  41. Did we cut off heads? Yes we did. Did the heads grow back? You bet they did. Did we expect the heads to grow back? Heavens to Betsy no! Now that we know the heads will grow back, do we have a plan? I don’t know. What I do know is that ON SEPTEMBER 11th, HYDRA INVADED OUT COUNTRY, KNOCKED DOWN SOME BUILDINGS, AND MURDERED 3000 AMERICANS!!! ARE WE JUST GOING TO SIT HERE AND DO NOTHING!? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

  42. If Hydra has bombed our country, then the obvious solution is to completely ignore Hydra and go bomb the hell out of the Minotaur’s labyrinth. And anyone who suggests we ignore the Minotaur and concentrate on Hydra for some silly reason like, say, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Hydra’s own heads, is un-American.

  43. Sure, but what about the threat that Chimaera poses to the free world?

    Forget it, I’m voting for Medusa in ’08.

  44. If Hydra has bombed our country, then the obvious solution is to completely ignore Hydra and go bomb the hell out of the Minotaur’s labyrinth. And anyone who suggests we ignore the Minotaur and concentrate on Hydra for some silly reason like, say, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Hydra’s own heads, is un-American.

    Citizens of our fair republic, I do hereby nominate Jennifer to lead this city in it’s times of trouble.

  45. Jennifer-

    If Paris kidnaps Laura Bush does that mean we’ll have to spend 10 years besieging Troy?

  46. Perseus for President!

  47. From Iraq: 60 Killed in Suicide Attacks Across Iraq

    From Afghanistan: Afghan Security Forces Overwhelmed in Jalalabad

    From Congress: $82 billion spending bill for wars heads to Bush

    Deja Vue all over again!

  48. Of course, Orion would have been much worse.

  49. While I’m aware that the Iraq war is situationally quite distinct from the Vietnam conflict (for one, there’s no insurgent equivalent to the NVA), it’s very depressing to see some of the same measures of “progress” re-emerge. Senior US commander routinely report large body counts and weapons caches seized, major “assaults” by 50-100 poorly-armed insurgents are repulsed, and large ground units engage in sweeping search-and-destroy missions. I was surprised by General Richard Myers’ frank admission a few weeks ago that the insurgency is still strong and shows no immediate signs of abating – it was a refreshing shot of honesty amidst the Administration’s (and Fox News’) bombast.

    I don’t believe that the insurgents have any hope of militarily defeating the US or even forcing a premature withdrawal from Iraq, but they are quite capable of keeping the pot stirred up. The new Iraqi government is a weak coalition of mutually antipathetic parties, and the Shia and Kurds are unlikely to continue backing an administration incapable of maintaining routine security in the major cities.

  50. What is Achilles’ position on gay marriage?

  51. Nostardumbass obviously SUPPORTS sacrificing Athenian virgins to the Minotaur. And Thoreau thinks Laura Bush’s face could launch a thousand ships. Folks like this explain why God allowed Hydra to attack our country in the first place.

    Well, that and the lesbians.

  52. Mark B,
    “the insurgents have any hope of militarily defeating the US or even forcing a premature withdrawal from Iraq, but they are quite capable of keeping the pot stirred up. The new Iraqi government is a weak coalition of mutually antipathetic parties”

    What if stirring the pot is merely a prelude to all-out civil war?

  53. I have a sincere question for the folks who still think invading Iraq was a good idea: hypothetically speaking, what would have to happen over there for you to concede that things are worse than before we arrived? Would all-out civil war do it? The official ratification of a theocratic, Sharia-based government? Or do you insist that so long as Saddam is gone, anything which follows has to be an improvement?

  54. Jennifer,
    Reminds me of the Patrick Buchanan column I just read on AntiWar.com about whether WWII was worth it.

    Truth be told, war just plain don’t work.

  55. I have a sincere question for the folks who still think invading Iraq was a good idea: hypothetically speaking, what would have to happen over there for you to concede that things are worse than before we arrived?

    Saddam Hussein getting reelected by a slim electoral margin over John Kerry, with Kerry winning the popular vote by several percentage points.

  56. I have a sincere question for the folks who still think invading Iraq was a good idea: hypothetically speaking, what would have to happen over there for you to concede that things are worse than before we arrived?

    Saddam tried to kill my Daddy. As long as the insurgents don’t kill my Daddy the mission is a success.

  57. “I have a sincere question for the folks who still think invading Iraq was a good idea: hypothetically speaking, what would have to happen over there for you to concede that things are worse than before we arrived?”

    I don’t think I’ll understand the reasoning for any justification that doesn’t include a successful democracy. As I’ve written for months, I’m not real keen on the idea that a successful democracy alone is sufficient justification; but without a democracy, I don’t see any justification left.

    …What do people who think the Vietnam War was a good idea cite as justification?

  58. Seriously, Ken? Their justification is that it would have been a roaring success if not for the protests and the liberal media. And John Kerry.

  59. Ruthless,

    I don’t see your point. Are you suggesting that WWII “just plain [didn’t] work”?

    To answer Jennifer’s question, I’m holding out judgment on whether the war was worth it. If there’s a full-blown civil war or a brutal theocracy, then it probably wasn’t worth it. If Iraq winds up as a moderately civilized, “partly free” state that doesn’t invade its neighbors and slaughter its citizens, then it will probably have been worth it.

  60. Could the war have been successful if it hadn’t been led by liars and incompetents? Good Lord, has any war NOT been led by liars and incompetents? What if we had leaders who weren’t liars and incompetents? Can that happen so long as the “Kerry would have been worse”/”anyone but Bush” philosophies prevail? So many questions!

  61. About the “why a sprawling embassy” question:

    I used to work with architects who specialized in building security, and helped ghost-write an article about “design against terrorism,” although I’m not an expert myself, and that was about a hundred years ago.

    An embassy building that has a “buffer” of lots of open space around it (as well as room for landscaping barriers such as berms, trenches, natural streams, rises, etc.) is much easier to protect against car bombs and other terrorist acts than a building that sits right on the street. I think vulnerability to terrorism is pretty high on the list of concerns for a U.S. embassy in the Middle East.

    Offered as illumination, not flame.

  62. Steve,
    It boils down to how much you wince when someone dies.
    Call me (and Jennifer?) Sir Wince-a-Lot.
    As Everett Dirksen used to say, “a billion dollars here; a billion dollars there. Pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

    I (and Jennifer?) feel the same about human lives.

    Go to AntiWar.com and read Patrick Buchanan’s column, then report back.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.