Iraq is fubar, mission accomplished

We keep hearing these horror stories about the personal lives of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Mr. Khaddafi in Libya, which given the propaganda mill may or may not be true (remember the nonsense about babies ripped out of incubators in the first Iraq war).

Reality: the US and other western powers have taken out the two most progressive arab leaders so that we can steal their oil instead of it being used to benefit the locals.

Khaddafi probably skimmed 5% of the oil profits for himself, which made him enormously rich.  He also made sure that Libyans had social services that were not available to other africans.

Now that the western puppets have taken over, until they get punted, we can be absolutely certain that at least 95% of Libyan oil profits will be to Western companies that are cozy with the politicians who ordered the military support, and if they have their way the Libyans won’t see a dime from their natural bounty.

The situation in Iraq is more stark.  Iraq was the most advanced muslim country.  There were some cases in which Hussein and his sons acted like swine, however our Saudi allies are neanderthals by comparison.

The situation is worse than Libya because the best case scenario was for Saddam Hussein to lead that country, and all of the other options look really, really bad.

Even before the US left, Baghdad had already been ranked the worst city in the world to live in, worse than the capital of Somalia.

Mission accomplished?

Hussein’s greatest error was expecting that the US would act honorably.   He dismantled the existing “weapons of mass destruction” that he had, to the point where his country was defenceless against invasion, which was the real purpose of limiting those weapons.   The definition was not limited to nukes and biological or chemical warfare agents.  Almost anything necessary for modern warfare was deemed a weapon of mass destruction as well.

Colin Powell was conned into using his credibility to sell a fraudulent case for war, which was known to be false long before the invasion.

Companies associated with the US administration, especially Cheney’s beloved Halliburton, reaped astronomical profits while what will be at least 2 trillion plus interest in total costs and liabilities was spent or committed, nearly bankrupting the country and damaging the global economy, to eliminate our best case scenario in Iraq and turn Baghdad into the worst city in the world.

And now Iraq is headed for civil war.  The day after the US leaves, an arrest warrant is issued for the top Sunni leader on charges that, given the timing, are most likely concocted.   The Sunni leader ensured that he was in a Kurdish area at the time, which means that we could see a Kurdish-Sunni alliance, if the Kurds can ever forgive the Sunni leaders in Iraq for how they were treated under Hussein. 

I have serious difficulty believing that the Shiites would sit on information that the head Sunni was a terrorist and omit to ever mention this to US forces.

Obviously they have a previously undisclosed plan and we will find out how bad it is as it unfolds.  One thing we can be sure of is that the worst city in the world is about to get worse.

If the international war crimes tribunal is to have any credibility at all, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Tony Blair must be indicted for their crimes against humanity.   What they have done, both in intention and result, is an abomination, and for the basest motives.

I don’t know that I fault Obama for trying to stabilize the area before withdrawal.  Having gone in there and created a bloody mess there is some responsiblity to not precipitate it into anarchy.  But it’s going there anyways.

As Brees nears Marino’s record, let him play

One of the most disgusting things that I’ve seen in football was when the Colts sat Peyton Manning to end the team’s chance at a perfect season.

Not least of the concerns is that the fans pay good money to see people play. Some of them have paid well in advance, and then there are the season ticket holders.

Resting your starters is a chicken crap move and discreditable unless there is a bona fide existing health reason for it.

Teams with a culture of winning don’t do that.

You can always point to something like Wes Welker going down right before the playoffs, but which is worse, losing an important player or allowing the whole team to regress into bad habits so they don’t get hurt?

Green Bay had key players out before the Superbowl last year. In the year that the Saints won the Superbowl Shockey was hopping around on one leg and still making key receptions.

If people play sloppy that may lead to injuries as well.

Not least, no matter what you do you aren’t guaranteed the Superbowl. You are guaranteed control over your own actions.

I couldn’t tell you for sure which team won the Superbowl the year Marino got his record. I have a few guesses and probably wouldn’t be surprised but it isn’t the kind of thing that most people can say off the top of their heads.

But most people who know anything about football at all know that Marino has the single season passing record.

I know what the Colts would do. They would sit Brees 50 yards short of the record if the game was under control and they had home field wrapped up.

I don’t know that the Saints are that bad, but the release of Bush and Shockey after the Superbowl win had a bad taste to it.

Disloyalty like that and the disloyalty shown by the Colts are probably why those two teams aren’t performing as well as they used to.

If Marino had been playing for today’s Colts I’m sure they would have sat him too.

Nobody’s going to win a Superbowl with a sour taste from having a chance at immortality unfairly taken away.

Let the guy play.

Romney – Huntsman ticket would be interesting

When the economy is poor the White House usually switches hands.

From a Democrat point of view, Romney might be harder to beat, but do you really want to risk the country in the hands of Gingrich?

Huntsman, as Obama’s former ambassador to China, would put both sides in a somewhat awkward situation for mudslinging, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

If somebody other than Obama gets elected they risk being a one hit wonder for essentially the same reasons.

It will take at least 16 years to fix the damage Bush did in 8. It doesn’t help that right wing lunacy is destroying Europe as well.

Passing of Vaclav Havel, a true democrat

http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/05/opinion/avlon-vaclav-havel/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

So passes a great man who showed that it was possible to be politically successful without becoming a cynical manipulator.  He became a politician only in the narrow technical sense that he entered politics.  Like Pericles he could be quoted centuries later.   He will be missed.

Tebow amusing

Quarterback Tebow in Denver is irritating everybody with his onfield prayers. His last minute saves combined with the prayer are drawing a lot of attention.

I kind of like Tebow. He brings something that the NFL needs. Kurt Warner was a less obnoxious evangelical and my favorite quarterback in part because he never, ever gave up.

Too many of the jaded less christian types just throw in the towel if they are 10 points down. Somebody has to show some spunk.

Seriously, I think that God has better things to do than fix pro sports games.

A prayer that nobody gets injured or that anybody injured makes a full recovery might be a little more on point and less of a non-sequitor.

All the same, it does have an amusing Don Quixote type feel to it.

Questions come to mind, such as, why is that God only gives you the fourth quarter? Why did you only complete two of sixteen passes in the first half? Did you piss him off by not giving thanks before eating your cheerios that morning?

Or is He just screwing with your head?

I don’t know that last minute heroics are going to be enough for a Superbowl, and that brings a certain golfing scene from Caddyshack to mind…

Really, though, much of Tebow’s success is because he is prepared to run and that opens everything up.

The Lord helps he who helps himself.

Canada and Kyoto

So Canada withdrew from the Kyoto accord on carbon emissions, one day after some analogous agreement was reached at an international conference.

The timing isn’t great, but Canada has been heading in the opposite direction ever since signing the treaty.  Canada had de facto withdrawn from Kyoto before the ink was dry.

Personally I like it this way better.  Man up and state your real position on the record and be prepared to defend it.  It may be the wrong position but at least we can now have an honest debate about it.

Having lots of meetings for public display and signing accords that nobody abides by and all that smoke and mirrors nonsense just gets in the way of knowing where we really are and what obstacles we face in the future.   Leave that kind of chicanery for Europe.

What Canada is really being condemned for is lack of hypocrisy, which is really interesting because the condemnation for lack of hypocrisy is far greater than any condemnation Canada received for not bothering to follow the agreement.

 

 

Gingrich infidelity

I disagree with this perspective that Newt Gingrich’s infidelity shouldn’t be a campaign issue: http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/15/opinion/navarette-gingrich-fidelity/index.html?hpt=hp_bn9

Newt Gingrich’s infidelity is a rare case where it should be a campaign issue, because it is not just about the infidelity.

He tried to destroy a sitting president over infidelity while he himself was unfaithful.

His whole campaign against Clinton was a shallow, insincere fraud.

Gingrich’s infidelity is a campaign issue not because he was unfaithful to his wife, but because he was unfaithful to his country.

The public interests are more about ethics and legality than morality. We don’t need to agree with the morality of others and having investigators peeping into people’s windows doesn’t make us more safe. Individuals adversely affected have remedies such as divorce.

I don’t see Gingrich’s moral failing as a cheater as being relevant to his ability to run the country.

I see his ethical failing of crucifying somebody else for doing the same thing, and wasting enormous public resources on investigating that and appointing a special prosecutor, as such a profound ethical failing that I don’t know that we can ever take anything that Gingrich says as sincere again.

It sounds like his positions on for example immigration make more sense than Romney’s.

But is that his real position or is it a shallow manipulation?

Gingrich is more politically savvy than Romney and I can tell his campaign team are giving him better advice.

The Republican race is turning into “Newt Gingrich and the seven dwarfs” because Gingrich is following the Clinton/Obama formula.

Tea party hatred can in some cases win primaries. But it loses popular support and loses elections. Hatred can win primaries, because it wins the extremists who vote at those things in droves, but primaries are also driven by electability and popular support can turn into party support.

However, we know that Gingrich has believed in the past that the end justifies the means and there is no empirical way to determine if he is a changed man.

Would he be more moderate if he were in the White House? Who knows?

It’s also cheap for a presidential candidate to make promises that would require the active cooperation of congress, because there is always the escape hatch that if congress doesn’t act you have someone to blame.

I suspect that Gingrich would be worse than advertised and Romney better. Romney wasn’t a typical heartless Republican when in office and I suspect that he is getting terrible advice to pander to the most extreme 5% of the population with hateful rhetoric. Newt Gingrich is running as Mitt Romney and Mitt Romney is running as Newt Gingrich.

Now I’m not sure that I trust Romney anymore either. He should have run the way he did four years ago. Four years ago he got beat by a higher profile and more moderate candidate. He learned the wrong lesson.