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Posts Made By: Rod Kaufman

December 27, 2004 06:54 PM Forum: Politics

Meanwhile, back in Iraq

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Well, I see the CNN website is reporting the main Sunni minority party is pulling out of the so-called elections in January citing worsening security issues and concerns about the fairness of the elections. At the same time, the Shiite party headquarters were bombed.
Of course, there is the ongoing tragedy of the daily carnage as well as the 4.4 billion PER MONTH price tag of our involvement in the Iraqi abyss.(The 18000 US troops and 10 billion/year price tag in Afghanistan pales in comparison).
I see the US/coalition convoys have been reduced in favor of supplying the troops from supplies dropped by parachute and a major US firm has withdrawn because of the security issue.
And Dubya actually acknowledged last week that the training of Iraqi security forces by the US has produced only "mixed" results, perhaps preparing the faithful that the elections may not occur afterall...

December 28, 2004 05:15 PM Forum: Politics

Rumsfeld's Latest Screw-Up

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Well, Rumy's at it again. He stated one of the planes on Sep 11 was "shot-down", fueling conspiracy theories that one of the planes was,indeed, shot down by a military plane.
While I don't believe in the theory, and the pentagon says Rumy made a mistake, it seems to me that someone in the position of secretary of defense has to be more accurate in what he says and does. Did he not learn anything from the critical comments leveled at him from the republican party?
How long is Dubya willing to defend this guy?

December 28, 2004 07:38 PM Forum: Politics

Bridger-Teton Saved

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Well, the forest service and the Bush administration has had to back-off of the destruction of 175,000 acres of the Bridger-Teton forest in Wyoming as conservationists and hunters joined forces with the democratic governor and the republican senator to prevent drlling in the region.
Extensive drilling in Pinedale Wyoming has turned the area into an industrial landscape with oil rigs and screaming compressors threatening to block wildlife migration routes. The rigs are currently spaced every 20 acres but may now be placed every five acres.
But at least Bridger-Teton safe at this point.
Of course, the logging industry is jumping for joy over relaxed environmental rules via the Bush administrsation which is no surprise as they were a major contributor to the Bush campaign. They will be tearing up forests at a torid pace but at least something has been saved from destruction...

December 30, 2004 04:55 PM Forum: Politics

Bush's Budget Trickery

Posted By Rod Kaufman

The LA Times has reported Bush's desire for an instant budget surplus by leaving off the costs of the war in Iraq and privatization of social security because the costs are "unknowable".
You gotta love it! I,like others writing to the Times after reporting on this boner, might just implement this system for ourselves. For example, take the adjustable rate mortgage, since rates in the future are unknown, just remove it from your budget! Car repairs? Also unknown, ditch those as well!
Result: instant budget surplus!
I always wondered how Bush forgave the Iraqi debt to the US of 4 billion dollars a few months ago. I thought he just wandered out to white house cherry tree and picked the moola from the branches and filled the federal coffers so the Iraqi debt is vaporized. Silly me, he just does not bother to count it in the first place!

December 31, 2004 08:53 AM Forum: Politics

Meanwhile, back in Fallouja

Posted By Rod Kaufman

The LA Times carried an interesting story about the plight of a resident of Fallouja.
It seems he, like other former residents of Fallouja, could not stand living in a squalid Baghdad shelter and returned to his hometown.
Seeing Fallouja for the first time in quite awhile came as a shock, "I couldn't stand it." "I was born in that town. I know every inch of it. But when I got there, I didn't recognize it."
Ponds of sewage in the streets. Decaying corpses in the streets.
No water or electricity. Gunfights between US troops and insurgents.
The former resident of Fallouja returned to the squalid Baghdad shelter he shares with one hundred other families from Fallouja. Who knows where the other 200,000 refugees have gone but they no longer clamor to return to their hometown, given it's present state.
But I am an optimist. It occurs to me the former resident of Fallouja simply does not understand the process. First, you have to destroy Fallouja in order to save it. Then, in comes MacDonalds, Burger King and Pizza Hut, followed by Falafel Take-Out. Not to mention Anacortes and Wild Bird.
The former resident of Fallouja just does not know what he is missing and the US will provide everything for him so he will know. What could be greater than that?

January 6, 2005 04:11 PM Forum: Politics

When an Attack is not an Attack

Posted By Rod Kaufman

General Thomas Metz was asked about the average of 70 attacks per day in Iraq. He responded that the average was misleading because not all attacks are successful. A failed attack on a military convoy is counted on the same day as a bombing that kills or maims scores of people. In his view, the non-lethal/non casulty producing event does not and should not add up.
I beg to differ wth that assessment. I don't believe it's pessimistic to do so. I believe it's realistic to do so.
Is not the main issue here SECURITY in Iraq?
For example, the principal reason the Sunni minority representative party pulled out of the elections last week is due to lack of security in Iraq according to their spokesman. Many of the most vocal supporters of the Bush policies in Iraq acknowledge that an election without significant Sunni representation is no election at all.
When an attack occurs at the rate of 70 per day,it's an attack that compromises the security of Iraq and whether or not an attack is successful or not is not the issue. It's comparable to saying it became necessary to destroy a village(or an Iraqi town) in order to save it.

January 7, 2005 03:31 PM Forum: Politics

Scowcroft on the Iraq Election

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Brent Scowcroft, former national security advisor to Bush senior, said the election in Iraq could further inflame the conflict and increase the risk of civil war. Rather than leading to stability, Scowcroft said, he fears the election will further alienate the Sunni Muslim population and "has great potential for deepening the conflict."
"Indeed, we may be seeing an incipient civil war at the present time."
His comments marked one of the most ominous assessments about the implications of the upcoming election from a high ranking former official, according to the LA Times.
Scowcroft is also the mentor and recruiter of Condoleezza Rice, Bush's choice as the next secretary of state so it appears his comments are especially relevant...

January 8, 2005 01:31 PM Forum: Politics

Bush on Scowcroft

Posted By Rod Kaufman

President Bush, ever the eager-beaver optimist, held an event at the oval office on Friday that occurs with about the same frequency as a total eclipse of the sun: he answered the questions of reporters.
President Bush rejected the warnings of Brent Scowcroft who argued a day earlier that the election in Iraq will inflame the conflict rather than lead to stability because it will further alienate the Sunni Muslim population.
The president proudly proclaimed," the election would be an incredibly hopeful experience for the Iraqi people."
Asked whether he shared Scowcroft's concerns, Bush told reportes, "Quite the opposite."
Mr Bush went on to say, "We're making great progress."
However, on Thursday, Lt General Thomas F Metz, top operational commander in Iraq, said conditions in significant areas of four major provinces in Iraq were too unstable for voting.
Whom to believe?...

January 9, 2005 03:57 PM Forum: Politics

The Bush Administration and the American Grizzly

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Although the death rate of the American grizzly bear is at a 15 year high, the Bush administration is pushing for removal of the bear from the endangered species list.
According to the LA Times, "The administration wants to modify the Endangered Species Act to make it harder to add to the list and easier to remove species from it." "It also wants to make it harder to set aside critical wildlife habitat-wildlife sanctuaries covering millions of acres where commercial and industrial development is restricted."
Incredibly, Republican commissioners have declared the bears, " socially unacceptable."
Basically it appears to me that developers, driven by their usual motivations of greed and profiteering, are staking out their claims in areas inhabited by the grizzly and the Bush administration is accomodating their whims with the potential outcome of the extinction of the species.
It may come to be that the only grizzly you will see will be the one in a picture hanging on one of Dubya's walls...

January 9, 2005 04:55 PM Forum: Politics

Michael Moore's Presidential Choice

Posted By Rod Kaufman

It appears one has to start planning for the 2008 elections even though we just finished one.
Michael Moore has suggested the democrats take a cue from the republicans and nominate an actor for the top spot. After the successes of Reagan and the draft an amendment to change the constitution to allow Arnold to run for the presidency movement, the idea does not seem far-fetched.
Moore's choice for the top spot? Tom Hanks.
His reasoning: who would not vote for Tom Hanks? And his political leanings evidently please the democrats.
Whether or not Tom Hanks has any desire to run is unknown to me, but Moore has a point...