Category: War

My internet friend Brian Hull emails to tell us to check out War Made Easy, one of those films that makes me sad. He and the RI Progressive Democrats are screening it at the Columbus next Monday night. If your outrage tank is running low, take a trip to Providence and check it out.

More info here.

War, what is good for?

The last two emails I received:

foreign policy inbox

Who knew we could fix Guantanamo so inexpensively? Of course, Halliburton would probably charge us $1,200 per shirt…

Happy New Years Suckers!!!! i just got home, it’s 3:30 am, my neighbors downstairs are having a loud party, it’s crazy!!!! I saw The Flaming Lips and Wilco tonight at Madison Square Garden, and it … was … awesome!!! oh snap! happy new year… my resolution is to post more, also expect some posts from my republican in name only roomate Pat…


i just threw up in my mouth…

Oh Man

End of the semeser time…means lots of writing.

Basically, I’m sick and tired of Microsoft Word recognizing “English” last names like “Moore” and “Taylor” and “Brown”, but telling me that my last name is spelled WRONG (my last name is Russian).

Honestly, what the hell? I don’t care if Word doesn’t recognize it, but stop offering me insulting alternate spellings. Aren’t we a melting pot over here in America? I know you can teach the Word dictionary your name, and of course I have, but it just irks me that we (those of us with more ethnic last names) get red underlines. I demand a solution.

ok. so, i don’t want to know if any of this is illegal – if anyone knows that it is for a fact, keep it to yourself because i plan on pleading ignorance. so here’s what i am doing, and you guys are coming along for the ride. the plan is to use kiddie toys and other easily and cheaply available parts to build an automated surveillance drone. yeah, you know the predator and other UAVs you see in those pictures with a crowd of arabs around them, ak-47s in the air? one of those, only about $39,999,880 cheaper. The goals are a)anyone can do it, and b)piss cheap. so i bought some stuff on ebay, totaling about $120 +shipping; feel free to buy the parts and follow along. as pictured below, i purchased:

1. a made in china, “flying” shitpile called the firebird 400 (“top thunderbolt war king”). it says 3 channel, but its really 2, and i won’t even get into the engrish instruction manual (not now anyway). ($39.99)

2. (10) 3 volt 25maH flexible solar panels. ($29.50)

3 & 4. a miniature wireless camera, transmitter, and receiver. ($21.00)

please note that the pictures are not to scale and that in some cases, shipping well exceeded the cost of goods, but it still was piss cheap.

so what i am going to do is increase the range to a target of 1-2 miles, supplement the power source with the solar panels, integrate the wireless camera and transmitter, then wire the radio setup to be controlled via usb. finally, i will write and make available the code to receive and record the video, as well as create flight plans and control the plane on it’s covert operations.

i will chronicle the entire thing, including posting of surveillance videos on over the upcoming weeks. why? because i’m drunk and bored. so order your chinese turdcopters and follow along! fight the power. as always, with love, ultra laser.

We get letters! Well, not we exactly. More like “I read the ProJo letters section and yell at no one in particular while having my morning coffee.” Close enough.

Anyway, this morning’s coffee-out-the-nose moment came via a WWII vet who related a story of how, during war time, battling the Japanese, his destroyer shot at some Japanese attackers, thus saving American shipmens’ lives. Then he said this:

Our captain, who had had a ship sunk under him, had us at general quarters with all guns manned at every dawn and sunset. A pre-emptive strike saved our ship and its crew.

Thus, he says, we’ve gotta nuke Iran and North Korea.

Not to pick on someone who served our country, especially on Veterans Day, but can someone kindly explain to Mr. Cruise, who, it seems, did not avail himself of the GI Bill, what pre-emption really means?

Nuke ‘Em All!

Sgt. Christopher S. Potts, 38, a father of two from Tiverton, RI, was killed during an attack by insurgents in Taji, Iraq this week.

I don’t know the Potts, but my heart aches for them. I feel like all Rhode Islanders are extended family, and one more part of that family just got the worst news they could get. Sgt. Potts’s youngest son will never know his father except in pictures and memories of a man who gave his life for his country. My deepest condolences go out to his wife, his sons and all who knew him.

Matt B. sends this along, a creative (and colorful) interpretation of war.

Peanuts Away!

I can’t believe Bil hasn’t posted about the gut wrenching milestone reached yesterday in Operation Iraqi Liberation (O.I.L.). Can you picture one thousand families reeling from the loss of a loved one in a hell-hole thousands of miles away? What would the man who sent those men and women to their deaths say? Something like this?

No, seriously, the terrorists are really getting desperate now. Because they hate freedom. We’re turning a corner. Mission Accomplished. No, I mean, Major Combat operations have ended. We have rid Iraq of its potential for someday acquiring weapons of mass destruction related programs. Ba’athist dead-enders are making their last stand. And so are Muqtada al-Sadr’s radical insurgents. And so are the ranks of al Qaeda who, since Saddam’s ouster, now have another place to operate with relative impunity. To them we say, Bring it on.

Check out this liberal media biased chart. It doesn’t even say that Saddam threw babies against the wall!

Now let’s see how many knuckleheads out there will read this and think I’m committing treason and stabbing our troops in the back. Holding leaders to account for their awful policies isn’t treason; it’s patriotism.

A Grand in the Sand

Ready for some mind-blowing conspiracy theorizing? has a post with 50 Fishy Circumstances, Contradictory Claims, and Videotape Anomalies in Nick Berg’s Killing. There’s some weird stuff going on with this story, so take a look at the list (and the debunkings in the comments).

The “wag the dog” idea is especially intriguing. However, you could show me proof that the government ordered electrodes strapped to every Arab man’s testicles and I still wouldn’t believe we could do this to an American.

On the other hand, I remember watching the Daniel Pearl video and there were quite a few differences, most notably the insistance that Pearl talk about being a Jew (Nick Berg was also Jewish).

So check it out if you’re in the mood for a good conspiracy. That’s one of the fun things about running one of the most secretive administrations ever; you don’t get the benefit of the doubt too often.

Tinfoil Hat Theater

Want a reality check? Steve’s got one for you.

The Real World

Perhaps you’ve noticed a lack of posts here on Iraq lately. That’s kind of weird, as I’ve been a critic of this war and especially the administration. The past month, though, has gotten me so incredibly sick about the situation that I have trouble getting my thoughts organized coherently for a post. The past week, with the release of photos from Iraqi prisons (did you realize these pictures are several months old?) may mark a serious setback in not just Iraq, but in the entire war on terror, a setback we haven’t even begun to comprehend.

I’m not as shocked as many Americans might be about these abuses. I’ve read Chomsky and Zinn, I know the difference between talk of our high moral principles and our actions. I also know without a doubt that America is the greatest country this world has ever seen, and my love for what is truly good about the US is what compelled my opposition to the Iraq war. Many partisans have said that this four year Bush administration will hurt American credibility all over the world for decades to come. I tend to dismiss this kind of strident talk, but now I’m not so sure.

I figured I’d post because I found this essay (via Kos) that said so much of what is inside me, begging to be screamed from the rooftops. I’m going to excerpt a part that really resonated with me, but promise me you’ll read the whole thing.

There is a struggle against terror, injustice, illiberalism. It is real. It will be with us all our lives. We must fight it as best we can. The people who backed the war in Iraq, especially the people who backed it uncritically, unskeptically, ideologically, who still refuse to be skeptical, who refuse to exact a political price for it, who refuse to learn the lessons it has taught, sabotaged that struggle. Some of them like to accuse their critics of giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Right back at you, then. You bungled, and you don?t even have the grace or authentic commitment to your alleged aims to confess your error.

I regret it because I and others like me helped the blindly naive Wilsonian proponents of the Iraq War to caricature their critics as Chomskyites all. The Bush Administration had its fixation on WMD; Andrew Sullivan, James Lileks, Michael Totten and a supporting cast of thousands had a fixation with “the loony left”. That allowed them to conduct echo-chamber debates with straw men, in which the proponents of the war were defenders of liberty and democracy and opponents were in favor of oppression, torture and autocracy.

Small wonder that they won that debate.

That’s so right, and gets to a major frustration I have when talking about a lot of progressive values, not just the war. I realize it’s a weakness in my ability to communicate, but it seems as if people are willfully entering only either/or arguments which completely disregard real life. Being against this war does not mean being objectively pro-Saddam rape rooms, much as pro-war people would like you to think. Being for clean air regulations does not mean being anti-economic growth. Pro-choice does not mean pro-8 month old fetus skull crushing. I purposely don’t go after all the ridiculous things that conservatives say or do because I understand idiocy, especially among entrenched politicians, has nothing to do with ideology (though I certainly admit it’s satisfying to play gotcha at times). I’m getting off topic here, so just go read the essay I linked.