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Not Knowing the Half of It

by Drew J Jones Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 12:07:49 AM EST

Atrios linked to one of his old posts from back duringa trip to Iowa in 2005:

The Crazy Guy At The Bar

Certainly not actually crazy. Honor, fighting for country, paying the price so freedom is free. On leave. From where? Hawaii, is the first response. From 14 months in Iraq is the real one. There with brother, friends, his second day being legally allowed to drink. Honor, love of country, willing to die. Honor. Fighting. 25 kills, officially. Captured. Tortured. Friend cruises by. Have a beer, tag some pussy. Not tears, but almost tears. Says, in fact, almost in tears. No one understands. Brothers. Fight for country. Honor. No one understands. Fighting for country. 25 kills. Women. Children. Children carrying ammunition. No one understands. Fighting for country. A bit drunk. A lot drunk. On leave, just one week. Where is brother, friends? Women. Children. Freedom isn't free. 21 just yesterday. Was once religious, no longer believe. God wouldn't allow such pain. The war is against religion, must stop it to defend the country. Almost in tears. Knee blown out. Chest. Scar. Fighting for brothers. Fighting with brothers. No one understands. honor. repeat. honor. Fighting for country. Captured. Razor. No air support when needed. Politics. Will fight for country. Children. Killed. Honor. Freedom. Fighting for country. No one understands. 14 months. Honor. Brothers. Dude, have a beer. Tag some pussy. Children. Backpacks. Ammunition. Fought for country, for freedom. Will end up in hell.

how many like him?

Just thought I'd toss it up in honor of Tony Blair apparently getting religion on Iraq tonight.

A day late and a dollar short, Prime Minister.

Vietnam, Iraq. An American story.

And fuck Bliar.

Good one, Drew.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 01:47:54 AM EST
It could have been a French soldier on leave from Algeria...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 09:43:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed it could.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 11:25:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could it be a sign of coming Iran madness?

UPDATE:  In comments, C&G suggests that Blair's decision may be grounded in an expectation of some sort of imminent conflict between the U.S. and Iran. That, of course, is pure speculation, but it certainly is the case that even cross-border incidents between U.S. troops and Iran, let alone larger-scale military confrontations, would leave British troops in Southern Iraq most vulnerable both to retaliatory attacks and the risk of inadvertent involvement. It is reasonable to assume (though an assumption is all it is) that the increasingly likely prospect of escalation played at least some role in the deliberations leading up to the British withdrawal announcement.

Today the BBC reported that war plans for Iran were complete. But the BBC clearly buried the lede on this. It's not news that the US has completed its target set on Iran. William Arkin reported on Iran war-gaming and planning last year in his blog, Early Warning and in the Washington Post.

The disturbing news revealed in this article is the revelation of two supposed triggers that would lead to an American attack on Iran. The first, says the BBC, is "confirmation that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon. . . ." Now, whether you think a nuclear Iran is a good or bad idea, this trigger has been made clear for quite some time. So, no surprise here.

But what of that second trigger? The "alternative [trigger is] a high-casualty attack on US forces in neighbouring Iraq," writes the BBC.

This is entirely too vague a trigger, especially for this President, if you ask me. Bush is not to be trusted with vague 'triggers,' or any kind of triggers at all, really.

See also AlterNet for a BBC video directly.

by das monde on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 03:22:28 AM EST
And this was almost two years ago.

Empire rots you from within.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 04:28:47 AM EST
Rot, indeed.  I suppose this particular bit was a bit shocking to me, since this guy is actually a bit younger than I am.  I sometimes wonder, whenever I'm watching the news, about high-school friends of mine who joined the military for various reasons -- college money, 9/11, learning skills, etc -- as soon as they received their diplomas.  They all wound up in Iraq.  One of my best friends almost joined about a year prior to the invasion.  Thank God he opted for a 9-5 in Orlando and community college instead.

And you can see this same sort of thing in any international airport's bar.  On any given day in Atlanta International, there could be a solid thousand or so soldiers -- most younger than me (not sure why that matters but it somehow does), usually sitting in silence in the smoking room on the concourse, or cracking blatantly nervous jokes with fellow soldiers.  Everytime I've walked through Concourse E at Hartsfield-Jackson, it's the same thing.

But at least Blair is finally pulling the rug out.  The administration can try to spin it, but people know what this means: The Brits are getting the hell out before the country suffers collapse (if one can even argue that it hasn't already).  At this point, the American public wants out, too.  Now it's just a question of how many more come home like him, or worse (if any of the alternatives are even worse).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 09:23:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What makes the age so shocking is that you're in your early twenties and have your life ahead of you and yet these people - thousands, you say - are younger than you and have their life behind them.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 09:53:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Makes sense.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 11:37:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is difficult to know what Blair really thinks, as he has the ability to fake sincerity (always a useful political gift). However, if what he told Parliament today can be taken at face value, Blair claims that the Iraqis are now ready to take over security in Basra.

The reduced numbers of British troops will be concentrated at the airport (where the civilian staff retreated some time ago) and will support the Iraqis as needed. Perhaps more ominously they will be able to devote more time to border security (got to stop the avalanche of Iranian munitions crossing the nearby border). Blair was brushing aside questions about Iran.

Blair refused invitations to apologise for putting the troops in Iraq. He also spouted a very hard line on having to fight the terrorists in Iraq (ignoring the suggestion that if it was not for the invasion there would not have been any terrorists in Iraq).

The sort of vague timetables for the future withdrawal of troops, does not suggest this was an exercise in getting vulnerable troops out quickly.

The two cynical suggestions  I have seen about what Blair was doing were that (1) he was encouraging voters in the local elections due in May to think Iraq was almost over or (2) the whole thing was to distract attention from his aide Ruth Turner being questioned again by the police today.

You ought to be able to locate the statement and questions through this link for the next 28 days.


by Gary J on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 05:40:28 PM EST

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