Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I visited the website belonging to an American soldier named Pat Dollard, who writes "Eventually, I learned the joys of killing" by way of introduction.
Scrolling down, I read a post by a Corporal Tyler Rock, partially titled "I Got a Message for That Douche Harry Reid." Rock tells us that "ramadi (sic) was once dubbed by everyone as the worst city in the world. but we have done such a great job here that all the families in the area have worked with us on driving out the insurgency and that we work directly with the IA and the IP’s. the city has been cleaned up so well that the IP’s do most of the patrols now and we go out with them to hand out candy and toys to the children."
I'm glad things are so peaceful in Ramadi.
Live blogging NPR...On a violent day in Iraq, House and Sentate negotiators have agreed on a withdrawal date, to be included in a bill President Bush has promised to veto, saying he will not accept a bill containing any "artificial timetable." He does not say whether he would accept a bill containing a natural or an organic timetable.
The timetable for withdrawal is non-binding. That means it's a suggestion, not a requirement. Bush will veto the bill anyway.
Nine members of the 82nd Airborne Division were killed yesterday in a car bomb attack on their base...
"I think the surge has failed," Rep. John Murtha said on CNN today. "I think there was no possibility that it was going to work."
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that in Ramadi yesterday, "Three suicide car bombers killed 20 people and wounded 35 others in the Iraqi insurgent stronghold of Ramadi..."
As the day wore on, Harry Reid and Dick Cheney traded insults over the airwaves. Cheney accused Reid and the Democrats of "defeatism." Reid replied, "I'm not going to get into a name-calling contest with somebody who has a nine percent approval rating."
Also today, the premier American Mideast expert, Juan Cole, wrote in the San Jose Mercury News that the anti-American Shi'ite leader Moktada al-Sadr "On Monday...pulled his six Cabinet ministers out of the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and on the same day sponsored a demonstration 20,000 strong against a major provincial government. The previous week, he had brought hundreds of thousands of Iraqis into the streets of An-Najaf and other cities to protest Maliki's refusal to demand the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
"Can the Maliki government survive the defection of a major Shiite faction?" Cole asks.
Al-Sadr is quickly becoming the most powerful person in Iraq, Cole concludes.
As the war grinds on month after month, news of it begins blur in the mind, like the images seen in a kaleidoscope. Bush, Harry Reid, Moktada al-Sadr, the magnetic "Support Our Troops" ribbons on the backs of Ford Explorers, homicidal uniformed expeditionary cheerleaders for the Party Line on Iraq, the surreal, bulldog face of Cheney, the binding resolutions, the late, Chomsky-reading, two-times martyred football hero Pat Tillman, the non-binding resolutions, the stunned governments, the paralyzed legislatures, all blend together in a macabre spiral, the suicidal tailspin and death rattle of a doomed empire, unable to act to save itself, and heading irretrievably toward the rocks.
Is it possible to identify and point out who, exactly, brought us to this place? We need to find out who the enemy is. As a dispossessed Oklahoma farmer groaned in Grapes of Wrath, "Who are we supposed to shoot?"