1st Armored Division Soldiers conduct a combat patrol in Tal Afar, Iraq in their M2 Bradley fighting vehicle.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon
Editors note: The photograph above was taken in February 2006 at a time when Bush was reporting Tal Afar as an Iraqi success story.
I think Bush saw the city as an example of the Iraqi version of “no child left behind.”
The headline reads: “Gunmen Go On Rampage In Iraqi City” above a story by Joshua Partlow in this morning’s Washington Post. It seems that the Malaki/Bush/Cheney/Halliburton Democracy left a few legal and procedural fundamentals out of their Police Academy training manual or perhaps they are using a revised Middle Eastern version of the Chicago Police manual which allows for the summary execution of Sunni suspects following violent episodes.
In the Chicago version you’re only allowed to beat them up, in Tall Afar though, this is civil wartime, and the Shiite police and their auxiliaries have gone on yet another orgy of reprisal and revenge, killing as many as 70 Sunni suspects, men, women and children, some as young as fifteen, with a bullet to the back of the head in the Mesopotamian democratic tradition so reminiscent of other great democratic leaders like Saddam and Stalin.
Larry Small’s excellent castle where he works as a servant of the people.
Larry Small has a most excellent job, he runs the Smithsonian Institute, a job for which he gets paid more than the president of the United States, over $600,000 a year in salary, plus a housing allowance of $193,000 plus other stuff. He had no experience when he came to the job in January 2000 but then again, neither did the President. Some people say that Larry isn’t doing a good job but there are always naysayers. (The President has naysayers too)
Appeasing The Gods Of The Shareholders
There was a time when, as a matter of policy, America went to war only as a response to an attack by an aggressor. In 1962 John Kennedy had every reason to make war with Cuba and Russia when Kruschev talked Fidel into parking several dozen Soviet nuclear missiles ten minutes from Washington and 90 miles from spring break.
Most of the Joint Chiefs, especially Curtis Lemay,(General Bat Guano?) along with a sizable faction of Kennedy’s closest advisers urged the President to invade. Lemay wanted to send his B52s, (presumably not to drop leaflets) while others preferred a massive land invasion, perhaps to restore the Cosa Nostra to control of Cuban Casinos, the way God intended.
There is an apocryphal story told that Marine Commandant David Shoup (under whom I served at the time) presented the assemblage of top level civilian and military advisers with an easel containing a map of Cuba, over which he had placed an acetate overlay of a tiny Pacific atoll named Tarawa. Tarawa, which the Marines had invaded early in WW2 was shown graphically as a small speck against the background of Castro’s Caribbean worker’s paradise.
He then proceeded to inform the gathering that the insignificant speck had not been at all pacific, having cost the lives of over 1000 Marines and the wounding of 2200 others, creating a great storm of protest at home over what was seen as a needless squandering of lives to gain a tiny piece of real estate. Tarawa, he is reported to have explained, was defended by 4500 Japanese while Castro would field 150,000, and perhaps as many more.
Twice a week I have a physical therapy session at the Dayton VA Hospital. I had a heart attack last March 15, (beware the ides?) in October they referred me to cardio pulmonary therapy to build me up for whatever years may lie ahead. They have done an excellent job and I am pleased with my future prospects.
I have been treated at the Dayton VA several times over the years, have volunteered there performing Veteran’s memorial services as part of an honor guard, and three years ago said good bye to my father who died in the VA hospice at the age of 80.
My experiences with VA medical care have been almost entirely positive. The medical staff has been competent caring and willing to communicate with me. My physical therapist (Kinesiologist) whom I refer to as Ms Torquemada has enabled me to return to a relatively normal life and I love her for it. The hospice ward is amazing, they treated my Dad with the dignity and respect he deserved in his final days on this planet and were equally wonderful with my family. The people in the ER and Cardiac Intensive Care wards saved my life which fact may leave me with some bias on the issue at hand.
I have personally witnessed the operations of this facility during the current federal administration as well as during the Clinton years and I have seen a noticeable decline in the state of the physical plant and the attitudes of some employees during the Cheney/Bush era.
What once was a well funded and squeaky clean facility has deteriorated noticeably and budget cutting has caused serious staffing problems. I believe that this decline is due to the penny pinching policies of the knuckle heads who are passing themselves off as our government.
The blame for conditions at Walter Reed and other problems throughout the veterans health system must be placed firmly at the feet of those who set the policies. For the last six years those feet have belonged to George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. To lay the blame on anyone below the the level of policy maker and budget controllers would be wrong.