Saturday Open Thread

I'm up in Vail, about to head out the door for an invigorating hike. It's gorgeous outside.

For those of you inside, here's an open thread.

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    Well, Iraq isn't working out so well (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 10:23:22 AM EST
    and of course the fact that in invading Iraq Bush fulfilled Osama bin Laden's wishes might have something to do with that, so... it only makes sense to avoid facing reality and repeat the same kind of sheer idiocy on a much bigger scale and attack Iran as soon as possible:
    In an effort to build congressional and Pentagon support for military options against Iran, the Bush administration has shifted from its earlier strategy of building a case based on an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program to one invoking improvised explosive devices (IEDs) purportedly manufactured in Iran that are killing US soldiers in Iraq.

    According to officials - including two former Central Intelligence Agency case officers with experience in the Middle East - the administration believes that by focusing on the alleged ties between IEDs and Iran, they can link the Iranian government directly to attacks on US forces in Iraq.

    Every day in every way...etc.

    One former CIA case officer (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 10:39:10 AM EST
    who served in the Middle East even suggested that politically framing the Iranians for its own failures in Iraq would allow the Bush administration to avoid accountability, as well as providing a casus belli for an attack.

    The Bush Administration "can say it's [the Iranians'] fault we are losing the war in Iraq and that would be a convenient out for their failed policy," the officer said Monday.

    The Iranians "have declared war against the US by sabotaging the war on terror is how they might sell it. I would not be surprised to next hear of Al Qaeda-Iranian connections because these people don't know the difference between a Sunni and a Shi'a."

    two sides of the same coin (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 12:51:28 PM EST
    Shades of Joe Padilla's treatment (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 10:51:57 AM EST
    There were times, huddled on the floor in solitary confinement with that head-banging music blaring dawn to dusk and interrogators yelling the same questions over and over, that [Donald] Vance began to wish he had just kept his mouth shut.
    He had thought he was doing a good and noble thing when he started telling the FBI about the guns and the land mines and the rocket-launchers -- all of them being sold for cash, no receipts necessary, he said. He told a federal agent the buyers were Iraqi insurgents, American soldiers, State Department workers, and Iraqi embassy and ministry employees.
    For his trouble, he says, he got 97 days in Camp Cropper, an American military prison outside Baghdad that once held Saddam Hussein, and he was classified a security detainee.
    The Associated Press

    Good thing both Jose Padilla and Donald Vance are American citizens, otherwise they might not have had their citizenship rights respected and honored...

    so the goal of the government (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jen M on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 11:04:22 AM EST
    is to completely shut off the flow of human intelligence.

    Well... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 11:10:51 AM EST
    it seems that the Bush regime has managed to do that to themselves, so far.

    But I guess they had to start somewhere... :-/


    And of course (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 11:15:22 AM EST
    if word got out too far that Iraqis trying to take back their country were buying American made land mines and rocket-launchers, the Bush regime might have a more difficult time propagandizing about IEDs purportedly manufactured in Iran being used against American troops in Iraq.



    I got to see the last half of (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 12:16:23 PM EST
    'Battleground: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge' for few days ago on Showtime.  Was bummed that it won't air again in September 4th, waiting patiently to the whole work then.  It is amazing in that it documents an Iraqi who had to leave his country and family under the reign of Sadaam and we get to witness his homecoming alongside the enormous crisis that Iraq is in thanks to us.  Here is the extended trailer for the documentary.  Here is the Showtime website and you can watch a shorter but much different trailer there.  I love this documentary because we see the Iraqi people in it, not a bunch of politicians and bureaucrats with all of their lofty ideas but the real people who are being affected by our policies.

    Hope you got to hear a piece on NPR radio (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 04:32:34 PM EST
    today about a woman who makes violins and violas; her husband in in Iraq w/the National Guard and she has several small children.  Quite poignant.  I tried to provide a link but can't so far.  

    Thanks for putting it (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 08:47:25 AM EST
    up.  I'll definitely go check it out.

    Found it: (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 12:30:23 PM EST
    It is an excellent piece (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 02:00:16 PM EST
    I can relate to trying to find my pre Iraq self along with how do you explain your husband's sacrifice to his children if he eats in Iraq.  I was going through junk a few days back and found some family photos of all four of us a year before 9/11.  Who were those people?  It was our daughter's eleventh B-day. It was a huge party.  She had two cakes because my husband and I challenged each other to make the best cake.  We had a Barney pinata because kids hate Barney after six, all the kids were wearing crazy balloon hats that the hired balloonist was making.  Who were those carefree pissing away their time people?  Didn't they know danger was everywhere all around us?

    Having spent two years as a Navy spouse (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 02:16:11 PM EST
    years ago, I was also interested in her comment about adapting to life w/o Dad and worrying how it would all work out when he returned to that adaptation.  

    oops, a few days ago on Showtime (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 12:17:36 PM EST
    and won't air again until September 4th.  I hate proof reading ;(

    but which is the defender of freedom? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Sumner on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 12:35:50 PM EST
    Juxtapose this with these voyeurs. The same underlying voyeuristic dynamics seem to drive both instances. (Also remember that in that multinational spying consortium involving the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the US' mad hysteria over all things sexy probably corrupted Australia into caving to America's morality police, in the first place.)

    BTW, kids love very sophisticated cartoons such as the Simpsons. They are growing up more sophisticated these days too. Maybe they will eventually crack the police state, as well.

    My son says things sometimes (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 01:10:48 PM EST
    I can't fathom ever saying at his age.  He even tries to sneak Adult Swim sometimes.  One of our best friends has nicknamed him Stewie.

    Torture R Us (none / 0) (#17)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 06:13:23 PM EST
    Torture is fine as long as you are not intending to humiliating the torturee. The Bush exec order of July 20 gives the green light to torture as long as the only reason for doing it is National Security.

    But the JAGs told the senators that a key part of the order opens the door to violations of the section of the Geneva Conventions that outlaws "cruel treatment and torture" and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment," officials familiar with the discussion said.

    The JAGs cited language in the executive order in which Bush said CIA interrogators may not use "willful and outrageous acts of personal abuse done for the purpose of humiliating or degrading the individual." As an example, it lists "sexual or sexually indecent acts undertaken for the purpose of humiliation."

    Among lawyers, "for the purpose" language is often used to mean that a person must specifically intend to do something, such as causing humiliation, in order to violate a statute. The JAGs said Bush's wording appears to make it legal for interrogators to undertake that same abusive action if they had some other motive, such as gaining information.

    war & piece

    So much critical talk (none / 0) (#18)
    by glanton on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:30:01 PM EST
    These days in the media about the United States finally getting out of Vietnam, and what the consequences were.  Neocons would like the rest of us to "learn" from it.

    But why hardly any critical talk, that I can see anyway, about the United States' ludicrous ENTRY into Vietnam?  Now there's something we should have learned from, but never did.