Archive for July 12th, 2007

Random Coney Island Photoblogging

Just some more photos with no unifying theme:

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Looking up at the tent over the ride… whatever it was.

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Apparently, to not get a punching puppet is to postpone joy. I have postponed my joy indefinitely.

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You might have to click on this one to see the little bits of stuff hanging down from the yellow part at the top. Those are people’s heads.

2 comments July 12th, 2007 at 07:17pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coney Island,NJ/NYC,Photoblogging

Catch 9-11

Oh noes! Teh Scary Terrorists are back!

Al Qaeda has regrouped and recovered from losses the terror network suffered during six years of bombings, assassinations and war with the U.S. following 9/11, a new intelligence report says.

The report, prepared by the intelligence community for a White House meeting today, is titled “Al Qaeda better positioned to strike the West” and gives bad news about Osama Bin Laden’s henchmen and their resiliency.

Al Qaeda is stronger than it was a year ago and has “regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001,” the report said, according to sources.

“They are showing greater and greater ability to plan attacks in Europe and the U.S.,” concludes the report, first obtained by The Associated Press.

(…)

Since Pakistan struck a truce with Pashtun tribal leaders a year ago and yanked back its border forces, Al Qaeda has set up camps near Afghanistan. The area is “probably” where Bin Laden is hiding, CIA official John Kringen told a House panel yesterday.

Kringen said Al Qaeda is “fairly well-settled” in the craggy tribal belt, where “we see more training, we see more money and we see more communications.”

OMG! We totally have to support Dubya and the Republicans now! They’re the only ones who can keep us safe from- Wait a minute. If they’re such brilliant anti-terroristic manly men, then why is it that al Qaeda is back at full strength?

Why, it’s almost as if they completely forgot about al Qaeda, or maybe weren’t concerned about them, perhaps because they decided to focus on something else – like maybe a big and expensive war that had nothing to do with fighting terrorism? Or maybe it was just too hard to properly monitor all those phone calls to and from al Qaeda because they inconsiderately refused to speak English, so instead of hiring more translators, the administration decided to spy on English-speaking political adversaries instead?

Whatever the reason, the record speaks for itself: The Republicans did nothing to stop 9/11, did not even show an interest in stopping 9/11, and in the six years since have done absolutely squat to shut down al Qaeda after failing to finish them off in Afghanistan. If anything, they’ve administered mouth-to-mouth, CPR, defibrillators, and that big-ass epinephrine needle to the heart to bring al Qaeda all the way back to life.

If Americans are truly afraid of terrorism, then electing Republicans should be the last thing they want to do. The Democrats should be pointing this out every time the Bush administration helpfully reminds us of its failure.

And if, God forbid, the Bushies drop our pants for al Qaeda again, maybe the American people will finally realize that talking tough and being tough are not the same thing.

2 comments July 12th, 2007 at 11:39am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Republicans,Terrorism

Yankee Go Home

I’m pretty sure Kristof started out in the we-can-do-some-good-in-Iraq camp, but he’s well and truly fed up now:

As we debate what to do in Iraq, here are two facts to bear in mind:

First, a poll this spring of Iraqis — who know their country much better than we do — shows that only 21 percent think that the U.S. troop presence improves security in Iraq, while 69 percent think it is making security worse.

Second, the average cost of posting a single U.S. soldier in Iraq has risen to $390,000 per year, according to a new study by the Congressional Research Service. This fiscal year alone, Iraq will cost us $135 billion, which amounts to a bit more than a quarter-million dollars per minute.

We simply can’t want to be in Iraq more than the Iraqis want us to be there. That poll of Iraqis, conducted by the BBC and other news organizations, found that only 22 percent of Iraqis support the presence of coalition troops in Iraq, down from 32 percent in 2005.

If Iraqis were pleading with us to stay and quell the violence, maybe we would have a moral responsibility to stay. But when Iraqis are begging us to leave, and saying that we are making things worse, then it’s remarkably presumptuous to overrule their wishes and stay indefinitely because, as President Bush termed it in his speech on Tuesday, “it is necessary work.”

(…)

Just because President Bush says something doesn’t mean it is fatuous. [I would say the exact opposite, but hey, he’s rolling.] It’s true, for example, that our withdrawal may lead to worse horrors in Iraq. But don’t ignore the alternative possibility, believed overwhelmingly by Iraqis themselves, that our departure will make things better.

(…)

It’s nice that Mr. Bush is still confident about Iraq, telling us on Tuesday: “I strongly believe that we will prevail.”

Apparently, we’re doing almost as well today as we were in October 2003 when he blamed journalists for filtering out the good news and declared: “We’re making really good progress.”

Then in September 2004, Mr. Bush assured us that Iraq was “making steady progress.” In April 2005: “We’re making good progress in Iraq.” In October 2005: “Iraq has made incredible political progress.” In November 2005: “Iraqis are making inspiring progress.”

Do we really want to continue making this kind of inspiring progress for the next 10 years?

Kristof is apparently not familiar with the Republican dialect. In Republicanese, “reform” means “destroy,” and “progress” means “death spiral.”

I’m pretty sure I made the exact same argument about our moral obligation to stay in Iraq being severely diminished by the fact that no-one there is begging us to stay a few weeks or months ago, I just, uh, don’t remember where.

I used to subscribe to the argument that having gone in and utterly destroyed Iraq, that we incurred an obligation to stay until we fixed it. But that argument cannot be sustained if you believe that we are doing more harm than good, that our presence will never lead to a successful physical, economic, or political reconstruction.

Perhaps a different administration could do better, one that actually cares about the Iraqi people more than they care about oil and macho posturing, and one that would actually put competent people in charge of every element of occupation and reconstruction. But I doubt it – the Bush administration has done everything possible to ensure that the Iraqis will hate us until the end of time, and I don’t think any administration will be able to overcome that. The only action that might earn their forgiveness would be to turn Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and all the architects of torture over to the Iraqis to administer justice as they see fit, and that will obviously never happen. (Whether or not it should happen is another question – I could go either way on that one…)

1 comment July 12th, 2007 at 11:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Media,War

We’re All Going To Hell

Horrible. Simply horrible.

The world will hate us for at least a generation; Iraq will hate us until the end of time. Unless we hand the sociopaths and warmongers over to the Hague, or punish them ourselves, neither of which will ever happen. Even impeachment would be a slap on the wrist compared to what BushCo. truly deserves. Firing is simply not an adequate punishment for unleashing this kind of cruelty and evil, but it’s a start.

(h/t Jesus’ General)

1 comment July 12th, 2007 at 07:28am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Republicans,War


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