Thursday, January 31, 2008


I was slightly fascinated in reading the news account of Berzerkly ordering the Marines out of town. What was equally interesting is one of the Code Pink protesters is 90. I was impressed, at least she is doing something.

I doubt if anybody with any real smarts or discernment is staying up nights worried about what Berzerkly does or does not do. They are only slightly ahead of San Fran who may eventually catch up. Aferall, Frisco has banned Junior ROTC from the schools. And, from all reports, it is without a doubt the most successful educational program the City has going. The schools are losing population constantly because of an insane school enrollment system (I only know what I've read).

However, we are chatting about Berzerkly here. Blaming the poor young Marines for the quagmire in Iraq is like calling your credit card company and blamng one of the lowly India types in Calcutta because your card was declined. Give me a break.

These young Marine, most probably Iraqi vets, are simply making it: some may even oppose the war, how it is prosecuted, whatever but more than likely, they're young kids who haven't given it much thought even while putting their lives on the line. This is a hell of a lot more than Berzerkelites have ever done.

And, they love being a Marine and want to convey the challenge to others and based on a few of the things that have happened in Berzerkly and neighboring Oakland, the murder capital of the U. S., a tour in the Marines might not be a bad thing. I guess the Berzerkly types had rather them smoke dope and bad mouth their country. If I were the Marines, I'd be happy to be away from the crazies. Sempi Fi.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


In hearing the commentary on the President's speech, it almost seemed to be typical Republican denial. The Democrats are surely not blameless by any stretch of the imagination but we have to operate from where we are NOW and change has to be the order of the day. I have no arguments to counter many, like say John McCain and let's "stay in Iraq forever." To be perfectly honest, it goes a little beyond agreeing to disagree. And, I surely hope that we are never in a position on Iraq in particular where it is an "I told you so" scenario. There is no satisfaction, even if we are going into our fifth year. Things are less violent, although this week, there's been at least 300 plus civilians killed or wounded and five GIs killed and for the parents and loved ones, "violence is down" probably is very little comfort.

After watching the State of the Union speech the other night, I was almost nauseous--the pandering and accepting of what is, Democrats as well as all those other hypocrites. I wish we had a British system and someone like the President had to face a Congress that would raise hell and ask raucous questions. But, no, we have a system where the President is glad handing and signing autographs, acting like things are great.

And, let's fault all of us Americans too: suddenly, we think that Iraq is about 3d down in priorities behind the economy and health care, as important as they are; but, here we are acting like the war is won, next case. When the fact is, any military type with a platform says we have eight to ten more years. And, instead of denying, let's face up--we went into something with a whole bunch of wrong assumptions and messed it up royally. Now, we are stuck and cannot get out. A mess and we let the President just skate on.

Vietnam should have been our thermometer to the next war, if we had seen one coming. The conventional wisdom of Vietnam is that had not we simply left, then we could have altered the course of what happened, i.e., the Domino Theory. At this stage, I think we have to look at the big picture and what has happened to Vietnam. They are essentially a capitalist country; ask anyone who has been there in the last ten years. The vast majority of Vietnamese weren't even born during the Vietnam war and there are almost no signs we were ever around. We don't know what or how things would have been had we not "cut and run." Would we have prevented the "killing fields, etc.?" Who knows? What we do know is that more young Americans would have died had we stayed. I still think it is unconscionable with Nixon promising to get us out of Vietnam but once elected, changed his mind and we lost 20,000 more Americans. We couldn't beat Ho over the long haul. So, what can we say today about "cutting and running?"

From a soldier standpoint, the military has to be exhausted and getting more so. The very real difference in the Iraqi war and with Vietnam, we had more "bodies" that were deployable to war (the existence of the draft) but many of us, went only once; but, in the present Army, soldiers are redeploying over and over and this has to take a gigantic toll. God bless them.

The big difference is that for Muslims of all shades, the presence of our military in Iraq will constantly be a source for justification of terrorism. We are in this fight forever anyway and will never be able to declare victory and move on. But, from my view, we must reduce the conventional troops, as others have said before me, station Special Ops in the desert, whatever. And, hope and pray that the Iraqis can assume the vacuum left by us in terms of an active keeping of the peace. LET US PRAY.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Subject: Help to stop an endless occupation in Iraq

Hi, Have you seen the news? President Bush is negotiating a deal with Iraq to keep our troops there indefinitely--it could include permanent bases and a massive military presence for years! Bush is trying to tie the hands of the next president.

Congress can stop him from setting up permanent bases in Iraq and block an indefinite occupation--but they need to hear a groundswell of pressure from us immediately and loudly so they act on this quickly.

I just signed a petition demanding that Congress stop the president from committing to a massive military presence in Iraq for decades. Can you join me?

The President and all surrounding him are amazing to me. And, on Iraq, how quickly we forget but sometimes I think that I am the only one in America who thinks this. It is crazy. A guy like John McCain says we will stay in Iraq a hundred years if need be. And, this guy stands a good chance of being the President. I wouldn't have thought so but with Barack or Hillary being the Democrat's nominee, it is a crap shoot. So many people hate Hillary and the country will not vote for a black man, according to my brother. And, he may be right.

I've just returned from the South to see my wife's Dad who is ill and my four brothers. After a week, I am simply overwhelmed with the mentality of the people. And, from my perspective, this may sound like an indictment, it is not. Americans can believe and do what they want. This is what America is about but to endorse the war with an idea that somehow we've done this great thing is flummoxing to say the least.

Iraq has departed center stage and that alone is inexcusable. And, in my view, what has happened in Iraq is that the violence is down or we think it is down and most think that we are "winning" the war. Please! What has happened is that we have begun the counterinsurgency approach to the war and bought off the Sunni warlords--it is only working inasmuch as they are no longer killing us. But, to continue this will mean that we will have to stay in Iraq forever. And, to me, this is very upsetting.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Charlie Wilson's War

Charlie Wilson's War. Very interesting. I had read the book and can remember as I was reading it--well into it in fact when I realized it was not fiction. And, then I could hardly believe it.

Charlie Wilson is this benign Congressman from Texas who comes off being dumb like a fox. In a weird sort of way, he gets recruited by this Texas socialite to help the Afghans defeat the Soviets who, as you remember, had taken over Afghanistan. Her interest and involvement is not very well defined in the movie but much better in the book. Her character played by Julia Roberts in the movie is mostly one of power and social climbing while using whatever or whomever is available. (I might be too harsh). Regardless, in this case, her cause happens to be a noble one at least at first blush.

Charlie mainly figures out how to funnel money to the tribes fighting the Russians. Charlie Wilson and his cohorts would routinely appropriate money for the Afghans, it was like monopoly money, i. e., play money. And, guess what? It was the taxpayers money.

Just a little history: Supposedly, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan to ensure that a pro-Soviet regime would be in power in the country. The Soviet invasion shocked the West. President Carter pulled us out of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. The Mujdeen, as the Afghan rebels were called, were fighting the Russians with WW l Springfield rifles.

Enter Charlie Wilson who, along with the rogue CIA agent, figured out how to arm the Afghan Guerrillas with heavy weaponry, mainly to shoot down the very lethal Soviet helicopters. Ultimately the Mujdeen fought the Soviets to a standstill. The Soviets withdrew, as Afghanistan had become the equivalent of America's Vietnam--a lost cause. And, some think, with the Soviets abandoning Afghanistan, it was the beginning of the end of the Soviet empire and the end of the cold war.

The rogue CIA agent, Gust, was more of a dominant figure in the book. CWW could be seen as a fairly philosophical view on America interfering in the affairs of other countries. Had not Charlie Wilson interfered, maybe the Russians would have stayed or kept a presence in Afghanistan and prevented the Taliban from taking over and thus we might have avoided 9-11; all speculation and history is written backward, never forward.

No more, less I spoil it.

When the credits began to roll, this statement flashed on the screen: "These things happened and we changed the world and then we fucked up the end game." Did we ever? Like Iraq, we never figured out how to deal with the peace. F....... up the endgame was not providing for education and the basics for a devastated Afghan (or Iraqi) society. However, I'm not sure it would have done it. Now, in hindsight, with all that has happened, meaning we are where we are in the course of history, maybe we're doing the best we can.


Since the whole world has weighed in on Hillary and New Hampshire, I thought I might as well. I was amazed at how the press had inaugurated Obama (I like Obama and could vote for him) and written off Hillary. And, let's face it, mighty nice to know the pundits were wrong, not so much in terms of Hillary but in terms of how smug and arrogant the media has become on polls and predictions and prognostications.

I have one main reason that I support Hillary; she's a woman and men have screwed up the country, meaning the present White House--so, GO HILLARY!

And, to be honest, Hillary tearing up was kind of endearing and there are all kinds of theories of what that moment did. Some "know it all" a'holes say it was contrived (if it was, she is the best actress I've ever seen and I don't think so--regardless, I would refuse to believe it as I refuse to believe Randolph Scott was gay). Some credit the tears with turning on women for Hillary and men's natural inclination to rescue. Regardless, it was a very human moment.

On a personal note, I don't know why politics in our country excites us so. It is relatively insane. Politicians, for a moment, become one of us. Think about it: Hillary, for instance, has people at her beck and call and when she was First Lady, literally was American royalty in terms of never having to turn her hand. Here she is out with the "common" folks, pressing flesh. It's pretty refreshing.

Here's a last plug for Hillary, at least now: I envision a scene. Tensions are high with some world event. Advice is everywhere. It is Iraq revisited with the intell about as "sorry" as it was for invading them. No testosterone, chest beating, idiocy to the max--she weighs the options and thinks to herself, "this does not materially affect our country. American boys will die if I do this?" She turns to her advisers and says something like, "Have we done everything possible, is the threat really real, how does this affect us. Let's wait a bit more and watch this play out." See what I mean? Imagine where we would be today had not we invaded Iraq with the flimsiest of intell? I can tell you one place, almost 4000 more Americans would be enjoying life in our great country.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Mystery of Hillary, etc

I think we need to give a woman a shot at running the country. What I don't understand about the "Bill" issue is that he is looking better everyday compared to George W. With all his shortcomings, we can't deny the fact that he left office with no war and a huge fiscal surplus.

Hillary is qualified, more than most, to run the country. The fact that many don't like her is beside the point. As a Democrat, George W's like ability in the beginning was enormous and look where that's got us. I've had this debate over and over with my wife, also a Democrat. I am simply amazed that Hillary does not get most women's support. And, what does "liking her" have to do with her ability to be president.

The best candidate was Joe Biden, I think, and he couldn't get any traction at all. Even the casual observer ought to be able to see what happens: the media announces the front runners and, like sheep, the voter buys into it and the process is off to the races. If I were Biden I would give them the one finger salute and next case. I use to have this blog, "Most Americans Are Stupid." I did away with it after the last election when the Democrats went in. Mistakenly, I thought they would do what we elected them to do: mainly end the war. And, of course, they have caved in about every way. Oh well...

Friday, January 04, 2008


I like Barach and could vote for him. However, I am amazed at the attitude toward Hillary. All politics, as I see it, is somewhat corrupting but I am voting for Hillary simply because she is a woman. All of us who're honest, accept the fact that she is qualified, more than most, to run the country. The fact that many don't like her is beside the point. I've had this debate over and over with my wife. I am simply amazed that Hillary does not get most women's support.

And, Huckabee is simply a right wing zealot where Iowa will be his last blast, I think. He plays the guitar and can laugh and I like that but I wouldn't vote for a Republican if Jesus ran; (in a stretch, maybe Ron Paul, who is probably out of it). Well, noway would Jesus run as a Republican as they are too mean spirited: my opinion.