Links and such – 05/05/05

Frank Warner: When Vietnam’s dictator visits U.S., ask a few questions
Such as “When will you begin to comply with the 1973 agreements?”, for instance.

Michelle Malkin: DAVID HACKWORTH, R.I.P.
Wasn’t a big fan of his recent commentary, but without question a great servant of the nation and the cause. Despite differences, I think it’s clear he always wanted what was best for the troops. And that’s more than most.

You Big Mouth, You: Iraq: A Wall of Sand in Al Anbar
More on those incredible photos of the sandstorm.

ACE: Combat death benefits to be jacked from $12K to $100K
About damn time. I’ve got some comments on ACE’s post that explain my feelings.

Steven Vincent is back in Iraq tellin’ it like it is.

Stryker Bigade News: Infantryman’s wife saw the photo and knew
The wife of the soldier in this photo new at a glance that it was her husband.

Donald Sensing: Terrorism’s Toll
One Hand Clapping on that terrorism report.

MSNBC: How safe are U.S. military vehicles in Iraq?
While I remain displeased at the way that the armor (both vehicle and personal) has been handled, I should point out that the burning Humvee pictured in this story was armored.

MSNBC again:Putin criticizes Allies for Dresden bombing
But the Soviets “can’t be blamed for that” when it comes to non-Western hardships the Germans suffered or the division of post-war Germany.

Mike Minton: Border Patrol Sector Chief Wants To Ensure Minuteman Project ‘Appears’ To Have Failed
It seems that the Border Patrol wanted to minimize the number of arrests in the Minuteman sector. If this is true, it’s crazy. Doesn’t the Border Patrol want attention brought to their shortage of manpower?

Reuters: Bush to push democracy agenda in ex-Soviet Georgia
We all know it’s all about either WMD or oil.

Reuters again: US Marines land on Somali coast to hunt militants
What? Militants in Somalia? Probably just a cover story for either WMDs or oil.

Nonplussed: Unintended Consequences
Since the “short list” of reasons Bush gave consisted of only WMD, and the only other important reason to go into Iraq was the oil. Murdoc shows up in the comments here and there, as an added bonus.


  1. The people of Georgia have already taken it upon themselves and, as I reacall, a few months ago raided the parliament and installed their democratic govt. Bush is approving of what happened, and what the people have achieved. This is far from attacking the country.

  2. Also, I would like to say that I agree witht the statements you made on the nonplussed websites. I think my problem is that I don’t think Bush had the same motives as what you think he had. I think that is why no one objected to Afghanistan. Now that Saddam is gone, however, I really wish the terrorists would just let the Iraqi’s go on with their lives. They have made Iraq the most dangerous place on this planet, and consistently brutalise their own people. Killing 40 brave men who volunteer to work for the Iraqi Police (and innocent bystanders) achieves nothing. I just don’t understand the rationale behind these attacks, since the sooner a n independent, stable government, military, and police force is established, the sooner their own goal (Americans leaving the country) will be achieved. Eliminating the terrorist threat, however, could take a long, long time, and till then, I think the Americans need to have a presence in Iraq.

  3. It seems I’m talking to myself here. Anyway, just wanted to say, if the reasons you mentioned WERE the reasons Bush had for going to War, THESE were certainly not mentioned openly. That is the whole root of the problem. The reason that the War effort could be so quickly mobilised was because the Iraqi threat was placed in the context of Sep. 11. The Bush administration wanted us to believe these two were connected (Saddam and Al-Qaeda nonsense). Had Bush merely said we are going to free a people, I think the reaction of the public would have been different. Had Bush mentioned the reasons you gave, the War could never have taken place.

  4. Lots of good stuff here Murdoc: I’ve agreed with him less than half the time lately, but Hackworth was a stud and a real hero. One of the finest warriors this country ever produced. That picture of a GI carrying a dying Iraqi child really got to me. I have kids of my own and reserve a special kind of hate for anyone who would do violence to children. Soldiers and Marines dream of killing those kinds of criminals. I would like to wish Good Hunting to our guys over there now. MSNBC let Putin get away with a particularly slimy quote. Apparently we were responsible for atrocities ‘during’ the war. What about after the war Vladimir? How about the Russian rapefest after Berlin fell? Or what about East Prussia? I’m having a little trouble finding it on a modern map. Talk about living in a glass house!

  5. Oh yeah, forgot about the stupid article on armored Humvees. I read the other day that we have lost 70 M-1 series tanks in Iraq to IEDs and RPG shots to the rear and / or tops of the armor. (Most of the crewmen did survive) Yet if we put some magic armor on a Humvee, they could survive an explosion or rocket attack that can destroy a 70-ton tank. Makes you wonder why they don’t put this armor on our tanks.

  6. Jason: Fair enough. You’re right that Bush didn’t spell things out like I listed on that site, and I didn’t mean to imply that he did. Not only was that conversation about the topic at hand (Bush’s pre-invasion reasoning) but it was sort of a continuation of many earlier discussions on that site with those individuals. So I’ll back down a little bit. Most of that was given, however, though the prioritizing was in many cases quite different. And Bush certainly didn’t come right out and say ‘We’re invading Iraq so we have bases to invade other nations if we need to’. That would be stupid, even though it clearly must have been part of the reasoning. That post began as a statement that ‘freedom’ was never mentioned before the invasion, and later commenters state very clearly that the only real reason ever given that mattered was WMD, though they’re willing to accept that it may have also been about the oil. That’s wrong and it’s demonstrably so.

  7. Jason: RE: Georgia Yeah, Georgians seem to want the right thing and I’m very glad of it. I certainly am not informed enough to really comment, but I like the fact that W is making an appearance. We need to be very clear that we’ll side with (an in many case directly support) those that do what we think is right. I didn’t claim that we were going to attack because of WMD or oil. Just that we’re pushing freedom because of WMD or oil. I mean, it seems there no other reason that Bush does anything. He probably gets out of bed in the morning simply because of WMD or oil. Who am I kidding? He doesn’t go to bed. He’s up all night trying to figure out what innocent bystanders he can next accuse of having WMDs. As long as they have some oil. (Yes, if anyone detects a hint of snarkiness near the end of this comment, you might be on to something.)

  8. Bram: You’re right about the Humvees never being able to stand up to what sometimes knocks out a tank. That’s sort of the same thing I feel about the Strykers. There’s no doubt that we should do all that we can to protect our vehicles (in order to protect the folks using them) but you can only do so much. And sometimes, if you do TOO much, other things suffer. I think we need an alternative to the Humvee (armored or not) to be used for this sort of environment. It CAN be a combat escort and support vehicle, but it’s not very good at it in the face of real opposition. We need something heavier for convoy escort and light support. It’s all a compromise. The armor thing is a real issue, but it’s being used by critics in an unreal way. They’ll go ‘What? You DON’T want our troops to have more protection?’ if you suggest that things aren’t as bad as they claim.

  9. BTW, just saying.. Tony Blair won the UK elections, which will mean that the UK troops wont pull out of Iraq yet. Cause half the election seemed to have focused on the war quite a lot, but luckily other ‘anti-war’ parties didn’t win.