Sunday, July 10, 2005

Head on Home and helping out

We're going to open with an editorial cause it's important and it does contain some news and links to. This was posted at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

Editorial: Time to Head On Home

To quote the Beatles "I read the news today, oh boy." A quick scan of the headlines on BuzzFlash reveal what we already knew, the Bully Boy's not made us safer. We see links to stories on the feelings of the British. (Similar to Pru's feelings expressed at The Common Ills.) C.I. and Dallas go international and end up with Tony Allen-Mills and Andrew North's "Downed US Seals may have got too close to Bin Laden" (Sunday Times of London) about "the worst incident in the history of the Seals." Not a credit the Bully Boy needs right now after dragging his feet for almost four years since Sept. 11th. What was "Wanted Dead or Alive?" A provocative personal ad? It certainly wasn't anything with meaning.

Then there's Michael Smith's "UK in talks to hand Iraq role to Australia" (also Sunday Times of London):

BRITAIN is negotiating with Australia to hand over military command of southern Iraq to free up British troops for redeployment to the front line in Afghanistan.
An announcement is expected within weeks that several thousand British soldiers are to be sent to Afghanistan.
The coalition of Operation Enduring Falsehood continues to shrink.

And folks, we're just getting started. Still sticking with The Sunday Times of London, check out Hala Jaber's "Allawi: this is the start of civil war:"

IRAQ’S former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi has warned that his country is facing civil war and has predicted dire consequences for Europe and America as well as the Middle East if the crisis is not resolved.
"The problem is that the Americans have no vision and no clear policy on how to go about in Iraq," said Allawi, a long-time ally of Washington.
In an interview with The Sunday Times last week as he visited Amman, the Jordanian capital, he said: "The policy should be of building national unity in Iraq. Without this we will most certainly slip into a civil war. We are practically in stage one of a civil war as we speak."

Occupations will lead to civil wars. No surprise there. To resentment, to anger and to violence.

Or how about this UPI article linked to at Iraq Coalition Casualties? The link's bad (they don't have the full web address in the link) but look at what you can read:

07/09/05 upi: Iraq war results in at least 254 amputees
Army hospitals treated 254 amputees from the Iraq war...Nearly 19,000 soldiers have been medically evacuated ...There were 2,527 evacuated with battle injuries, 5,444 with non-battle injuries and 10,758 with disease.

At The Independent, Andy McSmith's "Leaked memo shows Iraq pull-out plans" only makes the point more clear about who's still wanting to dance with Bully Boy and who's called a taxi for the ride home:

Almost two thirds of the 8,500 British troops in Iraq will have been pulled out by the end of next year, under plans drawn up in Whitehall to hand over two provinces to Iraqi control.
The plan set out in a leaked memo written by the Defence Secretary John Reid, hints that the Government is keen to cut the heavy cost of patrolling southern Iraq.
The memo calculates that the current cost of the British presence in Iraq, around £1bn a year, could be halved if the number of troops were reduced to 3,000 during 2006. The memo implies that the British would formally hand over control to the Iraqis of the four provinces currently under British control by April 2006, but that it take another eight months before what the memo calls the "UK military drawdown" has been completed - and 18 months before the money comes through.

Are we starting to get the picture yet? The public is. They want the troops home. Polls show that. It's just the media and our leaders that are too timid to address it. "Stay the course!" they chant. This "cakewalk" has now lasted over two years. Donald Rumsfeld says twelve is a possiblity. "Cakewalk?"

How do you define "success" in Iraq? That's difficult since the reasons for the invasion/occupation constantly shift. But it's not been a cakewalk, this war of choice. And we haven't made the world safer for anyone. Iraq's not safer. We're not safer. The London bombings prove the fly paper theory was crap.

Now we're supposed to let the ones who brought us this war go back to the drawing board to . . . think up new excuses? They had no planning other than (as Naomi Klein pointed out in "Baghdad Year Zero") to have a tag sale on the Iraqi assets. Even the Operation Happy Talkers seem to have a case of cat got their tongues. (Sadly, we're sure this is a momentary condition.)

If sane people can agree that the illegal occupation is a disaster for everyone involved (outside of those profitting from the war), how much are we willing to give to "stay the course?" We want the body counts to double? When do we reach the point that we say enough?

We steer to you to "Should This Marriage Be Saved?" and ask at what point do we take a realistic look at what's going on? Pig-headed is not a virtue. It's not sane. It's not logical. And it's only going to get more people killed.

The Bully Boy has sullied this nation's name. He's trashed treaties and conventions. He's had a five-year frat party at our expense. At some point, we need to roll up our sleeves and do some cleaning. And that means tossing in the garbage the notion that after two years of the "cake walk" this is anything like what was sold to us.

"Stay the course?" We say "head on home." Head on home to what America is supposed to stand for. On what America is supposed to represent. This invasion/occupation isn't what America's supposed to be about. So let's all grow up, sober up and realize that the Bully Boy's taken us on a two-year bender. Comes a time when you gotta head home. It's past time for that.

Iraq had no WMD. It was not a threat to us ("mushroom cloud," Condi?). Someone lied us into war. They took us off course. It's time to get back to what America's all about and it's time to realize that drunk slurring his words and telling us he knows another bar that's still open isn't anyone we want to get a car in with. We're ready to head on home and return to the lives we should be leading. Lives that don't involve wars built on lies. Lives that don't involve trying to impose a system on a people who didn't ask for us to be there. Lives that don't involve falling for the latest Operation Happy Talk. Lives that are reality-based. Bar's closing, let's all head on home. At least the ones who still have that option, the ones who didn't give their lives to a war of choice, one that should have been avoided.

[Note: Since these editorials tend to get reposted elsewhere, we'll note this was written by The Third Estate Sunday Review crew of Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava as well as by C.I. of The Common Ills, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Kat of Kat's Korner, Mike of Mikey Likes It! and Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man.]

posted by Third Estate Sunday Review @ Sunday, July 10, 2005

It's an important thought. My folks read it this morning and were like, "Head on home? You know what, I like that."

They were asking about how it was written and all. So I figured maybe some people wonder about that. I'm the new guy on the block coz C.I., Jim, Ava, Ty, Jess, Dona, Rebecca, Kat and Betty have been blogging for like forever. And there also all used to working together and stuff.
So like I was part of helping out last week but I was still nervous cause I think they all do such great stuff and like who am I?

I threw out a few words early on. And Ty and Jim were like, "No." And C.I. was like, "Wait a second, redo it. Say it differently." So I did and they were all like, "Hey cool!" And then I started tossing out other stuff and some of it went in and some didn't. And Ava told me after that if I feel strongly on something and gets shot down I need to go wait a second guys.

She said she used to wonder like why she was even there cause she'd be thinking up stuff and it would get shot down. And she knew that as part of a process even if it got shot down it still helped cause it made someone else think of something but she was feeling like "When are my words going in here?" Jim said you just have to elbow your way in and if something gets shot down try again or if you believe in it start saying "Wait, this matters to me because" to make sure you get heard.

And that's really how it is. Or like Kat and C.I. both go "Jackson Browne!" at 1 point and me and Ty are like, "Huh?" And they start singing "Tender Is The Night" which is a song I didn't know. But they're going "Living lives we used to lead chasing down the love we need." And that led to us coming up with the whole "Lives" sentences. Jim kept bringing up the "stay the course" thing cause everyone thinks it nonsense and Ava and C.I. were making fun of how people used that as a defense and at some point when Jim was going we needed to think of a counter argument to "stay the course," Ava and C.I. start brainstorming and come up with "Head on Home." Betty brought up the thing C.I. did where the US and Iraq were like a really bad marriage. Rebecca and Jess were like okay, we have Sunday Times of London and it's a foreign paper so it's not obvious but we just did a whole thing about going elsewhere and Dona goes "The Independent!"

And there was this big argument about "No, it's not hurting everyone!" by Dona. So we got the thing about people who are getting rich off the war. It's just this free for all with everyone talking at once and you have to jump on in. Everybody's throwing stuff out and in the end it's got a little bit of all of us in it. Jim and Dona are real big on declarative sentences and Jess and C.I. are real big on questions. And about the only time it quietens down is when Kat speaks because when she tosses out something it's a really good point or she's saying, "You've lost me" and everyone knows they need to figure out where the problem is because if she's not following no one is. Betty found the UPI thing and wanted it in but the link doesn't work and Dallas, who's a community member of The Common Ills is searching and can't find it and we're all trying by hitting newspapers in this country and yahoo and nothing. Betty thinks it's important because people are losing limbs and Jim goes, "You know what, we don't need the link. We'll just copy and paste the summary." And that's good because we were getting bogged down there and there were problems with the program we use and posts getting lost and the sun was out (here at least) so everyone was tired and we needed to move on.

So like the whole thing is the work of everyone. Ava and C.I. are really great about coming up with phrases. They came up with Operation Enduring Falsehood the week before in their TV review. And Head on Home was the one this morning. And then Rebecca will use work on the stuff around that to make sure the point is really "sold." It's really interesting to just listen and all but you have to jump in there like Jim says.

Dona kept checking throughout the all nighter with me going, "Are you sure you're not going to hear about this tomorrow?" I told my folks about that and they laughed. Not to be laughing at Dona but I was here talking to the gang on the phone and online. I'm 19 and haven't had a curfew since I was 16 except from a coach. But my folks were like even if I was underage, who could complain when I was in the house and working on something I believed in?

I slept until three and then got up cause I could smell the dinner my mom was making (pot roast). Dad was hoping to clean the garage this weekend but time ran away from him. I had a headache and wasn't in the mood to grab the weights so I went on out to the garage and moved all the junk and he came out at the end and was like I didn't have to do that and he would have helped. But I did need to get the body moving and all to get rid of my headache. And it was no skin off my back to jump in and do something without being asked. That comes from my oldest bro who would always tell me that our middle bro wasted too much time trying to get out of doing something and could get a lot more done if he'd just do something if he was asked instead of griping all the time and that it would be even better if you didn't wait to be asked. And if you're living somewhere you really should know what needs to be done. I mean, you walk in the kitchen and toss something in the trash, you can tell it needs emptying so you don't need someone to ask about that. Or like tonight where Ma worked forever on dinner and all, she doesn't need to go, "Can someone help with the dishes?" Me and my sister just start in on them because there's no reason to act like this is Friday's or something and expect someone to come along and bus our table, you know?

That's probably something you learn if you have a big family because if everybody doesn't pitch in everything comes to a standstill. And it also helps to be at the end of the line because you get to watch the mistakes your brothers and sisters make and learn from them so you make your own mistakes and not the ones they've already made. Dad jokes that they've already been worn down but they've always been pretty cool.

And why am I talking about all this? Cause Marcy e-mailed that her parents are always on her case about helping out. She said she's sick of hearing it. So I say don't wait to be asked. And since I don't have kids, I asked Dad about it and he said nobody like to repeat themselves and when he was always having to do it with my older brother and sister he finally sat them down and said "If you do it the first time, you don't have to hear me on it again." Which is probably what my oldest bro added to with his, "Don't wait to be asked."

So I hope that helps Marcy some.