Tag: Iraq War

Kucinich for President? Ignore the Ugh? You Bet! w/poll

Sure, he’s not popular with our Great Orange Overlod.  Good for Kos.  No, really!  He has set up a ‘progressive’ community, and we have the right to ignore his dissmissive ‘Ughs.’  Why should we ignore those ‘Ughs?’

As Bush destroys our military, Army desertion rates skyrocket

According to the Associated Press:

Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.


As DWG diaried, on Wednesday, a new study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reports that:

The prevalence of reporting a mental health problem was 19.1% among service members returning from Iraq compared with 11.3% after returning from Afghanistan and 8.5% after returning from other locations (P<.001). Mental health problems reported on the postdeployment assessment were significantly associated with combat experiences, mental health care referral and utilization, and attrition from military service. Thirty-five percent of Iraq war veterans accessed mental health services in the year after returning home; 12% per year were diagnosed with a mental health problem. More than 50% of those referred for a mental health reason were documented to receive follow-up care although less than 10% of all service members who received mental health treatment were referred through the screening program.

Now, let’s be clear about something: anyone who makes it through basic training is pretty damn tough. Tougher than most of us can imagine. It is not easy to break a soldier. It is not easy to drive a soldier to desert. It takes a special breed of irresponsibility and failure to drive up desertion rates. A special breed of irresponsibility and failure from above. Like from the very top of above. Like from the ostensible Commander-in-Chief.

As CBS News reported, in July:

About 38 percent of soldiers and 31 percent of Marines report psychological conditions such as brain injury and PTSD after returning from deployment. Among members of the National Guard, the figure is much higher – 49 percent – with numbers expected to grow because of repeated and extended deployments.

And this list of links explains why:

$15,000,000,000 to fight the “narcotics trade,” and Blackwater may get some

It gets more and more surreal.

Since the U.S. government is now a wholly owned subsidiary of a conglomerate of defense contractors and the fossil fuels industries, it’s important to find new and better ways for our tax dollars to support those murderous kleptocrats- preferably ways that attract little scrutiny, and play into the warped values so carefully calibrated by our corporate media. We can’t spend money on things that might actually help children, like ensuring that they have safe homes, nutritious food, clean clothes, and quality educations and health care. That would be socialism! But we can try to keep them from having sex! And we can try to keep them off drugs! Homelessness, hunger, and lack of opportunity are of little import, but kids on drugs is bad! And it exists in a vacuum. It has nothing to do with that homelessness, hunger, and lack of opportunity!

So, the Wall Street Journal is reporting today that:

A Defense Department contract involving antidrug training missions may test the durability of the political controversy over Blackwater Worldwide’s security work in Iraq.

The Moyock, N.C., company, which was involved in a September shooting in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqis dead, is one of five military contractors competing for as much as $15 billion over five years to help fight a narcotics trade that the government says finances terrorist groups.

Also competing for contracts from the Pentagon’s Counter Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office are military-industry giants Raytheon Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp., as well as Arinc Inc., a smaller aerospace and technology contractor.

Of course, the first reaction is to wonder why in hell we’d be considering giving more money to a bloodsucking private army that murders civilians and is run by a fundamentalist religious fanatic. That’s the obvious question, and it will remain unanswered. As our nation is dismantled and sold for scrap, Blackwater is the future. But the bigger question, which is, of course, overlooked by the Journal itself, is why are we looking to spend $15,000,000,000 on the war on drugs?!


What Were You Thinking You Sick Twisted Freaks

I did not know that Mark Cuban was planning a pre-release screening of Brian De Palma’s REDACTED on cable tv’s “On Demand” channel until I stumbled upon it last night and hit the buy botton ($20) without thinking twice.

I had read all of the reviews, including the award coverage, that came out this summer when Redacted swept through the Venice Film Festival. I  was also highly familiar with the real life story this ‘fictional’ accounting is based upon – : the brutal rape, murder and body burning of a 14 year old Iraqi girl and murder of her family – and I was ready to see this film.

Or so I thought.

New poll: Opposition to Iraq War at record high, while large majority opposes attack on Iran

A new polll has good news, on two fronts.

On the Iraq War:

Opposition to the war in Iraq has reached an all-time high, according to the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released Thursday morning.

Support for the war in Iraq has dropped to 31 percent and the 68 percent who oppose the war is a new record.

Only a quarter of those polled think the U.S. is winning the war. The American people get it. Those with brains, anyway. Now, if only someone would do something about this disaster…

The other result is very encouraging, particularly to those who saw the strange recent Zogby Poll, which concluded that a slight majority of Americans favored an attack on Iran. That poll struck me as an outlier, although we’ll have to see more results, to really know. But the CNN/ORC result shows this:

The public also opposes U.S. military action against Iran. Sixty-three percent oppose air strikes on Iran, while 73 percent oppose using ground troops as well as air strikes in that country.

That sounds more accurate. We’ll see.

The new polls also says 56% say they are dissatisfied with the progress in the “war on terror.” Which begs the questions:

What progress?

What war on terror?

Al Qaeda and the Taliban are resurgent, and Pakistan now has a dictatorship. Okay, maybe there is progress. Just not in the right direction.

Blackwater owner also has an international spy agency

Today’s Washington Post has more happy Blackwater news:

The Prince Group, the holding company that owns Blackwater Worldwide, has been building an operation that will sniff out intelligence about natural disasters, business-friendly governments, overseas regulations and global political developments for clients in industry and government.

The operation, Total Intelligence Solutions, has assembled a roster of former spooks — high-ranking figures from agencies such as the CIA and defense intelligence — that mirrors the slate of former military officials who run Blackwater. Its chairman is Cofer Black, the former head of counterterrorism at CIA known for his leading role in many of the agency’s more controversial programs, including the rendition and interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects and the detention of some of them in secret prisons overseas.

Its chief executive is Robert Richer, a former CIA associate deputy director of operations who was heavily involved in running the agency’s role in the Iraq war.

Which begs the question: what role does this agency play in domestic spying? What role does it play in shaping international policy? Richer once headed the CIA’s Near East division. The CIA spent a fortune helping train Jordan’s intel service. Jordan now hires Blackwater. Nifty, huh?

As for the new spy unit:

Fascism Absurdity! (Updated)

Nick Egnatz, of Munster, Indiana, is a Vietnam vet, an articulate non-stop Veterans for Peace activist, and a formative member of the NW Indiana Coalition Against the Iraq War.  His group marched in the Chicago Rally and was part of the group appearing and speaking at Federal Plaza.

At any rate, I just received the following Press Release from him and read it in near disbelief.  The Press Release speaks for itself.

There’s more:

Inside the diseased mind of Donald Rumsfeld

Retired Secretary of Death and Destruction Donald Rumsfeld used to hand write some twenty to sixty notes, called “snowflakes,” each day. Robin Wright, of the Washington Post, has obtained some of them. They were not classified, but were deemed “for official use only.”

In a series of internal musings and memos to his staff, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld argued that Muslims avoid “physical labor” and wrote of the need to “keep elevating the threat,” “link Iraq to Iran” and develop “bumper sticker statements” to rally public support for an increasingly unpopular war.


If Nancy Pelosi were poor and sleeping on my sidewalk, she’d be arrested for loitering.  But because she has  $125 million bucks in the bank, and a sign on the door of her office reading “Speaker of the House,” it’s called “government.”

–Compound F

Nancy Pelosi’s statement about war protestors being arrested for loitering exhibited frustration at her base’s desire to end the evil in Iraq and also struck a rather authoritarian chord.  While she voted against funding, she is obviously deeply conflicted about her commitments to the Constitution, oversight, and basic ethics.  The same can be said of Congress as a whole.  I hope we can agree that lying one’s way into an aggressive war in which a million people have been killed for the purposes of resource theft can be easily categorized as “evil.”

Evil is a loaded concept, so let me pare it down. Evil is not “out there” as a mythic, religious, or supernatural force.  While I insist on looking inward to find evil, I also don’t care for the “empirical” notion that Good and Evil can be adequately represented by a continuum of pleasure and pain.  I prefer the more philosophical or moral version in which evil is related to the intent to do harm. 

LiveBlog with Aidan Delgado

OK – so here we go. 

I don’t have a lot prepared to say up top here.  I just want to welcome Aidan Delgado and give a brief intro. He will be posting here as TheObjector. 

Aidan Delgado joined the Army Reserve in 2001 and was sent to Iraq in March 2003. He was assigned to the 320th Military Police Company where he worked as a mechanic and also as a radio operator.  He spent 1 year in Iraq – 6 months at Tallil Airbase outside Nasiriyah and 6 months at Abu Ghraib.  As a Buddhist he soon found that being in the Army and witnessing the inhumanity of war and its effects on his fellow soldiers, and of course the Iraqis, violated all his beliefs and principles.  He decided he could not be a willing participant any longer so he turned in his weapon and filed for Conscientious Objector status.  His book tells about everything he saw and felt and how difficult it was to go on living and working with most of the soldiers in his unit once he made the decision to become an Objector.  It is a really amazing story of courage and compassion.  Highly recommended.

You can read more about the book here: Review

Click the book cover to purchase from the publisher, Beacon Press.

Here is Aidan’s website with a lot more information and links. 

Without further ado, I’ll open the floor, I mean blog, to questions.  Post your comments at any time and Aidan can work his way down the page to reply. 

Barack Obama is ready to take on the enemy!

Senator Barack Obama has finally decided to forcefully take on the enemy!


“I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breaches, and intentional breaches of the president’s authority,” he said.

USA Today

As opposed to the trivial breaches committed by Bush.

The war?

The leading Democratic White House hopefuls conceded Wednesday night they cannot guarantee to pull all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of the next presidential term in 2013.

I think it’s hard to project four years from now,” said Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the opening moments of a campaign debate in the nation’s first primary state.


Maybe for someone who is not ready to lead.


Obama said only that “if the bill comes to the Senate floor in its current form, he would support a filibuster of it” — a transparent hedge given that it is virtually certain that the bill (being marked up this week by the Senate Judiciary Committee) will not come to the floor in its “current form.” That makes Obama’s statement virtually worthless, filled — as intended — with plenty of room for him to vote for amnesty if and when the Senate votes on it.

Glenn Greenwald

Following in Dodd’s footsteps, but not following all the way.


“First, Pastor McClurkin believes and has stated things about sexual orientation that are deeply hurtful and offensive to many Americans, most especially to gay Americans. This cannot and should not be denied.

At the same time, a great many African Americans share Pastor McClurkin’s beliefs. This also cannot be ignored.

Finally, we believe that the only way for these two sides to find common ground is to do so together.”

Huffington Post

Common ground? With bigots?

Well, okay- not those enemies. This enemy…

Book Review: The Sutras of Abu Ghraib

The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: Notes from a Conscientious Objector in Iraq

Special Note:  Aidan Delgado will be online here at Docudharma to talk about the book and his experiences in Iraq. Please join in the conversation –

Sunday, October 28th at 9 PM Eastern / 6 PM Pacific 

A few weeks ago Aidan Delgado sent us an email asking if we would help promote his new book about the Iraq War and how he came to be a Conscientious Objector.  We were more than happy to do so.  A few days later I received a copy of the book from the publisher, Beacon Press.  The story is well written and captivating –  highly recommended.  Here are a few more thoughts I will share with you… 

It takes courage to become a soldier and go to war.  It takes more courage to stand up for your principles and do the right thing.  This book is more than just a war story. As Delgado puts it: 

This book is not about who I am and what happened to me, even though you will read about who I am and what happened to me.  It is a story about a struggle that we all face, a story about deciding what you believe is right and upholding that belief to the bitter end, come what may.

Artist: Dadara

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