Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The BBC Goes Where American Media Dare Not

They actually bother to look at Baghdad and tell you what is going on.

Trying to get into the centre of Baghdad earlier this week offered one view of how far away the Americans and Iraqi authorities are from gaining control here. We were at the airport. Just before we were due to leave, the entrance car park was hit by a car bomb.


While we waited with scores of other vehicles, mortars were fired at the airport.


You won't have heard about any of this because at the same time a series of other far more serious attacks was taking place. One was at the Sadriya market in the city centre, where a massive car bomb killed more than 140 people.


As we drove into the city, we counted six blast holes left by recent roadside bombs along just one 100-metre stretch or road. A large patch of damaged, blackened Tarmac on a bridge spoke of another attempt to destroy a key crossing.


Last month alone there were more than 100 car bombings, and the number of attacks has continued at a similar rate so far this month.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Abstinence Only Fails

Not that this should surprise anyone who has any ability to think. Just say no has been an abject failure in every venue it has been rolled out into. What may be surprising is that this first study indicates that the hundreds of millions that have been spend on telling kids to just say no to sex has had, what amounts to, absolutely no impact on teen sexual activity.

Students who participated in sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to have sex a few years later as those who did not


those who attended one of the four abstinence classes reviewed reported having similar numbers of sexual partners as those who did not attend the classes, and they first had sex at about the same age as their control group counterparts — 14 years and nine months

just as likely to have sex, similar numbers of sexual partners, first had sex at about the same age... all for the low, low price of $175,000,000 a year. I wonder if we can get a full refund from all the right wing sexual snake oil sales people who have been able to use the Bush administration to rob the American public.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

More Guard Off To War

The combat escalation in Iraq is stretching the military so thin, that they are having to dip into guard forces again.

Coming on the heels of a controversial “surge” of 21,000 U.S. troops that has stretched the Army thin, the Defense Department is preparing to send an additional 12,000 National Guard combat forces to Iraq and Afghanistan

Let's just hope that they are treated better than Matthew Zeimer.

One of the soldiers died just hours after arriving in Iraq -- and was one of those troops rushed to the country in the "surge" who did not receive full training.


On February 9, the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News reported: "At least 143 soldiers joined Fort Stewart's 1st Brigade too late to participate in a final combat exercise before their units deployed to Iraq. Last week, one of those soldiers - Pvt. Matthew T. Zeimer, 18 - was the first from the brigade to be killed when he was hit by enemy fire in Ramadi, the stronghold of Iraq's Sunni insurgency.

"Zeimer arrived at Fort Stewart on Dec. 18 after basic training and deployed to Iraq just a few weeks later. He missed the brigade's intensive four-week mission rehearsal in October when more than 1,300 trainers and Iraqi role-players came to the post as part of the most realistic training program the Army offers for Iraq operations.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's Official, The Escalation Will Fail

I say this not because of the obvious weakness in the plan, or the overall inability of the US armed forces to do the job (we lack the manpower), but because Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, at the urging of Bush's pal Ahmad Chalabi, has decided that he likes the Civil War and wants it to continue.

The most powerful Shiite cleric in Iraq has rejected an American-backed proposal to allow thousands of former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party to return to government service, an aide to the cleric said Monday. The rejection by the cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, appears certain to fuel hostility between the majority Shiites and the former ruling Sunni Arabs, since many Sunni Arabs say they were unfairly purged from the government in the clampdown on the Baath Party.

And as long as Sistani wants civil war, there will be civil war.