November 06, 2006

Thoughts to consider on Election Day

Insulting Our Troops, and Our Intelligence - by Tom Friedman, who cheer-led and supported the Iraq war because he believed in it, saying in a townhill mtg that if he were proved wrong about this "exciting" experiment, "I would go down"... (to which I thought, "No, Tom, young people and this country will go down').  He's a bit upset about how things have been handled.
Extracts:
"What could possibly be more injurious and insulting to our men and women in uniform than sending them off to war without the proper equipment, so that some soldiers in the field were left to buy their own body armor and to retrofit their own jeeps with scrap metal so that roadside bombs in Iraq would only maim them for life and not kill them? And what could be more injurious and insulting than Don Rumsfeld’s response to criticism that he sent our troops off in haste and unprepared: Hey, you go to war with the army you’ve got — get over it.
. . .
Let him know that you know that the most patriotic thing to do in this election is to vote against an administration that has — through sheer incompetence — brought us to a point in Iraq that was not inevitable but is now unwinnable.
. . .
Let Karl know that you think this is a critical election, because you know as a citizen that if the Bush team can behave with the level of deadly incompetence it has exhibited in Iraq — and then get away with it by holding on to the House and the Senate — it means our country has become a banana republic ..."
As Bechtel Goes - by Paul Krugman

Extracts:
"Bechtel, the giant engineering company, is leaving Iraq. Its mission — to rebuild power, water and sewage plants — wasn’t accomplished: Baghdad received less than six hours a day of electricity last month, and much of Iraq’s population lives with untreated sewage and without clean water. But Bechtel, having received $2.3 billion of taxpayers’ money and having lost the lives of 52 employees, has come to the end of its last government contract.

As Bechtel goes, so goes the whole reconstruction effort.
. . . if we’ve given up on rebuilding Iraq, what are our troops dying for?
. . . I don’t know whether the administration is afraid to ask U.S. voters for more money, or simply considers the situation hopeless. Either way, the United States has accepted defeat on reconstruction.
    Yet Americans are still fighting and dying in Iraq. For what? "

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