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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Important Stuff.

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What's going on in Iraq, anyway? Here are some facts. Feel free to skip this section -- It will not be covered on the exam. I just need to vent a little.

  1. A gallon of gasoline now sells on the black market in Baghdad for about $4.92, although the official price is 64 cents a gallon. Lines of cars at many Baghdad fuel stations stretch for several miles, and drivers sometime wait overnight to fill up their cars. I thought this was pretty ironic -- Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld were claiming in 2003 that Iraqi oil would pay for the reconstruction and what little occupation would be necessary.

  2. More than half the people in the U.S. believe that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. The people who write these articles in the press are ironically confused. Most major press organizations reported in blazing headlines the finding of stockpiles of chemical weapons in Iraq. A day or two later, they would mention in the background that, no, it was nothing. News organizations from NPR to Fox were guilty of this, and now they wonder how people have gotten the wrong idea.

  3. 1,666 roadside bombs exploded in July. 959 more were discovered before they could detonate. 70% of them were directed at US forces. This was an increase of 81% over June. 4. More than 2,600 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq. Almost 20,000 have been wounded, over 9,000 of them seriously ( Between 15 and 20 continue to be killed each week.

  4. Today's news: 65 bodies were found around Baghdad, tortured and shot. They typically used power drills to torture the victims before shooting them.

  5. In July, 3500 Iraqis were killed in sectarian or political violence, the most since the war started in March 2003. I'm not sure about August.

  6. President Bush insists that Iraq is better off today than before the war.

  7. The U.S. Senate says Iraq was never seriously involved with Al Queda. Iraq had no "weapons of mass destruction," contrary to the declared reasons for the war. Democrats and Republicans voted overwhelmingly in favor of war with Iraq. The press was behind the war almost 100%. The Attorney General said you were a traitor if you were not in favor of the U.S. policy.

Today? They all act as if nothing was wrong. Rumsfeld is sending more troops into Iraq, and has raised the call-up age to 42. Bush says he is protecting me. He must think I am really stupid.

As I may have mentioned a time or two, I think the war in Iraq was unnecessary. I thought so before, during, and after the invasion. I think the war in Afghanistan was necessary. Unfortunately, 338 U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan. But that is a lot less than the 2,672 who have died in Iraq.

What's the solution? I don't have a good one. The word "quagmire" comes to mind. What ever happened to "shock and awe"?

I should add here that I support the U.S. military. Their job is to take orders from the civilian commander in chief. The military does not make political decisions, and it is very important that they should not. People in the military carry out their orders whether or not they agree with them. That is VERY important to the stability of the country. When I criticize the war in Iraq, I am not criticizing the U.S. military. They are doing their job and doing it well.

NASA Politics

Former NASA Associate Administrator for Space Science, Wes, said when he testified before Congress that the President's "Vision for Space Exploration" has forced NASA "to cannibalize the agency's science program." Three members of the Science Committee of the NASA Advisory Council, including its chair, are out the door for giving this kind of advice.

When the Vision for Space Exploration was announced a couple of years ago, NASA was assured it would not affect the science research program.

Bush responded, "Science? Who needs science?"

Note: Bob is a really interesting guy who lives in Oklahoma. He is usually not so overtly political. You can signe up for his monthly Junk Mail by going to his site: