A Gentleman I Trust Implicity

I found out something fascinating this weekend.

There’s a man I trust implicitly. I cannot reveal his identity because it would potentially jeopardize his security clearance. (Not you, Agent Little Bird, someone else…)

This is a guy- he’s a retired military historian and strategist, now working as a military management and leadership consultant- someone who I am very close to, and someone who didn’t vote for John Kerry last November. Not by a long shot.

He confided to me this weekend that he has completely changed his mind about the Bush Administration. He still identifies himself as a conservative and as a republican, but, he says, the administration in power “typifies neither.”

Our conversation was brief but he was very explicit that he wanted me to know about his change of heart. He promised that we will speak of it again soon.

Well…. I’m curious what his tipping point was. Aren’t you?

Here’s my theory:
I think that the professional military types may be feeling betrayed that their junior officers, NCOs and enlisted men are being thrown into the Iraq haymaker on what they now know is trumped up intelligence. The Downing Street Memos may have gotten a fraction of the coverage of the Runaway Bride, but these guys don’t survive combat and 25 years in a bureaucracy without developing a keen eye for details which affect them directly. The DSM? You better believe it affects them directly.

We’ll see. This gentleman has good, good friends in the shitstorm of Iraq. For him, this is personal. I can’t wait for us to sit down over bbq and tea and get caught up soon.

War Criminals? Us?

Via the Big Brass Blogging Hurricane that is Shakespeare’s Sister, we find a link to Body and Soul’s rundown of the recent arrest warrants issued for CIA agents working on Italian soil.

Jeanne does a fantastic job of rounding up some of the disparate elements. What bothers me the most is that we have become so accustomed to the parade of outrageous behavior on this Administration’s watch that this almost doesn’t register on most folks’ radar.

Hello? 13 US citizens are sought by a foreign government, one who is nominally our ALLY in the Global War on Terra’, for violating international law WHILE DOING THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE US GOVERNMENT.

We have become a rouge republic.

Today, an Italian judge’s office announced that he has ordered the arrest of 13 CIA agents involved in the kidnapping. Newsday doesn’t give any information about the identity of the agents, other than that they were all American, but Corriere dell Sera reports that one was the former head of the CIA station in Milan, identified in another article as “Bob” — Robert Seldon Lady — who in recent months was “improvvisamente sostituito” — suddenly replaced.

US forces, you may recall, shot Giuliana Sgrena and killed a member of the Italy’s own intel services. The US/Italian alliance in the GWOT isn’t going to take much more of this kind of one-way abuse… I would make a bet that Bush’s homeboy Berlusconi isn’t going to survive the next Italian election.

Oh, wait, there’s more from this morning’s Body and Soul. Go read. See you in Jeanne’s comments.

Road Dog

I have to figure out some way to blog from the road.

Music Hates You played all weekend, starting Friday night in Pensacola, FL and ending here in Athens at a huge drunken house party. In Pensacola, we played Sluggo’s again, this time with the band Holden Red. It went really well. The van ride was agony, though. It was very, very hot. (Our noble chariot has no AC.)

Sorry for the interruption of service here. I will try to be a better correspondent in the future when I am traveling.

I get mail

Several months ago, I wrote this entry about SPC Robert Loria’s sacrifice in the war in Iraq:

Thanks for giving us your arm, chump.

Unbelievable.

He lost his arm serving his country in Iraq. Now this wounded soldier is being discharged from his company in Fort Hood, Texas, without enough gas money to get home. In fact, the Army says 27-year-old Spc. Robert Loria owes it close to $2,000, and confiscated his last paycheck. “There’s people in my unit right now – one of my team leaders [who was] over in Iraq with me, is doing everything he can to help me …. but it’s looking bleak,” Loria said by telephone from Fort Hood yesterday. “It’s coming up on Christmas and I have no way of getting home.”

They didn’t plan for the Occupation, and apparently, they didn’t plan for the soldiers that were going to be maimed in this clusterfuck.

Today I got this comment on the entry:

I served proudly with SPC Loria in Iraq for 12 months. His selfless service and sacrifice is an example to all Americans and soldiers alike. And at the top of this page is a sarcastic comment that should be removed. I know Rob could still kick your ass punk.
-240B

Since the email I sent this gentleman bounced, I will reproduce it here, in the hopes that it clears up any misunderstanding:

Dear 240 B-
I certainly mean no disrespect on my part for SPC Loria. I think it’s terrible that he has been asked to sacrifice so much for such a misguided and ill-planned war. The disrespect implied in the title, if you read the article a little closer, is my perception of the ingratitude of the men who sent you gentlemen off to fight their war.

I trust you did not meet their sons and daughters in the deserts or cities of Iraq.

I am sorry if you were offended. It would be my honor and pleasure to treat you and SPC Loria to the beverage of your choice. I leave the title as it stands, since the entry is several months old, and it was never meant to impugn the service, honor or patriotism of SPC Loria.

As for whether he could kick my “punk ass…” I have some doubt, if he met me, whether he would want to. I am a proud American, southerner and proud son (and grandson) of a soldier. However, if he wants to beat Don Rumsfeld like someone else’s dog, I will hold his hat and coat.

Your service in Iraq is something I value and respect. The men who sent you there without any exit plan or plan for what has happened there do not, in my opinion, deserve to shine your boots.

Thanks, soldier.

-Patrick Ferguson
Bishop, GA

Hope that clears up any misconceptions.

Tagged with the Book Meme

Hope had reached out and tagged me with the book meme.

1. How many books do you own?
Jesus. I dunno. 2,000, probably.

2. Last book read?
Hm. This has not been a big summer for reading for me, so I have to think back. I read a big chunk of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, but I didn’t read the entire book. Carla Emery’s Encylopedia of Country Living is never far from my nightstand in summer, since it has so many tips about organic gardening.

3. Last book purchased?
Eric Hobshawn’s Bandits, a history of bandits and banditry.

4. Name five books that mean alot to you.
1. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell. This book is the stumbling block to douchebags like those idiots at Powerline that selectively read Orwell. Orwell was A SOCIALIST. You’d have to be some sort of idiot, or willfully misunderstanding that… oh, never mind.

2. Our Fight: Writings by Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Spain 1936-1939 by Alvah Bessie (out of print) First hand recollections of fighting fascism by men younger than my grandfather. You think it can’t happen here? Don’t kid yourself.

3. The Elemental Odes by Pablo Neruda, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden. I think “Ode to my Socks” is my favorite. Maybe “Ode to my Suit.”

4. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Duh.

5. Fighting Fascism in Europe: The World War II Letters of an American Veteran of the Spanish Civil War (World War II–The Global, Human, and Ethical Dimension, 1) by Lawrence Cane. Yes, I am putting a book on this list that I have not read. I really, really want to read this book, and have been planning on putting the money aside here for a while….

I would tag five more people…. but I am not sure who has done this already…

Eponymous, for certain… Really, I think everyone else has done this? Shakespeare’s Sister? Maybe?

What they mean when they say “ownership society”

is that if they’re rich, they own your ass.

WASHINGTON – A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that local governments may seize people’s homes and businesses against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities where economic growth often is at war with individual property rights.

The 5-4 ruling — assailed by dissenting Justice Sanday Day O’Connor as handing “disproportionate influence and power” to the well-heeled in America — was a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex.

Uh… Justice O’Connor, “handing ‘disproportionate influence and power’ to the well-heeled in America” is what this country is all about, these days. Better either get well-heeled or get used to it.

Where the press can roam free… like bison or something

Yes, I know, I am linking to ANOTHER UK Newspaper article this morning. It’s only because over there you don’t see quite so much obvious bullshit being belched out.

From (yes, again) the Guardian, Marina Hyde is quoting some lefty moonbat about the “war on terror”:

Understandably, then, its architects tend to dismiss critics as kooks, but they may have their work cut out for them as one Wallace Gregson joins the fray. Wallace is no armchair general – in fact, he’s the real-life three-star one in charge of marine forces for the whole Pacific – and the text of a talk he gave recently at the US Naval War College has found its way to the highly respected journal Inside Defence. “Terrorism is … a tool of war,” he declares in frustration. “Think of it as our enemy’s stealth bomber. This is no more a war on terrorism than world war two was a war on submarines. It’s not just semantics … words have meaning. And these words are leading us down to the wrong concept.” Wallace concedes we are “stuck with the name”, but urges that providing doctors, engineers and other aid is “more important than capturing and killing people”.

Oops. I guess there was no left moonbat available, so she went with the Marine 3-Star instead. My bad.

More Great News from the War on Terror

Also from the Guardian this morning, more great news from Porter Goss:

The war in Iraq is creating a new breed of Islamic jihadists who could go on to destabilise other countries, according to a CIA report.
The CIA believes Iraq to be potentially worse than Afghanistan, which produced thousands of jihadists in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of the recruits to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida had fought in Afghanistan.

Additionally, anyone with any knowledge of where Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge actually came from will find this quote really chilling:

Jamal Khashoggi, media adviser to the Saudi ambassador in London, said yesterday he agreed in part with the US assessment.

“It will be worse than Afghanistan,” he said. “We are talking about a very brutal type, a very weird version of Islam in Iraq. It is very scary.”

Nothing like sustained combat stress to put the zap on someone’s head. In the same way that the psychopathic Khmer Rouge used a twisted form of Maoism to justify the slaughter of their own people, I shudder to think how Islam might be twisted in the heads of the jihadists of Iraq.

Have a look at this map and spend some time thinking about how Cambodia and Laos were affected in the era after the US withdrew from Viet Nam.

“Laughable, comical, pathetic.”

Sid Blumenthal has some thoughts on “turning the corner” in his commentary for The Guardian.

Bush’s Iraq syndrome is a reinvention of Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam syndrome. In December 1967, Walt Rostow, LBJ’s national security adviser, famously declared about the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese: “Their casualties are going up at a rate they cannot sustain … I see light at the end of the tunnel.” The official invitation to the New Year’s Eve party at the US embassy in Saigon read: “Come see the light at the end of the tunnel.” The Tet offensive struck a month later.

The thing I find most scathing is Pat Lang’s assessment of the reaction to the Iraqi “elections.” (Lang “is the former chief at the Defence Intelligence Agency for the Middle East, south Asia and counter-terrorism.”)

Lang, who served as an intelligence officer in Vietnam, observes: “For almost all of the war, Vietnam was a better situation than Iraq. During the conduct of the war the security situation was far better than this.” The Iraqi elections are “irrelevant to the outcome of the war because the people who voted were the people who stood to gain”.

Iran is the long-term winner. “Iran intends to pull the Shia state of Iraq into its orbit. You can be sure that Iranian revolutionary guards are honeycombed throughout Iraq’s intelligence to make sure things don’t get out of hand.” About the “euphoria” after the election, especially echoed by the press corps, Lang simply says: “Laughable, comical, pathetic.”

ouch.

How are we going to get out of there? And how bad is it going to be for the people that we leave behind?

There’s a military term for this. FUBAR.

Have you seen my $9 billion?

I left it in Baghdad somewhere…

Go sign the Slaughter Petition.

And then, Christalmighty, go read this

A true-life coal miner’s daughter and descendant of Daniel Boone, Louise McIntosh Slaughter was born at midnight on August 14, 1929 in Lynch, Kentucky.

Lynch was a small coal town nestled in the mountains of Harlan County. It was there in the shadow of U.S. Steel that Louise’s parents, Mack and Grace started their family with three daughters, Marjorie, Virginia and little Louise.
Mack worked hard as a coal miner supplementing his income playing baseball and pool on the side. He wanted to build a better life for his family and in those days you didn’t leave U.S. Steel’s Lynch, Kentucky, you had to escape.

It was also in Lynch that tragedy stuck the young McIntosh family when Louise’s sister Virginia was stricken with double pneumonia.

Because of a terrible medical mistake, Virginia would later succumb to the pneumonia leaving the family heartbroken. Years later Louise would pinpoint this moment as her reason for earning degrees in microbiology and public health.

Harlan County? No shit?!? We know all about Harlan County.