“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Sunday, February 04, 2007

02/04 Morning Report

This is REALLY dis-heartening. I can actually agree with the ACLU on the issue of caring for the homeless…well, partially anyway.

the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit challenging the Las Vegas ban, saying it violated constitutional protections of free speech, right to assembly and right to practice one's religion.
What this says about our nation is truly sad. We don’t care about doing what is morally right and kind and considerate to others. All that matters is our constitutional rights—not that those really matter to the ACLU, but they do put up a great smoke screen.

In a similar vein, Jaques Chirac says the US should be taxed if it doesn’t sign the Kyoto accords. Aside from the fact that the accords do not address the growing industrial pollution of , say, India and blame it all on current industrial nations, there are some serious flaws in the science behind the conclusions of it. But, the EU will use it to raise money—even if it does break international trade rules!
(…talk about the easy way to gain a financial advantage in the global economy…H/T to the denizens ofCastle Argghh for the info!...)

Meanwhile, in Iraq, neighboring countries are trying to deal with the refugee problem. For the WashPo, this is the usual article that pulls at the heart strings—and tries to blame the US. But, hidden in the text are some real nuggets.
On the roads to both Jordan and Syria, Sunni insurgents have dragged Shiites from buses and executed them.
So, it’s not all about the Shiite death squads? Where is this reporting? And, just why would the other countries not want Iraqis?
Jordan's tolerance has waned, however, since a group of Iraqis bombed three hotels in November 2005, killing 60 people, according to Iraqis, aid officials and human rights groups. The government fears that Iraq's mostly Sunni Arab refugees could remain in the country permanently or become recruits for Iraq's insurgency.
(…hhhhmmmmm…cant see any logic to that argument…I wonder why the sectarian violence is all America’s, I mean Bush’s fault…oh, you may need to register to read the article…)

Is it really the end of US primacy in the Middle East? Actually, US power and influence has been dropping world wide for many years. Part of the problem has been our unwillingness to see the ugly jobs through to the end just because we get tired of being involved and want something new. And, part of it is, as this article points out, we do not factor in all the results of what we initiate. Did US action really accelerate the rise of Iran? The claim has merit. The focus on Iraq has diverted attention and resources from reigning in Iran. Would much of anything be different if the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions had not happened? Overall, the claim is doubtful. Iran already had secret nuclear development well underway. Also, Iran’s supremacy in the Middle East had been growing for sometime, via arms and monies supplied to various terrorist groups. Those terrorist groups are now in power in Gaza and Lebanon.
(…besides…the real question is not whether or even why Iran’s influence has become more visible…the question is will the world do anything about it…)

The most under-reported announcement from Iraq came on Monday.
The Sadrist bloc, or members of parliament loyal to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Iraqi Islamic Party (Sunni Party). Signed an agreement to set up joint committees in the areas inhabited by a mix of Shiites and Sunnis with the aim of preserving security and cooperating with Iraqi security forces, according to Bahaa al-Aaraji, a Sadrist member of parliament, on Sunday.
The Sadrists are giving their full support to the new plan for plans involving American and Iraqi troops? Where is this in the media?

In related news, Virginia freshman Senator (and Marine vet) James Webb claimed the military no longer supports the war—in respsonse to the President’s state of the Union address. The interesting part is no one seems to have questioned the basis of that claim. Greyhawk dug out the truth. There are surprises for both sides in the analysis. The one I liked the most? The troops favor an increase of troops to about the level Bush is proposing. But this information came available BEFORE the “surge.”
(…I’m sorry I missed this when it was originally posted…)

And, finally, there was this sad announcement from Any Soldier:
Sgt. Alejandro Carillo, 22, of Los Angeles, CA, died January 30 while conduting operations in al-Anbar Province, Iraq. Sgt. Carillo was assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 7, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Twenty-nine Palms, CA.
Sgt. Carillo, at our house we remember your cry—the cry of all warriors:
"Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, we gave our today."
--The Kohima Epitaph--
We remember what you have given. And we say thank you for the tomorrows you have given others. May God give back to your family more than they have sacrificed and lost.

And, now, we dance In Memoriam.