Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 11, 2004

Iraq Mix

Some mixed news about Iraq

As expected, massive fraud was (and is) part of the action. It was easy to do:

The lawsuit said Custer Battles took at least one and as many as eight forklifts from Iraqi Airways at the airport, repainted them to cover their former markings and billed the CPA for leasing them at thousands of dollars per month.
Custer Battles seams to have defrauded the CPA of some $50 million. The government sees no reason to join the whistleblower lawsuit, because the CPA was no government entity and money was from Iraqi oil revenue and confiscated funds. Why should one wash a rented car?

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Friday marks the beginning of this years Ramadan. During last years Muslim holy month US casualties doubled. Therefore the president decided: Major Assaults on Hold Until After U.S. Vote. The resistance needs more time to prepare for battle and to read the new Abu Graibh documents.

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Some Marines are unhappy:

"Every day you read the articles in the States where it's like, 'Oh, it's getting better and better,' " said Lance Cpl. Jonathan Snyder, 22, of Gettysburg, Pa. "But when you're here, you know it's worse every day."
...
Asked if he was concerned that the Marines would be punished for speaking out, Autin responded: "We don't give a crap. What are they going to do, send us to Iraq?"
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The GOP candidate for the Senate for Colorado, Pete Coors says about voting in congress on giving Bush the authority to wage war in Iraq:

"I suspect that, given what we know today, there would be a much different outcome than we had a couple of years ago" ... "Clearly, we should be more worried today, actually, about Iran and North Dakota than we are -- that is, North Korea -- than we are about Iraq, based on weapons of mass destruction."
North Dakota has about 1,140 nuclear weapons, North Korea may have 10, Iran has none.

His democratic competitor has a different opinion on the Iraq vote:

Seated next to Coors, the Democratic candidate for the Senate seat, state Attorney General Ken Salazar, said he would vote today for a resolution giving the president authority to act in Iraq.
Now that is some party discipline.

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Faiza blogging at A Family in Baghdad observes on democracy

[The lecturer] said every candidate has a message, which he keeps repeating to people's attention until they memorize it…
I smiled........... imagining the poor American citizen these days…they all fight, and debate, giving him the headaches, as they try, each separately, to say he is completely right, and the other is completely wrong…and whoever votes for the opponent is a complete fool…
Ha, ha, ha…
A game that gives people the headaches…as if you are in a Bazaar…each is calling for his merchandise, wanting to sell it more than the others.
...
A very dangerous game….this is Democracy.

Posted by b on October 11, 2004 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

Comments

"Custer Battles"??? ROFLMAO! Does some one of us need to give the lowdown on General George Armstong Custer. The nerve of some people's kids. Jebus!

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Oct 11, 2004 3:10:56 PM | 1

What a wonderful country.

Posted by: beq | Oct 11, 2004 3:36:40 PM | 2

In Iraq...for better or for worse...

Here are 99 photos taken by a girl soldier. See: proudly winning at Bingo, posing with Mohamed 1 and 2, cake with candles, a bed with childhood cuddlies, guns clumsily held and pointing fingers reminsicent of other points, and more, such as 'cool' graves where the long dead are buried.

(office / child safe, no sound.)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mukau/>Link

A hallucinating experience.

Posted by: Blackie | Oct 11, 2004 3:38:29 PM | 3

Just came across these numbers at bartcop's - incredible that there is not more reporting about them. I knew that the number injured was high, but wasn't aware that they were this high.

Bush's American soldier body count in Iraq
1054, 1059, 1067, 1071 dead American soldiers.

The number of amputees, wounded, injured or mentally ill is a staggering 28,150

Posted by: Fran | Oct 11, 2004 4:04:20 PM | 4

But Bush's war rationale is now the alledged UN oil for food corrupt thingy............regime change in the USA?

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 11, 2004 4:12:15 PM | 5

Billmon had a post on the topic back in April. I remember reading a long feature on mercenaries in Iraq, and that company was mentioned (the Billmon thread mentions a NYT article, but I could not find it). The name actually comes from the last names of the two founders...

Posted by: Jérôme | Oct 11, 2004 4:38:14 PM | 6

Jerome,

The name also rings symbolic bells for those people schooled in the US ... The famous-infamous George A. Custer. It's can't help but call up some glorious mythology, and I'm sure the owners of the company knew as much when they chose it.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Oct 11, 2004 4:57:20 PM | 7

@Jerome and Kate:

They would have been better off to have gone with a seasoned firm:

Hawkwood-Sforza comes to mind, among others.

Posted by: Arnaut de Cervole | Oct 11, 2004 5:10:28 PM | 8

@Fran - Body Count Iraq

Not in the media so far:

The military only makes press releases of GIs who died within Iraqi boarders. There have been more than 20,000 injuried evacuated from Iraq. There were reports that these were often very serious cases (body armor lowers small injuries cases).

There has been no anouncement from the military of any GI that died in Lahnstein hospital, the Iraq war hospital hub in Germany, or after being transfered back to the States.

With more than 20,000 evacuated you can expect some percentage 2%, 3%, 5% (?) dying a few days after they received their wounds and while in intensive medical care. That are 400, 600, 1000 additional dead GIs in the Iraq war never mentioned (real intensive care units are used to 50% loss quotes).

There are also rumours that foreign GIs death, of those who joined the US military without a US passport to get a green card, are systematically not counted. There are some 30,000 of these folks reported to be in Iraq.

The official numbers are spin numbers. It may take years until the real ones come to light or somebody in the military making a call to the right media outlet. My guess is that we will hear more thruthful numbers pretty soon.

Posted by: b | Oct 11, 2004 5:12:19 PM | 9

@B:512PM above:

There are some groups over here (US) that are watching and tabulating the numbers carefully. It seems like they should already have picked up on the discrepancy.

Have you seen anything in the American press on this? I haven't been watching this issue that closely, but I haven't.

I have a hard time believing that anyone would be foolish enough to try a stunt like that.
If it gets exposed it bites someone in the ass real bad.

Posted by: FlashHarry | Oct 11, 2004 6:01:43 PM | 10

Just found this blog

http://fistfulofeuros.net/

Anyone here have any views?

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 11, 2004 6:28:57 PM | 11

@Flash Harry

I follow the official war death announcements through the Central Command Casulalty Report. There is always a location given where the death occured - it is always in Iraq. The messages always come within a day or so after the incident. I have not seen ONE report of someone who died like 7 days after an incident in Iraq in a hospital outside Iraq.

By all probability there must be cases like this. Where are the reports?

BTW: The have done so many stunts - why not this one?

Posted by: b | Oct 11, 2004 6:30:32 PM | 12

Thank you for that one CP.

I've bookmarked it.

Very interesting blog sites there, by the looks of it.

Might have to take Evelyn Wood's course if I tried to read it all.

Thanks!

Posted by: FlashHarry | Oct 11, 2004 6:38:38 PM | 13

OT

Act has a live webcast of the Vote for change finale.

www.vfcfinale.com

Starts 7pm EST

Posted by: aemd | Oct 11, 2004 7:22:59 PM | 14

Asked if he was concerned that the Marines would be punished for speaking out, Autin responded: "We don't give a crap. What are they going to do, send us to Iraq?"

Gallows humor. In the amputee ward, Ward "K", at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital, the East Coast center for Navy/Marine amputees during Vietnam, there was an ongoing battle between Nurses and the patients about military duties which were still to be performed, despite the fact that every amputee would be retired.

The Nurses, all officers, were regailed at almost every turn with the reply; "What are you going to do, cut off my leg and send me back to Nam?"

Posted by: Jack | Oct 11, 2004 8:35:54 PM | 15

Jack""What are you going to do, cut off my leg and send me back to Nam?"

Yeah, baby. Do your worst, yes! Reminds me of Ron Kovic.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Oct 11, 2004 9:47:46 PM | 16

Asked if he was concerned that the Marines would be punished for speaking out, Autin responded: "We don't give a crap. What are they going to do, send us to Iraq?"

Yeah, I can see troop morale is at an all-time high! ;-)

But then, when you're deliberately being fed into the meat grinder to protect George "aWol" Bush's election bid, who WOULDN'T be thrilled?

That sarcasm is in reference, of course, to that major offensive "prudently delayed" until after the elections, when its "safe" -- for *Bush*, that is. As for the troops themselves (and the Iraqis), every day they're forced to wait contributes significantly to the incremental and ultimate casualty counts.

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 11, 2004 11:04:05 PM | 17

Oh, thank God!! It only posted once. :-)

[Did somebody put in a fix?]

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 11, 2004 11:06:32 PM | 18

It usually always works for me. Don't hit "Post" more than once, and don't use your "reload" button.

Arrogant programmers don't understand how people think. They should have programmed for it, but didn't.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Oct 11, 2004 11:38:32 PM | 19

Kate: Thanks. Exactly what you said is what I did -- not re-post, but just *preview* to see if it really took, which it did.

What *had* been happening previously was that on a *first* post (e.g., of the day), I wouldn't even get the misleading error message. The thing would just "successfully" post, albeit TWICE! (Afterwards, the above logic would generally pertain, and I could prevent any duplications by adhering to it.)

Just glad that particular gremlin seems to have been banished. (Yes, the error message is still quite incorrect, but one can at least live with that, provided one recognizes the bug and has the ability to double-check with preview.)

But hey, all programmers aren't arrogant! ;-)

(Of course, along with many others in the United States of Outsourcing, I'm technically an Ex- in that regard.)

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 12, 2004 5:04:49 PM | 20

Hackworth continues to blast
the liars:

Latest Hack attack

Hack is anything but a weak-kneed liberal, so his voice should carry weight with the core Republican constituency. But then, no one ever lost a U.S. election by underestimating the intelligence of his electorate.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 13, 2004 3:04:20 AM | 21

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