Friday, April 29, 2005

Profile in Courage

Consider Joseph Darby the opposite of noted chickenhawks like Dubya, Dick, Wolfo...and, now that you mention it, John Bolton (see below).

Darby will receive the 2005 Profile in Courage Award on May 16--and, he is a most deserving candidate. See why over at All Spin Zone.
Compassionate Conservatism=Military Intelligence=Holy Roman Empire

For example: from AmericaBlog (Joe in DC)

Love this little tidbit tucked in the AP story about the Bush press conference last night:

"There will be no price gouging at gas pumps in America," Bush said.

He spoke on the same day the world's largest publicly traded oil company, Exxon Mobil Corp., announced that its profit for the first three months of the year had risen 44 percent to $7.86 billion from the corresponding quarter a year ago.
Puppet Show and Presidential Press Conference

While Josh Marshall has the most informative comments re: Bush's, um, well it wasn't quite dog and pony show and "press conference" implies answering genuine questions, James Wolcott has the best reaction I've seen thus far--a mixture of yawn and indignation. Noting the lack of the normal enthusiasm bordering on the rabid among Bush's conservative storm troopers the usual conservative suspects, he concludes:

So it's seems evident that Bush didn't persuade or energize anyone last night, and today he's at Falls Church, Va, doing another sales pitch, and I wish someone last night had asked the president if it's really an appropriate use of the Commander in Chief's time and the taxpayers' money to be jetting all around the country fielding softball questions from cherry-picked audiences? It's like a revival tour solely for the already converted--a futile, costly sham.


I watched the show last night--well, the rerun on C-Span, although I heard most of the live version on the radio. While listening, I tried to imagine the various gesticulations common to Australapithocine Dubya and found my recollection more or less accurate upon viewing the video...though, as Wolcott pointed out, this was the subdued, humble dauphin, as opposed to the strutting, preening redneck fratboy with a poltical tomahawk chop. Still, the "answers," if you can dignify them with the term "answer," were typical Bushian half-truths, outright lies, willful (and dangerous) ignorance, wrapped up in a smarmy used car salesman's ouevre...which always makes me wonder why the fuck he's supposedly so popular--and, if he IS so popular, why are his appearances so heavily scripted, a la the town hall meetings--and for that matter, the show last night--and why are they so rare?

Oh, and on the flip side, most of the questions were downright appalling. I recall exactly TWO genuine questions--and neither was followed up on aggressively--an ABC correspondent asked Bush why terrorist attacks were up this past year--after all, Dubya said we were WINNING the war on terror...and the final question of the night (IIRC) asked whether or not Bush would stand for AMERICANS be extraordinarily rendered...neither got a real answer.

However, no one asked the obvious re: Social Security--namely, why are THEIR government securities mere "IOU's" while the same types of commercial paper in other portfolios are "backed by the full faith and credit of the United States," as Bush himself said last night...

And who will finally point out that this particular emperor has no clothes?
BUSH: I think he went on to say we're winning, if I recall.

Here's victory, Bush-style:

At least 24 people, including civilians and Iraqi forces, were killed and up to 94 people were wounded in nine car bombs in the Baghdad area and in two bombings near the southern city of Basra today, a day after the first fully and freely elected government in Iraq's history was approved.

Three car bombs exploded in Al-Madain, killing nine people; two car bombs were detonated in the Al-Ghadeer area of Baghdad, killing one, and in Al-Adhamiya neighborhood 13 people were killed in four car bombs, according to the Interior Ministry. Of the dead, seven were civilians and the rest of the casualties were Iraqi forces, the ministry said.

In addition, two improvised bombs were detonated today in Al-Fayha'a near the southern Iraqi city of Basra, killing one border guard and wounding another.

The attacks suggested that fighters in Iraq were keeping up the momentum of an undiminished insurgency and sent a bloody reminder to the new government of the array of challenges it must tackle when it assumes power next week. In addition to fighting the insurgency, the new government must work to rebuild Iraqi cities and guide the effort to write a new constitution.

"Smells like--victory. Someday this war's gonna end."

And when it ends, Iraq will still have all that oil underground--but from the looks of it, above ground it'll be a wasteland. Well, let's be real: the wingnuts don't give a shit about the Iraqi people anyway.
The Chickenhawk Diaries

From Tbogg. John Bolton apparently will puff himself up like a frilled lizard when the object is subordinate employees, but when the rubber hits the road, he shows the guts...of a gnat:

"I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy," Bolton wrote of his decision in the 25th reunion book. "I considered the war in Vietnam already lost."

More here.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Al Gore delivered a speech yesterday that demonstrates clearly the difference between dignity and the gutter--the only transcript I've found thus far is at Salon (i.e., you'll need to sit through an ad if you don't subscribe).

If have the time, then by all means take a look at the speech--I don't really have any time to try lifting and posting excerpts here in any organized fashion, but, to heavily summarize, Gore compares and contrasts his own reaction to a bitter legal pill for him with those who want to topple the entire judiciary--and who are presently throwing a temper tantrum any two year old would be proud of (except that these folks are a hell of a lot scarier)--because of, well, mostly the Terry Schiavo decision, although any number of so-called "liberal" rulings (think Roe v. Wade, Godeon v. Wainwright, Loving v. Virginia, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education) don't suit them.

OK, I'll note one line from the speech, being as how you just can't make this up: according to Gore, last Sunday Tony Perkins actually said (in Bill Frist's presence) that "There's more than one way to skin a cat, and there's more than one way to take a black robe off the bench."

That must've made the majority leader squirm just a bit...

Anyway, Gore continues to show a remarkable degree of thoughtfulness--hell, if only he'd been more like this five years ago...
Bum Rush

The balloon-sized bloviator is a step closer to being popped by a tack:

The Florida Supreme Court has turned down conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh's request to review a lower court decision that the state could seize his medical records.

In a 4-3 decision, the court said it would not consider a motion for rehearing.

Limbaugh has been under investigation into whether he illegally went from doctor to doctor to get multiple painkiller prescriptions.

To be fair, the ACLU is taking Lamebaugh's side on this, and I'm sympathetic to THEIR position, namely, that privacy and doctor-patient confidentiality should be respected...and I'd even be willing to cut Lamebutt some slack if he'd chow down on a little crow...but Rush wants it both ways--he'll argue the ACLU position for his case ONLY, while everyone else can jump off a bridge as far as he's concerned.

And I'll show some compassion for him--after ALL those serving time for non-violent drug crimes are released from prison--and those wanting treatment for addiction get it. Until then, let him experience first-hand the effects of what he himself argued for any number of times. Maybe that'll change his mind.

Nah, I doubt it. Sadly, I also doubt Lamebutt will ever serve any time. But at least this will make his fat lardass self sweat even more.
Liar, Liar, Will Blair Get Fired?

The bombshell news of the day, I guess--well, except here in the USA--was the revelation--well, the 'official' revelation of what was patently obvious to anyone with a brain and an understanding of British politics--that Tony Blair's AG had a curious change of opinion about the legality of the Iraq war just at the time that Blair was insisting that his imminent hurling of excrement at the moving fan would turn up roses as opposed to covering all within range in filth:

The story is worse than people think. Now that the government has been forced to disclose the full legal advice submitted by Lord Goldsmith, the extent to which Parliament and the country were misled is clear for all to see.

The issue at stake is not whether, when or why the Attorney General changed his mind on the legality of war in Iraq. Tony Blair and Jack Straw have pointed out, with the customary slipperiness of a profession they know well, that it is the right of a lawyer to elide from one line of argument to the next. Goldsmith's views may well have "evolved". In fact, I have previously documented how they did.

What matters is that MPs were not made aware of - to put it politely - the progression of his thinking. When Goldsmith sat in the cabinet seat vacated hours earlier by Robin Cook, he was asked by the Prime Minister to make a presentation of the legal case for invasion. Blair did not invite questions before the Attorney was thanked for his contribution and left.

Two years, roughly 1600 dead US soldiers, scores of dead "contractors," thousands of dead Iraqis, thousands of wounded US soldiers and Iraqis, and some $170 billion dollars later, I think it's pretty clear that Iraq is at best a festering wound--and a self-inflicted one at that.

And, speaking of festering sores--Ahmad Chalabi is now the (temporary) oil minister. Well, I guess in some respects Iraq is getting more like the US every day.

But, back to Blair--despite the fact that he's been caught, well, lying, it looks like he'll continue on as PM, mostly because he's still the lesser of evils, as it were, although that's a pretty relative scale. Michael Howard, Tory leader, won't find any traction from this, and, while I'm not an expert on British politics, I just don't think Charles Kennedy will manage to make any headway either. But Blair's new government will likely be a lot weaker than the present one...

Your Right Hand Thief notes an odd bit of "news:"

Shell Oil recently commissioned an independent study to find "Autopias," evaluating the 50 largest metro areas in the country on the basis of -- are you sitting down? --"where cars would most like to live if they had their way." Basically, if cars could talk, they'd tell us where they want to live.

Well, Phoenix was No. 4, Atlanta No. 3, St. Louis No. 2 and -- pop a Valium -- New Orleans was numero uno, at the top of the list.

Here's the T-P article he links to, which waits until the concluding paragraph to reveal the operative criteria:

New Orleans' top ranking in the survey was based in part on its No. 1 ranking in the quality of fuel and motor oil category and the fact that LOCAL RESIDENTS SPEND MORE ON CAR CARE THAN RESIDENTS IN MOST OTHER AREAS.

"More on car care..." Sorry to state the obvious, but that's because the roads are in such lousy shape--well, check out the end of Oyster's post (don't know about y'all, but I first saw the photo in question over at Library Chronicles--and no, it's not been photoshopped).

In a related story (one I noted in comments over at YRHT)--local news here recently reported that Baton Rouge ranked 44th in the country as a "walking friendly" city, which means that whoever was judging must've been looking at 40 cities. Hell--about half the neighborhoods in this town don't even have sidewalks, making a foot journey an adventure in car-dodging. Numerous intersections--including one just north of LSU--effectively have no time at all where a pedestrian can cross without having to potentially deal with moving traffic. And the campus, sadly, is horrible. During the week, gridlock is the rule.

Now, I won't complain too loudly, because, full disclosure here, I own a fossil burner (in fact, a brand new one)--but, in my defense, it's a small car and I try to plan my trips carefully. Still, the very idea that you'd even have a ranking of "car-friendly" cities is just weird. Cars are at best a necessary evil in my book--and, if not for incredibly generous subsidies from the state--like roads and bridges, generous terms in granting mineral rights (not to mention Bush's latest bizarro "science proposal" of turning old military bases into refineries--gawddamn...little mini-Houston metro areas all around the country), even going to war in order to maintain the present production/market system (see War, Gulf I, for instance)--anyway, private cars would likely be a minor component of a fully integrated transit system if they were subject to the full pressures of the market...
Train (Wreck) Rollin--Sixteen Questions Long...

Well, I doubt Dubya will take that many questions, but the dauphin, perhaps sensing things are getting out of hand (no pun intended), will stumble and stammer through the moral equivalent of a press conference tonight, and I'll be watching.

Should be interesting--in the same way that a train wreck, or small-scale disaster is.

However, I suppose the real question will be whether the "press" continues to work in groveling/averting-their-eyes-from-the-dauphin's-visage mode or whether they realize that Bush wasn't called the Texas Souffle for nothing...well, actually he WAS called the Texas Souffle for nothing--as in "nothing upstairs."

I'm inclined to think that perhaps one or two relatively sharp questions might actually be asked, especially as I see things like last night's LOCAL news making a mocking reference to Dubya's Saudi Man-date (in this case, actually displaying the Dallas Morning News's interesting juxtaposition of photo and story). But, of course, I could be wrong--there's a reason why the term "media whore" has currency these days...well, that and James Guckert...

And, on a side note, I think things at work have finally calmed down. Not to get too technical, but Tuesday's workstation rollout (a process that will be taking one afternoon of mine each week through roughly August--minus an upcoming vacation) was one thing. But yesterday and today's installation of new domain controllers/DNS/WINS servers was both labor intensive and mildly high stress process. Fortunately, all seemed to work as well as could be expected. Again, thanks for your patience while I was busy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

That's Why They Call it Work...

Again, I'm forced to apologize, but it's pretty busy over here and work must come first (to be fair, they ARE paying me every other Friday, so I might as well earn the money). I'll be back when I get a chance.

YRHT and Yat Pundit both note "Justice Sunday," featuring headliner Bill "I'd-strangle-a-cat-if-it'd-get-me-elected-president" Frist sucking up to the religious right (perceived as the essential first step for any Rethuglican hoping to take up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue come 2009).

The event was sponsored by the Family Research Council, headed by the Gret Stet's own Tony Perkins, a Woody Jenkins protege. Yat Pundit links to a Nation article with more on Tony:

Four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,000 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate [Jenkins] for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke.

So, the KKK apparently evolved into the CCC (and to think most of those types are ANTI evolution). The Jenkins angle likewise is interesting--back in the 1980's, Woody was running one of the larger private aid organizations assisting the contras terrorists in Nicaragua. In other words, Perkins manages to bridge the gap between avowed racists AND vicious terrorists.

I guess that's why the conservative power brokers like him so much.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

USA: Let's Not Bicker and Argue About Who Killed Who...

He wrote the report?

The US soldiers who shot and killed an Italian secret service agent escorting a freed female hostage to safety are to be cleared of all wrongdoing, it was reported today.

Well, I'm sure glad we managed to put this behind us...sort of like how we've all pretty much forgotten another "accident" involving the US military and Italians.

Actually, there's a small silver lining to this cloud: Berlusconi, already on the hot seat for his craven fawning towards Dubya, will likely see his abysmal approval ratings plummet even further--while at the same time, it's only thanks to legislative immunity that he's not actively preparing a legal defense to allegations of corruption.

Giuliana Sgrena, wounded in the attack, has her own opinion:

"Basically all I said has not been taken into any consideration by the US Commission. This is to become a heavy burden also for the Italian government."

In the BBC article, she also described the report as "'a slap in the face' for the Italian government."

All in all, just another "incident" in Operation Enduring Clusterfuck.
If Only It'd Been Horseshoes

The Zarqawi that got away:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. troops in Iraq very nearly captured the country's most-wanted terrorist -- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi -- earlier this year, U.S. officials have confirmed.

The incident took place February 20 near Ramadi, west of Fallujah, when U.S. troops were tipped off that al-Zarqawi might be in the area.

At one point, they chased down a suspicious vehicle and later determined that the Jordanian-born insurgent leader had been in it but had escaped.

I wonder how many more times we'll be hearing this terrorist equivalent of a fish story...of course, the story they WON'T mention is that the guy was in Kurdistan throughout 2002, i.e., we could've taken him out pretty easily, given our good relations with the quasi-independent state...but Team Bush insisted upon letting the budding terrorist swim around freely. Which is a wonderful example of just how cynical the administration really is. The blood of those murdered by that nutcase is on Team Bush's hands.

(note: I'll be a little busy today, so posting will be a little sporadic)...

Monday, April 25, 2005

Top Ten Eight List

Swopa found this comment up at a post about a RAND study on recent problems in military retention of recruits. It's worth reprinting in its entirety:

RAND is unclear as to why the soldiers in the combat arms have higher attrition and lower reenlistment rates? Maybe I can help them out.

Reasons why combat soldiers might not re-enlist:

1. He is dead - after being blown up in an unarmored Humvee. This generally results in a ruling by the military that he is not eligible for re-enlistment.

2. He is severely disabled, having lost arms, legs, or eyes. This too causes queries about capacity to be raised if he tries to re-enlist. It is also difficult to sign the form when his arms end at his elbows.

3. He decides that scraping a friend’s brains off his face once in a lifetime is enough.

4. He is lucky enough to make it home in one piece, glad to be getting out and on with his life, but angry when he finds that he has been “stop-lossed, and ordered to re-deploy.

5. He is angry because he reads that soldiers in Iraq are getting calls from the spouses that their home mortgage is being foreclosed, by banks that don’t give a rat’s ass about federal law.

6. He is angry because folks at home think supporting the troops means spending $2 for a magnetic yellow ribbon, and that anybody who speaks of real support, like getting them out of there, is labeled a traitor.

7. He is angry because he reads that Congress has disapproved supplemental health care funding for the VA, on the basis that it is “not an emergency” while at the same time, the Army has the funds to buy the naming rights for a baseball stadium

8. He is angry because he has to spend $500 out of his own pocket to buy body armor, since he is uncertain whether there will be any for him when he gets there.

Let me know if RAND needs any more assistance.

(Sorry for the sarcasm in response to what is a very thoughtful article, Mother, but as I think you can tell, I am just a little bit pissed off at the news lately.)

Submitted by Tom Leckinger on April 15, 2005 - 3:04am.

Recently, I'm not sure where (apologies to those who noted this), I saw that any number of new recruits to this country's military are hardly "the best," unless you include under that title avowed white supremicists and/or high school dropouts, etc. Again, I'll note for the record that something we should be VERY worried about isn't JUST a terrorist attack by Islamic nutcases, but the real possibility that US soldiers could either go postal, or worse, go McVeigh.
The Scum Also Rises

Imagine that--top Army officials were cleared following an internal investigation into the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere:

The only Army general officer recommended for punishment for the failures that led to abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison and other facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan is Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski, who was in charge of U.S. prison facilities in Iraq as commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade in late 2003 and early 2004. Several sources said Karpinski is expected to receive an administrative reprimand for dereliction of duty.

Karpinski apparently knew she was on the chopping block and previously indicated she would appeal any adverse decision.

The investigation essentially found no culpability on the part of Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez and three of his senior deputies, ruling that allegations they failed to prevent or stop abuses were "unsubstantiated." A military source said a 10-member team began the investigation in October and based its conclusions on the 10 major defense inquiries into abuse and interviews with 37 senior officials, including L. Paul Bremer, who led the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. The report has not been released.

Gee, I wonder how the inquires and interviews went...

MI: General Sanchez, did you authorize the abuse of prisoners?
Sanchez: No.
MI: Good enough for us...what about you, Jerry?
Paul Bremer: Not that I'm aware of.
MI: Thanks for your time.

In militarese, here's a gem of a quote from an otherwise unidentified defense official:

"The dereliction happened at the brigade level and below."

In other words, those lacking tenure.

Just another lesson for anyone thinking of signing up for the Army of One: not only is it a lifetime committment (shorter than you might imagine, considering the casualty counts are rising), there's always the chance you'll be caught holding the, um, leash as it were...maybe not for your CO, but for your CO's CO.
Other Priorities

Paul Krugman once again hits the nail on the head. Team Bush waxes rosily about things economic, while in the real world plenty of people are a lot more concerned about, oh, trifling matters like mortgage/rent payments, utility bills, health care costs and other things the uber-rich can't bother themselves with:

Is the administration's obliviousness to the public's economic anxiety just partisanship? I don't think so: President Bush and other Republican leaders honestly think that we're living in the best of times. After all, everyone they talk to says so...

What's going on? Actually, it's quite simple: Mr. Bush and his party talk only to their base - corporate interests and the religious right - and are oblivious to everyone else's concerns.

The administration's upbeat view of the economy is a case in point. Corporate interests are doing very well. As a recent report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, over the last three years profits grew at an annual rate of 14.5 percent after inflation, the fastest growth since World War II.

The story is very different for the great majority of Americans, who live off their wages, not dividends or capital gains, and aren't doing well at all. Over the past three years, wage and salary income grew less than in any other postwar recovery - less than a tenth as fast as profits. But wage-earning Americans aren't part of the base.

The point is that people sense, correctly, that Mr. Bush doesn't understand their concerns. He was sold on privatization by people who have made their careers in the self-referential, corporate-sponsored world of conservative think tanks. And he himself has no personal experience with the risks that working families face. He's probably never imagined what it would be like to be destitute in his old age, with no guaranteed income.

This might explain Bush's ever sinking poll numbers, the Social Security Privitization juggarnaut "Like a Yugo" Tour, and the slow but growing realization that Operation Enduring Clusterfuck aka the invasion/occupation of Iraq likewise is entering the "push it, pull it, drag it" phase--with the exception being that there's not a used-war dealer in sight that will offer anything, much less a guaranteed trade for THAT particular rust-bucket.

But, like the Professor points out, among Bush's base, things are still looking good, provided they're diversified enough to weather the next down cycle. But average Americans, who are probably a bit more in debt than they'd like to admit (read: somewhere between their collective necks and eyeballs), might well have a harder time of it--especially after the signing of the new banckruptcy bill, the irony of which wasn't missed by Whiskey Bar, among others.

I guess perhaps the real question is whether or not Bush can somehow manage to keep the listing ship afloat long enough to draw his own generous, guaranteed government stipend come which case his place in history will be roughly akin to Calvin Coolidge, who, from what I remember, faded into doddering oblivion without really understanding why the economy tanked so dramatically following his stint as COIC, or whether we land heavy on the shoals before then, thereby sealing Dubya's fate as a 21st Century Herbert Hoover. Neither outcome is particularly flattering, although the former could be the GOP's way of trying to turn chicken-shit into chicken salad, i.e., the Rethugs would gladly pin the blame on the Democratic Donkey should one roll seven come the next election...
Hillbilly Armor

Dubya famously said, "Bring 'em on." He got what he asked for. But, as we now know, he didn't bother with ensuring US soldiers were properly equiped:

[while Company E] en route to Ramadi, they lost the few armored plates they had earmarked for their vehicles when the steel was borrowed by another unit that failed to return it. Company E tracked the steel down and took it back.

Even at that, the armor was mostly just scrap and thin, and they needed more for the unarmored Humvees they inherited from the Florida National Guard.

"It was pitiful," said Capt. Chae J. Han, a member of a Pentagon team that surveyed the Marine camps in Iraq last year to document their condition. "Everything was just slapped on armor, just homemade, not armor that was given to us through the normal logistical system."

The report they produced was classified, but Captain Royer, who took over command of the unit, and other Company E marines say they had to build barriers at the camp - a former junkyard - to block suicide drivers, improve the fencing and move the toilets under a thick roof to avoid the insurgent shelling.

Even some maps they were given to plan raids were several years old, showing farmland where in fact there were homes, said a company intelligence expert, Cpl. Charles V. Lauersdorf, who later went to work for the Defense Intelligence Agency. There, he discovered up-to-date imagery that had not found its way to the front lines...

In parceling out Ramadi, the Marine Corps leadership gave Company E more than 10 square miles to control, far more than the battalion's other companies. Captain Royer said he had informally asked for an extra platoon, or 44 marines, and had been told the battalion was seeking an extra company. The battalion's operations officer, Maj. John D. Harrill, said the battalion had received sporadic assistance from the Army and had given Company E extra help. General Mattis says he could not pull marines from another part of Iraq because "there were tough fights going on everywhere."

Colonel Kennedy said Company E's area was less dense, but the pressure it put on the marines came to a boil on April 6, 2004, when the company had to empty its camp - leaving the cooks to guard the gates - to deal with three firefights.

Ten of its troops were killed that day, including eight who died when the Humvee they were riding in was ambushed en route to assist other marines under fire. That Humvee lacked even the improvised steel on the back where most of the marines sat, Company E leaders say.

"All I saw was sandbags, blood and dead bodies," Sergeant Valerio said. "There was no protection in the back."...

Captain Royer said that he photographed the Humvees in which his men died to show to any official who asked about the condition of their armor, but that no one ever did.

Royer himself is now contesting a negative performance evaluation that could adversely affect his military career. Company E will soon be shipped to Okinawa, under the circumstances the equivalent of R&R--although it's all but certain Iraq will soon be on their agenda--again.

Remember--the war was fought NOT because of any sort of pressing threat, but for political convenience. George W. Bush wanted an easy victory so he could paint himself as a flight-suited wonderboy worthy of four more years. In doing so, he and his political cronies couldn't bother with diverting less than one half of one percent of the $400 billion dollar defense budget to provide basic protection for US Military personnel. They couldn't bother with establishing a real coalition. In fact, they couldn't bother with a genuine plan.

Bush, Rummy, Dick, Wolfo, et al, might as well have taken those killed in Iraq and personally shot them--because essentially they did just that...