iraq, war

5 Years On

I came across these posts by a Baghdad Journalist.  Watch and see what is still going on in Iraq.  It appears we Americans are the only ones who think “the surge” is working.  Unless 179 dead Iraqis in 2 weeks means it is working.

“Tell the world.  I want the world to know, to see how we live.”

Please share these:

Baghdad, 5 years on — Part 1 City of Walls.

Part 2 Killing Fields

Part 3 Iraq’s Lost Generation

Iran, iraq, Mark Twain, politics, Religion, war

The War Prayer

The War Prayer

by Mark Twain

Part 1

Part 2

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came – next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their faces alight with material dreams – visions of a stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! – then home from the war, bronzed heros, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation – “God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!”

Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory.

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there, waiting.

With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,” Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside – which the startled minister did – and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said

“I come from the Throne – bearing a message from Almighty God!” The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. “He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd and grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import – that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of – except he pause and think.

“God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two – one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of His Who hearth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this – keep it in mind. If you beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

“You have heard your servant’s prayer – the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it – that part which the pastor, and also you in your hearts, fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause)

“Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.”

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

Note: Twain wrote The War Prayer during the US war on the Philippines. It was submitted for publication, but on March 22, 1905, Harper’s Bazaar rejected it as “not quite suited to a woman’s magazine.” Eight days later, Twain wrote to his friend Dan Beard, to whom he had read the story, “I don’t think the prayer will be published in my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.” Because he had an exclusive contract with Harper & Brothers, Mark Twain could not publish “The War Prayer” elsewhere and it remained unpublished until 1923.

George Bush, Iran, iraq, war

Ratcheting Up

This past weekend Joe Leiberman was on Face the Nation calling for an attack on Iran. What is scary about this is the fact that Joe was sent out there by the administration to test the waters. To see if A. people are paying attention and B. people will react.

War games have been played off the coast of Iran since November. The administration and Joe are claiming that we need to bomb Iran because al-Quaida is coming in through Iran and attacking Americans in Iraq. This is a lie. Only about 5% of the “enemy” in Iraq is al-Quaida. Most of the violence directed at Americans is coming from BOTH sides of the civil war raging in Iraq. Our kids are clay pigeons in the skeet shoot that is this fucked up war. The administration is ready to attack.

So, what does this mean. WW-III.

If we were to attack Iran. They would retaliate by attacking Israel. They would have allies from China and Russia on their side. And we would LOOSE and ally in the war in Afghanistan. You see, Iran is helping the United States in the “hunt” for bin-Laden.

Pray for Peace. Pray for calm. Pray for diplomacy.


Contact your members of Congress here and here. Tell them to fight.


Go Here: and sign the letter, and it will be sent to directly to the White House.

If the worst happens. Be willing to fight back. Take part in protests. Get active.

I am stopping now as I am about to loose my cool and go off on an anti-apathy rant.

iraq, politics, president, war

Time To Go

According to al-Maliki, we can go home now!

date Nov. 2006:

“AMMAN, Jordan – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Thursday that his country’s forces would be able to assume security command by June 2007 — which could allow the United States to start withdrawing its troops.

‘I cannot answer on behalf of the U.S. administration but I can tell you that from our side our forces will be ready by June 2007,’ Maliki told ABC television after meeting President Bush on Thursday in Jordan.

Maliki was replying to a question about whether U.S. troops could start withdrawing at that time.”

h/t Atrios

Let’s Go!

iraq, politics, war

Guess Who

Said this, “Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is” (4/9/99) and this, “I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn” (6/5/99).

Yep…The same guy who later said this, “It doesn’t make any sense to have a timetable. You know, if you give a timetable, you’re — you’re conceding too much to the enemy” (6/24/05).

And the same guy who is going to veto the Iraq Accountability Act later tonight.   Our beloved Shrub.

Freakin’ Moron.

You are vetoing something that is giving the troops more money than you asked for.  Your are vetoing somthing that will give the veterans the care they need.  You are vetoing something that would help end this war.  You are vetoing it because you are an insecure little man who can not stand to be wrong.

You, sir, are wrong, have been wrong, and will continue to be wrong.  No one cares how big you swanz is, so stop swinging it around, and be a man and sign the bill.

iraq, politics, war

Iraq Accountability Act The House passed the Iraq…

Iraq Accountability Act

The House passed the Iraq Accountability Act last night. The Senate is expected to pass the same legislation early later today [ed. 1:30pm cmt The Senate just passed the bill]. This is the act that will finally cause a showdown between Congress and the President. Bush has threatened to veto the act because it calls for phased withdrawal of troops beginning in October.

The Whitehouse and Republicans are using the tired meme that by setting a date for withdrawal we are sending a message of defeat to the Iraqis. The problem with that meme is that we have nothing to win or loose anymore in the area. The war has left our hands and entered into the Iraqi hands. They are in the middle of a civil war now, and we are nothing but bullseyes for target practice.

Our troops tours have been extended from 12 months to 15 months (this is how the president is initating his “surge”.) Appatently there is talk to extending them to 18 months. This is happening at the same time as their traing and RnR is being cut. They are required to have at least 12 months inbetween tours. That is being cut. They are required to train during those 12 months. No, they are getting, according to Tony Snow, on the job training.

The Iraq Accountability Act takes care of these and other issues our soldiers face, and yet, our president wants to veto legislation that would do more for the troops than anything he has proposed becasue he is being taken to the woodshed.

Here is a video of Rep. Murtha explaining what is in the Act (the candidate he mentions making a joke about putting an IED under a desk is in reference to John McCain on The Daily Show the other night):