Friday, September 01, 2006

Time to Rally the Troops

Not so good news, and good news, about to America's on-going Iraq involvement.

Last week's announced good news about the pacification efforts of an an American 'stryker' division and whole whack of Iraqi police and military, in Baghdad, went for a loop this week-end with a massive 'katyusha' attack on that city, as well as continued bombings and sectarian executions.

If you don't know, katyushas are Russian-derived artillery rockets fired from the back of a truck or a launching rack. The Israelis suffered under a barrage of them during the recent nastiness. They aren't particularly accurate, but if you can shoot them into a city - they provide an impressive bang for the buck. Modern anti-artillery radars and fire-supression artillery makes launching katyushas a risky proposition. The Israelis were able to get artillery onto launch sites in under three minutes, and probably even faster. The Americans had no preparations for this eventuality, even though they were aware that the insurgents had the capability.

George W. Bush is taking to the air, and other, waves to bolster the flagging spirits of those who might be starting to think that 'cut and run' isn't so inconsiderable after all. This week he addressed a group of American Legionnaires and recalled to the battles they fought, successfully, against Naziism and Communism. They were men who knew that, if they hadn't done what they did, we might all to-day be clicking heels and combing our funny little moustaches, or singing the 'Internationale' as we headed down to the tractor factory for another 14-hour shift. They were certainly the right guys to tell that,if America fails in Iraq, you might as well get Mabel into a garbage bag and get yerself a Shriner's hat, because the world, as we know it, will come to an end. The boys with the field service caps, with all the gold piping and 'I saw the Alamo' buttons, are just the guys who'll vote you four more years to kill off as many 'illegals' and welfare dependents as you can. You got to hand it to George, though, he can really make people think he believes this stuff.

Meanwhile the 'war blogs' have blossomed this past week with 'Star Spangled War Stories' the kind that used to show up in those lurid, little-boy comic books. Stories about heroes going toe-to-toe with a merciless enemy, snipers who can pick AlQaeda out of a crowd and knock him off with a well-placed shot from impressive distances - this done daily in Ramadi. Other stories tell tales of daring-do in setting up all that infrastructure for Iraqis - schools, hospitals, clinics, and a biggy - 'WOMEN'S CENTRES' all brought courtesy of the 'thunderin' 135th' or the 'hell on wheels' brigade of the Nth armored. Hospitals that other posters report Iraqis won't visit because of the regular death-squad activities inside them. It seems to me the only infrastructure that works is inside some fortified coalition compound. And in Ramadi, nothing works. I guess it's all part of the effort to put a more positive light on the war, the story the "media" refuses to tell. I call it Republican election-time spin.

I don't envy the Americans - that old C&W song, "I Got a Tiger By the Tail", tells it all. Hope Harper keeps us out.

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