Former Argentine President Kirchner discussing President Bush's "War is Good" policy

Oliver Stone mentioned this conversation on a recent episode of Bill Maher.  The main speaker is former Argentine President Néstor Kirchner Yes, the Bush era is over.  Still, this is pretty amazing:

I said that a solution for the problems right now, I told Bush, is a Marshall Plan.  And he got angry.

He said the Marshall Plan is a crazy idea of the Democrats.

He said the best way to revitalize the economy is war.  And that the United States has grown stronger with war.

... He said that.  Those were his exact words.

To paraphrase Gordon Gecko "War is Good."

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Sunni surge better than US surge

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6575717.stm

BBC is reporting the "Sunni extremist surge seems to be having more effect than the American one."

One more example that Iraq is a Dollar Auction: each time we up the ante, so does "the extremists". Bush keeps telling us we can't afford to lose.  Trouble is, neither can the other side(s). So the game will go on until one side wises up and walks away.

Nothing to win here.  Please move on. 

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Iraq Is A "Dollar Auction"

The "Dollar Auction" has been popularized by Poundstone. It illustrates the futility of war, and some other forms of competition as well. See Wikipedia for a discussion and links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollar_auction

The basic idea is simple enough. Here's how the auction works: the auctioneer offers a prize, in this case a one dollar bill ($1), to the highest bidder. Bidding starts at one cent. The only catch: the SECOND highest bidder must also pay up, even though they get nothing in return.

It is a great party trick. You may need to prompt people to start the bidding, because most people smell a trick but can't put their finger on it. Someone bids a penny. Someone else bids 2 cents. Pretty soon the bid reaches 99 cents, when the second person realizes he is out 98 cents. So, nervously, he raises the bid to $1. If he wins, at least he is even.

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Bush on Iraq: "Shopping Will Help"

In a year end news conference President Bush announced he has not yet decided what to do in Iraq. Selected quotes:

  • - "I will tell you we're looking at all options. And one of those options, of course, is increasing more troops."
  • - "would require difficult choices and additional sacrifices because the enemy is merciless and violent."
  • - "And I encourage you all to go shopping more."

The one thing he knows for sure is that shopping

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End of Rummy's War

Today's NY Times reprints a previously secret memo by Rumsfeld titled: "SUBJECT: Iraq — Illustrative New Courses of Action", and also an article about the memo: "Rumsfeld Memo on Iraq Proposed ‘Major’ Change".

Read this remarkable, well written memo yourself. It is a brief, matter of fact and to the point summary of the options presently available in Iraq. The shorthand summary is entirely consistent with previous summaries attributed to the Pentagon: 1) Cut and Run, 2) Stay the Course or 3) Go Long (more troops). Rummy places 'Stay the Course' and 'Go Long' squarely in the 'less attractive' category, while variants on 'Cut and Run' are all in the 'could and, in a number of cases, should be done' category.

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Only Satan would be Anti-Iraq War

[img_assist|nid=32|title=Satanic Symbol of Peace?|desc=Source|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=480]
Homeowners complained that a Peace sign/wreath might be an anti-Iraq war symbol or possibly even Satanic. When the rules committee determined the wreath was within the rules, the homeowners association president fired the committee.

My view is that the wreath is a Satanic symbol of peace. Who would oppose the Iraq war except Satan? The mind boggles.

Full story from the AP

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Krauthammer: It's the Iraqis' Fault

In his column today ("Why Iraq Is Crumbling") Charles Krauthammer says the trouble with Iraq is the Iraqis' themselves. It seems they aren't ready for Democracy. Or a Republic, even.

Very convenient, methinks. Heads we win, tails Iraq looses. Had things gone well there (which was never very likely, and many - including the Bush 41 administration - have said so from the get go), Krauthammer would no doubt give America the credit. But now that the inevitable chaos is clear for all to see, it is the Iraqis' themselves who have failed to build a stable state.

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US Soldier: "This war is for nothing"

Chilling article in the Washington Post about a US soldier accused of rape and murder of a 14 year old Iraqi girl. The conditions he dealt with daily in Iraq were stressful to the extreme but when the soldiers themselves don't understand why they are there, the good become callous and the callous become brutal.

Telling quotes from the accused:

"I came over here because I wanted to kill people."

"I shot a guy who wouldn't stop when we were out at a traffic checkpoint and it was like nothing"

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