Memorial Day, May 26th, 2014

World War I Memorial, Washington, DC

na-WWI-Memorial

World War II Memorials, Washington, DC
ww2memorialDC
ww2 marines-memorialpacific atlantic ww2

Korean War Memorials, Washington, DC
washington-dc-korean-war-veterans-memorialKorean-WarKorean War Memorial in the Snow 04

Vietnam War Memorials, Washington, DC
vietnam-memorial-three-soldiersvietnam-war-nurses-memorialvietnam-veterans-memorial-washington-dc-ilker-goksen

Tomb of the Unknown
an american soldier

Iraq War Memorial, Washington, DC

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Afghanistan War Memorial, Washington, DC

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Open thread–have at it!

The Watering Hole: August 23rd – A short tale of two wars

War I fought to rid the world of a dictator (or so they said):

Deaths of military coalition forces: 4’792
Deaths of civilians due to coalition action: 100’000 est.

Cost: USD 792’313’100’000 and counting

War II fought to rid the world of a dictator

Deaths of military coalition forces: 1 (British Airman killed in a traffic accident in Italy)
Deaths of civilians due to coalition action: 64 – 90 casualties, but it is still an estimate.

Cost USD 896’000’000 est.

Don’t get me wrong here. I do not approve of war. But I do not approve of dictators either and my home country has been rid of the worst in 1945. It wouldn’t have been possible without using military force. But you can get rid of them in a smart way by supporting a people in the uprising, or you can go about it the dumb way by just going in with out a first, let alone a second thought.

This is our daily Open Thread. Just add your thoughts.

The Watering Hole: Operation Iraqi Freedom ends — August 19

On this day, one year ago, combat brigades completed their departure from Iraq, 12 days earlier than anticipated.  It was claimed that the war in Iraq was over — contradicting George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” bullshit from several years earlier — but it was necessary to leave behind 50,000 personnel, because the Iraqi government needed our support.

The United States has paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its people. We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home. We have persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people—a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility. Now, it is time to turn the page.
—President Obama’s Address on Iraq, August 31, 2010

Thank goodness that’s over…oh wait.

Number of Iraq coalition fatalities since August 31, 2010:  56 (4792, since 2003)

True cost of Iraq War:  $3 trillion and more

Our country is collapsing into a severe depression — financial and moral. Most of this country’s money is sitting in offshore accounts, and since our Congress won’t actually do anything like raise taxes so we have money, in case the President might get credit, we are effectively broke. Hence, we can’t afford to be at war. Wow, go figure, right?

This is George W. Bush’s unwinnable, endless, deadly folly, which has created more terrorists than we ever killed. Can we stop pretending there can be a positive ending to this, stop pouring our money into this black hole, and bring the troops home?

*crickets*

This is our daily open thread — Discuss among yourselves.

Walter Cronkite and the lead-up to the Iraq War

ThinkProgress

Walter Cronkite had a few things to say about the United States getting involved in a war in Iraq, and the consequences that might follow…

At a Drew University forum, Cronkite said he feared the war would not go smoothly, ripped the “arrogance” of Bush and his administration and wondered whether the new U.S. doctrine of “pre-emptive war” might lead to unintended, dire consequences.

“Every little country in the world that has a border conflict with another little country … they now have a great example from the United States,” Cronkite, 86, said in response to a question from Drew’s president, former Gov. Thomas Kean. […]

While many are confident the United States would easily oust Saddam Hussein, Cronkite said he isn’t so sure. “The military is always more confident than circumstances show they should be,” he said.

Cronkite speculated that the refusal of many traditional allies, such as France, to join the war effort signaled something deeper, and more ominous, than a mere foreign policy disagreement.

“The arrogance of our spokespeople, even the president himself, has been exceptional, and it seems to me they have taken great umbrage at that,” Cronkite said. “We have told them what they must do. It is a pretty dark doctrine.”

Cronkite chided Congress for not looking closely enough at the war and attempting to ascertain a viable estimate of its eventual cost, particularly in light of Bush’s commitment to tax cuts.

“We are going to be in such a fix when this war is over, or before this war is over … our grandchildren’s grandchildren are going to be paying for this war,” Cronkite said.

“I look at our future as, I’m sorry, being very, very dark. Let’s see our cards as we rise to meet the difficulties that lie ahead,” he added, in a play on Bush’s dismissive remarks about France.

But Cronkite, who spent many days and nights on battlefields and in campgrounds with U.S. forces, also spoke of supporting the troops.

“The time has come to put all of our, perhaps distaste, aside, and give our full support to the troops involved. That is the duty we owe our soldiers who had no role in deciding this course of action,” Cronkite said.

We are still in Iraq, and we are in that fix — which will only get worse and worse…

The sad thing is that had Mr Cronkite still been the anchor of CBS News, and he’d said this on the air, he would have been viciously smeared by the frothing at the mouth war-mongerers, and fired without a second thought.

AIG Turns Back On Blind Amputee

How AIG has handled John Woodson’s claim is unconscionable.  While executives get bonuses and expensive junkets, Woodson received the least expensive route they could possible take.  He is a 51 year old truck driver for the KBR contracting firm who lost his leg when his truck hit a roadside bomb in Iraq.

An Oklahoma man who lost an eye and a leg in Iraq says the giant insurance company AIG refused to provide him a new plastic leg and fought to keep from paying for a wheelchair or glasses for the eye in which he has 30 percent vision.

Woodson is one of a number of injured contractors whose alleged difficulties with AIG were examined in the joint investigation.

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