Prewar report cast doubt on Iraq-Al Qaeda connection. This seems like a bit of regurgitation; we knew all this, didn’t we? The Administration is happy to make revisionist statements about Al-Qaeda and Iraq, now that they’re IED-ing our troops on a regular basis, hoping to overwrite the early facts in popular consciousness.
US to investigate Chinese looting of Tibet. And with China holding much of our debt burden, the US can do little. Except expose the corrupted underbelly to the international media, and garner headlines. But that’s small potatoes. What of nuclear waste dumping in Tibet? Women’s rights? Haven’t heard a peep about those of late.
Should senators ask Alito about the role of his faith? One might want to refresh their memory of Roe vs. Wade, and the Fourteenth Amendment.
NY Times Business:
SF New Mexican:
On abortion, a nuanced stand. “Alito ruled that the Constitution does not afford protection to the unborn.” In spite of conservative thrill, that might throw a few back on their heels.
After his toughest week, Bush comes out fighting. Firing on all cylinders, too ... trying to reconstitute the conservative base, after dissipating them on Miers.
Chronicle of Higher Ed:
In Bin Laden’s Words. “It is likely to be true to its word in the future and cease hostilities against the United States, and indeed bring an end to the war it declared in 1996 and in 1998, in return for some degree of satisfaction regarding its grievances.”
Bush Calls for $7.1 Billion to Prepare for Bird Flu Threat. Relenza might be a better investment, long-term.
Bush assassination plot trial opens. “Laufman told the jury that Abu Ali talked with al Qaeda members about several plots, including smuggling terror operatives into the United States through Mexico and assassinating members of the U.S. Congress and the Army.” My italics. This gives even more teeth to my many postings over concerns about our southern border. And what do we have there? Amateur Minutemen. Or did. I heard even they packed up a few days ago.
NY Times News Analysis:
A Long, Rocky Road With 39 Months to Go. Did they have to remind me of the ‘39 months’ ... ? Here’s a quote for you:“There aren’t as many ‘wise men’ around Washington as there were 20 years ago.”
SF New Mexican:
Neighborhood Bill of Rights: Despite objections by Mayor Delgado, councilors enact resolution. Sounds like an ounce of prevention against ‘eminent domain’, to me.
SF New Mexican:
Check my math.
Here’s a page on deaths and casualties in American wars. In Section II, you’ll see the raw numbers from past conflicts.
An off-the-cuff ‘casualty rate’, run for various wars (casualties calculated as a percentage of total troops):
Revolutionary War: 5.31 percent.
Civil War: 25 percent.
WW1: 6.76 percent.
WW2: 4.1 percent.
Vietnam: 2.42 percent.
Gulf War 1: 0.03 percent.
Current Iraq campaign, War on Terror: 10.7 percent.
( I am assuming that the number of “wounded” is based on something like the same parameters, and I don’t have total over-time deployed numbers of troops for Iraq, which would shrink my result).
Comment: Reid pokes me with the huge rotations we’ve been going through in my comments, below. For an increase in troops to his 450,000 number, this figure would be 3.9 percent casualty rate. The highest number I’ve found so far in articles mentioning total troop rotations is 250,000, or 6.9 percent casualty rate. I’m looking for a definitive total-troops-in-rotation number to date. If you find it, point me. Otherwise, take the below with the appropriate grain of salt; those casualty rates are still trending rather high.
Now, based on the strict description of ‘war’, this number isn’t accurate. Up until the declaration of “Mission Accomplished”, the numbers were less than Gulf War 1, if memory serves. It is in this post-war occupation that the casualties mount.
Wrapping casualties up under the name of “War on Terror” makes this ‘war’ have very poor statistical survivability compared to other 20th century conflicts. I’m surprised the Administration is still framing the casualties in this manner. My gut feeling says this Iraq situation should be much more unpopular, if Vietnam were a legitimate comparison; the casualty rate then, was much lower and the outrage greater. Casualties over time, with no regular progress towards ultimate resolution, would be the factor for outrage, I will posit. The non-partisan in me recommends to Mr Bush that he wrap this up successfully before the end of his term (tall order).
Of course, it could be worse:
Soviet Afghan War, including occupation: 38 percent.
I do wonder whether the Soviet/Afghan conflict and occupation was seriously looked at in the runup to the Iraq conflict. Many of the same mistakes were/are being made.
An interesting site to explore, I take you to the IED fatalities trends page. The insurgents are getting more efficient with improvised roadside devices. I’m sure the military is kicking themselves now over the poor strategizing of securing ammo dumps after the initial conflict ... a factor that’s seemingly being ignored in current IED news reports.
Another interesting stat run across while Googling this: Osama Bin Laden has been pursued, but uncaptured, for longer than the duration between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the surrender of Japan. FWIW.
London Review of Books:
Short Cuts. On “The Constant Gardener.” “Barry Marshall and Robin Warren’s discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease, for which they have just been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine, was disputed by the manufacturers of highly lucrative acid suppressants that relieved the symptoms of stomach ulcers, because it meant many patients could be treated with a simple course of antibiotics.”
South America’s ten-year democracy rut. “... building consolidated democracies amid poverty, inequality and a legacy of past undemocratic practices, is a long, slow job.” I don’t need to underline the lesson here.
White House under siege. “There is never a good time to lose one’s brain, but Mr Bush has picked a terrible one.” What a statement!
NY Times Arts:
Rerun Our Cold War Cultural Diplomacy. “The purpose would not be to mute American popular culture. Instead, rather than trying to compete for the attention of the masses, cultural diplomacy would aim to persuade political and intellectual elites of the virtues of American civilization.” Hip-hop didn’t get popular by going top-down ...
NY Times Business:
Later: Shell, too. “Exxon Mobil exceeded $100 billion in revenue for the first time. Revenue rose 32 percent to $100.7 billion, dwarfing the economies of such countries as Egypt and the Philippines. Shell’s revenue climbed to $94.7 billion from $89 billion.”
Note, one of the numbers to watch is “refinery margins”.
“Extraordinarily legal experience” [sic] bows out.
SF New Mexican:
Bigger, Stronger Homemade Bombs Now to Blame for Half of U.S. Deaths. Nothing like giving insurgents sitting ducks on which to experiment with new low-tech weaponry. Shades of the Soviets in Afghanistan. This is more ‘exportable’, I think, than bioweapons or nukes. I hope I’m wrong ...
Rove’s money trail. If you know of any other Rove fundraisers, drop him a line.
NY Times Editorial:
Stalking the Poor to Soothe the Affluent. “While imperiously proclaiming cuts of $50 billion over five years, Congressional leaders are determined to fiddle more harmfully with the revenue half of the budget and to pass an additional $70 billion in upper-bracket tax cuts.” My italics. 2006. Throw these jokers out.
Republicans Ask Oil Industry for Help With Fuel Prices. Fair weather friends.