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By Joseph R. Biden and Chuck Hagel
December 20, 2002
Although no one doubts our forces will prevail over Saddam Hussein's, key regional leaders confirm what the Foreign Relations Committee emphasized in its Iraq hearings last summer: The most challenging phase will likely be the day after -- or, more accurately, the decade after -- Saddam Hussein.
Various experts have testified that as many as 75,000 troops may be necessary, at a cost of up to $ 20 billion a year. That does not include the cost of the war itself, or the effort to rebuild Iraq.
Anti-war fever was running high in Washington. U.S. ground forces were withdrawing.
Sensing weakness, the North Vietnamese Army invaded the South in force.
It started 35 years ago, today. As set out here.
In June of the same year(ed 1991) the "Aeroflot - Soviet Airlines" Commercial Production Alliance was created, which was transformed into the open stock company "Aeroflot - Russian International Airlines" on July 28, 1992. At the same time, the airline began operating foreign aircraft. The first foreign aircraft to appear at Aeroflot were the leased A310-300 manufactured by Airbus Industry. Two years later, the company acquired Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which adhere to the highest ecological and noise standards.
In late 1995, the airline leased the DC-10-30F long-haul freight carrier.
Tea, Chandler Arizona, an angry lecture by Hamid Karzai, steering wheel conversions and bird flu all found here.
Frontline's examination of "the rise of Arab satellite TV channels and their impact on the "war of ideas"" is now available for online viewing.
With $140 million in start-up money from Qatar's Sheikh Hamad and a pledge to subsidize it for five years, Al Jazeera began broadcasting from a state-of-the-art studio in Doha and quickly established itself as a serious force in the satellite news market.
Now, after more than a decade of beaming its direct style of news and popular talk shows into millions of Arab homes, Al Jazeera has become one of the most recognized media brands in the world. One of its most popular programs, The Opposite Direction, is a 90-minute showdown between opposing guests, in which viewers are encouraged to call in and join the debate. By pioneering a more accessible style of news coverage, Al Jazeera has not only become the most-watched satellite TV network in the Arab world but has also managed to infuriate the United States and every Arab government in the region. Libya and Kuwait, among others, have at various points threatened to pull their ambassadors from Qatar in protest.
The report also examines the Bush Administrations new policy of embracing Arab news channels in an effort to improve America's image in the Arab world. In Dubai, viewers meet Captain Eric Clark and Captain Frank Pascual, officers from US Central Command assigned as military spokesmen. As media liaisons, the two make a constant round of courtesy call to Arab news rooms.
Says Capt. Pascual, "It's been the best assignment I've ever had in a twenty-four year military career, no question about it."
W. Thomas Smith Jr., at NRO's The Tank:
I'm in Baghdad tonight — flew in from Kuwait this morning aboard an old Russian twin turbo-prop Antonov An-24 (with sand and dirt caked into the exterior fuselage seams, 70's looking shag carpeting on the interior bulkhead, and no ventilation system) — after a brief refueling and passenger pickup stop in Basra.Bloggers from conservative political sites transported to Iraq via Russian airlift - that pretty much ties together a couple of discussion threads here. (Ties with a pretty pink shag bow, in fact.)
Gotta go - my head's spinning.
...a first-hand account of recent events in Iraq at Soldier's Angels Germany:
As many of you may have heard by now, there was a major VBIED that exploded in [redacted]. The amount of explosives within the truck was enough to shake my CHU almost [redacted] miles away.I chose my side in this war long ago.
When we arrived at the scene, it was one of chaos and despair. There are not enough words to describe the carnage and evil that we saw. I saw it again a little later at the hospital. [numbers of Iraqi civilians dead and wounded redacted] I know, because I walked among the bodies to count them for my report.
As I stepped closer to them in the dark, I realized I was looking at the bodies of small children. Some as young as 12 months old.
As I lifted the tiny blankets, I became numb; one infant had its tiny head missing. Others were disfigured and their bodies broken and mangled. I could not believe what I was looking at.
One of the [Iraqi] men came to me and said, in a voice totally filled with compassion and caring, "Why you sad, American soldier?" I looked up at him, and I could not say anything. I got up and wiped myself with my Arabic scarf and rejoined the group of men to hear their argument.
They told me that about some doctors did not show up. I asked them why. They said because the terrorist and insurgents had threatened them.
"Did not you and they take an oath to preserve life at all costs?" I asked them. "Why are you here and not them?"
They said it is a sad day in Iraq when an American soldier will fall on his knees and cry for children that are not American, but our own doctors will not come to help.
BLITZER: What about this vote? The tug-of-war, the political battle unfolding here in the Senate. The House of Representatives calling for some sort of timeline for a withdrawal of combat forces.
How does this play out in Baghdad? What do people there where you are, Michael, say about this?
WARE: ...Do you think anyone enduring that is paying attention to artificial deadlines that are going to get vetoed by the president? And even if they were to pass through the legislative process, would only serve al Qaeda and Iran, America's enemies? No. People are focusing on the near game -- Wolf.
... on three days of headlines from Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF-I):
You've probably just made some senior staffie uncomfortable.
Good. Someone needs to point out the Law of Unintended Consequences!
Oh by the way we pulled in to Singapore once--I don't know why this happened there; Singapore tats weren't better than other places we hit--one of my divisions spent an average of $150 on tats for a three day in port period. And that was a lot of $$ for ink at the time...
Being married to the girl that I have, it’s given me a fine appreciation of the art. But even with being as accustomed to tattoos as I am. I’ve noticed the sharp increase of Marines getting sleeves just over the past two months. Not just the young Marines, Staff NCO’s too. There are actually a few Marines in my new unit that have more tattoos then my bride and believe me, that’s impressive! It seems like one out of 3 guys in my unit now has at least a quarter sleeve while the total percent of Marines who have tattoos is probably in the 90 percent range.
Today it finally hit home why so many Marines are coming home from war and pouring a sizable portion of the money they made into ink. A couple of months ago a rumor was going around that there was going to be a change in Marines Corps Tattoo policy stating any tattoo that is visible when wearing PT gear is forbidden and that the rule was going to kick in on April 1st. In reality? When I heard the rumor, I didn't think anything of it at the time.
Then last week, MARADMIN 198/07 came out announcing the uniform change was going to kick in 1 April and that Marines who had tattoos prior to April 1st will be grandfathered, to get a tattoo grandfathered, they needed to get a picture of the tattoo, date of the tattoo and have it documented in the page 11 of their service record and sign the page to make sure the information is correct. One the same day the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway released ALMAR 014/07 announcing his reasoning behind the changes.
I think part of the plan might have backfired, I’m sure the people who thought up these rules didn’t expect the wholesale rush towards the tattoo parlors prior to the ban date taking affect. Some of these guys probably weren’t planning on getting sleeves till someone told them that after this date they wouldn’t be able to. Strange seeing this story on the front page of the San Diego Union Tribune this morning.
I’m sure we haven’t heard the end of it.
Cross posted at my place.All done!
There is no "Iraq Civil War"...it is a regional war...the Iran/Iraq war redux.(A million died in that war).
Inviting "Redstate" to Iraq does nothing. Basically "Preaching to the converted".
A fundamental question in Iraq...yet to be answered is whether the US is prepared for the consequences of a complete withrdrawl?
If yes...then that is fair enough...I only drive 10 miles a week...$50 a gallon gas won't bother me. I won't personnaly suffer.
A Shiite/Sunni regional war...well...the Iran/Iraq war killed only a million...with the US and Russians efforting keeping it under control. But what the hell...not my tribe.
Lets figure each of those million that will die in the regional war have a mere 4 children(light by Arab standards)...that is 4 million children that will hate the people who stood by and did nothing while their fathers were killed..
But hey...it took a massive NINETEEN individuals that hated America to pull off 9/11.
Sleep tight...the Department of Homeland Security is protecting you,
I'm currently going through Bruce Catton's brief American Heritage History of the The Civil War and in describing the two armies he describes them as being comprised of "unmilitary, but warlike people."
It perfectly encapsulated the generally amateurish nature of both the Union and Confederate armies. These were masses of men that had learned their trade on the fly by the hard taskmaster of bloody experience. They were not the professional soldiers that we have today. They were decidedly "unmilitary"--lacking the discipline and even basic obedience to superiors that mark modern soldiers. But they performed so well because they were most definitely a warlike people. Hearty men that could stomach great hardships for something as abstract as "Union" or "The Confederacy." The North and South produced such men in droves.
But I got to thinking about the description and its converse. In light of various Congressional efforts to establish arbitrary withdrawal dates, make funding contingent on various oddities of pork barrel spending, the hypocritical denouncements of conditions at military hospitals by those that long had the power to do something, yet all the while proclaiming unending "support" for the troops:
Have we become a military, but unwarlike people?
When every other word out of a person's mouth expresses their "support" for the troops--yet every OTHER word expresses shock and horror at the sorts of things troops go through and do and suffer on their behalf; have we stopped viewing the military as a tool (indeed, our most powerful tool), and started viewing it more as a delicate piece of fine china to be kept in the cabinet and only to be taken out when really important company comes over?
A nice shiny bauble that we can show off, but when anybody dare lay a hand on it we get collectively apoplectic lest it break? And since we don't know anybody that important, it stays in the cabinet forever?
Another one via the Mrs:
The second issue that arises is this, why has the Pentagon offered their invitation to members of this weblog? The Pentagon, in cooperation with the Bush administration, has attempted with some success, to systematically limit what realities regarding the Iraq Civil War can be given coverage. Are we to understand now, that limitations upon our nation’s free press have failed, thus efforts must now be made to imbed Far-Right sympathizers, in an attempt to counter the prevailing winds of fact that our nation has lost this war.Now that would be something.
I offer myself to the Pentagon, please allow me to accompany those from Redstate to Iraq. Coupled with my Progressive stripe and their unabashed support for the Bush administration; something rather interesting will most assuredly be developed, perhaps even honest discourse.
And from comments on my very brief post below, a "Hey, I'm already here in Iraq and blogging up a storm." That's from Patrick Lasswell, who is indeed. Get on over there, y'all.
As for John's question, I'll probably fly over on one of those Antonovs, if the USAF can't afford me.