May 2008

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« Free Will in Fruit Flies | Main | I Support the Troops More Than You Do »

Comments

Q

How about this idea?:
Why not HOLD A REFERENDUM on whether the Iraqi citizens want the US to stay or leave...? The've already held elections in Iraq that appointed a government, so they can hold a referendum on this question.

If the vote comes back as STAY, it may weaken the terrorists' morale, while boosting that of the US Military. It could also bring more international military, diplomatic and financial aid (or none of this may happen, but its no worse than the current situation).
If it comes back as LEAVE, the US government gets the perfect cover for an exit. They don't lose the moral high ground and they don't appear weak, since exit is a conscious choice based on the "people's will" and not under pressure from terrorists.

Q

How about this idea?:
Why not HOLD A REFERENDUM on whether the Iraqi citizens want the US to stay or leave...? The've already held elections in Iraq that appointed a government, so they can hold a referendum on this question.

If the vote comes back as STAY, it may weaken the terrorists' morale, while boosting that of the US Military. It could also bring more international military, diplomatic and financial aid (or none of this may happen, but its no worse than the current situation).
If it comes back as LEAVE, the US government gets the perfect cover for an exit. They don't lose the moral high ground and they don't appear weak, since exit is a conscious choice based on the "people's will" and not under pressure from terrorists.

Jason Allen

Shame on you, Scott! Shame! Shame! Shame! We need our nation's youth to join the military so they can needlessly die in foreign lands so that the President can create more enemies to justify taking away the freedoms people think soldiers die to protect. Why do you hate America, Scott?

Dan Summerbell

Try serving in the British army. Our boys end up in bloody land-rovers that aren't even armoured against small-arms fire! And then our military goes and *sells off* the few armoured vehicles they have.

Seriously though, I have a lot of respect for the patriotism and fighting skills of the average American. If it weren't for you I'd be conducting my trips to France in German or Russian by now.

HOWEVER: It saddens me deeply to see this patriotism being abused to garner support for the OCCUPATION (not war - very good point that) in Iraq. I supported the war at first. I was wrong, I freely admit. Time for other people to have the b*llocks to do the same.

Kevin Kunreuther

(under assumption my early morning comments got lost and were never received - I was groggy at time)

[My recommendation to young people: Don’t enlist. ... It’s ironic that people between the ages of 18 and 21 are the only American adults not allowed to drink. And yet they are the only ones who can stop the war in Iraq in the near term. Or if they prefer, at least cause more IED-resistant vehicles to be built.

That’s a lot of power.]

1.)Most, not all, young people are not that politically organized these days, they are motivated materialistically and hedonistically, else they would be a truly formidable political force - were it not for the pesky age requirements in constitution, there'd be a lot of college age Congress-people cluttering up the lobbyists pockets - but that's another subject for another posting.
2.)If you fervently do not want to see a lot of young Americans be needlessly injured or killed, you must go beyond posting this assumption in your blog and have your agent book you to appear where young eyeballs and ears congregate and get your message across, then give equal time to their parents media to explain your position so you don't appear to be a traitorous ingrate to the fogies. At the least, maybe the fogies will up the production of the new vehicles to protect their kids.

John

I'm a soldier in the NY Army National Guard. I've served one deployment to Iraq, and am slated to serve in Afghanistan next year. I have a little more experience than you in these matters, so I'll throw in my two cents. First off the article states that there are 35,000 HMMWV's (high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle) in Iraq. It does not say what percentage are armored or not. Your referring to them as "regular" HMMWV's makes it sound as though they are not armored at all. There are several types of HMMWV's. The first type is unarmored, the next are unarmored vehicle's converted with armored doors, windows, etc, the last are built armored from the factory. I was in Iraq in 2004-2005. When I was there the ONLY vehicle's I saw off base were armored. I can't say that no units sent soldiers out in unarmored vehicles at that time, only that I never saw it in my whole year in the Baghdad area. We did use unarmored HMMWV's on base (Camp Liberty), but there wasn't any IED threat on base. Now don't get me wrong, the army was definitely caught short when this war started. But I think they have done a good job of fielding new equipment at a fairly rapid pace. Much more rapid that I've ever seen before. The armored HMMWV's were a quick stop-gap solution. Not perfect, but a solution that could be fielded in a short amount of time. A purpose built replacement will no doubt take a little time. As to the Buffalo's and Cougar's mentioned in the article: I've never seen a Cougar and have no idea what it's intended use is so I can't comment. The Buffalo I have seen in Iraq. It is a very tall, built high off the ground, V-shaped hull, anti-mine vehicle built specifically for that mission. It is not well suited for much else. It does it's intended mission well, but that's about it. To defeat any armored vehicle all you need is a big enough gun, or big enough bomb. It will be a never ending battle as far as that goes. It's been that way since armored vehicle's first came into existence. There were soldiers in my brigade that died while in a M2 Bradly Fighting Vehicle due to an IED. The Bradly is much better armored than any armored HMMWV, but the bomb just happened to be large enough. Many soldiers in my own Troop were spared their lives while in armored HMMWV's because the IED's were not big enough. As far as enlisting in the Arny goes? Well, if you don't believe in the war then don't. If you do, then go ahead. I will say one thing though. I do believe that we should stick it out in Iraq. If we leave now things will only get worse, not better. And I do believe that the Iraqi people are worth our effort. A stable Iraq is good for the whole world, and it won't happen without outside help. Yes things are tough now. But I shudder to think of what will happen if we leave and radical extremists are allowed to take control of that whole region. It scares me. It should scare you.

John

I'm a soldier in the NY Army National Guard. I've served one deployment to Iraq, and am slated to serve in Afghanistan next year. I have a little more experience than you in these matters, so I'll throw in my two cents. First off the article states that there are 35,000 HMMWV's (high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle) in Iraq. It does not say what percentage are armored or not. Your referring to them as "regular" HMMWV's makes it sound as though they are not armored at all. There are several types of HMMWV's. The first type is unarmored, the next are unarmored vehicle's converted with armored doors, windows, etc, the last are built armored from the factory. I was in Iraq in 2004-2005. When I was there the ONLY vehicle's I saw off base were armored. I can't say that no units sent soldiers out in unarmored vehicles at that time, only that I never saw it in my whole year in the Baghdad area. We did use unarmored HMMWV's on base (Camp Liberty), but there wasn't any IED threat on base. Now don't get me wrong, the army was definitely caught short when this war started. But I think they have done a good job of fielding new equipment at a fairly rapid pace. Much more rapid that I've ever seen before. The armored HMMWV's were a quick stop-gap solution. Not perfect, but a solution that could be fielded in a short amount of time. A purpose built replacement will no doubt take a little time. As to the Buffalo's and Cougar's mentioned in the article: I've never seen a Cougar and have no idea what it's intended use is so I can't comment. The Buffalo I have seen in Iraq. It is a very tall, built high off the ground, V-shaped hull, anti-mine vehicle built specifically for that mission. It is not well suited for much else. It does it's intended mission well, but that's about it. To defeat any armored vehicle all you need is a big enough gun, or big enough bomb. It will be a never ending battle as far as that goes. It's been that way since armored vehicle's first came into existence. There were soldiers in my brigade that died while in a M2 Bradly Fighting Vehicle due to an IED. The Bradly is much better armored than any armored HMMWV, but the bomb just happened to be large enough. Many soldiers in my own Troop were spared their lives while in armored HMMWV's because the IED's were not big enough. As far as enlisting in the Arny goes? Well, if you don't believe in the war then don't. If you do, then go ahead. I will say one thing though. I do believe that we should stick it out in Iraq. If we leave now things will only get worse, not better. And I do believe that the Iraqi people are worth our effort. A stable Iraq is good for the whole world, and it won't happen without outside help. Yes things are tough now. But I shudder to think of what will happen if we leave and radical extremists are allowed to take control of that whole region. It scares me. It should scare you.

lobo

I wish this blog was more widely read by 18-21 yos. Those who aren't convinced by the militants not to give away their lives for short-sighted business interests will probably not vote again. Is there a way to convince the militants to fight in Iraq instead of flaming Mr. Adams here?

Kinda negatively ...

moi

@ Rosco, i don't think you watch the news very often. Every day dozens of people get killed in Iraq (mainly Bagdad). The mortality rate is a lot higher there then in "philly". Ok, since those who die aren't all US citizens i know you do not care, but saying that Iraq is safer then "Urban areas in the US" is saying that the mortality rate with people who die while riding rollerblades is higher than the mortality rate with people who die while driving motorized vehicles.

Personally i think that the US should stay untill everything is sorted out. You made the mess, now clean it up. You can't just fuck it up and leave like nothing happened.

Funny, link. This is how many other 'countries' view Americans:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJuNgBkloFE&eurl=

(i hope it's the correct link, because i can't check it right now)

EngPharm

Wow... such controversy generated from a purely hypothetical non-violent protest method. As a Canadian, I have no vested interest in anything the American military industrial complex decides to do or not, but the mudslinging here seems to fail to realise one thing. It is possible to separate the troops from the mission. Even Bill Maher in his Libertarian rants agrees with this.

So feel free to take pride in your military, and the brave men and women who are willing to take up arms and lay down their lives on your behalf. I'd be shocked if you didn't take pride in them. But... is Iraq where you think these brave men and women should be? If you think so, then fine. There are many who agree with you. If you think not, then your beef is not with the troops themselves, but rather with the governing bodies that decided to send them there. And many people would also agree with that.

Jon Tyken

Nic says: "there have been 150 murders in Philly this year.... it's safer to be in the military today than to live in an Urban area in the US."

Philadelphia has a population of about 1.5 million. That's about ten times the number of soldiers serving in Iraq. There have been 323 U.S. Soldiers killed...hmmm

Well, I was going to show how on a per capita basis you were wrong, but even on a strict counting of the total you're wrong. When you do the math, you're about 20 times more likely to get killed in Iraq. Which is not "safer."

Don't denigrate our soldiers by suggesting they're not risking their lives by doing their duty.

Lubs

Nic and liberals/socialists et al. -

Liberal daily agenda: do a study (ex: Joe Biden). Tell media what study found. Count on media not to read study to find truth. Media tell world what liberals say study found. Skulls of mush soak up propaganda. Skulls of mush then post things on blogs as if what they're saying is implied universal knowledge. Pat self on back. Just for fun, maybe throw in another comment about how Israel provokes bus bombings.

Read something other than the New York Times and the Washington Post, you pacifists.

In love,
Lubs

lollerskates

Bruce Harrison, you are what is wrong with the world today.

Ryan Lackey

I'm actually in Iraq 75% of the time. (as a contractor, although I do ride in these vehicles, HMMWVs, 5-ton trucks, or cars)

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2007/05/us-army-17000-mrap-vehicles-to-replace-hummers/index.php is a better source than USA Today.

1) Most HMMWVs are used on-base, right beside unarmored SUVs. So, there is a big demand for unarmored vehicles. HMMWVs are really good as unarmored jeeps for driving around base (give me a Land Cruiser instead, though)

2) The marines already have lots of these vehicles. The marines are saying "every vehicle outside the wire is going to be mine-resistant", and have ordered thousands. So at the very least don't stop enlisting in the USMC.

3) EOD (bomb squad) people already have these AND a bunch of even weirder looking vehicles with really long legs keeping wheels AWAY from the v-hull, etc. The vehicles most likely to get hit by IEDs are the best protected.

4) The defense secretary questioned the Army's decision to buy a relatively small number initially.

"The MRAP should be considered the highest priority Department of Defense acquisition program.... I would like to know what funding, material, program, legal or other limits currently constrains the program and options available to overcome them."

5) Right now, funding issues due to political disagreements over the future/duration of the war are probably dominating large-scale acquisition programs. Maybe some of the people not enlisting uner your plan should run for Congress (well, once they turn 25 or 30) :)

Ben Bateman

We can do a lot better than not enlisting, Scott. We can stop paying our taxes, too. And we can stop obeying the laws. Heck, let's shut down the whole country and curl up under our covers in protest. That'll show 'em.

And once we've brought the country to its knees, the politicians will have to submit to our demands, which are, um, er, hmm. What were those demands, again? What's that magical formula that every sensible person knows would solve all our problems, if only GWB weren't in office? I can never remember.

ceolaf

This MUST have already been posted:

The military kept missing its recruiting targets, so they kept lowering them. Eventually, they lowered them enough that they could make their targets.

Apparently, potential enlistees decided not join in MASSIVE numbers. So, who's enlisting, despite all this?

That sounds like a question that Dogbert is perfectly capable of answering.

(And the extending enrollments and stop-loss orders to make up for the fact the enlistment is WAY down...)

GeraldNZ

America started the war in error. Americans voted Bush back in. You were NOT out on the streets en masse when he was planning to go in - you actually supported the invasion. The rest of the world didn't believe the excuses Bush was giving - why did you? But now you've created this mess you want to leave Iraqis to drown in the cesspool you've created. Isn't that a tad irresponsible?

Billy B

If all the women on this planet would just fucking smack their men and offspring on the fucking heads and tell them that they can't go fight these stupid fucking wars this would all end.

These stupid fucking men/monkeys, and stupid fucking religions really piss me off. They fuck up our spiritual experience here.
Billy B

Tyndall

I'd be careful about pissing off the Republican base Scott. They can get angry about anything, plus they're crazy, plus they have guns. Do you remember who else had anger, craziness, and guns? Hitler! Now theres an Adams-esk line of thinking. Think about it.

brian

Scott -

You do realize that you and everyone else who continues to harp on the "get out of Iraq now and don't even THINK about Iran" bandwagon is virtually guaranteeing the genocide of 1.7 billion people. You do understand that, right?

Has it occurred to you or any of your anti-war fellow travelers that the next terrorist attack in the name of Allah in the US is going to bring the demand to wipe Islam from the face of the Earth? Has it occurred to you that President Clinton just might do that to prove she's got the balls her predecessor lacked?

So you keep begging for us to pull out of Iraq before we manage to sow the seeds of discontent in the middle of Shariaville. You are condemning an entire region of the world to a fiery death.

John Elliot

Dear Cartoonist,
Your recent challenge of my beliefs has motivated me to stop using your resources for free. I am so angered by your treasonous communism that I will be telling everyone in my blog about your godless views, and encouraging them to not read your opinions.

Yours in Christ, Geyfer Raygen.

Okgenuine

Well, I personally like this debate. Are we really supposed to let a walking horror movie get away? I know if Saddam's regime was torturing me, I'd want the whole world to stop spinning and come and get me. The only thing I don't understand about the war is, who's stopping us from getting those people? On the news it's never clear, and I don't trust the news at all, especially the people who control it.

Padre Ruiz

This may sound a little trite and possibly naive, but I strongly believe that if the majority of the population actually voted then we wouldn't have to resort to the boycott of enlistment or any other form of demonstration. Now I agree that it is good to stand up for what you believe in, but it alarms me how many people out there complain about this country and the things that our government does. Yet these people remain among the astonishingly high population of non-voters. Yes there are corrupt people out there, and a lot of them happen to run for government. However if we as a country would actually participate in this democracy, that we so happily throw in the faces of others when we say that we're the greatest country in the world, then the levels of corruption and dissatisfaction would decrease. I may not agree with the reason that we entered this war, but I do and will always support the troops, because guess what? They are out there supporting us! We stuck our hand in this jar and I believe that it would be negligent on our part if we were to leave before we established some form of self-reliant government and/or defense for Iraq. Now is it our job to do this? No, probably not. But we can't pretend to be the police of the world and then turn around and go home when it turns out that the fight was bigger or longer than we thought. Maybe if we stick this out, and commit ourselves as a country it will open the eyes of our citizens.

Hopefully, this will wake us up to the idea that we can't go in and protect someone without there being ramifications. Such as, when a country was ruled oppressively they may not automatically know how to rule themselves, they may resent our involvement, and we may have to defend them from themselves and others until they have the power to remain autonomous.

I may be coming off a bit strong in this, and I do believe that there are times and reasons that we as a country should be involved in the domestic affairs of another country. I also believe that there are atrocities that we should aim to end. Now we may not be the police, parent, or presiding moral standard for the world, but we are free, and we have power help to weak, defenseless, and oppressed. Though with that power, comes some form of moral obligation to do what's right. Just know at what cost these things come.

Our population has become complacent and to an extent a rising majority in this country doesn't want to know of the problems in the world. I'm sorry, there ARE problems out there and they aren't going away anytime soon without some help. Maybe I wouldn't be so upset about all this if individuals took more responsibility for their own actions. And by the way for the non-voters out there that don't vote because they don't care, okay fine you're lazy but at least you know it, and have accepted this flaw in your character. You don't like the way things are going around here but don't want to do anything about it? Fine keep your mouth shut and the rest of us will make decisions for you. Those of you who are upset about how the government is run and don't vote, because you believe that our system of democracy doesn't work, guess what? The reason that it doesn't work is that there are people out there who aren't voting! By not voting you are ensuring that the system doesn't work. If you're in a large class and you have a question, and so do a lot of other people, the odds of the teacher calling on you may be slim, but does that mean that you don't raise your hand? If you don't, it only ensures that your question will never be answered. You are now relying on the rest of the class to ask questions and do what needs to be done for you. I don't believe that this will work; we won't know your needs until you voice them and vote for what you want in society.

At this point this Rant has gone on much longer than I anticipated, or had wanted but it appears that there were things that I needed to get off my chest. So please if there is something that you want done in this country or world raise your hand and say so. Vote.

We as Americans have the potential to be so much more than we are. (This is a great country but its slipping) We wonder why everything is getting outsourced from this country, its not just cheap labor. Our educational system isn't what it used to be and we're allowing that. Sometimes we are blinded by our pride for this country; because we know how great we are we don't always see the flaws. There is more than I could ever begin to put down on paper, but it all begins with being proud for a reason and standing up raising your hand and putting effort forth to make this country what it could be.

Ken Posan

The "new" V-shaped vehicles in question are not new. African countries have been using them for DECADES. Why our government has taken YEARS to procure these is beyond me.

Hammertyme

I really enjoy December. It has nice donkeys.

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