Jag verkar ha svårt att krysta fram texter den här helgen, men vill i vilket fall delge läsekretsen ledtrådar till omistlig information annorstädes.
Beskåda exempelvis detta makalöst informativa bildband över krigsförbrytelserna i Falluja.
Begrunda denna berättelse från en amerikansk soldat som var med.
We crossed the train station just before midnight and led the way for the Marines by killing everything we could in our way. It took our tanks and brads until 10 am the next day to get 2 miles into the city. They killed about 200 insurgents in the process and softened the enemy for the Marines. 5 of our soldiers were wounded in this first 10 hours, but we accomplished our part of the plan.
The Marines' mission was to follow TF 2-7 and fight the enemy by clearing from building to building. A lot of the insurgents saw the armored vehicles and hid. They waited for the Marines to come and took their chances by fighting them since the Marines weren't protected by armor like we were. In that first day of fighting, the Marines took 5 x KIA and many more wounded, but they also did their job very well. Along the way, they found HUGE caches of weapons, suicide vests, and many foreign fighters. They also found unbelievable amounts of drugs, mostly heroin, speed, and cocaine. It turns out, the enemy drugged themselves up to give them the "courage" and stupidity to stay and fight.
The enemy tried to fight us in "the city of mosques" as dirty as they could. They fired from the steeples of the mosques and the mosques themselves. They faked being hurt and then threw grenades at soldiers when they approached to give medical treatment. They waived surrender flags, only to shoot at our forces 20 seconds later when they approached to accept their surrender.
Missa icke denna text om vad som kommer att ske härnäst med de stackars invånarna i den plågade staden.
Here's how it worked. About one week after we (the 101st) arrived in Mosul (approx. May 8th), every major subordinate command in the 101st (including mine, of course) received an order to report to Finance Headquarters, draw $10,000 US cash (seized assets recovered from the old regime) and go out and spend it. There were rules and guidelines- no single purchase over the amount of $2,000. Any expenditure must benefit the Iraqi people only, and may not result in any kind benefit to Coalition Forces whatsoever. No spending on entertainment for the Iraqis. Other than that, it was pretty much go out there and spend. I was selected to be my brigade's project manager because of my experience handling budgets and my history of successfuly dealing with Iraqis.
Eller läs Gary Brechers, aka The War Nerd, cyniska harang över äventyret i Falluja.
A hundred years from now, people will be scratching their heads at the way American voters dealt with war. It's a tale of two Bushes: Bush the Father was forced into the first Gulf War when Saddam invaded Kuwait. He handled it just about perfectly. First he organized the only Middle East coalition in history that actually worked, then fought and won the war with hardly any American losses. He handed us our only strategic victory since 1945.
And we voted him out.
Ten years later, his kid becomes president, pisses off all our allies, invades Iraq for no reason, screws up the war so we've got 1100 dead GIs by election time...and wins reelection.
I guess the lesson is, if you want to get reelected, make war as badly as an Argentine. We'll love you for it. Just whatever you do, don't win. That's the one thing we won't forgive.
It just proves what I always thought: people are stupid.
Apropå The War Nerd, Gary Brecher skriver om Sverige igen i sin senaste text (som egentligen handlar om Ryssland).
Actually you could say Russia destroyed three great powers in a row, if you count Sweden. Believe it or not, Sweden was a great power in the 1600s, one of the biggest players in the Thirty Years War. Then they decided to invade Russia, with the standard result: half their army was dead before they'd fought a real battle, and when the battle came, at Poltava down in Ukraine, the Swedes lost so badly their king had to run off to Turkey. And Sweden, to put it mildly, was never a player again. It's been peace, socialism and exporting blondes ever since. A battalion of armadillos could take Sweden these days.
Inhämta alla nyheter om Oil-for-food-skandalen samlade i en blogg.
This blog exists to document, in one place, all that I can find about the UN Oil for Food scandal, Saddam's global friends, and (eventually) Saddam's own crimes.
Starting with al-Mada's list of 270 bribees in late January, this story has been slowly building steam. Safire called it the "scandal without any friends." Now, Paul Volcker will head a UN investigation and the US Congress has started one too. This blog will follow those investigations and other reports.
Och när vi nu betar av alla världsfrågor så måste jag tipsa om specialisterna på internationell diplomati, The Diplomad, som behandlar såväl FN som Frankrike.
With genuine admiration we must say that there is no other country on earth that pursues its core national interests in as determined and ruthless a manner as France. Unlike the USA which has three thousand interests all competing for number one, France has pared down its interests essentially to:
-- Pursuit of French economic and commercial interests above all else. Do whatever it takes to get the deal for a French firm! [A personal note: The Diplomad recalls lobbying the President of a small country to buy Boeing aircraft for the national airline; with Boeing reps we reviewed in detail the superior price and performance of the Boeing over the Airbus product. The President and the local airline representatives agreed with us that the Boeing was the better plane at a better price. So, as you would expect, Airbus got the deal. The French had bought the President a house in southern France.]
-- Do whatever is needed to prevent American "hegemony." Suffice it to say for now, that France does not see the United States as an ally; it sees no country as a permanent ally or friend. France sees the world in terms of preventing any other country -- read, America -- from becoming too powerful or influential. France sees itself as offering the world a way of life much closer to the existing ways of thinking and cultures of most of the world than that of the horrid Anglo-Saxons. This includes spending huge sums of money around the world in a quixotic "fight" against the spread of English and active promotion of French cinema as an antidote to Hollywood movies.
Eller varför inte lite inrikesgodis?
Läs Lars Jonungs äreminne över Bosse Ringholm i Dagens Nyheter.
Ringholm framstår som den mest konservative av alla finansministrar under efterkrigstiden. Han har slagit vakt om det bestående. Hur kan denna konservatism förklaras?
Njut av principlöshetens manifestation i Miljöpartiet, såsom den presenteras av Dibbuk.
Miljöpartiet har alltså redan röstat för svenskt deltagande i EU:s militära styrkor. Resten är uppenbarligen förhandlingsbart. Allt för maktens skull.
Men det är ett högt spel. Partiet ligger snubblande nära riksdagens fyraprocent-spärr, och få frågor mobiliserar partiets väljare lika mycket som EU-motståndet.
Ha så kul!