So anyway... man, this week's cartoon was a pain. For some reason, it took forever for me to get this one together. I think it's because I have never really been into "high fantasy" medieval tales of knights and wizards and stuff. I've never seen any of the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter movies from start to finish. Cartoons like this one are a lot easier, because I've been a giant Star Wars nerd my whole life and I know those movies backwards and forwards.
A few snippets:
- Scott Ritter:
The success of the surge is pure fantasy, a fancy bit of illusion that would do David Copperfield proud, but not the people of Iraq or the United States. The surge addresses events in Iraq based upon short-term objectives (i.e., reducing the immediate level of violence) without resolving any of the deep-seated, long-term issues that promote the violence to begin with. It is like placing a Band-Aid on a gaping chest wound.
- Faiz Shakir:
the right wing is already beginning to declare victory. In November, after a trip to Iraq, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) began declaring that "we've succeeded militarily." His traveling companion, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) agreed, bellowing that "we are winning" because "we have made progress" in "one of the most remarkable turnarounds in modern military history."
- Glenn Greenwald:
No matter what else is true, our sprawling imperialism -- as has been true for every Empire in history -- is simply unsustainable. The very idea of staying in Iraq for the next several decades with tens of thousands of American troops, while we lavishly fund the grotesquely corrupt and un-American Private Republican Army of Blackwater, is both infeasible and self-destructive.
- Juan Cole:
When viewed from the vantage point of grand strategy, the Iraq War is as much a failure as it has always been. If someone came to you six years ago and said that for only $2 trillion, you could have for your colony a burned out country, a failed state, and a semi-permanent incubator of terrorism and hatred against the US, would you have ponied up the money? That's what you've got, and that is what it cost you. Detroit could have used some of that money. New Orleans could have used some of that money. [emphasis added]
And anyway, if the US government had thrown the $2 trillion and more that Iraq will end up costing at green energy development, both we and the earth would have been far better off.
- Andrew Bacevich:
In President Bush's pithy formulation, the United States is now "kicking ass" in Iraq. The gallant Gen. David Petraeus, having been given the right tools, has performed miracles, redeeming a situation that once appeared hopeless. Sen. John McCain has gone so far as to declare that "we are winning in Iraq."
- Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith:
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
- One more thing: check out this incredible chart from the NYT on the military and police deaths in Iraq last year.