May 02, 2006
America's great "success"
Government spin is always a wondrous thing, but rarely can one enjoy something so blatant as this:
Washington -- Thanks to the successes of the U.S.-led multinational counterterrorism effort, terror organizations are now smaller and more sophisticated, and more challenging than ever to bring to justice, says Ambassador Henry Crumpton, coordinator of the State Department’s counterterrorism office.
"Successes" that make an enemy more dangerous and even harder to fight? Yep, we're all immensely thankful for those.
It says a lot about the current US regime that such a turn of phrase is even composed and published. The report also reveals - and you'll want to sit down and take a deep breath before reading on - that the Iraq war has increased terrorism. And that Iran is helping out in no small way with bomb components and general insurgency.
If only someone had thought of this before the invasion took place! There we all were, thinking what a great idea it was and what a walkover it would be and how very happy and welcoming the Iraqis would be and how disparate groups would unite to build democracy and stability and how everyone would love The West tm forever more for crushing down the stupid UN and its tedious and anti-American resolutions so Peace and Freedom could be brought to the eye-raqi people.
Civil war, terrorism, ruin and devastation. Getting worse by the hour.
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That Iran is providing bomb components is very much in dispute. Michael Yon, for one, a war supporter, calls bullshit. (The whole thing is worth reading, but the specific bullshit call is about two-thirds of the way down the page).
Posted by: Tom Scudder at May 2, 2006 10:03 AM
:: sigh :: some of us were out demonstrating against the invasion, and are wondering just where all these politically engaged people were who were out demonstrating yesterday in support of comprehensive immigration reform were when the issue was Iraq. Sadly, most people don't bother to care unless they are directly affected.
Of course, once people legalize, they are required to register for the drraft.
Posted by: Eva Luna at May 2, 2006 10:18 AM
Eva, you bring up a good point... Why not make the path to leaglization be through the armed forces! Jose, you want to become a citizen? fine! then join the marines and go fight wars for your new country! when you're out, if you're still alive, you'll be a citizen!
just think... since they aren't citizens already, they won't need to be well equipped or trained. just give them an old gun and some bullets, and air drop them on Baghdad. it's brilliant!
Dr. Doug, you may joke, but that's actually already been at least a semi-serious proposal.
But what do you do with Jose's 55-year-old father Enrique, with the bad knee? Does he just get to be cannon fodder? Or Jose's pregnant wife Maria? And their 3 children under the age of ten, two of whom are U.S. citizens by birth?
Posted by: Eva Luna at May 2, 2006 01:38 PM
i only half joke. this whole issue of immigration,etc, quite a nasty one. haven't yet made my own mind up yet.
perhaps a quota can be enacted. for every soldier, he/she can bring in two other people that can't fight due to medical reasons, etc. for any direct dependants (ie: children) under the age of 16 (or whatever the minimum age is to go to war these days), they can all come in free of charge but are expected to volunteer at the local community center.
hey! that's a good idea! why not make Maria volunteer at the nursing home? there is a severe shortage of staff at most rest homes, right? i bet something along the same lines could be found for Enrique...
yes yes! i can see it now! every able bodied person over the age of 16 must serve some arbitrary length of time (say 4 years) in public service. the military gets first dibs on everyone. if the military doesn't want them, then they fall to other organizations and on down the line.
okay, i've done my thinktank work for the day. where's my cheque?
In fact, joining the US military already makes it easier to become a citizen (but not automatic). But let's not turn the US into its Starship Troopers version, as interesting a social model as it is.
Posted by: zurn at May 2, 2006 05:54 PM
"Why not make the path to leaglization be through the armed forces'
30,000+ foreign nationals serve in the U.S. military, a relatively steady figure, and they are fast-tracked for citizenship, if they want it(Some of course, don't, fully intending to go back to their place of origin with newly enhanced military skills).
Not quite as fast as the famous French Legion promise of citizenship and a new identity ( if that still even happens) but it's something.
Posted by: mark safranski at May 3, 2006 12:34 AM
Immigrants really aren't all that more eager to go fight than citizens (link)
Posted by: Tequila at May 3, 2006 06:52 AM
Just need to add that the idea of granting citizenship in order to become cannon fodder is not original; it was already done, by that great (excuse me while I vomit) prez, Woodrow Wilson, in 1917, with Puerto Rico. ("The 1917 act granted islanders a partial American citizenship; though without voting rights, Puerto Ricans were nonetheless available for the draft, just in time for the first World War.")
Posted by: pantom at May 3, 2006 10:23 PM
Another great example, I suppose, might be the Empire of Japan in late 1930s: Koreans were made Japanese "citizens" and were thus eligible to be drafted into the Japanese army or into gov't labor services under the slogan "unity of the imperial subjects," or something like that (literal translations don't make too much sense in English).
Of course, the idea of giving Koreans political rights wasn't even considered until 1944 (and never actually enacted), when Japan was on the verge of defeat and they needed Koreans to fight/work harder for the Tenno.
Posted by: kao_hsien_chih at May 3, 2006 10:38 PM