Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You don’t surge on a permanent basis

A court martial has begun in the murder in April 2006 by 7 Marines and a Navy corpsman of a man in Hamdania, Iraq. They came up with a plan (without orders) to kidnap and kill a suspected insurgent, then plant an AK-47 and a shovel on the body, to make it look like he was caught in the act of planting IEDs. Not finding him at home, they mulled it over and decided (this is the part I want to hear more about during the trial) to go ahead with their cunning plan, only with whoever they could randomly snatch from a nearby house. Who turned out to be known as Awad the Lame. The lawyer for Corp. Trent Thomas said he simply “had no choice but to do what he did” because “Marines in combat don’t challenge orders.” Well, when the order is to murder a civilian in cold blood (which, by the way, is not my idea of “combat”), maybe it’s time to start.

By the way, since this is a crime of xenophobia, it might affect our perception of the story to know, as none of the wire services report, that Corp. Thomas is black. I’m not saying that’s explanatory of anything, just that race is not irrelevant in this country, this world or this war. They did manage to mention the less salient fact that he has two children (Awad the Lame had 11, and I forget how many grandchildren; the stories mention that he was a grandfather without giving either number, being more interested in humanizing the American killer than the Iraqi victim).

Excuse me, I meant to say alleged killer. The BBC a couple of days ago reported that police somewhere or other had “foiled an alleged plot.”

This weekend, Karl Rove was at the Aspen Ideas Festival, one of whose ideas was, hey, let’s invite Karl Rove. Karl Rove came with his own ideas: 1) Al Qaida is responsible for 80-90% of the bombs killing American soldiers in Iraq (complete nonsense, of course, but weren’t the Bushies trying to blame all those bombs on Iran?), 2) “we will be redefining the mission because the goal of the surge was to get us to a place where we could redefine the mission”; 3) Guantanamo is the bestest prison camp ever: “Our principle health problem down there is gain of weight, we feed ‘em so well.” Sometimes through tubes inserted in their nostrils.

The odd idea that the purpose of the “surge” was actually to give the White House time to think up a purpose for the surge was repeated by White House spokesmodel NEW NICKNAME ALERT! NEW NICKNAME ALERT! Tony “Frat Tony” Fratto: “It shouldn’t come as any surprise that we here in the Administration . . . are thinking about what happens after a surge... A surge, by definition, is temporary in nature. You don’t surge on a permanent basis.”

Palestinian president-for-life Abbas accuses Hamas of letting Al Qaida into Gaza “and through its bloody behaviour Hamas has become very close to al-Qaida.”

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