Wednesday, May 05, 2004

I'm Karl Barth

.....I took the test......
.....They tell me I'm most like him
See Barth quotations here......

"We reject the false doctrine that the church could have permission to hand over the form
of its message and of its order to whatever it itself might wish or to the vicissitudes of the
prevailing ideological and political convictions of the day."
You are Karl Barth!
You like your freedom, and are pretty stubborn against authority! You don't
care much for other people's opinions either. You can come up with your own fun, and
often enough you have too much fun. You are pretty popular because you let people have their
way, even when you have things figured out better than them.

What theologian are you?
Rats! Are they saying my CD collection will eventually rot away?

"If people treat these discs rather harshly, or stack them, or allow them to rub against each other, this very fragile protective layer can be disturbed, allowing the atmosphere to interact with that aluminum..."
A government agency charged with fighting Internet censorship is quietly censoring the Web itself
From the website Citizen Lab

"The minute you try to temper assistance with evading censorship with judgments about how that power should be used by citizens, you start down a path from which there's no clear endpoint."
---Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard University law professor
Colonel Pittard has a confusing mission, and my heart goes out to him for his loyalty to our country

Colonel Pittard

Allow me to begin by saying I do not know Colonel Dana Pittard. From what I do know of the Colonel, I believe he is a loyal and good American. I've read a lot about him, he's captured my attention and my heart in many ways. I want to make some comments in his support and in the support of all the men and women in the U.S. armed services in Iraq today.

Compare these stories/these statements from/about Colonel Pittard.

The first is from just a month ago:

"The support of the population is key to everything we do. From the commander down to the squad leader, we must touch, engage the Iraqis,'' says Pittard, who commands the 1st Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade, which arrived in the country less than a month ago.
..The unit's predecessor in the province, the 4th Infantry Division, focused on fighting, which has claimed the lives of 34 U.S. soldiers and left nearly 200 others wounded. There have been a few accidental killings of Iraqis and frequent detentions of civilians. Now, while still trying to kill or capture as many insurgents as possible, the brigade is getting involved with everything from attempting dialogue with Islamic college radicals to combating an insect plague ruining date palm plantations.

And now....

"My intent is to destroy Sadr's militia, absolutely destroy it," said Col. Dana Pittard, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division, which is leading the operation dubbed Operation Duke Fortitude. "And then to capture or kill Sadr. That is our mission. We're just waiting to be unleashed."
...Acknowledging that invading Najaf could offend Muslims worldwide, he added: "It's that sensitive. If we do this wrong, it will be felt from Morocco to Indonesia."

Colonel Pittard has been placed, by this Pentagon, in a completely confusing position. They want him to be a social worker one day and a trained soldier with a fighting mission (which is what he trains for) the next.

This is where the mission falls apart. It's not up to Colonel Pittard to pretend to care about the hearts and minds of the Iraqis. His mission is to destroy anything that gets in the way of his nation's goal.

Pentagon/Rumsfeld/Bush--you'd best shit or get off the pot. Get a new U.N. resolution. Get your social workers from the U.N. if you need them. Let Colonel Pittard do his job. Give General Abizaid an exit strategy. Get our troops home where they're loved, appreciated, and needed. I'm so ashamed of this administration's pie-in-the-sky lunacy about today's military. They've tried to be some kind of heroes, and they've wound up revealing themselves to be megalomaniacs endangering American security at home and throughout the world. Our President, I fear, is a theo-megalomaniac who, in his public relations, creates a crusade-style mission attitude. This bodes terribly for our armed forces' mission.

I'm speaking out for those in our military who cannot. Get on the stick. We're using your military carelessly. General Sanchez is doing his best with the most chillingly horrendous Commander-in-Chief in American history. Colonel Pittard and General Sanchez cannot and would not tell you this. I can...and I will.


At Defenselink, Lt. John R. Vines is quoted to have said that mastering information operations will go a long way toward influencing people "to lay down their weapons and quit fighting and rebuild their country." But for now, he said, "We don't do that nearly as well as we could."

It's crystal-clear we aren't doing it well. It's an opportunity-area the size of an elephant, yet the Bush administration continues to stubbornly insist pro-American P.R. in Iraq is working. It's not working.


"Being steadfast in defense of carefully considered convictions is a virtue. Being blankly incapable of distinguishing cherished hopes from disappointing facts, or of reassessing comforting doctrines in face of contrary evidence, is a crippling political vice."
--George Will [LINK]

I just read electablog for the first time today.

electablog is good reading. Most of you will probably say "Jude, where've YOU been? We've known about Dave a long time."
So call me slow already.

Is this giving you a sense of foreboding about trouble for the U.S. in Greece? The Olympics?

What consequences do the private companies involved in Abu Ghraib (and their agents) face?

Why are so many former U.S. diplomats telling Bush his Middle East policy is 'dangerous'? Do they expect he'll listen..or will he just consider them another "focus group"?

Why is it that two months after a classified Army report found that two contract workers were implicated in the abuse of Iraqis at a prison outside Baghdad, the companies that employ them have not removed any of those employees from Iraq? They have said it's because they have heard nothing from the Pentagon. So I ask you, why have they heard NOTHING from the Pentagon??

What does Robert Fisk think about the Abu Ghraib situation contrasted with our own prejudices and our own "high-flown" morality?

Are you daughters of America ready to be drafted? How do you feel about the chief of the U.S. Selective Service System proposing the registering of women for the military draft?

Why is Bush shoveling so much money to U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories as if the Soviet Union still existed and the Cold War still raged?

Why is Tent Lott upset about having to search for the Abu Ghraib reports on NPR instead of having it presented to Congress long ago? What is heinously wrong with this picture? Why are we governing through the mainstream media?

Has Lynddie England's reputation been forever ruined? Will she, a U.S. amed services volunteer, be held as a scapegoat for a much more widespread and "higher-up" institutionalization of prisoner torture/abuse? Was it fair for mainstream media to plaster her face all over the world instead of using techno-graphics to give her a presumption of innocence? Do you think she looked like a monster or a war-weary, jaded frathouse girl?

Did you know that an investor group headed by former Vice President Al Gore said today it is launching a cable news network for young adults? (Newsworld International?)

Bush to Discuss Prisoner Abuse With Arab Media

If he's as impressive in interviews with Arab journalists as he impresses most intelligent Americans whenever they observe his arrogant bumper-sticker-speak (mostly in no discernible context to the questions asked of him), prepare for Arabs to come away angrier than before as the arrogant bloviator makes the feeble attempt to talk at them with all his sloganistic sputtering.

He refuses to agree to be interviewed by Al Jazeera and he won't say why. I think it's just another prideful and foolish decision..only one of the kind which I've come to expect from Bush.


UPDATE: President Bush failed to apologize to the Arab people today in these interviews. This was a foolish omission. Why did he leave the apology to a Military spokesman when he had the Arab world's undivided attention himself? It couldn't be clearer to me that America needs new leadership. This isn't a cheap political promotion. This is about the future peace and security of America and a hope for salvaging the diplomatic ties we've had to so many of our allies...especially our ties to Middle Eestern allies.