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Author: TriSec    Date: 01/22/2008 11:39:02

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,770th day in Iraq.


We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from the warron terra, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 3929
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3790
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3468
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3070
Since Election (1/31/05): 2492

Other Coalition Troops: 307
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 480


We find this morning's cost of war passing through $487,842,800,000.00



Checking in with our friends at IAVA, we find that one of their bloggers is wondering "What's Next?" and why aren't the candidates really talking about the war in Iraq?
...To some extent, we were lulled by our relative (and bloodless, at least for our folks) successes in Bosnia and Kosovo. We allowed ourselves to believe in the idea that our ideals and image were powerful enough to change the world all by themselves.

Now the hard reality has come crashing in. Such aspirations, noble as they may be, are enormously expensive in money, manpower, and political capital. Power projection and nation building can no longer be something that the American government simply does on the side and leaves for the military to clean up afterwards. If we are to continue on this path, the interagency coordination, strategic patience, and multi-lateral cooperation that are the hallmarks of successful counterinsurgency and foreign internal defense will have to become core competencies of the US government.

This is the question that now confronts us in this stage of our Republic, and yet itís one that politicians and thinkers on both sides of the aisle seem strangely unwilling to confront. Both sides focus intently on Iraq as confirmation of their core principles, and yet both are unwilling to acknowledge that there are other potential major tasks looming in the distance, ones that will further test whether we truly wish to continue exporting our beliefs and ideals or retreat back into our relative continental safety.

In this election season, Iím looking for the candidate who is ready and willing to articulate a coherent, consistent vision of American power. Iím ready to hear from the candidate who acknowledges that we have taken on both great rights and great responsibilities in the global community, both of which may be more than we can bear. I want to hear if that candidate believes that it is necessary for our prosperity and survival that we continue to provide robust support to fledgling representative governments abroad, or if they believe we are better off focusing that time and energy within our own borders.

This isnít intended to be a leading question. It isnít intended to force the candidate into an answer that will match a carefully focus-grouped consensus. Itís intended to be an honest statement and vision of how American power fits into an interconnected, globalized world. I donít presuppose an answer at all, and Iím willing to have my own beliefs and perceptions rudely challenged in the process.

But what I really want to hear from McCain, Obama, Huckabee, Clinton, Romney, et al, is - Whatís Next?



Veering slightly away from the veterans, we have a local story from Manchester, NH about Iraqi refugees integrating themselves into American society. Given that so few of them have been allowed into these United States,
it's a rare story indeed.
MANCHESTER, N.H. - It has been two months since the new refugees from Iraq arrived in this former mill city - alone, relieved, and too dazed to even register the snow piled high on the streets.
more stories like this

Only their nightmares are familiar: the thunder of bombing outside their little yellow house in Baghdad, the shattering of windows, and the echo of their children's screams. The family is grateful to be safely out of Iraq, but they are anxious in their new home, unsure whether to even call on their neighbors, anxious over how those neighbors might greet them.

"I am afraid that they will close the door in my face," said Almas Zaya, 33, a warm woman with a wide smile, who arrived with her husband, Yousif Toma, 36, and their two children, Andy, 12, and Linda, 9.

As the US military continues to battle insurgents in Iraq, the Toma family finds itself in a most unusual spot. They are among little more than 1,000 Iraqi refugee families who have trickled into the country that is occupying their native land, and, as such, they are left to not only adapt to a new culture but to worry about the increasing unpopularity of the war in the United States.

So far, they've been cloistered, rarely venturing out into the city on their own, and no anger has been directed at them. But uncertainty accompanies them wherever they go - uncertainty over their new land, the reception they'll get, whether they'll ever be embraced given the war back home.

The young family arrived in Manchester more than a year after they fled Baghdad in 2006 with only two suitcases of clothes. They decided to leave after Zaya's uncle, a government official, was killed in front of his home, and threats from extremists against their Catholic church intensified.

"I saw the fear in my kids' eyes," Toma said.

They landed in Turkey and asked for help from the United Nations, which works with countries to resettle refugees, hoping they would be accepted and sent to a peaceful country. They had hoped to land in Luxembourg, where relatives had fled.

They did not expect to go to New Hampshire, a state where skiing is more popular than soccer, their favorite sport. Manchester, a city of 100,000, is more diverse than the rest of the Granite State - almost 11 percent of the city's residents are immigrants, compared with 5 percent statewide. Few Iraqis have ever settled here, but they remained hopeful. "The dream of every person is to be in the United States," Toma said.

The family arrived at Manchester's airport on Nov. 20, with their two children, and their knowledge of the United States limited to snippets of information gleaned from a crash course taught by US officials in Turkey. They knew a smattering of English words, that smoking is banned in government buildings, and how to dial 911.

Continued...



Finally, as we head through the election season, let's focus in on a couple of candidates and see where they stand on Iraq. Today, it's John Edwards.


"We don't need debate; we don't need non-binding resolutions; we need to end this war. In order to get the Iraqi people to take responsibility for their country, we must show them that we are serious about leaving, and the best way to do that is to actually start leaving." -- John Edwards

There is no military solution to the chaos in Iraq. Instead, the Iraqi people must solve the problem politically by taking responsibility for their country. By leaving Iraq, America will prompt the Iraqi people, regional powers, and the entire international community to find the political solution that will end the sectarian violence and create a stable Iraq. We must show the Iraqis that we are serious about leaving by actually starting to leave, with an immediate withdrawal of 40,000-50,000 troops and a complete withdrawal within nine to ten months. We should leave behind in Iraq only a brigade of 3,500 to 5,000 troops to protect the embassy and possibly a few hundred troops to guard humanitarian workers.

We can only achieve these steps through legislative action. Edwards strongly supports the supplemental spending bill passed by both Houses of Congress and vetoed by President Bush that funds the troops with a timetable for withdrawal. He has called for Congress to respond to the President's veto by sending back the same billóand doing this as many times as it takes for the President to end the war.

Continued...



Ah, I know that's a lot to read today, but it's a busy time...and as our header notes, we'll have a new president in 364 days!


175 comments (Latest Comment: 01/23/2008 04:12:21 by Raine)
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Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 13:46:11
:coffee: Good Morning!

Comment by velveeta jones on 01/22/2008 13:53:36
Morning all,

Velveeta couldn't log on til she saw the Oscar noms.

3 of the 5 screenwriters: WOMEN!!



and

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:15:10
HEya VJ! 3 woman! Excellent!!!

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:32:13
Now THIS is an endorsement:



January 20, 2008



The Honorable John E. Edwards

410 Market Street

Suite 400

Chapel Hill, NC 27516





Dear Senator Edwards:



It was good meeting with you yesterday and discussing my fatherís legacy. On the day when the nation will honor my father, I wanted to follow up with a personal note.



There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of back and forth in the political arena over my fatherís legacy. It is a commentary on the breadth and depth of his impact that so many people want to claim his legacy. I am concerned that we do not blur the lines and obscure the truth about what he stood for: speaking up for justice for those who have no voice.



I appreciate that on the major issues of health care, the environment, and the economy, you have framed the issues for what they are - a struggle for justice. And, you have almost single-handedly made poverty an issue in this election.



You know as well as anyone that the 37 million people living in poverty have no voice in our system. They donít have lobbyists in Washington and they donít get to go to lunch with members of Congress. Speaking up for them is not politically convenient. But, it is the right thing to do.



I am disturbed by how little attention the topic of economic justice has received during this campaign. I want to challenge all candidates to follow your lead, and speak up loudly and forcefully on the issue of economic justice in America.



From our conversation yesterday, I know this is personal for you. I know you know what it means to come from nothing. I know you know what it means to get the opportunities you need to build a better life. And, I know you know that injustice is alive and well in America, because millions of people will never get the same opportunities you had.



I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes. My father was not driven by an illusory vision of a perfect society. He was driven by the certain knowledge that when people of good faith and strong principles commit to making things better, we can change hearts, we can change minds, and we can change lives.



So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my fatherís words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.



Sincerely,



Martin L. King, III


:clap:

Comment by m-hadley on 01/22/2008 14:35:23
Good Morning Everybody!

Just wanted to let you all know that I have been blogging up a storm (posts include video of Barack's talk at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the West Memphis Three, and the war grinding on) oh, and I added a link to the Goldwater/Miller 2008 Commercial in the sidebar yesterday along with a great comment by Rachel Maddow (who rocks, BTB). Check it out: http://emailstosms.blogspot.com. Thanks and have a great day!

Cheers,

MFaye

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:35:29
eep. Tha market is tanking, badly. Down 400 points already this morning.

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:37:43
That 3/4% rate cut immediattly made the market tank. :grumble:

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:38:29
Quote by m-hadley: Good Morning Everybody! Just wanted to let you all know that I have been blogging up a storm (posts include video of Barack's talk at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the West Memphis Three, and the war grinding on) oh, and I added a link to the Goldwater/Miller 2008 Commercial in the sidebar yesterday along with a great comment by Rachel Maddow (who rocks, BTB). Check it out: http://emailstosms.blogspot.com. Thanks and have a great day! Cheers, MFaye
heya Faye!

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:41:17
Here is a direct link to M-hadley's site... We also have a link over in our sites colum... it is the one labled emails to Steph!

Comment by m-hadley on 01/22/2008 14:41:57
Heya Raine,

Love your posts - you are so right on!

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:45:46
M-hadley, would it be alright if I called you Faye??

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:47:49
:redface: thanks! I think we all are a fine bunch of bloggers 'round here!

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:50:20
Free the West Memphis Three. Amazing read. I highly recomend this!

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:52:53
The reason WHY edwards is not doing better is becuase he doesn't have the money of the other two candidates.

Comment by m-hadley on 01/22/2008 14:53:31
Raine,

I respond to MF, MFaye or just plain Faye - just don't call me Margaret Faye (that is reserved for my father and usually when I am in trouble =(

Thanks for the plug about the West Memphis Three - have you seen the documentaries?

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:53:37
Frothy Santorum!!!

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:55:56
Ahh Rick Santorum....
http://sedition.com/img/santorum-family.jpg


Comment by TriSec on 01/22/2008 14:57:16
Market's rebounded a little, but everything is running about 2% down across the board. (S&P, Nasdaq, and some individual stocks, too.)





Comment by wickedpam on 01/22/2008 14:58:57
Morning! :hug:

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:59:05
Quote by m-hadley: Raine, I respond to MF, MFaye or just plain Faye - just don't call me Margaret Faye (that is reserved for my father and usually when I am in trouble =( Thanks for the plug about the West Memphis Three - have you seen the documentaries?
Cool, then MF it will be! (shorter for me!)... I have not seen these documentaries, but I will very soon.

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 14:59:25
Rach is on the TV machine NOW!!! MSNBC!

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:03:27
Quote by TriSec: Market's rebounded a little, but everything is running about 2% down across the board. (S&P, Nasdaq, and some individual stocks, too.)
It's gonna be an ugly day.

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:09:54
:wacko: a disco hockey album?

Comment by livingonli on 01/22/2008 15:09:57
Good morning everyone.



Me so sleepy. And I have a tummy ache.



Anyone in Atlanta know what happened with The Weather Channel last night? They were in black for a long while and then they ran tape during the overnights. They just now went back to regular format and before 10 AM they only had one weather anchor by the map.

Comment by livingonli on 01/22/2008 15:10:47
Quote by Raine: a disco hockey album?


It's right up there with the Star Wars Holiday Special. Some things from the 70's should be left there.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/22/2008 15:12:14
Quote by Raine: a disco hockey album?




I remember a novelty song called Penalty Box but disco hockey instructs, wow!



Comment by wickedpam on 01/22/2008 15:14:42
Hey Liv - did your doctor's app go okay?

Comment by velveeta jones on 01/22/2008 15:18:08
Quote by livingonli: Good morning everyone.



Me so sleepy. And I have a tummy ache.



Anyone in Atlanta know what happened with The Weather Channel last night? They were in black for a long while and then they ran tape during the overnights. They just now went back to regular format and before 10 AM they only had one weather anchor by the map.


We got a mix of rain and snow currently. I rarely watch the Weather Channel. I log onto NOAA/storm watch.



Comment by livingonli on 01/22/2008 15:18:35
Quote by wickedpam: Hey Liv - did your doctor's app go okay?


Not so good. Weight was up again Blood Sugar levels still suck.

Comment by velveeta jones on 01/22/2008 15:19:48
Man-boobs.



Ugh.





Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:20:01
Quote by livingonli: Good morning everyone.



Me so sleepy. And I have a tummy ache.



Anyone in Atlanta know what happened with The Weather Channel last night? They were in black for a long while and then they ran tape during the overnights. They just now went back to regular format and before 10 AM they only had one weather anchor by the map.
sorry to hear that you are felling bad, liv.



Dunno what happened to TWC. I know it is for sale, but it isn't becuase of money... hmm...



Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:21:10
You Decide 2008 has the entire debate online, PLUS... they broke it down into 12 1o minutes segments and have it on you tube.



It is really worth the watch.

Comment by livingonli on 01/22/2008 15:22:58
Quote by velveeta jones: Man-boobs.



Ugh.





Hey, they work for Fred Thompson.



Nothing sexier than a man with a pair of these.

{Fred_Gump}

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:25:30
They booed hillary in this segment.



about three minutes in... but this was where things got fairly ugly.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/22/2008 15:25:57
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by wickedpam: Hey Liv - did your doctor's app go okay?


Not so good. Weight was up again Blood Sugar levels still suck.




sent you an email :hug:



Comment by BobR on 01/22/2008 15:31:25
morning, folks... :coffee:

Comment by livingonli on 01/22/2008 15:32:17
Morning BobR.

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:37:10
I am trying to find the portion of the debate where Obama said something about John edwrds being white... I was really kinda offended, but I want to get the direct quote.

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:39:34
The market is now down 150 points.

Comment by BobR on 01/22/2008 15:40:52
Is this a presidential debate or a WWE smackdown?

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:41:14
Go JOHN GO!!!

Comment by wickedpam on 01/22/2008 15:41:18
JOhn Edwards voice of common sense

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:42:03
Quote by Raine: You Decide 2008 has the entire debate online, PLUS... they broke it down into 12 1o minutes segments and have it on you tube. It is really worth the watch.
:bump:

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:42:43
I must say, I really appreciate Kevin's apology for yesterday. That takes a lot of cajones.

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:44:12
Quote by wickedpam: JOhn Edwards voice of common sense
Well if anything, I think we know who is the person that was most diplomatic, imo. IMO It was telling regarding how they handled the bickering,.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/22/2008 15:53:47
*sigh* I'm getting so tired of the people who are like vote for her cause she's a woman, vote for him cause he's black - just don't vote for the white male.



It doesn't matter that he (Edwards) has the better ideas.

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 15:58:57
you know what I tire of? the fact that BOTH obama and Hillary looks badly last night.



And once again, edwards isn't getting credit for staying WAY above the fray... not only did he stay above the fray, he kept things on issue and clearly talked about what he would do.



Obama DOES have a problem with his health care plan.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/22/2008 16:04:48
That's one of those things I like about Edwards he's usually on target. He sees a problem and comes up with ideas to fix it. Isn't that what we want in a pres. I mean right now we have one that refuses to see any problems at all!



I just want to get past the whole voting for chromosones thing.

Comment by livingonli on 01/22/2008 16:05:37
Quote by wickedpam: *sigh* I'm getting so tired of the people who are like vote for her cause she's a woman, vote for him cause he's black - just don't vote for the white male.



It doesn't matter that he (Edwards) has the better ideas.


The M$M wants to keep the race focused on Hillary and Obama because they want the ones closer to the center and hope that we will ignore the candidate running on a true Democratic platform and is better on the issues because he might cut into their huge profit margins. They've alreayd made Dennis disappear from the debates, how soon before they do the same to Edwards?

Comment by Raine on 01/22/2008 16:06:39
here is the comment that bothered me... it is in the first minute of the segment, so you do not have to watch the whole thing. Look at John's face.