“This is your last chance.
After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes…
Remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more…
Apoc, are we online?”
— The Matrix (1999)
Into the mists of war continues the US.
The self-defeating ‘Global War on Terror’ has created a rabbit hole of such depth and persuasion, Alice could never, ever find her way back to the surface again.
The US public is in the same boat as little Alice, and Neo.
Network TV — ABC, CBS and NBC — coverage of the Iraqi war has really dropped in the past year.
Even some TV journalists have reported on less reporting, making one, CBS chief foreign correspondent hottie Lara Logan to proclaim: â€œIf I were to watch the news that you hear here in the United States, I would just blow my brains out because it would drive me nuts.â€
CBS now has no full-time reporter in Iraq and no network TV news operation has a full-timer in Afghanistan.
The problem ends up not before the mass of the US public.
And this unseen trail is so littered with discarded and damaged shit, the general public has no clue of what’s really happening with their sons and daughters in far-off places.
Decider George and his cohorts have so muddied the waters, screwed-up every conceivable item on an seemingly unending agenda of disasters, that even if Barack Obama is elected president this fall, he will face what could easily be termed as an anti-Gordian Knot — no single, bold stroke will free this sonofabitch-entanglement.
Iraq and Afghanistan both are entering a new phase, or maybe just an acceleration of the last one.
In Iraq, it’s really the same old story, but getting closer to reality: Yesterday four Americans — two of whom were civilians — were killed in a Baghdad bomb blast, but with a new twist.
Instead of a roadside bomb, or sniper fire, it was as inadvertent do-gooding in the wrong place — a Sadr City council office.
The day before, on Monday, two US GIs were killed after leaving a local council office in Madaen, a city southeast of Baghdad.
Security within the ranks of the Iraqi security forces.
The blast in Baghdad carried an all-time favorite security concern: “…how a bomb hidden in a bag could get inside.â€
- As one of the soldiers unfurled photographs of the council members, an explosion ripped through the room, knocking one member, Qasim Abdul Zahra, to the floor. As he looked up, he could just make out the forms of bloodied Americans through the smoke, he said. Unwittingly, they had become human shields, he said.
â€œThe explosion happened just outside the room, near the Americans,â€ who were standing by the door, he said. â€œThey were the ones that received the most shrapnel; and thatâ€™s why we are still alive,â€ he said of himself and the three other council members who were present.
While the four Iraqi council members in the room survived, six Iraqis outside the room were killed by the blast.
— New York Times, (6/25/08)
And this from the Christian Science Monitor:
- The brazen Tuesday morning bombing occurred in an Iraqi municipal council building within the section of Moqtada al-Sadr’s Shiite stronghold of Sadr City that is sealed off and guarded by American and Iraqi forces.
What’s more, it brings into the forefront, yet again, serious doubts about the capabilities and even the loyalties of Iraqi forces. The Iraqi Army had prime responsibility for securing the building located behind a stretch of high walls and barbed wires. No civilian vehicles are allowed into this stretch and everyone coming in is supposed to be searched by the Iraqis.
And what’s the score on that so-called Iraqi surge — Decider George’s ‘New Way Forward’ from more than 18 months ago?
Security still ain’t secure:
- While agreeing with the administration that violence has decreased sharply, a report released Monday by the Government Accountability Office concluded that many other goals Bush outlined a year and a half ago in the “New Way Forward” strategy remain unmet.
The report, after a bleak GAO assessment last summer, cited little improvement in the ability of Iraqi security forces to act independently of the U.S. military, and noted that key legislation passed by the Iraqi parliament had not been implemented while other crucial laws had not been passed
In many respects, the two reports seemed to assess wholly different realities. The 74-page Pentagon document emphasized what it called the “negative role” in Iraqi security that Iran and Syria have played. The 94-page GAO report did not mention Iran and referred to Syria only in the context of Iraqi refugees who had settled there.
In comments appended to the GAO report, the State, Treasury and Defense departments objected to its conclusions, especially the judgment that the administration needs to fashion a new strategy.
“We do not require a new strategic document,” the State Department wrote. The Pentagon said it “nonconcurs with the GAO recommendation” to update the strategy, adding that the “New Way Forward … remains valid.”
— San Francisco Chronicle, (6/24/08)
And what way forward in Afghanistan?
As in Iraq, it is hard to know your enemy.
The US might have a much bigger mess in Afghanistan than Iraq, but the scorecard is still security, security, security — but of who?
Along with the increasingly dangerous spark between Afghan and Pakistani border forces the last couple of weeks, now an assassination plot:
- In a news conference in Kabul, Sayeed Ansari, the spokesman for the Afghan intelligence service, said Afghan authorities had evidence of the direct involvement of Pakistanâ€™s premier intelligence agency, Inter-Service Intelligence, or ISI, in the assassination attempt.
He said the evidence was based on documents uncovered during the investigation into the assassination attempt, confessions from 16 suspects detained after the attack, and cellphone contacts. He gave no further details or specific names of officials within the Pakistani agency that may have been involved.
â€œBased on the investigation of the case and documents we found as well as confessions by suspects we arrested they show that the real schemers and organizers of the terrorist attackâ€ on the celebratory parade on April 27 â€œis the intelligence organization of Pakistan, ISI, and its associates, which committed unforgivable crimes.â€
â€œWe donâ€™t guess about the involvement of ISI, we are saying it precisely,â€ he said. The well-coordinated assassination attempt against Mr. Karzai took place at the Afghan national day military parade in central Kabul. Mr. Karzai escaped unhurt but three people were killed in the assault, including a tribal chief and a member of Parliament who were in the reviewing stands near Mr. Karzai, and a 10-year-old boy.
— New York Times, (6/26/08)
And what about the US’s entire operation in Pakistan, supposedly a top US ally in the above-mentioned, great, whole-wide-world, “War on Terror” and all its counterparts.
A real big problem in the whole proceedings, of absolute course, is the US guy, Decider George, and the Pakistani guy, Pervez Musharraf, are complete assholes.
And corrupt assholes, as reported by the Washington Post:
- The Bush administration has paid Pakistan more than $2 billion without adequate proof that the Pakistani government used the funds for their intended purpose of supporting U.S. counter-terrorism efforts, congressional auditors reported yesterday.
Their report concluded that more than a third of U.S. funds provided Pakistan since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were subject to accounting problems, including duplication and possible fraud.
The Pentagon paid about $20 million for army road construction and $15 million to build bunkers in Pakistan, but there is no evidence that the roads or bunkers were ever constructed, the Government Accountability Office reported.
Islamabad also billed Washington $200 million for an air defense radar system that may not have met a U.S. condition: that reimbursement cover combat or logistical costs supporting U.S. military operations against terrorism beyond what a country would spend on its own needs.
“It seems as though the Pakistani military went on a spending spree with American taxpayers’ wallets and no one bothered to investigate the charges,” said Sen.Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “How hard would it have been to confirm that a road we paid $15 million for was ever built? It is appalling that the Defense Department did not send any embassy officials working in Pakistan to verify these enormous costs.”
In one example, the report cited monthly payments averaging $19,000 per vehicle for 20 passenger vehicles used by the Pakistani navy that appeared to contain “duplicative charges,” the GAO said. The Pentagon often did not document its basis for evaluating claims and did not check Pakistan’s currency conversions, which could have led to overbilling, the report said.
The Musharraf nut don’t fall far from the Decider George tree.
And the matrix of shit-clinging horror and incompetence and greed created all over the world by Decider George is made worse by an Alice in chains.
As Morpheus explained, this Decider George shitfire can be felt “when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes.”
Down a deep, deep, dark rabbit hole.