Pottery Shards

August 16, 2011

Seemingly so long ago:

Before the war with Iraq, Powell bluntly told Bush that if he sent U.S. troops there “you’re going to be owning this place.”
Powell and his deputy and closest friend, Richard L. Armitage, used to refer to what they called “the Pottery Barn rule” on Iraq:
“You break it, you own it,” according to Woodward.
Washington Post, April 17, 2004

Ownership of such a hell-hole that’s today’s Iraq is one reason George Jr. and his imbecilic, arrogant cohorts should be jailed in mass.

Even as the rest of the planet faces a looming financial nightmare, the people of Iraq encounter most-horrible dreams in daylight — the whole country looks like it’s becoming a shell-shocked nation of bombs and body parts.

Just yesterday, more than 100 people across Iraq were killed in various bad ways — seven men were pulled from a Sunni mosque and shot, killed execution style — two bombs killed 42 in a busy market in the city center of Kut, southeast of Baghdad, including 12 children: Ali al-Abbudi, 31, a local journalist, happened to be in the market when the blast occurred. He said he was stunned by the “horror of the scene.” “There were chopped heads or legs, bodies were blown off and scattered around everywhere,” he said.

(Illustration found here).

Read a nasty list of nasty incidents in just one Iraqi day here.

Despite it all, the White House insisted on Monday they would “consider” keeping US troops in country past the this December’s deadline to get all GIs out of there — if the Iraqi leadership asks, that is.
Meanwhile, Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has once again called for the US to get the shit out of Dodge (Baghdad).
From Xinhua last week:

“Go forth from our holy land and go back to your families who are waiting for your arrival impatiently, so that you and we, as well, lead a peaceful life together,” Sadr said in a message addressed to the U.S. troops in Iraq, which was posted on his website in Arabic and English languages.
“Enough of this occupation, terror and abuse.
We are not in need of your help.
We are able to combat and defeat terrorism and achieve unity,” Sadr said.

“Anyone who stays in Iraq from America will be treated as oppressive occupier that should be resisted through military means, ” Sadr said in a statement two days ago.

Sadr is trouble for the US, but he’s always been much-for his own people.

In the horrible mess that continues to be Iraq, no one has pointed a finger at George Jr.
He and he alone is responsible for what’s happening there — the spirit behind the attacks are based in terror, and one must remember that the group, al-Qaeda in Iraq, wouldn’t be there without the US invasion.
And like Colin Powell’s admonishment years ago, that pottery barn is full of nothing but shards or broken bodies.
And on top of all the slaughter, there’s no definite figure for the fiscal cost to the US of the Iraqi and Afghan wars, beyond the physical harm, the cash flow has been lubricious.
From McClatchy Newspapers:

When congressional cost-cutters meet later this year to decide on trimming the federal budget, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq could represent juicy targets.
But how much do the wars actually cost the U.S. taxpayer?
Nobody really knows.
Yes, Congress has allotted $1.3 trillion for war spending through fiscal year 2011 just to the Defense Department.
There are long Pentagon spreadsheets that outline how much of that was spent on personnel, transportation, fuel and other costs.
In a recent speech, President Barack Obama assigned the wars a $1 trillion price tag.

And prices, even after breakage, continue to spiral upward:

In Afghanistan, the cost per service member climbed from $507,000 in fiscal year 2009 to $667,000 the following year, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Fiscal year 2011 costs are expected to reach $694,000 per service member, even as the U.S. military begins drawing down 33,000 of the 99,000 troops there.
In Iraq, even with the overall costs of the war declining and the U.S. military scheduled to withdraw its remaining 46,000 troops by the end of this year, the cost per service member spiked from $510,000 in 2007 to $802,000 this year.
In fiscal year 2011, Congress authorized $113 billion for the war in Afghanistan and $46 billion for Iraq. The Pentagon’s 2012 budget request is lower: $107 billion for Afghanistan and $11 billion for Iraq.

And all this money going down the blood-stained drain.
George Jr. should be held accountable for all those broken shards scattered across a tattered landscape, the buck does indeed stop at his sorry ass.

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