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Today's comment on the architects of the Iraq war left Colin Powell off the list. Given his embarrassing and career-ending speech to the UN in 2003 that served as justification for invasion, he must be included, lest we forget that people perceived as good can be co-opted to cover wrongs.
The biggest foreign policy disaster in history? At a cost of over 4,000 American lives, a sadistic, ruthless dictator was overthrown and replaced with a democratic government. Compare that with a cost of over 50,000 American lives for which we accomplished nothing and left Vietnam to a communist regime. And that's just in my lifetime, not all of American history. You might consider the war in Iraq a mistake, I do not. But if you think it was a bigger mistake than Vietnam then your Bush hating has gone way overboard. I'll even give you another in my lifetime that was a tremendous foreign policy disaster: President Kennedy supported an invasion of Cuba, promising military intervention as needed. Instead, he left the invaders to die on the beach at the Bay of Pigs.
I wrote a song called "Turn To Me" as a welcome for returning troops. We recorded it with the 17-year-old German singer Mira Zai and shot a music video, which is up on YouTube. The song is on iTunes, and 50% of all profits go to The Wounded Warrior Project and Fisher House.
It's tough to look Iraq war vets in the eye and tell them that they went to war honorably (as so many did, including actual military volunteers along with thousands and thousands of National Guard troops who were serving in the supposedly home-based military to help pay their own bills, go to school, and protect their home communities, but were suddenly pressed into our "undeclared draft" to fill the country's war needs -- a group that included grandparents, for crying out loud!) while still saying the war was not necessary nor worth their sacrifice and the sacrifices of those who died (not to mention the Iraqi deaths in such huge numbers). I was from the start against this war (there had to be another way to get rid of Saddam), but feel so terrible lookiing an honorable soldier in the eye and saying, "We should not have sent you people. We should not have caused the loss of life there."
Yes, professor, the war in Iraq was worth it, and the reasons go far beyond bean counting and public opinion polls. I first heard about Saddam Hussein as a threat during an intel briefing in 1976. The briefer said, "Saddam Hussein -- remember that name, because you're going to be hearing it again." Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, made the points in a TV interview that Hussein was clearly trying to get control of the Middle East oil fields, he was within about five years of being able to do so, and if he had succeeded, oil might now be $500 a barrel.
Hussein himself told our interrogators that he did not have weapons of mass destruction, but he kept the minds and skills to make them. The U.S. investigators did not find weapons of mass destruction, but they found "fertilizer factories" designed to mill product at .02 microns. Fertilizer is not milled at .02 microns, but weaponized anthrax is. Our investigators also found drone aircraft that could spray "fertilizer."
Saddam Hussein and his regime were a grave threat to stability in the Middle East and possibly the world. We can certainly argue about the way that we conducted the war in Iraq, but there is no doubt that the world is safer because we did.
"They hate the TSA as much as we do." True that! When I referred to it as "the gates of hell," my brother and his equally well-traveled friend nearly fell of their seats laughing. Many of us would rather take the train.
Today's strip reminds me of the Redeker Plan from the book World War Z. WWZ is about a worldwide zombie apocalypse, and the Redeker Plan involves placing VIPs into "safe zones" while other people are purposefully placed in harm's way to distract the zombies away from the safe zones.
Today's strip on terrorism and the TSA is spot on. The TSA's illegal and abusive practices -- the strip searches by the scanners, and the criminal touching pat-downs, especially of those in wheelchairs or with medical metal -- are disgusting and unAmerican. If this continues to be accepted and allowed, the terrorists will have cemented a firm victory over American values and freedom. Read more about it here.
Today's punchline is the funniest thing I've seen in a dog's age. I've been laughing audibly at my desk for two minutes now. Totally unexpected.
What the prof should have asked B.D. is "How many terrorists were there in Iraq before we invaded it?"
"They hate the TSA as much as we do." Brilliant. Who could have guessed that the TSA would redefine 'safety' as 'misery'?
What a salutary, sadly triumphant (yet laughable) take on Arnold the Barbarian. And on the "informed electorate" that isn't. With Hollywood and Big Media bigwigs having treated The Hand as something near The Right Hand of God, The Terminator (as you so brilliantly portray) still tends to get a pass where even the Hermanator can't. Keep up the great- and still-improving work. (And have a heewackitydoo holiday season.)
Thanks for the Arnold strips, including today's. His biggest achievement, as he brags, was changing Workers Comp in California. His actions have caused incalculable hardship to the disabled. It appears that cheating cripples was as much fun as groping. It's about time he is shown for what he is. Leave it to you. Thanks.
Something tells me Roland is going to join Rick in the unemployment line for out-of-work journalists. Everyone knows you don't ask questions about Repubs' indiscretions on Fox News.
I always thought it weird that someone as insignificant as Palin got a fully-fleshed-out body in the strip, when someone as empty as GWB got an asterisk. Today's strip manages to conjure Palin with just a string of nonsensical words and not a single ink stroke wasted! Brilliant, GBT. Brilliant.
Re Today's Video: I will miss Mr. Hitchens. He asked us on a daily basis "Can you handle the truth?" More often than not, as history shows, the answer was no. We always need people who are willing to look at the world and say, on our behalf, WTF.
Listening to the radio coverage of the Iraq withdrawal I was struck by the dignified tone of the whole affair. No sabre-rattling, no national self-aggrandizement or phoney self-congratulations. A simple thanks to the troops -- and the observation that some of those withdrawing from Iraq are eager to deploy to Afghanistan. That brought Ray to mind, and his comment: "War is my home." Thanks for helping to raise the consciousness of the nation and, dare I say, of the military of what it means to be a soldier in our accidental Forever War. It has given us so many iconic moments: the maiming and unhelming of B.D., the rehabilitations of B.D. and Toggle, and Ray, oh, Ray. Thank you for helping us treat our Middle East soldiers and veterans more humanely than we did the vets of my era (Vietnam), and please, keep reminding us how much more work there is to be done. Peace on Earth.
Want a real indicator of Donald Trump's power? Yesterday, the Washington Post pulled the Trump strip and inserted an innocuous Flashback of Jeff and Zipper. Now that scares me!
The Washington Post did not carry yesterday's marvelous strip in which Trump proclaims his brand value to be $3 billion. Is this strip in some way controversial, offensive, or inaccurate? Both yesterday and today they seem to be running some Flashback strips with Jeff and Zipper texting each other from across a table.
Donald Trump pulling out as moderator of the Newsmax event changed the underlying reality against which this week's storyline was playing out. The syndicate provided Flashback strips for clients that weren't comfortable with the situation, and at least a few newspapers -- including the Washington Post and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- went with the Flashbacks. The original series, as sent out, will run here on the site through Saturday.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is censoring Doonesbury during the Trump storyline. Makes me ashamed to be a yinzer.