Letters to the Editor

Iraq options

June 17, 2008

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To the editor:

Buried inside several of your recent articles is a flashing warning signal about Iraq. Our Kansas congressional delegation should see it and pay careful attention.

President Bush is trying quietly to create yet another legal justification to keep American forces in Iraq. He wants to lock in U.S. military domination of the country he invaded in 2003. We shouldn't let this lame duck tie his successor's hands by preventing smarter, more honest strategic decisions.

To legalize long-term occupation, President Bush is working overtime to pressure Iraq's government to sign a "SOFA," a status of forces agreement. This deal would legalize American forces as a permanent army of occupation. It will formalize Iraq's inferior status as a U.S. protectorate.

Kansans should demand the White House stop trying to fast-track SOFA. Our next president has to have the latitude to make wiser choices about going forward in Iraq.

Our members of Congress have a constitutional duty to insist any U.S.-Iraq SOFA be thoroughly debated by both houses. They should use their judgment to let our new president assess all the Iraq options.

Karl Brooks,

Lawrence

Comments

bad_dog 7 years, 1 month ago

Yawn...Kevin, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" means the tire is only flat on the bottom and "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" means the City of Lawrence should start shoveling something other than asphalt into those potholes. That is because I said so, or someone I once knew had an experience like that. Yada, yada, yada.Once again your attempt to misstate the cliche and thus, distort the fact that it says what it says, has nothing to do with the meaning of the cliche as originally stated. I will take the reliability and accuracy of the definition as I stated it above, over your attempts to spin and distort. You prove what I said more emphatically every time you attempt to refute the obvious. Have you researched the cliche yet? I defy you to locate and post the cliche either as you stated it or defined it. If you want to start your own cliche mill, feel free to start spouting and see if its adopted into common usage.I've now shown you distorted the facts-at least as it applies to this cliche. There is your citation as requested. Now, please tell me, oh Spin Master San, the plethora of commonly known and adopted interpretations of the cliche "A rolling stone gathers no moss".

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

"Please tell us what those other factors were and how they contributed to a drop in violence."The two primary ones are the self-imposed ceasefire by the Shiite Mahdi Army and putting former Sunni insurgents on the US payroll. Both of those situations could change tomorrow, and the level of violence that existed till early this year would resume immediately.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

" Why not have some integrity and admit you're unable to keep up in this debate?"There is no debate-- just your continued regurgitation of the same ole intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt dribble, Kevin.

fu7il3 7 years, 1 month ago

I think some people would probably argue that the presence of those troops overseas does defend our country.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

"It proves momma3x's point that having serve members in foreign countries enriches are own country."Ooh, who can find the typos in Kevin's post?What does serving in other countries do for the vast majority of service members who rarely make it off base, much less learn the language?"Now, you accused me of distorting the facts this morning. If you cannot cite even one example, perhaps you would have the integrity to offer an apology."I'm sorry, Kevin, but I do this primarily for entertainment purposes, and your silly little demand doesn't sound entertaining at all.

bad_dog 7 years, 1 month ago

Kevin, if life was simply nothing more than what revolves around your opinion, perhaps you would have a leg to stand on. The fact remains, the cliche is as I stated and no amount of spin on your part changes either that fact or its relevance to anything else-despite your life expeiences to the contrary. You misstated it and I called you on it. That, simply put is a fact, and you are attempting to distort, yet again. Go back to the Star with your buddies.The clock is ticking.....

ndmoderate 7 years, 1 month ago

"Ever heard of the Vichy government?""Exactly."OK, so the Iraqi gov't is merely a puppet gov't set up and controlled by the US occupying force. It has no legitimacy to the Iraqi people and will do our bidding without question.Got it.

ndmoderate 7 years, 1 month ago

Screedposter,Ever heard of the Vichy government?

bad_dog 7 years, 1 month ago

Just Google the cliche, Kevin. I'm sure even you'll see the error of your ways over something that simplistic.

fu7il3 7 years, 1 month ago

Whether people agree with it, or not, there will always be a military presence in Iraq, just as there is in Germany, Japan, and lots of other bases around the world. Whether it is Bush, McCain, or Obama in office, I really don't think that will change.

bad_dog 7 years, 1 month ago

Hmm, that's interesting Mr. Reason. I always thought the cliche was "He who laughed last, laughed best".Yet another attempt to distort the facts. Pretty lame, however.You really should stick to posting on the KC Star website. There's more of your mesmerized sycophants to sympathize with on that site.

dandelion 7 years, 1 month ago

Could you send a citing for when Dan Rather said he was in the Marines (that's not on a hateful site). On this site he says "I had already volunteered for the Marines but I was waiting to actually go. I went in the Marines, had one of the shortest and least distinguished careers in the whole history of the Marine Corps and came out."http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/rat0int-7

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

One of the main reasons for the invasion and occupation of Iraq was to replace the bases established in Saudi Arabia in the run-up to the first Iraq war. (The presence of those "infidel" bases in Islam's holy lands was the single largest rallying cry for bin Laden and al Qaeda.) The bases in Iraq (they are already fairly well established) are intended as permanent bases to enforce a permanent occupation, and would be used to threaten and intimidate every country in the region. While the bases in Japan and Germany are clearly projections of US imperial power, they really don't compare that favorably with what's intended with the bases in Iraq.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 7 years, 1 month ago

You are also correct about the average boot camp attrition rate, give or take a few percent.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Quite often there is a some trace of factoid somewhere in most of your posts, Kevin, but "truthiness" does not an honest or compelling argument make.

Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years, 1 month ago

well to kinda answer a question, we still have mil. people in some counties because we were asked to stay we are in fact guest in these countries. Korea on the other hand is simple the war never ended, so until the war is "over" officially we can not leave. Germany kinda the same we where ased to stay becaouse of the threat but the wall has come down so I guess we could come home but they do not seem to want us to leave.All the bases we have over seas are stratigic no doubt but look at it this way alot of young men and woman get to see the world they most likely would not get to other wise. Business trips do not give you the time or opp. to learn about where you are at the culture the language the religon.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 1 month ago

Logic, I must tell you how much it pleases me that a logical reference to an issue of great importance to many that is being overlooked by the media, just as the letter writer's issue was stated to be, is interpreted by you and others as a "diversionary tactic." Isn't this supposed to be a forum for the exchange of ideas? Do you really think I give a rat's fanny about what you call "tactics?" Are you really that much of an armchair nerd? Are you done with your Dungeons and Dragons game for today? Or are you and others simply irritated that a fellow poster would point out that Senator Obama supports such a proposal and that most of the media is not covering it? You apparently didn't have the mental acumen to see the logical connection I was making until I explained it to you, but were irritated enough with what I had said to tell me that I shouldn't have even posted the comment. Point proven.

Speakout 7 years, 1 month ago

Well it seems to me, Resist Reason, that your posts are Bush's talking points and your distortions are in the fact that you support them. You have failed to look at reason even as you use it as your name. As a college educated person, I learned one thing you fail to see and that is "critical thinking". If you take the time to think through all the garbage you say here with impunity, you would come to understand that the policies that took us to Iraq and threatens to take us into Iran, are simply flawed and based upon another agenda unknown to you and me or a simple gross miscalculation. Why continue to fight for either of those reasons? Can't you see that what has happened is a travesty of trust to this country? Are you aware that you are in such a minority that almost 80% of your fellow countrymen see the folly of this? Why stand you in the minority, following a lame and poorly prepared would-be president? Think for yourself and learn to separate folly from fact. Look at this critically and take the time to pull yourself away from your prejudices. It will come to you eventually and if it doesn't, your thoughts are of no consequence.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Arming (or allowing it) Saddam to the teeth so he could wage a proxy war against Iran pretty much insured a lose-lose situation-- and it was the most innocent, powerless and vulnerable in Iraq who lost the most with Bush I's sanctions regime. "Bozo, is the surge a success?"Define success.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

We're still in Iraq, with no good way out and violence remains at extreme levels. While the "surge" might have contributed to some drop in that violence, other factors were likely of far greater importance, and the likelihood of a dramatic increase in violence is quite high.Simply put, the arrogant idiocy of the invasion and occupation ensured (is that better Kevin?) that there would never be any kind of "success" in Iraq.

bad_dog 7 years, 1 month ago

Kevin I'm beginning to get the impression you can read, yet completely fail to comprehend. That, however, is eerily similar to your entire mindset.Contrary to what you said, I correctly stated the THE cliche regarding "he who laughs..." You did not. You misstated THE cliche. That is a fact and you distorted it. It's really not that complicated is it? Whether you invented another "saying" and try to pass it off as the original or plagiarized it from the American Legion magazine makes no difference to me. As I stated above, if you want to create your own cliche mill, have at it. If, however, you are quoting someone or something, say so and don't try to pass your distortions off as the original product or attribute a different meaning to it.As for your allegation that I will somehow attack veterans based upon my philosophical differences with you, that is simply more of your typical neocon blather inferring un-American behavior on the part of your opponent without addressing the merits of the issues involved. Where in any of the comments I've ever posted is there the slightest indicia of evidence you could twist into an attack on veterans? That's BS and you know it.I've proven my point regarding your distortion. You evaded and attempted to obfuscate the issue until confessing you committed plagiarism at the eleventh hour. In the words of your illustrious leader "Bring it on".

ndmoderate 7 years, 1 month ago

How much time will we give the Iraqi government to get their act together? The "surge" won't be a success until that happens. Right or wrong, our soliders, airmen, and marines did their part--lowering violence in order to allow the gov't some breathing room--but that alone doesn't make the "surge" a success.Why isn't the Iraqi government making any progress?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't have to justify the sanctions regime of either Bush I or Clinton. Both were wrong-headed. And the bases in SA and Iraq are just as wrong-headed.

Corey Williams 7 years, 1 month ago

To Restore Reason:In your post you said,"Every Army recruit must have a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g., GED)."But then you send me to a link that says:"...the Army has paid for some recruits to take preparation classes for the test for a high school equivalency diploma."Wouldn't that mean that the army is paying people to get their GEDs after they join? And that same story mentioned all of the other statistics plaguing the military today. Less qualified applicants that score higher on the test, more applicant's without a high school diploma (or even a GED apparently), and less applicants from middle wage and up homes.Thanks for helping me make my point.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

"The latter did not take place independent of the surge."So what? The Sunni tribal leaders taking the money could decide it's better to go back to being insurgents tomorrow, and it'll be right back where it was six months ago."And the former was a reaction to the surge."Partially, I suppose-- but they still don't want US troops in Iraq, and if they decide it's in their best interest to go on the offensive, that's what they'll do, surge or no surge."Well, at least you didn't give Iran's "goodwill" credit, as Nancy Pelosi did."While I wouldn't term it "goodwill," the fact is it's not in Iran's long-term interest to have endless war in Iraq.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes, Kevin, Clinton's support for the continuation of the sanctions regime established by Bush I was also a rallying cry for bin Laden and al Qaeda. But it still doesn't justify the establishment of permanent bases in Iraq. Quite the contrary, it's likely to exacerbate the resentment in the Arab and Muslim world, which will likely be the only lasting legacy of BushCo in those regions.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

I think the question of whether we should have troops in so many countries is an important one.If we chose to remove them, we could reduce the size/scope/cost of our army, and use it as a means of defending our country, which is of course the reason for it in the first place.Whether we call it an "occupying force" or not is perhaps not the most important part of the question.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

"I served with an E-5 (sergeant) who became fluent in Japanese and well versed in the culture during three years in Japan. His knowledge would rival most students who studied Asian culture in a college classroom."A very exceptional case (assuming it's true, which is a generous assumption in your case)-- what's it supposed to prove."And again, Bozo made the same accusation but, when challenged, could not cite a single example of where I distorted the facts. Can you?"It happens hourly, Kevin.

sfjayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Reason - they dont shoot at our soldiers or try and blow them up with IEDs in Japan, ROK or Germany. Just a minor difference.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 1 month ago

Brian, the letter made the point that the issue cited had not received sufficiently prominent news coverage, which is also the case with the issue I cited.

Corey Williams 7 years, 1 month ago

"That applies to a very small faction, and then that's mainly for the Army."Of course it's for the army. The marines still have their high ideals, the air force isn't doing a lot of flying, and the navy can only do so much offshore. The army is the main force in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the October ninth edition of USA Today, "Daniel Goure, vice president of the Lexington Institute, a private research group, said there is a "fine balance between the need for a certain number of recruits and the standards you set."" He also said,"The absolute key for the Army is a high-school diploma." But yet they are letting in those that don't have their diploma. On Fox news, almost exactly a year later, it said,"All services met their recruiting standards except for the Army in one category - percentage of new recruits with high school diplomas. The Army's goal is that 90 percent of new recruits have a high school diploma, but in fiscal year 2007, only 79 percent had earned their diploma, a number that Chu points out is a reflection of the national average."So how is it that they are letting in more and more people who score lower on their test or don't have a diploma and somehow get through boot camp? Or is it just to get their recruitment numbers up and wait for them to fail?

cato_the_elder 7 years, 1 month ago

Of equal concern to Americans should be Senator Obama's endorsement of organized labor's long sought-after goal of doing away with secret ballots in union organizing elections. A full-court press is now on to try to elect a filibuster-proof Democrat Congress in order to get this implemented. The press has not sufficiently reported on this strategy, which is a clear assault on one of Americans' most-treasured freedoms, the right to vote by secret ballot.

chet_larock 7 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Corey Williams 7 years, 1 month ago

"Only an ignorant person who never served in the military could make such a statement. The quality of people I met in the military was much higher than the average sampling at KU or in downtown Lawrence. The liberals on this forum certainly could not match wits with the average person in the military."And I met quite a few people in the navy that were fairly intelligent. I also met some that definitely weren't. Considering how the Army keeps lowering it's expectations for recruits, that is an absurd statement. Of course, if you only talk to officers..."There are ignorant folks who believe anyone off the street can serve in the military. That is not the case. Even during World War II, a large percentage of draftees were turned away."Of course they were able to turn some away during WW2. When you have conscription you can take set a limit and follow it. Not like today, where less and less of those that sign up have high school diplomas. Or more and more of them having longer criminal backgrounds. I would say that the only reason "anyone off the street" would have trouble serving in the military is if they didn't make it through boot camp.

BrianR 7 years, 1 month ago

That's nice Cato but it has nothing to do with the letter.

bad_dog 7 years, 1 month ago

Kevin sez: "A great joke never gets old."Not true. Look at Jimmy Carter, Jane Fonda, and Barbra Streisand.Good point. As long as we're yukking it up let's not forget Ronald Dumbsfeld, P. Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Anne Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Cal Thomas and most of all, the greatest punchline in history; "W".The truly sad aspect of this "joke", however, is there isn't anything remotely funny about the legacy the "W" crew is leaving behind. Thank God that occupation is almost over.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 7 years, 1 month ago

RR is correct concerning Korea. If not for our bases there and the deterrent that they represent, North Korea could have had their way with the South a long time ago. Although our presence inflames a few of the citizens, the government wants us there.I served in the military and got the opportunity to live and learn in a few countries, but I was an exception, for the most part. Scott3460 is correct. Most of the servicemembers I served with were much more interested in those activities than anything else. Some were especially poor ambassadors of our country. Some were in the service because a judge told them it was either that or jail. The MOS I had required almost 1 1/2 years of school before hitting the fleet for duty assignment. I turned down two commission offers when I completed my tour.On the whole, I met a brighter set of people in college than in the service.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 1 month ago

Logic, it's apparent that you do not understand the significance of this issue both for labor and for management groups within the American workforce. Proponents of this measure within organized labor would consider it to be far more significant than the subject addressed by the letter writer, especially since we have had tens of thousands of troops stationed in many countries since WW II.

ndmoderate 7 years, 1 month ago

logic:"You, on the other hand, go and go and go and go, then when you get booted for antisocial behavior, you change your name and return for more, like a good little masochist."RR:"As I said, you don't know what you're talking about."Apparently everyone knows RR is Kevin except for Kevin. Point to logicsound.

ndmoderate 7 years, 1 month ago

Cato -- write a letter to the editor.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 1 month ago

"The vast majority of service members do make it off base. If you had served, you would know that."Agreed, there were a lot of 14-15 year old girls in the Phillipines that did a booming business showing GI's a side of their local culture. Seriously, you are to be commended for your efforts to learn of the local cultures, but the vast, vast majority of military stationed in these places are 18-19 year old kids & not particularly bright ones, at that. Their cultural learning consisted of bars, hookers and local taxi cab drivers. I grew up in a Navy town and you will never convince me that what I saw for years and years with my own eyes was not reality.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

The purpose of the army is (or should be) to defend our country from attack.IMHO, it does not exist to provide interesting experiences for recruits (whether travel, bars, hookers, whatever).As an individual, I protect myself by locking our doors and windows, being mindful of what's going on around me, and not getting into unnecessary conflicts with others.I don't go to other neighborhoods and "pre-emptively strike" anyone, nor do I station friends with weapons around the city.Why wouldn't this work as a nation as well? Protect our boundaries (which we're not doing very well), pay attention, and try to get along with other countries.I think we could save a lot of money, reduce the size of our armed forces, and improve the perception of America around the world.

dandelion 7 years, 1 month ago

jafs,Good argument, but it is too practical and makes sense. How else are the Bushies going to get more power if they don't scare the people into giving up their rights? And think of how much money those invested in Helliburton are making. Save money? That's not part of their agenda. They need to enslave the next generation with their stupid debt. Play nice with others? Don't you know they are superior and have all the answers? Either you agree with them 100% or you are a traitor. Don't try to suggest sensible ideas to them. They will dismiss you as being simple minded or as being unpatriotic.

dandelion 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh yes, those wars were paid with war bonds and, yes, taxes. Here's a nice explanation of the history of taxes on the site below. Tax cuts and war should not happen together. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005921.html

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Got any teddy bears to keep all those strawmen company, screed?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

"I find it disgusting that liberals think people join the military because they are stupid."Another strawman, Kevin. People do join the military because of a lack of economic and educational opportunity. That doesn't make them stupid, just desperate. But your boys in BushCo like it that way.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

"So, one more try, Bozo made the same accusation but, when challenged, could not cite a single example of where I distorted the facts. Can you?"Kevin, this is just one more example of dishonest posturing from you. When you aren't banned, you post here 24 hours a day, and you are called on your distortions and twisted logic all day long. Demanding that someone dredge up anything from your disgraceful previous postings is nothing but a diversionary tactic because of your inability to respond to having your bullsh*t stuffed down your throat, by multiple posters, all day long.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Your juvenile behavior explains a lot about your unflinching sycophancy, Kevin.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

You know, if you keep playing with yourself like that, you run the risk of hairy palms, screed.

dandelion 7 years, 1 month ago

Has any rightwingie contacted Rush or AnneC to tell you what the plan is for paying for this war? Obviously they haven't yet told the rightwingies how to respond to this. I'm sure they're waiting to make this debt all President Obama's fault. They must be yoga masters or have really bad backs - all the twisting they do defend their hero. Is that how Rush became a drug addict?

dandelion 7 years, 1 month ago

Iraq didn't attack us. Even Bush has conceded this point. Keep up with your guy.

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