Archive for July 16th, 2007

July 16, 2007
U.S. General in Iraq Speaks Strongly Against Troop Pullout

BAGHDAD, July 15 — An American general directing a major part of the offensive aimed at securing Baghdad said Sunday that it would take until next spring for the operation to succeed, and that an early American withdrawal would clear the way for “the enemy to come back” to areas now being cleared of insurgents.

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding 15,000 American and about 7,000 Iraqi troops on Baghdad’s southern approaches, spoke more forcefully than any American commander to date in urging that the so-called troop surge ordered by President Bush continue into the spring of 2008. That would match the deadline of March 31 set by the Pentagon, which has said that limits on American troops available for deployment will force an end to the increase by then.

“It’s going to take us through the summer and fall to deny the enemy his sanctuaries” south of Baghdad, General Lynch said at a news briefing in the capital. “And then it’s going to take us through the first of the year and into the spring” to consolidate the gains now being made by the American offensive and to move enough Iraqi forces into the cleared areas to ensure that they remain so, he said.

The general spoke as momentum is gathering in Congress for an early withdrawal date for the 160,000 American troops, as well as an accelerated end to the troop buildup, which have increased American combat casualties in the past three months to the highest levels of the war. In renewed debate over the past week, Congressional opponents of the war have demanded a withdrawal deadline, with some proposing that Congress use its war-financing powers to end the troop increase much sooner, possibly this fall.

General Lynch, a blunt-spoken, cigar-smoking Ohio native who commands the Third Infantry Division, said that all the American troops that began an offensive south of Baghdad in mid-June were part of the five-month-old troop buildup, and that they were making “significant” gains in areas that were previously enemy sanctuaries. Pulling back before the job was completed, he said, would create “an environment where the enemy could come back and fill the void.”

He implied that an early withdrawal would amount to an abandonment of Iraqi civilians who he said had rallied in support of the American and Iraqi troops, and would leave the civilians exposed to renewed brutality by extremist groups. “When we go out there, the first question they ask is, ‘Are you staying?’ ” he said. “And the second question is, ‘How can we help?’ ” He added, “What we hear is, ‘We’ve had enough of people attacking our villages, attacking our homes, and attacking our children.’ ”

General Lynch said his troops had promised local people that they would stay in the areas they had taken from the extremists until enough Iraqi forces were available to take over, and said this had helped sustain “a groundswell” of feeling against the extremists. He said locals had pinpointed hide-outs of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, an extremist group that claims to have ties to Osama bin Laden’s network, that had been used to send suicide bombers into Baghdad and they had helped troops locate 170 large arms caches. The general said the locals had started neighborhood patrol units called “Iraqi provincial volunteers” that supplied their own weapons and ammunition.

The general declined to be drawn into what he called “the big debate in Washington” over the war, saying American troops would continue to battle the enemy until ordered to do otherwise. But he made it clear that his sympathies were with the Iraqis in his battle area, covering an area about the size of West Virginia, mostly between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, that extends about 80 miles south of Baghdad and includes 4 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. The offensive he commands is part of a wider push by American and Iraqi forces in the areas surrounding Baghdad, and in the capital, that began in February.

“What they’re worried about is our leaving,” he said. “And our answer is, ‘We’re staying,’ because my order from the corps commander is that we don’t leave the battlespace until we can hand over to the Iraqi security forces.” To hold on to recent gains, he said, would require at least a third more Iraqi troops than he now has, and they would have to come from other battle areas, or from new units yet to complete their training. “Everybody wants things to happen overnight, and that’s not going to happen,” he said.

General Lynch’s outspoken approach contrasted with the more cautious remarks made recently by other senior American officers, including the top American commander here, Gen. David H. Petraeus. General Petraeus has said in recent interviews that the troop buildup has made substantial gains. But he has declined to say whether he will urge a continuation of it when he returns to Washington by mid-September to make a report on the war to President Bush and Congress that was made mandatory by war-financing legislation this spring.

General Lynch said he was “amazed” at the cooperation his troops were encountering in previously hostile areas. He cited the village of Al Taqa, near the Euphrates about 20 miles southwest of Baghdad, where four American soldiers were killed in an ambush on May 12 and three others were taken hostage. One of the hostages was later found dead, leaving two soldiers missing. Brig. Gen. Jim Huggins, a deputy to General Lynch, said an Iraqi commander in the area had told him on Saturday that women and children in the village had begun using plastic pipes to tap on streetlamps and other metal objects to warn when extremists were in the area planting roadside bombs and planning other attacks.

“The tapping,” General Huggins said, was a signal that “these people have had enough.”

General Lynch also challenged an argument often made by American lawmakers who want to end the military involvement here soon: that Iraqi troops have ducked much of the hard fighting, and often proved unreliable because of the strong sectarian influence exercised by the competition for power between Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish political factions.

“I don’t know,” he said, how American war critics had concluded that the new American-trained Iraqi Army was not up to the fight. “I find that professionally offensive,” he said, after noting that there were “many Iraqi heroes” of the fighting south of Baghdad. “They’re competent,” he said. “There’s just not enough of them.”

General Lynch said that he and other American commanders were worried that extremist groups under attack by the buildup might retaliate with a spectacular, focused attack on American troops aimed at tipping the argument in Washington in favor of withdrawal.

Instead of having senators score or try to score political points on TV shows. Video here


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My vote for the cleansing of the Gene Pool for the month are these two:

RENO, Nev. (AP) – A couple who authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect.

The children of Michael and Iana Straw, a boy age 22 months and a girl age 11 months, were severely malnourished and near death last month when doctors saw them after social workers took them to a hospital, authorities said. Both children are doing well and gaining weight in foster care, prosecutor Kelli Ann Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Michael Straw, 25, and Iana Straw, 23, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts each of child neglect. Each faces a maximum 12-year prison sentence.

Viloria said the Reno couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing “Dungeons & Dragons” series, to give their children proper care.

“They had food; they just chose not to give it to their kids because they were too busy playing video games,” Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Police said hospital staff had to shave the head of the girl because her hair was matted with cat urine. The 10-pound girl also had a mouth infection, dry skin and severe dehydration.

Her brother had to be treated for starvation and a genital infection. His lack of muscle development caused him difficulty in walking, investigators said.

The Straws have been given public defenders. Jeremy Bosler, head of the county public defender’s office, declined to comment to The Associated Press on Saturday.

Michael Straw is an unemployed cashier, and his wife worked for a temporary staffing agency doing warehouse work, according to court records. He received a $50,000 inheritance that he spent on computer equipment and a large plasma television, authorities said.

While child abuse because of drug addiction is common, abuse rooted in video game addiction is rare, Viloria said.

Last month, experts at an American Medical Association meeting backed away from a proposal to designate video game addiction as a mental disorder, saying it had to be studied further. Some said the issue is like alcoholism, while others said there was no concrete evidence it’s a psychological disease.

Patrick Killen, spokesman for Nevada Child Abuse Prevention, said video game addiction’s correlation to child abuse is “a new spin on an old problem.”

“As we become more technologically advanced, there’s more distractions,” Killen said. “It’s easy for someone to get addicted to something and neglect their children. Whether it’s video games or meth, it’s a serious issue, and (we) need to become more aware of it.”

Can’t wait for the pill that cures that huh?
Video Game addiction. WOW. America seems to just be slipping away huh?

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Yeah I guess.
If you don’t want to eat!

What’s the connection between ethanol, the biofuel produced from corn, and a cherry vanilla ice-cream?

Answer: the first is responsible for pushing up the price of the other.

This month, the price of milk in the United States surged to a near-record in part because of the increasing costs of feeding a dairy herd. The corn feed used to feed cattle has almost doubled in price in a year as demand has grown for the grain to produce ethanol.

Christina Seid, whose family have been making ice-cream at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for 28 years, said yesterday that she expected to have to raise her prices, along with all competitors in the short term. “We are holding out as long as we can, but prices will rise,” Ms Seid said.

Amy Green’s Ivanna Cone ice-cream emporium in Lincoln, Nebraska, has already raised its prices for a small cone to $3.50 before tax, up from $2.95 a few months ago. She also estimates that she is paying $150 more a week for the butterfat that she uses in her ice-cream.

The squeeze on ice-cream makers, chocolate manufacturers and pizza companies – all of whom use dairy produce as a raw material – is set to tighten as the price of a gallon of milk in the US – up 55 per cent in the past 12 months in some American states – is now the same as a gallon of petrol, with dairy prices accelerating faster than the cost of fuel.

Prices for dairy products have also risen because of increasing demand from China and the Middle East along with the drought in Australia, reduced subsidies in the European Union and the rocketing cost of corn.

So the solution by the eco freaks is to run your car on Corn Oil or rather Ethanol which is a mix of GASOLINE STILL and basically food.

So we are trading what we eat to power our cars.

Again my push and I think many sane persons push is for the most abundant source we have on this planet. H2O! Hydrogen Fuel Cells outside of Electricity which brings about its own problems. I think this is by far the best solution out there.

With electric cars you have a problem with power outages and even in the summer where Electric companies are already stretched thin to now power 150 million cars! Come on people. Think for once!

Not to mention that currently a two seater can only take me 100 miles a charge.
I stick my kids, all the crap for the kids, my wife and I simply CAN’T!
Why? I’ll run out of charge to get back home.

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What’s the use!

I’d like to begin by apologizing to the boss and everyone that reads our blog. I haven’t posted in a couple… okay, a few weeks.

No excuse.
However, in my defense! I really really really didn’t find anything that I really gave two flying butts about!
After the immigration bill got, thankfully, assassinated in the Senate and (for now!) the fairness doctrine bill in the House, I guess I really haven’t been amped up about nada!

I mean, you still have the bush-deranged peace at any cost ultra-liberals out there cryin’ and whinin’ about the war. blah blah blah What’s the use on bloggin about that. Until the dems cut the spending from the war, which they’ll never do, it pointless to even aknowledge their existence.

A westler dude offs his family and then himself! And now everybody is like, “the WWE has a steroid problem! ” NO FRIGGIN DUH! You couldn’t tell by how huge those dudes are! Yeah, like they’re all natural! But, the revelence of steroids and Chris Benoit is still not there to me. The family had some serious problems other than steroid use. Another boring story to me.

L.A. Archdiocese to Pay $660M Over Abuse I mean, is that a real big deal there? You guys tell me.

This is pretty funny! US army officer puts ‘solution to Iraq war’ on eBay.

You see what I’m saying here folks! Nothing! No news out there anymore. Even on good web sources like MM’s, Hot Air, Drudge, Boortz, Breitbart; I can’t find anything worth putting my two cents on. Everything is so damn negative lately. Am I the only one noticing that the liberal (and the conservative) media is not getting good news out!

The stock market hits record highs and is that all over the news as something good? Nope, not while Bush is president!

Anybody see Transformers the Movie yet!?! If you haven’t, You’re an idiot! The movie is wicked awesome! lol Go see it!

BSG fans! I heard that there is supposed to be some trailer soon on the next season premier!
Can’t wait for that to come back on!

I dunno man! I’m just burnt out on all the negative news I guess. The presidential race means nothing to me right now. The elections are still a year out and nobody is worth my vote yet. I really haven’t had a writers itch. (HA! like I can write in the first place!) And I am really forcing myself to write this garbage. LOL, reminds me of college and the proffessor says, “just write what you feel!” lol

Come on guys help me out here! lol

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