Wednesday, May 16, 2007


This is just embarrassing:

The military is dropping approximately 150,000 leaflets in the region south of Baghdad where the soldiers went missing Saturday.
First off, it's just sad that the U.S. Army, the greatest military machine in the history of the planet, is reduced to begging in the streets like this. Yes, we should be using any and all available methods to find these guys, but the production values on this flyer are crap and the text reads like a Nigerian e-mail scam crossed with a Working Assets solicitation. And really, c'mon, a yahoo e-mail address???

" their families" -- ? Do they get to go home before their 12 15 month tour of duty is up?

How is the amount of the reward determined? 252 million IQD (Iraqi dollars) seems kind of arbitrary. (CNN says it's about $200,000.) I'm sure the Army didn't pass the hat or hold a bake sale or anything. Seriously, are there some kind of guidelines for these sort of situations? I'm genuinely curious.

It's not quite the same thing, but a bunch of mostly British celebrities have put up something like 2.6 million pounds for information leading to the return of one toddler in Portugal. If I've got the math right, that's a little over 5 million dollars.

Whatever happened to USAR SPC Ahmed K. Altaie? He was captured, by somebody, in Iraq in October, and declared missing in December. At the time, there was all kinds of speculation in the news, but since, then, nothing.

Actually, there are quite a few soldiers unaccounted for. These guys keep track of them all. Let's hope they're being treated better than we're treating the poor bastards we have in Guantanamo and other such sites.

Our super best friend number one allies, the Brits, have decided not to expose one (and only one) of their young officers to the same sort of risk. Maybe if Dubya hadn't been such a chump when the kid's grandmother visited last week, the Brits would be more willing to continue to commit their Sandhurst grads to the cause. As it is, this is yet another point of evidence against the argument that Iraq is the central front in the great and epic battle of civilizations and mostest importantest thing evah.
The announcement, which represents a U-turn on an earlier decision, was made amid reports militant groups in Iraq planned to kill or kidnap the prince.
What can one even say in response? Perhaps this:

Reg Keys - whose son Thomas was killed while on active service in Basra in 2003 - said he found the decision distasteful and questioned whether insurgents could have told the prince apart from other service personnel.

"It would appear that Harry's life is more valuable than my son or the other nearly 150 service personnel who've given their lives," Mr Keys added.

It is difficult not to think of the prince as one of those chess pieces in the back row, safely protected by thousands and thousands of replaceable pawns.

Meanwhile, the march of banners continues to spread through downtown Harrisburg. There's one right outside my office window now. I wonder if these particular pawns felt threatened before they were deployed, and how much cash they might have scraped together in return for getting out alive.

And speaking of people we can't find, WHERE'S BIN LADEN?

Stop The Occupation.

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