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Web Letter

Thank you for this information. As a tribal investigator, I personally feel affronted by the likes of Blackwater, USA, and very proud I am of Mr. Scahill and his meticulous work in exposing the "Dark Army." Senator Clinton's timing does not surprise me in its obvious attempts to mislead the American people, for she was one of the New York State senators who approved the continuation of governmental spying on our citizens unter the "Patriot Act." Good work, Jeremy. I'm glad you're on our side.

David Little Eagle

Coulterville, IL

Jul 17 2008 - 1:01pm

Web Letter

Where exactly are we going to get this "army" of State Dept. diplomats who are going to "volunteer" to tiptoe through the Iraqi sand tulips with Sunni & Shia, whilst avoiding I assume being blown up by ied's or suicide bombs, like the thirty-two-year true legendary United Nations diplomatic hero, Sergio DeMello (sp?), whose life was crushed by the stony weight of the building blown up by Iraqi "insurgents" or whatever the heck Bush warcorp. was calling them back then. I seem to recall when our intrepid hero Dubya called for State Dept. "volunteers" a while back to go serve in Iraq at our lovely palatial white elephant gi-normous new embassy building in the Green Zone, he got nothing but a chorus of "Hell no, we won't go!" From these mostly career State Dept. bureaucrats.

Well, here's a suggestion, Mr. Bush: conscript the children of all the "chicken warhawks" who beat the bloody drums to get our soldiers & Marines & sailors & National Guard & even the Coast Guard and every uniformed "volunteer" fighter he could shove into Iraq, except the Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts. Send the five sons of Mitt Romney; the Bush twins &amp. Send the pointy-nosed fiancé of Jenna Bush, let them celebrate their honeymoon in the lovely Iraqi honeymoon suite, at the bombs over Baghdad resort hotel & casino, in the center of the tourist's dream destination: the Sunni Triangle! Let Dick Cheney's lobbyist stuck-up daughter go be a diplomat over there; hell, send that old battle ax, grandma Barbara Bush, over there--she's scary enough, the Iraqi's might just surrender just to get her to leave their country!

And especially send old Joe Lieberman, that smugly conceited little twit, over there. Let him solve the Palestinian "problem," without, hopefully, putting the Muslim version of the "star of David"--I guess that would be the crescent?--on their ragged, poor shirts or dresses!

(Palestinians have been living in "ghetto" concentration camps since I was a baby; how is it different, really, to be a Palestinian living in the Jenin refugee camp, which the Israeli army bulldozed to ruin with American-made bulldozers (including bulldozing right over an American young woman, who was a peace activist, trying only to protect a mother's home from being destroyed, any different an experience in the human sense from that of a Jewish Warsaw ghetto resident in Nazi Germany? But we aren't supposed to think about the Palestinians' plight. One reason may well be that the Israelis have probably 200 atomic weapons, do you think? It sure makes me just as worried by the potential threat of an extremist right-wing settler Israeli terrorist getting his finger on those Israeli atomic bombs as it makes me worried by the potential threat of an extremist right-wing Islamist. I'm just as scared by an extremist right-wing fundamentalist Christian fanatic getting their finger on a nuke here in the USA, because he has been brainwashed with "end times" crazy talk. A true believe, here in america, getting his finger on one of our nuclear weapons or other WMDs!)

We have, what, hundreds of graduates of the "Liberty University" of Jerry Falwell, I believe, in the Bush Administration. I know Eric Prince of Blackwater is a true-believer fundamentalist, & a buddy of Bush, & he was sent to New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina with his good ol' boys.

How exactly will we get diplomats & peacemakers to go to Iraq, & journalists to start covering Iraq outside the "safe" Green Zone or with heavy security, when so many have died already? How do we get the private mercenary armies out of Iraq,& back on the homefront, without their becoming a very inconvenient question of, well, what do we do with them now? Ask them to work at Wal-Mart as stock boys for minimum wage? There are only so many jobs where a mercenary-trained soldier's "skills" are a job description! What, do we hire them as guards for private for-profit prisons?

Too bad the military can't just "shrink-wrap" a private mercenary army, like they will "shrink-wrap" every helicopter, tank, truck, every piece of military equipment that hasn't been destroyed by the sand or by explosions, & ship it all back home to sit in one of the many military equipment "graveyards" full of war machines that run on the very bloody frackin' oil that "oiled" the Bush war machine, in Iraq, in the "forgotten war" in Afghanistan.

At least yesterday Barack Obama told it like it really is: there are no "good" solutions for Iraq. No matter how much the right wing & McCain wish it, there ain't gonna be a "ticker-tape parade" down New York streets, with handsome young sailors kissing the women, like one of the musicals they made about WWII troops in Times Square, with Gene Kelly dancing. What Bush incredibly said about Afghanistan, that it's a "romantic" adventure, he wished he could "play" soldier too, is essentially what our King George happily said, smilng & clapping his Little Lord Fauntleroy laced hands together, like a kid playing "war" on a schoolyard playground. A truly jarring demonstration of just how out of touch with any reality our Commander in Chief is. Actually it was scary to watch Bush. And Sen. John McCain, he's still living back in Vietnam!

Hillary wants to be the Queen of Hearts, like in Alice in Wonderland. Wouldn't she make a great actress in a Broadway musical production, as the playing card Red Queen, shouting imperiously at her knights, "off with their heads!" It would be a sold-out performance for weeks! But can you really see her as President? She wants it too badly, she exudes the same kind of imperial hubris as the Bush regime. Can Hillary put the national interest, above her own personal ambitions & lust for power? I just don't think so. We need a woman President, but it needs to be a woman in the mold of Eleanor Roosevelt. Find us somebody who cares about her country, the way Eleanor did, & we will have our first woman President, & probably our best President!

Until then, Obama is the best & brightest I see on the horizon, & he has a most essential quality: a sense of humor & an ability to laugh at himself & at the silly trappings of a political campaign. This will help see him, & our nation, through the turbulent waters ahead. Obama is no "lightweight," he's proving it during this time of testing.

Linda Poole

Kevil, KY

Mar 21 2008 - 2:37am

Web Letter

A good piece! The candidates are either totally ignorant or bought off by the multinationals that have driven up the cost of this war. Besides the incompetence of these security and logistical support contractors, you could have had several more regular army divisions for the cost of their "help."

I have had enough of their whining about what the military and the government cannot do. Working with our Allies, the Germans and Japanese were defeated in four years, and it wasn't easy. I put in some time in the military, and I know how fast they can move if they are ordered to do it. They can get out of Iraq just as fast as they got into it.

The State Department could replace Blackwater in less than a year. I would not be surprised if it took only six months if they hired former Marines who had previously provided security for diplomats. Experienced police officers would be a good bet too. The major hold-up would be security clearances, but that should not take six months. Training 2,500 people is not a major program. Government is cheaper! I don't trust these people, and they are not very competent!

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Mar 19 2008 - 5:10pm

Web Letter

Let me see if I understand this article correctly. Obama introduced ineffective legislation that would basically please the mercenaries. Clinton was "late" to sign on to another piece of legislation that is insufficient and would please these leaches.

Maybe being attacked for every move she's made in the past fifteen years has made her more cautious than the fellow who has just discovered that his life is about to be picked apart and takes months to respond to unsavory news about his life.

Where is the outrage over George H.W. Bush's reduction of the armed forces and base closures that ruined many small towns across America? Our tax dollars are being wasted by paying three or four times more than we need to for the same work.

"Apart from the fact that it would be impossible to effectively police such an enormous deployment of private contractors (at present basically equal to the number of active duty US troops in Iraq), the legislation would give the private military industry a tremendous PR victory." We didn't reduce the size of the armed forces, we just decided to pay more for their "expertise" and they haven't sworn allegiance to the Constitution! So, basically, we have 150,000 armed and dangerous people who work for companies loyal to Bush. If they come home from Iraq, what will we do with them? More important, what will their bosses do with them?

"....Bush had granted Blackwater and other contractors immunity in 2004. "Maybe I should have known about it; I did not know about it," she said." Maybe she depends on US newspapers for her news!

Maybe the news media have already decided that Barack Obama is to be our next President. It sure seems that way from all the negative comments I keep reading about Mrs. Clinton.

Teddi Curtis

Corona, CA

Mar 19 2008 - 2:39pm

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