Thursday, November 24, 2005
Thanks for the snow, Mr. Weatherman-- it's kind of cute. Arctic wind? Not so cute.
There are many things to be thankful for today, though not among them is the fact that I live in Canada and am at present too far from family to celebrate American Thanksgiving as we once did (Canadian Thanksgiving having passed last Columbus Day). I am looking forward to having a daughter-in-law inviting us down for dinner next year....
Most days I wake up being thankful that neither Al Gore nor John Kerry is or ever was President, but I would be even more thankful for an opportunity to carry out a fairly rough "intervention" on the current President, who needs a slap upside the head and then a couple of hours to bring him up to speed on what's in the newspapers he's too busy to read. It's painful to think that Ronald Reagan is the only President in the past forty years for whom the word "squandered" should not appear in the first paragraph of his biography.
At the end of the day (which we hope will not also represent the end of the future for the Middle East, and thus, basically, for the rest of us if we give it long enough), will history write that more damage was done by the Pathological Liars' Party or the "Compassionate" Weiners' Party?
Anyway, The Truth Is Out There (thank you, Mulder), and it is fascinating. Do not pass "GO", do not collect your $200, but go directly to the Brookings Institute Iraq Index compiled by Michael O'Hanlon. It will knock your socks off. More to the point, it will knock every other sentence out of the mouth of that sad old man, John Murtha (who, if he had any real friends, would have been quietly sedated and planted in front of Monday Night Football re-runs by now to keep him from further hurting his own reputation, having opened his mouth and relieved all doubt, as the saying goes).
Pay particular attention to where the casualty spikes were, both killed and wounded, for American troops, coalition troops, and Iraqi civilians. (Hint: The only people for whom the situation has been getting increasingly dangerous in the past YEAR are Iraqi policemen.) Readers will not be pleased with all the data (opinion surveys of Iraqis about the impact of troop presence are a little discouraging) but it tells a much different story than most of what one hears from politicians and media hacks. Biggest day-to-day concern for ordinary Iraqis, by a huge margin: Security? No. Electricity. Also, nearly 20% of American fatalities are non-hostile. It's a dangerous job.
Mudville Gazette also sticks it to Murtha pretty good, with actual figures instead of foggy generalizations-- interesting stats on the wounded (about 55% are back in combat in 72 hours, only 18% require evacuation, amputees make up about .03%). None of this is easy or positive, but it puts things in perspective.
Gateway Pundit traces Murtha's history of similar bloviations
Had we only known he was a serial bloviator, we could have gotten him some therapy.
Letter from the front via: Marine Mom
And a comment about the military's increasing hate-hate relationship with the media-- this is the only way that Iraq is genuinely, indisputably, and thoroughly like Vietnam, except that back then the media succeeded in making at least some veterans hate themselves too-- but mostly they just hated the media and how it turned the people against their soldiers. Not this time. The soldiers have met the enemy and they know who he is-- and they know who's on his side back home.
Anyhow, I'm thankful that all sorts of people I've never met are taking care of all my kids on Thanksgiving Day-- they'll have more fun than I will, and will eat better too! Thankful for the freedom to read, to write, to bounce around the world, to vote the bastards out, to sing Gregorian chant. I can't complain, really-- but I'll find a way.