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    credible threats..., 2006-11-20 09:48:32 | Main | what part about "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" don't you understand?..., 2006-11-21 13:27:34

    I rant in comments sections:

    "If we passed a draft [as proposed by Charles Rangel D-NY] now, there is one obvious use for it - to increase the size of the military to the point where it could attack Iran by conventional means."

    And face enormous public opposition to continuing this war for the 10 years the administration talks openly about, and far more opposition to any further campaigns. The presidential race positioning in Washington is to demand more troops. Americans like that idea, but nobody explains where they come from.

    My recollection is that the polls considering Vietnam "fundamentally wrong and immoral" correlated as well to the increasing imposition and effects of the draft as to anything else. 'It was fundamentally wrong and immoral to commit drafted troops to a frivelous war.' If the soldiers doing time in Iraq were drafted the public would think the same thing, but now they're "volunteers", who virtually begged for the opportunity to sacrifice themselves for treasure, by the standards of today's discourse.

    If this war's costs were felt as uniformly as the war in vietnam - by random lottery unless you were exceptionally fortunate - the open, public opposition would have picked up again after the invasion. Instead we have veterans of this war and their families leading what few public demonstrations there are, three and a half years in, bearing one ruthless public attack on their honor after another. It's disgraceful.

    McCain and Clinton et.al. would be leading discussion of the draft if they had the intestinal fortitude to be honest about their own poll-mapped positions. Rangel is just speaking his mind, with no ambitions. The theatre of it wouldn't look so bad if one considered the "serious" discussion in Washington: we need to raise 100,000 more troops.

    What are Democrats worried about, that the GOP might attack democratic candidates as cut-n-runners? That dems will be smeared for having one man in congress who takes Emmanuel's absurd position paper and its ramifications seriously?

    God forbid. Rangel: 94% to 6% in the 15th, I think he's done won the gerrymandate to speak his piece and not bullshit about it any more than Washington requires. The headlines he makes with these proposals are good for the public discourse.

    I can't say that there's any relation (probably Pace's comments to similar effect over the weekend) but McCain was backing way off his balderdash about significantly increasing troop levels today: now he's down to 20-40K, from six figures, for a short period. It might be of some concern to DP supporters that McCain acknowledged that reality before any "serious" Democratic contender. Maybe Rangel's a closet STE supporter, or maybe his own party has ignored him for too long on this one. After all, he's been saying it for four years.

    The maximum age of non-prior service enlistment is now 42 years old.

    and: the other major component of public understanding about this war that apparently has not gotten through is how much worse the war has made life for Iraqis. The think tanks are in denial. To which I've ranted:

    "the U.N. says the number of refugees alone is at least 1.83 million"

    The Iraqis diaspora under Saddam was around 900,000, of this, this UN figure is definitely including the 200,000 some refugees in Iran and - I think - excluding the 450,000 "refugee-like"s that were in Jordan and Syria from before the war. That means there have been about 1.6 million refugees produced by the American intervention.

    It's kinda odd the numbers for the displaced the WaPo picked to toss into the wind here. It doesn't help much to give a picture of what's going to tells us that there have been 231,530 internally displaced since February and not inform us that the total number of internally displaced is at least 1.6 million. Maybe that's too confusing for them as it's equal to the refugee outflow.

    The massive numbers of internally displaced seem to be almost entirely the result - until recently - of the explicit US military strategy to transfer whole cities into camps, excepting much of the adult male population, and then turning what's left into a free fire zone. Hundreds of thousands from Fallujah, Ramadi, Al-Qaim, and so on, one city after another.

    I guess I can see, considering, why the WaPo might not discuss the internally displaced population except in vague passing.

    Back before the war the UNHCR was planning on 500,000 returnees. About 253,000 actually did, but only 23,000 of those were returning refugees.

    The number of asylum seekers, which went down significantly in the first year of occupation, is said to be back up around its Saddam/sanctions levels, but there hasn't been a release of the data since 2004, just press briefings. The paperwork to file for asylum or emmigrate is difficult and expensive, which keeps the numbers down.

    My point seems to be that the number of "uprooted" Iraqis are astronomically higher than just the astronomically high numbers of refugees. [Anthony Cordsman's upper limit on "dead, wonded, and uprooted" of] 1.35 million isn't even half the number of just the uprooted Iraqis. The gravity of the situation is so high it seems to have flung Anthony right out into the kepler belt.

    And during one interview Les Roberts explained that to confirm their data on mortality rates, all reporters had to do was go talk to grave diggers, and ask how many bodies they get now compared to the before the war. The predicted value was a four fold increase: when I saw the report [via tinyrevolution.com] I'd coincidentally just seen a report filed by Adnan Khan where a guard at a Baghdad morgue explains how he's seeing 1,000 bodies a week now where it used to be 1,000 a month.

    This is getting long and obnoxious. Here: maybe Cordesman could start interviewing reporters by talking to Mr. Khan, who confirmed the numbers independently the day they came out.


:: posted by buermann @ 2006-11-20 23:00:21 CST | link





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