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Happy Memorial Day?

May 27, 2006

In the United States it is Memorial Day, which is a day to honor the military, and I am appalled at the LACK of honor shown to the soldiers.

Congress chooses to put off funding of the military in Iraq, till AFTER their Memorial Day Holiday. According to ThinkProgress.org.

Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army’s chief of staff, said the Army will be forced to slow down some of its operations’ backbone because Congress decided to postpone the completion of the 2006 emergency supplemental until after the Memorial Day break.

“We have to pull all these levers to slow down,” Schoomaker said at a breakfast sponsored by The Hill. In order to stretch its funds until a new infusion of cash is available, the Army will have to slow down its logistics and supply operations among other things, he pointed out. […]

He added that it is “ironic” the Army has to resort to such measures on the eve of Memorial Day.

The conclusion of the post: “Failing to pass legislation to fund the troops seems an appropriate Memorial Day message for a Congress that is on schedule to meet for the fewest days of any Congress since 1948.”

I guess that Congress is modeling itself after Bush, not only in adherence to the law, but in number of days worked. For God fearing people, they take their sworn oaths incredibly laxly.

And as Larry Johnson reminds us of how terribly Iraq is going…

As we enter Memorial Day weekend it is time to take stock of the progress, or lack of progress, in bringing peace to Iraq. The “new” Government is one in name only. The Iraqi factions have failed to agree on who will control the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of the Interior.While Iraq politicians squabble, Iraqis with close ties to Iran are moving forward. Moqtada al Sadr, for example, is working quietly behind the scenes to infiltrate and seize de facto control of the police, the intelligence services, and the military. It appears he has made significant progress in this regard.

The bottomline, Iran is consolidating control of critical parts of Iraq through its surrogate, Moqtada al Sadr. The civil war now underway consists largely of surreptitious group murders and retaliatory bombings. Since January of this year, the number of daily attacks has surged from 72 a day to 135 per day. Most of this violence is directed against civilians—Shia and Sunni. Yet, U.S. soldiers continue to pay a costly, bitter price. Our men and women are being killed at a rate approaching three per day. The wounded are triple that.

Baghdad remains without a consistent supply of electricity, gasoline, and potable water. Electricity production, for example, hovers between two to six hours per day. Friends who have recently returned from Iraq tell me that much of the disruption in the electricity and oil pipelines is actually caused by the Iraqis assigned to repair these systems. In other words, the local Iraqis with a vested financial interest in repairing these systems are also sabotaging them—think of it as a guaranteed jobs program.

Then Larry spells out what he’s been told by an “officer in military intelligence” of the dearth of command positions and the short and long term effects on the military. Then he moves on to Iran, and the issues conflict with Iran could cause in Iraq.

The United States ability to stay the course in Iraq is threatened by a fragile re-supply line, which runs from Kuwait north to Baghdad. This road runs thru the heart of Shia controlled territory. Everything we need to keep our Army fed and fueled comes up that road.

We face a dilemma if we decide to attack the neighboring country of Iran because of its nuclear ambitions. Iran is not a passive observer. Iran is providing extensive, covert support to Shia militia in Iraq. U.S. military planners must assume that it is highly likely that insurgents backed by Iran will attack and cut the re-supply line. Truck convoys will be captured and destroyed. Re-opening these roads would require significant military ground forces—forces that are not in the area and probably could not be deployed in any significant numbers for at least several weeks, if not months.

There’s so much more in the article that everyone needs to read and remember.
NO QUARTER: Wrong Way Bush
Edit to add the couple day old news of honoring our veterans. I can’t believe this slipped from the post.
VA Worker Took Data Home For Years Before Break-in | | May 26, 2006 | Network Computing

“The employee, a data analyst, was authorized access to sensitive VA information in the performance of his duties and responsibilities. He said that he routinely took such data home to work on it, and had been doing so since 2003,” Opfer said during the Thursday hearing.

“The employee told us he took the data home for work-related purposes,” Opfer continued, talking of the ongoing investigation his office is conducting. “However, none of his supervisors we talked to said they were aware that the employee had taken the file containing approximately 26.5 million veterans’ records to his residence.”

Opfer’s testimony was almost as much about what the VA now knows — three weeks after the break-in — as what it doesn’t know.

“We are also identifying what VA electronic data the employee stored at his home, whether the employee had an official need for the data, why he took it to his home, and who in his supervisory chain approved or had knowledge that he had done so.”

Rachel Maddow said that the agency wasn’t notified for 2 weeks, then there’s delay in reporting to the Justice Department, its criminal how irresponsible the administration is.
“The agency admitted it didn’t even know if that practice had been approved by the man’s superiors.”

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Oh and Have a Safe Memorial Day.

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