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news from the front

Articles such as this one in the Times remind me that there were an awful lot of people who warned, before the invasion, that this could well degenerate into a house-to-house shooting war. As it happens, I am not one of them; I can’t say that I ever came to a decision about whether it was really likely or not. On the one hand, it never occurred to me that our military would be ill-trained and ill-equipped (in large measure, though not altogether). On the other hand, I did not particularly expect our troops to be greeted with flowers, New English bibles and voter registration cards. Anyway, the crows and Cassandras were right, as they often are, and will undoubtedly get their usual reward for it.

And as long as I’m on about it, in April of 2003, I mentioned that I was relieved that the Butcher’s Bill for this little adventure in democracy, non-proliferation and international harmony was so low. Hahahahaha. I was so funny, and I didn’t even know. I can’t say that I find this survey (or, for those who wish to register for the Lancet, this full report) altogether convincing, but I think we can safely say that the Butcher’s Bill is pretty damn’ high, and it’s going to get higher. Sure, it’s being paid by Iraqis, for the most part. Oh, and remember how sweet it was when Dick Cheney paid tribute to the Iraqi spirit by using their dead to make it appear that the US wasn’t becoming a pariah state? Now there are more numbers? See? The US can’t be considered a rogue state when Iraqis have been joining us in graves a thousand for one! Now that’s freedom on the march.

Sorry, I got carried away there. Let the bitterness go, just feed it to the ducks. Hope is on the way, or help or something. I’ll go have a lie-down.



A hundred for one, not a thousand. The ratio for a prolonged conflict has not increased dramatically since Vietnam.

I haven't been able to complete a coherent sentence about the Lancet report since I first heard about it yesterday. I want a ballot question on Tuesday asking whether we should kill 100,000 people for the rationale of the week. I want non-voters to have nightmares about this number. I want our media to read the names and ages aloud on every channel, five seconds for each person killed, from now through Election Day. I want an international war crimes trial for the people truly responsible for the dead, not private courts martial for citizen soldiers behaving as prison guards in Iraq just like they behave in their regular jobs as prison guards in America. I want an accounting, but I know that 45-48% of voters will not even demonstrate a dawning recognition next Tuesday. That number should be plastered on every voting machine in the country. That's the way to have an honest election.

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