Barrio Patrol

If you can't beat 'em, confuse 'em...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Heads in the Sand...

Photo Courtesy NY Times

Simply put, the Republicans are trying to run the clock down on the Bush Presidency. The wonderful people at, decided that they wanted to add their own two cents to the debate on "the Surge" by sending an add equating General David Petraeus to Benedict Arnold for delivering, the President's assessment of the progress being made in Iraq.

As tone deaf as the advertisement may have been, it certainly didn't require the Senate and House to waste time on a meaningless resolution that did nothing to address the major concerns of extricating the American military currently stuck between warring factions in the middle of a Civil War in Iraq.

Only Bill Clinton can succinctly address the issue in its proper meaning:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's Your War, George

Photo Courtesy AP

Today we heard a President that sounded more like a blind man trying to find his way in a dark room with a flashlight, then a commander in chief. In a prime time address, his 8th since the beginning of the war in Iraq; Bush again reiterated his desire to pass on this calamity of American presence in the middle of a Civil War to the next president. And while Army and Marine Corps forces are being slowly broken in a war zone far from the sources of Al Qaeda's strength in South Asia and in Saudi Arabia, a recalcitrant President continues to defy the will of the American people.

Via the Washington Post

But the president said such progress is enough to justify the beginning of a modest pullout, starting with 5,700 troops by Christmas. "Now, because of the measure of success we are seeing in Iraq, we can begin seeing troops come home," he said from the Oval Office. "The way forward I have described tonight makes it possible, for the first time in years, for people who have been on opposite sides of this difficult debate to come together."

He coined a new slogan to describe his latest strategy, "Return on Success," meaning that further progress will enable further withdrawals. "The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home," Bush said. "And in all we do, I will ensure that our commanders on the ground have the troops and flexibility they need to defeat the enemy."

At the same time, Bush warned that substantial numbers of U.S. troops will be in Iraq for years to come. Iraqi leaders "understand that their success will require U.S. political, economic and security engagement that extends beyond my presidency," he said, although he said such a scenario "requires many fewer American troops."

It has become clear that this President does not have the knowledge and fortitude to lead America internationally in our fight against fanatical terrorists. When one is more beholden to his political keepers, donors and less concerned with the future of our military and our ability to respond quickly to a network of terrorist cells with little or no contact, we the people must act to preserve our country for future generations.

In what may be a first in Presidential politics, a candidate has issued a challenge to a sitting President.

John Edwards:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pentagon Cat Fight....

So I guess we civilians are not the only ones that are displeased with the testimony of Army General David Petraeus. Apparently, his superior, Admiral William Fallon, who leads U.S. Central Command (CentCom) thinks that Gen. Petraeus is an "ass-kissing chickenshit," according to a report by IPS. Damn, Gina!!!!!! Thems fightin' words.

Photo Courtesy of U.S. CentCom

Though Gen. Petraeus does deserve some recognition for his service to this country, it does seem that his willingness to toe-the-line has clouded his otherwise steady judgment. It seems that this report of friction between Petraeus and Fallon mirrors a pretty remarkable piece released by the Washington Post last Sunday.

Via the Washington Post:

For two hours, President Bush listened to contrasting visions of the U.S. future in Iraq. Gen. David H. Petraeus dominated the conversation by video link from Baghdad, making the case to keep as many troops as long as possible to cement any security progress. Adm. William J. Fallon, his superior, argued instead for accepting more risks in Iraq, officials said, in order to have enough forces available to confront other potential threats in the region.

The polite discussion in the White House Situation Room a week ago masked a sharper clash over the U.S. venture in Iraq, one that has been building since Fallon, chief of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees Middle East operations, sent a rear admiral to Baghdad this summer to gather information. Soon afterward, officials said, Fallon began developing plans to redefine the U.S. mission and radically draw down troops.

One of those plans, according to a Centcom officer, involved slashing U.S. combat forces in Iraq by three-quarters by 2010. In an interview, Fallon disputed that description but declined to offer details. Nonetheless, his efforts offended Petraeus's team, which saw them as unwelcome intrusion on their own long-term planning. The profoundly different views of the U.S. role in Iraq only exacerbated the schism between the two men.

"Bad relations?" said a senior civilian official with a laugh. "That's the understatement of the century. . . . If you think Armageddon was a riot, that's one way of looking at it."

What is the point of military advice if is sugar coating the situation and ignoring the gigantic political elephant in the room: the lack of political reconciliation in Iraq?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Have You Had Enough?

On the 6th Anniversary of the attacks by Al Qaeda terrorists on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and innocent passenengers on american airliners, the Bush Administration decided to acknowledge the loss of thousands of innocent civilians by sending their patsies to continue the sale of the Iraq War to the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

Photo Via NY Times

Army General David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker presented their half-baked White House presentation to an extremely skeptical committee.

These two men were charged with presenting a rose colored view of the realities on the ground in Iraq and they could do little to even convince the Republicans on the committee that "staying the course" would be worth it.

Via N.Y. Times:
Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, who is one of the party’s leading voices on foreign policy, asked whether the current strategy in Iraq was “making America safer.” General Petraeus retreated to an explanation that he was doing his best “to achieve our objectives in Iraq.” But when pressed again, he said: “Sir, I don’t know, actually.”

After 6 years, all we are doing is trying not to get too many troops shot at the same time trying to maintain peace. In fact, the most critical issue, the reconciliation of sectarian parties in Iraq has not progressed according to the Government Accountability Office's report on progress in Iraq. This article by Karen De Young and Tom Ricks of the Washington Post is a must read.

So what is the explanation that we get from the administration about what we need to know about why we are still in Iraq and not fighting Al Qaeda in its base in South Asia? I think this clip from Being Bobby Brown best describes the reasons...

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Revenge of the Nerds...

At some point in every boy's life, there is some computer game that can take over every aspect of their life. For the original gamers it was Space Invaders. For some in my generation it was the Legend of Zelda, or later on Street Fighter and Halo. Each seems to inspire devotion from each player, bringing out their inner "gamer."

A documentary I just watched called, The King of Kong brought back a whole lot of those fond memories of nerdy adolescence. It follows the model of perpetual loser in all of us, unemployed former Boeing-employee, Steve Wiebe, in his quest to attain the highest score in the original Donkey Kong game. Even more complicated then the actual task of getting the high score are the hurdles placed before him by the devoted followers of self-proclaimed 20th Century gaming king and Yanni-impersonator, Billy Mitchell.

The shit makes you embrace your inner nerd, but it can be killer on your personal life. I have been playing much damned Command and Conquer lately. Now I am checking to see when the re-release of Blade Runner is going to come to L.A. You can't escape it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Dark Knight

Get ready, because this is going to be good.

Monday, July 23, 2007

YouTube's Decision '08 Debate...

Best video of the cycle so far? Try John Edwards long delayed response to the question of what matter's most in the elections. His $400 hair cut or the issues?

Best question asked in the YouTube debate? That would be from, with their question on the effect of a possible Al Gore candidacy.