Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tank Warfare

Story of British Tank break in at an Iraqi Jail  This truly odd story hasn’t gotten a lot of attention yet in the United States.  The British in Basra use a tank to smash in the wall of an Iraqi jail to rescue two British soldiers  held by the Iraqi police.  British officials further claim that pro-Iranian militants tied to the Mahdi army have infiltrated Iraqi security forces.  They explain that, had that not happened, this wouldn’t have been a problem at all.The article manages not to mention that Basra is in the far south very close to the Iranian border.  Yes, that’s the same Mahdi Army that answers to Muqhtada Al Sadr who more or less fought openly with coalition forces and seized official buildings in at least three cities including Sadr City.  If you remember, the coalition more or less settled with Al Sadr and he decided to “join” the political process.  Given the Bush administration’s rhetoric at the time, one would have thought that having the Mahdi army join the Iraqi military and police was like the Santa Barbara County DA hiring Michael Jackson as his son’s babysitter or learning that your kids have been hanging out with Kate Moss.

I don’t pretend to know a lot about Muqhtada Al Sadr, but this whole scene gave me visions of an Iraqi remake of the Dukes of Hazzard with Al Sadr standing in for Boss Hogg.  I suspect it’s about as sensible as the movie itself.  They say that there are moments or images in every campaign that come to symbolize where things are headed.  In 1988, Michael Dukakis (no relation to the Dukakis of Hazard or Haverhill for that matter but first cousin to Olympia) posed in a tank to show that he could be tough on defense issues.  Dukakis is a short man with a big head and it only wound up underscoring the fact that George the Abysmal Senior had been a navy pilot during World War 2 and that Dukakis who was too young for WW2 had never seen combat.  Lee Atwater was a smart guy even if he did have to ask God to forgive him on his deathbed for poisoning American politics.  I am, in fact, hoping that they might do a very special Return to Touched By an Angel where Atwater returns to earth to set his star pupil Karl Rove back on the right track. Unfortunately, Rove would likely intercept the Atwater angel by having Bob Novak and Judith Miller report mean things about Atwater’s wife. I imagine two hundred billion dollars of middle class people’s money would buy you all the newspaper columnists you want and poor Atwater angel would just have the power of having seen the light persuasion.  If I were Tony Blair, I guess I would be running around Downing Street right now trying to make sure that there are no photos or videos of this event.  After all, the last time someone left a memo lying around Number 10 someone forgot to fix it.  

Here I had read this nice reassuring blog from  One Hand Clapping assuring me that things must be getting better in Iraq because the insurgents had moved from trying to blow up American soldiers to blowing up civilians.  Somehow that seemed to be a perversely American perspective, since the American troops are there partly to discourage insurgents from blowing up Iraqi civilians who want American style democracy etc.  Maybe they’re blowing up civilians because the coalition soldiers aren’t around to protect them anymore.  

I’d love to see the Iraqi people, assuming they want to stay one country, have a non-corrupt government of their own choosing.  I’d especially like to see them safe.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that that would justify our invasion, but I would at least be able to say that some good came of this whole snipe hunt thing for WMD.  In the meantime, that far left bastion New York City just stopped Cindy Sheehan from completing a public speech because the organizer had to be arrested for not getting a permit to use a “Sound Device” in public.  Maybe I should settle for just bringing the democracy back to New York City and to provide homes for people on the Gulf Coast as  a “good” outcome for this war.  A week ago I was at my high school daughter’s back to school night and learned that her classes had 40 + students in them and that some teachers didn’t even have the time to take questions during class.  Perhaps I need to borrow that tank for my own purposes to go confront my governor about some of his True Lies.

more on the same story



At 9/22/2005 01:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to have 7 (seven) kids in my graduating class in high school. Class size makes all the difference. The teachers were on each of us like a hawk. We had huge (& fascinating) amounts of homework because the teachers had time (& energy) to actually look at it.

Even Socrates or Jesus or Buddha can't rivetingly and rivetedly teach a class of 40 students (or even 20 really) in a 50 minute session. Kids learn to hide, go into a trance, and slide thru the day. As a nation, we should aim for 15 students in any class requiring written work (English, history etc.)

Think of teaching 5-6 seminars of 40 people a class, 5 days a week, in the business world? (Then marking papers at night from all the participants -- say, 150-200 individuals a day. Kids should write every day.) What would you get paid then? Who would even think of doing it in a business setting.

The $200,000 per MINUTE we're spending in Raq could help a few things on the homefront. That kind of cash has done what in Iraq? Except enrich Halliburton.

Get out your tank, chancelucky. Those kids never get that blooming time back.


Post a Comment

<< Home