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02 March 2006

stats and propositions

Rumsfeld's Law:

The farther you are from the battlefield, the less you care about the soldiers and the Marines.

This is also known as the Nixon-Kissinger Law, or MacNamara's Law.

Sheehan's Corollary:

The closer you are to the battlefield, the more you care about the soldiers and the Marines.

The Heritage-Fox Exclusion Principle:

You can safeguard and care about the soldiers and the Marines, and wage and escalate these wars indefinitely at the same time.

Bob's Contrary:

You can't safeguard and care about the soldiers and the Marines, and wage and escalate these wars indefinitely at the same time.

Vietnam Adjusted Identity:

This is Vietnam, but worse, pro-rated month for month, adjusted for inflation. This is more corrupt, more badly managed, more based on lies, with more incompetent, clueless and ass-kissing generals and admirals, with a more useless Congress.

Rumsfeld's Last Prediction:

The USA will have troops in Iraq until at least 2017.

The Ghostly Echo:

We would win if they would stand up and fight us like men, like Americans.

The Bush-2 Central Dogma:

Democracy can be forced on a foreign country by sustained superior violence.


Anonymous Anonymous said... echos this figure, & says it's based on civilian casualties of the iraq war. Specifically, "media-reported civilian deaths in Iraq" resulting from military intervention, including resulting lawlessness.

that's IMO the most frighteningly verifiable thing on the internet today. there's some other interesting research available.

the key figures are listed in this statement:

"Counts of civilian deaths individually documented range from 28,501 to 32,119; statistical lower estimate of total, up to Sep 2004, is 100,000 plus/minus 94,000 at 95% confidence. The United Nations estimate of civilian casualties of the war in Iraq was 100,000 as of March 30, 2005."

As suggested by the presidential source noted in the vleeptron picture, the conservatism of the 30,000 casualties estimate makes a much higher figure the likely reality.

The New Yorker's been an important resource for news media regarding torture, jail conditions, and other investigative journalism on the Iraq war:
step 1. go to
step 2. click on Iraq

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

I think there's been one or two Commenters who've left "hot links" in their Comments. I guess that's courtesy of this permission above the Comment form:

You can use some HTML tags, such as {b}, {i}, {a}

If anybody can teach me this trick, I'd be grateful. I like to learn new tricks.

In a series of vitriolic speeches, Congressman Abraham Lincoln socked it to President James K. Polk and his cronies for his "scoundrels' war," the Mexican War. Lincoln was the elected captain of a volunteer militia company from Salem, Illinois during the Black Hawk War, and was ferociously protective of soldiers. He voted for every appropriation for our troops already committed to the field, but repeatedly denounced the war. (Both Grant and Lee were field-grade commanders during the Mexican War.)

America's wars are littered with bad wars, bad, greedy, rapacious, racist ideas and vile, shameful implementations. A particularly ghastly period was our military suppression of a native insurrection in the Philippines as the 20th century dawned, just after the USA had made the Philippines a new colony/territory after the Spanish-American War.

It is surely possible to imagine an American future in which America gets most of what it wants without projecting its superpower military -- without resorting to Shock and Awe -- on those societies and sovereignties which are reluctant or opposed to doing our bidding. Certainly our economic power alone will, with competent guidance and just a bit of wisdom and vision, get us most of what we want most of the time for the next sixty years.

I've been having a little trouble precisely tracking this down, but when Lincoln and William Douglas debated for a Senate seat from Illinois, Douglas told the crowd that if the United States just continued its current domestic policies (did not meddle with slavery), it was guaranteed to become The Terror of the World.

Lincoln replied that he had never wanted his nation to be The Terror of the World.

Now, under the Bush administration, we have made ourselves The Terror of the World.

But the world is not paying tribute to The New Rome. We're getting less of what we want, less reliably, we are less safe, the cost in American blood is huge, the cost in non-American blood is an ocean of blood, and we are destabilizing and displacing the peoples and societies in the middle of Asia -- if Southeast Asia is a marker to guide us, middle Asia will be politically and militarily reeling and staggering and suffering for thirty years.

There are limits to what The New Rome can do with Shock and Awe. And even The Old Rome, the old Terror of the World, eventually ceased to get what it demanded from the world. Its army ceased to be greatest army which no other power could defy. Eventually Goths camped in the City of Rome and got what they wanted with fire and sword.

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

sorry sorry sorry i'm doing all this from fuzzy memory, that's Lincoln vs. Stephen Douglas. Around 1856. Lincoln lost the Senate race, but the published Debates made him famous around the nation, and the new Republican Party chose him to run for President in 1860.


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