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2007 March 19 — Why Now?
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Norbizness’s version of the Shrubbery’s speech reads better than the Washington Post transcript.

I found the first paragraph interesting:

Four years ago today coalition forces launched Operation Iraqi Freedom to remove Saddam Hussein from power. They did so to eliminate the threat his regime posed to the Middle East and to the world.

We know now, that there was no threat to anyone outside of Iraq because of the containment put in place after Gulf War I, but the Shrubbery keeps trying to convince people that invading another country and throwing it into turmoil was the right thing to do.

Apparently our current goal is to pacify Baghdad. Four years and we don’t even control the capital city is a pretty sad state of affairs. You would think that we would have been able to restore electricity, water, and sewer, but that is apparently beyond the scope of no-bid contracts. [Natasha at Pacific Views wonders the same thing – four years and we need more time to control Baghdad?]

In other news in the Washington Post, Ann Scott Tyson writes that the U.S. military ill-prepared for other conflicts. We are running out of everything and Rummy wasn’t buying replacements for the equipment that was being blown up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If Robert Gates is an honest man, I hope he will issue a report at some point explaining where in hell all of the money that Congress gave to the Department of Defense went, because we know it wasn’t used to buy equipment, repair buildings, or pay light bills.

The Republans keep talking about running government like a business, but they don’t seem to believe in accounting. Accounting is not a barrel of laughs, but no matter how large or small a business is accounting is the only real way of knowing how things are going.

March 19, 2007   6 Comments

I Know You Don’t Care, But…

The BBC reports that the E8 Lie Group has been mapped. Professor David Vogan from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced the feat in a lecture titled: The Character Table for E8, or How We Wrote Down a 453,060 x 453,060 Matrix and Found Happiness.

Almost no one is interested that 19 mathematician spent fours years doing this and it took three days to calculate the final computation on a supercomputer. Working in 248 dimensions isn’t even conceivable for most of the world, but it is a very good thing and will help us understand basic scientific interactions. It will also allow us to do things with a computer simulation that would have required spending hundred of millions or billions of dollars if we tried to construct the equipment needed for experiments.

Think about all of the time and effort expended in producing 3D images, now add the other 245 dimensions.

March 19, 2007   12 Comments

Another Year

Iraq Campaign MedalTonight in the US , March 20th in Iraq, marks the fourth anniversary of the official invasion of Iraq. Of course, we now know that Special Forces teams went in earlier and the air forces of the US and Britain had been doing some “pre-emptive bombing” prior to the missile attacks on possible locations that the Shrubbery’s intelligence services [as opposed to the CIA, NSA, DIA, and the regular intelligence groups] swore contained Saddam Hussein.

For those who have short-term memory problems: Iraq did not have WMDs and, as a result, was not in violation of UN Resolution 1441. The UN weapons inspectors were forced out of Iraq by the actions of the President of the United States, not the President of Iraq. The “intelligence” was selected to support the desires of the White House, not the reality on the ground.

Every problem encountered in Iraq was anticipated, but the warnings were ignored. After four years we are further away from anything that might be considered winning than we were on the day before the war started.

Tens of thousands of innocent people are dead. The infrastructure of Iraq is in tatters. More countries than at any point in our history consider the United States a threat to the world. We are throwing a massive debt onto the shoulders of our great grandchildren. Our military is on verge of breaking, if it isn’t already.

What does it take to get the government to acknowledge that enough is enough?

March 19, 2007   4 Comments