Edwards didn't go for the "Republicans: Wrong on everything" bit, but he did retain his bloggers. For now. They will be quietly fired a few months down the road, when it doesn't look like he's being a weak-spined lily-livered coward if he fires them.
On to that glorious victory in Iraq deal...
The Pentagon is pissed at the State Department. Seems that the State Department can't fill positions in Iraq because, well, civilians are kinda reluctant to get shot at (imagine that!), so has reqested a couple of hundred reservists to fill those positions instead. Secretary of Defense Gates says that his reaction was "unprintable".
Six choppers in three weeks. Yes, the insurgents' aim is getting better, but that's not the only factor. One problem is that choppers have simply been worn out by the pace of operations and are literally falling out of the sky. Another problem is that the Pentagon, rather than coming up with better anti-missile systems, instead is buying fighter jets we don't need. Another problem is a shortage of phosphorus flares due to the continuing logistical issues facing the military in Iraq, which are so bad that we had to cut off the Iraqi army's supplies in order to have supplies for our own military.
Hmm, Bremer was literally unloading pallets of cash with no accountability, at the same time that CPA personnel were steering contracts to contractors based on who bribed them the most. All that U.S. dough apparently just disappeared into either corruption or the maw of the insurgency in the end. Indeed, Bremer's actions from cancelling elections to disbanding the Iraqi Army seem to have been calculated to produce just such an insurgency -- after all, Karl Rove had been heard to state that Poppy Bush's big problem was that he'd actually *won* his war. Rove thinks Orwell's 1984 is a manual for governance, not a novel, and thus perpetual war for perpetual peace is how to retain power. In short, the insurgency was created by the Busheviks as part of a cynical ploy to be re-elected in 2004. Unfortunately, the insurgency then didn't just fold up and go home as planned, they had their own ideas...
A military judge found a way to prevent Watada from testifying at his court-marshall -- just declare a mistrial, and re-schedule the trial for some time in the future after the Iraq war has moved out of the headlines and the Army can punish him quietly and discreetly without all that nasty press attention.
More about the logistical situation: This is the primary reason we cannot get a viable Iraqi Army up and going. The Iraqis can't do their own logistics because their country is a war zone and the Iraqi government is literally bankrupt. But our own logistics are stretched to the limits just supporting our own troops. The transport arm of the U.S. Army is crumbling due to equipment breakdowns and attrition. It takes 2,000 fuel tankers *per day* to truck fuel from Kuwait to Baghdad in order to keep our patrols moving, and dozens, perhaps hundreds, of fuel tankers have been blown up by insurgents over the past three years. The current logistical arm of the U.S. Army was based around a short conflict on the plains of Europe supported by European transport assets and was never intended to sustain this pace of operations for an extended period of time without significant acquisition of new transport assets. In WWII, for example, by the time the war entered its third year in 1944 Detroit had manufactured over 1,500,000 trucks for the military and to ship to Russia (where they were important in giving the Russians the logistics needed to defeat Nazi Germany -- note that 80% of all German casualties were inflicted by the Red Army). For Iraq, the number of trucks manufactured for the military since the war began is... [crickets].
Why do I focus on logistics? Because the logistical situation of the U.S. Army is why we cannot field enough troops in Iraq to quell the insurgency. We probably would need 500,000 boots on the ground to stabilize the country. We only have logistics for around 150,000 combat boots total (including the U.S. Army and the Iraqi Army). Soldiers without food, fuel, transport, bullets, clothing are not soldiers, they are an unarmed mob with no military effectiveness. A M1A1 tank which is immobile due to lack of spare parts or fuel for its turbine engine is not a military asset, it is just a pile of useless junk. An Apache attack helicopter with no rockets to fire, operating at 3/4ths power from its turbines due to wear caused by the sand and lack of spare parts for rebuilding those turbines, is not a military asset, it is a target.
It wasn't supposed to be this way. We were supposed to have partners to provide logistics. We were supposed to have private contractors to handle lots of logistical tasks. But Dear Leader took us into this war against the advice of virtually the entire world, so we have no partners. And private contractors are understandably reluctant to enter a war zone, and can't be ordered to enter a war zone because they are civilians, not soldiers (duh!). But rather than admit that the logistical situation is dire and putting major resources into the logistical arm, Dear Leader's military geniuses instead spend billions to buy fighter jets that we don't need (F-22's and F-35's -- why, when the F-16 is the best fighter jet in the world and will remain so for the next three decades?). Instead of buying fuel trucks, Dear Leader's military geniuses spend billions on designing and acquiring "advanced fighting systems" that are totally unnecessary because the current military equipment is already the best in the world and will remain so for the next three decades. Amateurs. Freakin' amateurs. Remember, amateurs talk tactics and strategies. Professionals talk logistics. Logistics are what win wars. We won WWII because of superior logistics, not because of superior weapons. But we are ruled by freakin' amateurs who literally have no clue. And the soldiers are the ones who suffer because of it...
-Badtux the News Roundup Penguin