"If nothing else, though, the Whiskey Bar archives prove to my satisfaction that it was possible, even for a nonspecialist (which is all I'll ever be in the fields of foreign policy or military affairs) to see at least an outline of the disaster as it started to unfold. What was lacking in the corporate media was not the opportunity, but rather the insight, the courage and the independence to say what needed to be said -- at a time when the both the powers that be and the paying audience were unwilling to listen."* arkin:
"By 2009, the United States, I predict, will either be largely out of Iraq already or on a post-election path to complete withdrawal. This would, of course, alleviate the strain. What is more, Iraq will no longer be the disincentive for young recruits. The Army fell almost 10 percent short of its recruiting goals in 2005 because of the Iraq war and will meet its recruiting goal this year by lowering standards and increasing incentives.
Because of the ongoing and open-ended Iraq commitment, both the chiefs of the Army and Marine Corps have argued for more forces and money over the past year. Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the chief of staff of the Army, said last week that his service would "break" without an increase. The service is currently operating under a temporary authorization from Congress to increase its active duty strength by 30,000 soldiers beyond the cap of 482,000. Schoomaker and others have argued for a permanent and larger increase."
Over the past several days, there have been reports of increasing U.S. military activity in the Persian Gulf aimed at Iran, and today The New York Times confirms that "the United States and Britain will begin moving additional warships and strike aircraft into the Persian Gulf region in a display of military resolve toward Iran." The buildup includes "a second aircraft carrier and its supporting ships to be stationed within quick sailing distance of Iran by early next year."
There is no doubt that these moves are intended to signal to the Iranians (as well as to what the Times describes as "Washington’s allies in the region who are concerned about Iran’s intentions") that we are capable of an offensive military strike against Iran:
Bush officials cite two "justifications" for these maneuvers: (1) to enforce any sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council as a result of Iran's refusal to comply with its resolutions (sanctions which have not yet been imposed), and (2) to deter Iran from a military blockade of oil shipments in retaliation for not-yet-imposed sanctions.
"FBI Releases Remaining Classified John Lennon Documents
And finally, the FBI has released the last remaining documents in its secret file on the musician John Lennon. Lennon was monitored over his involvement in anti-war activities and his vocal opposition to President Richard Nixon. The U.S. government saw Lennon as such a serious threat that President Nixon attempted to have him deported. The release of the files comes more than twenty years after the author and history professor Jon Wiener requested them. Wiener says he was told at the time the files contain “national security” information and could cause "military retaliation against the United States." According to Weiner, the newly-released documents contain well-known information on Lennon’s contacts with dissident leaders in Britain in the early 1970s. Wiener said: "I doubt that Tony Blair's government will launch a military strike on the U.S. in retaliation for the release of these documents. Today, we can see that the national security claims that the FBI has been making for 25 years were absurd from the beginning." Wiener has posted the documents on the website LennonFBIfiles.com."