Matt's opinion

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Finally slowing down

I think things are finally going to start slowing down for us in the next few days/weeks. The most recent excitement was a visit from John and Carly returning from their honeymoon cruise and spending a couple of days with us here in Tampa. I have to say Melissa and I really had fun. We spent a day at Busch Gardens and although we've been there a couple of times now there is always something that's new and interesting, probably because it's a zoo/park all in one. Yesterday we went out to Clearwater and St. Pete beaches and got to go swimming and browse through all of the beach-side stores. Our guests brought up a very good point while we were walking around yesterday, that we should be out doing and seeing all there is while we live in Florida so we don't regret it when we eventually move back to Chicago. That's something I think we're going to make more of an effort to do in the next year. Watch out Orlando, the Keys, and maybe even the Bahamas, we're coming!

Other than that recent excitement we are slowing down in our quest for a house. As of right now we found the complex we like and can afford, but all of the owners are unwilling to sell because they think the units are worth far more than they are in reality. The situation itself is frustrating because I know that the property in question will be worth what they are saying in a few years, but not at this point in time. I guess we're just going to wait them out.

On another front I wanted to talk about a landmark that was set yesterday that I don't think got enough attention in the news. Yesterday, after yet another attack on US military forces in Iraq, the total US combat death total came to 1,802. The sad thing is that I don't think the death toll will be highly publicized again until it reaches 2,000. I think that everyone has been desensitized by hearing about the number of casualties every night on the news: 14 today, 5 yesterday, 7 the day before. We are forgetting that these numbers are REAL PEOPLE who have REAL FAMILIES. What are we doing to get the troops out of Iraq? A recently declassified report from the pentagon (which unfortunately was only reported, as far as I know, on the Daily Show) shows that only 3 of the 107 battalions of Iraqi troops are trained and ready to replace American forces. What the hell is going on?? It's been what, like 2 years into the occupation of Iraq and that's the best we can do? I think it's time for a new strategy.

Here's a couple of ideas:
1. Dramatically increase the number of American troops on the ground in Iraq to forcibly maintain the peace so reconstruction efforts can progress and the citizens of Iraq can see for themselves that we want to help them.
2. Start a "shoot to kill" policy of any suspected terrorist who is seen or suspected of planting these IED's. Admittedly this is going to look like we are being like terrorists, but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.
3. Hire a massive number of local Iraqis to build infrastructure supervised by American and foreign contractors and while the good local citizens are working to improve the cities they live in have American armed forces conduct raids on those who do not work to support the community. I guess this looks a little bit like slavery but the difference is that these citizens would be paid and they are working to develop their community so actually this would be like a lot of FDR's New Deal programs from the Great Depression in America.

These are just some ideas that I though of in the last few minutes. Why isn't Bush having brainstorming sessions about policy? Why is he so narrow-minded and bull-headed to believe that if he just 'sticks it out' things will get better. People are dieing and it's just not necessary.

1 Comments:

  • A lot of the "insurgents" are people from other countries coming in. And they are actually killing their own. Recently, the head of medical stuff in Iraq (who was Iraqi) was assas- um...killed. Hard part is that it isn't the average Iraqi citizen doing the killings/bombings...it's the extremist coming into the country.
    Ok, that's enough of my input for one night
    -justin

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:41 PM  

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