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    Despite what the ChickenHawks say, a mental health survey of troops in Iraq, released in May, found 45% of the soldiers interviewed ranked their unit’s morale as low or very low. Only seven percent ranked it high or very high. (Los Angeles Times, 8/25/07). Somehow, the ChickenHawks only talk to that seven percent on their visits to Iraq.

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      Since the Bush Administration decided to provide weapons to both sides in the Iraq civil war, it needed a new name for the insurgents it was arming (You can’t give weapons to insurgents--that would be insane).

      So, let it be known that members of the 1920 Revolution Brigade, who claim to have killed scores of Americans, will no longer be called “insurgents, but will henceforth be known as “concerned local nationals” (Reuters, 8/25/07)  It has yet to be determined if American troops killed by “concerned local nationals” will be considered “friendly fire” or enemy action.

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      For the second year in a row, the Bush Administration’s War of Terror has produced a record opium crop in Afghanistan, increasing 45 percent over the record set last year. The number of laboratories converting opium into heroin has also increased by nearly 70 percent (The New York Times, 8/26/07). This sounds even more amazing if you know the US has a $600 million counternarcotics program operating in Afghanistan.

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      Abdul Bari Atwan is the editor-in-chief of the London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabia, and the author of The secret history of Al Qaeda. He is one of the few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden, and he offered some interesting insights on bin Laden and the Iraq War (Lateline, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 8/23/07).

 “[O]sama bin Laden had a long-term strategy. He told me personally [in 1996] that he can’t go and fight the Americans and their country. But if he manages to provoke them and bring them to the Middle East and to their Muslim worlds, where he can find them or fight them on his own turf, he will actually teach them a lesson. It seems the invasion of Iraq fulfilled Osama bin Laden’s wish.”

 “…President Bush made terrible mistakes when he sent his troop to invade Iraq, one of the most difficult countries to be invaded, to be occupied, the worst land for democracy, human rights. And we can see the outcome.”

 “… Al Qaeda is now expanding. We used to have one Al Qaeda in Tora Bora and Afghanistan, now it is like a monster, it is like Kentucky Fried Chickens, actually, opening branches everywhere in the world. We have Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, which is regrouping again; Al Qaeda in Iraq, which is very active; Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, which managed to destabilise the country there; Al Qaeda in Europe, and we saw what happened in Madrid in London; Al Qaeda in North Africa now, which is very, very active. I think this war against Iraq gave Al Qaeda a huge opportunity to expand, to recruit more people under its fold.”

      Now George W. wants to bomb Iran. Does anyone foresee any problems with letting Bush start another unnecessary war?

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   Our military and our treasury are not unlimited resources. The war in Iraq is breaking our fine Army and Marine Corps, and we are perilously close to doing damage that will take more than a decade to fix. Our brigades and divisions in Iraq today are at near full strength because the rest of the force has been gutted. …The Republican administration is bleeding our national treasure in blood and dollars with little to show for it. --Major General John Batiste, former Commanding General of 1st Infantry Division, who retired to speak out against the war, 8/22/07

      General Batiste’s op-ed was posted at ThinkProgress.org after the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times refused to print it.

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Mick Youther is an American citizen, an independent voter, a veteran, a parent, a Christian, a scientist, a writer, and all-around nice guy who has been aroused from a comfortable apathy by the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Administration.

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