Saturday, June 14, 2014

I Didn't Fucking Lose Iraq

The Unholy Trio--John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Kelly Ayotte--is demanding that President Obama let loose with American weaponry in Iraq to stave off the the onrushing Islamic State of Iraq and Syria which threatens Iraq's national existence.  They bark at Obama for failing to leave behind a residual force to give the Iraqi army some spine, saying that Obama has squandered the glorious victory achieved by his predecessor and Wonder General David Petraeus.

Fucking bullshit.  If Bush and Petraeus achieved anything, they managed only to tamp down the civil war unleashed by the American invasion and occupation.  It's rather like a fine piece of china that had been sitting safely in a cabinet and tossed about is now sitting on a precipice.  Definitely better than being tossed about but still much worse off than when in the cabinet.

What is especially arrogant of these so called foreign policy thought leaders is their harping on their warnings about a complete American withdrawal from Iraq when, in fact, they ignored the most fundamental warning of all:  DON'T INVADE IRAQ!  Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, John McCain and Lindsay Graham lost Iraq the minute they decided to initiate their splendid little war.

Of course, the whole idea that Iraq is America's prize to win or lose is a pretty offensive concept to me.  That suggests that Iraqis are of no consequence compared to America's interests.  I'm not at all surprised that my country deigns itself to be the arbiter of all interests--as the leading capitalist hegemon on the planet, I expect no less--but I consider this viewpoint an unfortunate national character trait.

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Sunday, June 08, 2014

Almost Summer Velo News

Saturday's ride was my first this year to begin with me wearing a t-shirt.  I've ended up in a t-shirt on on one or two rides this year but on Saturday the weather made the choice easy.  Olympia's had a run of sunny dry weather for the past week with a forecast of more to come for the next few days.  Not only would a t-shirt suffice but I didn't even carry rain gear. This is classic Olympia spring weather with mixed clouds and open sky with lots of sunlight.  We don't get this kind of weather every year so when it happens, it's a gift.

My route was a familiar one:  Olympia-Woodland Trail to the Chehalis Western Trail where headed south.  First, though, I inspected the Pacific Avenue overpass.  The most notable change these days is the steady rise of the serpentine incline that lifts the trail up to the deck of the overpass from the south.
Lots of people out on this beautiful sunny day.  I get a view of Mount Rainier, still mantled in snow, brilliantly white.  More often than not I am riding through a shaded tunnel, feeling the cool breeze. 

I turn around at the Golden Spike monument commemorating the completion of the Chehalis Western Trail and return the way I came.  I'd planned  to head west and north from the Yelm Highway but that puts me in traffic and on a laid back day like today I don't want traffic so I just re-trace my outbound route on the trail. The day ends at 26.7 miles.  That gives me 516 for the year.

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