Turns Out The “New Dawn” Is A Lot Like The “Old Dawn”

The Administration has heralded the withdrawal of the last combat troops from Iraq as evidence that it is partially keeping campaign promises to pull out of Iraq. What has been largely ignored in coverage is not only that 50,000 military personnel remain but the Administration is going to double the number of security contractors to take up the slack. That is the change from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn.

The Obama administration is planning to more than double the number of private security guards it has in Iraq — up to 7,000 — according to the New York Times. They could find a few extras in Afghanistan where the Administration was surprised with an order to get its civilian security forces — most of the 45,000 contractors — out of the country.

Source: New York Times

61 thoughts on “Turns Out The “New Dawn” Is A Lot Like The “Old Dawn””

  1. Failure to close Gitmo=F
    Failure to prosecute attorneys who authored torture memos=F
    Vacations= A-
    Wife’s Wardrobe=A

    Ability to kick him out if we want to in 2012= priceless

    I only grade pass fail. Right now he’s a “pass” but things are leaning toward “fail” unless he gets his act together, which will be based on one factor: job growth.

  2. By the way … we buried my dog in the woods behind our house and the school janitor came and cried as much as I did. I remember he brought a bunch of yellow flowers. My parents must have told him. Remember that my dog spent 5 days a week, however many weeks there are in a school year, for 6 years in the furnace room with the janitor. Mr. Broadman was his name and when I was old enough to appreciate such things, I tried to find him so I could thank him. When I finally tracked him down I learned that he had passed on so I thanked his daughter. We sat in her living room for over an hour as she told me all about him … we both cried, but it was a good cry.

    There is a lot of goodness in this world.

  3. If it was a dream then it was a dream of comfort sent to you as a parting gift from Henry.

    There were some nights, after my beloved cat died that, as I said I could feel his weight across my feet at the bottom of the bed but also, and what first got my attention, he would jump up on the bed. I swear to god, Buddha, he was a large kitty and weighed a ton … when he jumped up on the bed I could feel the landing of his fat self. Of course I was always just drifting off into sleep, never fully awake so who knows … was it like the cool rush of moist thunderhead driven air you felt … yes. It was so real but then impossible to be real … I decided to stop trying to figure it out and just take comfort from it.

    I never mentioned it to anyone … content to have this little experience all to myself. Then one night my husband and I were sitting out on the patio enjoying a late coffee and cognac and watching the stars when he told me that I’d probably think he was crazy but he could swear that old P had jumped up on the bed a couple nights ago and settled down across his feet. He told me that he was almost asleep when he felt the bounce and that he kept moving his feet trying to get the cat to move until he finally woke up a little and realized it was impossible for P to be there. Rather like you dad hearing the bark, don’t you think?

    I’m not going to analyze any of it … it is what it is and even if all of it is imagination … the comfort is very real!

  4. Blouise,

    You’ve almost moved me to tears. One of my cats, Gabriel, is getting up there in age. As he lays on my lap this morning like he does every morning while I drink my coffee, I know I only have a few years left at best with him. He has been a constant and stalwart companion for 11 years now going on 12. He’s seen the best of times and the worst of times but he has always been here for me without err. When he passes, I’ll feel completely lost.

    As kid, I lived very close to my school and had a dog that did the same as yours although he would just go back home until school was out. My dad and I were out of town when Henry died. My grandfather called us with the bad news. My dad was miserable. I was inconsolable. My hands down best friend had just died.

    That night it was a heavy thunderstorm. The kind you only find in Kansas. I went to bed with that hot miserable sleep that only a terrible loss creates.

    Henry had a practice of waking me to let him out by starting to woof softly and steadily increasing the volume until I was just awake enough to do the job my thumbs were required for. That night, although it must have been a dream, a woke to see him standing at the foot of my bed at my mother’s house – a place he’d never been. I got up, walked down the turning staircase, and let him out into the rain. There were no distortions, nothing out of place except my dog. I could feel the carpet beneath my feet. My mother’s intricate decor was 100% authentic. I felt the cool rush of moist thunderhead driven air as I opened the door. I heard the jingle of the charms of one of the ever present wreath my mom has on her door. The mist brushed over my face like a gentle touch of chilly fingers.

    Henry took three steps out, looked back over his should and gave me a solid “woof” and a tail wagging, then bounded happily out of the courtyard to disappear into the rain. Like he was saying goodbye. I smiled and then staggered back to bed to sleep soundly the rest of the night.

    The next morning at breakfast my dad, who was as attached to Henry as I was, said he could have sworn he heard Henry barking last night.

    I told him about the dream. We all ate finished breakfast in silence. It had to be a dream, right?

    To this day, I remain uncertain.

    I know when Gabriel passes, dream or not, it shall leave a hole in my heart that will be hard to fill.

    Now if you’ll pardon me, I must wipe my eyes and pet my cat.

  5. Buddha,

    I know exactly how you feel. Way back in time (such things would never be tolerated now)my dog would walk me to school every day, rain or shine, fall, winter, and spring. The janitor would let him into the furnace room where he would stay until school let out and he would walk me home. From kindergarten through fifth grade my dog went everywhere I went. When he died I cried everyday on the way to and from school for months.

    Fast forward to adulthood and enter the world’s greatest cat. He was my first child and fit into my life as my dog had done in my childhood. Finally, at the age of 14 he died but not until I gave him permission. He lay at my feet hardly able to breathe or move and finally I realized that he was waiting for me to say the word. I sat down on the floor next to him, stroked his head and told him I would be fine and he could go. He let out a long last breath and was no more. I’m not exaggerating … it happened just that way and it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. For months after he died I swear that on some nights I could feel him laying across my feet at the bottom of the bed.

  6. Blouise,

    To me, Adams out of all the Founders was the poster child for good character. He talked a talk that he also walked. A truly decent, honest and compassionate man. Abigail was no slouch either. Talk about a marriage made in heaven! She was quite a gal.

    I’d have trusted either of them to take care of my cats.

    That’s saying a lot because I really love those furballs. And I’m not over protective in the slightest. Which of course should be read as “I’d fight a barrel full of Vikings armed only with a fondue fork to protect them.” 😀

  7. Buddha,

    For sheer pluck I always go with Hamilton.

    Franklin, from what I’ve read, aspired to “gentleman” status and got himself there by working damn hard and investing his penneys well. Once he had enough he could try and ape the English gentleman but, unlike Washington, he lacked the personal discipline to incorporate the Virtues into his daily life thus failing true gentlemanship. I also do not like the way he took credit for Adam’s work with the Dutch. But, all in all, he and Hamilton best exemplified what we today call The American Dream … that which our ancestors came to these shores seeking.

    I also find Franklin to be a bit of a coward when compared to Hamilton and a tad lazier. As to his womanizing … Franklin was a rock star and I’ve known plenty of those … it’s another addiction he willingly acquired.

    My favorite is stodgy ol’ Adams … refused to own a slave … refused to use someone else’s slave … lived a set of values that none of the others came close to touching …

    What a crew!!

  8. Blouise,

    I am glad you liked it. I love it myself. Then again, I’m a sucker for artistry in language. I think that’s probably the third time I’ve posted that here.

    While both Hamilton and Jefferson were flawed, they were both great men. Franklin on the other hand? I’ve never had a high opinion of him compared to the other Founding Fathers other than respecting his raw intellect and curiosity. Like Jefferson, he was a polymath, but as a man, we’d have come to odds on more than one occasion. He was an opportunist, an elitist, and a womanizer – three traits I really don’t like – but I’ll give him credit where credit is due. Some of his less charming character traits probably arise from his Puritanical upbringing conflicting with his innate logical skills. I’ll also give him credit that he was honest about not living up to the Thirteen Virtues he espoused. That being said, I still admire him, just not to the degree I admire Jefferson and Adams – or Hamilton for that matter.

  9. Buddha,

    That was absolutely great!!

    Although he married up … I suspect that up was the only way for him as no one was quite as low as he … I don’t believe that anyone has fully proved that the man ever took a dime. His accomplishments rival those of Franklin, given in different areas.

    Plus, I believe he understood the notion of loyalty far better than Jefferson … which, of course, has nothing to do with the subject of economics we were discussing.

    But thank you for the gift … I truly enjoyed it.

  10. Blouise,

    Don’t get me wrong on Hamilton. I admire quite a bit about him. But he and Jefferson were constantly at odds. Hamilton had the skills but I think we come to the willing versus able argument again.

    Here is a present. Enjoy.


  11. Bdaman,

    Your buds in the republican party tried to destroy the American Auto Industry in order to serve foreign masters … I’m talking about Corker, Shelby, and others. They failed in their mission.

    GM has achieved miraculous results in a very short time and will continue to do so. The wall street mess almost took them down but Obama saved them … make no mistake about that. I don’t like much of what Obama has done but the man saved the manufacturing base in this country when he used his political capitol to save the auto industry. The republicans had sold out the country to Japan. Korea and Germany … every blue collar worker, inside or outside the auto industry, knows that. You have no idea how much republicans are literally hated in union halls across this country and you might be surprised to learn that the non-union people who work for Toyota and Honda and KIA all feel exactly the same way.

    You republicans attempted to steal the food off the table of blue collar workers, you attempted to remove the roofs over their heads, you wanted to turn their children out onto the streets naked and hungry … but you failed!!!

    Stick with your crazy teabaggers … they love you!

  12. Buddha,

    Ah … you’ve come down along the lines I was drawing. Please don’t think from my question that I am one of those who believe the foundings had the answer to everything.

    My question was motivated by my years spent in the LWV wherein we arrived at no recommended solutions without an exhaustive study which included the history of the matter under consideration. One can not recommend a solution without first completely understanding all the factors leading up to the present.

    I am a fan of Alexander Hamilton and I don’t agree completely with your take on him. If anyone could have figured out the mess we are in and arrived at achievable solutions I believe he would have been the guy. Instead we have Obama’s idiots.

    There is something very wrong with our present economic being and fixing what is wrong without throwing out what is right requires thoughtful negotiations and intellectual powers far beyond those possessed by our present Secy. of the Treas..

    Mow excuse me while I go tackle bdaman

  13. WASHINGTON — Nearly half of the homeowners who enrolled in the Obama administration’s flagship mortgage-relief program have fallen out.

    A new report issued Friday by the Treasury Department said that approximately 630,000 people who had tried to get their monthly mortgage payments
    lowered through the effort have been cut loose through July. That’s about 48 percent of the 1.3 million homeowners who had enrolled since March 2009. That is up from more than 40 percent through June.

    The report suggests foreclosures could rise in the second half of the year and weaken the ailing housing market, analysts say.

    Another 421,804, or 32.3 percent of those who started the program, have received permanent loan modifications and are making their payments on time.

    Many borrowers have complained that program is a bureaucratic nightmare. They say banks often lose their documents and then claim borrowers did not send back the necessary paperwork.


  14. Saving the American Auto and manufacturing base … so far, and just far enough -A = 4.00

    GM needs to double earnings to repay taxpayers

    General Motors’ much anticipated initial public offering filing finally landed on Wednesday. But investors shouldn’t get too caught up in the hype. Sure, the automaker looks in pretty decent shape thanks to last year’s bankruptcy clean-up, and car sales are motoring away from last year’s lows. But to repay U.S. taxpayers in full, GM needs to at least double its earnings.

    That’s assuming the carmaker is valued at the same earnings multiple as Ford Motor. Granted, GM and its bankers could argue that it has advantages over its cross-town rival that may warrant a higher valuation. It has far less debt, for starters. And it has a stronger position in fast-growing China.


  15. Blouise,

    Given Jefferson’s clear distaste for corporations and banks, he’d have likely been for my favorite solution: an Amendment to prohibit corporate participation in politics that limited their interaction with government to charters and use of the criminal and civil courts for remedy.

    Hamilton would have probably ended up being part of the problem. I can see him falling into the Cult of Money quite easily. He was a banker after all and clearly obsessed with status (not to diminish his finer qualities or achievements, faults aside he was an extraordinary fellow).

    Franklin is a tough call. He was enough of a libertine that I can see him falling on the Jefferson side, but enough of an ass kisser to also fall on the Hamilton side. I suspect which way the wind was blowing the day you asked him would have a lot to do with his answer.

    As to Washington? Not really sure. He wasn’t really known for his economic acumen, but I suspect that after hearing out both sides (which he would have insisted upon) he’d have probably fallen into the Jefferson camp as well. He likely wouldn’t have wanted to trade monarchist masters for corporatist masters.

  16. rcampbell 1, August 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I guess I don’t understand what folks don’t understand. We were told very early on that all—but only—combat troops would be leaving by 8/31/10. And they have. We were told early on that roughly 50,000 trainers, adminstraters, etc. would remain. And they have.


    Sadly, that’s pretty far off. A subset (I don’t know how large) of US troops will still be involved in what can only be characterized as “combat”. Officially, it is descried as “supporting” or “coordinating with” Iraqi troops on “counter insurgency” or “counter terrorist” missions. Some US troops in Iraq WILL be shooting at people, and people will be shooting at them.

    The other problem is Iran. A huge part of why the so-called “surge” worked was because Tehran decided to tell the Shia militia in Iraq to quiet down at that time. Today, there are many thousands of Shia Iraqi militia with small arms in their homes who can be called up to re-start the civil war. This is one of the levers Iran has over the US in dealings regarding their regional influence and nuclear weapons development.

    (Another quirk in dealing with Iran is the Revolutionary Guard. I think everyone here knows that it isn’t clear whether they are under any civilian or clerical control. The very interesting/troubling factor with them is that they are following the lead of the militaries in China and Burma, and taking ownership of a substantial part of Iran’s economy. But that’s a tangent on a tangent…)

    Regarding Obama, I knew what I was buying. As a constitutional law prof at U of Chicago, he was well known for not taking much of a position on, well, anything. Who knows what he personally believes – all that matters is that were the rubber meets the road, there’s not much “there” there. He has led his life to chart a course straight down the middle. The right-wingers making fools of themselves calling him a “Marxist” or a “fascist” would be screaming “milquetoast!” if they weren’t intellectually impaired, disingenuous and reality detached.

    That said, I do give him slightly more credit than most here. It’s one thing to clean up a house after a weekend away when the kids had a semi-out-of-control party. A couple of drywall patches, some carpet scrubbing and a little paint. It’s a totally different thing if you rent your house out to some crystal meth addicts for a year. You come back to find they decided to dig holes in the lawn, cook meth in the basement, sell the appliances and the copper wiring and piping, and set part of the house on fire. Obama is cleaning up from the years of Bush/Delay/Scalia et. al. using the US as a “crack house” not just cleaning up after one mid-sized high school party.

    If you’re familiar with what it takes to restore a damaged house, you know that the first part of the project, where the structural engineer is figuring out how to shore things up, the architect is getting building permits and the contractor is getting bids from subs, seems like nothing is happening. You’re pained to stare at the damaged shell of the house and you don’t see much improvement beyond a brace on one wall and some blue plastic tarps over the hole in the roof. But once the dumpster hauls away the results of interior demolition, the roofers start putting up shingles, new windows go in and some drywall starts going up on the interior, you’ll understand that there has been hard work going on throughout the process.

  17. Buddha,

    I understand completely and now many of your earlier posts in which you referenced this matter have also “fallen into place”, so to speak.

    When I harken back to our earliest days ie., Alexander Hamilton, Jefferson, Washington, even Franklin I wonder what their collective opinion would be when it comes to our current economy and gaping holes through which many of the bad actors crawl. Would they be able to fashion a solution or were they part of the problem to begin with?

  18. Blouise,

    First I have to point out that I say economically I’m a socialist to differentiate that in this country the term “socialism” has been demonized for the last 60 years as some form of unpatriotic communism.

    It’s not.

    But the Cult of Money would have you believe otherwise.

    Where totally free and unregulated markets are the nadir of capitalism and a command economy is the nadir of communism, socialism is a mid-ground. A blended economy that recognizes neither of those extremes leads to social stability, but in fact, contribute to social discord. Socialism is an economy where some sectors (but not all) of the economy are controlled by the government to provide the maximum benefit to society instead of the individual profiteer. The Canadian health care system is a perfect example of socialism in action. To a limited degree, so is Medicare/Medicaid.

    As an economic system, it must be differentiated from a political system. A socialist economy can be paired with any kind of government. There are socialist democracies. In fact, much of Europe, including France, England, Holland, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Norway technically have socialist economies. Their forms of government range from Federal Constitutional based parliamentary democracies (like Germany . . . and the U.S. although we call our legislative branch Congress and it operates under different rules than a Parliament) to Constitutional Monarchies with a unitary parliamentary democracy (like Sweden and the U.K.).

    Economic systems are just like governmental systems which are just like any tool.

    But just like any tool, it can be misused and you do see some countries claiming to be socialists but they are either just oppressive military dictatorships using a limited command economy to placate possible internal dissent (like Burma and China) or actually Communists (like Cuba and North Korea).

    Properly utilized, socialism creates both the greatest social stability and the highest average standard of living possible for a country (see Sweden, Germany, etc.).

    Improperly used, it’s just another tool for those in power to steal (see Burma and China).

    I hope that answers your basic question.

    As to America, I think it’s clear that socializing certain segments of the economy are the only way to fix some of our problems. Namely the health care sector (which is being bled dry by insurance company parasites) and energy (as Enron, the Bush War for Oil Profits and the BP fiasco have shown that sector to be controlled by bad actors). Some might say that banks should be nationalized, but I disagree. Their problems and abuses can be addressed by regulation and strict enforcement. As in the responsible white collar criminals go to prison and forfeit all of their assets as punishment for crimes like the sub-prime loans debacle.

  19. Buddha,

    “This is exactly why I’m a socialist when it comes to economics”

    I believe anyone reading my posts would agree that when it comes to the subject of economics, I am a babe in the woods or more accurately, just plain ignorant. So, would you please explain to me what an economic socialist is … how, exactly, you define your economic philosophy. Please try to keep it as simple as possible so that I may grasp your points.

    (I have much work to do again today in preparation for tomorrow’s celebration so I may be late in responding … enjoy you day) :mrgreen:

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