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Thursday, December 29, 2005

A tradition of supporting both sides in war

Between 1829 and 1846, the US Military Academy at West Point graduated such luminaries as Robert E. Lee, George McLellan, Stonewall Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, P.G.T. Beauregard, and William Tecumseh Sherman. Then, between 1861 and 1865, these esteemed gentlemen and dozens of their fellow alumni proceeded to beat the crap out of each other's soldiers in America's bloodiest war. In the 1980's, the U.S. supplied weapons and other support to both sides of the very bloody Iran-Iraq war. And right now our government is spending billions to build up an Iraqi army which seems destined to break into two or three parts, ready to fight to the death in Iraq's upcoming civil war. Tom Lasseter of Knight Ridder describes how both Kurdish soldiers in the north and Shiite soldiers in the south are ready and waiting for that war to start. All of the training and arming that is a part of W's "Iraqis standing up" will likely just make that war longer and bloodier.