Tuesday, July 20, 2004

One Happy Iraqi: Hearts and Minds and ????

CBFTW today gives us an example of cultural diffusion of Western ideas -- and skimpy underwear -- in Iraq.

Later on in the afternoon another Iraqi contractor came up to our gate and kept on saying "Massem??" What the hell is "Massem???" After 10 minutes of trying to figure out what the hell "Massem" was, we finally figured out that he was asking us if we had a Maxim magazine. In case you don't know, Maxim is one of those magazines that has all the trashy pin up photos of women in it. Every Stryker pretty much has a Maxim inside of it. The ceilings to some of the insides of the Stryker vehicles are actually covered in pin up girls from Maxims. So we lent him the latest issue, and he just sat there turning the pages with an ear to ear smile, wide eyed and saying "Good! Good!" every time there was a photo of some girl in skimpy underwear. After flipping through the Maxim, he handed it back to us, thanked us and walked off. Happy.



If a terrorist is wearing one of those flimsy dishdashis and has a mighty stiffy he is less likely to step outside of his house and cause mischief! Imagine the embarrassment trying to place an IED will the tent pole for everyone to see!

This Saturday your local high school will serve as a collection point for all of those old Victoria Secrects catalogues. They will be bundled and sent to Iraq and distributed to the general populace. (Hat tip: Tammy)

Support Our Troops! Support Operation Iraqi Boner!


Gloria Arroyo is beneath contempt in my eyes. Does anyone know if it's true that she also paid the terrorists 6 million dollars for the release of the hostage?

Many people around the world will die because of Gloria Arroyo's decision to negotiate with terrorists.

Any thoughts?


Eric over at Dagger JAG visits the town of Bayji north of Baghdad.

The town of Bayji sits along the Tigris river at the point where it has worn its way through the Jebal Hamrin, a large ridgeline that runs east-west across northern Iraq. At night, when you step outside, you can look northeast and see the flames of natural gas fires burning from the tops of smokestacks. During the war the coalition left the factories alone on purpose, understanding that they would be vital for the rebuilding process. They all escaped the rash of looting that followed in April because the citizens of Bayji banded together and protected their livlihood. Now they feel like they are being forgotten again by the new Iraqi Government.

The city itself is a hodgepodge of tribal neighborhoods and the local government, including the police and the courts, represent the blend of tribal affiliations. The courts generally work well in Bayji. We initially tried to help them with infrastructure and equipment improvements. We renovated the building, provided office furniture, built a small building outside for the local lawyers to use and provided the judges with computers. But it now seems that before we can help them become more efficient we need to help them with more substantive issues like working more closely with the police, getting better security for the courthouse, and training them to use the computers we gave them. Right now they still handwrite everything and the computers are nothing more than big paperweights.


From the YOU GOTTA LOVE THIS file: Linda Ronstadt thinks Michael Moore is a romantic Desperado???!!! Sheesh. Talk about desperate.

LOS ANGELES: Singer Linda Ronstadt was thrown out of the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas on the weekend after dedicating a song to liberal film maker Michael Moore and his movie Fahrenheit 9/11.

Ronstadt, who had been hired for a one-show engagement Saturday night at the Las Vegas Strip casino, dedicated a performance of Desperado to Moore and his controversial documentary, which criticises US President George W Bush and the US-led war in Iraq.

That dedication angered some Aladdin guests who spilled drinks, tore down posters and demanded their money back, said casino spokeswoman Sara Gorgon on Tuesday.

"We had quite a scene at the box office," she said.

About a quarter of the 4500 people in the audience got up and left before the performance had finished, Gorgon said.

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