Monday, February 28, 2005

Saddam In A Cage to Omar Cages The Comments Section

The Sun, the Number One selling newspaper in all of Great Britain reveals that Saddam will be tried in a Hannibal Lecter like cage.

SADDAM Hussein will be forced to sit in a Hannibal Lecter-style cage during his trial.

Top-secret photos of the Baghdad courtroom being built in readiness for the deposed Iraqi dictator’s impending day of judgment are in The Sun today.

The centrepiece will be the reinforced metal cage, similar to the one used to house cannibal Lecter — played by Sir Anthony Hopkins in 1991 movie Silence of the Lambs.

What the Iraqis and the Slovak people have in common ( Via Michael Novak - The Corner)


'. . .Many of you can still recall the exhilaration of voting for the first time after decades of tyranny. And as you watched jubilant Iraqi dancing in the streets last month, holding up ink-stained fingers, you remembered Velvet Days. For the Iraqi people, this is their 1989, and they will always remember who stood with them in their quest for freedom.

"In more recent times, we have witnessed landmark events in the history of liberty. A Rose Revolution in Georgia, an Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and now a Purple Revolution in Iraq....

"Iraqis have demonstrated their courage and their determination to live in freedom, and that has inspired the world. It is the same determination we saw in Kiev's Independent Square, in Tbilisi's Freedom Square, and in this Square almost 17 years ago.'"

Omar, upset about the abuse of the facilities, lays down the Gauntlet on the Iraq The Model comments section:

Each reader will have the right to post ONLY 2 COMMENTS and nothing more than that. Any reader who violates this temporary rule will be banned for indefinite time. Moreover, anonymously posted comments will be deleted. I don't know if I'm going to have the time to keep monitoring the section but I will do my best to keep the section clean.
We have always enjoyed reading your comments and we still enjoy reading most of them but there is a number of comments that are unacceptable and can harm the reputation of this blog and it's readers as well.

This rule is active starting from this moment.

And I don't think I need to remind you that comments that incite violence and/or racism and comments that contain threats and/or effensive language are not permitted on this blog's comment section too.

A bit harsh in my opinion, but it's the Fadhils' blog and they can run it any way they want.
I hope they opt for a Lizardoid LGF Posting Etiquette and Registration System, which is less restrictive but still fruitful and engenders good on-topic conversation, humor, and interesting OT posts.

And former California Governor and current blogger Jerry Brown (Hat tip: LGF) would likely disagree with Omar's actions:

Vitriol can irritate, but it is often the price of freewheeling discussion and the discovery of important stuff.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Geopolitics Iraq...Syria...Iran...Lebanon: Rumors Of Deals And Hope For The Masses

Things are Hot and Heavy -- like a Saturday night at the Passion Pit in Encino -- in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran these days.

Ladybird of Baghdad Dweller translates an article from the Iraqi newspaper AL-MADA which alledges that
the US cut a deal with Syria not to invade or take military action against them in return for information on the Syrian-backed and Baathist insurgents in Mosul:

A secret transaction took place between the United States and Syria, supplying the side in complete information and detailed (MG says: supplying inside and detailed information) about the armed nets which Syria runs in Mosul opposite to (the Iraqi and Coalition Forces) that The United States not take (would not initiate) a military strike for (against) Syria.

American troops in their last raid on a mosque in Mosul were escorted by a person who speak Syrian accent. Eyewitnesses said. The first information reveal about 35 insurgents groups of 750 insurgent runs by Syrian intelligence in Mosul, The available information that the Syrian side delivered Baathist names in cooperative with the Syrian side and that lead to the arrest of 8 members of the Baath party.

Hmmm, I'm very skeptical. Mideast newspapers seem to be overflowing with Conspiracy theories and Hidden Agendas these days. And the stakes are too low. There has to be a much bigger payoff to the US for any non-Aggression Pact with Syria than outing out some low level Baathist and other riff-raff insurgents around Mosul. Don't think so, Ladysweetie but thanks for the translation.

The always Ebullient DEBKA meanwhile has a whopper of a story about Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi cutting deals left and right:

Allawi recently closed a three-way deal with the most influential Iraqi Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali Sistani, and the Tehran leadership for Iran to arrest him if he tries to cross the border and surrender him to Sistani in Najef. There, Zarqawi will stand trial for murdering 182 people and injuring 550 in the 2004 Ashoura massacres he orchestrated in Najef and Karbala. The Iraqi leader has not revealed how this agreement was negotiated with Tehran.

But wait, there's more: Al Qaeda’s network chiefs in Iraq have their backs to the wall but are not alone; in secret talks with Allawi, several heads of the Baathist underground guerrilla insurgency, have offered to lay down arms if Baghdad sets up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the lines of the South African forum devised by Nobel peace prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. They want the chance to confess their crimes before the commission, repent publicly, obtain a pardon and walk free. The interim prime minister is willing to consider this option quite seriously.

Zoinks! Allawi sure has been a really busy man~evidently. Who knows how much of it is true, but it sure is interesting and there's more from DEBKA, so go check out the link.

And speaking of the Geopolitics of Iran and Lebanon, the underrated - Hat Tip Instapundit says:

While they don't have troops in Lebanon, Iran is the biggest funder and trainer for Hizbollah, which control's the country's south (and typical of Mideastern "democracies", they are considered a legitimate party by the current pro-Syrian regime).

If the Cedar Revolution, which is inspired by Iraq's elections, succeeds, not only it could ignite similar revolutions (or at least reforms) in Syria and Iran. And Iran is easy to fall - according to this:

Tehran, Feb. 24 – In a recent secret report to the Iranian regime's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps pointed out that were a demonstration or rebellion to last more than six hours in Tehran, the security apparatus would no longer be able to control the situation.

And what better way to ignite revolution on the streets of Tehran than by the defeat of Iran's terrorists in Lebanon? And amid Iran's race towards nuclear weaponry, isn't getting rid of the current Mullahocracy vital? Surprisingly, the Cedar Revolution is receiving less press coverage than Ukraine's Orange Revolution. Maybe it is because Arabs and Persians don't deserve democracy?

Well, what can you say after all this? The Bowling Pins of the various Mideast Loonarcracy Regimes seem to have been struck by the Bowling Ball known as the Bush Revolution and are flying off the
lane of repression as we speak.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

From A Stinky Fish To Drinks With A Corpse And A Whole Lot in Between


MAAS, The Flower Of Mosul sees a stinky fish up close after crying about Fallujah and visiting Syria.

Kurdo is going great guns over U.S. Soldiers allegedly misbehaving at the Mazi Supermarket, Iraqi Kurdistan's largest version of a Superstore. According to the Jemaware Kurdish newspaper that Kurdo is citing, the soldiers wanted a refund for a month-old copier they had purchased there. When the store offered to repair it, not refund it, the soldier's commander ordered his men to break open the safe, from which they stole money, and then they headed back to Mosul... Hmmmm! I don't know?

Riverbend spoke to her outdoor neighborhood grocer, and I know this will come as a shock, Iraq is going to be turned into Iran, is what she told him. The poor Iraqi women are going to be subjugated and sublimated. And wither the Kurdish women of Iraq, Riverbend?

Promising Iraqi Blogger, A Free Writer is asking for help and donations for the Thalassemia Society in Ninavah (Ninevah) which aids Iraqis affected by blood disorders and diseases. He also gives praise to Fayrouz for her "Building Bridges post, and talks about UFOs and the Tsunami (scroll down). Check him out.

Father of Najma, Dr. Truth Teller from Mosul is passing kidney stones right and left these days and discusses the nature of the disorder and its genesis in the Iraq - Iran War, where he was a medical officer.

HNKdaughter of Dr. Truth Teller is sick, perhaps caused by her flooded-out, dilapidated school, which reminds me of a condemned, abandoned Haunted House I once explored. . .

A car ran over Baghdad Girl's foot but apparently the injury was minor. Check out the Cat Blogger's latest batch of cute felines.

Emigre and Rich Santer have a minor screamfest. . .

And oh yeah, Hunter S. Thompson's lovely young wife -- Dr Gonzo was marrying them young in the end -- has drinks with his corpse. Hope she at least tidied up the bullet holes. Heh!

Our Tax Dollars at Work

Academia went into melt-down mode during the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Historians, mobilizing in their particular fashion, got together and formed a group called Historians Against the War and produced the following founding statement:
At a meeting on the evening of Friday, January 3, 2003, at the 117th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in Chicago, historians from more than forty colleges and universities agreed to form a new national network, "Historians Against the War." A committee was appointed to draft the following statement:

We historians call for a halt to the march towards war against Iraq. We are deeply concerned about the needless destruction of human life, the undermining of constitutional government in the U.S., the egregious curtailment of civil liberties and human rights at home and abroad, and the obstruction of world peace for the indefinite future.

Any historian can endorse and circulate this statement. Signatures should be mailed to Van Gosse, Department of History, Franklin & Marshall College, PO Box 3003, Lancaster PA 17604, or emailed to

As of April 28, 2003, 2209 people had signed this statement.
Then in September, 2003, they updated their condemnation:
Historians Against the War
Statement on the U.S. Occupation of Iraq
(September 21, 2003)

As historians, teachers, and scholars, we oppose the expansion of United States empire and the doctrine of pre-emptive war that have led to the occupation of Iraq. We deplore the secrecy, deception, and distortion of history involved in the administration's conduct of a war that violates international law, intensifies attacks on civil liberties, and reaches toward domination of the Middle East and its resources. Believing that both the Iraqi people and the American people have the right to determine their own political and economic futures (with appropriate outside assistance), we call for the restoration of cherished freedoms in the United States and for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

As of January 20, 2005, 1554 people had signed this statement and become members of HAW.
Oh, and now look at what those EVIL YANKEE IMPERIALISTS have done!

Successful elections in Iraq. Over 8 million defiant Purple Fingers! How awful!

The Syrians are talking of leaving Lebanon. Those brutes!

Mubarak has had a sudden change of heart and now thinks that other parties being allowed to compete might not be such a bad idea after all. Steeenking Yankees!


Thursday, February 24, 2005

The In T View: Fayrouz Hancock

The In T View: Fayrouz Hancock

Fayrouz Hancock, the delightful doyenne of the Dallas - Fort Worth metropolitan
area is one of the premiere Iraqi Christian Bloggers in the world through her Blog: Live From Dallas . In the In T View, she details her thoughts on Iraq and a wide variety of subjects:

MG: How are you?

Fayrouz: I can't be better :-)

MG: Were you excited by the vast participation of Iraqis in the recent election?

Fayrouz: For sure I was. Iraqi voters made me proud. They defied all odds.

MG: What were your emotions like on Election Day?

Fayrouz: I couldn't believe what I saw on TV. It was a very emotional day for many of us.

MG: Did your relatives and friends still in Iraq have an opportunity to vote or were they effected by some of the ballot irregularities?

Fayrouz: I'm not sure if they participated or not. But, my parents did vote in Detroit.

MG: Did anything about the elections surprise you?

Fayrouz: What surprises me the most is the people who couldn't swallow the events of that day. They're still calling the elections a failure. That's offennce the Iraqi people.

MG: Fay, could we get a little bit into your background. I believe you're of Chaldean descent?

Fayrouz: I'm a Chaldean Catholic. It goes back to many generations in my family. My dad's uncle was a priest. My mom's first cousin was a bishop. So, you see we're into Catholicism :-)

MG: Are most Iraqi Christians Chaldean?

Fayrouz: Most of Iraqi Christians are either Chaldeans or Assyrians. The rest are Roman Orthodox, Syriac Catholics, Protestants and Latin Catholics. I hope I didn't forget any other sector.

MG: Fay, you're a strong advocate of Christian Rights in Iraq - The Christians seem to have taken a beating in Post War Iraq, being affected by both the insurgent terrorists and Islamic extremists - How bad has it been?

Fayrouz: It has been very bad in Basrah for the Christian women and business owners in particular. The only part of Iraq where Christians' lives haven't changed is in Kurdistan. The harassment they encountered by different groups during the last two years forced many of them to leave the country for safer countries.

MG: Do you think the new Iraqi government will take steps to protect Christians and other Iraqi minorities?

Fayrouz: I sure hope so. Only time can tell.

MG: You've done quite a bit of charity work for Iraq through your blog - Is there a favorite group or charity that you encourage people to donate to?

Fayrouz: Any charity that delivers goods to orphans or kids with disabilities would be on top of my list. I listed the charities and groups I like on my sidebar. They mostly work with children.

MG: Now Fay, are Iraqi and Kurdish Women, truly the most beautiful women in the Middle East?

Fayrouz: Yes, they are. OK, maybe I'm a bit biased here :-) Turkish, Persian (Iranian), Syrian, Kurdish and Iraqi women are on the top of the list.

MG: Fay, what was your happiest memory of your years in Iraq?

Fayrouz: You can pick up any moment before the start of Iran-Iraq war. That was the best time of my life in Iraq.

MG: Is there something different or unique about Iraq as a country that says this is Iraq? Like a smell in the air or the kindness/friendliness of the people, or even pests like mosquitoes or ferocious stray dogs?

Fayrouz: We do have stray dogs. They tried to control them once in my neighborhood by shooting them at night. Most people have a cat or two living in their garden. Basrah is unique with its summer weather. Sharji as we call it is when the humidity level goes up to 100%, your clothes stick to your body and you feel that you can't breath. That's when you know you're definitely in Basra. Basrawis were the most generous and friendly people I've ever met in my life. If I can go back in time, I wouldn't exchange my years in Basra with any other city in Iraq including Baghdad.

MG: Have you ever seen a scorpion?

Fayrouz: Nope. Only on TV.

MG: Are they more frightening in person than what the average Americans sees on National Geographic or the Animal Planet?

Fayrouz: I know Omar and Ays had a horrible experience with a scorpion last year while working in Basra. Lucky me, never had their experience.

MG: War Zone- Basra: Fay, I believe during the Iraqi-Iran war you were trapped in Basra - What was that like for a young girl to see War up close and personal?

Fayrouz: I tried to make the best of it. I studied hard. Finished my studies with honors. I dated to make sure time passes quickly. When you're trapped in a war zone and the only leisure you have is a phone line, you better have someone with a nice voice to talk to on the other side of the line :-)

MG: What was the thing that most shocked you, when you first arrived in the United States?

Fayrouz: I'm still shocked with the portions of food served in American restaurants. It's scary.

MG: Let's talk about your Blog: Live From Dallas and Blogging in general. How did you get interested in blogging?

Fayrouz: I guess Zeyad made me interested in blogging. He's my blogging inspiration. I wish he would blog more often.

MG: How did Live From Dallas come about?

Fayrouz: I don't know. It just happened and it's doing well. I'm actually amazed with myself. I think wherever there are politics, there's something to blog about.

MG: Is it a labor of love for you or more like an addiction, where you start to feel withdrawn if you don't post anything?

Fayrouz: It's becoming an addiction in a good way. It keeps my information up-to-date.

MG: Fay, final question, have you ever seen a ghost?

Fayrouz: No I never did. But, when we were in elementary school, my friends and I were interested in ghosts. We read many scary books. They kept us entertained and scared. My sister-in-law in a medium. It's not fun to talk to dead people. Take care, Fay

Lebanese Protest Leader Credits Iraq Liberation With The Power Of His Movement

Faiza doesn't seem to have any problem with Syria occupying Lebanon now going on two decades with no timetable for withdrawal.

In this column, David Ingnatius is on the ground in Lebanon with the protestors in Beirut:
The leader of this Lebanese intifada is Walid Jumblatt, the patriarch of the Druze Muslim community and, until recently, a man who accommodated Syria's occupation. But something snapped for Jumblatt last year, when the Syrians overruled the Lebanese constitution and forced the reelection of their front man in Lebanon, President Emile Lahoud. The old slogans about Arab nationalism turned to ashes in Jumblatt's mouth, and he and Hariri openly began to defy Damascus.
"It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq," explains Jumblatt. "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world." Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."
YIKES! Oh nevermind, for a second there I thought Paul Wolfowitz was standing behind me.

(I have GOT to stop doing this!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Six Times

Six times!

Did you hear me?

Six times!

That's how many times my head spun around while reading Faiza Jarrar's latest blog entry.

We have two blogging families in the Iraqi Blogosphere, the Fadhils and the Jarrars.

Man, talk about contrast.

Reading the Jarrars is like living in Mayberry, but with THE MUNSTERS!

I'll get into the details later. My soup is getting cold right now. While I'm eating, you can read Faiza's post and count how many times your own head spins. Believe me, it's a wild ride. Maybe it's her homage to Hunter S. Thompson?

Whaddaya think?


Oh yeah, THANKS so much to Mister Ghost and CMAR II for joining me here at Iraqi Bloggers Central. You guys are doing a great job!


Sam Jumps The Gun A Little Bit On The Next Iraqi PM

Sam at Hammorabi jumps the gun a little bit as to the
identity of the next Iraqi PM:

Ibrahem Al Jaafari is the next PM of Iraq

After the withdrawal of Ahmed Chalabi IJ become the nominated candidate for the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) to be the first elected PM for the next 10 months before the general election.

Difficult tasks are awaiting the new government and on the top of them are the security issue but not less than that is the reconstruction. President Bush in his visit to Europe today was successful in getting NATO's involvement in training the Iraqi forces and police. In deed it is better for Iraq to be somehow part of the NATO in future.

Jaafari should not think twice about justice and punishment for all terrorists. They should be crushed fully. Immediate trial for the dictator and his thugs should start sooner. . .

DEBKA counters:
Iraq’s main Shiite alliance chooses Ibrahim al-Jaafari, vice president and leader of Daawa party, its nominee for prime minister. DEBKAfile adds: Two-thirds national assembly majority required for Jaafari to replace Iyad Allawi as prime minister. Both bidding for Kurdish support.

So, Allawi could still sneak in there. Highly doubtful, but in Mideast Politics nothing can be taken for granted.

Madness At The ITM Comments Section

Check out Iraq The Model's Comments Section for the post Comparing Tyrannies, as some major madness seems to be afoot:



andrea/itm pj/minnesota

And then there's Liberal Blogger -- and he trolls quite a bit -- Gandhi's bombardment with his usual spiel, many times over in bold letters:







Whoooooo. Must be something in the air or good mimicry. To help the real or faux Gandhi out, here are my very own:

Top Ten Omar And Mohammed Evils According To Gandhi

Number 10. Reading Iraq The Model will cause Erectile Dysfunction,
thus forcing you to take Viagra or Clialis and run the risk of having four
hour erections, in which case you must immediately consult your doctor or
start filming Porn Movies.

Number 9. Omar and Mohammed Wiped Out The Dinosaurs.

Number 8. If you look closely, you'll see that Omar and Mohammed
kill Kenny in every episode of South Park.

Number 7. Omar and Mohammed got Star Trek: Enterprise cancelled, thus
breaking the hearts of Millions of Trekkers world wide.

Number 6: Omar and Mohammed bear the Mark Of The Beast - 666
beneath their mustaches, and thus should be renamed Damien I and
Damien II.

Number 5: Omar and Mohammed engaging in an Imperalistic,
Hegemonic, American-financed assault on Iraqi TV by co-producing
Desperate Iraqi Housewives.

Number 4: Omar and Mohammed were responsible for the devastating
earthquake and typhoon that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives
in Asia (Oh wait a minute, that should be in Gandhi's Top Ten Evils
Of George Bush).

Number 3: Reading Iraq The Model drove Hunter S. Thompson to
end it all (that, and half the pharmaceutical supplies in Colorado).

Number 2: Omar and Mohammed named Bowlers of the Month in CIA
Ten Pin League.

And the Number 1 Omar and Mohammed Evil:

Omar and Mohammed stole Michael Jackson's Real Nose
and won't give it back.

Ladybird Is On Fire

Ladybird at Baghdad Dweller calls for the banning of Barbaric Shia Rituals:

For more than thousand year ago and Shia keeping this barbaric rituals, torturing their bodies, wounding themselves and forcing their children to participate.
What is the role of their religion leaders?, Al-Sistani, Al-Hakim and the others if not forbidding this? while they don’t do it themselves, in Lebanon Shia leaders “Hizb Alaah” Banned this bloody rituals, this the time for the Shia leaders in Iraq to do the same.
Is this the image Shia wants to show the whole world about their believes? If they are so keen about bloodshed why they don’t fight against the terrorist in Rumadi and Fallujha? At least they will get the real martyrdom or the blood will shed for a real cause."

Ladybird also delves into the more comedic aspects of Porn Channels and Al Jazeera available for the same fee on Netherland's Digital TV. Check the Sweet Lady out. . .

Monday, February 21, 2005

Peyamner Reports Osama bin Laden Has Been Captured by Iranian Forces

Peyamner reported Saturday that a member of the "American Security" informed them that Osama bin Laden is currently under guard in the Baluchistan region of SE Iran.

According to this source, he was captured three weeks ago while attempting to cross into Iran from the Vaziristan province of Pakistan. The Vaziris had begun to consider bin Laden's presence among them a burden after recent strikes against them by the Pakistan national army.

The source asserts that the Iranians are holding bin Laden as a potential barganing chip in its current talks with the US and Europeans.

Thanks to Medya for translating this for me.

According to Medya, bin Laden might have believed that he would receive safe haven in Baluchistan since the Baluch's are Sunni Muslims like him. They might have expected him to be as hostile to the Iranian Shi'a leadership as they are.


The Iranian goverment is denying that they have arrested bin Laden.
"This information is wrong and bin Laden has not been arrested by our security forces," government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said at a weekly press briefing.
(from Drudge)

Of course this is not a denial that bin Laden is in Iran or even that they have him under guard.

We Are Iraq The Model Nation

Legendary Iraqi Blogger Omar Fadhil sent me a
life-affirming note about this, so I thought I'd
repost it. . .

We Are The ITM Nation - The ITM Nation

An average day in the life of a citizen of the Iraq The Model Nation. . .

My ITM Talking Alarm Clock (with the voice of
Mom Fadhil) woke me up this morning at 4:10 A.M.:
"WAKE UP, sleepy son of mine. You got your necessary two hours of sleep. You must start your 80 hour work week now. No time to waste! You have many patients to see, many teeth to pull, many words to write, many people to visit to spread Democracy in Iraq.

You must feed your pets, eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, make your mother proud of her son. And why aren't you married yet? Start looking for a wife.
When will you provide me with a grandson?"

Quickly escaping from the bed and the chattering clock, I put on my ITM Brand Duckie Slippers - with a quack in every step - and made
my way to the bathroom. "Quack. . .quack. . .quack. . .
quack. . .quack ." Hmm, ITM Duckie Slippers are a bit annoying, but they do sure look cute.

Reaching the flush, I sat down on the Enhanced ITM Brand Fur-Covered Toilet Seat with Super Heating Coil Element for cold weather. Sweeeeet, and warm. I did my morning duty, and then
reached for the ITM Brand "Saddam, Eat Merde and Die" triple-ply toilet paper, with the face of Saddam on every sheet. Great toilet paper,
flushed down real easy, and Saddam wasn't looking too pleased with the results.

Then a quick shower, shave; and breakfast, where I sat down at my kitchen table and had a big bowl of Captain ITM Crunch. Mmmm - mmmm , a big bountiful heaping of natural sugary goodness in
every spoonful.

Then, back to the bathroom to brush my teeth with Fadhil's of Iraq Clove Toothpaste, the brand favored by 9 out of 10 Iraqi dentists. No other
brand of toothpaste leaves your teeth so sparkling clean and your breath so dentistry fresh. If you don't see the date trees on the package, you
know it's not Fadhil's of Iraq.

Headed out of the house, locked the door, and got into my brand new Ford ITM Explorer with Mega-Traction four wheel drive, all leather interior, and Super DVD Wet Bar. You can never go wrong with an ITM Explorer.

Arrived at the Top Secret Research Lab buried somewhere under Dulce, New Mexico and much to my surprise, the boss had had
installed new Straight-From-The-Aliens-ITM-Ware PCs. "Yesssss," I practically shrieked, "there is a God!" as I used the massive processing power of the dual Omar-Mohammed ITM chip set to play Code Of Honor: Alien Abduction Baghdad, while simultaneously simulating the massive Tunguska Explosion in Siberia, thus proving my hypothesis that it was caused by a Warp Core Breach.

On my break, took a walk out to where we keep the Bodies of the Roswell Aliens and lit up a Fadhil Menthol, with ten times the nicotine addiction of your average brand of cigarette. Offered Mikey,
the talking squirrel from Reticuli a smoke, but he was sticking to ITM Reese's Pieces; and Spike, the one-armed, Mah-Jong playing chimpanzee with a bad case of the mange was more interested
in his bag of Fiddle Fadhil, the Number One Snack Food in all of the Mideast and the Alpha Quadrant.

Yes, we sure are Proud Members of ITM Nation.

Khalid Jarrar Reveals That He is Pro-Occupation

(I'm posting this in thanks to Jeffrey for offering me a resort for sporatic OCB (obsessive-compulsive blogging)

In his most recent post Khalid Jarrar spins his own explanation for the massive turn-out of Iraqis risking murder to purple their fingers and cast their votes:

I wrote,and others wrote about the elections being a fraud, and I still believe in that, and that they are nothing but an American step to legitimize the occupation, and we all talked about the reasons that make us think that, but wait a moment, why did Iraqis go to vote then? Why did they buy the tickets of this theatre, that coasted many lives, and risked all the lives of the ones that voted? A tricky one, ha? [...] All voters had two main goals, that they were hoping to have by voting... to get the basic life needs of water and electricity etc etc.. And the second, and more important reason is, to get the occupation out!

Ah! Interesting! So the massive turn-out was an "anti-Occupation" demonstration!

In that case, those that boycotted the elections must have been FOR the Occupation.

Welcome to the ranks of the pro-Occupiers, Khalid!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson: Death By Double Barrel

Hunter S. Thompson, a man whose heart was as big as his liver is no more after a successful suicide (Hat Tip Drudge) in his Fortified Woody Creek, Colorado Compound. He went out with both barrels blazing no doubt, scaring away his famed peacocks from absconding with his always plentiful stash of inebriants and hallucinogens, and who would have expected anything less from the Father of Gonzo journalism.

Hunter was "completely insane" as ESPN's Bill Simmons was fond of saying and he had to be to
produce the quality of literary incantations that issued forth over the years: Hells Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Great Shark Hunt, Generation of Swine, Songs of the Doomed, Better Than Sex, and other less luminary lights.

He seemed however in recent times to be a man outside of his element, lost in the footholds of a more radical past, as the country he loved,
embraced a more conservative path.

His books now will become bigger cult items and there's sure to be one or two movies made about his larger than life persona. Hopefully better than the past movies made about his larger than life persona.

When the going gets weird, the weird has now turned dead and we are all the less for it.

Give 'em Zell!!!

Zell Miller will always have a warm spot in my heart after he challenged Chris Matthews to a fist-fight during the Republican national convention last summer. Seeing that boot shoved in Matthews' Non-stop Surrender Monkey Motor-Mouth was priceless. (Hat Tip: Papa Ray)

And now Zell imagines what the coverage of Iwo Jima would be like if left to today's journalists.
What if today's reporters had covered the Marines landing on Iwo Jima, a small island in the far away Pacific Ocean, in the same way they're covering the war in Iraq? Here's how it might have looked:


With the aid of satellite technology, Cutie Cudley interviews Marine Pfc. John Doe, who earlier came ashore with 30,000 other Marines.

Cutie: "John, we have been told by the administration that this island has great strategic importance because if you're successful, it could become a fueling stop for our bombers on the way to Japan. But, as you know, we can't be sure this is the truth. What do you think?"

Pfc. Doe: "Well, I've been pinned down by enemy fire almost ever since I got here and have had a couple of buddies killed right beside me. I'm a Marine and I go where they send me. One thing's for sure, they are putting up a fight not to give up this island."

Cutie: "Our military analysts tell us that the Japanese are holed up in caves and miles of connecting tunnels they've built over the years. How will you ever get them out?"

Pfc. Doe: "With flame throwers, ma'am."

Cutie (incredulously): "Flame throwers? You'll burn them alive?"

Pfc. Doe: "Yes ma'am, we'll fry their asses. Excuse me, I shouldn't have said that on TV."

Cutie (audible gasp): "How horrible!"

Pfc. Doe (obviously wanting to move on): "We're at war ma'am."


Cutie to camera: "No one has yet really confirmed why this particular battle in this particular place is even being waged. Already, on the first day, at least 500 Marines have been killed and a thousand wounded. For this? (Camera pans to a map with a speck of an island in the Pacific. Then a close up of nothing but black volcanic ash). For this? For this?" (Cutie's sweet voice becomes more strident as it fades out.)


FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a registered Democrat. Last summer's Democratic national convention was the most mind-numbingly boring exercise in posturing I have ever witnessed. The Republicans kicked arse with Guiliani, Zell, and Arnold. No contest. The Democrats are imploding. And, mark my word, John Kerry will try to run again in 2008. But the Return of Flipper will have all the success of the Gilligan's Island return-to-the-island movies.


It's Been A Ghoulish Past Few Days In Iraq

But soon Hil. Clinton will have departed and the Iraqis can get back to the task of rebuilding and reconstructing.

If you want a Body Count on the attacks centering on the Shi'ite holy day of Ashoura, pick up any Major Metropolitan daily. The Boston Globe says
over 100 have been hurt and it seems the death count will reach that level too.
While it's hard to shed any positive light on such an occurrance, one can say
that of the millions of celebrants, only a very miniscule percentage were
affected, and that last year in Karbala alone, 180 were killed. So progress
amidst the blood-stained edifices of land of Sumer has been made, and hopefully
continues to be made.

Fay of Live From Dallas has an interesting email from Mithal Al-Alousil describing yet another assassination attempt.
Boy, they really do hate this guy with a passion:

Dear all

I would like to inform you that my house has been attacked today 2005- 2- 16 by the terrorists again and this is the third attack through a week ,They are insisting to kill me.

I have been shocked when I called policemen , they didn’t come immediately and they were so careless.

God bless you

Best regards


DPIN Baghdad
Tel.: +964 7901 711 640

Kurdo is floating a petition for the next President of Iraq -- which appears to be fellow Kurd Jalal Talabani -- to Blog from his office. Isn't the Presidency of Iraq a largely ceremonial position? So, you might as well get your money's worth out of the guy.

Kurdo also informs us Talabani speaks 5 - 7 languages. Who does he think he is, Dikembe Mutumbo? No, if he was Mutumbo he'd be building hospitals and visiting strip clubs.

Hey, I thought that Kurdish women
were suppose to be the most beautiful women in the Middle East? Now Talabani's wife is being described by a Commentator at Kurdo's, as being like the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz. Does she ever say, "I'm melting, I'm melting?" Maybe when Talabani hands her his paycheck.

And in his most recent post, Kurdo is taking on a Turkish blogger in the always fissionable Kurdish-Turkish relations.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I Find Riverbend And Janeane Garofalo Sexy

I like Lesbians too. Hey, we all have our weaknesses.

Iraqi Blogger Ahmed, who's the father of famed Mideast Catblogger Raghda,
seems to be very depressed, and crying
out for help, quoting Nixon:

" A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits."
President R. M. Nixon

- I am on the verge of quitting, so if I leave this country to avoid quitting, what will this action be considered?

Wow, when you're quoting Nixon, you know you are depressed,
but fortunately some hope is offered in the end. . .

HNK brings us the thoughts of an Iraqi girl who wants to kill her classmate. Fortunately, it's only a dream. . .
Wait until she gets older and dreams of killing her husband for leaving his dirty underwear piling up on the floor. I think that's what happened to Lorena Bobbit, but she had bad aim.

Who's Teaching This Course, Raed Jarrar?

Via LGF & King Lizardoid Charles,
we learn that prestigous Harvard University will be educating Iraqi Students on the subtleties of US Imperialism. . .

Iraqi students visiting Harvard University will be exposed to the best of American higher learning, including a course titled, "Gender and the Cultures of US Imperialism." Democracy Project has the rest of the story.

Hmmm, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that alleged US Imperalism responsible for allowing Iraqis the freedom to attend Harvard in the first place?

Najma, from A Star from Mosul has the latest photo (scroll down a bit) of the Iraqi Baby we've all watched grow on the Internet: Aya, who's as cute as Pamela, from Atlas Shrugged, the temptress of my dreams, I think.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Armor Geddon Heading Home

Neil at Armor Geddon is heading home, but he has promised us that he will finish the rest of his Fallujah saga. Meanwhile, he tells us about a little episode from a few days ago.
The other day, we were escorting the deputy governor to Baqubah when a guy pulled up to us and blew himself up in his car, while trying to take us out. Hilarious! He only managed to kill himself. The BEST part is that his jackass terrorist friend was videotaping it and Al-Jazeera aired it, reporting that a bomber rammed the deputy governor and 3 Americans died. Our only casualty was a slightly cracked windshield. And he didn't ram us, he pulled off on the shoulder and detonated. Does Dan Rather work for Al-Jazeera? If anyone can tell me where to find that video clip on the internet, a lot of us in my company are curious as to whether they taped it while hiding in a certain village.


I'm sitting here -- in my ripped blue jeans, of course -- and thinking back to that arse-licking interview that Dan Rather had with Saddam Hussein before the war. Does anyone remember that? Man, what a fricking joke.

Does anyone remember the last news article that Peter Arnett ever wrote? Yeah, the one he typed just after being raised onto the shoulders of jubilant Iraqis in Baghdad's Sadr City and being marched around shouting, "Bush! Bush!"

Heh heh indeed, to quote Glenn Reynolds.

Can we please fly Dan Rather and Peter Arnett and Michael Moore onto some remote island and set up some Survivor-type scenario.

Now THAT would be Must-See TV!


Peggy Noonan has written a very good piece on blogs and journalism.


Steven Vincent was in Karbala during last year's Ashura. As usual, he tells a gripping story that also includes on-the-money analysis.


Riverbend really outdoes herself today. She tells us about a conversation she had with the guy that sells vegetables down the street. She had walked there hoping to whip up a little anti-American fervor in him.
“So do you still think the Americans want to turn Iraq into another America? You said last year that if we gave them a chance, Baghdad would look like New York.” I said in reference to a conversation we had last year. E. gave me a wary look and tried to draw my attention to some onions, “Oh hey- look at the onions- do we have onions?”
It doesn't take much to feel Riverbend's anticipation for a lovely bashing of the Americans. The Baathist has flown out of her Bat Cave and is perched on top of the cow and ready to drink some blood.
Abu Ammar shook his head and sighed, “Well if we’re New York or we’re Baghdad or we’re hell, it’s not going to make a difference to me. I’ll still sell my vegetables here.”

Riverbend wasn't expecting this answer. Clearly ticked off that Abu Ammar isn't going to froth at the mouth about the "occupation," she moved on to the next target.
I nodded and handed over the bags to be weighed. “Well… they’re going to turn us into another Iran. You know list 169 means we might turn into Iran.” Abu Ammar pondered this a moment as he put the bags on the old brass scale and adjusted the weights.
That ought to piss him off, we can hear Riverbend thinking.
And is Iran so bad?” He finally asked.
WTF! Riverbend, the Doleful Dame of Baghdad is NOW Baathically Pissed Off!

What an ungrateful jerk this Abu Ammar has turned out to be! He's not a knee-jerk Anti-American and he doesn't want to hang a few Shia for fun. How our long-suffering Uber-Hero Riverbend pines for the old days when they would have tossed his ass into Abu Ghraib and pulled out the jumper cables!

What's left for Riverbend?
Well no, Abu Ammar, I wanted to answer, it’s not bad for *you* - you’re a man… if anything your right to several temporary marriages, a few permanent ones and the right to subdue females will increase. Why should it be so bad? Instead I was silent. It’s not a good thing to criticize Iran these days. I numbly reached for the bags he handed me, trying to rise out of that sinking feeling that overwhelmed me when the results were first made public.
Of course, of course. NOW the Shia victory at the polls is a feminist issue.

And then for good measure, Riverbend spends the rest of her entry pissing on the Shia and their "immoderate" views of Islam.

Riverbend, the Doleful Dame of Baghdad, later returned to her Baathist Bat Cave a little less sure of her THOUSAND-YEAR REICH.

Well, at least she got off the couch.


Baghdad becoming New York?!

Now everyone here knows that I have the greatest respect for my Iraqi friends, but to Abu Ammar and Riverbend and E. I say . . .



All Heck Is Breaking Loose

Next to Iraq in Syria.

has gone Multiple Info Crazy:

DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report: Syrian forces have begun distributing first 10,000 side-arms to 1.4 million Syrian workers in Lebanon and local pro-Damascus factions.
They acted after Lebanese opposition declared “democratic uprising for independence,” demanding pro-Damascus government resign, Syrians leave and UN probe Hariri assassination.
DEBKAfile adds: Druse leader Jumblatt heads initiative backed by all Christian factions, most Sunni Muslims and Shiite elements. Anti-government rally in Shiite Baalbek Saturday. These rival Lebanese factions unite for first time for unprecedented civil uprising in Arab world. Pro-Syrian tourism minister steps down.

US, French and Israeli intelligence have solid evidence that Syrian military intelligence orchestrated Hariri assassination. Earlier, Syrian president fired service chief Gen. Hassan Khalil, replaced him with own brother-in-law Gen. Asaf Shuwkat.

Meamwhile, we learn via Rantburg that Syria has replaced its Intelligence Chief. The conjecture is he initiated the Hariri assassination and miscalculated the blowback effect that its perpetration has ensued.

And of course, the Mad Mullahs of Iran wouldn't be the Mad Mullahs of Iran without sticking their heads in the sand and shooting themselves in the ass, as they've pledged their support for their fellow rogue terrorist state Syria. Birds of fluttering feathers, flock together. And then crash into the great refuse heap of History. Suckers!

The Great Wretchard from the Belmont Club is excerpting a Fouad Ajami article on Syrian injustices and American inaction:

the Syrian arsonists had come to be seen as the fire brigade of a volatile Lebanese polity. A generation ago, the Pax Americana averted its gaze from the Syrian destruction of the last vestige of Lebanon's independence: In 1990-91, America had acquiesced when the Syrians put down the rebellion of a patriotic Lebanese officer, Michel Aoun, whose cause represented the devotion of the Christian Maronites to the ancestral independence of their country. That was the price paid by President George Herbert Walker Bush for enlisting Syria in the coalition that waged war against Saddam Hussein for his grab of Kuwait. Pity the Lebanese: They had cedars, Kuwait had oil. We would restore Kuwait's sovereignty as we consigned the Lebanese to their terrible fate in that big Syrian prison.

Will the Lebanese toss the Syrians and their troops out of Lebanon? We hope so.
A united Lebanon and its people is another step forward for Democracy in the Middle East.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Hello Everybody, I'm Mister Ghost And You're Not

And that may be fortunate for you. I want to thank Professor Jeff for the opportunity to post on his fine blog, as I appreciate any bit of positive tidings these days after undergoing a miasma of death the last two to three years.

My Uncle and his wife died, my Foster Sister began her eternal sleep, My Mother moved on to the Home of the Angels, a cousin or two fielded their last breaths, and my Great Aunt Carmalina took her Italian culinary skills to the other plane.
One cat took the big kitty walk, and one of my favorite pets, Loveable but Dumb Jasper the Cat
got hit by a car. And Lucky Me had the fortune of finding his lifeless body.

Oh yeah, and my pacemaker died and the doctor told me I wouldn't survive the weekend. But here I am still amongst the living, because where there's life, there's hope.

And that applies to both our Iraqi friends and I.

Ripped Blue Jeans and Tennies

Omar has written a great post on the power of pajamas, so I thought I would tell everyone what I wear when I'm blogging. Instead of pajamas, I wear this old, old pair of blue jeans that are busted out at the knees and the crotch and part of the rear. They are very comfortable (and breezy) but, as you can imagine, I can only wear them at home. If I wore them outside, I would probably be arrested for indecency. Do you remember those blue jeans Neil Young used to wear (circa "After the Gold Rush")? They look like those, except mine do not have the embroidered patches, just frayed rips. And then a light cotton T-shirt and on my feet basic old-fashioned tennis shoes. After teaching all day, I jump into my jeans, fire up the computer, and start my snooping around the blogosphere.

Like Omar, I too am exhausted from the mad run-up to the Iraqi elections. The elections, for me as a friend of the Iraqis, were a amazing success. Over 8 million Iraqis voted! Let Raed Jarrar suck on that!

Faiza Jarrar has written a very even-handed entry on the elections. As I have said more than once, Faiza may be conflicted but I trust her response more than Raed's and Khalid's.

Sad. Sad. Sad. Last night I ran into one of my colleagues at university who asked me what I thought about him showing Fahrenheit 9-11 to his students. A joke, right? Nope. Can you imagine? 8 million Iraqis just voted for the first time in their lives and this numbskull wants to show his students Michael Moore's kite-flying flick?!

And stand by. Soon, if we can get the technical details fixed, Mister Ghost will co-blog here with me. You all know the two-time Zing!Zing!Zing! Award Winner, right? He's very good.


Do you guys remember CBFTW's "My War" blog? It was really good and then it got shut down. I started linking to it early on and was saddened to see it mothballed. I stop by today and learn that Colby Buzzell has a book deal and a chapter of the book is in the latest Esquire! Here's the the press release CB clipped onto his blog:
NEW YORK, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- G.P. Putnam's Sons is publishing the personal experiences of twenty-eight-year-old U.S. Army soldier Colby Buzzell. His book, My War, will offer uncensored stories that bring home the chilling realities of war. Buzzell's incisive reportage and brutally honest take on the war were first filed as entries in a web log, My War, that he created as a way to tell the world about what was really happening in Iraq. Buzzell's book will delve further into his personal experiences as a 20-something soldier in the line of fire.
Putnam will publish the book in hardcover in fall 2005, with a paperback edition to be published by Berkley in 2006.

Before enlisting in the Army at age twenty-six, Colby Buzzell (now twenty-eight) was living in California, jumping from one low-paying job to the next. He joined the military because he was "sick of living my life in oblivion." After he was deployed to Iraq, he quickly discovered that his life would never be the same again. On the ground near Mosul with First Battalion, 23rd Regiment, toting heavy weaponry amidst "guerilla warfare, urban-style," Buzzell was disturbed by how the war he was fighting was being reported - both by major news agencies and soldier-written blogs. In June 2004, Buzzell started his own blog, My War, and it offers a glimpse of his innate ability to chronicle the essence of war and its powerful impact on him and the world.

Mr. Highfill commented, "My War is already being compared by some early readers to the classics of combat and youth ... Heller's Catch-22 and Herr's Dispatches."


The paperback edition of David Zucchino's Thunder Run is out now and I read it over the weekend. Zucchino offers the reader a amazingly detailed account of the April 5 and April 7 thunder runs. Those who talk of "cakewalk" should be required to read this book, along with Evan Wright's Generation Kill.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Response to Harriri's Death

Sandmonkey has written a very good post in response to Rafik Harriri's death.
I don't care what anyone says or about the crazy talk dejour that will involve some sort of Americans/israeli/zionist/imperialist conspiracy theory to create a wedge between the arabs and divide them.Hell, Iran already blamed Israel. This is simply bullshit. The arabs are divided as it is and no one needed to create a wedge between lebanon and syria. Ask any lebanese person and he will tell you that he wants the syrians out. If living in the middle-east has taught me anything it's that things are never that complicated. Any story that involves an explanation longer then 2 sentences is probably bullshit or an excuse to hide or cover -up a screw-up of some sort. There is no unknown terrorist group behind it; there is no american/ israeli conspiracy. The syrians did it, cause the man was leading the opposition to get them out. One sentence. End of story. Thank you very much.

Now, all that we can hope for, is that the man's death doesn't end in vain. Let's hope the lebanese opposition takes the opprutunity and the momentum and starts a movement to get the syrians out, hopefully with the increased pressure and support of the Bush adminstration. Let's all hope for a free lebanon and for the syrian baathist bastards to get the hell out. That was Rafik Harriri's goal and dream. Let's hope it also becomes his legacy.
Read the whole entry.


GM at Big Pharaoh grabs a copy of Al-Ahram off the newsstand and checks out the order of stories on the front page.
I have a lovely habit. Every morning I pick up my Al Ahram paper, the number one paper in Egypt, to see how they prioritize their headlines on the front page. This tends to give me an indication of what the paper wants to convey as "important" and as "not very important".

The major headline today went to the security conference in Germany! (did anyone hear about it??). Then a headline a little bit underneath announcing the score of a major soccer game yesterday. Underneath was a headline announcing that Israel will withdraw from Jericho during this week. At the bottom of the page I read the headline about Iraq's election results.

Ummmmm, very interesting. My dear government financed daily newspaper thinks that the security conference in Germany, the soccer game, and Israel's decision to withdraw from ONE Palestinian town is more important than the results of the elections that rocked the world.


Our old friend Firas Georges writes about voting on January 30, 2005. Compare the courage of Firas Georges with the "insurgent"-supporting Raed and Khalid Jarrar and you'll know immediately who is a real Iraqi Patriot.
Sunday the 30th Jan 2005. Finally the day………I woke up on the sounds of far away mortars, but I put my clothes on, and took my morning tea and went to the expected voting center alone to vote, I thought it will not be safe to take my wife with me, at least in the morning. It was 9.30 AM and it was closed, I didn’t understand why, when I asked the gathered people there I was told it was moved to another school (which was even closer to my house) I went to my parent in law house and we took our morning coffee and later I went to the voting center which was very very crowded with people, old, young, high educated, low educated, men, women and there I saw the very old lady who came with her family, two of them helping her to walk and a third with a chare to let her sit down when she’s tired, and for the first time I saw the Iraqis stand in a very ordered line waiting for the center employees to complete moving in. at about 10.30 AM, voting started and we went in, to face the biggest problem which was many of us had no names registered, at then we told the center head employee to do something, we are Iraqis with documentation and we expected to go where we registered but the streets are closed and according to the procedure of painting the right pointer finger we want to vote, otherwise we are going to press charges against him, and for me if they were not going to let me vote I was to write the number of candidate list I am intending to vote to on a piece of paper and put it in the box and press charges against him, That’s what I told the man exactly and many people agreed on what I said. So the man went to phone his superiors and came back after few minutes to tell us we have to show any Iraqi documentation and vote after painting our pointer finger with ink, and we all did with pride, it was a celebrating day that many of us will remember for years to come.


Later about 1.30 PM I took my wife and daughter to let my wife vote too and the center was less crowded and things went easy and nice. Cars were not allowed, so and because it was our first time to take a walk after five years since my wife was pregnant, we continued walking to the close shop and it took us 45 minutes. After we came back to pass the voting center to our house we were shocked to see hundreds and hundreds of people walking miles to come to that same center to vote, sure it was unexpected number of people, and we could feel easily that they were happy to do so.


Saturday, February 12, 2005

Fallujah: the Movie

RedSix at Armor Geddon has provided us with a video/audio surprise.
Nerts to Harrison Ford and his movie. Here's the REAL deal on Fallujah. U.S. ARMY's TF2-2IN created it. Combat Engineer - SPC Ronald Camp edited it. S2 blessed off on it. Jonathan Hanson is hosting it. Thanks.

SPC Camp of 82nd Engineers. Helluva job with the music, footage and timing. Oh and good job fighting in Fallujah too, Soldier.
Check it out.

Fallujah: the Movie.

Thanks to ghytred for putting this movie up.


Friday, February 11, 2005

Salam Pax Hunting

Salam Pax, one-time blogger and now a Man with a Camera, sits down for a moment from his hectic globetrotting to be interviewed. (Hat tip: Emigre)
CL: What I notice is that 'trust' is a difficult point for Iraqis.

SP: The thing is that 30 or 35 years of a certain way of life is going to be very difficult to change. I mean, take my generation, take the people who are a bit younger than I am, and a bit older. We all lived through this sort of culture; this is how we learned to live. And knocking us out of that hole we are in is going to take time and effort. I don't really think we have... The doors are now open, the question is, are people going in there? Are people asking questions? Are people interested? I am not really sure the whole society is. Because what I see now is people taking down Saddams' picture, and putting up some ayatollahs picture. This is not questioning. This is following again. This worries me. While the doors are now open why don't you ask questions. Find things out for yourself. So you kind of need to go through a whole process of learning all this. It is not going to happen suddenly. It is a bit depressing. It is sad that we cannot suddenly go and kind of do things on our own. And that we have to follow even more. But on the other side, there is a section of society; they are young, look for example at Iraqi bloggers. There is an interesting discussion happening over there. It involves all sides, and not everybody likes anyone else, but it is kind of learning to talk. You have to express yourself. Your ideas, not with your fist, but through language, through expression. Now if we can kind of bring down this discussion from the Internet, from cyber world, into the people ... that is great, that is exactly what we need. We need to listen to the points of views we don't like and listen to them. This is what is happening on-line.


Riverbend has a new entry up. I think one line will suffice.
Most of our acquaintances (Sunni and Shia) didn’t vote.
Hey Riverbend, tell us something we DON'T know, okay?

Yeah, I have a feeling that the Ba'athists were NOT well represented at the polling booth. What a shame, huh?


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Superbowl Sandmonkey Analyzes Misdirection Play

MoJo J. Sandmonkey explains to us lunkheads how Mubarak's Crew continues to rule decade in and decade out in Egypt.
In Egypt, the powers that be are aware that the majority of people really do not like them, because of the shitty job they are doing handeling this country. People have been talking that the under the surface of Egyptian society, there is a powder Keg that could go off any second and they are not wrong. So, the people in power realize that in order to continue their racket they need some sort of misdirection, so that the public wouldn’t focus on them too much. When the Israeli/Palestinian conflict stopped being enough, they started getting inventive, cause they need to make sure that every now and then people have something to talk about. A discussion of some sort, one that doesn’t have anything to do with Mubarak ruling Egypt.

And he offers us this example of past misdirection:
In the past sometimes they would get lucky with scandals that would just happen, and sometime sthey need to make one happen. Like the “Satanists in Egypt” story in the mid 90's, where they arrested about 50 boys and girls who liked rock and metal by accusing them that they are Satanists and they were charged with “disrespect for religion”. The evidence? Black T-shirts, leather jackets, tattoos and –I kid you not- Raiders caps. Remind me to tell you my story with that incident one day.

One of my brothers is a Raiders Fan and actually I believe Mubarak may have a point on this one. It is my theory that Satan's Little Helpers hide among Raiders Fans and therefore they are very hard to detect. The only recourse we have is to check them for tails. I once caught a glimpse of this "brother of mine" coming out of the shower and ... yep, had a tail! So, of course, one should not condemn ALL Raiders Fans, but Security ought to check them for tails before all games.


MoJo Sandmonkey also tells us a great story today about one of his American friends who is now serving in Iraq, Platoon Leader 2 LT Lisa Kirby.
Lisa was in ROTC , and i used to joke with her how they will send her ass to Afghanistan and stuff, but in reality me and her doubted it highly, and not only because she is a girl and they don't usually send too many female officers to combat zones. She was a finance major, she knew german, she probably would serve her term in germany doing payroll or something. Low and behold, 2 weeks before i left the states to go back to egypt, she found herself shipped to Iraq.

The funny and ironic thing is, i think we became better friends in a way ever since she got sent there. It's the shared commradere thing: we both want Iraq to be safe, we both don't want her hurt, and we both havn't been able to drink and enjoy ourselves the way we used to ever since we were forced to leave the states and head to the Middle East. The only differences are: I can go to a bar, while she can't drink at all, and i don't have to worry about I.E.D. 's or Mortar Attacks, while she escaped two mortar attacks so far ; On the other hand, she can boss people around and carries big guns, while i don't and wouldn't mind being able to do that at all. Anyway...

Check it out. Includes great photos. One of the photos is directed in-your-face style at Raed Jarrar. Heh heh.


In honor of the successful Jan. 30 elections in Iraq, Dr. Mohammed T. Al-Rasheed, writing in Arab News, announces that he is going to eat a McDonald's hamburger!
On Sunday America vindicated itself to all doubters, including me. They delivered on the promise of an election, so I am sure they will deliver on the promise of withdrawal.

Occupation boots are heavy and brutal no matter what their insignia or colors. Yet homegrown dictatorship is even harsher and more deranged.


If the endgame is propaganda, I don’t expect trashing America will end in our media. If, on the other hand, we write about what we feel is right and wrong, many should think again — at least on this issue.

A priori, taking the pen against America is not a good thing; similarly, taking the pen in praise of America is not treasonous. We have brains and we should use them.

Perhaps in the coming weeks we will take issue with America again. But for today, I am celebrating by having a McDonald’s. I hate fast food, but for this day I will make an exception.

Mohammed, whatever you do, don't supersize it, man! The calories balloon, as will your stomach.


Even Dexter Filkins of the NYTimes cannot downplay the importance of the January 30 elections in Iraq.
The Iraqi focus on its own democracy, and the new view of the United States, surfaced in dozens of interviews with Iraqis since last Sunday's election. It is unclear, of course, how widespread the trend is; whole communities, like the Sunni Arabs, remain almost implacably opposed to the presence of American forces. But by many accounts, the elections last week altered Iraqis' relationship with the United States more than any single event since the invasion.

Since April 9, 2003, when Saddam Hussein's rule crumbled, Iraqis have viewed themselves more or less as American subjects. American officials ran their government, American soldiers fought their war, American money paid to rebuild Iraq.

Indeed, the American project to implant democracy in Iraq often seemed to be in danger of falling victim to the country's manifest political passivity, born of a quarter-century of torture centers, mass graves, free food and pennies-a-gallon gasoline. The more the Americans tried to nudge the Iraqis towards self-government, the more the Iraqis expected the Americans to do.

As the insurgents wreaked more and more havoc, and sabotaged more and more of the country's power supply, the Iraqis, not surprisingly, blamed the people in charge. Day by day, many Iraqis' gratitude for the toppling of Saddam Hussein seemed to harden into bitterness and contempt.

After June 28, when American suzerainty here formally ended, not many Iraqis bought the notion that the interim government of Ayad Allawi was anything other than a caretaker regime, hand-picked by the Americans and the United Nations.

All that seemed to change last Sunday, when millions of Iraqis streamed to the polls. Few if any Iraqis had ever voted in anything approaching a free election, yet most seemed to know exactly what the exercise was about: selecting their own representatives to lead their own country.

Registration required. Click here if you're already registered with NYTimes.

BTW, I cannot believe that Dexter Filkins is this guy's real name. I mean, who in the world would walk around and actually call themself "Dexter Filkins"? You've got to be kidding me, right? Dexter Filkins?! C'mon, wasn't Dexter Filkins a clarinet player with Benny Goodman?


Did anyone see "CNN Presents" last night? Could Amanpour have been just a bit more pompous? Jeezus.


Saturday, February 05, 2005

Wedding Bells in the Iraqi Blogosphere!

Some of you have already heard that Raed Jarrar is planning to marry his soulmate Nikki, right? Well, I was looking for recent articles written by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and innocently scrolled to the bottom of a letter from Slate's Wendell Steavenson addressed to Ghaith, where I found this:
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad is an Iraqi freelance photo-journalist. He is also a columnist for Britain's Guardian newspaper. Wendell Steavenson is British/American writer whose work from Iraq has appeared in Slate, the Financial Times magazine, and Granta. Her first book, Stories I Stole, is a chronicle of Edvard Shevardnadze's Georgia. Abdul-Ahad and Steavenson met in Baghdad at the end of 2003 and plan to marry at the end of this year.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Man, out of the blue! Sorry, ladies! It looks like Ghaith is going to get hitched. Congratulations from Iraqi Bloggers Central.


Read Wendell Steavenson's January 30th entry from Najaf.


Friday, February 04, 2005

Khalid Adjusts Tin-Foil Hat for Better Reception

Since January 30 when millions of Iraqis went out to vote and later shook their ink-stained fingers in the faces of the terrorists, Riverbend and the Jarrar family have been either incommunicado or spouting nonsense.

Khalid, his tin-foil hat adjusted for maximum loony reception, now believes that the decrease in IED explosions is because the American military was responsible for planting them in the first place. You think I'm kidding?
something fishy is hapening in Baghdad..
since the day after the day of the elections, Baghdad became damn silent!
my ears are about to hurt me, no explosions at all!
i ALL!
so: Life of Iraqis have defenately improved because of the elections.
wait a second...
now, couldn't this be exactly what "they" want us to think?
which brings back the supposadly naive issue back to the surface: is it possible that the American themselves are making all the explosions? at least the car bombs inside the city?

According to Khalid, the Americans have been planting IEDs since April 9, 2003, and blowing up their own soldiers at a steady rate so that on the day after the January 30 election they could stop planting and triggering them and thereby persuade the international audience that the situation in Iraq had suddenly improved. Khalid goes on to indicate that he is not the only person wearing a TIN-FOIL HAT.
who thinks that the American are responsible for these actions?
you would be amazed of the percentage of people that do!
in so many occasions, when a car bomb explodes, you find an eye witness telling you that he saw an American helicopter launching a missile towards a car in the street, i talked to one of those eye witnesses myself right after one of the car bombs exploded.

Wearing a tin-foil hat in the Arab Parallel Universe is a burden that cannot be lifted by recourse to any currently known species of reasoning.


In the Arab Parallel Universe, you can be PRESIDENT FOR LIFE. No, in the APU, that is not an oxymoron. Omar over at Iraq the Model includes an article sent by a Syrian friend on the recent "election" of Assad.
Assad in a televised address this Tuesday said that he wished to thank the Syrian people “from the bottom of my heart” for their support and continued faith in his Baathist regime, cryptically concluding that “While I may not be able to thank each and every one of you who voted for me… rest assured, someone on my behalf will be paying a visit for those of you who did not.” !


Sitting in over at Michael Totten's place, Jeremy Brown notes the consternation rippling through the Media Elite after they "somehow" missed the desire for democracy among the Iraqi people. Jeez, how did they miss that?


In a thoughtful blog entry, GM at Big Pharaoh argues why -- correctly, in my view -- Egypt is not ready for democracy yet and why Iraq is.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

"Thank you for making this day possible"

On his website In the Red Zone, Steven Vincent includes an e-mail written by Lieutenant Colonel Scott Stanger, who took part in security operations for the Iraqi January 30th elections.
We dismounted from our vehicles and were instantly mobbed by about 200 kids. The kids were all over the place playing in the streets while their parents voted. The kids walked with us for about 2 miles while we were talking to the adults. I have never seen anything like it. People everywhere wanted to talk to us and thank us. This is what it must have been like when the Allies liberated Paris. Iraqis of all ages wanted to shake our hands and thank us for allowing them to vote. The kids were proud to tell us that their parents voted. Adult after adult wanted to thanks us for making this day happen. When the Iraqis voted they dipped their fingers in indelible purple ink so that polling officials could tell who had already voted. When we walked the streets the Iraqis would hold their purple finger up in the air as a mark of pride. They were very proud of their purple finger. The Iraqis statements to us were all the same; "Thank you for your sacrifices for the Iraqi people", "Thank you for making this day possible" The United States is the true democracy in the world and is the country that makes freedom possible", God blessed the Iraqi people and the United States this day", " We have never known a day like this under Saddam", "This day is like a great feast, a wonderful holiday". I shook more hands today then I have ever in my life. If you missed a hand they would follow for a mile to get a chance to shake and say thanks. It was nothing like we expected or have ever seen. The Iraqi people were strong and brave today. The Iraqis stoic to danger, faced fear, and went out and voted. Then after they voted the Iraqis stayed on the streets to celebrate by singing dancing and trying to shake the hand of any American that they could find.


Spend January 30th with Red Six of Armor Geddon.
Election day started for us around 0500. It was supposed to start at 0200. We had been up all day and late into the night for days, hardening sites prior to Election Day. If our engineers hadn’t worked extra hard to get the ballots out on the night of the 29th, the night would have just run into election day. But as our luck would have it, our commander fought to get our SP time pushed back so we could get a few hours of sleep.

We rolled out to the sites early in the morning and ensured that the schools were guarded by the Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army. We made sure they had radios and conducted radio checks with them. If they didn’t have enough food, water, or ammunition, we would drop off some Class 1 or 5.

It was around 1000; we were driving on a main route between villages. There was a reed laying across half of the road. My driver noticed it the few times we passed it before the sun came up, but now it was light out.

“Red, this is Red 8Golf, there’s some wire coming out of that bamboo reed,” SPC Stoker said. He was SSG Terry’s gunner.

Innocent-looking bamboo reed? Read the rest and find out what happened.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Ripples in the Middle East

Writing in USA Today, Youssef M. Ibrahim watches the ripples expanding from Iraq's successful elections on Sunday.
Regardless of its flaws and how it came about, Iraq's first free election in half a century is a historic event. Among other things, it has given quite a boost to a liberation process underway in the greater Middle East, sending tremors through both ruled and rulers.

Strange how one day's event can touch so many, even those outside Iraq. But it did not come from nowhere. To autocratic regional despots, the rush to vote by millions of trapped, terrorized and occupied Iraqis was a closure to tired arguments. The despots have never held an honest-to-God election, and now this embarrassing model sits there, across the border, in a major Arab nation.

In one fell swoop, this upset has brought to a halt years of despots' arrogant posturing toward Iraqis or hiding of domestic shortcomings behind missteps of the Americans and Israelis in Iraq and Palestine. Iraqis today stand like a phoenix amid the rubble of mediocre governance and corrupt autocracies.

As for the ruled, what can be gleaned from a quick harvest of views are early signs of separating profound dislikes of President Bush and his Middle East policies from the man's ability to deliver to their Iraqi Arab brethren a home run on human rights. It's like damn G.W. Bush, but, with a wink, also long live G.W. Bush.

Thanks to intensive satellite coverage aimed at a television-driven culture, some 200 million Arabs watched at homes, clubs and coffee shops, aghast at how wrong they may have gotten some of the Iraq equation. American occupation or not, their Iraqi brethren left no doubt that they were thrilled. They flocked to voting stations in Basra, Mosul and Baghdad and to polling centers set up abroad for expatriate Iraqis in Syria, Jordan and Iran to choose a government.


Sam at Hammorabi, a man who has been tirelessly blogging for the last year through all the good times and bad times, gives thanks.
On behalf of all Iraqis who joined the election and challenged the terrorists by their blood (some have been killed) we express our sincere thanks to all of our friends who sent messages and emails. The souls of those who have been killed among the Iraqis during their way for election are also with you for special thanks.

We decided to challenge the terrorists who threatened to wash the streets of Iraq with our blood. We said (see my article before the election) that let them send their dogs to suck our bones we care not!

We challenged them and we knew we may die and some of us wear their shrouds and voted in a civilised way with out problems.


Jason Van Steenwyk at Countercolumn abandons the Grey Lady halfway across the pedestrian walk at the corner of Broadway and 34th Street. Oh-oh. Here's come a fleet of yellow taxis!
Millions of Iraqis voted today...
...and all I want to do is track down those 'nadless nailbiters at the New York Times editorial board and others who argued that we should postpone the Iraqi elections until there were no "security problems, and kick them in the teeth.

Pathetic losers.

Never let them live that down.


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