Monday, January 31, 2005

MoJo J. Sandmonkey Goes Super-Aggro Upside Raed's Head!

Mr. MoJo Sandmonkey, distant relation of Harvard-educated Nim Chimpsky, the Famous Monkey Who Almost Spoke, ran into Raed Jarrar in a dark alley yesterday and used his Texas Chain Saw all over the surprised AK-dancing, Kaffiyah-headed Jarrar.
Raed, Habibi. You are on my shitlist forever. You can’t handle reality and you have no respect for the Iraqi people or their hopes and dreams, not to mention freedom. You actually called Saddam Hussein the “national leader” of Iraq at some point. You, my friend, disgust me! I am glad that the brave Iraqis ignored you and went and voted anyway. You are only happy when Iraqis are oppressed, so go rot in hell you saddam-loving scum.

IRAQ IS FREE NO THANKS TO YOU!

Now, in the words of Dick Cheney, I say with all the love in my heart to you: Go Fuck yourself!

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GM at Big Pharaoh passes along an interesting anecdote from a London polling station.
UPDATE: An Iraqi living in London wrote that he heard noices as he was casting his vote in a polling station in the United Kingdom. He turned around and saw Iraqi voters kicking Al Jazeera's crew out of the premise. The crew aparently came to cover the elections in this polling station. Upon seeing the channel's logo on the cameras, several Iraqis got angry and forced the crew to leave the area. He also said that he heard the same incident happen in Holland as well.

Oh dear, oh dear. Can anyone spell "blowback"?

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Okay, we all know that Azzam Jarrar is a Palestinian Jordanian and Faiza is an Iraqi. I've always wondered if the Jarrar family was one of the thousands who were forced out of Kuwait after the war in 1991. I do know they arrived in Iraq that year. I've never yet gotten a straight answer from any of the Jarrars about this.

And what about Riverbend? Most of us have figured her family to be Ba'ath-connected and Big Losers when Saddam hightailed it out of Baghdad hiding in the back seat of a orange-fendered taxi.

On Zeyad's Healing Iraq comments pages, I came across a commenter who seems to have some new intel. Insider from Baghdad writes:
Riverbend is the eldest daughter of a Saddam-appointed ambassador, and a high ranking Ba'athist, to a western country during the eighties.

Raed Jarrar is the eldest son of a Palestinian refugee who was driven out of the Gulf after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and granted asylum in Iraq by Saddam's regime.

Both persons do not count in this historic day and will instead make it to the dustbin of history.

Rachel, a Twit in London, asks Insider if he is Shia. Insider responds:
No I am a Sunni from the Zayuna district in Baghdad, originally from Mosul, and I personally know both the people I have mentioned.

And pray what does my sectarian/religious affiliation have to do with my information? Or is that how things work in your country? So you are Muslim, I take it Rachel?

Hey, if Riverbend or any of the Jarrars want to clear all of this up, my comments page is waiting. Help us out.

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Sunday, January 30, 2005

Iraqis' Historic Vote!

Husayn has already returned from the voting center.
I am happy to report...no I am honored to report that I have cast my ballot in our election. It is such an amazing feeling to be able to have some control over the destiny of my nation, a feeling I have not known before! I was one of the first ones to report to our local voting station, and I placed my vote, my stained finger is proof (The authorities are using such a system to make sure people do not vote twice). I was not the only one to show up at the opening of the voting area, there were at least a dozen other Iraqis waiting to take part in this momentus event, and as I left, I saw tens more file in.

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The turnout is looking very, very good!

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Ali has returned from voting. Just a wonderful post today!
I entered the school and the supervisors showed me the way to were I should vote. They and the ING guys were so polite and gentle. I cast my vote and got out, not in a rush at all. This is my Eid and I felt like a king walking in his own kingdom. I saw the same look of confidence and satisfaction in the eyes of all people I met. As I left one of the gurads said to me as he handed me back my cellular phone,"God bless you and your beloved ones. We don't know how to thank you. Please excuse any inconvinience on our part. We wish we didn't have to search you or limit your freedom. You are heroes" I was struck with surprise and felt ashamed. This man was risking his life all these hours in what has become the ytmost target for all terrorists in Iraq and yet he's apologizing and calling us heroes. I thanked him back and told him that he and his comrads are the true heroes and that we can never be grateful enough for their services.

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Mohammed and Omar have also voted.
No more confusion about what the people want, they have said their word and they said it loud and the world has got to respct and support the people's will.

God bless your brave steps sons of Iraq and God bless the defenders of freedom.

Aasha Al-Iraq….Aasha Al-Iraq….Aasha Al-Iraq.

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Raed Jarrar (remember: Saddam, Mein Fuehrer!) is feeling VERY BAD today as millions of Iraqis are going to vote. Raed, spitting at the Iraqi people, predicts:
These elections will open the doors of hell.

Iraqis, do NOT forget who stood WITH you and who stood AGAINST you on this historic day.

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Kat hands out REPORT CARDS to the networks.

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Rose has voted. Check out this photo! V is for Victory!

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Saddam WHO? Never heard of him.

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Hammorabi Sam has returned from voting. Sam has been the most PASSIONATE Iraqi Patriot from the very beginning. This is a great day for him and all the wonderful Iraqi patriots we have come to know the last few years.
It is the birth of freedom and democracy in Iraq!

It is a great festival!

Today only we may announce the victory!

Today we hit back in the heart of the terrorists and the tyrants!

Today is the day in which the souls of our martyrs comforted!

Today those who were killed in Iraq or wounded among our friends from the USA and other allies, who helped us to reach this day, are with us again to inscribe their names with Gold for ever!

Today we challenged the killers and terrorists and foot on them with our shoes!

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Husayn talks about the rest of his day after voting. He said he even convinced a few people who hadn't planned to vote to go ahead and vote.

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Liminal joins Raed Jarrar and Riverbend in spitting on those Iraqis who voted.

Over on Christopher Allbritton's weblog, someone asked Chris if Iraqis give credit to the Coalition forces for helping them get to the point where they can hold elections. Liminal responds:
this iraqi doesn’t. historic elections? perhaps for the revisionist history writers in the pentagon, better known as the neocons. even though feith has resigned so that they can cover up the foul role of his and others in creating this mess, cambone is deep on the bench.

maybe in a hundred years iraq will have historic elections.

peace, liminal

Hey Liminal, sleep well tonight, okay? Ha ha.

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Allbritton summarizes:
[T]he Iraqis won here and proved themselves—for a day, at least—stronger than the insurgency. And that's a very big symbolic victory. A huge one, in fact, and Iraqis should take great pride in themselves. When they had the opportunity, they stood up and were counted. The real losers were the Sunnis who didn't participate. They missed a golden opportunity to take part in a process that, while flawed, were the only game in town. I don't know what's going to happen next, and a civil war may still erupt, but if it does, the elected government—one elected by Shi'a and Kurds, for the most part—will have the moral high ground in it.

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TODAY'S LOSERS:

Zarqawi
Raed Jarrar
Riverbend
Liminal
Emigre
Rachel, a Brit in London
Juan Cole
The Zogbys (again!)
Barbara Boxer
Jacques Chirac
Michael Moore
John Kerry (okay, now THAT's redundant)

..

more to come

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Steven Vincent checks in on the Walking Wounded of the Left.
And what of our friends on the Left? I'm sorry they can't share in our joy--because there is no reason they should not. Alas, like the Muslim Scholars Association, they, too, decided to "boycott" the elections. For example, here is what the great lefty website Daily Kos had to say yesterday:

The war is long past lost. Time to pack it in, and save the lives of our men and women in uniform that will otherwise face a barrage of bullets and RPG rounds during their extended stay in the desert.

Clearly, Dean-shill Marko Zuniga has an odd perception of liberalism. On a day when millions of Iraqi citizens stood up against the specter of fascism to exercise their rights as free and dignified human beings, Zuniga claims the election is "simply an exercise in pretty pictures." Tell that to the Iraqis who danced and cried for joy at the chance to vote, Mr. Zuniga. Tell that to people who have suffered for decades under a tyrant whose crimes were brutal to the point of madness. Tell that to the men and women who died to make this day a reality.


Let me repeat that:
On a day when millions of Iraqi citizens stood up against the specter of fascism to exercise their rights as free and dignified human beings, Zuniga claims the election is "simply an exercise in pretty pictures." Tell that to the Iraqis who danced and cried for joy at the chance to vote, Mr. Zuniga.

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Sandmonkey Blogger Central

Super-Sleuth MoJo J. (JoJo) Sandmonkey has uncovered State Secrets of the Oval Office.
Here comes a piece of news you don't hear everyday:

Apparently, Condi has a drag Queen cousin, who she is naturally ashamed of, yet manages to inform him(her) of all kinds of sexual details: Like, how she is really a lesbian, yet her and Bush are sexbuddies and not to mention the size of Bush's..ehh..package.

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GM at Big Pharaoh, who has always stood with the Iraqi Patriots, gives them a BIG SHOUT-OUT today.
I have nothing else to say except that I feel very humbled for what millions of Iraqis did today. I bow in recognition for what happened today. I believe that not only us the non-Iraqi Arabs should learn from what Iraqis did, but all democracies around the world should look at Iraqis and learn something. All those who are taking their democracy and elections for granted should pause a little and learn. Behold a people who defied suicide bombers and mortar attacks and left their houses and went to the polling stations by the MILLIONS. Today I admit Iraqis are made of steel and I feel so proud of them and I feel honored to share this region with such people.

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Over at the ITM comments page, Rachel, a Brit in London is Royally Pissed Off that Iraqis have decided to vote and Even More Royally Pissed Off that "Mickey Mouse brain" Yankees are actually being THANKED by the Iraqis.
The lack of sophistication displayed here by the Americans is barely credible. You guys all have Mickey Mouse brains; you really disgrace your country's education system. Iraq is not yet a democracy - it does not yet have a constitution. The "72%" turnout has been revised downwards (and was not in any sense "scientifically" measured). You, every one of you, is already discounting the neglible participation by Sunni; that is a time-bomb, if the Shia don't address it immediately.

Hey Rachel, we feel your pain.

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Ladybird has voted. Do NOT mess with Ladybird!
There are people really pissed off because we Iraqis can vote and we voted and we will keep voting, look at those losers who designed buttons, posters and bumper stickers to discourage the Iraqis……………………in your faces you trolls we did it.

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Zeyad at Healing Iraq, by far the coolest customer in the Iraqi Blogosphere, has voted.
The turnout in Iraq was really like nothing that I had expected. I was glued in front of tv for most of the day. My mother was in tears watching the scenes from all over the country. Iraqis had voted for peace and for a better future, despite the surrounding madness. I sincerely hope this small step would be the start of much bolder ones, and that the minority which insists on enslaving the majority of Iraqis would soon realise that all that they have accomplished till now is in vain.
...
I really want to write much much more but I have to run for now. I promise I will post again soon. In the mean time: Hold your head up high, Remember that you are Iraqi.

On Zeyad's comment page, Rachel, a Brit in London, showed up to start weaving a conspiracy theory about the ink on the fingers. When another commenter asked her why she didn't even congratulate Zeyad, Rachel responded:
Congratulations for what? Life for many Iraqis is still worse than it was under Saddam - electricity outages, water failure, ill-equipped hospitals, terrible terrible security situation - and this is two years after the US-led coalition invaded Iraq. The only government that will be allowed to "govern" Iraq will be a puppet, pro-Washington government.

Anyone thinks that the terrorists are going to be disheartened by today's election is deluded. And the US has only itself to thank.

Hey Rachel, did you know that Riverbend, the Doleful Dame of Baghdad, is saving a spot for you on her couch. It's a Blockbuster Night and she's showing Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will"! You can't miss that!

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Ladybird got a great scoop today:

PHOTOGRAPH OF ZARQAWI TRYING TO SNEAK INTO A POLLING STATION.

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If you click HERE, Raed Jarrar will slice your head off. (Hat tip: GM at Big Pharaoh)

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Saturday, January 29, 2005

Ali: I'll even race the sun to the voting centre!

While Raed Jarrar, living in Jordan, boasts of NOT voting, Ali Fadhil feels election-day excitement:
Now, and thanks to other humans, not from my area, religion and who don't even speak my language, I and all Iraqis have the real chance to make the change. Now I OWN my home and I can decide who's going to run things in it and how and I won't waste that chance. Tomorrow as I cast my vote, I'll regain my home. I'll regain my humanity and my dignity, as I stand and fulfill part of my responsibilities to this part of the large brotherhood of humanity. Tomorrow I'll say I'M IRAQI AND I'M PROUD, as being Iraqi this time bears a different meaning in my mind. It's being an active and good part of humanity. Tomorrow I and the Iraqis that are going to vote will rule, not the politicians we're going to vote for, as it's our decision and they'll work for us this time and if we don't like them we'll kick them out! Tomorrow my heart will race my hand to the box. Tomorrow I'll race even the sun to the voting centre, my Ka'aba and my Mecca. I'm so excited and so happy that I can't even feel the fear I though I would have at this time.

I can't wait until tomorrow.


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Husayn also gets the election buzz.
There is only one day left until the momentus day of Iraqi history that will always be remembered, celebrated, and looked upon with happiness by future generations. It will also be a day that inspires our neighbors to develop their own democracies. I cannot wait, I have been busy the last few days with my own attempts to encourage voting in my neighborhood, I hope that these efforts were put to good use.

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Sam at Hammorabi has been waiting a long, long time for this historic day.
The Iraqi election is not only important for Iraq but for the whole world including the USA, the UK, the EU, the Middle East, the UN and the other countries. This is not because Iraq is a superpower but because it is representing a turning point in the history of the region.

The first election in the region was in Iraq in 1921! Now Iraq is the Model for freedom and democracy. Our success to achieve this is a victory against the enemies of freedom who are the terrorists. So as this victory is not only for us but for all the freedom loving and civilized nations.

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Steven Vincent offers his Prayers for Iraq.
Some Iraqis will not vote out of fear, resentment or apathy. Many will not because they are forever beyond the ballot box or the terrorist. They number in the thousands, these men and women, transformed in a flash from living beings to figures on a casualty sheet too long to comprehend. And so I pray for one, an Iraqi woman who worked for the CPA, whom I know only from a faded photograph in a makeshift memorial--although I saw the wreckage caused by the sucide attack that killed her. May democracy bring meaning to her life; may Hadeel not have died in vain.

There are more, many more, enough to tax a reader's patience, and so I will close. But not before I offer a final prayer--for our troops, standing guard over the first stumbling steps of the Iraqi infant America has helped bring into the world. May tomorrow's elections and the democracy it promises bring them something, too: a journey home.

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People, don't you EVER mess with Hammorabi Sam!
Our voting is:
No to the terrorists!
No to the dictatorships!
No to hate and racism!
No to the fascists!
No to the Nazis!
No to the mentally retarded tyrants!
No to the ossified, narrow-minded and intolerants!

...

We are going to say:
Yes for the freedom and democracy!
Yes for the civilized Iraq!
Yes for peace and prosperity!
Yes for coexistence!
Yes for the New Iraq!

Let them bomb and kill us. It will not deter us!
Let them send their dogs to suck our bones. We care not!
Let them bark. It will not frighten us.
Let them see how civilised to be free and democratic!
Let them die by our vote tomorrow! It is the magic bullet which will kill them!

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Dilnareen, one of our favorite Kurdish bloggers, has already voted.
Ok anyway so I went with my family to vote on Friday, well there actually was a queue and even tighter security. When we went in a lot of TV stations were there, now the interesting ones were the arabic ones, cos' they rarely had a correspondent just a cameraman going about (I wonder why). Anyway even jazeera was there, hehe everyone there was like let them come my way and I'll give them my two words.

Ok back to the ink (the one you put ure index finger through), so apparently its not for fingerprinting just a way to note who has voted and who hasn't (so ppl don't have to go twice) but does it have to look this repulsive,I keep thinking I haven't washed properly or something. Though seriously how do Iraqis in Iraq get away with it, I mean this is a sure sign that they have voted, can they all wear gloves to cover it or plaster they should have thought of something more reasonable for them cos' I'm pretty sure there's a fatwa out there to kill "those of blue-on-black fingers". Seriously those guys in Baghdad and other trouble spots are brave to do that.

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Kurdish blogger Hiwa posts photos from Manchester. MUST SEE!

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Here's the lede paragraph to the BBC digital edition's top story:
Many Iraqis will be too scared to vote, the interim president says, as a rocket strikes the US embassy in Baghdad.

Could they put it on any THICKER?
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Friday, January 28, 2005

Raed Jarrar: I WON'T VOTE!

The time for nice language is OVER.

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To Raed Jarrar, the Baathist Palestinian, and all of those who want to SPIT ON and KILL all those REAL IRAQIS who are voting on Sunday, I say:

FOAD

F***

OFF

AND

DIE!


I can't believe that Raed Jarrar is urging Iraqis NOT to vote.

Raed is still writing that SADDAM HUSSEIN is the REAL LEADER of IRAQ.

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TO ALL OF MY IRAQI FRIENDS:

DON'T FORGET where Raed Jarrar stood when you took your first steps toward democracy!

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I would also like to send out a pleasant UP YOURS to:

Emigre (a scribally-challenged Aussie lass who also urges Iraqis NOT to vote).

Khalid Jarrar, a Palestinian just waiting to stab an Iraqi in the back.

Riverbend, the Doleful Dame of Baghdad, who has never met a COMPLAINT she wasn't willing to embrace.

Juan Cole (the Doleful Dame's submissive partner in her S & M fantasies).

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Ladybird: Iraqis Want to Vote!

Ladybird urges Iraqis to vote and includes what other Iraqis are saying in the lead-up to elections on Sunday. (Hat tip: Mister Ghost) She writes:
Registration has been extended by two more days in most countries! Please check the website www.iraqocv.org for an updated list of these countries where you can now register on 24 and 25 January 2005 from 08:00 to 19:00 local time! Please help the Iraq Out-of-Country Voting Program inform Iraqis around the world about the extension of registration. Pass this onto your friends and family to spread the word and get as many Iraqis as possible on board!

Meanwhile, over at Iraq Elections Blog, Emigre, an Aussie lass with no connection to the Middle East or Iraq, is urging Iraqis NOT to vote.
It is utterly and totally ridiculous for an occupying army to try and promote an election. It is just ludicrous in the extreme. It’s not as if Iraq has never had an election before. Saddam Hussein used to have them regularly. He was the only candidate of course. But how different is that from an election under fire where most of the candidates names aren’t even published for security reasons?

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Hamza Hendawi, in an unusally even-handed article for the AP, interviews two up-beat Iraqis who are looking forward to voting on Sunday.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - In a country wracked by violence, a tiny bookstore in a dusty mall offers a quiet corner where customers can escape the misery and the owners can dare to sound hopeful.

Here students too poor to finance their studies can borrow books for a week at 20 cents each, and the two men who own the Iqra'a bookstore can indulge their conviction that their business is also a mission.

Such positive attitudes set Mohammed Hanash Abbas and Attallah Zeidan apart in a country where the prevailing mood has been shaped by three wars since 1980, almost 13 years of crushing sanctions, the humiliation of foreign occupation and the brutality of the insurgency.

"I don't just see light at the end of the tunnel, I see light at the start and throughout the tunnel," says Abbas, 41, in a typically upbeat remark. His partner Zeidan, 39, agrees.

"We must live like other people," Zeidan says. "Let a million of us die. That's the price of freedom. Have you heard of any society that gained freedom without sacrifices?"

...

As members of the long-oppressed Shiite majority, Abbas and Zeidan believe the election offers them a new deal. But they say they're sorry that many Sunni Arabs are likely to boycott the polls.

"I often debate the election with my Sunni friends," said Abbas. "I keep telling them: 'Go to the polling stations and cast a blank ballot. If you just go, that will be a victory over terrorism and dictatorship.' For me, I will vote even if it costs me my life."

"This election represents what is possible," Zeidan chimed in. "It's the only chance we have. To me, it's the start of a new life, the exercise of a right we never had before."

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Antimedia, a blogger out of Texas, has started to provide the kind of critical reading of the media output that is now, because of the internet and blogging, more possible than ever before.
This is almost funny

The AP releases a story headlined Iraq Forces Arrest Top al-Qaida Lieutenant. So what's the opening to the story?

A suicide driver detonated a car bomb outside the prime minister's party headquarters Monday, injuring at least 10 people in a blast claimed by the al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq. Authorities, meanwhile, announced the arrest of an al-Qaida figure allegedly behind the vast majority of the car bombings in Baghdad.

It's almost as if good news is just another excuse for printing bad news. In fact you have to plow through 12 paragraphs of bad news to get to the point of the headline.

A top lieutenant of al-Zarqawi's terror group, Sami Mohammed Ali Said al-Jaaf, also known as Abu Omar al-Kurdi, was arrested during a raid in Baghdad on Jan. 15, a government statement said Monday.

Al-Jaaf was responsible for 32 car bombings that killed hundreds of Iraqis, the statement said. The suspect "confessed to building approximately 75 percent of the car bombs used in attacks in Baghdad since March 2003," Allawi spokesman Thaer al-Naqib said in the statement.

Al-Jaaf was "the most lethal of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's lieutenants," the statement said. He "claims responsibility for some of the most ruthless attacks on Iraqi police forces and police stations."

Two other militants linked to al-Zarqawi's terror group also have been arrested, authorities said — a man described as the chief of al-Zarqawi's propaganda operations and one of the group's weapons suppliers.

Do you suppose they're hoping readers won't bother to get that far? Or they'll be so depressed by the time they get there it won't matter?

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Sunday, January 23, 2005

Kurdo Measures the White Elephant in the Room

Kurdo asks in what Parallel Universe do people who kill innocent victims proclaim, "God is Great!"
Two innocents are being beheaded by Zarqawi's group in public, infront of a few open shops in an uknown location in Iraq.
(NOTE : WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK)Victim one seems to resist a bit, and victim two seems to be breathless when they are beheaded.

The terrorists shout "Allahu Akbar" when they kill these people. In what religion God says "Say my name when you kill innocents" ?!!

Or those suicide bombers who killed the innocents in the wedding party yesterday, do they really expect to go to Heaven after killing 20 or so innocents ?!

What makes someone beleive that if he kills innocent he goes to heaven and how long does it take to brainwash an idiot ?!

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Hiwa at Kurdistan Bloggers Union gets ready to vote in England.
This is the first time in my life I trust Kurdish leaders while I am alive, so I WILL VOTE because I have to trust them!

I stayed over night in Manchester, to do my court work, meet with friends and for friday to go and register to vote! coincidently the friend I was visiting had a new friend who was a registration officer at the Mancherster election center, added to another friend who is also working there, we had two registration officers having dinner with us, so they told us so much about the work they do. Everything they were telling us, was either fun or joy, they were feeling so great about it.

They told us that the Kurds working there had forced the Arabs to remove the Baathist flag or they will not work, so they had removed the flag at the center placed by the Arab officers.

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Sandmonkey reviews Zarqawi's latest audio offering and aims his steel-tipped boot squarely at the BALLS of the Jarrar family and Riverbend and the rest of the terrorist sympathizers who will be voting for Zarqawi as Morals Terror-Chief next Sunday.
Apparently Al-Zarqawi has been following the footsteps of his mentor Bin Ladin and released his own audiotape outlining his views. What are his views you may ask? Ehh, that democracy is evil and that participating in it makes you an Infidel.
...
And as for y'all insurgency supporters, please take a good look. This is what you are supporting! Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside doesn't it?

Read the whole entry.

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If anyone here wants to engage in a brass-knuckled debate with a journalist whose panties are seriously twisted, join me as I discuss the current state of journalism with Derek Rose.

Debate with Derek Rose, He Whose Panties are Mighty Snug.

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Saturday, January 22, 2005

If Sarah Boxer Were a Blogger . . .

The other evening on the Iraq the Model Comments Page someone misinterpreted a transitional device used by Patrick at Liberating Iraq and mistakenly concluded that Alaa the Mesopotamian had been killed. As soon as I read that, I went and checked the original text and pointed out the error. So did others like Sheriff Lee C. and Kat from Missouri. The alleged demise of our Alaa was quickly corrected.

We had EYES on the problem right away and this remains one of the strengths of the internet and bloggers and the commenters who mix it up on the comments pages.

(Here is Patrick's original entry. Test your skills. See if you can locate where the misinterpretation occurred.)

That mini-drama over the alleged demise of Alaa the Mesopotamian shows why bloggers and the commenters who follow them can be self-correcting where the Mainstream Media is much less so.

Sarah Boxer, for example, published a hatchet-job on Ali and the ITM brothers and still has not corrected ONE WORD of her article.

If she had posted her piece as a blog entry, other bloggers and commenters would have blasted holes in her argument and swept away her cobwebbed innuendos. As a self-respecting blogger, she would have been forced to respond immediately to the massed criticism.

But she is NOT a blogger. She's just a hit-and-run journalist (in contrast to the many fine journalists we rely upon for reasonable reporting). Her article is printed in the NYTimes dead-wood edition and posted on the NYTimes digital edition.

And it JUST SITS THERE.

No dialogue. No rebuttals and cross-examination. No corrections.

What does the NYTimes do?

It just sits there, knowing that tomorrow is ANOTHER DAY and who's going to remember if they printed CRAP yesterday.

Let Boxer step into the blogosphere and we'll see if she's a genuine heavyweight or just a shadow-boxer.

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Someone might ask, "Who are YOU, Jeffrey from New York, to question Ms. Boxer?"

Good question. I am not a journalist. That is true. But around 25 years ago I graduated with a degree in Classics and English and went on to graduate school for a Master's Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. I have lived outside the US three times and speak a handful of languages. Life experience? Well, I lived in Berlin BEFORE the Wall came down and I walked on the Great Wall of China and looked out on the desert from which the Mongols came. As a committed, professional teacher, every day I am involved in some way with how language works, from the lowest lexical level all the way up to the major rhetorical structures.

So when I, humble blogger, read Ms. Boxer's article, understand that I am bringing a quarter century of expertise to bear on my analysis and evaluation.

And my story, of course, is NOT unique.

Journalists have NO IDEA who they're dealing with now.

UPDATE: Wretchard at Belmont Club has taken up this issue.

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Saturday. 12:15 pm. Normally out my window here in Astoria I can see the whole skyline of Manhattan stretched out. Well, that snow everyone was talking about has just now arrived. Very small flakes descending steadily. No more skyline.

Scrabble anyone?

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A couple weeks ago I researched and wrote up a long entry on the looting of the Iraqi National Museum. The looting, like Groucho Marx's death, was highly exaggerated.

Iraq Antiquities Revisited.

I spent a couple days following a multitude of sources to pin down the truth on this story. Read it. Enjoy.

I would like to see bloggers also fill in the gaps that the Mainstream Media are unwilling to tackle.

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Although Zeyad has become an infrequent blogger these days, you would do yourself a great disservice if you refrained from reading any new entry issued from his corner of the Iraqi Blogosphere. He has consistently offered some of the most levelheaded analysis on Iraq and the multiple tensions that pull on your average Iraqi. His latest examination of the upcoming election is no exception.

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Friday, January 21, 2005

Duel to the Death

Ms. Mapes, Mr. Rather, Ms. Boxer, and Mr. Cole. We are engaged in a battle royal with these folks, and we have just begun to fight.

Wretchard over at Belmont Club rocked me back in my chair with this fussilade aimed at Juan Cole.
Whatever the War on Terror is, it is a duel to the death. A glance at Juan Cole's website -- which is a reliable thermometer of Leftist temper -- is a case in point. It should be the website of a respectable academic but it's a shrine to half-forgotten causes and a casket of exorcisms against half-apprehended devils. To illustrate the right of peaceful assembly he has a photo of flag-draped military caskets being shipped home. To illustrate the the 8th Amendment he has an Abu Ghraib photo. Noonan worries about religion. So do I, coming upon a room of stubbed out and smoked ideas. As for the elections, Cole says they are a joke, and it is doubtful if any poll would persuade him otherwise.

"These elections are a joke," said Juan Cole, a professor of modern Middle East history at the University of Michigan. "The Bush administration has created the worst possible advertisement for democracy because the perception across the Middle East is that democracy means you get a country where everything is out of control," he said.

If so, he is the only one laughing, though maybe we all did once, and I forget whether that's a promise or a threat.

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I no longer watch network news. I do, however, listen to a few shows on the radio and I check the internet daily. Am I alone in these choices? I don't think so.

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Emigre continues to muck up Iraq Elections Blog with her shrill anti-election posts.

My first comment to one of her usual posts:
>battering an eyelid

Well, it looks like that Emigre has not only embraced political dissent but also her usual grammatical and lexical dissent.

Thank you, Emigre, but you have already “battered” my eyelid enough.

Emigre, you really knock me out. Now you’re the great Left-Bank dissident, sipping espresso along with Sartre and Simone, the latest manifesto tucked under your arm. It US against the world, baby!

He he. What a fricking joke.

And yes, I agree with Louise. Could we please find someone capable of translating Emigre’s fractured phrases? Or, better yet, perhaps Emigre could actually sign up for a writing course at the local community college. PLEASE!

Emigre responds:
Well it’s always the same old predicatable behaviour isn’t it. Whenever the weakminded can’t scrape together any argument of substance they resort to sexual innuendo and unexciting demands for a halt in phraseaic progression. Invention is the language of progression, Jeffrey.

As for coffee. So, what. Like you blog on earl grey with lemon slices? Unable to divide the world by religion Jeffrey resorts to dividing it by caffeine intake. Pitiful, Jeffrey, pitiful.

It is hard to believe that this local Aussie lass claims English as her first language when one encounters such oddities as "phraseaic progression." Anyway, my response:
>As for coffee. So, what. Like you blog on earl grey with lemon slices? Unable to divide the world by religion Jeffrey resorts to dividing it by caffeine intake. Pitiful, Jeffrey, pitiful.

WHAT IN GOD'S NAME ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!

The reference was to Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir, two leading French intellectuals from the Fifties and Sixties in Paris. The were also trend-setters in Rive-Gauche circles, exhibiting power that one can only generate in that particular milieu (I've lived in Paris before and can vouch for both the sartorial and philosophical niceties that are exacted upon and slavishly followed by the upwardly-mobile intelligentsia on both sides of the Seine).

I have no idea why you're talking about tea.

I've come to know you over the last year. At first, I thought you were just new to writing. Now I know that you're both scribally challenged and a cretin. Unfortunately for us, you are such an idiot that you haven't even realized yet that you're an unlettered simpleton. If only you had enough intelligence to see what the rest of us see and simply SHUT UP.

Let the FLAME-WARS begin!!!

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

GM Glued to the Tube

GM at Big Pharaoh -- living in Egypt where Mubarak is going for his SIXTH consecutive and unchallenged term -- has been avidly watching the election TV ads coming out of Iraq. He describes one of his favorites.
I especially love the ads that encourage Iraqis to vote. They are very emotional. Tears filled my eyes when I saw one of them. The ad opens to an old Iraqi man walking between ruined buildings. He looks like a university dean or professor. Then a group of young men wearing ski masks and carrying guns appear from behind a building and block his path. The old man looks at them. Then a young lady (probably his daughter) comes up and stands behind the man while clutching to his arm. Then multitudes of people appear and line up behind the man in a act of defiance. The young men wearing the ski masks turn their eyes to the ground and run away. The screen cuts showing someone pulling down a poster threatening Iraqis who will vote.

*
Steven Vincent offers us a wide-ranging critique of the left's recent mistakes. He also points out the positive aspects of the Iraqi Communist Party:
[T]he older Iraqi Communist Party seems dedicated to a more moderate vision of social change in Iraq. In Basra, I spoke to ICP head Ali Mehdi, who told me, "We want to establish labor unions, an independent judiciary, and participate in democratic elections, where we can put forth reasonable demands--we have no interest in a 'dictatorship of the proletariat' or setting ourselves up as an alternative to the government or the police." As for capitalism, Mehdi struck a surprising note of accommodation. "Our country is in need of private enterprise and the skills and capabilities it can bring to Iraq."

No wonder an NGO official in Basra told me, "If I were the Americans and wanted to spread democracy through Iraq, I'd pour money into its Communist parties."

Don't get me wrong: personally, I find the red flag as abhorrent as the black or green. But the idea is intriguing: if the U.S. used radical Islam to hep defeat communism, why not use communism to help defeat radical Islam?

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CMAR II discusses the possibility of civil war in Iraq. (Gotta love the portrait of Mr. Rogers hanging over the proceedings.)

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Brian Orloff reviews the Iraqi Blogosphere.

Seeking Man-on-the-Street Views of Iraq, U.S. Reporters Turn to Bloggers.

Mr. Orloff writes:

But media looking for more from the blogger-in-the-street (or, perhaps, bloggers-hiding-under-a-bed), can consult the Web site Iraqi Bloggers Central, which provides handy links to many Iraq-based blogs.

Thanks for the mention, Brian. But "bloggers hiding under the bed"?

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The Bahraini Global Soul discourses on the trimming of toenails and its international implications.

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Mohammed at Iraq the Model knocks the shite out of Sarah Boxer. Folks, it ain't pretty.

Why does the Mainstream Media keep f*cking up so bad?

This is ridiculous. Where the hell are the EDITORS? Did anyone actually read Boxer's piece before it was published? Did anyone ask her even one or two of the basic questions that all of us have brought up?

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Hey, do me a favor and go over to the Iraq the Model comments page and give Rachel, an Asshole in London a swift kick. We've been listening to her garbage for over a year and a half now. According to Rachel, George Bush is a "neanderthal President" and Americans are WAY more into torture than the Brits.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Dark Shadows in Riverbend's Baathist Bat Cave

I got home late last night from a long weekend of traveling to find that Iraqi Bloggers Central had been linked in articles about Ali and Iraq the Model by both the BBC and the New York Times.

UPDATE: Man, I've been away from the internet for four days and I get home to find the BBC and NYTimes trying to get up-to-date on YESTERDAY's NEWS! Who is God's name are they trying to fool?

Anyway, we've got some bloggers like Jeff Jarvis taking them back to the toolshed and smacking their arses but good.

Jeez, you think they'd take a hint from the godawful slouching around by the likes of Mapes and Rather. Nope. Same old innuendo and hidden stiv.

I will have more to say about the articles later. Let's first take a spin around the Iraqi Blogosphere.

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Husayn at Democracy in Iraq notes a few recent developments about the upcoming elections.
Iraqi authorities are moving towards making the elections more safe through various new measures that will stop the insurgents. Perhaps the most important is allowing people in certain areas to register on the day of elections. This is a fantastic idea as it makes it much harder for insurgents to threaten people. By allowing them to register when they vote, it will take them out of harms way and make it harder for the terrorists to shut down elections before they can happen. This combined with the idea of making the elections a holiday, beefing up security and restricting cars puts us in a better position than we were in earlier. I am already hearing people encouraged by these moves. All this just shows you that we are not going to be stopped. Iraqis are determined to go ahead with the elections, no matter what the cost. These terrorist scums can keep trying to stop us, but they will ultimately fail. Iraqis are too close to tasting from the cup of greatness.

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Baathist in Bat-Cave Warning!!!

Could anything be more annoying than to see another post by Riverbend, the Doleful Dame of Baghdad? As usual with Riverbend, everything in her life is TERRIBLE! Nothing new there, right?

But now she would like to see a few of her fellow Baathists join her in her embraced and prolonged and unmitigated Misery at home. Why not add a few top Baathists?
A question poses it self at this point- why don't they let the scientists go if the weapons don't exist? Why do they have Iraqi scientists like Huda Ammash, Rihab Taha and Amir Al Saadi still in prison? Perhaps they are waiting for those scientists to conveniently die in prison? That way- they won't be able to talk about the various torture techniques and interrogation tactics...

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Someone needs to take a large piece of wood and whack Emigre over the head. She has been leaving one inane comment after another over at the Iraq Election Diatribes.

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Zeyad offers his usual sober analysis of the situation on the ground in Iraq.
The Sunnis have been acting like spoiled unhappy children when things don't go their way. They start breaking up things and threaten to mess everything up. 'Either I play or I burn down the playground,' as we say here.

The threat of civil war and factional violence is a very real one. No matter what government results from elections, Sunnis would deem it illegitimate and the violence or the 'burning down of the playground' will continue. Two Shi'ite mosques have been attacked over the last week and a representative of Sistani was assassinated. Tribal Sheikhs from the south were kidnapped from a bus in Latifiya.

Some experts say that all Iraqi factions have coexisted peacefully for centuries and that nothing is going to change that now. I disagree. The tensions and the mistrust have always been there on both sides. Saying one thing in public while holding on to a different opinion is characteristic of both sides. The last three decades of oppression by the Sunni minority have only made things worse.

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Friday, January 14, 2005

IBC Central Command Orders Operational Pause

Astoria, New York. Central Command at Iraqi Bloggers Central has ordered a four-day operational pause in blogging. The executive board will use the longish weekend to attend a family wedding at an undisclosed location. On Wednesday, January 19, blogging will resume.

While you wait for the return of the executive board, we have created a collection of links you may want to investigate.

Below you will find a wide range of interviews, articles, and some primary source material from individuals with personal experience in Iraq. Some of the interviews are audio and others are transcribed.

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Reporters embedded with Coalition soldiers:

Evan Wright (audio interview), author of Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America and the New Face of American War. The book is excellent. I read all of it -- 354 pages -- in one sitting.

Evan Wright, Nathan Fick, Josh Person (audio interview -- scroll down for this segment -- WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show). Captain Nathan Fick and Sergeant Josh Person were members of First Recon, the elite Marine battalion in which Evan Wright was embedded. They were the "tippity-tip" of the spear.

Karl Zinsmeister (transcribed interview), author of Boots on the Ground: a Month with the 82nd Airborne in the Battle for Iraq (in one section of this Zinsmeister includes a very damning critique of his journalist colleagues) and Dawn over Baghdad: How the U.S. is Using Bullets and Ballots to Remake Iraq.

Karl Zinsmeister (transcribed interview)

David Zucchino (transribed interview),, author of Thunder Run: the Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad.

Rick Atkinson, author of In the Company of Soldiers: A Chronicle of Combat.

Rick Atkinson (click on Author Audio, where he talks about his book).

Rick Atkinson (audio interview -- starts at 7:20).

John Koopman's "McCoy's Marines: Darkside toward Baghdad" (six-part article in SF Chronicle) Click on "Printable Version" for ease of reading.

John Koopman, SF Chronicle (pdf article with photographs on writing "McCoy's Marines").

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Reporters embedded in Baghdad Bob's Iraq:

Jon Lee Anderson (audio interview -- NPR).

Jon Lee Anderson (audio interview -- WBUR's The Connection)

Jon Lee Anderson (transribed interview).

John F. Burns casts a cold eye of his colleagues.

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Reporters out and about in Iraq:

Steven Vincent (article -- March 2004), author of In the Red Zone: A Journey into the Soul of Iraq. The best general analysis I have read so far.

Steven Vincent ("Rage against the Foreigner," an excerpt from In the Red Zone)

Steven Vincent (transribed interview by Chrenkoff).

Steven Vincent (transcribed interview at Shape of Days)

Jon Lee Anderson (audio interview), author of The Fall of Baghdad.

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Iraqi Civilians in Iraq:

Salam Pax (audio interview).

Peter Maass on Salam Pax (article).

Faiza Jarrar (Iraq War Diary -- scroll all the way down to go to March 18, 2003).

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Baghdad Bob embedded with Himself (Mohammed Sa'id Al-Sahaf):

Six highly entertaining interviews with Baghdad Bob. Scroll to the bottom of the first interview for links to the others.
Question15 : Amer (from France): What have you achieved by destroying the Great Iraq? You led the country into wars with Iran, Kuwait, and into this war. What have you achieved?

Al-Shahaf: (No answer because the interviewer took another call).

I guess the question was a little too blunt for the host of the program.

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Have a nice weekend! See you all next Wednesday!

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Saudis are Beverly Hillbillies

Husayn views Saudis as lazy, vengeful Bedouins who just happened to be living on top of a "pot of gold."
I must also finish by noting that noone in the Arab world respects the Saudis. We see them as a bunch of bedouins who were fortuante to live on top of oil. I believe in America there was a TV show, Beverly Hillbillies, this is how we see them. They treat everyone who is not Saudi bad, including other Arabs. They think they are the best Muslims, and they are lazy.

One of my brothers-in-law is a chemical engineer from Nigeria. He has traveled to many countries to inspect oil refineries. He told me recently that if the foreign workers left the refineries and pumping stations in Saudi Arabia, everything would grind to a halt because the Saudis don't know how to run the complexes and because they're extremely lazy.

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Steven Vincent tugs on the Gray Lady's beard.
After a throat-clearing opening paragraph, yesterday's New York Times editorial--entitled "Facing Facts About Iraq's Elections"--got to the point:

It's time to talk about postponing the elections.

The Gray Lady's pronouncement--delivered with the gravity of a principle calling the parents of a disobedient child failing in school--is in keeping with the paper's disapproving attitude toward the war, which in turn reflects the prevailing opinion of northeastern liberal elites, including the CIA, State Department and other "realist" critics of neo-conservative idealism. The editorial, in short, represents the reasonable, cautious, non-ideological side of American foreign policy--the side Europeans prefer--which, while not entirely wrong, is dangerously misguided when it comes to the January 30th elections and, more importantly, the nature of the Sunni "insurgency" that threatens them.
...
As I've argued many times before, the Sunni counter-liberation is not based in a clear-eyed assessment of needs, goals or realistic objectives: rather, driven by fear, tribalism and grandiosity, it is a plunge into the suicidal vortex of the shame-honor dynamic, increasingly fueled by religious fantasy. And while not all Sunnis are infected with this malignant narcissism, the more radical leaders are--and these men will never negotiate, never surrender and never allow their fellow Sunnis to submit to a Shia-dominated government no matter how many postponements of elections take place. For their own precious honor--and that of their families, clans and tribes--they would rather kill and be killed. If they can't run Iraq--then Iraq will cease to exist.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Shia Grinning, Rubbing Hands Together

The elections in Iraq are only a few weeks away and Ali at Free Iraqi takes a look at the Shia.
My friends' father was praising Sistani saying he's a sane man who's trying to avoid blood shed. I agree with that but I think it has more to it than just being worried about blood shed. I think that She'at clerics are waiting impatiently for the elections thinking that it will lead to a decisive win for the She'at for the first time in history (and it will) and this is obvious from the effort they are doing to encourage people to vote. The Hawza (the main Religious school for She'at in Iraq and the world) is closed temporarily so that its student can have more time on 'educating' people and encouraging them to vote. The only thing that might lead to a civil war is that if the Shea't main religious leaders lose their sanity totally and the only thing that could cause that is if the She'at do not get the majority in the upcoming elections or if the elections get postponed. Now will the She'at clerics be mad if the She'at achieve he majority through secular parties and not religious ones? Maybe, but they won't find enough people among She'at to support them if they think of something crazy.

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Steven Vincent continues to post some of the best pieces of analysis on Iraq and the wider War on Terror.
As for Iraq, if--I find myself unable to add "and when"--democracy takes root there, the country's people will someday see beyond their current resentments and come to honor U.S. sacrifices in liberating them. Spread that gratitude across the Shia crescent and bin Laden's efforts to mount the white horse of Sunni supremacy will backfire, drawing Washington and the Hawza closer together and isolating Saudi Arabia. Which is another way of saying, advancing U.S. interests by wresting the Middle East away from Our Friends the Saudis and their pernicious Wahhabi ideology. Then we can begin the epochal task of helping Shia moderates wean their religion from the mind-numbing, spirit-dulling, woman-oppressing strictures of shari'a--but that's for my next post.

If you want to learn something today, read the whole blog entry.

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GM at Big Pharaoh offers his views on the recent Palestinian elections.
Abu Mazen’s biggest challenge will not be in negotiating a peace agreement with Israel as much as it will be in taming the endless factions and corruption (i.e. Arafat’s heritage) that rule the Palestinian areas. His challenge will be in convincing horrendous groups such as Hamas to drop the gun and join the nonviolent bandwagon towards the state of Palestine. This won’t be easy because convincing Hamas to stop terror is just like convincing McDonald’s to stop serving hamburgers. Hamas lives on its terror activities which give it its political points and playing cards. In addition, it will be hard to convince Syria and Iran to halt Hamas activities because those two countries also want to maintain their “Hamas/Jihad” playing cards on the Palestine Poker Table.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Ghaith Talks to Iraqi Christians

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad has written an article about Christians in Iraq for the Guardian.
Yaqub Moussa sits in his liquor shop in Baghdad. One hand is hidden under the counter holding a black pistol, the other taps nervously on the surface. "People from the Hawza [the Shiite religious authority] come here every month; they take $100 from me every time. If I don't pay they say they will burn my shop because I am breaking the sharia Islamic law."

(Great. Now the Hawza is offering "protection." Sheikh-down artists indeed. -- Jeffrey)

...

Many Christians find themselves obliged to affiliate with Islamic religious parties or tribes to get a degree of protection. After having a car crash, for instance, Sami Mansour, 57, a Christian taxi driver, sought the help of a local Shiite tribal council to solve the dispute. "When the other driver realised I was a Christian, he demanded not only that I should pay for the car repair but also that I should pay the tribal fine," he says. "I then went to a tribal council which agreed to talk on my behalf as one of their 'sons' and the other driver withdrew his claims."

Christians have seen their numbers falling dramatically in the past two years. In fact, they have been leaving Iraq in numbers since the mid-1990s. With the heavy impact of United Nations sanctions against the Ba'ath regime in power at that time, thousands of Iraqis began to flee. The Christians felt this pressure doubly: partly from the sanctions and partly from the resulting "Islamisation" of society. But a new wave of emigration has taken place in recent months, especially after a bombing campaign that began in August, targeting churches in Baghdad and Mosul.
...
Fear of verbal and physical intimidation caused his wife, Jaclin Shamir, to begin wearing hijab, covering her hair whenever she leaves the house to give her the look of a Muslim woman. "I have had to change my whole life. I now wear a scarf most of the time." Holding a golden crucifix in her hands, she says, "I hide this under my clothes now. It's like living in Rome in the early days of Christianity."
...

Read the entire article. (Hat tip: button)

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Husayn argues that there is no chance of an Iranian-style theocracy in Iraq.
With the elections of a few weeks coming closer, many people are asking me about the Shia list that is being talked about on the news. For those of you who don't know, many Shia groups have come together to form a sort of political alliance which has the largest number of candidates in the election that is coming up. Before I continue, I should note that the upcoming election is to set up a sort of Parliament, which will form our new Constitution and we will go from there. It isnt an election for national leader like Americans had in November. That will come once we have a Constitution.

Still the possible election of a large-scale Shia coalition has some people outside of Iraq worried that we will slide towards a theocracy like Iran. I say that it isn't going to happen.

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At Kurdo's Wild West Saloon, the regulars are speculating on the meaning of the candle symbol on Sistani's campaign poster.

Sara says:
I think candle means light and that means development or sceince maybe ?! I am not sure

Kurdi says:
the candle means that Sistani needs to burn his beard with that candle

Noori says:
I think the candle and sistani symbols mean that if any countries have men like Sistani and oil they will burn and finish up soon...

And Sheriff Lee C.? Well, he hasn't been in for his afternoon beer and chaser. More later.

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J from Iraq Calling takes a look at the situation on the ground in Iraq.
The insurgents are running up against a few problems. One is leadership, the other is logistics. After the last Fallujah operation attacks dropped dramatically and changed to less confrontational, lower risk attacks. There was a need to preserve the fighting strength that was left. Quite a few insurgent leaders and enablers (like the moneymen) have been rolled up recently. I think the leadership crisis is real and significantly impacting their ability to sustain attacks.

As others have said before, the insurgency in Iraq comes nowhere near the gold standard Vietnamese insurgency, with large scale popular participation. The insurgents are viewed generally as dangerous criminals, sometimes as nutty zealots. They are savvy and have a very good handle on how to play the media. As a result I expect a number of large scale "made for TV" attacks in the coming weeks, followed by a crowd of talking heads discussing how everything has come undone. After the elections we will see more attacks, however, successful elections will further erode the credibility of insurgents of every stripe.

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I have rarely introduced U.S. domestic issues on this weblog, but today I simply cannot resist.

Fake, but Accurate.

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Monday, January 10, 2005

Ali Looks Beyond the Elections

Ali at Free Iraqi asks what ought to be done AFTER the January 30 elections in Iraq.
Now it's not easy to determine the next base that should be attacked but I agree with those who said that Lebanon is the best candidate. Not Lebanon as a whole of course but Hizbollah and the Syrian army there. There are certainly many arguments against such choice, but I believe it's the best for many reasons. It would terrify Syria and Iran and distract their efforts in disrupting Iraq's march towards democracy, it would help democracy in Lebanon get rid of the influence of the Syrian Army and Hizbollah and it would give Iraq a much needed time to recover and build its infrastructure in a way that makes it not very rewarding to attack it again as the way it is now with the fragile infrastructure. The ex-Ba'athists aided by a very tiny minority of Salafis in Iraq won't be able (without huge aid from neighboring countries and Arab fighters) to stand against the Iraqi government aided by massive American power. They would most likely divide into small gangs that can be annoying but certainly not strong enough to determine a whole country's future.

Some people will say, "Are you insane? Another war, while we're not sure this one was the right thing to do?" and I think yes, another war, a limited one most likely would be the right thing to do now. Any half solutions would be as disastrous as a total withdrawal.

So yes, more troops would be very helpful for Iraq now and for a short period after the elections but in my mind the best answer to the challenges in Iraq is another strike somewhere else, somewhere near and I can't think of a better option than the south of Lebanon.

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Sandmonkey is out of his cage and flinging cupped feces with deadly accuracy!
The Third and final reason has nothing with her actual running. The woman is a socialists, and I am sick and tired of socialists messing with my country. The government- with 23 cabinet- is big enough as it is, and what we need is some people who will advocate a smaller government. Another socialist running is like reshuffeling the seats on the deck of the Titanic. It may look different, it will sink just the same.

However, despite my personal dislike to the women's politics, i find myself siding with her when i heard that the egyptian Grand Mufti Dr. Ali Mohamad Juma'ah( with a number of supporters) has issued a fatwa rejecting the idea that a woman would ever be president. Why?

They say: because of her psychological nature and what she suffers from during her menstrual period. Islam clearly states that women , because of Menustration, are less reasonable , logical and religious then a man! Out of the fear that a woman is faced with a tough situation during her period, she might be compelled-because of PMS- to make a decision that may not be very sound.

Hmmmmm! How do you spell Mufti in arabic again? Wait, i know: It's M, U, full of Shit!

Naturally, since she does have some kind of a brain, she responds here and tears them all a new asshole
...


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Ambassador Fayrouz posts a photograph today of smiling, beautiful Iraqi women. As soon as you look it, you realize just how slanted the images of Iraq offered to us by our media are. The only images we normally get are of old women in burkas who look constipated. Why?

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GM at Big Pharaoh takes out his sharpest arrow, notches it, pulls the string on the bow back slowly, and then releases it. Thuuuuunk! Bullseye!!!
Recent reports coming from Iraq indicate that US soldiers lured Iraqi girls as young as 12 years old into having sex with them. They manipulated those kids by offering them American made cookies and single dollar bills. Several preteen girls reported how they were forced to have sex with the soldiers in exchange for those goodies. It is a shame that the worldwide media is not exploding these stories into the face of the Pentagon. For how long will America be shielded from the holy watchful eyes of the mass media.

What happened was so appalling and…………………………what? What? I can hear someone telling me that I’m not reporting the true story. Oh I am sorry friends. The location of the scandal is not Iraq but Congo, and the perpetrators were not US soldiers but UN peacekeepers.

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Sunday, January 09, 2005

Democracy Will Come to Iraq If . . .

According to Sam at Hammorabi, the US will be successful in bringing democracy to Iraq if it remembers:
- To be genuine in its agenda about democracy and reconstruction process
- To accept the choice of the Iraqis and not to impose its choice on them
- To understand the Iraqi mentality and culture
- To understand that the Iraqi Shiites are different from the Iranian politicians

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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Tribe or Party?

Ibn Al Rafidain surveys the recent history of Iraq and notes the pull of the Bedouin tribal system.
Iraq with its nowadays geographical area did not exist till the year 1920. The modern state introduced to the Iraqis, and many of the Middle East peoples, by the British. Till then, Mesopotamia was part of the Ottoman Empire and the tribal system was the dominating way of life.
...
After emerging as a new state, Iraq made a notable progress toward modernization till the year 1958 in which a military coup took place. After that coup, Iraqi society started to slow down in its movement toward being civilized one. And since the year 1979, in which Saddam seized power, the Iraqi society witnessed a significant relapse into tribal values.

In times of political uncertainty or oppression, it seems, Iraqis look to their tribe for security. Can a country be both tribal and democratic? I don't know, but I think it would be safe to assume that Iraq and the other Middle Eastern countries, if and when they become democratic, will retain elements of tribalism. What they're looking for, I imagine, is a workable balance.

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Zeyad has written at length on the history of tribes in Iraq.

Iraq's Tribal Society: a state within a state (Part One).

Iraq's Tribal Society: a state within a state (Part Two).

Iraq's Tribal Society: a state within a state (Part Three).

Iraq's Tribal Society: a state within a state (Part Four).

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From her archives, a blog entry by Riverbend on Sheikhs and Tribes that is very informative.

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Look at the Iraq War through the eyes of Iraqis.

An old blog entry in which I examine the primary sources for the civilian perspective of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I wonder where Raed Jarrar is keeping his "war trophy"?

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Return to the past via Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine and watch Salam Pax, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, and Raed Jarrar hanging out together before the war as they look for new CDs to buy. Gotta have tunes even if there's a war coming.

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Where are they today?

Salam Pax: ex-blogger (sigh)
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad: excellent journalist (all right!)
Raed Jarrar: looooonatic (okay, no change there)

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Sami, an exiled Iraqi Kurd, reports from the Frontlines of the Iraqi Party Scene.
Its been strange as I went to 2 Iraqi engagment parties and 2 seperate Iraqi new years parties.....reason being less about politics more to do with women not getting along I guess....Well I went to both but stayed mostly at the one that was more fun atmosphere wise. I have met Iraqis from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britian whom I havent seen in years and its been intersting to hear the difference of opinion. Tonight we were at a jazz club and a girl who coincedentally was with me in university in Toronto was there, anyways she was anti war anti western etc though she has lived most her life in Canada. Its like ok u hate the American policies and economic way of life move...... she was telling a story to one of my friends who was intersted only because she was pretty.... she is like a friend of her uncle's got tortured so bad that he got killed....... now i know this girl and if its true then I am sorry to hear that but all night she was trying to aggrevate Iraqis so me being me, I start whispering to my Iraqi friend whose Christian coincidentally.... I told her a bit about her background and how her closest family friends were from a well known tribe from Tikrit so its natural for her to get upset and angry as they lost it all. I was with her in uni for many years and never heard her complaining about how Iraqis were treated until now........ then she moved on to another friend trying the same thing.... i sent him a text message saying watch out this girl lies about everything....... I had to be mean it was my only way............

You gotta like Sami.

And it does add another level of meaning to my title, "Tribe or Party?" Doesn't it?

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Global Soul, a Bahraini now living in Canada, discourses on the history of the Miniskirt in the Middle East (evidentiary photographs included) on her weblog Reflections from Canada.
Why was it acceptable for Middle Eastern women to wear miniskirts some 30 and 40 years ago, while doing so today would be considered an aberration? What happened in those past few decades that changed women’s values, attitudes, and behaviour? What are the social, political, economic, and psychological factors that caused this overwhelming change in lifestyle?

Read her blog entry for the answer.

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Fellow blogger Kat at the Middle Ground has a very good entry on the elections in Iraq, Q & A-style.

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Friday, January 07, 2005

Husayn to American Soldiers: God Bless Them!

Husayn at Democracy in Iraq recently received an email from an American soldier who had been deployed in Iraq and was now back in the States.
Before I go to work, I also want to reiterate my appreciation to American soldiers who are here in Iraq making a sacrifice. I was really touched by an e-mail by a soldier who was in Iraq. He shared with me his hope that he could one day see a peaceful liberated Iraq with his son, and come not as a soldier, but as a civilian, a tourist...he missed the birth of his son because he was in Iraq. But thank God that he is back home with his son. It was a small e-mail, but it really hit me, to see that this man was away from his child in order to contribute to the betterment of Iraq. I hope that my countrymen will look at soldiers like him in the future and remember what they did for us, although they were foreigners. God bless them.

Thanks, Husayn!

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An excellent interview in FrontPage with Steven Vincent, author of In the Red Zone. Steven Vincent talks about traveling around in Iraq and meeting Iraqis from all walks of life and the role of women in Iraq is discussed at length. He is also asked the ultimate question:
FP: Who will win the fight for Iraq and, ultimately, the War on Terror? By what means will it be done?

Vincent: Jamie, is there any doubt we will win? Even if—God forbid—the Islamofascists and the American Left drive us out of Iraq, we will survive to fight another day. Having said this, it’s true that our country must remain resolved and supportive of our troops. We need to also do our homework: study Islam, know what makes the religion tick, seek its weak points and places where we can bring the pressures of our religious and constitutional freedoms to bear. We should learn, too, about the effects of malignant narcissism and how to counteract the grandiosity that conceals itself like a nemesis star in the soul of the Muslim world.

We should keep in mind that we are fighting a death-cult. Eventually, such enemies succumb to the power of civilization—even with its maddening limitations, rules and ethics—or become consumed by their own nihilism and resentments. Still, we should steel ourselves for a difficult war, one that may last a generation or more (although, should we find a way to weaponize feminism, the conflict would end virtually overnight). Though we may suffer numerous reversals and even defeats, victory will be ours in the end. We didn’t start this fight, but by the grace of God, the power of the U.S. Constitution and the strength of the American people, we will finish it.

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Majid Jarrar is traveling in the United States right now while on his winter break from Pearson College in Canada. We exchanged a couple emails and phone numbers and then last night, while he was in Manhattan and I was in Queens, we were able to talk on the phone for around an hour. Majid speaks fluent English and is without question a smart young man. About the future of Iraq, Majid is cautiously optimistic. Just like us, Majid has had trouble getting accurate information on the situation in Iraq these days. Again, like us, he has been getting conflicting reports.

Most of you will remember that Majid was one of the founding members of Al Muajaha, along with several other young Iraqis who were featured on the documentary Bridges to Baghdad. Majid told me that a week or so after Bridges to Baghdad I & II were shown on Iraqi TV, the Iraqi youth you remember -- like Haider, Hamza, and Walid -- starting getting death threats. Majid said that because of these threats all of his friends were eventually forced to leave the country for their own safety. And that is indeed a shame. These young Iraqis represent an important part of Iraq's future. I told Majid that we can only hope that before too long Iraq stabilizes and all of his friends return to Iraq and help build a strong, democratic Iraq.

Majid, thanks again for talking with me!

For the two Bridges to Baghdad documentaries:

Bridges to Baghdad I and Bridges to Baghdad II

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For those of you who are following tanker REDSIX's account of the Battle of Fallujah on his blog Armor Geddon, here's his latest installment covering the next stretch of November 9, 2004. Tankers with infantry?
When you’re a tanker among the infantry in combat, you can do no wrong. It was like walking on water. You could run through houses, knock down forests of palm trees where the bad guys hide. Bullets and RPGs either bounce off of you or explode with a scuff mark on your armor. Your main gun vaporizes terrorists. They just loved having you around. They loved the destruction and mayhem you caused. And they loved the fear of God you struck into the hearts of the enemy. Furthermore, with my new boss for this battle being a light infantry guy, that made me and SSG Terry the subject matter experts on tanking. So CPT Mayfield had no leash on us. And even if he did, he was so happy with our capabilities that it was hard for us to do wrong in his eyes anyways.


In this blog entry, I rearranged REDSIX's posts on the battle into chronological order.

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Ali at Free Iraqi looks at some recent polling about the upcoming elections.
I've heard it from many of my Sunni friends that they are concerned about the possibility that the constitution might be written by She'at and Kurds mainly, and to be more accurate they are concerned with the She'at part more. Most of them said they will vote for Pachachi and others are still considering but generally they said they will vote for a secular party. My belief is that the percentage of Sunnis who will vote will be considerably lower than that of any other group, but it will be still high enough to contradict the analysis of most experts, and we only have to wait for few days to see.

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Mohammed at ITM: Elections in Iraq, All Systems Go!

Mohammed at Iraq the Model reports from inside Iraq, giving us news from the north and south and center of the country. He summarizes:
The people have chosen to hold the elections and our friends have decided to support the people in this choice and this combination is stronger than those who stand against the elections in order to keep an unelected government so that the have an excuse to fight it and keep it weak.

They know that the formation of an elected government means that the majority of Iraqis will be supporting this government and this will make it even harder for the terrorists to fight it because they will be fighting legitimacy itself and the nation itself.

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Hey, remember those X-Ray Vision Glasses that used to be advertised in the back of Popular Mechanics? They allowed you to see through things, right?

Professor Sandmonkey announced today that within two weeks there will be an IPO for shares of his new company, MonkeyVision. MonkeyVision Goggles allow its user to see into and through the Arab Parallel Universe!
So, in summary and conclusion, the 7 political rules of the APU are:

1) Arabs never make mistakes, and they rarely lose wars.
2) The Zionists and the Americans are always to blame for everything that is wrong in the APU.
3) If there is any credit at all that can be contributed to Arabs in any way, they will take it.
4) Good leadership is inversely related to how US-friendly a leader is!
5) Any media that is not the official state-owned media is filled with Zionist, Jewish, American, Christian, imperialist, anti-arab influences and they LIE ALL THE TIME!
6) There is really no need for elections in the APU, because Presidents and rulers are presidents and rulers for life.
7) The only viable alternative candidate to the current leader or president is this current leader or president’s son.

Hope that helped explain some of the confusing discrepancies that you may encounter from having those 2 parallel universes existing in the same reality. Mind you, those are only the political rules. There are other rules concerning economics , social traditions and norms, but those will be covered in future posts.

This is the Sandmonkey, from the APU, signing off!

Condoleeza Rice has already purchased a pair of MonkeyVision Goggles. Go to Professor Sandmonkey's weblog NOW (shameless plug #4) and learn more about this amazing technical breakthrough!

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Regular Iraqi Bloggers Central commenter Mister Ghost (and 2-time Zing!Zing!Zing! Award Winner) reports back from the frontlines of the blogosphere, the smell of cordite still on his clothes:
Check out the fuming Kurdo, the wishy-washy Sullivan relying on Juan Cole's views, Lee C. [Sheriff Lee C., that is] for Communist lecturing on the Geneva Convention over at Sam's, Ladysweetie in a great posting mood, the Palestinian Nazi Youth League photo at LGF, DEBKA has an interesting report on a drone crashing at one of the Iranian nuclear facilities, upsurge of Indonesian support for the US at Drudge.

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Winds of Change has provided the most complete and link-rich overview of the Battle of Fallujah so far.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Husayn to Zarqawi: Die You Dirty Dog!

Husayn at Democracy in Iraq responds to the continued targeting of Iraqis by Zarqawi's crew.
I say to you al-Zarqawi you filthy dog, that YOUR fate is to die like the dog you are. You are a supporter of death and destruction, and your crimes will catch up with you. I pray every day to God that the Iraqi or American forces find you, and that you die a death fitting for an animal such as yourself.

My prayers go to all the Iraqis who have died, and who will die today, tommorow and in the future fighting these vermin. My prayers go to all the Americans and coalition soldiers and their families who have sacrificed their lives so that people from another country can live a good life.

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Michael J. Totten features a photo of a cornered terrorist in Iraq, a man who had been caught trying to plant bombs under cars. Oh, or is he Khalid Jarrar's Freedom Fighter?

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From a new soldier blog Armor Geddon, take a ride with tanker REDSIX during the recent operation in Fallujah:

November 8, 2004.

November 8, 2004 -- later, same day.

November 8, 2004 -- line of departure

Photo: platoon in attack position.

Photo: Red 8 in tank.

Photo: me and my Bradley wingman.

Photo: white phosphorous.

Photo: Red 8 on left flank.

November 9, 2004.

November 9, 2004 -- Fire for Effect, a MUST READ.

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Sandmonkey has a nice chat with a colleague at the water-cooler.
My question to him was basically this: “Let’s assume that the January 30th democratic elections in Iraq goes without a hitch, and that a new democratically elected Iraqi government is born that would be composed of all Iraqi factions. And after that happens, and Iraq becomes relatively stable, they ask the Americans to leave and the American forces pack up and leave the country. What kind of effect do you think that would have on the average Egyptian/ Arab - who believes the Iraqi invasion to be a Zionist ploy or an American imperialist venture- when it comes to his own views concerning the U.S.? Do you think that they would actually look at a democratic Iraq and think to themselves that maybe- just maybe- they have misjudged the Americans and their intentions?”

His answer to me, simply , was: “Not a chance in hell!”

To which I asked: “why?”

His reply was: “Because of the Arab dignity issue. If this – very doubtful scenario due to the recent bombings- actually ever happens, they will make sure to strip away any kind of credit from the Americans. They would attribute the reason for which the Americans evacuated Iraq to notions of how the Iraqi resistance was kicking their asses and how they left after the elections because it was their first chance to cut and run while saving face. There is no way that the Arabs would give any credit to the Americans cause then it would conflict with their view of it as the enemy and the source of all their problems and defeats. Not to mention it would mean that the Americans were right to go into that war and that the Arabs were wrong about it, and arabs can’t have that!”

Interested in Sandmonkey's response? Check out his blog (shameless plug #3)!

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Steven Vincent visits Westbury Mosque on Long Island.

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Iraqi Naseer Flayih Hasan takes on the anti-war left. (Hat Tip: Steven Vincent)
I had befriended a French reporter who had begun to realize that the situation in Iraq was not how the international media or the so-called “peace camp” described it. I noticed, however, that whenever he tried to voice his doubts to colleagues, they argued that he was wrong. Soon afterwards, I met a Dutch woman on Mutinabi Street, where booksellers lay out their wares on Friday morning. I asked her how long she’d been in Iraq and, through a translator, she answered, “Three months.”

“So you were here during the war?”

“Yes!” she said. “To see the crimes of the Americans!”

I was stunned. After a moment, I replied, “What about the crimes of the regime? It killed millions of Iraqis. Do you know that if the regime was still in power, the conversation we’re having now would result in our torture or death?”

Her face turned red and she angrily responded, “Soon will come the day that the Americans will do worse.” She then went on to accuse me of not knowing what the true facts were in Iraq—and that she could see the situation better than me!


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Ali at Free Iraqi notes that the terrorists are losing in Iraq.
I must say that what's happening now was expected, and I was not the only one expecting it. Most people saw that as the election came closer violence would certainly grow more and more. It's truly a critical time in the history of Iraq, the region and the whole world. The terrorists are attacking almost everyone who does not agree with them. Today they threatened to "transfer the battle to America's land".

If this should tell us anything new then it should be that the masters of these monsters are terrified as hell. They see all their efforts as not leading to the desired result; the withdrawal of American troops or at least the delaying and then the canceling of the elections.


Ladybird agrees with Ali, citing a recent poll published in Al Sabah.

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