Monday, May 30, 2005

The In T View: Kat Proudly From The Midwest


Kung Fu Kat Chopper and her dog are saddled on the Cat Chopper built for CATERPILLAR by Orange County Choppers, take visual tour "The toughest bike ever built by OCO."



She may be in The Middle Ground, but never in the Muddled Ground. That is Blogger, Kat From The Midwest, who showcases a strong intellect and the cold hard truths and facts in her scholarly blog: The Middle Ground, with its Hard-Charging
Poignant look at World Events, Emerging
Democracies, the Middle East, U.S. Policy, the American Military, and the Midwest Scene.

It's The In T View: Kat Proudly From The Midwest

The In T View and Artwork/Photography by Mister Ghost & Diane Carriere



MG: Hello Kat, How are you?

Kat: I'm doing really great, Mister Ghost. Hope you're doing well, too.


MG: You know, if you take a strand of uncooked spaghetti and snap it, it will always break into three pieces -- try if for yourself, if you don't believe me -- Why is this?

Kat: Um…I'm no physics major, but I think it has something to do with the co-efficiency of force and the density of the noodle. Then again, maybe it always wanted to be a set of triplets. Personally, I prefer mine cooked and smothered with garlic and butter, which may have something to do with your next question.


MG: So, why are you still Single?

Kat: I came really close to not being single once. Didn't work out. After I swept up the pieces of my broken heart, I spent a good portion of my time "getting ahead". Seems like time just flew by and here I am, single. Of course, some folks say I'm bossy and opinionated and that could have some effect. But, my grandma said those that listen at keyholes never hear anything good about themselves.


MG: I understand you're sort of a Biker Chick. How did this come about?

Kat: My family has always been into motorcycles. I rode my first mini bike when I was ten, then moved up to bigger bikes as I grew older. It's kind of addicting and almost Zen like, when you get out on the road and all you hear is the hum of the road and you block everything out except you, the bike, the road and the wind (and the stupid people in cars that occasionally forget to look before they change lanes).


MG: Best Truck you ever owned?

Kat: Toss up between my current F150 and an old brown Nissan that had 210,000 miles on it before it finally died. That little truck took me places. No radio, no air, four cylinder with a five speed, but it started every day until the carburetor blew a gasket, spewed fuel everywhere and caught the truck on fire. It was a sad day when I had to call the junkers to come and get her.


MG: Favorite TV Show of the moment and why?

Kat: Law and Order. Yeah, I know they said something rude about DeLay, but I love their investigative work and the courtroom scenes. Helps me practice for company meetings and debating with moonbats. Behind that, I'd say CSI, same for investigative techniques and for a second place tie, Mail Call with Sgt Ermay (yeah, I know it's cable, but that's what I really like to watch).


MG: If you could write an Emmy Award Winning TV Series, what would it be about?

Kat: "Family Reunion" would be the name and every episode would be cut directly from my life. There'd be drama, mystery, tragedy, adventure and humor. Or, I'd do a comedy show about moonbats and extremists. I wouldn't even have to write the dialogue. I could just go over to the DU, copy and paste their running rants. I couldn't bill it as a "reality show" because most of those folks aren't grounded in reality and no one would believe it's real.


MG: Do you consider yourself a Writer, and how did you become interested in Writing?

Kat: Well, no doubt by my often long posts that I like to write. I don't know if I consider myself a "writer" like a Stephen King or Tom Clancy, turning out novels all the time, but I do like to organize my thoughts through writing and some times tell amusing stories. Family and personal stories always go over well because people can recognize their own families and personal situations in those stories. It's also easier to laugh at it when it's not your own. I always loved to read and that just naturally turned into wanting to write like the greats. Probably never happen, but a girl can dream.


MG: What book has had the most influence on your life?

Kat: Wow, there are so many books that I've read, it's hard to know where to start. On pain of being called a right wing religious zealot, I'd have to say the bible. I mean, talk about a book with everything. You got family infighting, great escapes, travel, war, intrigue, love, hate, sex, poetry, miraculous endings and a moral to every story. After that, I'd say the "red badge of courage", "black beauty", "A Tale of Two Cities" and "The Taming of the Shrew" (great dialogue in that.)


MG: Your name is Kat, so the obvious question is do you have a dog?

Kat: I do. He's a mutt cross between an American pit terrier and a basset hound. Looks like a basset hound on steroids. His name is Cash, short for Cassius Clay, because he thinks he floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. However, the cable guy and my last boyfriend would not agree. Boyfriend kept muttering something to the dog about, "your real name is Cujo" the last time he ever came over.





MG: So, what type of Kat are you? Are you a Scaredy Kat, a Happening Kat, a Tom Kat, a Cheshire Kat, a Kit Kat, a Top Kat - What type of Kat are you exactly?

Kat: Aunt Kat. I have the privilege of being Aunt Kat to eight so far. They love to see Aunt Kat. I fill them up with candy, buy them loud toys and then send them back to their parents.


MG: So, what's your Number One Kung Fu Move?

Kat: Roundhouse kick to moonbat heads. Coupled with my extraordinary skills of photographic memory, speed reading and quick fingers with the search engine, I can usually deliver the coup de grace with one post.

Occasionally, they don't learn and keep coming back for more. But that just gives me practice.


MG: You live in Missouri, and Missouri is the Show Me state. So what exactly would you be showing me?

Kat: A loaded question. I could show you some great fishing spots and fantastic roads for bike riding. Or, I could show you my tattoo. Wanna see?


MG: What was out there, before the beginning of the Cosmos?

Kat: The end of a previous cosmos. The alpha and the omega. The beginning and the end. At the end of everything is the beginning. (if that's too cryptic, think "circle of life")


MG: If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Kat: Believe it or not, I'd like to ride to the Grand Canyon. Kind of pedestrian, I know, but I saw it when I was a kid and only vaguely recall what it looks like; flew over it many times in a plane. I'd love to ride my bike to it and just stand at the edge and look at one of the natural wonders of the world.


MG: Would a dream date for you, be a night out on the town pillaging and looting with Muqtada al-Sadr, Famed Corpulent Iraqi Wannabee Leader? Okay, so what truly is a Romantic Evening for you?

Kat: Muqty wouldn't last an hour with me. He'd be swearing allegiance to the great Satan by time he got off the back of my bike. Seriously, a romantic evening out would be something really simple, like dinner, midnight bowling and then long hours of chatting over coffee at a little diner. Then again, I wouldn't complain if a guy took me to the Hereford House for nice juicy, medium rare KC Strip and then dancing at a little club I know. (PS..vegans and members of PETA need not apply)


MG: What is your Favorite Iraqi Blog?

Kat: It's ITM of course. They were the first blog I ever read and the place I had the most fun meeting people and smacking the moonbats down. Their stories and information are some of the best on the web if you want to know what life in Iraq was and is like. Of course, there are so many others that I read on a regular basis (that's why I don't have a big selection of TV programs I like to watch; rather be reading and collecting info on the net).


MG: Who, in your opinion, is the Sexiest Iraqi Blogger? Is it Sam from Hammorabi? He's very mysterious and mysterious equals sexy, I think.

Kat: Mister Ghost, I do declare! What a question to ask a lady. *fanning myself* If you must know, I think it's a toss up between Omar and Mohamed. Very cute. But Sam definitely has that mysterious, sexy 007 thing going on and he does seem to have some info before others. He's like the Drudge Report of Iraq.


MG: Speaking of Sam, he reported that one of the Terrorists they had captured in Iraq, had confessed to torturing people by pulling out their eyeballs before he killed them. Do you think the Mainstream Media in this country would devote more attention to this story, if the terrorist made his victims wear panties on their heads and flushed down a couple of Korans?

Kat: No. The only way it would get more coverage is if he suddenly came out with a confession that he was a born again Christian that attended Bob Jones University, was a faithful follower of Falwell, slept in the Lincoln bedroom during the First Bush administration, had secret documents showing that President Bush hadn't completed his National Guard Service and had once snorted a line of coke with the President in Kennebunkport while Barbara Bush made them cookies in case they got the munchies and Laura Bush danced naked on the coffee table with a lampshade on her head.


MG: Famed Terrorist Honcho Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: It seems like, if you believe the Media in Iraq, that he's been captured in every Iraqi City so far. Do you think he'll be doing a "I've Been Captured in Every Small Iraqi Village Now Too" 2005 Summer Tour or that he's exited stage left from Iraq and Life for good?

Kat: Oh, I hate to make speculations on the "for good" part, but I have an idea that his manager is going to come out again and say he is shortening his tour schedule for awhile due to strained vocal chords. I guess they don't give voice lessons at the mosque on how to use your diaphragm when screaming "allahu akbar" a thousand times while blowing stuff up and beheading people. I heard they're refusing to refund the tickets. Of course, you know I'd love to hear that he had to retire for good. I never did like his music anyway.


MG: Where do you think the WMDs that were allegedly present in Iraq are?

Kat: I'd say that some of them were destroyed and some of them are spread all over the ME. I mean, the guy sent his airplanes to Iran (that took some cajones since he'd just got through blowing the crud out of them a few years before) and most of the ba'athist slugs that could escape went to Syria. I'm pretty sure that the distribution didn't occur over night or just in the few months leading up to the war. Small truckloads smuggled out, not big diesel convoys that would be detected by satellite and the flyovers we were doing. Also, you don't have to take whole missiles out on flat beds if you want to keep the technology. Just dismantle the warheads and send them off. I also imagine that some of it made its way through Ansar al Islam into AQ and other Islamist nutjob hands. Not too much, mind you, just enough to give them a start and settle any operational demands they had for tribute against them attacking inside his country. These are strictly my speculations of course.


MG: The Hypocrisy of the Left: Liberals and their Mainstream Media Minions had a Huge Meltdown over the Alleged Flushing of the Quaran in Guantanamo, an event that didn't happen, but nevertheless provoked a massive outcry against the Evil Bush Administration desecrating Islam. And yet, from Piss Christ to the Clown Eucharist, Liberals and the MSM have embraced that which desecrates Judeo-Christian symbolism. Why the Double Standard?

Kat: Well, with my minimal psycho-babble…er… analyzation skills, I'd say it's because it's easier to hurt the thing you know. Kind of like relationships. They know the buttons to push to get a rise out of people and it gives them something to talk about when there aren't enough beheadings and body counts to report. Or it could be because they've been holed up in their urban ivory towers for so long, telling each other scary stories about the hinterlands (red states) and how the "evil" fundamentalist Christians have giant crucifixes on the wall where they kneel every night for hours reading the bible, flagellating themselves and praying for Armageddon before they clean their guns, check to make sure the bazooka is operational, beat their wives and then drain the blood from little liberal children to put in their grits and fry their bacon in.


MG: When's the last time you were really drunk and really happy about it?

Kat: You know, I think the last time I was "really happy about it" would have to be my 26th birthday. I had 12 shots of tequila and one shot of kamikaze. Of course, I actually didn't remember much after the 9th shot of tequila. Fortunately, my friends were there later to remind me about the four shots that came after. Every time after that didn't end very well.


MG: Do you have a favorite comic strip?

Kat: Kathy. Eternally single, job is a pain the rump, parents don't understand her and the boyfriend freaks every time she even hints at "settling down".


MG: If you could be any Super Hero or Super Heroine, who would you be?

Kat: Wonder Woman. I always wanted that nifty tiara, bracelets that could deflect bullets and a lasso of truth.


MG: Is there any hope for Europe?

Kat: Nope. Europe will collapse politically or economically in the next decade or so and then be rebuilding itself from the ashes once again, probably still not having learned their lesson. The Eastern European countries will just stand back and watch them explode. I mean, when you've got unemployment like a Latin American country, debt up to your eyebrows, politicians (Chirac) trying to hold on to their power to avoid prosecution and a built in insurgency, there isn't much hope. Besides, it's been over half a century since they tried to kill each other. From an historical perspective, they're about due for another European war.


MG: Who will stop the Mullahs from making Iran a Nuclear State?

Kat: I hate to be pessimistic, but "nobody". The Euros are too weak, we're tied up with Afghanistan and Iraq; Russia needs money to prop up the crappy economy and stave off another revolution and if Israel strikes, the whole area will probably explode considering everything is a Zionist plot to rule the world. I imagine we'll wake up one day in a couple of years to news reports that Iran tested their first nuclear warhead, like North Korea, Pakistan and India. The best we can hope for is that this next election really pisses the Iranian populace off and they go for fullscale revolution, dumping the Mullahs. I just think it's ironic that people thought it would be the US and the USSR that would cause nuclear holocaust and the biggest threat is now the ME and Asian countries turning each other into glass parking lots.


MG: Why do my pens always seem to run out of ink while I'm writing?

Kat: Don't chew on the ends. That big black inky spot on your shirt pocket isn't a good sign either. (MG says: I never chew on my pens, they just mysteriously run out of ink all the time.)



Inspired by a photograph used for the article "Crowd behavior in markets: Part ten: Obedience"


MG: How did you become interested in Blogging, and how did your Blog: The Middle Ground come about?

Kat: I read a newspaper article about blogs and information that could be had about Iraq. My brother had volunteered to go over and I was looking for information on the situation since the regular news sources sucked so much. The article directed me to ITM. After having incredible conversations with some of the crazy "blood for oil" people in the comment section, I was tired of looking up the same info again and again to combat their bat doo-doo. So, I decided to start a blog and bust "conspiracies". It's all history after that. I guess you could say that the Fahdil brothers are my blogfathers.


MG: Besides your own Blog, are there other Blogs that you like to read and can recommend?

Kat: Besides ITM and Sam (with the long list of Iraqi blogs on the sidebar), I'd say my favorite place is Blonde Sagacity.
She's a "South Park Republican" that has a core of right and left commenters that keep the conversation lively. I'd also recommend Mudville Gazette; This Is Your War; Major K and Strength and Honor; and my all time two favorites for snarky humor would be Sandmonkey (our intrepid reporter from the APU) and Anti-Idiotarian Rotteweiler if you wanna see everyone and everything getting chewed a new butthole with humor. There are so many others, I feel like a Hollywood Starlet on Oscar night trying to remember to thank everyone. Oh..and (sucking up big time) Iraqi Bloggers Central, of course. I read it every day so I can find out who's got the good stuff and where the fire works are on the Iraqi blogs.


MG: A Little Birdy tells me, that you have a lot of Admirers among your Blog Commentators and have even received a Marriage Proposal. How do you feel about this?

Kat: Well, I don't think he was serious when he proposed. Besides, I think his wife would object vehemently. But, I really appreciate all the people I've met through my blog and other blogs. It's been a great learning experience and has certainly helped me make a number of fantastic friendships.


MG: Uzbekistan: Some Crazy Dictator-run, God-forsaken, Central Asian nation that most American could care less about, never mind spelling its name correctly. Why should we give a hoot and don't pollute about Uzbekistan?

Kat: Well, strategically, the place is a stepping off point for conflict in Iran or Syria or just in general being in the area. Some folks are afraid we're acting like the "police" of the world, but I believe we've got a number of strategies working at the same time. Many folks don't get on the internet and read all the info, but Zawahiri wrote in his book, "Knights Under the Prophets Banner" that the plan was to set up the new Islamic caliphate in an arch from Pakistan to Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan to Chechnya and push down to link up with Egypt and Saudi Arabia. We know Islamist separatist interesting in joining this endeavor are already in Chechnya and Uzbekistan. Last, the world gets almost 40% of its oil from the ME. If it goes hot, oil supplies will be cut. The US could survive, but countries like China and Korea get 80% of their oil from the region. You know what happens when countries lose their main resources and their economies collapse? They go out looking for new resources and it isn't always peacefully through commerce. Those are just a few reasons why we ought to care about Uzbekistan. What I'd love to see is a real democracy movement there that we could support and wasn't tied up with a bunch of Islamist groups.


MG: Is Moammar Ghaddafi, the Most Stylin' Dictator on the Planet?

Kat: OMG! I mean, where does he get his kaftans? Honestly, with the female bodyguards, the jet planes, pimped out cars and his entourage I've been trying to decide if he's with the east coast or west coast rappers. Nice sunglasses, too, although, someone should tell him they went out in the 70's.


MG: Thanks Very Much, Kat, for a Nice Interview, and final question: Have you ever seen a Ghost?

Kat: You're welcome, Mister Ghost. I have seen a ghost. He used to live in our attic and we called him "George". My grandma always swore he was wearing a cheap suit and a fedora. What was weird was when we were remodeling the attic and found some old papers behind the paneling. It was a checkbook, some news clippings and two pictures of a guy in a suit and a fedora. The name on the paperwork was… George Stillwell Happy Memorial Weekend to the IBC crew and don't forget to remember all those who served and died to give us the freedom we use to read this blog.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Hope in the Middle East?

The hard and unavoidable truth is that the Middle East is still dominated by the values of both its tribal past and its despotic present. The history of the Middle East is, in a thumbnail sketch, a series of bloody conflicts between tribes and men who have seized power with the thrust of a sword. Violence is normative. When two tribes are locked in conflict, violent force is more often than not the only honorable manner of arbitration. Following this immemorial pattern, the winner in a bloody contest will, as soon as possible, solidify his position through intimidation and outright murder of anyone who might challenge him.

When respected cleric Majid al-Khoie returned to Najaf, Muqtada Al-Sadr, sensing confrontation and feeling that his toes were being stepped on a bit, simply assassinated him, using the standard preemptive strike against an opponent. Al-Khoie was in fact hacked to death right in front of the holy shrine. Westerners unfamiliar with the violence at the heart of Arab culture would be of course surprised that two religious leaders would act more like Mafiosi than members of a clergy. When was the last time that a minister here in the United States took out a contract hit on a minister he thought might encroach on his territory? And, these same Westerners would be even more puzzled by the basic acceptance of the killing by Iraqis themselves. For Iraqis, it was tragic, yes, but certainly not unusual.

In the context of Middle Eastern culture, Al-Sadr was just employing one of the time-honored methods of getting ahead. Kill the competition. Saddam killed Al-Sadr’s father using that very logic. Assad did the same with Rafik Hariri. Ayatollah Khoemeini, once in power in Iran, simply rehired the Shah’s SAVAK torturers and put them to work in the name of Islamic despotism and tyranny. Nothing had really changed for the people on the ground. Like all the others in the Middle East for whom oppression is assumed as a basic component of life, they continued walking around in fear of doing the wrong thing, crossing the so-called “red lines,” and finding themselves inside a cell. For many, it made no difference if you lived in Iran or Iraq. If you were critical in either regime, you could quickly find yourself tied to a metal bedframe and jumper-cables used to rid you of your “bad thoughts.”

In the last fifty years the Middle East has been free to choose its own kind of governance, but so far the tribal strictures have held firm and the region has produced an endless succession of despots. Nasser, Ghaddafi, the Saud family, Hafez Assad, Bashir Assad, and, of course, Saddam Hussein are just a few. Within the context of the Middle East, Saddam Hussein is not an aberration. He is, in fact, a representative Arab leader. The story of his rise to power is similar to all the other despots in the Middle East. If you read their biographies, as I have, you see that they all have blood on their hands -- and for good reason. You don’t rise in the Middle East without killing your competition. The problem is that the constant killing and oppression and siphoning off national treasure reduce those nations to shadows of what they could be under a system of governance that would harness the resources of the land and intelligence of the population.

Faiza Jarrar, like many in the Middle East, looks around her and has the courage -- to her credit -- to admit that she and her neighbors live in failed nations. On her good days, she acknowledges that Saddam Hussein, a murderous tyrant, ruined her country. She realizes that the Arab League is filled with idiots and despots. On her bad days, however, she looks for an easy scapegoat for her country’s ills and, like Bin Laden, blames the West. It’s an easy way to view one’s problems, but it will only hide the truth.

The Middle East will have a very dismal future if it cannot accept having homegrown individuals of critical intelligence who engage others in all kinds of debates -- especially those that examine basic institutions -- without fear of being imprisoned or killed. One of the secrets of the power of the West is the way our societies abide all kinds of harsh discussion around ideas about which we strongly disagree. Joseph Conrad, whose novel Heart of Darkness from 1899 Faiza Jarrar cites in a recent blog entry, was a Western writer and his critique of colonialism, in all its shaded nuances, took place within the West’s own debate about the human condition and the eternal tension between the individual and the demands of community and larger ideological forces. It was and remains to this day part of our dialogue.

Conrad, it must be emphasized, was participating within a wide Western tradition that included many others writing at the time, including such American authors as Henry James, Mark Twain, and Frank Norris, each one offering the reader compelling imaginative creations that engaged people on both sides of the Atlantic. And the generation of Conrad and James would, in turn, be answered by such post-World War I modernist masterpieces as James Joyce’s Ulysses and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. And the dialogue continues unabated today.

What has been most noticeably missing from the Middle East for the last hundred years is exactly the same breadth of imaginative and critical awareness. Why? The countries in the Middle East have been controlled by despots and freedom of speech and thought have been constantly under attack. The list of Middle Eastern writers who have been jailed, killed, or forced to emigrate is indeed a long one.

Today, however, there is real hope for the first time in the Middle East. Iraq has a chance, as does Lebanon, to become models for the rest of the region. The Iraqi bloggers represent the first genuine signs of an open, public discussion of ideas among citizens in the Middle East. Those of us who are fans of the Iraqi blogosphere view our Iraqi and Egyptian friends as unique and courageous individuals.

When I first read the passionate and articulate blog entries from Omar, Ali, and Mohammed Fadhil, I knew that if other Iraqis like these brothers were allowed to engage with other citizens of Iraq and the Middle East and with the rest of the world a democratic and productive future might be possible for both Iraq and for the region that has suffered terribly for decades now from tyrants and their ubiquitous secret police.

Other bloggers have now joined Omar, Ali, and Mohammed, and a lively discussion has begun, one that you too can participate in every day if you wish. If the terrorists succeed in Iraq, then all of this is for nothing. Zarqawi will then simply be the next despot to rule Iraq and he will guide the newly-constituted Mukhabarat to hunt down and kill the voices that you now hear coming from Iraq.

*

On the other hand, we are confronted with the daily contorted lunacy coming from Raed Jarrar.

Raed writes today:
All the evidence shows that the Japanese security contractor was killed before being taken as a "hostage".

Um, Raed, how did he die before he was taken "hostage"?

Accidentally cut himself shaving?

Slipped on a banana peel and wanged his head on the pavement?

Read Jarrar: Listen, the Japanese guy was killed by the resistance, yes, but that was BEFORE he was taken "hostage," so it doesn't count. See? He wasn't REALLY killed as a "hostage" -- we just killed him earlier as he walked down the street.

Oh yeah, that makes perfect sense.

*

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Sad Story Of Moojahdeen, The Terrorist Cow


Artwork By Diane Carriere


Ali Fadhil - Hat Tip Jeff - IBC tells us about the sad story of an Iraqi Police patrol "arresting" and defusing a cow loaded with explosives that was wandering down a highway in the Al-Mashro district of Hilla.

Well, I have more information about this story, because I knew this cow and her family. The heifer's name is Moojahdeen, that wasn't her original name, but she changed it to Moojahdeen after undergoing a transformation during her teenage years.

To explain why she became Moojahdeen, it's important to know something about her early years. Moojahdeen had a rough life as a calf. Her family situation was horrible. Her mother, Mom Cow, was gone from the house most of the time. To be frank, she was a bovine slut, who slept around with all of the Bulls in the farmer's field and was rarely there to take care of poor Moojahdeen. She was a very naughty and disreputable cow mom, that's for sure.

And Moojahdeen's father, Father Bull, wasn't much better as a parent. He spent most of his days grazing in the pasture, playing poker with his Bull Buddies, accumulating a lot of cow poker chips, and getting half-sloshed on the fermented dates, that fell from the trees which lined the farmer's field.

It was during these times when her father, Father Bull, returned home drunk and angry that Mom Cow wasn't around to have his grain and grass ready, which Moojahdeen feared the worse. With no mother
to protect her, Father Bull beat his daughter mercilessly with his tail all night long.

By her teenage years, Moojahdeen had had enough
of her dysfunctional home life and had run off
with another herd, that was bound for Pakistan.

It was in Pakistan, that Moojahdeen met an
Ass by the name of Zarqawi, who enrolled her
in a Moodrassas and warped her mind with hatred
and radicalism. Before encountering Zarqawi, Moojahdeen was a sweet innocent cow named
Betsy, but after falling under Zarqawi's
the Ass's spell, she took the Jihad name of Moojahdeen and pledged to kill all the Infidels
and their collaborator's in Iraq, by exploding
herself in one fiery mass of barbecued beef.

Zarqawi promised her, through her sacrifice
and death, that she would be given greener
pastures, 72 Virgin Bulls, and Delicious
Cud to chew for all eternity.

Moojahdeen was udderly convinced and fell for Zarqawi's lies: hook, line, and milking machine.
She was smuggled back into Iraq by Zarqawi's Al Qaeda cattle herders, and given her assignment to detonate herself in the Al-Mashro district by some poor villagers homes.

Moojahdeen was on her way to a beefy explosion,
when a brave member of the Iraqi Police Force intercepted her, and removed and defused the explosive vest, preventing a great tragedy and
loss of more innocent lives in Iraq.

And the story does have a Happy Ending for
Moojahdeen too. Not only didn't she suffer a
needless and unfortunate death, but because of
what the IP found to be extenuating
circumstances in her case, and her promise to testify against Zarqaawi the Ass, she was
placed in the Cattle Protection Program,
given a new Bovine Identity, and transfered
to a Quiet Farm somewhere in Kurdistan,
where she'll spend the rest of her natural
life, happily munching away on nice grass
and providing the sweetest milk in all of
Northern Iraq.

The End.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Iraqis Examine Saddam's Undies

It has been a very interesting past few days as commentary around the Iraqi Blogosphere has come in on the photographs of Saddam Hussein in his jail cell, one of them showing the Brave Saladin in his white jockey shorts.

Ahmad thinks the photographs have an educational purpose.
After all the suffering he put us through, now he is living how he should've lived all his life, in prison washing and cleaning, not only his clothes but also the floors and the toilets of the prison. Man, I will never get enough of seeing him humiliated, suffering and treated like he should've been treated all his life, like an animal. I mean didn't you like the picture of Samir holding Saddam, after punching him? I love that picture!

Kurdo agrees with Ahmad.
The greatest photo of the year. I don't care if they sue this newspaper or not, I don't care if this is against Geneva Convictions.

I personally was scared from Saddam even in my dreams. I have seen this guy in my dreams and I have started to shiver.

To see this man (Sa'ed Al-Ra'es) (Mr. President) as he used to call himself like that in a pair of Iraqi underwear, is the strongest message for all his victims that it is time to live in peace for ever.

I think they should give him a copy of this newspaper to him to totally destroy this man. Hanging this guy isn't a good punishment, but to totally destroy it psychologically is the best punishment for the sake of those in the massgraves.

Omar over at Iraq the Model places the undied Saddam in historical context and suggests that Saddam himself probably LIKES the photographs.
By the way, I'd like to say a few words about the Saddam in Knickers thing.

I actually don't think Saddam would mind being seen this way at all; back in the 1990s he appeared on the state TV wearing a swim suit smaller than the underwear he was wearing in the recent photos. And not only that, he was dancing in that "out fit"!

So if it was okay for him to appear half naked on TV when he was in power, I don't think he would mind being seen the same way when he's a prisoner and I really don't understand the frenzy of his Jordanian attorney who described taking the photos as a crime!

...

Anyway, I guess these pictures will have a greater impact outside Iraq rather than inside and whether showing them was with or against the law I believe it delivered another strong message to the small tyrants of the neighborhood and shook their image in the eyes of their people. I won't be surprised to hear that someone from Egypt or Syria used photoshop to edit these photos and fit Mubarak's or Asad's face on Saddam's body.

Sam at Hammorabi looks forward to Saddam's trial and execution.
For us during such a time the pictures of Saddam Hussein by the Sun (a tabloid paper in the UK) means nothing without him standing a trial. The most important thing about Saddam is to see what he is going to say about his crimes over 35 years against the Iraqi people and his neighbors. The long awaited trial is more important for us and the world than the pictures of the tyrant washing his own clothes. Indeed the pictures show that he is healthy and taking care of himself and his hygiene. He enjoys a deep sleep that he used to deprive his prisoners from by different ways of tortures. One of the ways that he used to use is by putting the detained in a small cell (1 meter wide) and put some scorpions with him. They give the detained a small ruler and ask him not to kill the scorpions and if he do so they will torture him. He then spends the night pushing the scorpions away with the ruler! The other way is by putting him in similar cell with dribbling of water from the ceiling over his head or horror noises.

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Ahmad joins Nadz and Sandmonkey in penning an honest critique of the situation on the ground in Iraq and suggestive of the wider Middle Eastern context.

WE have a problem and WE must solve it.

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Sandmonkey, TV Critic!

Over the past couple days there has been so much good writing done by Arabs taking a look around them and reporting in the blogosphere that I don't know where to begin.

Nonetheless, let me start with the absolute best blog entry from today. It comes from Sandmonkey. Sam puts on his Night-Vision Goggles and watches the Arab Parallel Universe as if in broad daylight.

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GM over at Big Pharaoh has just posted a righteous blog entry on "radioactive anti-Americanism."

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Nadz also takes on the Arab Parallel Universe.

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Mohammed over at Iraq the Model conducts a little experiment as he goes through his day.

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Fouad Ajami has returned from a trip around the Middle East.

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Traveling Kaaba Show

Hey, I was surfing the net this morning and this caught my eye.
Surprise Decision on Kaaba Initiative

By Haider Kuttab

RIYADH (Reuters) - In a surprise development Saudi authorities have agreed to allow the Kaaba to be moved annually to a different Muslim country to show solidarity with the other Muslim nations and to aid the poorer countries by allowing them to receive the influx of money coming from the pilgrimages of devout Muslims from around the world.

Starting in 2008 the Kaaba will be moved by an as-yet unnamed Saudi construction company and then relocated to the host country, where it will remain for up to two months covering the holy month of Ramadan.

Already speculation has begun about which country will be the first to receive the Kaaba. Egyptian officials have been in talks with Saudi Arabia on the possibility of being the first Muslim country to accept this offer.

"We would like to set the Kaaba down next to our pyramids," said a spokesman for Hosni Mubarak. "With both the Kaaba and the pyramids, we could perhaps triple our revenue from foreign tourists and Islamic pilgrims."

I wonder why we haven't heard more about this.

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Butcher of Sagdad.

Heh heh.

Sorry, but that photo of an Iraqi mother and her son laughing at Saddam (scroll down a bit) is PRICELESS.

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Oh, what a WONDERFUL day!

Schroeder just got his HEAD handed to him in North Rhine-Westphalia!

Check out Davids Medienkritik for the best commentary.

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Take a ride with Steven Vincent as he tags along with British military on a dusty trip to Qasr Zaid in Iraq.

Check out the photos. That border fort looks EXACTLY like a WHITE CASTLE burger joint down the street from where I live!

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The Long Goodbye to the Left.

Read the whole article.

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

SOULS FOR SALE: GALLOWAY & JARRAR


COMING SOON TO A

THEATER NEAR YOU


SOULS FOR SALE


STARRING JACKAL GEORGE GALLOWAY
& RAED THE GORILLA JARRAR


SPECIAL GUEST STAR SADDAM HUSSEIN



Illustration by D. Carriere


A SORDID TALE OF GRAFT, GREED,
DESPOTISM, AND THREE MERCEDES...



RATED R FOR ROTTEN



PARENTAL GUIDANCE A MUST



NO ONE SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE!


Arab Parallel Universe in Full Effect

Over at Akbar's a lively discussion has begun around the subject of Islam and its role in terrorist activities around the world. As usual, I have shot my mouth off a little intemperately. Fortunately the discussion also included such a longstanding Iraqi Blogopshere commenter as Louise.

Louise was able push me down into a chair, slap me a few times, and then articulate what my feverish mind was thinking.

akbar, if I may, my friend Jeffrey is very passionate about this, and who can blame him. He is a New Yorker and 9/11 happened on his doorstep. But he and RC have asked some good questions and pointed out several stark hypocrisies that very few Arabs have dared to discuss.

You and a few of the bloggers and some Arabs living in the West (and I should say Muslims, as well, because I know they are not one and the same), are among the notable exceptions who are beginning to speak up.

When I suggested that "who started the Arab/Israeli conflict" is the wrong question, I believe one of the many, many right questions that need to be asked is why can't the Arabs and Muslim people address their inability to examine these questions. It's not as if they have examined them and found the exercise to be useless.

There is no denying that great masses of Arab and Muslim people have heretofore refused to acknowledge that any part of the responsibility for all of these travesties to which RC and Jeffrey allude, could lie within their own house.

This is what the dictatorships of the past 50+ years and centuries of the radical and rigid sects of Islam have accomplished: a complete inability to reflect on ones own behavior, and to take responsibility for it, masked (ie, kept in a state of denial) by an autocratic fixation with a hopeless cause - Israel.

And while I'm at it, I might suggest one of the other questions that should be asked, if the exercise in self-reflection takes its full course, and that is:

What has caused the Arabs to remain so weak, while so much of the rest of the world became modernized and technologically powerful? (It's not just the United States that is far ahead in the game, or even the white skinned, Europeans and their offshoots like Canada or Australia. Think of Japan, South Korea and other places in the Far East.

The Arab world has such great potential. Why have they become frozen in a time that the rest of us left so very long ago? Many of those other terrorist groups you mention were met with loud, persistent opposition from moderate, intelligent people in their respective countries. Yet the governments and many of the people in the Arab world seem to think denial is the proper response when dealing with their own terrorists, or worse, financing and training terrorists. What is that has led to this state of affairs?

And the really big question: Why did so many Iraqi expatriates petition governments in the Western world to intervene on their behalf to topple the tyrant? Where were their own brethren??? And if these brothers had wanted to help, could they have???

The answers to these these questions alone are essential ingredients to a solution to the problems the Muslim world has.

I would love to hear your views on these points. I suspect you may agree that these kinds of questions need to be asked by Arabs of themselves. Frankly, I think the Jeffrey's of the West would become much calmer if these issues were addressed openly, and if, after several years down the road, that has been accomplished, there could well be a substantial shift in the Arab Israeli conflict.

Right now, the way I see it, the Palestinians and the Arabs right now would have no idea what to do tomorrow morning, if Israel just disappeared. They would still have the same problems and would have neither the technology nor the institutions that would enable them to rise up and be part of the family of modern nations. If their governments had spent even half as much effort in the past 50 years developing modern institutions and useful technologies than they did fostering a feeding frenzie of hatred and beating a dead horse (the Israeli-Palestinian thing), 9/11 wouldn't have happened and Jeffrey would not be making such threatening sounds.

Thanks, Louise.

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Bobby from Virginia is one of the original Iraqi Blogosphere commenters. Like me, his mind has recently been TWISTED BUT GOOD by the Arab Parallel Universe. He weighs in on the matter over at Big Pharaoh.
Everybody is a hypocrite to one extent or another. We face up to many of our examples every day. But it's too long overdue that people in the middle east do the same.

1. Protesting over a book but not over human lives.

2. Doing the same thing you are upset about by painting our flag on the ground to walk on.

3. Ignoring the fact that religious minorities in the region are under constant assault in many forms.

4. The centers of Islam, Arabia and Egypt, discriminate against Christians in blatant and obscene ways. And they would obliterate Jews if they could, it is even written in the so-called holy Koran.

5. Worrying about a tyrant who degraded and debased the entire world.

6. And now, here we have the great wonderful and illustrious Sunni clerics closing mosques in protest because a couple of their fellow frothing-at-the-mouth inciters of violence have been killed.
THEY.ARE.FULL.OF.SHIT!

People, if you want to excitement, join the discussions now in progress on the comments pages of the Iraqi Blogosphere!

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SERENITY NOW!

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Good Luck Neurotic Iraqi Wife


Artwork By Mister Ghost

Good Luck and Kind Regards to Neurotic Iraqi Wife who's off to the Green Zone of Baghdad to be with her Husband and Work at her dream job in Finance and make Lots of Money.

And who can blame this Young Iraqi Pioneer with a Big Heart for heading back to the Motherland, as she and her Hubby help rebuild the country they love and its economy.

Whatever dangers may await her, we're confident she'll past through them with Flying Colors and make Iraq a better place than it was, when she departed from the country.

We at Iraqi Bloggers Central Wish Her a
Big Time Well!


Alright, Let's Have A Farewell Party! Heh.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Spirit of America -- Scam or Legit?

Followers of the Iraqi blogosphere were pleased yesterday to find that Ali, our Free Iraqi, decided to discuss the reasons for his separation from the Spirit of America organization. Today, Ali posts a follow-up blog entry on the subject.
I wasn't there on the 1st meeting with Jim Hake and Kerry Dupont but my brothers, some of our friends and a couple of journalists were there, in addition to the people from Ramadi. My friends and my brothers told me that they were shocked with these guys from Ramadi. They attended one meeting where everyone was discussing how to run a public awareness campaign about the Iraqi elections. Their comment (the guys from Ramadi) was, "What are you talking about?? Let the occupation forces leave Iraq first and then we'll talk about elections." After that they did not attend any meeting and spent their time having fun and shopping. They even looked at my brothers with suspicious eyes saying, " why are you staying here in the hotel?! Are you serious about this?!" which scared my brothers and friends, as it seems these people thought that everyone was here to steal American's money and laugh at them after that, but here are some Iraqis who were actually "collaborating with the occupiers".

And this TV station was supposed to bring Iraqis in Anbar something different from what Al Jazeera was offering them! They just created another, even a worse smaller version of Al Jazeera. That's where American money was and still is going mostly.

Read the whole entry.

Ali paints a fairly damning portrait of all your donated money being stuffed into the pockets of a line of shady characters.

I think we need to discuss this. If the money donated to Spirit of America is now funding mini Al-Jazeera radio stations, that's not good, right?

We need answers. NOW.

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The In T View: Nadz: Proud and Free



Never Preachy, Frequently Optimistic, a Strong Advocate for Woman's Rights, Arab American
Blogger Nadz, reporting from a Secret Location
in the Big 50, provides a Frank and Honest Look
at the Mideast and World Events via her Blog: Nadz Online.

And in The In T View: Nadz: Proud and Free,
she discusses everything from Moderate Muslims
to Islam to Hugging Trees to Palestine to
the Kingdom of Saud to Irshad Manji to Riverdance...and much more.

It's The In T View: Nadz: Proud and Free

Interview: Mister Ghost. Artwork: Diane Carriere & Mister Ghost


MG: Hello Nadz, How are you?

Nadz: Hi there, Mr Ghost. I'm doing great.


MG: What does Love mean to you?

Nadz: Hmm, good question. Love means respect and faith in a person. Sticking together through thick and thin, when things get rough and the early idealism is gone. Having confidence in a person's goodness. Lots of cliches.


MG: What do you think of the Views of Irshad Manji?

Nadz: Part of me thinks that she might be a bit naive, but another part of me thinks that Islam needs people like her to reform it. I don't know if Islam can be reformed to accept gay feminists like her, and I don't know why she hasn't just given up on faith. However, she clearly thinks that there's something there worth saving, so kudos to her for being brave enough to call for change.


MG: Moderate and Secular Muslims are out there, but seem silent
or silenced compared to the Radical and Fundamentalist Islamicists.
How do you get the Moderate and Secular members of Islam to Speak
Out and make their Views and Presence Known, to avoid disasters
like the Muslims Against Terror Rally that drew a disgraceful
36 - 200 participants?

Nadz: 36-200? Wow, that is bad. What a shame. Well, I think blogs and the internet are a good start. It allows us to talk to each other and others with more anonymity. I think there are quite a few of us out there, but we're too intimidated to speak out en masse. I wish I had a solution.


MG: Have you ever hugged a tree?

Nadz: Hahaha! I've climbed many, but as you can probably guess from my anti-hippy comments, I'm not big on bonding with plants.


MG: You've probably already been told this, but your Nickname/Blogname is slang for a certain part of a man's anatomy. Are you good to go with this and see
it as a Badge of Honor, saying in essence, I've Got Balls! LOL?

Nadz: Lol! I guess I tend to kick men in the balls with my angry ranting, so I've kinda earned my name.



MG: What is your Favorite Part of a Man's -- or to cover all the bases -- Woman's Body?

Nadz: I like men's arms. A nice back is also a plus. I'm not into women in that way, but everything about Angelina Jolie is smokin' hot - except for the homewrecking part, of course.


MG: Do Camels smell?

Nadz: They reek! Especially when they leave camel droppings outside of your house.


MG: You have an American Mom and a Palestinian Father and have spent considerable time in Middle East, even in the Tragic Kindom of Saud. How has this affected your worldview? Do you think of yourself as being more worldly than your peers?

Nadz: Being from a multicultural background has helped me see both sides to many debates, and made me see the pluses and minuses of different cultures. I guess I try to be open-minded, see both sides, and watch out for extremists!


MG: What do you consider yourself to be? Are you an American, a Palestinian,
a Moslem, or just a human being?

Nadz: Arab-American. I'm both an American and a Palestinian, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not a huge fan of labels, though.


MG: Ever been involved in a Snowball Fight?

Nadz: Yes! When I was younger. There wasn't much snow on the ground, so the fight didn't last very long.


MG: Do you have any Pets?

Nadz: I have a dog and a hamster. I'm a slave to them both.


MG: What do you think your Totem Animal is?

Nadz: Totem animal? I guess a porquepine (did I spell that right?) - small and short-tempered. But also cute and relatively harmless.


MG: Is there Life on other Planets?

Nadz: I hope so. I think with the vastness of the universe, it would be pretty arrogant to think that we're the only life form. We may never run into them, but that would be something if we did. You never know - Michael Jackson may call the mothership if he gets convicted.


MG: You're an Atheist and don't believe in God or Allah.
You know this could get you killed in 4 out of every 5 Islamic Nations?

Nadz: Yes! I'm familiar with the apostacy laws, and don't think much of them. I don't consider myself an apostate, though, because I've always been an atheist. When I was six years old and was told about God, I thought it didn't make sense - why should I believe in invisible men unless I have evidence for them?


MG: Nadz, recently there were riots and deaths in the Moslem World,
because of what seems to be a false rumor that a U.S. Soldier flushed
a Qumran down the toilet in Guatanamo -- Never mind, how the hell
do you actually flush a thick book down a toilet -- But should anyone die
because of a book?

Nadz: No, absolutely not. People are way too touchy about their Holy books - if you have such faith in your infallible religion, surely it can handle a little desecration? I understand how people were offended by it, but it's no reason to kill people. I think the riots in Afghanistan are about more than the Koran incident - it's a chance for the clergy and the radicals to show that they're still a force to be reckoned with.


MG: Nadz, how different would Islam be, if the Prophet was a Woman?

Nadz: Wouldn't that have been something? There were some female prophets around at the time, apparently. If the Prophet was a woman, I'd suspect she'd preach a more egalitarian system, emphasize the "sacred feminine" concept, place more value on children, sex as a positive force, and economic justice.

However, Islam probably would have not taken off the way it has with a woman as its founder - I don't think men would have listened, sadly. Some might have followed her, but sexism has been around long before monotheism made it worse.


MG: Is Islam a Misogynistic Religion or is it the Interpretation of Islam
by those shepherding and preaching the faith that leads to Honor
Killings, Subjugation, Veilings, Restrictions of Freedom,
and Genital Mutilation among women?

Nadz: Like all religions, Islam is a patriarchal system that preaches male superiority over women. There are some verses in the Quran that are blatantly sexist. However, the problems in the mideast are not all due to Islam, but the way it mixes with cultural traditions and mysogynistic thinking. For example, FGM and honor killings aren't sanctioned in the Quran, but the ideas in the culture and religion about female "honor" allow it to happen.

There is an agrument, however, that interpretation has a lot to do with it. There is mysogyny in the Bible and the Torah as well, but most people choose not to listen to the sexist verses. Muslims need to learn to do the same - to take the good and leave the bad. And it's only through the efforts of women, I think, that will bring this about. But the fact that all religions are rooted in patriarchy is a problem. The more fundamentalist the religion, the worse it is for women. Oh, and the clergy are jerks.


MG: What is your favorite place in the Mideast and why?

Nadz: Petra, in Jordan. It's a beautiful, ancient place. A Nabatean city carved out of rock into the mountains - I'd recommend that everyone see it, and I may even post some pictures of the place on my blog now.

The entrance of the city also features two carvings of Amazon women - it reminds me that women in this part of the world were not always oppressed, and that we don't always have to be.

The coasts of Lebanon are also beautiful - Beirut is an amazing city. The Dead Sea, the hills of the West Bank, the mountains...I love 'em all. But I have a special place in my heart for ancient places.


MG: Lebanon: According to DEBKA, Michael Aoun, the former president
of Lebanon, is returning to Lebanon from 14 years exile in France
(the "Lucky" Guy) to run in the upcoming Lebanese Presidential
elections. Do you think Lebanon and the Lebanese will finally be at peace?

Nadz: I hope so - the Lebanese deserve peace, especially after the horrible civil war they went through. It's not going to be all smooth sailing in the near future - there are still sectarian tensions and Hezbollah are still very powerful. But I think the anti-Syria, pro-democracy protesters have shown that Lebanon is moving forward, and there's no going back for the reactionaries. There are too many people who have had enough.


MG: Palestine: Nadz, you say The Intifadah "was a disaster."
And hopefully, anyone with more than half a brain won't disagree
with you. So, what do the Palestinians do now to extricate themselves
from the morass they've buried themselves under?

Nadz: Stop the pattern of justifying the militants' actions, and make it clear to the Israelis that Hamas and Islamic Jihad no longer speak for us. Then, create a massive non-violence movement - the "violence movement" never works, but Ghandi's tactics have never failed. If we find peaceful ways to resist the occupation, we'll give the Israelis reason to think that we're not out to drive them into the sea.

Reform the PA. Create an efficient governmental system. Stop blaming Israel for everything, and learn to fix things ourselves. Instead of complaining when the Israelis take a step backwards, take the initiative and move in the right direction. Continue non-violence tactics, get international attention and demand to get back to the negociating table. Make sure that Arafat doesn't come back to life (shivers).

Above all though, stop shouting for revenge and instead call for reconciliation. We will never turn the clock back to pre-1945, so we have to accept that we can't have everything. We need to accept some hard truths and learn to forgive. There is so much bad feeling now, both sides have to forgive a little for the sake of peace.


MG: You've spent time in Saudi Arabia. What was it like to live
there? How restrictive was it?

Nadz: I didn't think much of the dress code. Well, it's not as bad as its sometimes made out to be - it depends on what area you're in. But generally, when I'm in the Kingdom, i feel restricted, uncomfortable, unable to breathe freely. It's a little suffocating, especially with all of the security now because of the terrorist attacks.
There are some good things about it - nice beaches, a relatively comfortable standard of living, cheap gasoline. But it's not a good place to be a woman - you feel hostility and begin to want to be invisible, just to avoid the scutiny. You don't feel free to speak your mind, express yourself, act as you see fit - it's a theocracy.


MG: And what about the Saudi Educational System? How did it feel to attend
Saudi Schools? Was there a lot of Anti-Semitism and Anti-Americanism
inundating the students?

Nadz: It's not a daily occurance, but it's there. Islam class was the worst in terms of the hostility towards Americans and Jews. I didn't spend all of my time in Saudi schools, though - I was in an American cirriculum for a while, and went to school in other middle eastern countries as well. But the education system is pretty bad - no room for independant thinking at all.



MG: When will the poor Saudi Women be allowed to vote and will they even be able to see the Ballots from under their Burkhas? And how will they know if it's a
woman voting - it could be a man in disguise you know? And will the Saudi Men
even be allowed to touch and count the ballots, after women have handled them -
Won't the ballots have to be disinfected?

Nadz: Hahaha! Don't forget the high rates of rape and prostitution the voting will also cause! One quick note: in Saudi Arabia, women wear Abayas, not Burkas - they're black instead of blue and don't have that mesh thingy over the face.

Seriously, women will get the vote when they demand it - take to the streets and insist on their rights. Suffragettes in the States and Europe had to go on hunger strikes and chain themselves to railway tracks before they were given the right to vote. I hope it won't come to that, but it will take some action to get the vote. Time for a feminist revolution!


MG: What's the Best Movie you've seen in the last six months and why?

Nadz: I see lots of movies - I'm a big movie buff. Hmm...off the top of my head, I'd say Hotel Rwanda was a very powerful, touching movie. I loved the "lord of the rings" movies. I saw "Dr Stangelove" only recently and loved it.


MG: How did you become interested in Blogging, and how did your Blog:
Nadz Online come about?

Nadz: I had starting following mainstream blogs and learning about them through friends. Then, I started to follow a lot of the Iraqi and Middle Eastern blogs, and was encouraged by all of the pro-democracy, moderate bloggers saying things that we couldn't say on the streets. But I noticed that there were very few Arab female bloggers. I guess I wanted to add to the conversation about the mideast in the blogosphere, and make sure that women weren't left out of the dialogue.


MG: Besides your own Blog, what other Blogs do you read and can recommend?

Nadz: I like Instapundit, Buzzmachine, Publius Pundit and sometimes Little Green Footballs. As for the Middle Eastern blogs, I like Healing Iraq, Iraq The Model, Hammorabi, Mental Mayhem, Sandmonkey, Big Pharoah, The Bedouin Cowboy, Amarji The Heretic, Neurotic Iraqi Wife. Mahmoud's Den and Iraqi Blogger's Central, of course. I don't agree with her politics, but Riverbend is a great writer, so I read her blog. I've just discovered Baghdad's Mistress (through your blog, actually), which I find really interesting.


MG: What is your Favorite Food?

Nadz: Anything with cheese on it.


MG: Do you have a Sweet Tooth? Any dessert or junk food you absolutely
go Ga-Ga over?

Nadz: Chocolate chip cookies and tiramasu.


MG: Are you a South Park Republican?

Nadz: I think so. I've read some that book, and it sounds like me - socially, I'm probably liberal, but economically, I'm a little more conservative. I like laughing at both sides, however, and try to stay in the middle.


MG: So, you don't like Riverdance? How is this possible? Are you not wowed by the dancing mastery of one Mr. Michael Flatley?

Nadz: It's scary! It doesn't seem like dancing to me if no hip-shaking is involved - it's just kicking the air with freakishly accurate coordination. And Flately, I suspect, is pure evil.


MG: You talk about the "Hijab Squad" in your blog. Could you tell us who this
mysterious group of individuals are?

Nadz: They are a group of conservative Muslim women who are basically, intentionally or unintentially, cheerleaders for partiarchy. They like to claim that their hijabs are about "empowerment", that shariah is egalitarian, and that women have separate but equal roles. In reality, they end up apologizing for the oppression of their sisters and sanctioning male mistreatment of women. They're so vocal that they tend to drown out other Arab and Muslim women who are not so keen on being mouthpieces for sexism.

They were a bit mysterious until I revealed their leader, the Grand High Cheerleader of Patriarchy, in my blog. I still haven't found their secret volcano lair, however.



MG: Nadz, you don't wear the hijab yourself. Don't you know that the uncovered
hair of a woman produces sex rays that causes men to be filled with
Uncontrollable Lust and to lose all their control around women - even worse
than alcohol?

Nadz: Yep, I'm aware of the magical rays in my hair - it's all part of my sinister plan to control men and take over the world! Seriously, though, isn't that ridiculous? They think that all men are perverts because they're perverts themselves. And I wouldn't plan on using the magical hair ray defense in a rape trial - there's that other disgusting defense of "she asked for it".


MG: What's the Strangest Thing you've seen in your life?

Nadz: A man jogging with a cigarette in his mouth.


MG: Have you ever fallen under the sway of Moammar Ghadaffi?
That's one Stylin' Dictator - He could sweep you off your
feet, Nadz, if you're not careful.

Nadz: Hehe. Have you seen his all-female bodyguard squad? If I wasn't so anti-dictator, I might have to sign up. He's more stylin' than Kim Jong-Il, that's for sure. I'd probably prefer to be a crazy dctator than serve one, but that's just me.


MG: Thanks Very Much for a Nice Interview, Nadz, and Final Question:
Have you ever seen a Ghost?

Nadz: Thanks. No, I haven't seen a ghost. When I was 5, I thought I
saw one of Santa's elves - then I learned there was no santa, and my childhood ended.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Close to Home for the Jarrars

Faiza Jarrar and her two sons, Khalid and Raed, have been under intense scrutiny the last month or so as the death-count rises over a thousand at the hands of Raed's "glorious resistance."

Are the resistance killing Occupation forces?

No.

Who are they killing then?

Iraqi men, women, and children because it's EASY to kill them with suicide bombers.

And now people close to the Jarrars have started to die at the hands of their "resistance."

Since April 1, 2005, the insurgents/terrorists/resistance have killed:

689 Iraqi Civilians

370 Iraqi Military / Police

1059 Iraqi Citizens killed since April 1, 2005, by the people that Raed and Khalid support.

*

As one might expect, Faiza Jarrar is the most level-headed. She has seen enough of the carnage brought about by the "resistance":
A short while ago, a trapped car exploded in front of a shop selling dairy products, near our house in Baghdad. The shop is in a main, commercial street, in front of an intermediate school for boys. There is no police station, or such other state offices, civilian or military. The victims were, as usual, Iraqi civilians who were passing by, pedestrian, or in their cars…

The question is: who stands behind these silly, stupid operations, that disfigures the reputation of whoever wants to resist the occupation, killing more innocent Iraqi civilians…?

...

Is the resistance really a bunch of people who hate life, wanting destruction and ruin to all things around them, without a clear, fixed target in vision, and action style? Just explosions, in a blind way, without rules, without mercy to the Iraqi civilians, who are the only victims in this irrational hell?

These mean, irresponsible acts will push the Iraqis away from supporting the resistance, towards hating it…and shunning it…and their hearts and minds shall be with that who will bring them salvation from these inhuman, destructive acts…

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Two days ago the "glorious resistance" fired mortars that landed on Khalid's university and killed people that he knows.
But Saad, the head of security of the University, who is a husband and a father, who was injured this morning just died, i just heard from the hospital. :*(((
He was a very Kind person, he allowed me to Enter the camera inside the campus when i made the films for CBC, no one would let me get them in because of the security situation, but he allowed me on his own responsibility knowing that it might get him in trouble.

Khalid, do you still support the terrorists?

*

The most pathetic Jarrar remains Raed, whose head is firmly planted in the sand while friends and family are targeted daily by the very people that he supports.

Zarqawi is laughing his ass off at the PERFECT USEFUL IDIOT, Raed Jarrar.

When the terrorists murdered Raed's friend Marla Ruzicka, Raed blamed the Occupation forces for her death!

ZARQAWI to Raed Jarrar: GOOD DOGGIE! GOOD DOGGIE! Here's a little treat! Good boy!

RAED:
All of the Iraqi-Iraqi conflicts are caused by the US-led illegal occupation. Every drop of Iraqi blood that has been shed after this invasion is the responsibility of the occupation forces, and all the US and Hakim's attempts of starting a large scale Iraqi-Iraqi conflict so that they can strengthen their own position won't succeed.

ZARQAWI: GOOD DOGGIE, RAED! We'll keep murdering Iraqis and YOU keep blaming the Americans! Here's a nice treat! GOOD BOY!

GOOD DOGGIE, RAED, GOOD DOGGIE!

*

And, of course, Raed has returned to his ADORATION of MUQTY and his FIVE MILLION FOLLOWERS!

Raed: And that's my CONSERVATIVE estimate!

Good doggie, Raed, good doggie!

*

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The In T View: Sam From Hammorabi



Sam from the Hammorabi Blog is the most Elusive, Passionate, and Mysterious of the Iraqi Bloggers to share his thoughts
on his country of Iraq, the Middle East, Terrorism, and Geo-Politics. We really don't know who he truly is, but appreciate his contributions to the Blogosphere, and are
presented with the opportunity to learn more about his views on Blogging,
Iraq, Sistani, Childhood, Islam, Food, Terrorism, Muqti al Sadr, and more in:

The In T View: Sam From Hammorabi

MG: Hello Sam, How are you?

Sam: Hi MG.


MG: How did you become interested in Blogging, and how did your Blog: Hammorabi come about?

Sam: Blogging is another way of communication, finding local news not covered by the media, and it gives (me the opportunity to converse with) lots of friends from all over the globe. I discovered it by seeing the other blogs through the Internet. Hammorabi is the Babylonian King who produced a full written law and I found this as a good name for something about Iraq.


MG: You have been writing your interesting blog for more than a year now.
What are the challenges associated with writing it and what is the best thing to you about blogging?

Sam: Writing to different readers who don't know the exact magnitude of the adversities and problems in Iraq since 36 years is by itself a challenge. It is about how I can tell you about the size of our suffering for many years? I only can say drop of the ocean. The best thing is learning from other people like you and having friends that you never seen. Communication and changing ideas is a big advantage and a challenge.


MG: Are there other Blogs you like to read and can recommend?

Sam: I read many blogs but can't recommend specific blogs.


MG: In your blog, you often refer to history. What is the most
interesting historical era -- in the Middle East or the World -- to you?

Sam: I like the ancient history of the mankind and how the man starts to make civilizations. Also interested in the history of the Arabs region and Iraq. I am not historian but some time read about the English and the American recent history.


MG: So, how do you view the commentators to your Blog?

Sam: Difficult to say a view about all the commentators because they are different, however I got lot of them like friends or say friends. I respect any views and ideas but without insult to the others or their religion as far as the others are not terrorists.


MG: What are your favorite places in Iraq and the World?

Sam: Historic places especially the very ancient, nature places and my favorite place in Iraq is where there are palm trees and water. The desert represents some thing mysterious that I would like to explore. I love the Iraqi marshes which could represent a beautiful tourist place and natural sanctuary for birds, fish, and it is the place of birth of the first human civilization where the first letter and syllable written.


MG: Let's chat a little about food, Sam. Months back, you talked about a Camel barbecued with honey and figs, that you would like to make for your friends and posters. Do you have a recipe for this?

Sam: The Camel BQ needs no recipe! It needs no salt either because the camel meat a bit salty. Well the recipe is a surprise.


MG: What was the best meal you ever had and why?

Sam: Iraqi Dates fresh from tree, yogurt and cream when all are fresh! Kiln grilled Iraqi marsh fish with freshly made Iraqi bread plus onion.


MG: What were your favorite subjects at school while growing up?

Sam: Math, science, biology.


MG: Could you tell us about a fond memory from your childhood?

Sam: When you are a child and being irresponsible, free like a bird not to worry about any thing is all nice. My school was certainly the nicest thing for me however the best thing in the school was when I receive my results and on the top of that when the summer holiday starts.


MG: Sam, what makes you laugh? What do you find funny?

Sam: Is there anything funny now a days?! Laugh when things go wrong unexpectedly some time to strong comedy shows and the secret cameras good show.


MG: Sam, I understand you're far from being a materialistic man,
but if you inherited about 50 Million Dollars, what would you to do with the money?

Sam: I will give some to my family and some to charity for sick children in Iraq and start a good business. If you like I will donate some for you!
(MG says: Yay, my credit card companies will be very grateful for Sam's donation.)


MG: Sam, what is essential to you in life?

Sam: Without God I won't survive. Peace and respect with values are important. To be good towards my God, myself, my family, the others, the environment and the world as a whole.


MG: What is your favorite book of all time?

Sam: The Holy Quran and the Holy Bible.


MG: What is the link between God and religion?

Sam: Strong without human manipulation


MG: What is the importance of ritual in religion?

Sam: Sort of exercise for the soul and programming the self to be on that religion.


MG: Al Sistani has been a force in Iraq. What do you see in the man and as a spiritual leader?

Sam: Wise, respecting the others and their views irrespective of their religions so can work as a symbol to unify. He is against the use of force and terrorism and the good thing he is calling for, (is) separation of the state from religion in a way not allowing the Mullas to impose themselves as politicians. This is the main difference between Najaf Hawza and Iran Hawza.


MG: Now Sam, should al-Sistani, unelected and not chosen by the Iraqi people to govern them or even represent them, be a force in a modern democratic state?

Sam: No he is not a political force but a spiritual leader and he was so during Saddam regime as spiritual leader so nothing changed now a part from taking his advices and views become public and important for the time being. Once the democratic process established and mechanism for election and constitution set out then Sistani or whoever comes after him will not impose themselves on the politics of the state unless asked to give advice. Indeed he is now not giving his views unless asked to give and he only suggest whether the others will take his suggestion or not. However a man like him is so important in this time like a father in the family.


MG: Some of the rules in Qumran are often interpreted in rigid ways, especially those related to women. What do you think of these interpretations?

Sam: This is a long subject and you need to be specific which role you mean? However not all the interpretations are correct.


MG: Do you think Islamic practices that are in contradiction to modern society and life can be reformed and modernized?

Sam: Absolutely not Islamic practice is so easy and it is the reverse in a materialistic life and stress when need to turn our faces at the end of the day to the highest power in this universe to pray and to sooth our hardship and suffering.


MG: What place should Sharia law have in a modern democratic state?

Sam: I don't think this can be implemented in Iraq.


MG: What are two of your favorites passages in the Qumran?

Sam: In the name of God (Allah) most Gracious most Merciful.

All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the 'Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists).

The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)

You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).
Guide us to the Straight Way

The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger nor of those who went astray


MG: Would you like to tell us about your family experiences under Saddam?

Sam: This is so long story but we lost a lot and many of my family have been executed.


MG: Saddam's regime was unforgiving. What marks did it leave on your beautiful country and you?

Sam: All what you may see now are the outcome of his mischiefs. The scars he inflicted will not go so easily.


MG: Sam, how must Iraqis cope with past decades of terror and death imposed by Saddam's Baathist Regime?

Sam: They pay thousands to try to topple him but he was supported by big states and Arabs in the region.


MG: What would you like your government to do to improve the security situation?

Sam: Well equipped army and police and punishment for terrorists with the
help of your country and other states.


MG: What special skills does it take to be a good Iraqi Prime Minister?

Sam: Educated, wise, just and not sectarian.


MG: Sam, there's a great deal of mistrust between the Bush Administration and
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, with Adminsitration officials questioning
the Shia Leadership and Parties -- SCIRI and Dawa -- ties to Iran. Can
al-Jaafari and the Shia leadership be trusted or are they just stooges for the
terrorist supporting Iranian government?

Sam: He is just (part of) an interim government and there is going to be another election in Dec 2005, but he is Iraqi and not Iranian. Iran and the USA will be friends so soon and I assure you about this and Iraq could play a major role in this in future.


MG: How badly has Iranian Intelligence penetrated the Shia leadership?

Sam: I don't agree with this.


MG: What does it mean for Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, if Iran
becomes a Nuclear State?

Sam: I think all the nuclear weapons should be destroyed from the world to be safer and better.


MG: Sam, let's talk about Muqti al-Sadr. Why hasn't he been arrested yet?
How much murder and mayhem is one allowed to commit, before one faces
criminal proceeding in the new Iraq? Is he being coddled/protected by
Sistani and the Shia Theocracy?

Sam: This is multiple questions clustered in one - need to be asked to Alawi government. The last part is no he is not.


MG: Women in Iraq have been more prominent in society than in other ME
nations. What should their role be in the future of the country?

Sam: As the role of the women in your country.


MG: In Saudi Arabia, women have few rights. What are your thoughts about
this?

Sam: Should change.


MG: Do you think Iraq could be a model for other Nations in the ME?

Sam: Not in its blood bath now but in future yes and we started to see
the effects in many Arab countries.


MG: If you were to spend a week as a substitute teacher in
a classroom of Iraqi children, ages 8 to 13, what would you tell them?

Sam: To be good to their parents, their selves and their country.
Build peaceful Iraq.


MG: How would you describe Iraqi society to a group of
students in America?

Sam: Friendly, generous, respectful, peaceful, hard workers and they love life.


MG: Do you have any hopes for the ME in terms of social, economic,
and political progress?

Sam: May be.

MG: Do you think Iraq should lead by example and develop friendly
relations with Israel (economic, political)?

Sam: Why not?


MG: Sam, would you ever consider entering politics, if you were
asked to do so?

Sam: Not impossible perhaps not


MG: Terror is the plague of our time. What do you think are its
roots? And secondly, how can the people of the Middle Eastern address it?

Sam: The Saudi Wahabism ; definitely.


MG: Sam, Why didn't Western Leftists denounce Saddam and his regime?

Sam: They are like him


MG: What do you think of Westerners, especially those on the left,
could learn from what is happening in Iraq?

Sam: A lot!


MG: Why doesn't Mainstream Islam denounce terrorism?

Sam: Who said so?!


MG: Thanks Very Much, Sam, for a Nice Interview, and final question:
Have you ever seen a Ghost?

Sam: No but only you after reading your long questions which make me at the end to see it like a ghost which is not going to finish but thank you for your interest indeed and good luck.

The In T View by Diane Carriere & Mister Ghost ~ Artwork by Mister Ghost

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Let Raed Jarrar Rot in Hell for Eternity!

Raed Jarrar has defended the insurgents/terrorists/resistance since the fall of Baghdad over two years ago. I thought that he would change his mind when he saw how many innocent Iraqi men, women, and children have been ripped apart by waves of suicide bombers. I was wrong.

Raed Jarrar hasn't said ONE WORD about the terrorists. Not ONE WORD of condemnation. Today, while over sixty Iraqis lost their lives to HIS INSURGENT BUDDIES, he talks about a protest in Afghanistan!

Raed's silence about the carnage in Iraq speaks VOLUMES!

I'm telling you, my Iraqi friends, remember where Read Jarrar stood while his buddies slaughtered your citizens.

*

Let's look at the numbers.

In April, 2005, RAED'S BUDDIES killed:

303 Civilians

200 Police / Military

503 Total Iraqi men, women, and children MURDERED by Raed's Dear Old Gang in April.

*

In the last 11 days:

284 Civilians

112 Military / Police

396 Total Iraqi men, women, and children MURDERED by Raed's Dear Old Gang in the last 11 days.

*

Let's add those numbers for Raed, okay?

In the last 41 days:

587 Civilians

312 Military / Police

899 Total Iraqi men, women, and children MURDERED by Raed's Dear Old Gang in the last 41 days.


Have Raed Jarrar or Khalid Jarrar shown any sympathy for those 899 dead Iraqi men, women, and children?

No.

Not once.

What do you think about Raed and Khalid?

*


UPDATE: Raed Jarrar posts again today and guess who he blames for the murder of over sixty Iraqi men, women, and children today?

Yes, that's right. He blames the Coalition forces and the Iraqi military and police for the deaths of those people.

Arab Parallel Universe Rules!

I'm so angry I can't type anymore.

Zarqawi blows up Iraqi children and Raed Jarrar blames the Iraqi policemen who are trying to protect them.

Hey, Iraqi Bloggers out there, what do YOU think?

*

If you want to visit just ONE BLOG today, please go to Ambassador Fayrouz's blog.

Read her words.

Look at the photograph.

I'm an atheist, but even I must send a prayer for Haider Abdul Hussein's soul today, and for all the other Iraqis murdered today.

*

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Steven Vincent Reports from Umm Qasr

Steven Vincent takes a ride to check out the port of Umm Qasr.
The plan is to contact a friend of Layla's named Mahmoud, a lifelong resident of Umm Qasr and someone with connections with the port. Everything goes smoothly. We hit UQ--like most Iraqi burgs, I arrive before realizing I'm at my destination, the beige brick hovels are so sparse and the dusty streets so empty they hardly qualify as city limits. We're a little early, so I ask Mahmoud to take me downtown and he shrugs and spreads his hands, palms up. This is it, amigo. Main Street, Umm Qasr.

Jesus. I mean, Jee-zus. Crumbling houses, muddy streets, broken down cars rotting in pools of motor oil, plastic bags--the scourge of the Iraqi environment--ensnared on coils of concertina wire...this is a booming port town? As the wind kicks up a mini-sand storm from a vacant lot, we park beside some nebk trees, before a weatherbeaten stucco building that seems to serve as some sort of city council hall.

Read the whole entry. Steven also includes a photo of downtown Umm Qasr. You have to see it to believe it.

*

What are you still doing here?

C'mon, get on over to Sandmonkey's Pad where Sam has a review of a recent article by John Tierney.

*

As a Democrat in academia, I had thought that my support for the Iraq War and its removal of a mass-murdering dictator would be a reasonable position to take. The vicious attacks on me from my colleagues sobered me up quickly. The fringe-left is deeply entrenched in academia and shows its ugly face to me every day on campus.

David Aaronovitch writes about his similar experiences as a journalist in Britain who supported the Iraq War.
Since I decided, in January 2003, that if Iraq was invaded I would not oppose it, I have had the almost astral experience of finding myself excommunicated from the movement, sometimes by fellow journalists who I know do not possess a political bone in their entire bodies.

All of a sudden I began to experience the left from the outside. And the first thing that struck me was its capacity for smug certainty and uniformity of response. Look at the cartoonists, whose work trumps debate. You may have Blair the poodle, Blair with blood-stained hands, Blair the liar, Bush the absurd chimp, but never, ever, Galloway the consort of tyrants or Kennedy the comforter of "insurgents". Look at the millionaire publisher Felix Dennis, who read out a poem on the Today programme in the middle of the election (a poem, incidentally, written more than a year earlier). "Why do they do it? Why do they do it? Why do they stand on their hind legs, Lying and lying and lying and lying?" This was, he explained, aimed mostly at Blair for having lied. He wasn't challenged.

It was beyond argument. Dennis, I'd guess, had never been challenged. Not by the researcher, the producer, the editor, his pals, not by anyone. Like a lot of middle-class anti-Blairites, I don't think he had ever heard the contrary case put. During the election people wrote to this newspaper saying that they hadn't met a single person who was voting Labour.

*

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Medya Survives the First Elimination at the Ultimate Blogger Contest

Medya (the Kurd from just over the Iraqi border in Iran, interviewed by the inimicable Mister Ghost) has held his own in the Ultimate Blogger Cage Match.

The kitty for the winner is $500 in assorted prizes.

The first challenge was to write a blog entry about Food. Frankly, Medya seemed be having trouble warming up to the idea of blogging on command. Maybe if the subject were Turkish food....

The next challenge is to write about Technology, and he seems to have finally got his sea-legs. LOL! Get a load of Medya's description of the Iranians' first take on "using a straw".

Anyway, stop by Medya's Technology post and tell him what you think.
:)

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