4/12/2003

SILENT RUNNING
Salutes the 100th Anniversary
of Human Powered Flight
Courtesy of a Kiwi!


According to New Zealand lore, despite the singular lack of any direct evidence (there are tales of flood and fire devouring said evidence under freakish circumstance), the 31st of March marked the Centeniary of Human powered flight. As the story goes,
a New Zealand farmer, Richard Pearse, climbed into a bamboo monoplane and flew for about 150 metres before crashing into a gorse hedge on his South Island property. The eccentric farmer's ambition had been to fly to Temuka, nine miles away, to go shopping. He never made it.
So, there you have it.
Tom! Murray! Bigwig is on to us!
Actually, he was on to us back in September of last year, but I saw a referral in the logs from his post about finding our 'easter egg.' For those not familiar with them Easter eggs, as Bigwig points out, are secrets imbedded in software programs, DVDs, movies, etc. Some are cool, some are lame, some just are there. There's a site devoted to compiling these easter egg finds - Eeggs.com (warning, high popup threat environment). Was poking around, following the link that Bigwig left, and I gotta say, some of the 'eggs reports' look like the cyber version of a 'snipe hunt'. Take this one for example
T0pless mode for Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball game and XBox
Now supposedly, if you follow an extremely tricky set of instructions, and repeat it approximately 10-15 times (at 15 minutes or so per attempt), you'll get an option popup to remove the female volleyball characters' swimsuit tops. The last instruction reads -
Keep in mind, this is extremely hard and do not get mad if you do not succeed in the first 10-20 tries or so.
Riiiiight...
I Spy
With my little eye, a pile of Secret Documents from the Iraqi Intelligence Service compound. What do they say? Oh my! They say that Saddam was getting an intel feed from the RUSSIANS.
Moscow also provided Saddam with lists of assassins available for "hits" in the West and details of arms deals to neighbouring countries. The two countries also signed agreements to share intelligence, help each other to "obtain" visas for agents to go to other countries and to exchange information on the activities of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qa'eda leader.
Hey, ah, Vlad, when you're done entertaining your French and German guests, mind giving us a call? Few things we want to hear you explain for us... ::Update::
Come to think of it, this just doesn't quite add up. Not in the 'delusional Iraqi press statement' kind of way, either. Some of the items referenced in the report cause a great deal of suspicion about this 'arrangement.' For instance - why would the Russians be feeding the Iraqis information on their arms trading activities? And this item about the Kuwaitis wishing to buy a billion in Russian hardware? Sure they've got money to burn, but on junk? Its not like they haven't been seeing a daily head to head product line comparison for the last few years. List of assassins? Well, maybe, but even in the depths of the Cold War, that type of wet work was very, very rare even for the old hard core KGB, and then it was usually an outsourced contract type of deal (like the Bulgarians). The whole description of the Christmas card thing is bizarre as well. The information reported on Blair is not so shocking - the PM's comments could have been gleaned from just about anyone in attendance at the meetings, or from staff surrounding the event, or just guessed at or made up from the ample open source reporting surrounding the events. The whole thing has a bizarro-bogus feel about it, but then that could just be rub off from the rest of the bizarro-bogus nature of the world these guys were living in... Kind of get the feeling that in the next week, if this story grows legs, we'll hear some sort of explaination from Moscow about how they maintained the relationship in order to keep an eye on Baghdad, or maintain the illusion that they were still best buds. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer kind of crap. Vlad still has some very, very creative explainations to make.
By Sheer luck, not brains
Is the only way the camerman of this Irish Indymedia video piece kept from getting the crap beaten out of him. Dipstick's own video would have been a prime choice for defense exhibit A, as he walked up to the Iraqis, jubilantly celebrating the liberation of their homeland, and began to chastise them for supporting war. Luck of the Irish, I guess. (Found via The Broom of Anger)
And in the Caribbean Socialist Paradise
Fidel and company have an answer for cutting down on transportation disruptions. Yeah, cutting down on the disruptions, and making life better for the proletariat. Extending the Revolutionary Communist Ideal to make society more efficient for everybody. Not that Barbara Walters would have anything critical to say about this. Hey, they could probably read, right?
Add us! Add us!
Good thing Tom posted that critical bit of info on proper wearing of the tinfoil hat recently, its advice this guy will no doubt put to good use, until we get him to block our site. Do wonder why he's afraid of Rolls-Royce and Phillip Morris... (Found via the wonderful Meryl)
New axes to grind
Molly Ivins is nothing if not continually on the move. Instead of wasting a lot of time fretting over whether or not her previous cheap shots were warranted or not, she plows right ahead and takes a few more. Her target now? The Postwar administration of Iraq. Not that she has any better ideas, it seems she never ever does. No, simply trash talking the apparent line up of apparent designate Administrators will do fine. She focuses her bile on three figures specifically - Garner, Chalabi, and Woolsey, with enough backhands at Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz to pad the whole thing out a bit. This is her crowning observation
So we've got a crook, a Zionist and an old spy who thinks this is the beginning of WW IV set to run Iraq. How lucky can the Iraqis get? Is this what we thought we were fighting for?
Lets take a look at how she got there, shall we? The crook. Molly hangs her hat on the continued rehash of Chalabi's prosecution and conviction in Jordan for embezzlement following a bank failure in 1992. Now considering that the regime exercised influence to discredit and or make life difficult for exiles critical of the regime, plus the proximity of Jordan to Iraq, and the undercurrent of under the table coziness that is coming to light between some in Jordan and the Ba'athists, I have to look at this with a very, very jaundiced eye. That, and the fact that although Chalabi has been brought back into the country, his name has yet to show up against a specific job assignment in the transitional administration. She also lays horror at Chalabi's feet, using the reportage of Knight-Ridder correspondent Jonathan Landay
It was information provided by Chalabi that led Rumsfeld and [Paul] Wolfowitz to a prewar belief that Iraqis would rise up and welcome the invading coalition with open arms, that the Republican Guard would surrender in droves and the government of Saddam Hussein would crumble in a matter of days.
Shame on him. As we all know what really came to pass was that the Iraqis basically eventually rose up and greeted the coalition with open arms, the republican guards either ran away, or surrendered in droves, and the government of Saddam crumbled within a few days. Yes, shame. He neglected to mention the running away part. Strike one, Molly. The Zionist. Molly reaches deep down into the bucket and then slathers this one all over Garner. Her reasoning? He visited Israel as an invited guest, and signed on to a letter pointing the finger of blame at the Palestinians for the outbreak of violence following the breakdown of peace negotiations (hey, wait a second, wasn't it the Palestinians walking away from the table and then starting the violence that pretty much brought the talks to a standstill?), and praising the Israeli military for their restraint in dealing with the situation. I'm surprised she didn't try to illustrate that as folly using the Jenin non-massacre as her prime example. Strike two. The Old Spy. Well, Woolsey was Director of CIA for awhile, so she gets a point for technically being correct on that one. Her big gripe with Jim is that he has been going around telling it like it is - but using very scary terminology to do it. She latches on to Woolsey describing Iraq as the start of the Fourth World War. I'd quibble with him that the Fourth World War actually began (or came to everyone's attention) on the 11th of September, 2001. Molly, however, being of the crowd that refuses to step back and view the situation holistically, absolutely hates it when other people do. She's absolutely aghast that he also mentions that Syrian Ba'athists, the Islamic Theocracy in Iran, and the Islamic Terrorist organizations are not our best buds. If these are her objections to Woolsey, that he tells it like it is, then, strike three, Moll. Not content to step out of the box after fanning three consecutive times, she wraps up by extrapolating on speculation about internal divisions within the administration, that old familiar media hog trough that provided lots of column inches during the period preceding the war
According to David Sanger's analysis in The New York Times, "Some hawks in the administration are convinced that Iraq will serve as a cautionary example of what can happen to other states that refuse to abandon their programs to build weapons of mass destruction, an argument that John Bolton, the undersecretary of state for arms control, has made several times in recent speeches." The administration's more pragmatic wing fears that the war's lesson will be just the opposite: that the best way to avoid American military action is to build a fearsome arsenal quickly and make the cost of conflict too high for Washington.
Although the two statements aren't nearly the opposing points of discussion that Mr. Sanger portrays, that's no reason to stop him, or Molly, from pointing to them as such. Hey, they're pros, they can do that, right?
Whoa, hold on there!
Let's not rush to any hasty judgements, here. It has only been eight months since Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, 41, killed two people at the LAX ticket counter of El Al, Israel's national airline, and wounded several others before he was fatally shot by an airline security guard. Sure hope the Justice Department isn't jumping the gun (as it were) declaring this an act of terrorism.
"The investigation developed information that he openly supported the killings of civilians in order to advance the Palestinian cause," McLaughlin said. The FBI findings, made several months ago, were recently approved by the Justice Department. McLaughlin said Friday that his office was told not to issue a news release but was given permission to confirm the finding if asked.
Glad someone finally got around to asking....
Damn it!
Hostess Ho-Hos really do go bad after a while. Yech. I thought these things were supposed be around to feed the post apocalypse cockroaches, and Keith Richards, too. Now what the hell is he going to do?
Chris Muir nails Pelosi
Over at Day by Day. Check out the April 11 panel.
Oh the horror of it all, the sheer tragedy
Now that coalition troops and local Iraqis are cracking down on looters and vandals who took advantage of the 'untidiness' of the past week, the choir of usual whiners was in danger of lacking something to continue to bitch about. Once again wading to the forefront of pointless griping, a position he's occupied for the past few months, France's Foriegn Minister attempted to re-focus world discontent for something about the situation, decrying in the strongest terms possible his choice for the latest 'failure' of the coalition in Iraq
It is a tragedy of epic proportion, and totally, absolutely horrifying for the average citizen of a civilized world to even consider. The suffering of the Iraqi people must not be allowed to continue, and the longer this goes on, the more the long term damage approaches the incalculable. These Americans must take all available measure to remedy this outrage at once! Vit! Vit! To the Security Council!
SRNADHQ queried the closest US official available to comment on the French Foeiegn Minister's concerns. He provided the following statement
We have been made aware of the Minister's concerns on this issue, and have taken steps to install an additional satellite downlink unit to provide premium cable in addition to the basic only channel lineup. We fully realize the hazards of the deprivation of full and unfettered access to the quality programming on HGTV and ESPN2. You have our pledge that the Iraqi people will realize the dream of 99 channels and on-demand movies.

oh, and you don't think it will eventually get this ridiculous, after some of the things we've already seen?
Biased Babbling Cacaphony
The Telegraph lights into the BBC for their disappointing and obviously slanted coverage of events in Iraq, a thrashing they most assuredly deserved, bought and paid for over the last couple of weeks. The thing is, folks in England are required by law to susidize this buffoonery in the form of a TV tax. I seem to recall these wanks even sent a bill to the post address for the ruins of an abandoned Scottish castle. Not that their amatuerish coverage of the conflict hasn't been previously noticed outside the UK... (hat tip to Andrew over at the CP)
I love the smell of toasted lefties in the morning.. smells like... victory. Many a lefty said the war with Iraq will destablize the world and cause more wars. Scanning the news this morning, I see that the opposite is happening. Iran wants to vote on whether to have friendlier ties with the US and nKorea has decided to drop their demands for US only talks. In other words, a strong show of force has produced a pacifying effect in two of our known irritants. I can't wait for the lefty spin doctors to try and explain this away.
One more reason to hate that perky twit In a conversation on TV, Katie Couric revealed that she hopes Sadaam escaped the US and made it to Syria. MIKLASZEWSKI: Not at all. Wild speculation. But U.S. officials insist they still don't know what happened when - after they bombed that site in western Baghdad earlier this week. COURIC: So, they haven't been able to confirm reports he was taken to Tikrit, and then Mosul, and then hopefully to Syria. MIKLASZEWSKI: That - that's very unlikely considering the kind of U.S. forces that are arrayed up there. Hopefully, NBC will do the right thing and fire your sorry ass like Peter Arnett.
Piking and carping, carping and piking
'Not self actualized unless bitching about something' must be the motto for Alan Ramsey. His take? John Howard is every bit the despot that Saddam was, 'in his own way'. Exactly which way would that be, Alan? Got any live video of Mr. Howard feeding anyone into a commercial plastic shredder, after a full and fervent debate over which end goes first? Can you produce the Prime Minister's memorandum directing the imprisonment of 8 year olds for refusal to join the local scouting group? Oh, and despite what we've come to think, it wasn't really a "War" (to mimic his liberal use of scare smear quotes). Plus, you people are just too damned giddy about the whole thing. Quit that celebrating, the liberation of millions isn't the issue here, damn it. The unmitigated gall to actually enjoy that the most horrid spectres dreamed up by the anti-war imagination did not come true. You wretched bastards. He fills out the rest with his version of 'you haven't found any WMDs yet, and you promised us WMD's. We want our WMDs!' and 'There's chaos in the battle area! There's chaos in the battle area! For shame!' Get a grip, poindexter. Welcome to reality, Mr. Ramsey.

4/11/2003

YOU-KNOW-WHO GETS HIS OWN WEBSITE Fresh from the great victory of Saddam over the Cusader-Zionists who have all had their throats cut after being surrounded in their tanks and roasted in hell, our old buddy Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, the man who filled Bob Hope's shoes by doing more for Allied morale than any other entertainment figure, has his own website.

Dear Sirs, I am flattered with your website, it contains many truths, things I might say myself. However I with to point out a dreadful inaccuracy. You are far from the truth. I am not on administrative leave. I am on holiday. The war against the invading sons of camels, infidelity committing infidels and seven Australians, is going so well that my boss Saddam (Allah preserve him and his bronze statues ? which are still standing, by the way) has given me time off for a holiday. I am currently in Florida visiting Disneyland; there are no American here and many cartoon characters (I am soon hoping to become one), are committing suicide in their thousands. They are quaking in their boots and staining their underwear at the threat of an Iraqi invasion. We will prevail; it has been written. Must go now as I going to the movies to see my favourite movie; "Failing to save Private Ryan". Have a nice day, -- Mohammed Saeed al Sahaf, Iraqi Minister of Information (from his Hotmail address apparently)

Don't forget to check out Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf throughout history, confirming that the Death Star is secure, General Custer's victory over the Sioux is assured, Pickett's Charge has succeeded so well that the Confederates are only hours from Philadelphia and that Napoleon has London surrounded. And my favourite quote of all?

"We're giving them a real lesson today. Heavy doesn't accurately describe the level of casualties we have inflicted."

Quite.
Amish Manuever Warfare
General Quarters! Laurence has moved! After him! After him! He must not escape! Ramming Speed!!!!
Predictions
We've seen a lot of noise about those that were wrong. Some don't seem too far off the mark, but who's keeping track? Did anyone else say 'inside out?' Now we dance. (Disclaimer - no, I didn't get a preview of 'the plan.' At one point, I suspected that Stephen Green's predicition from several months ago of a (veiled) thrust from the West might pan out, but it never materialized.)
Complicit News Network
They knew what was happening, and they covered it up. From now on, I'd rather watch Al Jazeerah, as they've got more integrity, it would appear.
Flying the Flag
The 'be careful of what they'll think of us' crowd has won this round with the restrictions on US troops displaying the US Flag in Iraq. There are legitimate points made in that discussion, with the desire as it is not to give the impression of the US as anything other than liberators. But would someone please enlighten me as to how the hell you make the case such that someone could get in hot water for flying the US flag in Peoria, Arizona? This is absolutely ludicrous, and it certainly appears like you can find some pretty anal-retentive, tin pot, insignificant except in their own opinion, yet obnoxiously odious and downright petty control freak officials just about anywhere. Wonder if they'd be willing to provide a lighter if he'd simply wanted to burn one? Wow. Top that one, Murray. (Noticed in the sidebar of NRO)
Obstinate Idiocy
Some have begun to step forward and acknowledge that some of their more dire predictions about the war, and their basis in their decision to oppose it, were not quite as correct as they could have been. Others have outright admitted that they wished that the Coalition had gotten more of a bloody nose, revolting sentiments, that to come true would have meant the deaths of many of their countrymen on a foreign field, and absolute agony for many others back at home. Credit may be due to those admitting, however grudgingly, they may have been mistaken. Disdain is due to those that actually wished ill for our troops in hopes of advancing their petty agendas back home. But what response is due those that were wrong to begin with, and remain defiantly unapologetic for such a position today, as the sun has risen over more than ample proof of their folly? What do you say to the likes of Nancy Pelosi, occupying a leadership position for her party in one of our branches of government when she steadfastly sticks by her position, re-iterating statements which will soon suitably lack merit enough to rate use by the Iraqi Information Minister?
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it was still right to oppose granting the president the authority to use force to disarm Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. "I have absolutely no regret about my vote on this war," she told reporters at her weekly briefing yesterday, saying the same questions still remain: "The cost in human lives. The cost to our budget, probably $100 billion. We could have probably brought down that statue for a lot less. The cost to our economy. But the most important question at this time, now that we're toward the end of it, is what is the cost to the war on terrorism?"
No regret? Are her ideological blinders strapped on so tightly that they are effectively blocking out all light, and a good portion of the oxygen headed for her brain? The scary monsters she tosses about, bidding for people to follow her out of a sense of fear while she makes the bad things go away seem more like hand puppets that have been casting really frightening shadows on the wall. Cost of human lives? Yes, it has cost human lives. And we know the numbers now, and they are woeful, and thankfully much smaller than many predicted. What is the cost of lives in at least the past 12 years the Ba'athists have held power? What cost of lives had they remained? What cost of lives had Saddam been appeased yet again, and thought himself in a position to continue his mischief? What cost of lives had the Ba'athists continued to support Al Qaeda, and they had succeeded in one of their plots? The cost of war. One hundred billion does seem like a hugely large number, out of context. In the context of the entire economy of the United States, or the combined economies of the nations of the coalition of the willing, it isn't. It also sounds like a large number if you look at it as money simply flushed down the drain, but it isn't. If viewed as an investment or as insurance against larger bills to clean up the potential messes of inaction. The cost of inaction? Had Saddam been left in place, until he gained enough leverage to intimidate his neighbors into boosting the price of oil to a level that would be ruinous to the global economy? The cost to our economy. The cost of a major terrorist strike in a large American city, due to assistance rendered by the Ba'athists? Instead, we now have a situation that will benefit both the Iraqi people, and those companies that will perform work and provide services to rebuild their country. Their money, from their oil, returning to our hands, for useful things. Not for more gold plated plumbing fixtures. Not for laser guided RPG rounds, night vision goggles, or other military hardware to continue a belligerent, cruel, sadistic regime. Useful things such as schools and hospitals that are actual schools and hospitals, not covers for military command posts. Water treatment facilities, and upgrades to the inadequate infrastructures allowed to decay by a regime inflicting a political toll on a city for a perceived lack of loyalty. Increased commerce, so everyone can have their own DVD player, and copy of 'Sleepless in Seattle,' or whatever entertainment suits their fancy, and their children can have pop-culture toys, if they choose to buy them, instead of wasting away in a prison for the supposed crimes of their families. The cost to the war on terrorism. The more relevant question is the cost of this war on the terrorists. The continued denials, in the face of the revelations coming out daily; the ricin and botulinin, the training facility and manuals at Salman Pak, the linkage of specific activities and groups with Iraqi diplomatic corps personnel, there still persists this attempt to divide and conquer the issue. Will the Dune-like realization that the worm is the spice and the spice is the worm finally occur, and if it does, will it be acknowledged, or will it be ignored for as long as such denial serves the interest of creating doubt, division, and uncertainty amongst those not paying attention? The information gleaned from the capture of an Al Qaeda base camp in Northern Iraq, and the opening of the files retrieved from the various Ba'athist ministries even tangentially involved in these associations will further shine the spotlight on the networks of terror, and will lead to more of them being dismantled, disrupted, and halted. The terrorists biggest advantage was their ability to operate in the shadows, anonymously, out of sight of the casual observer. No longer. They are now going to be center stage, in the spotlight, their names and their haunts fully known to those that will apprehend them. In the face of such overwhelming evidence to the contrary, to continue this line of rhetoric is idiocy. Unrepentant, obstinate idiocy. Don't even get me started on her suggestion that former President Clinton be afforded some acknowledgement for helping to build the military force that went into Iraq. More accurately, enough of the force survived and continued improving in spite of his inept stewardship. Someone please tell Ms. Pelosi that no one is holding interviews for a replacement Information Minister in Baghdad.
Garafolo Watch
The Staff of SRNADHQ* is pleased to join Charles and the Emperor in the Garafolo Watch, waiting for what she promised everyone - What Promise? This one:
O’Reilly: “If you are wrong, all right, and if the United States -- and they will, this is going to happen -- goes in, liberates Iraq, people in the street, American flags, hugging our soldiers, all right, we find all kinds of bad, bad stuff, all right, in Iraq, you gonna apologize to George W. Bush?” Garofalo: “I would be so willing to say I’m sorry, I hope to God that I can be made a buffoon of, that people will say you were wrong, you were a fatalist, and I will go to the White House on my knees on cut glass and say, hey, you were right, I shouldn’t have doubted you. But I think to think that is preposterous.”
Right now it looks like - Advantage: Preposterous! We'll be waiting, and we don't really expect the broken glass thing, but we aren't really holding our breath for the rest of it, either. We won't consider it an out if she makes the point that they won't post her apology, with large flashing arrows pointing at it, on the White House Web Page, or that Ari won't mention it and then do a little victory dance ending with a 'Boo-yah' while pointing at Helen Thomas. (*Silent Running North American Division Headquarters)
Let The Fur Fly!
[Ed note - the following is from Murray, who seems to have no trouble fabricating Bravenet polls, but is still getting his arse kicked by the Blogger interface...no, the editorial staff does not consider this a redeeming Blogger feature] In spite of all the support I've had from the other staff here the Cute Cat Competition is now up and running. Response has been overwealming and some of the felines have had to be grouped by family as we only have room for ten entries all up. We plan to have a good clean competition with no biting, clawing, hissing or eating of the other contestants. This means you Mr Kitty! Bribery and vote stacking as always are valid options. You can view the contestants and vote here Or make your vote here if its already been bought. This competition is more corrupt than the Oscars.
[Further pointless Ed note - Disclaimer: All judge's decisions are final, and not subject to review or impeachment. Voting will not be audited by a high priced accounting firm. Any apparent promises of prizes, notarity, or passing fame from apparent sucess related to this endeavour may or may not be honored by the Judge, see first sentence of disclaimer. Claims of capriciousness, graft, vote rigging, and or out and out chicanery will be entertained, but only for purposes of our amusement. SR reserves all rights, despite the fact that those and $1.50 will get you a really crappy cup of coffee at an overpriced chain coffee shop. Have a nice day, or not, that's up to you, also.]
UH, BOB? COULD YOU STEP INTO MY OFFICE FOR A MOMENT? AND BRING THE CONTENTS OF YOUR DESK WITH YOU... Somewhere in the world, probably working on his fifth or sixth whiskey sour of the evening, is the world's unluckiest advertising executive.

With the burgeoning Sars epidemic spreading fear among travellers worldwide, the Hong Kong tourist board must be ruing the day it commissioned a series of magazine ads telling readers a visit to the city will "take your breath away". Shortness of breath is one of the main symptoms of Sars - severe acute respiratory syndrome - a deadly new strain of pneumonia that started in southern China and quickly moved to Hong Kong before spreading around the world.

It's right up there with "Baghdad - so popular, people are fighting to get there". Hat tip - the increasingly valuable NZ Pundit (hey Gordo, know where I could get a job back home?)
DISPLAYING THEIR USUAL GRIP ON REALITY... Heard on the SBS 6.30 World News bulletin tonight:

"Even those who were against the war were not spared. Looters have ransacked the French and German embassies."

Er, guys, did you even consider the possibility that targeting the French and Germans might have been something of a deliberate act by people who understand the symbolism perfectly well? Ah, the Special Broadcasting Service. Special in the Ralph Wiggum sense. "I'm special!"
CORR'S LOSING IT Everyone's favourite Western Australian lefty law student blogger, Rob Corr, appears to be suffering from third-degree cognitive dissonance. Americans in Baghdad. Iraqis happy to see Americans. Error! Error! Retry! Does not compute. Logical impossibility! Circuts overloading!

There's a theory going that the Pentagon-backed criminal Ahmad Chalabi collaborated with the US forces to stage the now-iconic statue removal. The link? One of Chalabi's mercenaries was present at the media stunt.

Here's a fashion tip Rob, the shiny side of the tinfoil in your hat is supposed to face outwards.
"THERE ARE NO AMERICANS! SUCH LIES ARE AS NOXIOUS AS THE SPUTUM OF A DISEASED CAMEL!" Skippy the Disinformation Minister is going to be one of the most memorable characters of this war. It seems his influence has even spread to USAF personnel, as Sgt Stryker informs us:

Today, I asked one of my Airmen why he left his tools scattered all over the airplane instead of keeping them in one place or in his toolbox. He replied, "There are no tools on this plane!" I pointed out the tools to him. "By Allah, I swear there are no tools within a hundred miles of this aircraft! These are lies of the American louts!" I physically pointed his body in the direction of an errant tool. Still, he persisted, "You are too far from reality! These are tricks the infidel play on the heroic sons of the flightline to put fear in our hearts! They are tricks and we have discovered their ways and we will sacrifice our hammers for the jihad!" True story.

We don't get SNL here in Australia, but I imagine the inevitable sketch about Skippy pretty much writes itself. You can't really go wrong.

4/10/2003

The Flag "Incident"
Happened across a comment to the article on the Command Post Main Page about Corporal Edward Chin being interviewed on Larry King
All in all, though, it would have been better PR if he hadn't put the American flag on the statue. Tell me I'm wrong.
Ok, you're wrong. Absolutely wrong, because it would be the same 'PR' message that this country has been sending since we began navel gazing and self doubting ourselves sometime in the mid-70's or so. That we were a nation afraid simply of appearances, for appearances sake. That the form was more important than the substance, and consideration of everyone else's feelings and perceptions of us came before our own. With it came the idiotic concept that we should be reserved, introspective, and shrink from potential controversy for fear that we'd be misunderstood or berated by world opinion. We yearned for everyone to 'like' us. But guess what, the world berated us anyway. They berated us for the things we did that they didn't like. They berated us for the things we did that wasn't good enough for their satisfaction. They berated us for not doing things they thought we should. Some in our country tried to become almost as reactive as possible, to the point that our foreign policy was being controlled by those critics outside, than those given the positions of leadership within, charged with doing what is best for the United States and her citizens. No longer. Doing things in a vain attempt to simply get along with everyone else on what the perception of their terms were got 3000 of us killed. Playing along and trying not to be the ugly Americans put us in a position where many in the world thought us weak, and that they could do such things with impunity. Going along to get along with the pack of sharks that are the other nations of the world allowed, once again, a madman to hold onto power and inflict absolute misery over millions, and project absolute fear to billions. Corporal Chin sent a PR message alright. It was just about the best one that could have been sent, from that place, at that moment. Loud and clear. Seen and heard, in near real time around the world. Its a simple message, one we've used and sent from the very beginnings of our nation, but which had been pushed aside as of late. It is time that the message was re-issued, far and wide, for all to understand and heed. That message is - Don't Tread On Us. Thank you, Corporal Chin. May you keep safe, and come home to a stronger, prouder nation very, very soon. Prouder, in no small part, to your small yet gigantic act on the 9th of April. ((Cross posted at the Command Post Op/Ed Page))
Fisk fumes
Well, no longer wondering about Robert Fisk's reaction to the fall of Baghdad. He's filed with the Independent, and he.is.pissed. And still a self righteous twit. So, now, he's a pissed and fuming self righteous twit. So, all in all, I guess the non-Battle for Baghdad didn't really change things too much. Of course, its a predictable Fiskian blending of the horror, the humanity, the arrogance, and the looting. Oh, the horrid, horrid looting.
The Americans may think they have "liberated" Baghdad but the tens of thousands of thieves – they came in families and cruised the city in trucks and cars searching for booty – seem to have a different idea what liberation means.
In all of the anarchy, is there no one to stand up and defend common human decency and dignity? You bet! Our man Robert to the rescue!
It was the day of the looter. They trashed the German embassy and hurled the ambassador's desk into the yard. I rescued the European Union flag – flung into a puddle of water outside the visa section [emphasis added -Ed] – as a mob of middle-aged men, women in chadors and screaming children rifled through the consul's office and hurled Mozart records and German history books from an upper window.
Viva la EU and shades of Captain Euro! But, oh, those unruly, bloody screaming children. Like nails upon a chalkboard to our stalwart Fisk, I'm sure. But were they really that unruly and screaming? Was it truly the scene of the absurd that he observed? This passage is a bit more telling
But there seemed to be a kind of looter's law. Once a thief had placed his hand on a chair or a chandelier or a door-frame, it belonged to him. I saw no arguments, no fist-fights. The dozens of thieves in the German embassy worked in silence, assisted by an army of small children. Wives pointed out the furnishings they wanted, husbands carried them down the stairs while children were used to unscrew door hinges and – in the UN offices – to remove light fittings. One even stood on the ambassador's desk to take a light bulb from its socket in the ceiling.
And this, could it be a realization that the deposed Iraqi thugs might not be worthy of Fisk's efforts to defend? Was it the tales of people fed into plastic shredders? Was it the discovery of a 'children's prison? Nay, a far graver offense in the mind of Fisk, I'll wager, such as came bubbling forth in his first indications doubt towards his beloved Iraqi underdogs
It also provided a glimpse of the shocking taste in furnishings that senior Baath party members obviously aspired to; cheap pink sofas and richly embroidered chairs, plastic drinks trolleys and priceless Iranian carpets so heavy it took three muscular thieves to carry them.
Oh, the final betrayal....bad taste in furniture. Absolutely inexcusable. Well, enough about that, not nearly enough reason to stop bashing the Yanks, now is it? After referring to the takedown of the Saddam statue in Firdos Square as
the most staged photo-opportunity since Iwo Jima
Fisk winds up his column with the following clueless indictment, displaying his total lack of concern for, or understanding of, military procedures and operations
And already America's army of "liberation" is beginning to seem an army of occupation. I watched hundreds of Iraqi civilians queuing to cross a motorway bridge at Daura yesterday morning, each man ordered by US soldiers to raise his shirt and lower his trousers – in front of other civilians, including women – to prove they were not suicide bombers. After a gun battle in the Adamiya area during the morning, an American Marine sniper sitting atop the palace gate wounded three civilians, including a little girl, in a car that failed to halt – then shot and killed a man who had walked on to his balcony to discover the source of the firing. Within minutes, the sniper also shot dead the driver of another car and wounded two more passengers in that vehicle, including a young woman. A crew from Channel 4 Television was present when the killings took place. Meanwhile, in the suburb of Daura, bodies of Iraqi civilians – many of them killed by US troops in battle earlier in the week – lay rotting in their still-smouldering cars. And yesterday was just Day Two of the "liberation" of Baghdad.
Hmm, lets see - people shot up in cars that failed to obey commands to stop at military checkpoints, in the midst of a city where the biggest current threat is suicide bombers. Men being asked to lift their shirts to check for explosives, again, in a city where the biggest current threat is (help me out here) suicide bombers. And bodies in civilian clothes, at the site of battles from earlier in the week, when the US troops were assailed repeatedly by Fehdayeen suicide squads in civilian clothing...imagine that. He also fails to make the connection here, as well
And what is one to make of the scene on the Hillah road yesterday where I found the owner of a grain silo and factory ordering his armed guards to fire on the looters who were trying to steal his lorries. This desperate and armed attempt to preserve the very basis of Baghdad's bread supply was being observed from just 100 metres away by eight soldiers of the US 3rd Infantry Division, who were sitting on their tanks – doing nothing.
Key phrase - doing nothing. Not taking the weapons away from Iraqis protecting their private property, despite the presence of snipers taking potshots at them. But, of course, this aspect either fails to register, or is simply discarded as irrelevant. He doesn't mention any of the trucks actually being successfully stolen. Quite probable they weren't, as the Iraqis appear to understand the line between government and private property, and by most accounts, including Fisk's, appear to be respecting it for the time being. Oh, and let it not be said that Robert didn't engage in a bit of gratuitous hand-wringing during the exercise. He is, after all, a professional, consummate journalist
Every government ministry in the city has now been denuded of its files, computers, reference books, furnishings and cars. To all this, the Americans have turned a blind eye, indeed stated specifically that they had no intention of preventing the "liberation" of this property. One can hardly be moralistic about the spoils of Saddam's henchmen but how is the government of America's so-called "New Iraq" supposed to operate now that the state's property has been so comprehensively looted?
Odd basis for worry. Seems the best thing that could be done at this point is to start with a completely blank slate. Fisk himself said the previous regime's taste in furniture was atrocious, the 'equipment' for the offices, well, probably safe to say that after 12 years, they could probably use some new computers. As for the stuff out of the UN and Euro offices, well, that can be entered on the ledger as the initial aid package for the re-building of Iraq. At least no one dis-assembled his car on him this time. Sounds like he's ahead of the game.
Another, darker, anniversary
4-9-42 The fall of Bataan. 4-10-42 The Bataan Death March commences. I had the opportunity to visit the Bataan area in the Phillipines. I will never, ever forget the memorial maintained by the Filipinos. Surrounding it are neat rows of trees. One of the Filipinos informed me that each tree was representative of 100 men that died on the march. There were a whole lot of those trees. Way too many. May they rest in peace.
Open letter, a follow on for the NION crowd...
Andy over at World Wide Rant has drafted a proposed open letter to the people of Iraq for any Anti-War protestor with the guts to own up to it:
We, the undersigned, do hereby affirm that we have been, and continue to be, against the hostilities in Iraq. Stories of the horrors of the Baghdad regime did not sway us. Saddam Hussein’s well-publicized history as a ruthless tyrant did not sway us. The possible threats from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction did not sway us. The continued disregard of numerous United Nations resolutions detailing a clear path for Iraq’s return to global legitimacy did not sway us. And now, the fighting is ending. The Coalition's victory is assured. The Iraqi people are being liberated. Their destiny will be one of their own choosing – because they will finally be free to choose. And this disappoints us to no end. Scenes of Iraqis celebrating in the streets do not sway us. Scenes of Iraqis destroying the vestiges of Saddam Hussein’s regime do not sway us. Scenes of smiling men, women, and children welcoming the American and British forces do not sway us. Scenes of young children imprisoned for political crimes do not sway us. Scenes of torture chambers used against those who opposed Saddam do not sway us. The knowledge that this horror would have continued indefinitely with impunity without the Coalition's intervention does not sway us. We will not be swayed. We continue to believe this war is wrong. If our vocal minority had its way, the people of Iraq would continue to live in a state of constant fear and oppression. Saddam Hussein would still present a threat to his neighbors, to the stability of the region, and to the security of the Western world. And that’s alright by us. To the people of Iraq, we say the following: We did not want this for you. We did want you to have a chance at directing your own future, as is the right of all mankind. We regret your freedom, and don’t you dare forget it. Sincerely, (fill in name here)
It's tempting to just copy and paste the list of names from the bottom of the original NION open letter...that would be rude, however. Let's give them a chance to own up to this one by themselves. Yeah, like that's actually gonna happen in our lifetimes.
Employment recommendation Steven Den Beste, always trying to be helpful, has come up with a perfect job match for Baghdad Bob (Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, whose position was apparently downsized during the recent management restructuring) Spokesman for Apple Computers! The resume provided indicates that Bob has recently demonstrated an impressive list of qualifying accomplishments. He might want to ask about the retirement package for any new position - seems there was some sort of collapse of the previous plan that Bob had no doubt been counting on for his retirement years.
More on that Flag...
...that was draped on the statue of Saddam moments before it was pulled over. According to Jeff Jarvis, who caught the snippet off of NBC's 'Today' show, the name of the Marine at the top of the crane is Cpl. Edward Chin, and the flag? It was a flag that was at the Pentagon on 9/11. Way to go Marine, way to go. (via the Instasite)
Iraqi freedom of ...er..speech!
I think this fellow is pretty well demonstrating his opinion...

(Image found at warnewstoday)

Let Freedom ring!
80's FLASHBACK... May God curse Edward Tudor-Pole's moustache, I've just listened to Tenpole Tudor's one and only hit and now it Will. Not. Leave. My. Head!

Deep in the castle and back from the war Back with milady and the fires burnt tall Hurrah went the men down below All outside was the rain and snow Hear their shouts, hear their roars They've probably had a barrel, and much, much more Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah, Yea Over the hills came the swords of a thousand men We had to meet the enemy a mile away Thunder in the air and the sky turned grey Assembling the knights and their swords were sharp There was hope in our English hearts Hear our roar, hear our sound We're gonna fight until we have won this town Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah, Yea Over the hills came the swords of a thousand men

What do you mean, you've never heard of Folkmetal? Have at you varlet, recant thy foul heresy or I shall start quoting from Jethro Tull's "Broadsword"!
STUPID HIPPES This post was looted...uh.."liberated" from Gordon King's blogpalace at the height of the recent excitment. I don't have time to write anything myself, what with listening to "The Great Gate of Kiev" by Mussorgsky, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" by Joan Baez, and "Tshuaatam" by Neshama Carlebach. The Mussorgsky peice is one of the greatest John Williams-style Star-Wars-medal-ceremony triumphal marches ever composed, go listen to it. And I'm spending a fair bit of time giggling uncontrollably of course, imagining what the next UK Labour Party caucus is going to look like. They'll have to have the Fire Brigade stand by to hose the blood off the walls, Tony looks to me like a good man who's been forced to eat several bowls of shit over the past year and a bit, and who has in consequence developed a king-sized thirst for vengance. Robin Cook will be lucky if all that happens to him is being appointed Ambassador to the Emperor Penguin colony on South Georgia. And as for the fate of Clare Short, I daren't speculate. Whatever it is, I can't imagine it will be pretty. Or swift. Tony may have the manner of a country vicar, but he strikes me as the sort of chap who could be quite handy with a set of scalpels, a slow fire, and a rope and pulley set if pushed far enough. I think we can safely say he has. Oh, the post I foraged. Yes, here it is. It's rather nice. I think I'll put it on the mantlepeice...

"I'm confused; did we like win the war now? In the beginning we had this "Shock and Awe" and we were like, "Wow, this is going to be over quick!" but then resistance seemed higher than expected and we thought, "Man, I guess this will take months." and then like a week later we're in Saddam's palace rifling through his DVD's. Oh, and see that crater full of rubble? We think that's him and his sons, Uday and Umbassday. And now we think we found chemical weapons like we always said he had. We should make the French eat them. Also, Iraqis are cheering us on. I heard this touching story of how a six-year-old Iraqi girl handed an American soldier a card written on it, "Me love America. Protestors are dumb f__ks. I want stab them." So, in the end, America is right about everything and stupid hippies are wrong about everything and smelly. This was like the best war ever; if there were Academy Awards for war, we'd like totally sweep them. Largest Explosions, Best Avoidance of Civilian Casualties, Best Costume Design, Best Rifle Accuracy, Best Special Effect, Best Use of Airstrikes in a Supporting Role - those would all be ours. What I hope most people take out of this war, though, is the fact that if you piss off America, it doesn't matter if the French are on your side or if hippies smell bad and wave signs, we will kill your ass. And we will steal your DVD's."

Where is Raed?
Glenn brings up a good point - what is the fate of Salam Pax? His last posting was on the 24th of March. Now that Baghdad has been liberated, lets hope that he can make some contact. That he can make some contact. After reading his postings for a couple of months before the War, it would be good to get an insiders perspective from someone we're used to hearing from. Hoping he is safe...
Jessica Lynch Declared Patron Goddess of Silent Running
Jessica is taking over this roll from lesser being Avril Lavigne who was silly enough to speak about something other than music, breaking the essential rule that Goddesses are for looking at not listening to. The Mk1 version, Kirsten Dunst went the same way when she forgot the function of an actor is to entertain. Jessica however can say as anything she likes by me. She and a lot of other people have way more than earned it. I'd write her a tribute, but lots of people have done that already. I’d contribute to the fund for one her fallen comrades kids, but I’m kind of bankrupt. I'd name my cat after her but thats already happened. So I’ll make her a deity. See when you’re a pagan you can do stuff like that. Apart from that I plan to leave her alone to get on her life.

4/09/2003

Attention ANZAC Battalion Vets (2RAR/NZ) All 2 RAR veterans and peacetime soldiers are invited to Lavarack Barracks, Townsville, from 23 to 27 July to commemorate the 50th aniversary of the Battle for Samichon, fought by 2 RAR in Korea in July 1953. According to 2 RAR CO, Lt Col John Frewen, “We’re verey keen to see veterans from New Zealand who served with 2 RAR in Viet Nam when it was an Anzac Battalion called 2 RAR/NZ.” Anyone interested should contact Maj Russ Lowes, or Cpt Marcus Constable for more in formation. From the New Zealand Army News, 8 April 2003.
SMOKING GUN? I pull my gun once, I pull my gun twice, I put my finger on the trigger cause it feels nice. I wonder how Blix missed this place?
Words from Headquarters
I was walking around at work today telling folks that hadn't had access to a television about the young Marine draping the flag on the statue's head moments before it was pulled over. One guy, a consumate military staff officer, immediately reacted
(quizzical look) I'm sure CENTCOM didn't authorize him to do THAT!
Sigh. It got me to thinking. There was also probably some guy in some Marine Corps safety office having a cow when the guy climbed up on top of the crane in the first place. Oh well.
Worth several thousand words Moe has quite a collection going. And yes, this is the time in Baghdad when we dance. Thanks Moe.
Notable, Quotable quotes
Are assembled by John Hawkins, for ease of reference. Thinking about spending a few days myself compiling a list of the best of the worst, as it were. Helpful to jot some of these things down when some of these numbskulls pop up later with more brilliant pieces of insight, or others point to them as fountains of universal wisdom and reason. (via a link from The Emperor's place. Nice memorable picture he picked, too. Like that one.)
An interesting coincidence of dates...
Other big goings on from April 9th in years past. I think the ceremony at the statue will suffice. (found in The Corner)
This week's Carnival of the Vanities
Is up at Solonor's Inkwell. Go have a look see, lots of good submissions.
Priceless
  • Airlift/Sealift bill to move forces into the Area of Operations - Millions of dollars
  • Cost of 750 Tomahwak missiles - Many more millions of dollars
  • Beans and bullets bill to make the trek to Baghdad - Several more millions
  • The cheering from the assembled crowd of Iraqis when the US Marine put Old Glory on Saddam's mug minutes before they pulled down the statue - PRICELESS!

(Image from Reuters TV)
Sums it up
Sky News Reporter to Iraqi on the street - "What's the arrival of the Americans mean to you?" Iraqi - "Umm, to me, it means - Safety" The sight of American troops arriving and securing this central fisture of the media square in the Center of Baghdad is absolutely wonderful. Made more so by the reactions of the everyday Iraqis on the street, like this one. And to a man, every single one of the soldiers interviewed indicates an overwhelming desire to finish the job, and come home as quickly as possible - while displaying the discipline and determination that got them this far in the first place. Liberators, not conquerors.
Speaking of Petey
Wonder what his coverage will be of the Marines and 3ID guys rolling up to the front door of the Palestine Hotel right now... Probably criticize them for getting tank treads on the grass, or something. Deal with it.
Meanwhile, Baghdad Bob's sidekick Petey the Parrot...
Has descended into deep denial that Saddam may have been taken out.
WHEN I heard the story Saddam may have been bombed I knew it had to be wrong intelligence. It had to be rubbish.
He's also resisting coming out of his dream like state, as evidenced here
It was a shock for us the hotel was targeted. Everyone knows the Palestine Hotel. It's the most obvious landmark on the riverside. Everyone knows it's the media hotel. A couple of hundred of us have been here for weeks.
After they moved you out of the Al Rasheed maybe Pete? Didn't happen to notice any of those familiar Info Ministry guys living on some of the other floors, or did you buy there stories of 'just stopped by to chat with you lads?' There is hope for a limited recovery though, a glimmer of reality has crept in
I will concede it was in a battle zone.
Duh. Did ya think you were there just for the kebabs from upstairs at the al-Sa'ah restaurant?
ICE UP A COLD ONE, WE'RE COMING HOME Massive popular resistance...guerilla warfare lasting years...heroic defence of sacred Motherland from the hated invaders...ring of steel...Stalingrad...hundreds of thousands of civillians dead...humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions...Arab street will rise...brutal Iraqi summer...wave of catastrophic mega-terror attacks worldwide... All these and more were part of the Great Leftist Hoax of 2003. For living proof of the Left's utter, complete and final ideological rout, turn on your TV.

But in the Baghdad suburb of Saddam City, residents were in the streets, celebrating the apparent end of the Iraqi regime. A Shiite Muslim leader told a group of 400 to 500 people, "The tyrant of the world is finished, thanks to the coalition. Thank God for Iraq the victorious." International media showed video of looting in and around Baghdad on Wednesday. Dozens were seen hauling off furniture, fixtures and office supplies, using wheelbarrows and pickups -- with no security forces to stop them. Others ripped down posters of Saddam and destroyed them -- kicking, punching and spitting on the pictures. Residents in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil spilled out onto the streets as well in passionate but less-raucous demonstrations, waving flags, tossing confetti and chanting. One person could be seen holding a handwritten sign that said, "Bye Bye Saddam," in English.

There appears to be no truth to the rumours that Saddam and his latest mistress have been shot dead by partisans and strung up by their feet at an Esso gas station in Milan, but a man can dream, can't he? "The realm of Sauron is ended!" said Gandalf. "The Ring-bearer has fulfilled his Quest." And as the Captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor, it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable, lightning-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous it reared above the world, and stretched out towards them a vast threatening hand, terrible but impotent : for even as it leaned over them, a great wind took it, and it was all blown away, and passed. It's true. I admit it. I am a total Tolkein geek. Now for the real question. What will Robert Fisk have to say about all this? Can't hardly wait...

4/08/2003

Last Call For Cat Pictures! Lets get that cute factor up to gag level. The first entries are already posted. you can view them here but voting is not open.
Send your cute n' furries here.
You know its going to happen.
From Bruce Plante
Hey, News Guys...the US POWs, remember them?
And where is the interest in the fate of the POWs? Caught a passing blurb from the Fox Pentagon correspondent a couple of hours ago, stating that Marines searching a prison in South East Baghdad found some bloodied US Army uniforms, indicating that US POWs may have been held there. Just a passing reference, to a confirmation, tacked on as the final item in a laundry list of quick updates. I looked over the Command Post News page, fully expecting to see one or two posts referencing this imprtant discovery. Nothing. Not because nobody picked up on it, but because no one was carrying it. Went ahead and posted the live catch from TV, and went searching for a backing piece of print. I eventually located this Fox News article, after searching through AP, UPI, Reuters, CNN, MSNBC.com, and Yahoo news. What struck me was that all of these outlets have similar coverage of the Marines' activities in the city, but only Fox is referencing the uniform find, and then initially only as an 'also, this' focus. The Pentagon is confirming this, according to Fox's correspondant (my first lead), so the news has gotten from the theater back to the beltway, and into media outlet information streams. Indications of our soldiers in captivity, at the hands of madmen, and it only rates a passing reference? What the hell is up with that? Why isn't this story getting higher visibility? Finally now, at about 10PM EDT, in a teaser to Greta Van Sustern, Fox is featuring the issue. Several hours after this popped up - nothing on the other services. Nothing at Reuters. Nothing on CNN. Not a peep at MSNBC.com. Zip on Yahoo, likewise UPI. Van Sustern and the talking heads chew on it for a few minutes, at the top of the show, to Fox's credit. But where is everyone else on this? Are Fox, and by extension the CP, that much faster than the other outlets, or is this a lack of pickup on their part? I hope it is simply a question of speed. Anything else would be disgraceful. I've cross posted this issue over at The CP Op/Ed page. Shining a spotlight on this will be a good thing - while I imagine that US officials aren't going to let us all in on exactly what they're doing to look for these servicemen, it would be nice if the major news oulets would at least tell us that the search is on. I'm confident that information on these folks whereabouts is up near the top of the Special Ops guys list of 'things to get in Baghdad.' I think its shameful that our major news outlets are more interested in rehashing the tragic passage of foriegn journos at the Palestine hotel, than updating the nation, and the world, as to the fate and recovery of our servicemen.
LAST CHANCE ON A STAIRWAY (FOR THE UN) Many people seem to misunderstand what the U.N. is. They hear about potential United Nations involvement in Iraq, and believe that the peoples of the world will unite, through their U.N. ambassadors, to make Iraq whole after the war. But this perception is mistaken. The U.N. is not the nations of the world united. It is an enterprise located in a building in New York, with satellite operations around the world, employing a certain cadre of people of many nationalities, most of whom are time-servers and ideologues. Archaic Duran Duran references aside, this is the end of the line for the UN. As France, Germany, Russia, and the Kofi Annan head for a meeting in Russia to try and figure out some way to worm their way into Iraq and Iraq's oil reserves, it is a good time to revisit some of the UN's failures in recontruction. Like Kosovo for example. Make no mistake, the UN is in it for the oil. The oil for food program is their largest single account and they don't even have the taps open all the way. Can you imagine how much money the UN will siphon off if they can turn the taps on full speed?
"I hope you use your own toothbrush"
Sensible, down to Earth advice from a Mom. A mom just called by her son, telling her he was using Saddam's personal bathroom to freshen up. (Via the Country Store, who got it at Best of the Web)
SO, HOW ABOUT THAT INFORMATION MINISTER? A funny guy, isn't he? One of the talking heads on MSNBC today was absolutely baffled by him, and was trying to get an explanation to this strange (to a Western observer) behavior. And he was not the only one. Obviously, spending time in the ME is not a prerequisite for becoming a talking head on American cable channel. Lucky people. On the other hand, some people from the ME who spent some time in the West, and are taking a fresh look at their culture, are offering some explanations. All this reminds me of this story my dear husband uses as an explanation for the uninitiated: Juha, (who is the proverbial hero of the Arabic folklore), was taking an afternoon nap. It was a warm day, and so his window was opened to let the breeze in. Some neighborhood kids were playing under Juha's window, and were becoming noisier by the minute. After yelling at the kids a couple of times to no avail, our hero thought he might trick them. "Hey, kids, I just remembered: they are giving away oranges for free at the market today!" Some of the kids bought the story and started running towards the market, yelling to others the good news. People on the street stopped to ask what all the commotion was about, were told the good news, and ran to the market. Meanwhile, our hero Juha still could not sleep, as the street got noisier and noisier. He looked out, and saw the street full with people all running in one direction, screaming at the top of their lungs, and others joining them along the way. "What's going on?" asked Juha a man who was just passing under his window. "They are giving away free oranges at the market!" was the answer. "Hey", said Juha to himself, "I better run, too, before there will be no oranges left for me...". Update: I was just told that the BBC called the Minister of Information "The public face of Iraqi resistance". Told you we don't need the Oscars.
Oh, I guess all those lefties were correct
Turns out this was all just a neo-con bloodlust fantasy, it was only all about the oil after all, and Saddam wasn't really such a bad guy. Not.
Around 150 children spilled out of the jail after the gates were opened as a US military Humvee vehicle approached, Lieutenant Colonel Fred Padilla told an AFP correspondent travelling with the Marines 5th Regiment. "Hundreds of kids were swarming us and kissing us," Padilla said. "There were parents running up, so happy to have their kids back." "The children had been imprisoned because they had not joined the youth branch of the Baath party," he alleged. "Some of these kids had been in there for five years."
This is just about the epitome of the evil we've gone after. I'd sit still and listen for the expressions of realization that some good things are already beginning to happen as a result of the sacrifice and horror that war is, but I have a feeling its going to be awfully quiet on that subject from some people. The only noise I expect to hear is rapid chattering to change the subject. Maybe they'll surprise me, and prove me wrong on that score. Like I've said, I'm an optimist, but I'm not delusional. So what about it? Atrios? Oliver? Hesiod? Josh? Somebody care to step up and amaze me? Anyone? Or will it be more of the same 4D? Dissemble, Denigrate, Dismiss, and Dodge? (Hat tip, and a big thumbs up, to Charles)
Iraqi Tactics Analysis
Some pundits have indicated the apparent lack of any coherent strategy on the part of the Iraqis for dealing with the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. They point to numerous stories of the Iraqis making headlong suicidal charges at the Tanks with 'technical vehicles', Toyotas apprently being the Jihadi favorite, and ending up as crispy critters for their trouble. A careful analysis of recent events has, however, determined a succesful, although not very widely used, Iraqi strategy for 'defeating' the M1A1. This concise insight is presented for your consideration:
The Iraqi 10-point Plan
for
Defeating an M1A1 Abrams Tank
1) Wait for Abrams to break down and catch fire by itself. 2) Wait for Americans to stop trying to put fire out.

3) Wait for Americans to abandon tank. 4) Wait for Americans to depart area. 5) Move tank to better location--for maximum news affect--and so Americans can't come back.

6) Attack, attack, attack abandoned tank. 7) Expend variety of ordinance on abandoned tank. 8) Call Baghdad Bob (aka Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Information Minister). 9) Show news media (Fisk optional, but a bonus points if included) defeated American tank that Iraqi's "destroyed and killed 4 men and 1 women."

10) Dance around on top of tank and do happy Saddam chant.
Be sure to follow the instructions faithfully, and don't forget - rinse, repeat.
Somebody snatch Bahgdad Bob, please
Is it just me, or is anyone else really annoyed about that pontificating cess pool spewing his garbage so close to coalition forces, and getting away for another chance at it tommorrow? I don't recommend a JDAM for Bob, just a quick snatch and bag - its not like there hasn't been an opportunity to know exactly where the shithead is, and there will probably be another chance today. Grab his ass, and explain to him that he really, really needs to get put mug in front of the microphones, and explain to the suddenly working well again Iraqi TV cameras that Saddam is dead, and everyone needs to put down the RPGs and come out with their hands up.... Wether Saddam is actually dead or not (and I think he probably is), what the hell...they seem to believe everything else this pshyco says.

4/07/2003

Aww, crap
This has the potential to turn into a royal goat rope if they don't find convincing pieces of bodies. Even then, I'm really not looking forward to the legions of loonbats with batshit theories about Saddam surviving and now working as a cabana boy at a private resort at an undisclosed Carribean Resort.... But you take it as it comes....
Yeeeeeha!
Various television reports indicate that the United States struck a 'Target of Opportunity' with a variety of Ordinance this afternoon (evening Baghdad time). Occupant of the target - possibly Saddam and his two demon spawn whelps. Get some people over the and comb that rubble! NOW!
PUT YOUR BETS DOWN Iraq looks like a mopping up operation now so who's next? I've got a short list. nKorea, Syria, and Iran. My money is on nKorea. nKorea is rapidly destabilizing north Asia. China is at best keeping a hands off policy, at worst propping up the norks with fuel oil and energy. Meanwhile, the norks are giving the UN the finger over their nuke program. I don't think the norks want a war with us but we may just back them into a corner and get one. I look for Bush to really turn up the heat on the norks once we wrap up Iraq. Should make for an interesting year.
FISK STILL LIVING IN BIZZARO WORLD There's a psychological phenomenon called cognitive dissonance. Essentially, it's what can happen when your belief system comes under attack. For most of us, when presented with compelling factual information that our opinion on something is incorrect, we change our minds. Not everyone, though. Cognitive dissonance can cause people to cling all the more tightly to their previous belief, regardless of information to the contrary. Indeed, for those most seriously affected, proving them wrong simply tips them over into a state of psychotic denial in which anything that threatens their world view is dismissed. Case in point, Robert Fisk, who is clearly beyond help at this stage. He's essentially having a total mental collapse and sending the outside world articles documenting his dementia. Quite seriously, this is no longer political writing, this is evidence for a commital hearing under the Mental Health Act.

First, the American mission, whatever its original intention, was a failure. Their tank column did not "break into" the city as the Anglo-American headquarters originally stated. Iraqi resistance turned it back. The US response – air assaults on individual Iraqi vehicles – was presumably committed by Apache helicopters, because each smouldering wreck had been hit by a small rocket at close range. The second lesson was one for the Iraqis: they should never have brought their armour and military lorries so close to the front. [...] So in military terms – and despite all the waffle from the Americans about the "success" of the aborted US incursion – the Iraqis have so far held their ground in the Battle of Baghdad.

I think it's time for an attractive nurse to appear alongside him and announce in a soothing voice that it's time to come back to the Home.
VIRGINIA SETTLED BY ARABS? The issue at hand is whether it is culturally offensive for a statue of Abraham Lincoln to be erected in Richmond, VA. I just can't seem to leave this city and it's bloody statues behind me, can I? Now, although I'm no fan of the retrospective whitewash of the Lost Cause that's been going on since before the ink was dry on Lee's signature at Appomatox Courthouse, I don't deny the right to memorialise the fallen. I have absolutely no beef with most of what's on display along Monument Avenue. I'm not calling for an Abrams M1A1 main battle tank to do a repeat of what we just saw in downtown Baghdad today. Lee can stay up there on his horse, brave man, good soldier, he wouldn't be the first decent sort to serve a bad cause. What happened, happened. Good men died on all sides. Lets remember them at their best and hope that any evil they caused stays in their grave. The Jeff Davis Monument, on the other hand, is (if I may be permitted to venture an opinion) a monstrous affront to decency, and that's entirely due to the words on it. Statues are one thing, but trying to rewrite history is another. And so is attempting to pretend that Abraham Lincoln doesn't belong in Virginia. His mother was from Virginia, troubling thought that fact might be for some. Now, I'm not sure who the Sons of Cofederate Veterans are, but their spokesman sounds disappointly like the sort of chap you see denouncing the perfidious and decadent West on behalf of the Arab League.

One of Mr. Bowling's biggest concerns is that the statue, which he says represents "the northern aggression," has been brought to the city by people who are not originally from Virginia. "Most of the people involved in this are not native Virginians, particularly the lieutenant governor," he said. "They are forcing us to accept a culture which is not ours."

This explains why there are roving gangs of Committes for the Suppression of Non-Suth'n Culture who beat women who don't wear coal-scuttle bonnets and hooped skirts and say "Fiddle dee-dee" ever second sentence all over Richmond, and the chief cause of death among males under 30 is getting shot for cheating at cards.

Mr. Bowling said Lincoln should not be honored in Richmond, or anywhere in the state. "We view that war as illegal and unjust and it was perpetuated by Lincoln," he said. "His invasion of the south after Fort Sumter forced Virginia to secede, which ultimately killed thousands and thousands of innocent Virginians."

They forced us to wreck the United States! We're not responsible! It's all someone else's fault, we were just pawns in the hands of implacable external forces! As we all know, the firing on Ft Sumter was NOT authorised by the UN security council, and the entire war was an appalling display of unilateralism. The arrogance of Yankee power, unrestrained by world opinion, no doubt financed by International Jewry, aimed purely at seizing the South's strategic reserves of...I dunno...humidity? Spanish moss? Britney Spears' great grandmother?

The life-sized statue depicts Lincoln and his son sitting on a bench. It stands in front of a stone wall, with the inscription "To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds."

Well, I'm shocked and appalled.
OH SINNER MAN, WHERE YOU GONNA RUN TO, ALL ON THAT DAY? You want to know what a tipping point is? It's that moment when one side gets this funky glint in it's eyes, the smell of blood in it's nostrils, and the soft skin of the enemy's throat pressing up against it's fangs. It's the moment when a man in a nicely pressed uniform with gold emblems on his shoulders and the soft white hands of an office worker stops in mid rant and looks around at the sound of explosions. And for the first time in his life as a thug, murderer and torturer of the defenceless, he is afraid. It's the moment when grimy, tired soldiers crack jokes with reporters about crossing to street to "have a word with" the enemy spokesman. It's the moment when the University of Georgia flag is raised over El Presidente's palace. It's when the Colonel has a shower in the dictator's personal bedroom. It's the moment the enemy is seen shucking off their uniforms and diving into the river. It's the moment when a tank named "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue" puts a boot in the dictators arse by blowing up his statue in the middle of his capital (it's the American way). That moment is now. Oh, the war isn't over of course, there's still plenty of fighting to be done, bitter enders to flush out, Tikrit and the final stand of the Baath party, maybe even some nasty surprises. But you and I and more importantly, the allied soldiers and the people of Iraq now KNOW, in our guts, that the final results are in. Allies 1 - Saddam Hussein nil. And the way he's been playing, he was lucky to get nil. From now on, it's all over, red rover. Now it's just a question of time, and how many hardcore Baathists want to commit suicide by tank rather than face the prospect of having to face the Iraqi people. Victory. Victory for the allies, for the cause of freedom, and the Iraqi people. Maybe even for the Arab world, if we can win the peace as effectively as we have won the war. Nothing less will justify the sacrifices, Allied and Iraqi. But for the moment, the very trees and rocks are crying out "O American, come over here, see, there is a Baathist hiding behind me, come and slay him!"

Run to the Lord. Lord, won't you hide me? Run to the Lord. Lord, won't you hide me? Run to the Lord. Lord, won't you hide me? All on that day. Run to the Devil. Devil, was a-waitin’. Run to the Devil. Devil, was a-waitin’. Run to the Devil. Devil, was a-waitin’. All on that day. Lord said, "Oh, you should-a been praying." Lord said, "Oh, you should-a been praying." Lord said, "Oh, you should-a been praying." All on that day. Oh, sinner man, where you gonna run to? Oh, sinner man, where you gonna run to? Oh, sinner man, where you gonna run to? All on that day.

"IT'S ONLY A FLESH WOUND!" Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf would have been a natural as "The Black Knight" in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. His ability to spout the most unbelieveable crap while live TV pictures on the other side of a split screen prove him to be a liar is truly breathtaking. He has a big career in comedy ahead of him, assuming he lives through the current unpleasantness.

"The infidels are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad," Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf told reporters in central Baghdad. "God has given victory to the soldiers and Iraq." Standing a few hundred meters (yards) from U.S. tank positions on the other bank of the Tigris, he said: "Be assured, Baghdad is safe, protected. Iraqis are heroes," he said.

He then hailed a passing cab, climbed in carrying a bulky suitcase with banknotes spilling out of it and shrieked "Syrian border, step on it!" Well, okay, he didn't, but I'm sure he's thinking about it. Still not sure why his press conference was held on a street corner. Perhaps the Information Ministry building is currently undergoing, er, renovations? Special highlights of today include a live videophone cross to an interviewer telling two US soldiers that the Iraqi Information minister was denying they were actually there, and the response "Well, he's just across the street, I think we'll go have a word with him". Sydney Morning Herald correspondent Paul McGeough reports by phone on Australia's Channel Nine that he can see Iraqi troops taking their uniforms off, stripping down to their underwear, and jumping in the Tigris in order to swim around security fences that stretch out past the river bank

He also said that Iraqis had beaten back attacks on Sunday. "They have made them drink poison yesterday. They taught them a lesson history will never forget".

And that lesson is: Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf is a big fat liar. Do not accept any cheques from this man.
Chemical Ali's body found
Roast in hell you murderous bastard....!

4/06/2003

Gratuitous Pussy Shot. Due some fluid activity on the part of the troops driving casually through Fisks “Rings of Steel” - I can think of a one of Fisks rings I’d like to see a tank go through – and all those troops dropping it to Baghdad International Airport, even though they don’t hold it, it looks like our current poll is going to drop off the page fairly soon. In fact it will coincide nicely with the “Buy a Gun for Michael Moore Day” (April 15th). It looks safe to say that Fat Mikey will scoop the Oscar for most stomped speaker at a USO concert so its all tying together rather well. Our next competition is going to be named “Aggravate Alisa Allergies” or the “Cute Kitty Competition”. Groan to you hearts content you dog people, its happening! Suck it up pooch pampering persons. Cats rule, dogs drool! Send your pictures in to me and stand by for the biggest poll participation in SR history (excluding the other polls). Voting will be by picture, not by feline, so group shots to avoid domestic trouble is an option. Pictures will be identified by cat name not their humans name to make voting fair. In other words so my cats get a shot. You may submit multiple shots of your resident cat/s. There may be a prize for the winner… even if she never did send us a photo, topless or otherwise.
Sorry to interrupt
Bloody BBC wecast cut away from a live report from their correspondent in Baghdad describing an approaching firefight (within a 1/2 kilometer) to give a spot of local London news - a piece on crime, traffic report, and the weather. Now, back to that disturbance going on elsewhere...
Such a disappointment
3dID took the Information Ministry in downtown Baghdad and there was NOT a press briefing in progress. Damn! I wonder how the Information Minister is going to describe this one? "No, absolutely not, the infidels DID NOT broadcast live from the front lawn of President Saddam's Palace!"
Your attention, please
Please observe the addition of a new contributor button on the left hand column of your screen. Silent Running is pleased to publicly announce the addition of our newest team member - Captain Scarlet. Another team member of mystery, taking refuge here onboard for a bit of Silent Running Welcome aboard, Cap'n. Glad to have you along. Mind getting Murray another beer? Thanks.
Great bumper sticker!
Posted on the front of a British Warrior Armoured Vehicle in Basra -
"If you can read this you are closer to Allah than you think. Have a nice day."
Jolly good show. Read the rest of this account of the British drive into Basra. (via SunDevilDog at the Command Post)
4th ID arrives in Kuwait
And almost immediately upon dis-embarkation, they encounter their first hazard in the war zone... Geraldo. Their Colonel seems to be handling the blabbering twit with a great deal of restraint and patience. The mark of a true professional.
The Steyn Machine
Keeps on rolling. Squashed on the tracks this time around, the NYT. Toot, toot!
All right, that'll be enough of that horsecrap
Been spending quite a bit of time hanging out over at the Command Post. Usually, I stick to the News side of things, but today I wandered over to post a pointer to Den Beste's discussion of Siege Warfare over on the Op-Ed pages. While I was scrolling around to see if anyone else had already pointed to it, I came across this ridiculous piece of drivel submitted by the often misguided CalPundit. He is citing a piece of sniping by one Ralph Peters, a retired LtCol, lambasting Rumsfeld, and his handling of 'the plan'. Peters entire indictment of Rumsfeld, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense in general, engages in the arm chair style of speculation for its 'scathing points'. While it is seriously doubtful that Mr. Peters sat in on a single session discussing the options in 'The Tank' at the Joint Staff, or participated in a single one of the myriad of planning conferences, videoconferences, or staff package coordination that were the pieces and parts of the 'plan' coming together, he certainly takes the liberty of speaking as if he did, and second guessing the process, to boot. He spends the last part of his article defending his actions, and the actions of all the other doom speaking, nay-saying, 'well I wouldn't have done it that way' armchair generals as being patriotic and necessary, because those within the chain of command can't. To that, I have only one reply. Bullshit. Anyone that sits in a decision making meeting, just bobbing their head and staying out of the line of fire isn't fulfilling their obligations to their oaths; and those that do so then cry about it in public afterwards are absolutely pathetic wastes. Mr. Peters is demonstrating yet another example, at least to those that have been watching the inter-squabbling between the inertia bound, rice bowl protecting service component staffs (particularly - The Army) and Rumsfeld's fire and brimstone approach to bypassing these fonts of 'conventional wisdom' (read: sucking tar pits of inaction and studies, requiring copious infusions of money) to reshape the defense force rapidly, and effectively. Its quite simple. Anytime the decision that's made isn't the way that you would have done it, then obviously, it is bucking conventional wisdom. I've looked over some of Peter's other work, and he is definitely Army centric - and I highly suspect that if you look at the ultimate sources of a lot of this most recent round of sniping at Rumsfeld, it wears a mint green shirt. Particularly when they are crowing about 'meddling' with the Army parts of the plan. Odd, but we don't hear too much griping coming from the other service components. I've noticed that leaders without a clear vision ahead for their organizations want to make a splash, they usually demonstrate that lack of vision by picking something totally cosmetic to alter to leave their fingerprints behind. Those black berets are sure spiffy. We waited around six months last time to wait for the Army. Part of the delay this time around was factored in to - ta da - wait for the Army. And despite this obvious fact of life, these boneheads are still railing that they need more stuff (which would take longer to haul) instead of coming up with a better way, or being satisfied that the amount of overkill available is sufficient. 'Work harder, not...uh...yeah, work harder' seems to be the crusty old Army corporate answer, and the spirit of George McClellan is alive and kicking. Anyone, and I mean anyone that says that our casualty figures would be lower if 'we'd had more troops' or that we could have gotten there (somehow faster than just about the max limit of machine and human endurance factors that we did it in) sooner by having more troops is just plain avoiding cluttering the issue with facts. It's been plainly obvious to the knowledgeable observer that many, many parts and pieces to the current 'plan' were considered, and it isn't too hard to figure out which ones were discarded, because they were unworkable for some reason or another - those are the aspects that we're hearing so much carping about in the open media, as the proponents of the unincorporated pet pieces spread their sour grapes far and wide for all to take pity on. Damned disgusting, pathetic, and low class. But with enough spiff and fluff on it, folks that don't know any better, like Kevin, actually consider it to be worthwhile discussion, instead of recognizing it for the re-heated, rehydrated bar fertilizer that it is.
Walk like a not-Egyptian
Abu 'The Hook' Hamza, recently served with papers notifying him of the British Government's intent to strip him of his UK citizenship, isn't going quietly. His hired mouthpiece is arguing that the Crown can't do that , because it would leave Hamza as a 'stateless person' and that he couldn't be deported back to a country with capital punishment and torture. What, the Egyptians are too rough for little flower Abu?
The Home Office privately admits that the test case for Hamza's removal from Britain will take "months, not weeks" to push through the courts. Home Office officials insisted that checks had been made that Hamza's nationality was Egyptian. They said that Hamza's lawyers were free to provide evidence that he was not Egyptian if they had it.
Well, looking at the evidence, its a wonder that he got UK citizenship at all in the first place - being based on his marriage to a Briton that had not yet completed a divorce in progress. Ooops.
An absolutely horrid dilema
Clearly divided into two camps, with little hope of reconciliation, agreement, nor compromise, things could turn ugly very, very quickly. Both sides decry the wanton slaughter, either real or pending. With one camp solidly entrenched, and preparing for pre-emptive action to stop what they see as an ongoing slaughter of thousands, the other side pleads for restraint, more time, and a chance to try alternate methods. World politics? Clash of cultiures? Nah. Bickering over the planned cull of the Hedgehog population responsible for decimating the bird population on Scotland's Western Isles. When enviros squabble, it isn't a pretty sight.