05-08-04, 05:28 AM #261
Making statements like that will cost him whatever political capital he might have gained from the prisoner scandal. You gotta love those fanatics.
05-08-04, 06:29 AM #262
Hyperbole is commonplace in Arab political rhetoric. We can hear "Death to America", and endless fantasies demeaning toward Americans the more we listen. There will be a cornucopia of phrases to take out of this peculiar Arab rhetorical context. Very often what sounds like the radicalism is just the time-honored Arab political style of venting collective emotion, which even prominent moderates are compelled by political culture to engage in from time to time, lest they be perceived as bland and uncaring in the Arab thoughtstream. European speech is commonly made more appealing with crafty understatement, while Mideastern tastes often respond to more intense verbal spice.
This may be a flaw from a Western perspective, from which even widely respected Arab journalists and leaders can come off as sophomoric and reactionary, but it remains intrinsic nonetheless to Arab discourse. I know that Tiassa has not done so, but there is often deliberate exploitation of this cultural difference, such as when Israeli pundits quite familiar with this concept export selected Arab rhetoric to American audiences in order to deliberately apply a stigma of depravity and intransigence to their Arab opponents. Even unintentionally, typical hyperbole like "keep a female GI as your slave" can cause a lot of misunderstanding. These miscues make me wince, just as when GIs generically call their detainees "Ali Babas".
It is necessary and beneficial that more of the world, and especially Americans, take heed of Arab media- but for understanding to increase, an ear for this significant cultural difference is an important prerequisite. I'm not trying to get on your case T, it's just an opportunity here to note one of the sources of so much misunderstanding between the Mideast and America. Arabs have rhetorical habits that can easily offend Western ears, just as we have many cultural habits that are easily ofensive to Arabs. Wherever we effectively interface, these differences have to be put into a fitting perspective if they are not to impede greater cooperation and coexistence.
05-08-04, 05:45 PM #263
Danish soldiers has been in a 2 hour firefight near Al Qurnah, no danish soldier where kill but a Lituanian was wounded when 1 of his bullet exploded, Prior to the ambush local iraqie had warned to Danish patrol of a impending ambush.
1 Iraqie was capture and it is said he says he belongs to the Moqtada Sadrs milits.
In other new, supplemental to tissas.
Heavy fighting new Basra, when 100s of iraqie attack Brithsh forces, 2 iraqie and 7 soldier belived dead, this is thougth to be related to imam Moqtada Sadr speach the day before.
only 9 dead, seems a bit low.
05-09-04, 06:45 PM #264
I will be very surprised if the Bush administration tolerates you into June.
Not like you to make assumptions.
It appears increasingly likely that Mr Sadr has the backing of the IGA as well as a significant chunk of the populace.
It may not be possible to stop him.
only 9 dead, seems a bit low.
05-09-04, 07:24 PM #265
Fields of the Brave? (Come November)Not like you to make assumptions.
It appears increasingly likely that Mr Sadr has the backing of the IGA as well as a significant chunk of the populace.
It may not be possible to stop him
If he's still a problem in November, the people will blame Bush for not dealing with him. If Bush has him whacked in June (no later than July 1) there's time for other scandals to pile on (thereby diverting attention from an Israeli-style assassination or Clintonesque missile strike) and by the time the voters get around to the problem of what comes in al-Sadr's wake, Bush might even be able to mount a pro-PNAC campaign push to remind folks of how violent and turbulent the Middle East is, and how America needs to tame it.
The administration cannot afford such a campaign liability come the end of July, when the Democrats get together in Boston. The last thing Bush wants to give them is even the tiniest handle to jiggle, else they might manage to flush him early and leave the war in the crapper, in lame-duck status not only from November, but from August until January.
Of course, all this says more about my opinion of the Bush administration than anything else.
Last edited by Tiassa; 05-17-04 at 04:13 PM. Reason: Because
05-10-04, 01:47 AM #266U.S. urges U.N. envoy to alter Iraqi self-rule plan
WASHINGTON The Bush administration is pressing U.N. Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to change his proposal for a transitional Iraqi government when limited self-rule is given to Iraqis June 30, Iraqi and U.S. officials say.
Instead of a government that is nonpolitical, the administration is pushing for one that gives prominent roles to people with ties to political parties, the officials say. New thinking in Washington is that a transitional government of technocrats would not be strong enough.
In particular, the administration is said to be wedded to a large role for Adnan Pachachi, the former foreign minister who has guided the process of writing Iraq's transitional constitution, and to figures tied to political groups loyal to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, Iraq's leading Shiite cleric.
05-17-04, 06:40 AM #267
IGC President slain in bomb attack
Dawa Party leader took rotating office May 1
Izzedine Salim, a leader of the Iraqi Dawa Party and the President of the Iraq Governing Council, has been killed by a suicide explosion in Baghdad.
Witnesses said a convoy of five white Nissan vehicles was passing through the Harthiya neighborhood toward a checkpoint into the Green Zone, where U.S. authority and the Governing Council have their headquarters, when a red Volkswagen Brazil sped up to the convoy and exploded.
The blast was so forceful that it flung the car Salim was apparently riding in on to the other side of the street. It left 17 charred and burning vehicles on both sides of the median.
"I saw five burned bodies, completely burned," Mohammed Leith, 21, who lives about 100 yards from the explosion. "The one who did this is creating chaos. He only killed Iraqis. Even the Governing Council members are Iraqis too." (Wilson & Chan)
What strikes me is the witness' words:
"Even the Governing Council members are Iraqis too."
A telling phrase, isn't it?
Salim had advocated the continued operation of the IGC; he disagreed with UN envoy Brahimi's technocrat-plan, and sought a continued role for the unpopular, appointed interim body after the June 30 handover.
On the other hand, and the British can tell the Americans all about this, as I understand it, the legend of Michael Collins and the 20th-century history of the Irish Republican Army includes the days of walking up to a politician on the street and shooting him point-blank in order to have your say.
And we all know how that went. Of course, Westerners were mortified when they woke up one morning and realized that the later troubles in Northern Ireland had killed something like 3,500 people in thirty years.
Thirty-five hundred? Hell, that's a fairly easy number by twenty-first century standards. You can damn near hit that number with a suicide bombing.
It's the thirty-year part that worries me more. And we can't expect Daniel Day Lewis in the movie version. Except maybe in a peripheral role as a Member of Parliament.
Wilson, Scott and Sewell Chan. "Iraqi Governing Council President Killed in Attack." Washington Post, May 17, 2004. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004May17.html
Last edited by Tiassa; 05-17-04 at 07:18 PM. Reason: Because
05-17-04, 06:17 PM #268
"Sarin Nerve Gas Bomb Explodes in Iraq"
Everyone's reporting it now.
But they continue to fail to mention that al-Zarqawi was known to have laboratories being used to manufacture chemical and that Pentagon wanted to take them out, but would have ruined the phoney justifications for the war.
"The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155 millimetre artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found, said Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, the chief military spokesman in Iraq.
"The round had been rigged as an IED (improvised explosive device) which was discovered by a US force convoy. A detonation occurred before the IED could be rendered inoperable. This produced a very small dispersal of agent, he said. (Full text here)
Keep your eye on the sarin bomb. See how shiny it is. You are relaxed. Relaaaax.
05-17-04, 06:39 PM #269
What slays me right now about the Sarin thing is that apparently they found mustard gas several days ago, and what the situation suggests is that some idiot somewhere has accidentally come across what investigators couldn't find.
Even if it's just the odd shell lying around that nobody in twelve years figured out was there ....
And the Miklaszewski article ... downright creepy. On the other hand, we should probably treat the "undercutting" of the case for war with the same skepticism people seem to express at the idea of breaching contract in order to preserve tax breaks.
05-17-04, 07:14 PM #270
...twisting one up and fantasizing about Bush bringing it up in a press conference,
and some reporter that actually has a pair speaking up and asking, "...and your point is?"
05-19-04, 03:41 PM #271
What?! Another #@*%ing wedding?! (Or, "Love in a War Zone.")
Reports: 40 dead after U.S. hits Iraqi wedding party
Yet another wedding party has been crashed by American troops, this time to the tune of forty dead.
The details are sketchy; the BBC article is difficult to understand:
The US military is investigating reports that a helicopter opened fire on a wedding party in western Iraq killing more than 40 people.
Early reports from Iraq suggested the attack happened after guests fired in the air as part of celebrations.
But US officials said their information was that coalition forces came under hostile fire about the same time in the remote area near the Syrian border.
They returned fire, killing a number of people, a defence official said. (BBC)
One witness told al-Arabiya that the U.S. dropped "more than 100 bombs on us," with the effect of leveling the village. Iraqi police have told the Associated Press that between 42 and 45 people were killed.
Inside sources tell me that the Bush administration is officially worried that the string of wedding-related incidents might damage the President's election bid by undermining his family-values platform.
Nonetheless, I would advise my Muslim neighbors to just stop having weddings. We have jokes about marriage being the death sentence, but it appears that being Muslim gets you on the fast-track.
BBC News. "Iraqi wedding party hit by US." May 19, 2004. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3730423.stm
05-19-04, 06:01 PM #272
Perhaps it was a Gay-Muslim wedding?
The last wedding we crashed we justified in the same manner - hostile gunfire. The truth, it turned out, was that the most technologically sophisticated army in the history of the world was not able to distinguish between hostile fire and the traditional celebratory gunfire which takes place at Afghan weddings. Do they not mention during military training that this is not a big video game and therefore you should consider whether someone is an enemy or not before you blow them away?
It bogggles the mind.
05-24-04, 05:43 PM #273
Signs of progress: "Fore!"
Kabul Golf Club hopes to get back into the swing of things
A welcome sign of progress from Afghanistan; Mike Collet-White reports for Reuters from the Kabul Golf Club.
Before teeing off, mind the bombed out barracks to your left. Don't aim for the fairway; there isn't one. The greens are actually black; a mixture of sand and oil. The clubhouse is collapsing and has no walls . . . .
. . . . For a decade or so the nine-hole course set among rugged hills and mountains on the outskirts of Kabul has been abandoned and the grass has turned to dusty desert and scrub.
While there are no bunkers, the ball veers off at impossible angles when it hits a rock on lands in a ditch.
The water feature has dried out, but the rules still apply if you land in it.
The good news: you can use a tee for every shot.
Now two players, who have been part of the on-again off-again history of the club that reflects Afghanistan's recent past, want to rebuild it.
Collett-White, Mike. "No Grass, No Greens, But Golf Is Back in Kabul." Reuters, May 24, 2004. See http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml...toryID=5237268
05-24-04, 07:14 PM #274
Maybe the PGA tour will make it part of their regular courses. Add the element of danger to the game. Probably increase the ratings. Hell, I might even watch golf if there's the possibility of watching Tiger Woods getting hit by sniper fire.
05-24-04, 11:17 PM #275
The calm voice: "And Tiger makes his way into the bunker--man, you really can't tell it from the fairway, can you? And, oh--my goodness. It would appear that an IED hidden in the bunker has gone off. Tiger seems to have lost a leg and will be going into shock soon. This really makes that short game a challenge ...."
05-26-04, 06:45 PM #276
Just say, "No."
Conscience or wisdom?
al-Shahristani says, "No, thank you."
The smartest man in Iraq? "Scientist al-Shahristani was jailed under Saddam
Hussein's regime reportedly for refusing to help build a nuclear weapon."
(USA Today via AP/60 Minutes)
The Associated Press reports this morning that Hussain al-Shahristani, the apparent leading candidate for the post of Prime Minister of Iraq, has advised UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi that he does not want the job. "Mr. Shahristani could serve his country well in a number of positions in government . . . Mr. Shahrestani (sic), however, has himself clarified tht he would prefer to serve his country in other ways," said a statement by Brahimi's office.
al-Shahristani is the latest in a historical truism. Sometimes--perhaps in general--the people most fit to lead a political body are also smart enough to not want to do the job.
Einstein turned down the presidency of Israel; it wasn't where he could do the most for the world.
And it's difficult to find fault with the reason, but let's face it--in addition to this being a decision of conscience, as it is represented by Brahimi, one is compelled to wonder if perhaps al-Shahristani is simply addicted to the idea of being alive.
And nor will I fault him for that. To give one's life for a cause can certainly be noble, but who pretends that the interim government of Iraq will be particularly safe and secure? If al-Shahristani is intended by any circumstance of God or nature to lead Iraq, he will get his chance. But taking an appointed executive position in a theater stricken by bad blood and warfare, perhaps al-Shahristani feels he can do more for Iraq if he's not blown up by dissidents, insurgents, guerillas, or terrorists.
I suppose the question is, even by a perception of the situation from afar and through the press--with the IGC being cut down, contractors being beheaded, clerics resisting the occupation, and bombs bombs bombs by the scores, would you want to be the occupation-installed Prime Minister responsible for satisfying the bloodthirsty and also the insatiable?
Associated Press. "Ex-Iraqi exile turns down government post." May 26, 2004. See http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/i...politics_x.htm
Last edited by Tiassa; 05-26-04 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Tags.
05-26-04, 07:17 PM #277
About that blown up wedding, they say now that it wasn't a wedding; that it actually was hostiles. We'll never know for sure, but it just goes to show you how facts can be misconstrewed so badly (or just flat lies told) in the fog of war.
05-26-04, 07:19 PM #278
To give one's life for a cause can certainly be noble, but who pretends that the interim government of Iraq will be particularly safe and secure?
"Iraqis are sick of foreign people coming in to their country and trying to destabilise thier country and we will help them get rid of these killers"
GW Bush, Al Arabiya TV this week.
I shit you not he really did say that
05-26-04, 07:34 PM #279
Foggy indeedAbout that blown up wedding, they say now that it wasn't a wedding; that it actually was hostiles. We'll never know for sure . . . .
In the meantime, the practical problem is well-expressed by Kamran Shafi, and also by the headline of a Chicago Tribune story carried at Texas A&M.
Last edited by Tiassa; 05-26-04 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Tags.
05-27-04, 11:27 PM #280
Hmm. Yet another member of the IGC gets hit.
A member of Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council has escaped unharmed after gunmen ambushed her convoy. Salama al-Khafaji was on her way to Baghdad when the attack happened in the town of Yusufiya, Governing Council members said.
Ms al-Khafaji was returning from the holy city of Najaf, where she took part in mediation efforts to end fighting.
She was part of a Governing Council delegation helping to broker a deal between US soldiers and Shia militiamen loyal to radical cleric Moqtada Sadr.
So why hit her?
Perhaps she's a bad negotiator maybe a random ambush or just marked by another group of armed militia. There's plenty of those after all.
Whatever. Just thought you all might like to know.
Oh I take it back. She's not such a bad negotiator after all.
The US-led coalition is suspending offensive operations in the Iraq holy city of Najaf, after radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr offered a truce.
Lets hope all parties stay true to their word.
A little ray of hope?