12-04-03, 07:39 AM #141
'At this stage' means 'now that the pit we have dug for the Iraqi people and ourselves is this deep'.
12-04-03, 08:29 PM #142
Originally posted by heflores
Hypewaders, I don't understand why you are so upset about? US position is clear. US will give Iraq democracy if Iraq does not select any religious leader or instill any islamic laws and agree to whatever leader and rules the US and Israel will recommend....Untill all those detailed are worked out, all dead are to be considered collateral damage.....It's clear as mud, comeon now...
hey you conservatives out there, preferabally Jerrek, what the latest detail on enduring freedom operation in Afghanistan....Has the Afghani people started experiencing some enduring freedom yet....?
12-09-03, 07:16 AM #143
Bangladeshi mission closed for threat
E-mail Threat Closes Bangladesh Iraq Mission
Bangladeshi Ambassador Sarwar Hossain Mollah and staff have closed their diplomatic mission in Iraq and relocated to Jordan after receiving an e-mail that threatened to blow up the mission, according to Reaz Rahman, the Bangladeshi Minister of Foreign Affairs.
• Gulf Daily News: "Bangladesh closes mission after threat"
And just because the damn song won't get out of my head:Everybody now bring your family down to the riverside
Look to the east to see where the fat stock hide
Behind four walls of stone the rich man sleeps
It's time we put the flame torch to their keep
Burn down the mission
If we're gonna stay alive
Watch the black smoke fly to heaven
See the red flame light the sky
Burn down the mission
Burn it down to stay alive
It's our only chance of living
Take all you need to live inside
(Bernie Taupin, "Burn Down the Mission")
12-09-03, 02:59 PM #144
3 dead, 1 injured in combat vehicle accident
Three soldiers from Fort Lewis--near Tacoma, Washington--have died in an accident. Their Stryker vehicles plunged into an irrigation canal after an embankment collapsed. The Army, of course, is investigating the cause of the collapse. The accident is especially unfortunate; in addition to three dead and one injured, the "Stryker brigade"--3rd Brigade, 2nd Division--is the first unit certified to operate with the new Stryker combat vehicle,Each Stryker vehicle can carry up to 11 soldiers and is designed to operate at top speeds of more than 60 miles per hour. The Fort Lewis brigade is built around 309 Strykers, which are outfitted with high-tech computers to help scout the enemy and communicate among units.
They are intended to offer more protection than Humvees and trucks, yet be quicker — and easier to ship to battle — than tanks. Army officials are planning to spend at least $9 billion to outfit six brigades with the Strykers and see them as a possible stepping stone for the force of the future.
The Fort Lewis 3rd Brigade 2nd Division is the first to be certified for combat. The brigade and associated unit totaling some 5,000 soldiers arrived in Kuwait last month, along with the Strykers and a complement of Humvees, trucks and other vehicles. (Seattle Times)
Have we some engineers out there who might be able to at least say, "Don't put a 38,000 pound (18,000 kg) vehicle on this road right here"?
Because while speculation on the cause is inappropriate at this time, I must admit the combat weight of the vehicle suggests that an Iraqi infrastructure suffering the setbacks and other issues facing the nation might not be able to handle 309 vehicles of that weight tromping around an area. Whether this accident resulted from sabotage or was a freak of nature or was, in fact, the weight of the vehicles, I think the issue of whether bridges and roads can hold these vehicles is an issue that warrants consideration.
And I'm quite sure someone somewhere in the system has made those considerations. Whether or not those results received any attention in planning is its own issue.
It is, most likely, my lack of confidence in our Commander in Chief. Given the way the Bush administration treats statistics, given its dedication to its goals, and given its apparent measure of the value of human life, I can certainly imagine a small detail such as bridge capacity per one vehicle versus heavy use by 309 of the things might get overlooked, but to the other, it doesn't seem to be such aspects of the planning that haven't gone well.
In the end, I'd say that when your only casualties are accidental so far, that's a good sign if good signs must be found amid the wreckage.
I'm trying to find a way to include one of the brigade's other incidents.Friday, two soldiers still in Kuwait were wounded before dawn when a 40 mm grenade from a MK19 automatic grenade launcher apparently misfired in the weapon.
The soldiers, who have not been identified, were replacing a .50-caliber machine gun atop a Stryker vehicle with the MK19 when the accident occurred . . . .
. . . . The soldiers were part of the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry regiment. The commander of the unit, Lt. Col. Karl Reed, yesterday ordered all soldiers to undergo a refresher on safety-certification training on the .50-caliber machine gun and the MK19.
"We got lucky," he said. "We are lucky we are not burying two soldiers."
12-12-03, 03:28 AM #145
Not exactly good news
• McCarthy, Rory. "Iraqi army walkout over pay." Guardian Unlimited, December 12, 2003. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story...105382,00.htmlAt least 300 troops from the 700-strong 1st Battalion of the New Iraqi Army walked out less than two months after completing training.
The resignations are a blow to US attempts to build up the Iraqi security forces, who will have a far greater role in running the country once America and Britain hand over power on July 1 to an Iraqi government. The troops, most of whom were recruited from the ranks of Saddam Hussein's army, complained that they were paid less than police officers: $50 (about £30) a month, against $120 a month paid to police. Officers were paid $180, which puts them on the same wage as senior police.
"They said they were not happy with their terms and conditions and they didn't obey the instructions of their commanding officers and therefore they are no longer soldiers in the 1st Battalion of the New Iraqi Army," said an official from the coalition provisional authority, the US-led administration in Baghdad.
"They felt that they should be paid more money than the police, because they felt the police could go home at night and they didn't go home at night," the official said. "That's their point of view."
The pay scales of all the security forces are under review as a result of the mass resignations. The official added that the salaries were now "hugely higher" than the typical $2 monthly wage paid to Saddam's conscript army. "We will review the salaries, but I think their remuneration package at the moment is at least very fair," he said.
Obviously, this isn't good news.
I'm inclined to post, in lieu of deeper commentary, a link to JPS' topic, "Union busting in Iraq," which includes an article discussing the fact that similar wages, paid to refinery workers, do not provide a living.
01-03-04, 05:31 AM #146
"Long as my arm, and five times as thick. You'll die at the end of my ...."
Whoops. Wrong bit.
Anyway, who's naming the operations these days?
"Operation Iron Grip"?
"US bombs S. Baghdad after copter crash." (Yahoo)
01-04-04, 10:22 AM #147
01-08-04, 02:08 AM #148
Baghdad: 35 wounded in mortar attack
Early wire reports bring news that mortars fired against a U.S. logistical base in Baghdad have wounded thirty-five soldiers.An estimated six mortar rounds struck in or near Logistical Base Seitz, according to a U.S. military statement that said the wounded troops had been given first aid or been evacuated for medical treatment.
No further details were available regarding the attack or the conditions of those receiving medical treatment. "Some have already returned to duty," a U.S. military spokesman said, but he was unable to provide any figures.
The soldiers belonged to the 541st Maintenance Battalion of the 3rd Corps Support Command.
I wonder what it would be like if, on these occasions, Rumsfeld or McClellan or somebody like that ought to stand up in front of the press and read the injuries to the nation.
On a morbid note, what's the best sanitized term you can think of for missing limbs? Digital excision? Vacation of the tarsal region and surriounding environs? "Rewarded with a King Missile"?
Okay, I know that last one seems wholly inappropriate, but it actually makes sense after a fashion. But how different would this be if it wasn't "35 wounded," but rather, "Joe Smith, missing a leg; Bill Jones, deafened, fractured skull ...."?
And would Geraldo draw a diagram explaining the king missile bit?
I like sanitized language sometimes. After all, I'm not being crass. I'm simply desensitized.
01-08-04, 08:06 AM #149
U.S. Copter Goes Down in Iraq, Killing 8
"At Abu Ghraib, hundreds of people waited in frustration for hours, hoping relatives would be among the first detainees that coalition officials said would be freed under a much-publicized amnesty.
However, U.S. guards said they had no orders to release anyone, and an Iraqi lawyer, Mohammed al-Tamimi, expressed doubt anyone would be freed Thursday.
"Liars! Liars! They won't let them out!" a woman screamed as she emerged from the prison. Others railed against "unjust arrests" among the thousands of people rounded up by U.S. and coalition troops and held without detention or charge. "
Things are really starting to get out of control.
01-08-04, 02:27 PM #150
01-08-04, 04:13 PM #151
A American C-5 was attacked by a portable SAM at 6,000 ft over Iraq. There seemed to be vibrations and it took out the number 4 engine.
A US Air Force C-5 Galaxy transport plane made a safe landing in Baghdad on Thursday after it apparently was hit by a surface-to-air missile, a military official said. An official told CNN it is believed the plane was struck at an altitude of about 6,000 feet. There were 63 passengers and crew members on board. No injuries were reported.
These insurgents know what they are doing, I wonder if they are Iraqi or from outside?
Also here are some pics of the DHL A-300 damage done by a SAM-7:
01-08-04, 05:32 PM #152
Bush administration officials have been accused of misrepresenting the threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
The accusation comes in a report from the influential left-of-centre Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which opposed the war in Iraq.
It also says there was no evidence for the claim that Saddam Hussein would give such weapons to terrorists.
The US and UK cited concerns over weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq last March.
Meanwhile, a 400-strong US team of weapons disposal experts is being withdrawn from Iraq.
US Government officials confirmed reports in the New York Times that the mission was being wrapped up, but stressed that the team had finished its work.
The newspaper reported that 400 - out of a team of 1,400 - had been assigned to search for depots for missile launchers and other equipment that might be used in conjunction with weapons of mass destruction.
The Carnegie Endowment said it had studied hundreds of documents and interviewed dozens of specialists for its report WMD: Evidence and Implications.
The report says there was "no convincing evidence" that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear programme.
There was greater uncertainty about its biological weapons, it continues, but the threat related to what could be developed in future rather than what Iraq actually had.
The report says it was unlikely Iraq could have destroyed, hidden or moved large amounts of chemical and biological weapons without the United States detecting some sign of activity.
And it adds: "There was no evidence to support the claim that Iraq would have transferred WMD to al-Qaeda and much evidence to counter it."
The study concludes that while the long-term threat from Iraq could not be ignored, it was being contained by a combination of UN weapons inspections, international sanctions and limited US-led military action.
"Administration officials systematically misrepresented the threat from Iraq's WMD and ballistic missile programmes," it contends.
There was no evidence to support the claim that Iraq ould have transferred WMD to al-Qaeda and much evidence to counter it".
BBC America Report
The report is actually stronger than this makes it sound. BBC News in England has made it an important feature, but reports that it is not being given much publicity at home. Is this the case?
01-09-04, 07:59 AM #153
The "Kurdish headache," massive troop movements, and the United Nations
The Washington Post recounts events of interest across the Iraqi adventure today, including a staff report on friction between Kurdish representatives to the Iraq Governing Council and U.S. authorities.The United States faces the prospect of two governments inside Iraq -- one for Kurds and one for Arabs -- after so far failing to win a compromise from the Kurds on a formula to distribute political power when the U.S. occupation ends, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.
L. Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. administrator in Iraq, twice met with the two main Kurdish leaders over the past week to urge them to back down from their demands to retain autonomy, according to U.S. officials.
But in a new setback for U.S. plans in Iraq, the Kurds have not budged. They insist on holding on to the basic political, economic and security rights they have achieved during a dozen years of being cut off from the rest of Iraq during Saddam Hussein's rule.
"They have a strong hand and they're playing it," a senior administration official said. (Wright/Sipress)
Also, the United States is seeking a UN return to Iraq in support of the new Transitional Administration Law set for June 30, 2004. The UN is reluctant to put personnel in harm's way without the independence to carry out its mission, and today's closed-door meetings between John Negroponte of the US, Emyr Jones Perry of the UK, and Secretary Annan will seek to reassure the United Nations of Coalition capabilities to protect UN personnel and to discuss organizational roles.
The US also hopes the UN can help head off a movement to change current plans to use caucuses to elect the first transtitional government into regional elections.They will also seek to enlist the U.N. chief's help in heading off an effort by influential Shiite Muslim leaders, including the cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, to renegotiate the plan for political transition in Iraq. The current plan calls for a series of regional caucuses to appoint a provisional government this summer. Sistani wants elections conducted to create that government.
Abdel Aziz Hakim, a Shiite political figure who served as rotating president of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council last month, asked Annan in a confidential Dec. 29 letter to send a U.N. team to Iraq to determine whether national elections could be organized before creation of a provisional government. He also appealed to Annan to help negotiate the terms for the country's political transition in the event that elections were deemed "unfeasible."
In an important concession to the United States, the U.N. chief sent Hakim a reply Thursday night, saying that elections cannot be organized in time for the establishment of the provisional government. He also declined to commit to a role in negotiating new terms for elections, but said that a more representative group of Iraqis should participate in the political process, sources familiar with the letter said. (Lynch)
Essentially, it appears that the US wishes the UN to play a cheerleader role. The Post article indicates that while the Bush administration wishes to deepen the UN role, the US is not prepared to grant the international body sufficient independence to negotiate the political transition.
And all this comes as the US initiates a massive personnel transfer in Iraq. According to the Washington Post:The Pentagon has begun a shift of troops into and out of Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan that promises to be the most challenging movement of U.S. forces in more than half a century, military officials announced yesterday . . . .
. . . . An advance team from the Army's III Corps -- whose commander, Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, is due to take operational control of the new force -- has also gone to Baghdad.
The turnover of troops, intended to substitute fresh U.S. forces for the battle-tested ones that have spent up to a year at war, poses enormous logistical burdens. Scheduled to last between now and May, the operation is unusual not only for its large scope and compressed timetable but also for its need to transport sizable numbers of troops into and out of combat zones at the same time.
"It's the biggest one we've ever had in some respects," Lt. Gen. Franklin "Buster" Hagenbeck, chief of Army personnel, said in an interview. He predicted "hiccups along the way" but added: "It's going to work." (Graham)
Over 100,000 troops each way will move into and out of Iraq; 20,000 or so troops in Kuwait will rotate out, as will 10,000 in Afghanistan. The shift will involve eight and a half of the Army's ten active-duty divisions.
Commentary: This is one of those weeks that really just sucks if you're in charge. Even in the morally relative aspects of a war, the only thing you don't look forward to more than a week in which separatists are making waves, your most necessary assistance is being stubborn, and you initiate your largest troop transition in a half-century is a day with high casualties. The Oval Office ages people. Some may not have noticed it so much with Reagan since they were already working to hide the appearance of his age, but the senior Bush showed the office, and Clinton downright crumbled under its weight insofar as his voice went, his hair went white, he gained weight, and the bags under his eyes got bigger than the two-pound bag of Chee-tos. And look at Dubya. 9/11 sucked some of the life out of him; he looks comparatively like your grandparent with a broken hip. I remember a photograph, grainy black and white--I think from Time or some such--of Bush in the Oval Office at about 4 am in the days after 9/11. The man hadn't slept for seventy-two hours or so, and was held together simply by the knowledge that, no matter how much he hated the idea, he had asked for the presidency and now it was his. He couldn't come apart right then. And that knowledge was the fragile string binding his sanity.
This week will be a bit like that. It's sure to add a few more gray hairs, crease a couple more wrinkles, and hopefully go down better than a pretzel.
Good luck, George. Don't choke. At this point, Mr. President, even I'm with you on the simple grounds that somebody has to go through it and, well ... you're it, whether we like it or not.
• Graham, Bradley. "Huge Movement of Troops Is Underway." Washington Post, January 9, 2004; page A13. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2004Jan8.html
• Lynch, Colum. "White House Wants U.N. to Return to Iraq." Washington Post, January 9, 2004; page A12. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2004Jan8.html
• Wright, Robin, and Alan Sipress. "Kurds' Wariness Frustrates U.S. Efforts." Washington Post, January 9, 2004; page A13. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2004Jan8.html
01-09-04, 10:11 AM #154
The one bit of good news for the United States is that Iraq appears to have averted a crisis over the role of Islam in its new government. The Iraqi council has come up with a formula declaring that Iraq is a state with a majority Muslim community committed to the protection of minorities. Islamic law, or the Sharia, will be a source of legislation, but not the only source, Iraqis and U.S. officials say.
Couple that with this next article and I see baby steps...baby steps.
01-09-04, 01:21 PM #155
These are baby steps very similar to those the Shah's regime was making right before the curtain came down on them. As the Saudi elite and their American associates wall themselves up and lose touch, a groundswell of oppposition is building all around them. Just because the sane majority of central Arabians abhor terrorism and chaos does not mean that they will not cheer the fall of the House of Sa'ud when it comes.
Remember, any journalist interviewing people in the Kingdom is reporting from an environment where political dissent is not tolerated by the government. Foreign correspondents who write anything pessimistic are banished. Domestic ones go to prison. Saudi is a society constructed for the benefit of an embattled minority elite, and even peaceful popular dissent is forbidden. Violent dissent is therefore inevitable. As things approach a boil, an unprecedented exodus of Americans and other long-term foreign residents is happening right now.
01-09-04, 07:09 PM #156
Update: Kurdish autonomy
The U.S. and the Iraq Governing Council have apparently resolved enough of the Kurdish "issue" to move forward with plans for the transition to Iraqi self-government.
The Daily Times reports:Iraq’s interim Governing Council has agreed to a federal structure for the country and to enshrining Kurdish self-rule in three northern provinces in the fundamental law that will precede national elections in late 2005, council member Judge Dara Nurradin said Friday.
The fate of three more provinces over which the Kurds have claims would be decided later, he added.
“In the fundamental law, Kurdistan will have the same legal status as it has now,” he told AFP, referring to the region that has enjoyed virtual autonomy since the end of the 1991 Gulf War . . . .
. . . . The decision came after the 25-member council’s five Kurdish members refused to budge on the issue during heated discussions. (AFP)"Regimes founded on a confessional or ethnic basis do not help bring stability and territorial integrity to a country . . . . The danger of starting on the confessional and ethnic road will consequently partition Iraq . . . ." (Washington Post)
And speaking of slow hands, the good news from the U.N. so far seems to be that the administration and the Secretary-General are still on speaking terms. While talks aren't by any means going badly--"He (Annan) is more in a listening mode today," said his spokesman Fred Eckhard. "We are maintaining an open mind." (Leopold, Reuters)
• Report, Wire. "Iraq's Governing Council okays Kurdish autonomy." Daily Times/AFP, January 10, 2004. See http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...0-1-2004_pg4_1
• Wright, Robin and Alan Sipress. "Kurds' Wariness Frustrates U.S. Efforts." Washington Post, January 9, 2004; page A13. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2004Jan8.html
• Leopold, Evelyn. "Government discusses Iraq with U.N.'s Annan." Reuters UK, January 9, 2004. See http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackage...5§ion=news
01-10-04, 12:04 PM #157
Here is a link for the C-5 attack:
On December 10, a defense official in Washington said an Air Force C-17 cargo and troop transport plane was hit by a surface-to-air missile after takeoff from Baghdad with a crew of three and 13 passengers.
On November 22, a DHL cargo plane was hit by a shoulder-fired SA-14 surface-to-air missile as it took off from Baghdad airport. DHL temporarily suspended flights into Iraq after the incident.
01-15-04, 06:16 PM #158
US Occupation insists on Selection, not Election
As Iraqi Shia begin taking it to the streets, US administrators are stammering "not so fast", exhibiting behavior that can only be described as anti-democratic.
So in review: The US invaded Iraq to save us all from Saddam's fearsome aresenal of WMDs. Um, well, actually, it was to avenge all those mass graves, but not the ones that resulted from uprisings the US encouraged and then abandoned. No actually, we did it to promote democracy. Well, actually, um- "Next question, please".
01-15-04, 08:56 PM #159
Update: U.S. military suicides
Somewhere around Sciforums--I can't find it at present--is a short discussion about suicides by US personnel in Iraq. At any rate, to update the story:
• Loeb, Vernon. "Military Cites Elevated Rate of Suicides in Iraq." Washington Post, January 15, 2004; page A14. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Jan14.html
Col. James K. Gilman, director of health policy and services for the Army surgeon general, said that July's spike in suicides caused "great concern" but that no obvious common factor has emerged linking the individual cases. July's high rate, he said, did not reappear.
"You don't see worsening over time," Gilman said. The findings of the mental health team sent to Iraq in September have not been publicly released, he said.
The 19 Army deaths represented a suicide rate of more than 13.5 per 100,000 troops, officials said, which is higher than the Army's average of 10.5 to 11 per 100,000 troops in recent years. The overall suicide rate in the 1.2 million-member, active duty military is about one-third lower than that of the civilian population of about the same age range, defense officials said.
One official who spoke on the condition of anonymity called suicides in Iraq "an issue of concern, not an epidemic" and said: "It certainly is not at the 'Oh, my God' stage or panic or anything. But when the Army saw the numbers start to go up, they took very swift action, and have been working very hard ever since."
The Army and the Marines have stressed suicide prevention since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, after suicides that officials say may be at least partly attributable to lengthy deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The numbers last year run counter to experience in past conflicts, when military suicides dropped during times of combat, officials said. During those conflicts, officials thought the reduction could be linked to troops' preoccupation with surviving combat, and with their removal from domestic problems and other personal pressures.
Last edited by Tiassa; 01-15-04 at 08:57 PM. Reason: Give title, fix link
01-16-04, 06:22 PM #160
Good News? Bad News? News? "Bloody" future in Iraq
Reuters reports today that the United States is apparently considering making some changes to the Iraqi transition of authority, moving to quell the dissatisfaction that brought thousands to the streets of Basra this week.
The protests by Basra Shi'ites protested the US plan to transfer authority to Iraqis, demanding direct elections and supporting a leading Shi'ite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who, despite even UN advice that proper elections cannot be organized in time, might issue a fatwa rejecting the American-backed government if his demands for direct elections are ignored.
A fatwa could put the occupying Coalition at odds with Iraq's Shi'ite majority. In the meantime, the transition to Iraqi authority faces disagreements over the range of Kurdish territory in the north, which issue brings protests from both Turkey and Iraqi Sunnis. The US finds itself at a delicate crossroads with seemingly similar territory in all directions; Turkish General Ilker Basbug said, at an Ankara news conference, ""If there is a federal structure in Iraq on an ethnic basis, the future will be very difficult and bloody."
In the meantime, Reuters reports:
• The US military is investigating apparently-new complaints of abuses in detainment camps, but gave no details of the accusations.
• The US estimates that it holds 9,500 detainees on Iraq security grounds, and notes that others have been detained and released since April.
• Japanese troops prepare for next month's deployment, marking an historic, difficult, and potentially politically-disastrous shift from Japanese defense security policy.
• US combat deaths: 343. Since end of major combat: 228. Casualties including non-combat deaths: 496.
Flip a coin; while it's important to get over the wounds of WWII, Japan's entry to the Iraqi Bush Adventure is at once impressive, puzzling, and the aftertaste is curiously bitter. A Japanese return to proactive and extrapolated security efforts° is an issue that I'm sure some could find to debate in and of itself, but I'm having some difficulty grasping the timing of the deployment. Aside from the pace of Japanese politics, I'm left wondering how it is that once international agreements and laws are smashed, once the "major combat" ends, now that the dictator is rolled up tight, and it's mostly a battle between the ideal of democracy, the idea of profit, and the complications of trying to kill occupiers ... now Japan's in? Interesting times, indeed. What strikes me about the political risk the move poses for Koizumi's governance is uncertain insofar as a choice by anti-Coalition operatives to focus on the Japanese contingent in order to strike a blow against Japanese morale and incite a political crisis could simply galvanize the Japanese fighting spirit and harden resolve.
Beyond the Japanese issue, which is merely a minor aspect, a microdrama at this point, looms a bloody future in Iraq. Can the Kurds and Sunni both be satisfied? Will old resentments toward former Sunni advantage in Iraq? And could Bush realistically have expected, at any point, that tromping into Iraq and trying to introduce "democracy" in any recognizable form in the 21st century demanded that centuries of American, colonial, and European history be compressed into ... what, an indefinite plan subject to the political pressures introduced by an American political mass that can't seem to get its collective head out of it's figurative ass?
American ideological coprophilia aside, how quickly can we convince the Iraqi people that the thing about democracy is that you get to argue about stuff without shooting each other to death over it? With Kurds solidifying their political vision in the north and al-Sistani leading the protest cry for the Shi'ites, the Sunni minority is probably quite nervous, and who can blame them? But will the issues be fought out at the ballot box or on the battlefield?Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravined salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digged in' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silvered in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-delivered by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.
Interesting times indeed. Best of luck to the Bush team on this; too many lives are at stake for anything else.
° proactive and extrapolated security efforts - In addition to the politically-correct (PC), there is also the bureaucratically-suitable (BS). A cynical smile goes with the phrase, "proactive and extrapolated security efforts."
- Reference links
• Marshall, Andrew and Adam Entous. "US acts to win over top Iraqi cleric." Reuters, January 16, 2004. See http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackage...1§ion=news
• Associated Press. "Iraqi Shias Protest. U.S." Newsday.com, January 16, 2004. See http://www.newsday.com/news/nationwo...orldnews-print
• Leopold, Evelyn. "Government discusses Iraq with U.N.'s Annan." Reuters, January 9, 2004. See http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackage...5§ion=news