Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 26, 2005

Open Thththread

News, views, opinions ...

Posted by b on January 26, 2005 at 16:18 UTC | Permalink

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Some Iraq news

Deadliest day for U.S. in Iraq war - 31 Marines killed in chopper crash; 5 troops in other incidents

For Families of Fallen Soldiers, the 2nd Knock Brings $12,000

U.S. Army puts women in front lines in Iraq

Bush's plea for funds evokes memories of Vietnam

Iraqi Insurgency Proves Tough to Crack - U.S. officials no longer believe this weekend's election will finish off the rebellion, whose disparate factions unite in hating the Americans.

Coaching Iraq's New Candidates, Discreetly - U.S.-Funded Programs Nurture Voting Process

Still in the dark over where to vote - or for whom - With four days to go, the security crisis imposes an unusually secret ballot

Italy row over 'guerrilla' ruling - Iraq fighters not terrorists but guerillas judge says


Posted by: b | Jan 26 2005 16:40 utc | 1

An very important attempt for our times to rescue eros from thanatos by writing the Bible in reverse so that it runs from apocalypse to Eden, and Eve is rewarded with love for seeking knowledge rather than punished: A Very Long Engagement.

Is the novel (Jaspirot) as good, mes amis francophones?

Posted by: Gaspard de la Nuit | Jan 26 2005 17:15 utc | 2

How could I honestly deny that I'm delighted to see thirty-one marines go down in flames? I remember cheering at the first news of the Tet offensive, and haven't much changed in the thirty-seven years intervening. True, there's also a compassionate voice within me that harbors consoling thoughts for the families that lost those thirty-one kids, but so long as Bush stages this war as a fight of his team against mine (the "team of sadistic abandon" against the "team of mercy"), then the fighter within me will silence the voice of compassion. His war is utterly degrading: it turns us into bush-league spectators, it insults our dignity, it wounds our narcissism, and it stains our conscience. Bush will pay a price for that insult, that wound and that stain--a price that he can't begin to imagine (neither can we).

Posted by: alabama | Jan 26 2005 17:29 utc | 3


"stains our conscience." yes. Hideous. It is in no way callous to say the deaths are no sacrifice and are unworthy of encomia. How could they be? These dead must not be praised for the sacrifice to our freedoms, but must be remembered as those tossed to the floor like pawns in a giant's game of chess. Only after we understand how our dead soldiers have been used, only then will these dead deserve to hear the trumpets blaring above their graves.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 26 2005 17:55 utc | 4

Rush Limbaugh is scared. He was just quoting as saying their not falling for the inside the beltway BS (I have to listen because I have two rethugs in my office and I don't mind hearing what the enemy says). It means the grassroots is set on breaking the K Street influence on the party. If the dems get back to being the working mans party, then el Rushbo as he likes to call himself, he knows the repubs are toast.

Unlike others who see doom and gloom on every horizon, I still believe the inside of the beltway influence on the Dem party can be broken. The party of FDR can rise again. But we must get people to recognize their economic interest instead of the culture wars. The culture war can be fought after we've got back to progressive econimics.

Thats my opinion and sticking to it.

Posted by: jdp | Jan 26 2005 17:59 utc | 5

@ alabama: How about eternity in a sea of bloody boiling crude?

Posted by: beq | Jan 26 2005 18:00 utc | 6


I listen to the moron sometimes while driving home from work and heard him tonight. I have to thank him for passing out that info. I did not know moveon was doing this, I will get involved in this.

The wobblycrats as they are now are a bunch of spineless bastards. There is a core of about 12 (the ones who voted against Rice) that could carry the flag for the old Democratic party as we chase the new Democrats back under the rocks from which they came.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jan 26 2005 18:20 utc | 7

I just love reading STARS AND STRIPES when I get the chance.

Posted by: FlashHarry | Jan 26 2005 18:25 utc | 8

beq, he's already boiling in a sea of bloody crude, and also seems to think he's immortal, so boiling forever in that particular sea probably wouldn't bother him at all. But if the name "Bush" were to take on an infinite stain--like the name "Nixon"--this, if it were to happen, would bother him very much indeed....

Posted by: alabama | Jan 26 2005 18:30 utc | 9

I've tried channelling my inner Billmon over Gonzales. I thought you folks would appreciate it.

Posted by: Josh | Jan 26 2005 18:31 utc | 10

In some ways Nixon is vindicated by the spineless response of kerry/dnc to attacks on Kerry's postwar activism. Instead of that war receiving its fullest condemnation, the various pragmatisms of the pro-Vietnam crowd were apologized for because 'we didn't take the gloves off, but this time...' If anything, Nixon's image visavis Vietnam has been rehabilitated as a man victimized by a collective lack of Will to get the job done.

Bush'll get the job done, allright.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 26 2005 18:42 utc | 11

alabama: Something I read somewhere in the last few days: "We should get down on our knees and pray that george bush is president of the usa for the rest of his life...." That would never do, having just suffered through Reagan's timely passing. Actually, I prefer to think of him spending many many long years watching his back. But what with the family history, the name is fairly tainted already, isn't it?

Posted by: beq | Jan 26 2005 18:47 utc | 12


since this is an open thread - i wonder if i could make a plea for old noam chomsky - as i was just reading an old new yorker piece on him & was reading two books of entretiens with him published in france - deux heures de lucidité - avec denis robert & de la propoganda avec david barsemien

in the three things - there is such a level of urgency - that there leaves a lot of space for error - even his bad manners with his public seems to me to be more related to that urgency than any form of cultish arrogance

i am very far from agreeing with all things he has said - but the work on linguistics - i use in my work here - there is still much of it that has the capacity to transform & be transformed

decades of demonisation & marginality in his case have created something vey powerful but i can also understand that the brush he paints with is sometimes too thick

in the face of so many lies - a lot of them having derived from the academy - i hold on to thinkers like him & i think he is awre of his own frailty - as was edward said & i guess to a lesser extent frederic jameson

i feel in him the cantakerous anarchism of jewish thinkers from the twenties especially in america - & that cantakerousness means sometimes there are intentional absences - which are somet

in the left wherever we are - on each continent - we have the poets & the singers - iraq being a perfect example (where their riches & wisdom are ignored & they are being killed) but we have a very troubled relation with our thinkers. sometimes the need for them is so strong & i think also we are sometimes too greedy - we demand things from people - that are simply not possible - they are not godheads & i suppose that is why i am so drawn to benjamin who i at first underestimated (at my peril) & who i have come to love & use because in him - behind his tender melancholy - there is steel. althusser through his madness (no better articulated than derrida's elegie at his funeral) brought forth some of the questions that marxist had hedged around for too long & needed to be posited - i can see why the english empiricists - thompson et al wanted to go for his jugular - but what they did not understand - & what is clear in his lettres à franca - that he was going for his own throat - with a thoroughness of which people like me & my communities are beneficiaries

i imagine all i am saying - is that i do not understand your reaction to him - it seems very primal & absolutist in your rejection. perhaps i'm wrong or i have misinterpreted. perhaps i do not understand chomsky in a way rich enough to defend him. but i wanted to try

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 26 2005 18:54 utc | 13

I heard Eagleton, or maybe Harvey, complain about the lack of normativity in Chomsky's corpus. But, that's always a complaint made against elite theory, for example Habermas's criticisms about Mills and others. But, everything else Chomsky does is a great benefit: pointing out the contours in history plotted by the ideology of american exceptionalism. Very valuable public intellectual.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 26 2005 19:13 utc | 14

ayn rands prettyboy architect 'fascinated' by fascism - phillip johnson died today

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 26 2005 19:24 utc | 15

obviously, such a story needs corroboration, but this is;article=74791;title=APFN>fucking crazy.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 26 2005 19:25 utc | 16


All those mobile phone health warnings? I believe it.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 26 2005 20:06 utc | 17

Meanwhile, three billmon posts in one day. I wonder if he's holed up in Davos killing time between job-relevant sessions.

Posted by: ralphbon | Jan 26 2005 20:07 utc | 18

the ruling by Clementina Forleo in italy gives me hope.guerrilla, i like that.

as for all those dead marines, bummer/not. let's face it, it took more than a decade and 60,000 dead americans to get us out of vietnam. 31 is a drop in a bucket w/ a hole in it.

Posted by: annie | Jan 26 2005 20:26 utc | 19


Doesn´t sound plausible to this (industrial) engineer. Mixing the wrong frequencies etc. ..

Posted by: b | Jan 26 2005 20:27 utc | 20


History will salute it in kind: the US administration of George W Bush, parts 1 and 2, has introduced to the world the concept of election at gunpoint. The guinea pig: Iraq, on January 30. The rules: candidates must be anonymous (otherwise they will be killed). Voters cannot go out and vote (otherwise they may be killed). Even if they wanted to vote, they wouldn't know where, because the location of the polling stations will be known only the night before the election.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 26 2005 20:40 utc | 21

These folks are freakingly lucky. Just when the Deadliest day for U.S. in Iraq war happens, unfortunatly no live picture and interviews available, 10 killed in train collision near Los Angeles - live pictures, interviews and lots of grueling details available at low costs.

The dead GIs will be media-drowned by all the live pictures and hyped reporting from California.

Karl R. couldn´t have thought of a better coincidence.

Posted by: b | Jan 26 2005 20:42 utc | 22

Where's Norman Vincent Peale When You Need Him?

Posted by: FlashHarry | Jan 26 2005 20:48 utc | 23

Poor SpongeBob.

Posted by: beq | Jan 26 2005 20:49 utc | 24

bush is toast. it's in the air. the fumes from all this freedom-spreading are just too noxious. the kool-aid may look tempting, but its pungency has turned the kids smiles upside down very quickly. those snowballs being tossed around last thursday are still rolling and taking on a life of their own. for instance, in that yahoo news link FlashHarry just posted, there is a rather humourous slideshow of el doofus making more silly faces for the cameras today. and during my user experience, one of the slides was preempted by an ad that read 'i saw a monkey swimming on the internet today'. bush is no-doubt sweating freedom today...

Posted by: b real | Jan 26 2005 21:08 utc | 25

ô b real

wished i had your reservoir of optimism as we walk all along the watchtower

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 26 2005 21:14 utc | 26

jeez, alabama, you're happy that a chopper went down and killed us troops on it? i was just as sick to read your comments as i am sick of this unjust war.


Posted by: gylangirl | Jan 26 2005 21:36 utc | 27

The Poodle barks! Well, a little.

Blair: U.S. Needs to Integrate With World

DAVOS, Switzerland -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair called on the United States Wednesday to take the world's needs into account when it seeks global support for its actions, and cited climate change as an issue all nations must address together.

"If America wants the rest of the world to be part of the agenda it has set, it must be part of their agenda, too," Blair told the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.

Posted by: Fran | Jan 26 2005 21:51 utc | 28

SS privatization cartoon

Posted by: | Jan 26 2005 22:32 utc | 29

"From Saigon to Baghdad

Today, January 28, the US today lost a third of the soldiers it lost around Saigon on the first day of the Tet offensive thirty-six years ago.

Even as George Bush was giving jesting with a docile press corps this morning, the CNN newswire running under the images of President Mushbrain disclosed that 36 American soldiers have died this same day. On January 30, 1968 the National Liberation Front launched its Tet offensive across South Vietnam. In the Tet assault on Saigon 110 US servicemen died, against 1,100 NLF. For a period the NLF took over large parts of the city and invaded the US embassy compound.

When it was over, the US dead across South Vietnam ran to 1,100, and their South Vietnamese troops, 2,800. The NLF and the North Vietnamese Army lost 35,000 men killed, 60,000 wounded and 6000 POWs. Militarily the US claimed victory. But the Tet offensive was devastating in its impact on US opinion. And, yes, the US scheduled its Iraqi elections on the anniversary of Tet."

one of the crazy cockburn boys at counterpunch

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 26 2005 22:35 utc | 30

"  The Salvador Option would not be the first embrace of assassination as a tool of occupation undertaken by the United States in Iraq.

    In the months following Paul Bremer's taking over of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in June 2003, the streets of Baghdad crawled with scores of assassination squads.

    Among the more effective and brutal of these units were those drawn from the Badr Brigade, the armed militia of the Shia political party known as the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI.

    Although not publicly acknowledged, the role played by the various anti-Saddam militias in confronting the residual elements of Saddam's former ruling Baath Party offered a glimpse into what was, and is, an unspoken element of the US policy regarding de-Baathification - let the Iraqis do the dirty work.

    SCIRI's efforts to exterminate Baath Party remnants still loyal to Saddam Hussein, or who stand accused of committing crimes against SCIRI or its sympathisers, attracted the attention of the "black" side of the CPA-run de-Baathification efforts - covert operations run by the CIA and elite Special Operations units of the United States military.

    Of all the various players in this deadly game, the Badr militia stood out as the most willing and able to take the fight to the Baathist holdouts.

    Tipped off by the CPA's covert operatives, the Badr assassination squads killed dozens of Baathists in and around Baghdad.

    But the assassination of former Baathists did nothing to pacify Iraq."

scott ritter - truthout

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 26 2005 22:41 utc | 31

@beq: "Something I read somewhere in the last few days: "We should get down on our knees and pray that george bush is president of the usa for the rest of his life...."

such a prayer is not so unambiguous as the person who proposes it may think

i remember that during the vietnam war we potential draftees would say - you'll be in the army for two years or the rest of your life - whichever comes first

Posted by: mistah charley | Jan 26 2005 22:53 utc | 32

mistah charley, precisely, but can you imagine the instant deification? king george to saint george in a blinking second.

Posted by: beq | Jan 26 2005 23:11 utc | 33

Gylangirl, alabama:
Though I wouldn´t mourn the death of massmurdering politicians, I feel for the poor bastards in the warzone, whoever they are. I fear that I will stop and start rejoicing death. Alabama, even though the bush side may have decleared that all that are not with them are against them doesn´t mean that you must buy into this logic. Those marines may not be with you but that doesn´t mean they are against you. Same goes for the iraqies. Hope I am making any sence at all, fear that I am not.

War is brutalizing.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Jan 27 2005 0:59 utc | 34>Sy Hersh interviewed. breathless as ever, scary as hell.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 27 2005 1:09 utc | 35

Damn it, people, I spent a good twenty years. from 1960 to 1980, processing Viet Nam and its aftermath on a daily, sometimes an hourly, basis. I processed all manner of murderous fantasies about the civilian and military, political and non-political folks that got us into that mess and kept us there. I tell you that I processed those fantasies. I had them, heard them, saw them, felt them, and survived them without doing the slightest harm to me, to them, or to any innocent bystanders. Let's just say that my humor is of the "choleric" kind. And now, thanks to this Bush character and his homicidal colleagues--"base-born products of base beds," as Yeats might well have called them--those fantasies are welling up again all over the place. Shall I refrain from sharing them here? No, I shall not refrain from doing that. This is the way I've learned to process these things, and if Bush walked into the room right now, I think I'd know how to greet him.

Posted by: alabama | Jan 27 2005 1:45 utc | 36

aieee. a good Buddhist would grieve for all deaths equally, souls bound upon the Wheel, condemned to return to this burning house, and so forth. a good xtian would forgive all equally. I'm neither. as one who hasn't got the guts to refuse to pay my taxes this year because I know enough about the US prison system to really, really, really want not to end up inside it, how much can I look down on the grunts who do as they are told rather than face court-martial, or maybe an "accidental" friendly fire incident?

and yet I remain grimly suspicious that only defeat will convince the Yanks to leave -- and the more extreme and ugly the defeat the sooner they will leave, and the more thousands of civilian lives will be spared from the carpet bombing that Hersh terrifyingly asserts is really going on over there. backed by this disgusting war into an "omelette/eggs" position that I can't feel proud of. feeling like it really is this choice: a few more tens of Amurkan boys and girls, or more hundreds of thousands of blown-up, orphaned, tortured, raped, ill, starving, homeless, freezing Iraqis? who did nothing, nothing to threaten me or Amurka?

OTOH Sy says that we are all wrong -- that Bush will not back down no matter how high the body counts get, that he will run the armed forces into the meat grinder and the nation into the poorhouse without once swerving from his mad self-righteousness. and where the hell -- or where in Hell -- does that leave us? are those troops dead to absolutely no purpose whatsoever? serving not even as a grisly lesson to bring their country back to its senses?

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 27 2005 2:05 utc | 37

The Speech Bush Should have Given in 2002.

Posted by: | Jan 27 2005 2:08 utc | 38

DeAnander, this thing has to get too costly, and over and over again in ways that make us feel awful about ourselves and our fellow men. The body politic will just have to vomit up this war machine in all its various states.... I think my murmurings here must have shown that I'm hardly a pacifist, and hardly an enemy of the armed forces. A family friend, a Marine Corps officer who served with distinction in the Tet offensive, once told me that he survived the aftermath of his tour in Viet Nam by being posted at Parris Island, where he didn't have to deal with churlish, scape-goating civilians every day of his life. Since he's a man that I've always admired, I was rather ashamed to think of myself as the sort of person he had to be saved from.... But these wars are very bad news; if it takes a whole lot of losses to convey that news to the people, then a pedagogical optimist living within me says to let this course of instruction run its terrible course.

Posted by: alabama | Jan 27 2005 2:53 utc | 39

'bama if VN did not teach this lesson, if Korea did not teach this lesson, if [name your favourite idiotic wars going back way past Napoleon] did not teach this lesson then what will? the paedogogical pessimist in me says that "people never learn" any more than trout learn not to take the fly. one generation -- not even that -- and they are ready to do it all again.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 27 2005 3:00 utc | 40

I tend to agree that the number of American combat deaths seem not to matter to the chicken warmongers. I see the combat deaths as further evidence that the war is wasting human life, whether Iraqui or American.

I have less pity for the families of the dead who think their kids deaths are worth the war. OTOH, they don't have all the information they need to make rational judgements about the justifications for the war, so in a way they are unknowing victims.

Posted by: gylangirl | Jan 27 2005 3:17 utc | 41

People don't have to learn much of anything, DeAnander, except to stop the business in question here and now. That particular lesson--it a lesson is what it is--appears to be one that doesn't let itself be shared, and I wonder, just like you, why this has to be so. The short Freud would be this: war simplifies, and when life gets too complex, people seek relief in the simplicity of the Death Wish.

Posted by: alabama | Jan 27 2005 3:18 utc | 42

and Anonymous Coward at 9:08 yes, Cole is brilliant today.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 27 2005 3:18 utc | 43>The Dispensable Nation (Lind)

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 27 2005 3:24 utc | 44

Off-topic in the Open Thread?

State of Fear ?

Anyone read this Michael Crichton novel? For years now I’ve been driving my family nuts by muttering “bullshit” to the tv and radio news. For the first time in many years I managed to fit in a couple of novels during vacation.

If anyone has read State of Fear, and would like a quiet chuckle, check out this

">entertaining piece from the erstwhile Independent.

Posted by: DM | Jan 27 2005 4:53 utc | 45

Sorry .. link from above

Posted by: DM | Jan 27 2005 4:56 utc | 46

and your point DM is...? that Crichton's dead right, that the consensus of the world's climate scientists is a whole lotta BS, so we should all just chuckle when we read their best-effort projections of climate change rates and consequences? I'd place more faith in 15+ years of research evaluated by the IPCC than in the rightwing fantasies of a third-rate novelist, myself... suspect he's on the same payroll as Armstrong and the rest.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 27 2005 5:02 utc | 47


Literature it ain't, and it is a fantasy novel. But have you read it?

As a scientist yourself, you might want to question your 'faith', or at least browse some of the endnotes and references that he used to construct this fantasy. There are some quite substantive sources referenced. Rather more than the 'scientists say' scenarios that we are fed. Anyone who has read the book will at the very least find the semantic structure of the Independent article to be amusing.(Who is Armstrong?)

Posted by: DM | Jan 27 2005 5:31 utc | 48

The Cheney's visiting Auschwitz - must have been a very enjoyable experience. See the picture here. Maybe they see the possibilities for the US.

Posted by: Fran | Jan 27 2005 6:03 utc | 49


Nixon vindicated? Could you 'splain that a bit more for the peanut gallery, cos I can't see how the man that signed on to 59,000 dead soldiers and a couple of million dead Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians could vindicate anything or anybody.

Perhaps I misread. I hope so.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 27 2005 7:35 utc | 50

Slothrop: These dead must not be praised for the sacrifice to our freedoms, but must be remembered as those tossed to the floor like pawns in a giant's game of chess. Only after we understand how our dead soldiers have been used, only then will these dead deserve to hear the trumpets blaring above their graves."

Yes. Indeed. And also an indeed to things said by Alabama.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 27 2005 7:38 utc | 51

Damn... Sigh. Alabama. Thanatos. Blessed Sigh. Empty boots on the ground. AFSC. No sentences from me. Only fragments. I keep thinking of younger people without a sense of even recent history. I'm over-the-top or I'm in some place of temporary blissful dissociation, knowing that short of global disaster nothing will stop the juggernaut, I rarely post, even on the All Spin Zone, my "home". And sometimes, my still center point comes.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 27 2005 7:48 utc | 52

Some journalists turn to the real world and even get printed - seachange?
Across Baghdad, Security Is Only an Ideal

Baghdad is not under control, either by the Iraqi interim government or the American military.
"I would definitely say it's enemy territory," said Col. Stephen R. Lanza, the commander of the Fifth Brigade Combat Team, a unit of the First Cavalry Division that is responsible for patrolling a wide area of southern Baghdad with a population of 1.3 million people.
American military units travel in heavily armed convoys, gunners in helmets and goggles swiveling 50-caliber machine guns on expressways and along inner-city shopping streets to ward off attacks, and not infrequently opening fire, with civilian casualties.

Along with insurgent attacks, the city has seen a surge of crime, including murders and kidnappings for ransom, that has undermined support for the Americans and all they represent - the elections included - as much as the war.
American commanders, acknowledging they have little chance of stopping the suicide bombers once the bomb-laden vehicles set out, have authorized the machine-gunners in the last vehicle of each convoy to open fire on any driver who ignores hand signals and warning shots to back off as he approaches a convoy from the rear.

This tactic has led to a growing number of incidents in which American gunners, in Humvees traveling at 50 miles an hour or less, have fired at suspected car bombers, only to discover afterward that the drivers who died were innocent civilians who had missed the warning signals, or perhaps never knew that overtaking American convoys was likely to be fatal.

These incidents have compounded a widespread impression among the people of Baghdad that the Americans are careless of Iraqi lives. Dr. Naqib, the dentist, fearful as he is of insurgent attacks, said he feared the Americans more. "The Americans, they are part of the terrorism," he said.

"They're so frightened, anything that happens to them, they start shooting right away."

Posted by: b | Jan 27 2005 8:06 utc | 53

I think there is a yet untold story behind this:Controversial Pentagon Official Is Stepping Down

Douglas J. Feith, the Pentagon's top policy official who became a lightning rod for issues including intelligence on Iraq and information warfare, said Wednesday that he would resign this summer.
In a telephone interview Wednesday night, Mr. Feith said that after the November elections, he told Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that he wanted to leave this summer, after four years in the job, to spend more time with his family. He said he had not decided what he would do next.
In a statement posted on the Pentagon's Web site, Mr. Rumsfeld called Mr. Feith "creative, well-organized, and energetic."
At a breakfast meeting with reporters Wednesday, Mr. Feith gave no hint of his resignation. Nor, however, was he asked.

Posted by: b | Jan 27 2005 8:20 utc | 54

Ahh, Frank Rich is moving to the top of my favorite commentators list. Forget Armor. All You Need Is Love

JAN. 30 is here at last, and the light is at the end of the tunnel, again. By my estimate, Iraq's election day is the fifth time that American troops have been almost on their way home from an about-to-be pacified Iraq. The four other incipient V-I days were the liberation of Baghdad (April 9, 2003), President Bush's declaration that "major combat operations have ended" (May 1, 2003), the arrest of Saddam Hussein (Dec. 14, 2003) and the handover of sovereignty to our puppet of choice, Ayad Allawi (June 28, 2004). And this isn't even counting the two "decisive" battles for our nouveau Tet, Falluja. Iraq is Vietnam on speed - the false endings of that tragic decade re-enacted and compressed in jump cuts, a quagmire retooled for the MTV attention span.
In this same vein, television's ceremonial coverage of the Inauguration, much of which resembled the martial pageantry broadcast by state-owned networks in banana republics, made a dutiful show out of the White House's claim that the four-day bacchanal was a salute to the troops.
Alas, there were no Fox News cameras to capture what may have been the week's most surreal "salute" to the troops, the "Heroes Red, White and Blue Inaugural Ball" attended by Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. The event's celebrity stars included the Fox correspondent Geraldo Rivera, who had been booted from Iraq at the start of the war for compromising "operational security" by telling his viewers the position of the American troops he loves so much. He joked to the crowd that his deployment as an "overpaid" reporter was tantamount to that of an "underpaid hero" in battle. The attendees from Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospital, some of whose long-term care must be picked up by private foundations because of government stinginess, responded with "deafening silence," reported Roxanne Roberts of The Washington Post. Ms. Roberts understandably left the party after the night's big act: Nile Rodgers and Chic sang the lyrics "Clap your hands, hoo!" and "Dance to the beat" to "a group of soldiers missing hands and legs."
A fast growing plurality of the country wants troops withdrawn from Iraq, but being so detached from the war they are unlikely to make a stink about it. The civilian leaders who conceived this adventure are clever at maintaining the false illusion that the end is just around the corner anyway.
in patriotism as it's been redefined for this war, loving the troops means never having to say you're sorry - or even having to say the word Iraq in an Inaugural address.

Posted by: b | Jan 27 2005 8:35 utc | 55

'...OTOH, they don't have all the information they need to make rational judgements ..." gylangirl @10:17pm

no, i don't believe willful ignorance is acceptable these days.

Posted by: esme | Jan 27 2005 8:38 utc | 56

Feith to step down? Maybe that spy probe finally got the better of him. Or he's been proposed the post of gauleiter of the West Bank by some Likudnik friends of his.

Crichton: As far as I'm concerned, this fucking asshole should be shot dead and his book burned, period.
It looks increasingly probable that the consensus in a couple of years will be that we'll get a 5 Celsius increase in the world average temperature at the end of century, and that basically Kyoto is a joke - not because there's no warming but because we need to cut by 1/2 or even 2/3 the greenhouse gas emissions.
Of course, it's widely known that if all the icecaps melted and oceans warmed enough, the final rise wouldn't be 20 but 100 m - though it would take longer than one century, obviously, and the warming may stop well before that. The often overlook trick is that half the rise, if not more, doesn't come from added water in the ocean, but from the expansion of said water when it's warmed.
Last but not least, given the thousands of studies and literally tens of thousands of scientists working on that stuff, global warming probably comes second to only evolution as the most studied and evidence-backed phenomenon on this ridiculous planet.

Bush not backing down in Iraq, no matter the costs. Could be, alas. Just read Silverberg's Roma Aeterna, and I have the bad feeling Bush is the clone of the Emperor who sends an army to conquer the New World, see it utterly trashed and annihilated, then send a 2nd one, who meets the same fate, then sends a 3rd one, because there's no way he and his mighty empire could be defeated since their fate is to rule the world.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Jan 27 2005 9:04 utc | 57

The Fair and Balanced Inauguration snippet at iFilm has nearly 600,000 downloads.

A Fox News anchor flips out when a guest dares to question the nature of Bush's elaborate 2nd inauguration.

Posted by: b | Jan 27 2005 9:16 utc | 58

KS @ 2:35AM to Slothrop: "Nixon vindicated? Could you 'splain..."

my read (and correct me if i'm wrong Slothrop) was that Kerry's inability to translate his outrage over Vietnam into a nation-wide outrage against the current debacle and thus "win" the election was a tacit "vindication" if you wish of the current Fuller Brush war mongers and their hypnotic mantra of staying the course this time and getting the job done right, blah, blah, blah.

thusly, Kerry's limp handshake martyrized Nixon as having been over run by the peace movement.

Posted by: esme | Jan 27 2005 9:25 utc | 59

Thanks, esme. That does it for me. I never equated Kerry with the Vietnam vets with Purple Hearts that I knew personally. I never thought Kerry was contender, let alone a Ron Kovic. He did something when he came home. But after political cooptation by money and power he lost the meaning. He was never mine.

I misread Slothrop's intention. Sorry for my misreading, Slothrop.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 27 2005 9:32 utc | 60


Before you start burning books, have you read it? You should. I think you might be the inspiration for one of Crichton's characters.

Posted by: DM | Jan 27 2005 9:33 utc | 61

Enjoyed the Despensable Nation, and in face of the US diminishment, Bush is quite willing to throw evermore sacrificial virgins upon the fire to warm that insatiable cold cold heart.

Posted by: anna missed | Jan 27 2005 9:48 utc | 62

RealClimate link. Contrary view of course, but it's no slam-dunk.

Posted by: DM | Jan 27 2005 10:15 utc | 63

Crichton basically is an ignorant hack who barely knows anything in science and in history, so I don't even see the point of bothering with this. You don't use Mein Kampf to seriously discuss the US Constitiution at a Law School level.
This crap we've seen before. I suppose you still believe smoking is good for your health. Well, Big Tobacco used the same tactics for decades to discredit the truth, which is their shit kills tens of millions of people. The same occurs right now with global warming. And my suspicion is that the same is probably happening with the "cell phone are harmless, sure, they don't cause cancer or anything else" stuff - though there it's still very debatable.
And I'll reserve the same fate to Crichton and his book than to the morons who come up with creationism and put their lying piece of crap in schools and other public places (like the Grand Canyon bookshop). But that's nothing personal; it's just that the stakes are too high, when it basically comes down to mankind's survival. BTW, those are not my words, but those of Bush handpicked and Big Oil-approved head of the IPCC just a few days ago. For such a person to make that kind of declaration, I can only guess that the shit that's gonna happen is bigger than what they openly acknowledge.
So, just grab a coke, popcorn, and enjoy the show, because all the trends indicate that for mankind the time of punishment is coming with a vengeance.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Jan 27 2005 11:48 utc | 64

DM, it is clearly true that science and politics are entagled messily in the climate debate, and to be honest I have a strong feeling that anybody who claims to have a high certainty about what is going to happen has an agenda to sell. That report yesterday had ranges of 2-11C rises in temperature.

However I also have a very strong feeling that pumping carbon dioxide and other gases into the athmosphere is going to push natural climate changes outside their normal envelope and lead to possibly quite sudden (10s of years) changes in local climate. Nothing that's going to destroy humanity, that's almost certainly not true: if the gulf stream stops the Sahara may very well bloom again, but it will lead to massive upheavals, war and crisis.

I haven't read Crichton's book, and I don't intend to: if he thinks climate change is all made up by conspiracies he's full of crap and not worth reading because this is physics, not politics. As CJ says, I don't read Creationists for information on biology.

Posted by: Colman | Jan 27 2005 12:37 utc | 65

Well, it seems that Environmentalism is another taboo subject - sort of on a par with Sufism or Creationism. Ad hominem attacks on Crichton are not really doing much to counter his claim that there is a shitload of hubris piled on top of the real science.

If you at least scroll down some of the comments on the RealClimate link I gave, you will find some people who are prepared to discuss the merits rather than mearly recanting cathecisms and damning the apostates.


A point Crichton raises that, in my opinion, merits serious discussion is the cost/benefits analysis of environmnental regulation, combined with the principle of uncertainty relating to unintended consequences. In an interview of Crichton published in a U.K. newspaper a few days ago, he stated that he might endorse the Kyoto Treaty, or something similar, 10 years from now IF the science, at that point, more strongly supports the global warming theory than he believes it does now. The Kyoto Treaty, if ratified, will effect a major change in the way we do business, particularly in the U.S. The compliance costs and related economic costs, e.g, lost opportunities, will be staggering. I think all Crichton is saying is that we need to be very, very sure we are right about global warming before we expose our economy to the potential disruption the Kyoto treaty would entail. I agree with him 100% that you cannot divorce science from politics at this level. There's no free lunch.

Posted by: DM | Jan 27 2005 13:15 utc | 66

You know, that is precisely the attitude that pushes scientists into over-stating their positions, as I believe many of them have.

We won't be sure until after it happens. Sorry, that's the way it is: there is no prospect of improving our predictions "enough" before it's too late to do anything about it. We either sit and wait for it in the vague hope that it won't happen, or we take action against it and hope we were wrong.

How certain do we need to be? And how would we assess how certain we were?

And the changes required for the Kyoto treaty would mostly be cutting back on massively wasteful and polluting practices and adapting technology to new constraints. What we're doing clearly isn't sustainable: we need to change anyway.

As for self-righteous nonsense about ad hominiem attacks, I've already said that I'm very sceptical about the details of predictions. In fact, as I've said before in this forum, it will backfire if the predictions turn out to be wrong. The neo-cons types will take that as a license to pollute without control, despite the other consequences for us.

I believe, that, on balance, taking into account all the other costs associated and taking into account that as the rest of the world comes up to a western standard of living (grant me this uptopian moments) it is impossible for us to maintain the massively wasteful practices and the massive outputs of waste gases into the atmosphere. If parts of the economy have to change, so be it. Do it now, or do it when we're all choking, baking or drowning.

Posted by: Colman | Jan 27 2005 13:36 utc | 67

Environmentalism isn´t taboo. Taking Crichton seriously is. :)

Seriously though, I agree with the first commenter on that page "So glad that now I won't have to read Crichton's loopy book." Realclimate has taking painstaking measures in debunking Crichton´s theories, and I am glad they have. However, Crichton´s book is fiction and I for one am neither going to take it seriously nor read it. If I said that JK Rowling should be taken seriously about the conspiracy of wizards surrounding us, whould you feel obliged to read Harry Potter before dismissing that proposition?

The IPCC was gathered for two purposes, establishing a common ground in climate science (what do we agree is known?) and suggesting actions (what should be done?). They did as far as possible hold these two questions seperate. I have talked with a climate historian who - while agreeing to IPCCs description of global warming - thinks we should use the energy that fossile fuel gives while prioritizing making our societies more flexible. She believes global climate will shift even if we stop the emission of greenhousegases and thus we should prepare us for that. More like jumping out of a crashing car then trying to stop it (eitherway it will hurt). However choosing between Kyoto and nothing, she would choose Kyoto as it might build a structure for global action.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Jan 27 2005 13:51 utc | 68

Askod, that sums up my view pretty much too: I think we're contributing, but we're not all of it. We should probably take the foot off the accelerator though.

Posted by: Colman | Jan 27 2005 13:55 utc | 69

Taboo subjects? Since when is Sufism taboo? And what's the issue with Sufism? I'm lost here. As for creationism, there's no taboo here. I mean, having an imaginary friend you talk with when you're 8-y old is fine; having an imaginary friend not only you talk with but who created the universe and the rest 6.000 years ago, when you're an adult, that just deserves to be locked into an asylum.
Or do you mean that creationism is a valid position open for discussion? The shape of the Earth (is it really flat?) should surely be open, don't you think? As for global warming, we seriously messed up there, this is the consensus among decent and honest scientists, and there's barely anyone else apart cranky and crackpot "scientists" who still question it. As others said, the questions are to which extent can we limit it, to which extent will it be awful of just plain bad.
The "bad for the economy" reasoning is an arrogant pile of shit. Fuck the economy, what did it ever do for mankind, except enslaving us even more? This is one of the lamest and most BS argument I've ever heard. "Yeah, sure, cigarettes kill millions of people, but think, if people stopped smoking, that would wreck the economy and put thousands of people out of job". The "economy" is not here for mankind's benefit, it's just here so that a handful of greedy bastards can loot the planet while they party and have a hard-on when thinking of how they screw up the rest of the world. Beside, I'm laughing my ass off when reading all that bitching about how it would be particularly bad about the US economy. That's just acknowledging the US economy isn't sustainable, is built on sand and swamp, is unefficient and completely wasteful; because if it was an efficient and well-performing economy, it wouldn't be much affected by Kyoto. Think of it: Kyoto just demands to barely reduce the 1990 level of emissions. Any efficient industry should be able to do it, I mean, you just reduce by 1% each year the level of pollution and it's done. If R/D was focused on having more efficient industries and products, anyone could do it. Instead, the only "R/D" that is done is on how having more fashionable products, money is wasted on marketing, PR, and bribing politicians (sometimes called "lobbying"). Nom the core issue isn't Kyoto or IPCC or "wacko environmentalists", the core issue is outdated industries who don't want to upgrade their outdated wasteful means of production, because that may cost them a few % of yearly benefits, and surely the stock market can't afford that. Well, when half the planet will be starving and half of NYC and Miami will be underwater, in 100 years, sotck market won't be of much use to feed yourself; dirty little secret: 1$ bills are not edible.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Jan 27 2005 14:38 utc | 70


Posted by: beq | Jan 27 2005 14:40 utc | 71

My problem is where do “scientists” get off “over-stating their positions”. Do the science, run the models and the peer-reviews but don’t try to set policy or political agenda.

Look at the text of the Independent article. Is this manipulative scare-mongering the work of the Independents science editor, or is he just rehashing the carefully constructed scare mongering of the IPCC.

Global warming might be twice as catastrophic as previously thought, flooding settlements on the British coast and turning the interior into an unrecognisable tropical landscape, the world's biggest study of climate change shows.

Read the whole article. It is indisputably a carefully crafted piece of disinformation, even if you accept IPCC estimates and dismiss the equally valid 0.8C model results.

This is what pisses me off. I don’t object to clean air or renewable resources. I object to being bullshitted. And I will object to any WTO/IPCC moves to use “global warming” and carbon credits as yet more leverage in global economic hegemony. Hey – it’s all about money or no-one would be interested.

Bring all of the third world up to Western economic standards and I’ll shut up.

Posted by: DM | Jan 27 2005 14:56 utc | 72

Gore Vidal on bush's inaugural address.

Posted by: beq | Jan 27 2005 15:00 utc | 73

I'll stop. As you were.

Posted by: beq | Jan 27 2005 15:01 utc | 74

The reason they end up misstating results is that people are too goddamn lazy and stupid to listen to or report on anything that doesn't sound dramatic and nobody wants to act on something that might not happen. How do you suggest they beat off the massive pressure to ignore their results?

Contrary to popular belief, scientists actually have to live in the world, so tend to be unable to avoid politics.

In any case, how do you know it's scaremongering? These people really are worried it might be a massive change. They don't know whether it will be, they think and hope it won't. But it might, and they won't be sure enough for you until it has happened. So they emphasise extremes outcomes in their press releases, because that's the only way they can get any attention. I believe it will backfire. Crichton is beginning to use it against them, and it's getting traction. So people that don't want to believe it have another excuse not to. How nice.

There isn't enough of anything to bring the third world up to western standards unless we all become less wasteful. Carbon credits are free-market bullshit and should be taken out and shot immediately.

Posted by: Colman | Jan 27 2005 15:07 utc | 75

Stop what beq?

Posted by: Colman | Jan 27 2005 15:15 utc | 76

Colman - carbon xredits are actually a smart judo move on the capitalists.

You set global targets (that's the point you must focus on - they have to bite), and you tell the industrialists that they also have individual targets (pro rata reduction, or linked to absolute levels, or whatever). You fine them (harshly) if they don't. Then, you tell them that if they pay someone else to reduce their pollution by a given amount, they can claim the credit for that reduction in pollution as if it were their own.

So the important thing policy wise is the target and its enforcement. The carbon credits is only a way for the polluters to find the easiest and cheapest way to match the target.
Why should we care if the reduction comes from one source or another, so long as it happens?

Posted by: | Jan 27 2005 15:17 utc | 77

Anonymous-type-person, I'm not convinced of that, though I haven't looked in much detail: it looks to me like it will work out with third-world industries being bought and closed down in order to excuse first-world waste, but maybe there are safeguards against that.

I tend to assume Kyoto is pissing in the wind, otherwise no-one would have agreed to it.

[What am I meant to call third-world and first-world these days? I forget.]

Posted by: Colman | Jan 27 2005 15:23 utc | 78

Thanks for the Gore Vidal-link, beq. How refreshing to read.

Posted by: teuton | Jan 27 2005 15:40 utc | 79

Colman - sorry, that was me above, defending the carbon credit mechanism...

These mechanism currently apply mostly within rich economies (the EU is actually laucnhing the first large scale carbon credit mechanism this year), but even if not, why would that be bad?

If it is cheaper to reduce pollution in the third world, it should be done.
For instance, it probably would cost less to bring third world cars to pollute 10 instead of 100 than to bring Western cars to go down from 0.1 (where they currently are) to 0.05 (in imaginary units - as there are many differnet noxious gases this applies to) - and there are enough cars in the third world that the aggrgate effect would be a lot bigger.

This of course requires worldwide regulation... At least Europe is doing something at a scale where it begins to make sense.

Posted by: Jérôme | Jan 27 2005 15:58 utc | 80

Jeebus Houdini: one more.

Virginia may press anti-gay license plates: The Virginia bill calls for the creation of license plates bearing the legend, "traditional marriage" above a design featuring two interlocking gold wedding bands over a red heart, according to information from the House of Delegates website. Called HB 1660, the legislation is sponsored by L. Scott Lingamfelter and three other Republican delegates, Mark Cole, William Fralin Jr. and William Janis

Doesn't anyone in this state have anything to do?

Posted by: beq | Jan 27 2005 16:12 utc | 81

How explosive would this be if true?
US Copter Downed By
Missile - Witnesses
especially w/regards to this

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 27 2005 16:18 utc | 82

Uncle $cam, I'm getting "page not found" on the first link and filtered out on the second. Can you pot more?

Posted by: beq | Jan 27 2005 16:39 utc | 83

post, doh.

Posted by: beq | Jan 27 2005 16:40 utc | 84

beq, you can access that "witness" article through Rense.

Posted by: rapt | Jan 27 2005 16:46 utc | 85

Oh yeah, and on Gore Vidal's interview with Amy Goodman.

Vidal speaks very well, gets in some precise and painful jabs at the current - low-grade polititians - in the White House, and he throws in a kudo or two for the progressives of the 40s and 50s, but he says nary a word about the dems today who approve a criminal for a cabinet position.

The point is (sorry to be so redundant) that the entire system is rotten to the core, as has been pointed out so well by Kate and Uncle $cam here so often. No way to save it - sorry.

Perhaps Mr. Vidal is a bit past his prime finally; perhaps in all his sharply perceptive commentary he is still blind to the failure of this govt-that-calls-itself-a-democracy. And the concurrent failure of our capitalist civilisation. I suspect that his unspoken Exeter you-are-better-than-they credo has something to do with it.

Posted by: rapt | Jan 27 2005 17:03 utc | 86

Buzzflash interview with Thom Hartmann, on corporate dominance in government... Pretty good.

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." Henry David Thoreau

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 27 2005 17:52 utc | 87

Fran, Chirac proposed some form of the Tobin tax. Blair sort of seconded it.

Blair Says G-8 Should Consider Chirac Tax Plan to Aid Africa

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair said the Group of Eight industrialized nations should consider all options for fighting poverty and disease in Africa, including a French proposal to tax capital flows.>Link

Posted by: Blackie | Jan 27 2005 18:11 utc | 88

Outside the US people are pleased at US soldiers’ deaths for a simple reason: It is the only thing that much of the US public pays attention to. The plain numbers of the regularly enlisted with families cannot be hidden. (Green card orphans?)

Those low, or small, numbers have a horrific impact. Each unit represents ‘the boy next door’, a young American, an imaginable person, etc. They also represent the undisputable result of a causal chain. (War, or some agression --> eternal absence, disapearance, suffering, etc.) For larger numbers, such as the number of the wounded, depending on the context, psychological relevance is lost.

The salience of these numbers is due, in some part, to ignorance, to innumeracy, and a lack of imagination. It is generally considered that there is some sort of threshold, or benchmark, beyond which (depending on context always) the naive (children, poorly schooled adolescents, the seriously arithmetic aversive, etc.) suddenly apply criteria of ‘extraordinariness’, ‘inaceptability’, ‘trickery’ and so on. They do so for certain kinds of events, those that are themselves extraordinary, and exceedingly salient, that is negative. (Number of positive events, such as becoming a star, winning the lottery, are treated differently.)

That number is usually considered to be around 30 - either creeping up to it (30 is mentalised) - or somewhat beyond it. Numbers well over 30 are treated in a different way. The reaction to the treshold is typical, and practically universal, in children aged 7-10 (age depending on educational system.)

The US Gvmt. knows all this and (I believe) has spread official deaths out (flattened the curve) - which is easy to do, if sometimes impossible.

The time unit of ‘a day’ is used, because it is so ingrained in officialdom, as it is our yardstick. Concurrently, a ‘day’ is also the only time-unit the innumerate can take on board.

Were the US public to see and read “28 children murdered in Iraq today*, with supporting evidence (pictures, official stuff) they would have more sympathy for the victims, no matter who actually caused the deaths. They might even be outraged. Of course, they will never see such headlines.

Frightening to think that the march of modern war (microwave!, DU, superb on site surgical procedures, cluster bombs, armor, etc.) is geared to take into account human conceptualisation of number, of time, etc.

30!? Millions are affected.

Posted by: Blackie | Jan 27 2005 18:14 utc | 89

Hear, hear!

Kennedy Calls for U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States should start to withdraw militarily and politically from Iraq and aim to pull out all troops as early as possible next year, Sen. Edward Kennedy said on Thursday.

After Sunday's Iraqi elections, Kennedy said President Bush should state he intends to negotiate a timetable with the new Iraqi government to draw down U.S. forces.

At least 12,000 U.S. troops should leave at once, Kennedy said, "to send a stronger signal about our intentions to ease the pervasive sense of occupation."

The Massachusetts Democrat, who opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq, became the first senator to lay out a plan for Bush to start withdrawing troops a day after the Pentagon warned lawmakers that strikes by insurgents may increase after Sunday's elections.

Besides ending its military presence, Kennedy said the United States must stop making political decisions in Iraq and turn over full authority to the United Nations to help Baghdad set up a new government.

Posted by: b | Jan 27 2005 20:19 utc | 90

Pure dynamite

Civil Service System on Way Out at DHS - White House Wants All Agencies to Have Option of Setting Own Personnel Policies

The Bush administration unveiled a new personnel system for the Department of Homeland Security yesterday that will dramatically change the way workers are paid, promoted, deployed and disciplined -- and soon the White House will ask Congress to grant all federal agencies similar authority to rewrite civil service rules governing their employees.

The new system will replace the half-century-old General Schedule, with its familiar 15 pay grades and raises based on time in a job, and install a system that more directly bases pay on occupation and annual performance evaluations, officials said.
The new system is an outgrowth of 2002 legislation that created DHS from 22 disparate federal agencies. President Bush, resistant to early entreaties by Democrats to create the department after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, eventually embraced the idea -- but insisted on freedom from many existing civil service laws in assembling the new bureaucracy. Bush officials said that the old rules were outdated and too restrictive and that the government needed a more "flexible" workforce to fight terrorism.
Union officials have long contended that the administration's goal was to limit the influence of organized labor rather than to improve homeland security. They said yesterday that the new restrictions on collective bargaining go beyond legal bounds set by Congress in the 2002 law.

Yesterday, union leaders decried provisions that would curtail the power of labor unions by no longer requiring DHS officials to negotiate over such matters as where employees will be deployed, the type of work they will do and the equipment they will use. They also object to provisions that would limit the role of the independent Federal Labor Relations Authority and hand the job of settling labor-management disputes to an internal labor relations board controlled by the DHS secretary.
"These regulations were designed to ensure there is no outside judgment of what goes on within the department," said Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.

Kelley and Gage said the new pay system will give rise to managers rewarding favored employees at the expense of others who are doing a good job. Gage also called it "a scam to reduce overall pay."

Posted by: b | Jan 27 2005 20:46 utc | 91

for Uncle $cam @ 11:18 and then beq...

STRATFOR has this to say about bad weather...

for those of you who don't want to click over to STRATFOR...

SITUATION REPORTS - January 27 2005
2043 GMT - Jaish al-Khak, a previously unknown Iraqi insurgent group, says that its fighters shot down a U.S. military helicopter Jan. 26 in the area of Ar Rutba, Iraq, near the border with Jordan. Al Arabiya TV reports that the group promises to show a videotape of the attack soon.

Posted by: esme | Jan 27 2005 21:23 utc | 92

Senator wants boxing gloves on chickens

I say

Senator wants boxing gloves on chickens

Posted by: Foghorn Leghorn | Jan 28 2005 5:02 utc | 93

Thank You Foghorn for that one!

Posted by: FlashHarry | Jan 28 2005 5:14 utc | 94

The Will of God. I received the following e-mail this morning. I guess it is fraud. I have no idea how my e-mail adress got on a Christian website. Somehow it remindes me of other letters I used to reveive from Nigeria, only there I would have become very rich too. Besides I do not have a ministry, though there are people who think that I have a tendency towards preaching. So what to make out of this? I have no intention of responding, am just curios what someone else thinks about this. Just reading it, makes me feel that I want to take a shower, it feels so sticky.

By the way, the e-mail adress on the mail was registered in Italy.

Dear Beloved in Christ,
It is by the grace of God that I received Christ,
knowing the truth and the truth have set me free.
Having known the truth, I had no choice than to do
what is lawful and right in the sight of God for
eternal life and in the sight of man for witness of
God?s mercy and glory upon my life.
I have the pleasure to share my testimony with you,
having seen your contact from the Internet. I am
Barrister GEORGE FRANK,The legal adviser to late
Mr. and Mrs. Bright Williams, a British couple that
lived in my Country Nigeria for 25 years before they
both died in a plane crash late last year. These
couples were good Christians, they where so dedicated
to God but they had no child till they died.
Throughout their
stay in my country, they acquired a lot of properties
like lands, house properties, etc.
As their legal adviser, before their death, the
husband Mr. Bright Williams instructed me to write his
WILL. Because they had no child, they dedicated their
wealth to God. According to the WILL, the properties
have to be sold and the money be given out to a
ministry for the work of God. As their legal adviser,
all the documents for the properties were in my care.
He gave me the authority to sell the properties and
give out the fund to the Ministries for the work of
In short, I sold all the properties after their death,
as instructed by Mr. Bright Williams before his death.
And as a matter of fact, after I sold all their
properties, I realized more than $3.5,000,000.00
million five hundred thousand US dollars plus), and
what supposed to be the
percentage interest of my right legal fee was firstly
deducted by me out of the total amount realized from
the sold properties, this was base on the initial
agreement between me and the owner of the properties
before his death. Therefore the total amount left to
be invested into God's work as instructed by the
owner, is US$3.5 MILLION only.
But Instead of giving the main fund out for the
work of God as instructed to me by the owner before
his death. I converted the fund to myself with the
intention of investing the fund abroad for my personal
I had encounter with Christ when Pastor Benny Hinn was
preaching on television concerning Ananias and Saphira
in Acts 5:1-11. After hearing the word of God, I gave
my life to Christ and became a born again Christian.
As a born again Christian, I have asked God for
forgiveness and I know that God
have forgiven me. But I have to do what is lawful and
right in the sight of God by giving out the fund to
the chosen ministry/individual for the purpose of
God's work as instructed by the owner before his
I then came across your address on the Internet as I
was browsing through a Christian site, and as a matter
of fact, it is not only you or your ministry that I
picked on the Christian site initially, but after my
fervent prayer over it, you were nominated to me
through divine revelation from God, so these are how I
received such a divine revelation from the Lord, how I
got your contact information, and I then decided to
contact you for the fund to be used wisely for things
that will glorify the name of God.
I have notified the bank where I deposited
the fund that I am moving the fund abroad and the
finance company has since been waiting for my
authori also forward to me your telephone and fax
number for easy communication.
Your prompt response will be highly appreciated.
Note reply to my private e-mail addres
Yours in Christ.
TEL:234 08033911570

Posted by: Fran | Jan 28 2005 6:06 utc | 95

The Irish must have felt this in their bones, when they demonstrated against Bush on his visit there.

Scion of traitors and warlords: why Bush is coy about his Irish links - Tapestry artist reveals ancestors of US president as murderous bunch

Posted by: Fran | Jan 28 2005 6:39 utc | 96

speaking of this and that, i've just heard that the marines who died in the helicopter crash this week - the one that determined the scheduling of bush's news conference - were all veterans of the destruction of fallujah, which i regard as a case of collective punishment worthy of the nazis ("never again"? that depends on what you mean by "again") - but the burning of atlanta in the u.s. civil war could also fall under that rubric, of course

i've heard that "life is just a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" -

and i've also heard that the essential nature of the human mind is "being, consciousness, and bliss"

gary and pat emery advise "don't think - look" - but look at what?

Posted by: mistah charley | Jan 28 2005 14:03 utc | 97


Support For Bush Social Security Plan Increases Among Dead People, Says Bush

Posted by: Fran | Jan 28 2005 14:20 utc | 98

@ Fran: I got it too and didn't have the "Will" to open it. virusphobia.

Posted by: beq | Jan 28 2005 14:40 utc | 99

I think that you are supposed to think "ah, but if I claim I have a ministry I can get 3.5 MILLION dollars...". This is actually quite a genius start as the victim of the fraud starts by a lie, thus lessening the risk of the victim going to the police in a later stage (when all the fees that were necessary for getting the money out of the country turned out to do nothing at all).

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Jan 28 2005 14:40 utc | 100

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