Sunday, July 31, 2005

Muslims, Terrorism and Conspiracy Theories

"I am sure that UK Muslims feel under suspicion, I feel under suspicion; however, that article forgot to mention that Brits, including Muslims such as myself, feel unsafe around other Muslims.

I have met many Iraqi Muslim friends this weekend, and most of them expressed how uncomfortable they feel when they see a Muslim or an Asian in a bus or in a train. A friend of mine was in the tube last week when a bearded Muslim boarded that tube, and everyone, including my friend, felt unsafe. The bearded Muslim, suddenly, started yelling "Allah o Akbar" for no reason, and everyone in that carriage, including my friend, ran away from him...
...Oh God, please help us!"
Iraqi Expat
I know you can't tell by the quoted words, but this is a very funny post, I'm still laughing as I type this. If you haven't already, go read for yourself, hehe hehe.

New U.S. base at Syria-Iraq border

"RAWAH, Iraq (UPI) 31 July - U.S. troops will now battle insurgents at the suspected source as the first base at the Iraq-Syria border is opened.

Intelligence officials believe that many foreign insurgents are making their way into Iraq via the Syrian border, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The base, three miles from Rawah, will house 1,800 U.S. troops near a route that connects the border to roads leading to Mosul and Baghdad."
The Kurdistani
Finally! I have only been calling for such a base from the day after the invasion.

Started to worry ..

"Hello friends
In my previous post, I told you that I have two daughters & a son.
Their ages are 13, 7 &1 year old son.
As a mother, &because I enjoyed my childhood, I try to challenge the reality to offer them the best life possible.
When I had my first baby, I was shocked by how difficult it is when I couldn’t find toys for her (the unjust regime did not allow the importation & we did not have an Iraqi made toys).I started to look for magazines of handmade work. I made many nice things for her .Then I made many many toys for children in the family& for friends."
This is a new Iraqi blog from Mosul I found over at Mad Canuck's and I have added it to my list.

What's so important about a crescent?

"Some people may find this story confusing, but the arabist explains it well here."
The internet is amazing, can you believe that when you go to that second link, your only two clicks away from this many degrees of separation is that? Amazing if you ask me! And to tell you the truth it's bigger news than the fact that there is already cheating going on in the Egyptian election. I cant wait to see the vote count, will the ruling party get 99% or will they allow a 98% total. Can't wait to see the results.

"Over There" Is "Over Hyped"

"I unfortunately wasted an a few minutes of my life to watch "Over There." A new series on FX about US Army Soldiers serving a tour in Iraq. There are a few bad war movies and tv shows, but this one takes the cake. If the inaccuracies they made in this new show was to keep the real enemy from watching and knowing our real tactics, then they did a SUPERB job."
Boots on the Ground

"New Amsterdam State of Mind"

"I’ve been thinking about writing, but it seems like nothing has really been going on. Then I started to think about it and things actually have been happening over the past week or so. We have been hearing/seeing a few mortars again. There is a greeting card in the PX that depicts two soldiers who have been here for a while talking to one another on the front and standing around. In the background are mortars flying and exploding. In the foreground are two other soldiers curled up in a ball next to some sandbags and wincing. The one standing soldier says to the other, “You can always tell who the new guys are.”"
Dave's Not Here Man!

Egypt Vows to Stay in Iraq, Despite Murder of its Top Diplomat

"Egypt's prime minister says his country will not let the recent kidnapping and killing of its top diplomat to Iraq stop it from continuing to be involved there. Instead, he said his country is pushing for Arab nations to continue supporting democracy in Iraq.
The group al-Qaida in Iraq has recently kidnapped and murdered diplomats from Muslim countries, including Egypt and Algeria. Iraqi and U.S. officials have said they believe the terrorist group is attempting to isolate the interim Iraqi government from other Muslim countries.

On Sunday, Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif told CNN's "Late Edition" the recent killing of Egypt's top diplomat in Iraq, Ihab al-Sherif, will not stop his country from sending diplomatic representation to Baghdad."

Chalabi's makeover places him near top

"BAGHDAD, Iraq — A tall Texas engineer in a John Deere cap and cowboy boots spoke slowly and a little too loudly to make sure a visiting Iraqi dignitary could grasp the mechanics of a power plant in a dusty village south of Baghdad.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi listened calmly to the contractor's carefully enunciated syllables, the kind a teacher might use with an ignorant student. Then, the MIT-educated mathematician shot back with an eloquent stream of jargon-laced comments that made the engineer's eyes widen.

"So, can we see the turbines now?" Chalabi finished with a grin.

"Absolutely," the humbled Texan replied.

The contractor was only the latest American to learn lesson No. 1 in dealing with Chalabi: Never underestimate him. A year after observers pronounced him finished — spurned by one-time American sponsors and with no apparent political base in Iraq — Chalabi has emerged more powerful than ever."
The Seattle Times
Hey! no one is perfect, so don't blame us, we tried to do our best, but sometimes trying is not enough.

Analyst: Egypt Takes Hard Line Before Vote

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - The arrest and beatings of protesters against President Hosni Mubarak indicates the Egyptian government will take a tough line as the country heads into its first multi-candidate presidential elections, analysts said Sunday.

The protest Saturday followed Mubarak's decision to run for a fifth term in September. Police kicked and beat dozens of demonstrators and detained 20...

...State Department spokeswoman Nancy Beck declined to comment on Egypt's response to the demonstrations Saturday. But Washington had criticized the government after its supporters, with police standing by, attacked activists during a referendum in May. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the government must "make certain that people can associate and can peacefully petition.""
My Way
No one ever listens to us!

Finger points to British intelligence as al-Qaeda websites are wiped out

"Over the past fortnight Israeli intelligence agents have noticed something distinctly odd happening on the internet. One by one, Al-Qaeda’s affiliated websites have vanished until only a handful remain, write Uzi Mahnaimi and Alex Pell.
Someone has cut the line of communication between the spiritual leaders of international terrorism and their supporters. Since 9/11 the websites have been the main links to disseminate propaganda and information."
From Drudge

Drawing Down Iraq

"Aug. 8, 2005 issue - Donald Rumsfeld doesn't like long-term occupations. He's always made that clear. After U.S. forces took Baghdad, the Defense secretary had plans to reduce the U.S. presence in Iraq to 40,000 troops by the fall of 2003. Then the insurgency struck.

Now Rumsfeld is quietly moving toward his original goal—three years late. The Pentagon has developed a detailed plan in recent months to scale down the U.S. troop presence in Iraq to about 80,000 by mid-2006 and down to 40,000 to 60,000 troops by the end of that year, according to two Pentagon officials involved in the planning who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of their work. Their account squares with a British memo leaked in mid-July. "Emerging U.S. plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006, allowing a reduction in overall [U.S. and Coalition forces] from 176,000 down to 66,000," says the Ministry of Defense memo."
MSNBC -Newsweek
From Drudge

Iraq Citizens Deem U.S. Soldier As Sheik

QAYYARAH, Iraq (AP) - Sheik Horn floats around the room in white robe and headdress, exchanging pleasantries with dozens of village leaders. But he's the only sheik with blonde streaks in his mustache - and the only one who attended country music star Toby Keith's recent concert in Baghdad with fellow U.S. soldiers.

Officially, he's Army Staff Sgt. Dale L. Horn, but to residents of the 37 villages and towns that he patrols he's known as the American sheik.

Sheiks, or village elders, are known as the real power in rural Iraq. And the 5-foot-6-inch Floridian's ascension to the esteemed position came through dry humor and the military's need to clamp down on rocket attacks."

My Way

Iraq determination is moving forward

"The Iraqis decided not to give up to the terrorism at all. We paid and paying a heavy price. Every single day, some of us are killed or their homes, businesses and belongings destroyed yet we don't look back but forward.

Yes there are terrorists and slow reconstruction due to that but there are advances in the political and reconstruction process. We are determined to make Iraq a model in the Middle East for the democratic and freedom process."

A Contribution By Raed Jarrar

Dear MadTom.

I like your idea of opening the door for other people to post blogs on your site!
it's such a cool idea.

Thank you for your prompt response on your comment section. I hope you'll clarify the misunderstanding on my blog, and khalid's blog. Because some people thought you were accusing us of supporting terrorism.

anyway, I'll put an interesting link now, to a blog of a US guardsman who got arrested because of his anti-war blog, and he was fined too.

I'm sure any person who believes in the freedom of speech wouldn't think this is a good idea.

you can visit his blog here.

Sooo, They know them

"Give me one good reason why they don’t arrest them if they are serious on fighting insurgency in Iraq and stopping the killing of innocent Iraqis and American soldiers???.

Pentagon: US knows of 10 leaders in Iraq’s insurgency"

Bagdad Dweller
Maybe they are trying to work with them to bring them in to the mainstream. Maybe they figure that if they can work with them that in the end it will save many more lives. Just maybe with their participation in the process the new democratic Iraq as a whole will have a better chance at success.

anti-Mubarak demonstration

"Shame! A protester getting beaten during an anti-Mubarak demonstration yesterday. Now wouldn't that tarnish the image of Egypt's government? "
Big Pharaoh
No! protesters getting beaten are normal, it's those evil anti-terrorist candlelight vigils that we must protect the state and the people from. Everyone in the Arab parallel universe knows as much! Get with the program.

Constitution update.

"It was expected that the suggested draft of the constitution which I posted several day ago would fuel arguments and serious discussions in the corridors of the National Assembly and the government and from what I heard and read in local media and from some information that leaked from some politicians, I learned that some of the upsetting articles of the draft have been changed or omitted while some other articles are still being discussed."
The last post in the constitution series

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Iraq Can Survive This

"Friday, July 29, 2005; Page A23

Two weeks ago, I received a bleak message from an Iraqi Sunni friend named Talal Gaaod. It worried me because Gaaod has been working hard for the past two years to rally Sunnis to support a new Iraqi government. But as the country has drifted deeper into anarchy this summer, Gaaod's confidence has been shaken.

The rough language of his e-mail conveys the situation better than a hundred polished Pentagon reports: "The political process, and the American project, it has failed," Gaaod wrote. "Believe me, there is no need to waste anymore one penny of the American taxpayers' money and no more one drop of blood of the American boys." He added: "Continuing on the basis to build a democratic process in securing the country, it's only a dream."

Gaaod argues that the violence has become so brutal that it's no longer possible to talk about political solutions, at least in the short run. Because U.S. forces have been unable to contain the insurgency, ordinary Sunnis have been intimidated and overwhelmed. The only weapons the insurgents lack now are armored vehicles, but Gaaod fears they may get those soon, too.

Gaaod argues that the pragmatic solution is martial law, in which generals drawn equally from Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds take control of security. The military men would work with a government of technocrats. Until order is restored, the Iraqi businessman insists, it's useless to talk about loftier hopes for the country."

Death toll from Iraq suicide bomb attack rises to 52

"BAGHDAD: Iraqi police said on Saturday that the death toll from a suicide bomb attack on army volunteers in a town near the Syrian border rose to 52, as some of the wounded died overnight.

Rabiah police commander Col Yahya al-Shammari said the number of the injured nearly doubled to 93 from 52 after officials added more patients who had been taken to a hospital in a different town.

Meanwhile, a car bomb exploded on Saturday near the National Theater in Baghdad, killing five people, including three policemen, and injuring nine, including a mother and her two children, police and witnesses said.

Police Maj Abbas Muhammed Salman said the injured also included three policemen, who appeared to have been the target"
Daily Times

Getting out

"It’s been one of the more difficult decisions of my life. For nine years, I’ve served the Army National Guard with every thing I have. I’ve been to the majority of the Army bases across the country for training, conducted actual operations in Nicaragua, Kuwait and of course, Iraq. But the time has come for me to get out. My ETS date is in October, and now, the retention types and fellow soldiers are telling me that me getting out is a great loss to the Army.

To be honest, when I hear these words, it hurts. At times, it feels like I am betraying my soldiers and country for opting to no longer be a soldier. My decision is not based off of money, passion or disgust for the military. Rather, I just feel it’s time to have free weekends, a full summer and no deployment looming."
In Iraq for 365

Personal Iraq Diary: 19 - 22 June 2004.

"I am really pissed off about this package situation. I was going to ask for my DV camera but it might take her two weeks to send it. I've been using the video feature on my digital camera to capture some images of Mosul, hope they come out. Today we did a joint dismounted patrol with the ICDC. We walked around the neighborhoods near Top Gun station for about 90 minutes. This is what I like."
Candle in the Dark

BBC Employee sending death threats to Afghan blogger

"Apparently, it's not just the Guardian who's been hiring radical Islamic fucktards."

Look at this!

"Look at this! This Lt works in the unit that I work with. He has gotten these two articles published about his experiences in Iraq. They are all a pack of lies. Trust me he does NOT live in a chemical bunker outside the base. He lives across the street from his office in a can city. And that plane out in the middle of the desert that they hit golf balls at? It's on one of the main base roads. His contact with insurgents? Don't make me laugh.

People like this give the rest of the deployed personnel a bad name. "
Inside Iraq -ruhgozler

I found myself...

"Sleeping in a grave-size space, defined by two walls touching both my head my and feet, and surrounded with human bodies touching me from both sides, in a way that hardly leaves any chance to move at all during the long… long night, in a 12 square meters room stuffed with 35 people trying to sleep, and to hold themselves together in order not to fight…"
Tell Me A Secret
Khalid explains his ordeal, apparently going to Raed in the Middle is a criminal offence .i.e. a terrorist web site. I think I agree with the secret police, Raed needs to be stopped... I only wonder why Khalid did not admit to being Raeds brother.

That's if you believe any of this. The part I find kind of funny is how he was able to get word out of a high security interrogation center "illegally" to his family. I did not know khalid was a master spy, even James Bond would have had trouble with that one. I wonder about Khalid sometimes, I just wonder.

Bad apples

"There are many things that I have to post about, but this is the elephant in the room that I must get out of the way. We have apparently found evil in our midst. I cannot comment on the ongoing investigation save to say that I am disgusted by the actions of a few that have tarnished the good work of so many others. I am not involved in this situation, and for that I am thankful. Morale has taken quite a hit, but the NightStalkers will bounce back, and be stronger and better for it"
Major K.
I don't have access to this LATimes story so I'm sort of out the loop here, anyone know what this is all about?

I got a password and got the story. I put the whole thing here behind the read more link at the bottom.

Start LATimes story:
Members of a California battalion in Iraq are under investigation for alleged abuse of detainees and extortion of money from merchants.

By Scott Gold and Rone Tempest, Times Staff Writers

A company of the California Army National Guard has been put on restricted duty and its battalion plunged into disarray amid allegations that battalion members mistreated detainees in Iraq and extorted money from shopkeepers, according to military officials and members of the unit.

Col. David Baldwin, a California state Guard spokesman, confirmed Tuesday that investigations are underway into the allegations of mistreatment of prisoners by members of Fullerton-based Alpha Company of the 1st Battalion of the 184th Infantry Regiment.

The company, made up of roughly 130 soldiers, is deployed at Forward Operating Base Falcon outside Baghdad. It has been put on restricted duty while the Army reviews its performance, Baldwin said.

Baldwin also confirmed the existence of the investigation of the alleged extortion, which involves members of another company in the battalion.

The battalion's commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Frey, has been suspended while the investigation is conducted, Baldwin said.

Soldiers from a third company in the battalion have also been "pulled back to garrison mode," a military official said.

Baldwin declined to discuss the allegations in detail or name the soldiers and officers involved. The "National Guard cannot comment on an ongoing U.S. Army investigation," he said.

Capt. Daniel Markert, commander of the battalion's rear detachment at its Modesto headquarters, said that word of the investigation has begun reaching soldiers' families in California. One family, he said, had called him to report that their "son was in trouble" and to pass along a request from the soldier's attorney to begin obtaining "character statements" on his behalf.

"What we have been told," Markert said, "is that there is an investigation underway involving very serious violations of the Uniform Military Code."

Maj. Gen. William G. Webster Jr., the U.S. commander of military forces in Baghdad, is overseeing the investigation.

"In the eyes of the military, these soldiers are innocent until proven guilty," Task Force Baghdad spokesman Lt. Col. Steve Boylan said in an interview from Baghdad.

The Army's Criminal Investigation Division and other military officials have ordered soldiers not to discuss the investigations, and many of the troops are anxious, according to one member of the battalion who spoke on condition of anonymity.

One high-ranking officer held a meeting with company leaders in recent weeks and declared that "this is us against them," — active-duty Army investigators versus part-time "citizen soldiers" from the National Guard — said the battalion member.

"There is a lot of fear," a second member of the battalion said. "There is a lot of uncertainty."

Members of the battalion caused a stir last year when several were quoted in a Times story expressing concerns that their training was poor and inadequate. Some soldiers in the battalion blame its current woes on their allegedly poor training.

"This is a battalion that is just rotting," one said. "There is no trust in each other. There is no confidence in leadership."

Boylan said the allegations have nothing to do with the military's efforts to prepare National Guard troops for war.

"It is not a matter of training," he said. "It comes down to a matter of right and wrong."

Among the allegations now under investigation is that at least six soldiers from the battalion took part in a scheme to extort money from Iraqi shopkeepers, apparently in exchange for protection from insurgents.

The payments allegedly exceeded $30,000, two sources said, and were made in U.S. currency, according to one member of the battalion who has been briefed on the investigation. Another soldier said the scheme allegedly was carried out during night patrols in the Baghdad area.

It is unclear whether any soldier has been charged in connection with those allegations.

The military revealed earlier this month that 11 U.S. soldiers have been charged with dereliction of duty in connection with the alleged mistreatment of detainees in Iraq but did not identify their names or unit. Baldwin confirmed on Tuesday that the soldiers are members of Alpha Company of the 1st Battalion of the 184th Infantry Regiment.

Boylan said some of the soldiers were also charged with mistreatment of a person under their control, assault and making a false statement. One soldier was charged with obstruction of justice.

The Army's Criminal Investigation Division will determine whether the soldiers will face court-martial.

Two members of the battalion who spoke on condition of anonymity said that as many as 17 soldiers are now under investigation in connection with the alleged mistreatment of detainees. All but one of the detainees who were allegedly abused have been released from custody.

The alleged abuse took place after an attack by insurgents in June on a Baghdad-area power plant, military officials said. The bulk of the investigation appears to be focused on an incident in which an electric stun gun was used to abuse or torture Iraqi detainees, several sources within the battalion said.

"They did a pretty good job on them," one soldier said.

The use of a stun gun to abuse one detainee — a man who had been handcuffed and blindfolded — was captured on videotape, one soldier said. A soldier happened upon the tape while using the computer, a member of the battalion said.

Separately, the first sergeant of another of the battalion's companies has been relieved of duty after being accused of mistreating an Iraqi detainee, military officials said. The sergeant's identity could not be confirmed.

Sources within the battalion said the sergeant is accused of shooting a water heater during an interrogation, then turning to an Iraqi detainee and saying: "You're next." The sergeant then held his pistol to the man's head, moved it a few inches to the side and fired, sources said.

The first sergeant holds an important position of authority in a company and is largely responsible for overseeing the preparedness and welfare of the soldiers in the unit — "bullets and beans," in the vernacular of the Army.

There are conflicting reports about the status of many of the battalion's soldiers.

One source within the battalion said soldiers from Alpha Company have been removed from standard infantry duties, such as night patrol and convoy protection, and are now restricted to the base and are guarding its gates. Another source offered a different version of the status of those soldiers, saying that while they are restricted to the base, they were merely swapped out of patrol duties as part of a standard rotation.

When members of the battalion complained last year of inadequate preparation and supplies, they cited a shortage of night-vision goggles and little guidance in guarding against insurgents' roadside bombs.

The Army conducted a brief investigation and concluded that the soldiers, while not "finely honed," were being prepared adequately for battle. Army commanders blamed the strife on the government's need to shore up its strained military by turning part-time National Guard soldiers into front-line combat troops.

David Segal, director of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland, said it is possible that the soldiers received inadequate training, but training complaints cannot explain the allegations of widespread misconduct.

"Soldiers who were not trained well still know the difference between right and wrong," he said. "It sounds like it's something beyond insufficient training. I'm inclined to think the problems existed before they were called up for Iraq … a more general problem in the culture of the battalion."

The allegations come at a difficult time for the California National Guard, which has become beset with infighting and is being investigated by the state Senate for allegedly "monitoring" a Mother's Day antiwar rally at Sacramento.

Frey, the suspended commander, is a decorated soldier who took command of the battalion last summer, shortly before its deployment.

According to published reports, Frey served as a Marine during the Vietnam War and participated in the evacuation of Saigon. He later served as a U.S. Army lieutenant and a Special Forces officer in the Army Reserve.

He has been lauded by the military in recent months for his outreach efforts in Iraq.

In March, he took some of his soldiers to the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Al-Dora to distribute shoes to poor children.

Ariz. Guard blogger punished

"An Arizona National Guardsmen who had been openly critical of the war in Iraq on his Web log, has been punished for violating operational security and for 11 counts of disobeying orders, according to Multinational Corps — Iraq.
Spc. Leonard A. Clark was busted down one rank to private first class, fined $820 per month for two months, and sentenced to 45 days restriction and 45 days of extra duty. The restriction and extra duty were suspended for five months.

In an unusual move, MCF-Iraq released the details of Clark’s Article 15, which is nonjudicial punishment."
Army Times
BigBrother's at it again. Remember to watch your flank

Hat tip Ladybird

Friday, July 29, 2005

Being Sheikh Jamal al-Sudani

"I'm sure many of you will disagree with Shiekh Jamal al-Sudani's way of life, which was published in The Christian Science Monitor. For me, I wish there were more Shiekh al-Sudani in Iraq. Here's his story:"
Iraqi in America

Details: Yesterday

"So here is what happened:

On Thursday I was scrambling, talking on the phone and begging to everyone to get an approval for the protest. The higher-up in the National Security apparatus informed me that they like the idea, they will discuss it and get back to me. That same afternoon I got a phone call from another person I was lobbying: the deputy minister of interior. He gave us his verbal approval to do the Vigil and asked me to send him yet another copy, so that he could get the Minister of Interior signature and approval on it.

I was informed that it would be one hell of an exception, especially that the Egyptian President has nominated himself for a 5th term and the opposition is supposed to take the streets in protest the next day. Ehh, I could care less, I thanked him, cause in the end we got the approval. I got my mother's office to send him the fax and we were assured we would get it back around 9 pm. This happened around 4 pm, which meant we had to get started immediately."

Candle Light Vigil

"The candlelight vigil is canceled after the security permit has been revoked due to security reasons.

Anti-Terrorism Protest and Candle Light Vigil on Friday July 29."
Big Pharaoh
What a shame that the good people of Egypt are kept down by the corrupt government. What a shame. How are we ever going to make any progress in this world when a simple Virgil can not get past the bureaucracy. What is the government afraid of, that peace might break out!

The desert monitor is a lizard

j'scrock Posted by Picasa
"The Rare and Elusive Iraqi Pineapple/Watermelon Crocodile as seen at DFAC 2, LSA Anaconda - Thanksgiving 2004."
Birding Babylon
And other rare lizards.

Are we going to let them win?

"Did Syria and Iran win in their indirect war on Iraq?
This question has been occupying my thoughts in the last few days and to reach an answer, we should first know the goals of the US in the region and whether these goals have been failed or they're merely witnessing slow progress?
And are we going to see some determination on reaching these goals or are we going to see strategic changes from offense to defense in the plans?"

Thursday, July 28, 2005

This Sucks!!!

"Power is out again for like billionth time, this time for 2 days at least, cuz some ass wipe hit the line with an earthmover 74 times or something. So we are all looking for space to sleep in the office and we have to be here at like 6 am. Sweet!!! So I went back to my room to get pillow, washing materials etc. and it was over 100 degrees inside the room. Are you shitting me?! Then to make matters even better the area where the big a-holes live, the "brass" so to speak, they got power to there roms miraculously. I wonder how many are on missions before sun-up. I love it here. But I am not sick or hurt so I got that goin' for me."
Inside Iraq -spadepacolypse

Abu Ghraib again ...!!!

"This is an email I received today. It seemed to me as if Abu Ghraib scandal repeated it self. I publish it to let the world see and understand what is going on at dark.

... A report by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba on the abuse says videotapes and photos also show naked detainees forced to masturbate while being photographed and videotaped, of guards having sex with female detainees, young boys...
...Boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out."
A Citizen of Mosul
Kind of gives the term "Club G'itmo" a new meaning.

An emergency conference...

"Iraq's constitution drafting committee called for an emergency summit for the leaders of political parties and religious factions in Iraq in order to override the remaining obstacles that are hindering finishing the final points of the constitution.
The chief of the CDC, Humam Hammodi mentioned that they hope that the final draft will be available after the proposed Saturday conference which will be attended by Iraqi president Jalal Talbani and the president of the Kurdistan region Masoud Barzani.

This piece of news was mentioned this morning on several Iraqi newspapers and this call for a big conference obviously came after the semi-complete draft was released last Tuesday which was faced by a lot of disagreement and objections in the Iraqi street and from several political parties especially those of minorities."
The last post in the constitution series

12 November: Broken Arrow....or Something Like It

"Something to jog your memory

I looked at my crew and recalled, “You know something. I remember being back in Vilseck in the freezing snow in January. We were standing in the parking lot in front of Company. And SGT Meadows was giving that stupid IRT(individual readiness training) with the mine probe.” The mine probe was this fiberglass rod with a rubber handle. And if you were ever stuck in a minefield, you were supposed to poke gently at the ground at a 45 degree angle about 30 times per square foot. Make sure there were no mines in the ground. And then you could take a step forward."
Armor Geddon

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The BBC Hypocritical Propaganda

"The BBC World TV channel showed a documentary film about alleged abuse for Sunnis by the Iraqi Police today 27 July 2005 in its News bulletin at 7 PM GMT.

The BBC fooled itself or tried to become an unusual snake by defending the human rights in Iraq. Surely, the BBC haven’t forgotten that there are thousands of British troops in Iraq which are responsible partly for the security and training of the Iraqi police at least in the human right issue!"

In Basra, Steven Vincent Hears an Echo from Graham Greene

"Steven Vincent, our Man in Basra, continues to file some of the best up-close-and-personal reports from Iraq. Here we find Steven and his Iraqi friend Layla interviewing an American officer."
Iraqi Bloggers Central -Jeffrey
Kind of make you wonder, Is anyone watching the store?

From a Basrawi to Another Basrawi

"I'm going to interview an Iraqi Muslim lady who lives in Basra. I'm preparing a list of questions regarding the constitution, women's rights, the security situation, education, health and other issues.

If you have any questions for her, please post them in the comments section or send them to me in an e-mail."
Iraqi in America
What an interesting project, I cant wait to see the results.

The last post in the constitution series


"It was the 1980s, during the Iraqi-Iranian war; a father killed his own son claiming that he was a draft dodger. The crime shocked the Iraqi society. On the other hand Saddam praised the father's conduct and awarded him a medal. Saddam's regime encouraged people, through many wicked methods, to report secretly their family members, relatives, friends, colleagues, acquaintances…etc to the secret police, baathists, intelligence services and so forth. As a 'secret organization' government, Saddam's regime worked hard to change the Iraqis into informants. It resulted in lot of suspicion between members of the community. People did not find it easy to trust each other. Such policy created a climate of mistrust and fear. Only Saddam & his henchmen were authentic (sarcastic)."
Ibn Alfrafidain

"Poisoned melons" in Basra and rage in Samawa.

"A few days ago I was watching Al Fayha'a channel and I saw a subtitle that said that the Police in Basra had warned people from buying melon that come from Mosul because it was poisoned! The whole statement of the police seemed not just incorrect but also totally made up, and as I think with bad intentions. I said this to my father but he said that stranger things happened. Indeed there was a case where members of the ING were poisoned when they ate a melon that was given to them as a gift from a passer by. It appeared the man had ingested poison into the melon. But this case was totally different."
Free Iraqi
By the way on a totally unrelated subject, I heard Senators Clinton's speech, twice on C-SPAN and I liked it. I don't see what everyone is complaining about.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

So you want dialogue with fidel?

"Bring a big fucking stick. You are going to need it.

Because this is how the castro regime deals with dissenting opinions:"
Babalu Blog
Tyrant apologist need not apply

If this is going to be the final draft, then I'm going to say "NO".

"This morning, Al-Sabah had the exclusive right to publish the current draft of the constitution.
This draft will be submitted to the national Assembly to get the Assembly's approval before putting it to the October referendum.
Of course the draft is tool long to fully translate and it would've taken me a few more days to do that so I have chosen the most important parts of it and translated them.
Here are they for you to read:

*Words in between brackets are still not agreed upon by all members of the CDC.
*My comments are in Italics."
ITM -Omar
the last post in teh constitution series

Monday, July 25, 2005

Watch the launch on NASA TV (Take II)

Two other Bloggers took interest in the Shuttle return to flight:

Fayrouz at Iraqi in America: Back to Flight

Mustang 23 of Assumption of Command: We have liftoff!

Watch NASA TV on the web, and see the Space Shuttle Discovery return to flight STS-114 mission here.

Not only will you be able to see the launch, but you can follow the entire mission most of which is live for the duration of the flight.

+ STS-114 TV Schedule: Updated programming schedule for pre-launch through post-landing.

I send my best wishes and prayers to the seven brave astronauts as they make this historic trip.
Good luck, and Gods speed.

Iraqi women discuss the constitution

"Day by day and as the deadline for finishing the draft of the constitution approaches, we see more hot debates and more active public activities and more interaction with this historic event that will decide the future of life on the lands of Mesopotamia and it's interesting (yet not surprising to me) that daily-life concerns couldn't stop Iraqis from engaging discussions and debates when it comes to writing the constitution."
The last post in the constitution series

stupid question from contractor with issued armor

"I never thought I'd have to ask this, but how do you get blood out of your IBA? I assume you can't really launder it, and just rubbing with cold water didn't help much."
Inside Iraq -octal
How about Oxxyclean?

The Iraqi "Kurdistan" Map

One Big House

"I took a picture of this house while on patrol today.This is going to be a huge house,most Iraqi house's are one or two story.Most Iraqi houses have vaulted celing's and have some sort of cool iron work frame's for the window's,notice the framing post (kinda cool)."
Am I Evil

Smaller rats are on the way to trial too.

"Earlier today, Al-Arabiya TV exclusively broadcasted another hearing session for the "Iraqi Special Tribunal" and this time the judges interrogated a number of Saddam's senior aides and the questions were concentrated on a few main cases related to the massacres against Iraqis especially in the South and in Kurdistan back in the 1980s and early 1990s."

Ignoring the anti-terrorist Arabs?

"When Arabs and Muslims defy news-media typecasting, they seem to be ignored

The pigeons from the London and Sharm El Sheikh bombings are coming home to roost, as a lot of people seem to be undergoing a mood change regarding terrorism. Among those people are a lot of Arabs and Muslims.

Egyptian blogger Karim Elsahy tried to organize an anti-terror march in Cairo. And it worked -- though as another Egyptian blogger reports, it was broken up by Egyptian police:"
(Hat tip) BP

Sunnis Rejoin Iraqi Constitional Panel

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Sunni Arab members of a committee drafting Iraq's new constitution ended their boycott Monday, six days after jeopardizing the credibility of the nascent political process by walking out in protest over the assassinations of two fellow Sunni constitution framers.

Their decision to return eased the threat that the country's new constitution would be a product of only two of three major Iraqi ethnic and religious groups. Leaving out the Sunni Arabs, who form the core of the insurgency, would dim hopes for a political exit from the incessant violence gripping the country."
My Way
Let's hear it for that Kurd president!!

A great story of cooperation and friendship:

"ALI BASE, Iraq – When a crew of instructors deployed here to teach Iraqi airmen the finer points of flying and maintaining a C-130 Hercules, they knew they had a monumental task in front of them. But what they found was something

Slowly over several months, Iraqi and U.S. Airmen have
developed life-long friendships with the very men they previously
called enemies. “Our instructors are more than just
a friend,” said Iraqi Air Force Capt. S., a maintenance officer
with Squadron 23. “We are like brothers...

Full story in pdf here (scroll down)."



I have been trying to get down to tell you about this for some time now, but the pressure of trying to survive makes it difficult just to find the time.

You see, “Operation Lightening” was a good start, but it was only a beginning and needed to be developed in the right way. Now it has rebounded. By leaving the doors poorly guarded and failing to hold the ground after the initial offensive, the enemy was allowed to regroup and launch his treacherous counter offensive of car bombings and murders. Experience in other places has shown that the fight against urban terrorism is essentially defensive. Some certain countries in the region have experience that merits study."
The Mesopotamian

Sunday, July 24, 2005

IRAQ: The Bullets Are Going Both Ways

"July 24, 2005: For thousands of Sunni Arabs who worked for Saddam’s security apparatus, the day of judgment is getting closer. Saddam’s enforcers rarely hid their identities, and many Kurds and Shia Arabs know the names, and faces, of the Sunni Arab thugs that tormented, and tortured them, and murdered their friends and family. These thugs have supported al Qaeda’s terror campaign in Iraq, and participated in some of the non-suicide attacks on Iraqis and foreigners. For the last two years, the enforcers were able to hide out in Sunni Arab towns and neighborhoods that were free of government control. But this provided only temporary refuge, and created other problems. The lack of police meant that criminal gangs, terrorist groups and warlord militias were in charge. These three groups didn’t always get along with each other. But they all left the old Saddam thugs alone. Now, with the government taking control of Sunni Arab areas, the Saddam thugs are in trouble, and getting desperate. These guys have several options. They can leave the country. Many have already done this. But there are no real sanctuaries for former Saddam killers. Syria is safe for the moment, but that is expected to change soon. Eventually, however, these guys can expect the war crimes indictments to catch up with them. If they stay in Iraq, they can either hope for an amnesty deal, or getting themselves back into power. Both of these options are being pursued, which means that violence and peace negotiations are both getting more intense. The problem here is that the Kurds and Shia Arabs are not willing to give a lot of Saddam’s killers a free pass. In response to that, the killers are getting more involved in the violence. Now Arab diplomats are being attacked. The message is clear; make a deal with the Sunni Arabs, or get more reminders of how Saddam stayed in power for so long. Playing it this way only makes more Iraqis determined to join the police and army, and go after the killers where they live, and bring them to justice (often on the spot.) The bullets are going both ways.

July 22, 2005: On July 15th, Iraq and the United States established a joint operations center to coordinate counter-insurgency missions. This new headquarters is partly a training operation, to give Iraqi officers and NCOs experience in running an American style headquarters operations. But the center also provides a practical way to coordinate operations between the U.S. 256th Infantry Brigade, and the Iraqi 1st Infantry Brigade. This joint operation is being used to work out how to best have American and Iraqi staffs analyze and share information. Previous generations of Iraqi staff officers received their training from Russia, which used a slower and more deliberate type of planning. The American style is much faster and dependent on subordinate commanders making their own decisions, and rapidly passing back intelligence information. The Russian style pleased dictators, especially Arab dictators, because it left subordinates with little decision-making power, and concentrated control of information and decision making at the top.

Iraqis being trained as officers for their new army and police force are in awe of the American military. The speed and efficiency of American combat troops, especially compared to how Iraqis operate, has made a big impression. American efforts to teach Iraqis how to operate this way are eagerly accepted. The Iraqis know that if they can master the American techniques, they will turn the Iraqi armed forces into the most formidable in the Middle East. This has made Israel nervous, because a similar successful British training effort in Jordan, over half a century ago, turned the much smaller Jordanian armed forces into the most formidable, man-for-man, Arab army in the region. This caused Israel serious problems in the 1967 war, and played a role in Israeli efforts to make peace with Jordan. Applying this training treatment to the much larger, wealthier, and anti-Israeli Iraq, could mean serious problems for Israel down the line.

Because the Sunni Arabs dominated the military for generations, and the Sunni Arab community continues to fight the new government, the new Iraqi army and police force has required new officers and NCOs to be developed from scratch. This is why it has taken so long to get the Iraqi military up to speed. You can’t create competent officers and NCOs overnight. While there were some Kurdish and Shia Arab officers, and many NCOs, in Saddams armed forces, the senior, and key, positions were almost exclusively Sunni Arab. Moreover, Saddam did not encourage initiative and professional competence, for his officers. Saddam wanted obedience and loyalty. So a lot of the old officers, even if they prove loyal to the new government, have to be retrained, and taught to think for themselves when in action. This does not always work.

The selection and training of officers is important for political reasons as well. Throughout the Middle East, the military is seen as a way to take over, or control, a country. The Iraqi army has been the sources of many coups and military governments in the past. American training efforts are trying to develop an Iraqi officer corps that will be competent, and loyal to the idea of civilian control of the military. So far, it seems pretty certain that Iraqi officers can be brought up to U.S. standards for military operations. Time will tell if this new generation of officers are willing, and able, to stay out of politics.

One thing is certain, the next generation of Iraqi military and police commanders will be dominated by Shia Arab and Kurdish officers. This has not been the case for some five centuries, and no one is sure exactly how it will work out. The current Sunni Arab terror campaign will eventually be defeated, and it is being done with the help of some Sunni Arab officers. These men worked for Saddam, but were considered “clean enough” to rejoin the army and police force. They command several of the few army and police units that can go up against the terrorists and win. But the majority of the army and police commanders are now Shia Arab and Kurdish. Most are green, and still learning. But because they are backed by the majority of the population, these Shia Arab and Kurd officers have the best promotion prospects, and will be the generals for some time to come.

Training new officers has been far more difficult that training the troops. Many of the officer candidates have been sent to Jordan for training. Jordanian officers are among the most competent and effective in the Arab world, and provide good examples for the Iraqis. The junior officers coming out of these training courses are competent and eager, but they are having problems for the mid and upper level officers, who came up in the old Iraqi army and police force. These guys have also received a lot of training, but many were unwilling, or unable, to change their attitudes and methods.

Another big problem has been selecting men to be officers in the first place. Traditionally, being an officer was considered another form of political patronage. The loyalty and political connections of the officer were more important than the fellows ability to do the job. That habit has been hard to change. Over the last two years, much has been learned about how to find the right officer candidates in an Arab culture.

Then there’s the problem of getting these new Iraqi units into combat without breaking them. These units are often going into combat with most of their officers and NCOs untried and inexperienced. This is something the United States has not had to face since World War II. It’s been a learning experience for everyone.

Right now, only about a third of the army and police units can be relied on to perform well in combat. That’s out of a force of some 170,000 soldiers and police. But only three of the 107 army and police battalions have reached the level where they can plan and carry out combat operations against terrorists on their own. There are currently 1,500 American officers and NCOs assigned to these battalions as advisors and trainers, making it easier to constantly manage progress in Iraqi training and capability. The Iraqi forces will rise to 270,000 by next year, and the proportion of effective troops will increase to about half the force, with several dozen battalions that can take on terrorists without assistance from American staffs and support units. .

The United States has decades of experience in training Arab troops, and has always been frustrated by not being able to control the selection of officers, and all of their training. Now, in Iraq, the U.S. trainers have complete control. The task proved harder than expected, because of the cultural and historical difficulties. The job is not yet finished, and won’t be for several more years. The full story of this training effort will provide some telling accounts of how cultures clashed under fire, and the pressure to win a civil war while also training the troops to fight it.

July 20, 2005: Two British research firms came out with studies on civilian deaths in Iraq, and concluded that some 25,000 Iraqi civilians had died since the coalition invasion in early 2003. The research was questionable, because it was based on English language news sources. Since the international media has been largely pro-Sunni Arab and against the removal of Saddam Hussein by force, the reporting of the war has emphasized stories that make the United States and
Stratagy Page

The Iraqis are Making Strides

"If you have been reading my site for a while you know that I agree with the President Bush in that the key to the war here is helping the Iraqis learn to stand up for themselves. In that theme, I have tried to find good things from the Iraqi Army in the press. I have some more to share and I am also spreading out to include the Iraq Security Forces as well.

I found 3 good articles.

The first is telling us how much of the work load the Iraqis are doing for them selves now."
Assumption of Command

Today I Annoyed Terrorists

"Today was a great day for me. I feel very satisfied with myself. Today I felt that I really did something against the terrorists even if what I did was not so huge and lasted for 20 to 30 minutes.

Sandmonkey and I joined 5 other young Egyptians in a protest against terror. We stood on top of one of Cairo's busiest bridges and carried large placards with the words "No to Terrorism", "Islam Against Terrorism", "Egypt Against Terrorism" written on them in bold letters.

We stood on the pavement facing the passing cars and held those placards. I felt as if I looked like the guy who carries the "The End is Near" sign!!"
Big Pharaoh

Doing more to stop terrorists

"In London, police killed a suspected suicide bomber. They shot the man in the back after seeing wires from a backpack. When I first learned of this incident, I was proud of the English for being brash enough to shoot a terrorist on the open street. Then, after it was reported the man was innocent, it made me think."
In Iraq for 365

Poll: Americans Say World War III Likely

"WASHINGTON - Americans are far more likely than the Japanese to expect another world war in their lifetime, according to AP-Kyodo polling 60 years after World War II ended. Most people in both countries believe the first use of a nuclear weapon is never justified.

Those findings come six decades after the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war claimed about 400,000 U.S. troops around the world, more than three times that many Japanese troops and at least 300,000 Japanese civilians."
From Drudge

This comment made me laugh

I found this, and I just had to post it (my bad)
"Anonymous said...

Speaking of Marines, here's one making the rounds:

A marine finds he is surrounded by 1000 insurgents in Iraq. Knowing it is better to go down fighting then to be captured by these animals he yells out from the building where he is bunkered down.

"I'm in here, come and get me, there's only one of me".

One of the insurgents goes up to the terrorist leading the assault.

"Let me take 100 men and capture this infidel dog, God willing"

The leader agrees and 100 insurgents go after the marine.
Gun fire erupts for about five minutes and there is silence.

Then the marine yells again.

"is that all you got?"

Enraged the leader sends in another 400 men and gun fire erupts and dies down just like before.

"I'm still here".

The terrorist sends in his last 500 men and there is a hail of gunfire which lasts for 15 minutes. Finally one of the insurgents crawls out from behind the building, bloodied and shaking. He falls at the leaders feet.

The leader asks, "God willing, did you kill the infidel?".

The insurgent responds,

"No, the filthy American lied... There are 2 of them"."
I thought it was funny, and after today I needed a laugh. Maybe now I can enjoy the good news I had received today, maybe.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Egypt attacks.

"I believe the latest barbaric attacks in London and Egypt have confirmed many things for us who support the war on terror but at the same time should in my mind make those in charge reconsider their approach to the problem or at least make some adjustments.

One of the things that these attacks confirmed is that no one is safe and that destruction of the whole human civilization represented by its best current model; the west is the ultimate target of these sick fanatics. It doesn't matter to them who their victims are, how old they are, what's their job or what are they doing in a "Muslim land", while on the "War land" the question is more irrelevant."
Free Iraqi

Extortion and Kidnapping for ransom

"From observations in the past months, security forces in the city have done a very small progress regarding children and civilian kidnapping .This matter is of great importance to destroy the financial support of terrorist .Last week only we heard about five kidnapping accidents, a ransom for only one of them was 90000$ for returning a little boy to his parents.
The target boy doesn't have to be from a rich family. They kidnap children randomly, just on the basis of how they dress."
A Free Writer

Sharm Al-Sheikh attacks update.

"Al-Hurra correspondent in Sharm Al-Sheikh said that he had exclusive information from trusted Egyptian security sources confirming that 9 men from Pakistan entered Sinai recently before the attacks took place and mentioned that contacts with the authorities in Pakistan have shown that the passports were forged.

Also it was reported that Egyptian police informed the British police that it's most likely that the explosives that were used in last nights' attacks were similar to those used in the 7/7 London's attacks."

Khalid Is Free!

"After many long days of uncertainty and worry, Khalid is now free...

...For the last couple of weeks, my family and I have put all of our effort into trying to get Khalid released from detention in Iraq. Now that he is free, we will direct our efforts towards tens of thousands of other innocent people locked up either in U.S. detention centers or in the jails of the U.S. supported regime."
Raed in the Middle
We will see.

Extremist Egyptian analyst blames Israel for Sinai terror attacks

'SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt - Less than 24 hours after terrorists killed at least 88 people in attacks on the Sinai resort town of Sharm el- Sheikh, Egyptian sources claimed that Israel was responsible for the deadly bombings.

The claims were apparently based on the fact that most of the victims were Egyptian nationals."
So is anyone still wondering why terrorism finds so much support or why it will continue to spread across the globe.
And I can just see the glee in the al-Jazeera reporters as they conducted these interviews.

I went to the english al-jezeera and did a search with the name mentioned in that story: Ala Hasnin, but it did not return anything. I was wondering if some of my Arabic speaking reader would also conduct a search on the arabic side and try and find that report?

Dust in the wind

"The official Death Toll is 88 now. It just keeps getting higher.

I have just spoken to the owner of the Ghazala Gardens hotel Mr. Khalil, a family friend, just to make sure he was ok. Apparently he sold the hotel a few months ago ( good timing), but he still had some information to give. The suicidebombers apparently drove the car through the glass doors and blow the car inside the lobby, killing all the night shift people. He informed me that the number of the wounded is a lot more then they are announcing "500 at least", especially that there are others uncounted for under the wreakage of the hotels and with our government's habit of not reporting the egyptian casualties, cause , you know, they won't hurt our tourism reputation abroad. But foreigners, well, they immedietly get reported. They are human beings after all, made from some better material than the ones we egyptians are made of for some reason as far as our government is concerned."
Rantings of a Sandmonkey

London Bombs: Mistakes pave the way for mistakes

"The terrorists in London attacks indicated that they are not just few people hate to see the British involvement of Iraq war, but a well organized and strong groups.

First of all these attacks appeared very well organized at least in its timing and planning. As in our previous articles we said that the terrorist may attack again in London in few days to prove their strength and ability and they did so. Though the second attack resulted in no causalities, a case which was explained by the London experts as luck, but they created a lot of chaos and insecurity which will take long time. However the attacks may even get more organized as we saw that in Iraq."

New Video: Tankers

"SPC Camp's first production...Long before we took back Fallujah.

0:03 Mechanics and others flying into theater on C-17s. Most of us drove the 500km from Kuwait to FOB Scunion in wheeled convoys. It was the longest road march ever. By the end, people were hallucinating and sleep-driving from being up so long. But it was awesome and hilarious. Seeing stuff that isn’t there is like being on drugs...without the criminal offense and all."
Armor Geddon


"Yahoo news says thata there is 62 dead, the TV says between 70 and 85.

The carnage is devestating on TV and in the pictures posted on the net.

The fact that this was done on the Holiday memoralizing the "glorious" 23 of July 1952 socialist reveloution that brought us our leaders for the past 53 years is an irony that isn't lost on anyone.

This is it again. What I have been talking about all along. Last October I saw the exact thing happening and no one really minded much but me because a lot of the dead were Israelis. Well not this fuckin time. There are no more excuses to be made. This is a war and those people want you dead, whether you like it or not. So WAKE UP ALREADY!"
Rantings of a Sandmonkey

From Baghdad to London to Sharm Al-Sheikh...

"I woke up this morning to find myself facing the news of the latest attacks in Sharm Al-Sheikh.
What are the targets? What are the goals? And what should we do about this wave of terrorism that is plaguing various parts of the world east and west?
These were the questions circling in my mind this morning so I would like to discuss the matter with you in this post."
ITM -Omar

Voices from a blog

Big Pharaoh on an NPR by Eric Weiner. listen. to the voice from the blog.
(hat tip) Jeffrey

The last voice from a blog post

I did not get to listen yet as it was not working when I tried, maybe the site was swamped or something.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Constitution of Iraq: (Leaked) Draft Bill of Rights

Publius Pundit Has a discussion and comparison between the varying leaked drafts of the constitutions.
Hat tip RantBurg

Constitution of Iraq: (Leaked) Draft Bill of Rights - English language rendition, updated July 20th 2005 (.pdf file) Thanks Anony

The last post in the constitution series

Dozens dead in Egypt resort bombings

"SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt, July 22 (UPI) -- At least 43 people were killed and more than 130 injured in a series of explosions in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheik, the BBC reported.

Citing police sources, the BBC said initial reports were that at least four, and possibly as many as seven, car bombs exploded.

The first explosion went off in the Old Market area, a popular tourist attraction in the Red Sea resort early Saturday. Other explosions followed in the Naama Bay, which features numerous hotels.

Sharm el-Sheik is a popular attraction for tourists from the Middle East and Europe."

Yea, keep hiding under your beds. When the terrorist come to your town, or your house you can tell them that you were against the war, the policies, against whatever you might want to tell them. But they wont care, they will kill you and your family, while chanting "God is greatest" and that is going to make it all right. Sure.

45 Dead and 200 Hurt in Egyptian Blasts

"CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - A series of explosions, including at least four car bombs, struck the Red Sea resort of Sham el-Sheik early Saturday, hitting several hotels packed with European and Egyptian tourists and killing at least 45 people in the deadliest attack in Egypt in nearly a decade.
As many as seven explosions in quick succession starting at 1:15 a.m. shook windows miles away. Smoke and fire rose from Naama Bay, a main strip of beach hotels in the desert city at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, also popular with Israeli tourists, witnesses said."
My Way

This is Egypt you dogs of hell

"Update: 85 people killed. I called someone I know who owns a shop in the Sharm market. He was in Cairo on his way to Sharm when his bus was ordered to return back to Cairo. He told me that he plans to shut down his shop in Sharm and return back to his hometown of Luxor. "Tourism is over in Sharm" he told me.
A friend of mine called me and told me that one of his friends was sitting in a cafe 50 meters away from one of the explosions. He told him that he saw pieces of body parts all over the place and burned bodies that looked like charcoale."-BP
"Terror hit the nerve of Egypt's tourism. The Sharm El Sheikh resort is literally the epicenter of the tourism industry. One of Egypt's most beautiful spots. The terrorists knew where to hit. They knew where it will hurt. Up till now we know that 4 car bombs killed 43 people. The explosions were in different places across the resort.

The attacks were very well organized and very sophisticated. We truly entered world war 3."
The Big Pharaoh
This is news to me. I did not know Egypt had been hit, Does anyone know more. I'm going to go look for some news stories, because this is all news to me.

The image behind the mirror

"...I would like very much to listen to this voice, and let him hear my voice. What I read in his blog is only the military point of view, which is not unbiased.

In my point of view, I consider This link and this link as the voice of truth.

Every body believes what seems to be truth to him."
Citizen of Mosul -Truth Teller from the comments)
True, but everyone does not get their own facts.

The Plot

"BAGHDAD—The Iraqi national psyche is a Janus-faced beast when it comes to belief. On the one hand, Iraqis on the street will believe the very last thing you tell them. No conspiracy theory is too outlandish not to find some traction among the population. In a fit of black humor the other day I joked with A., my office manager and Y., an interpreter for us, that the Kurds were obviously behind all the suicide bombings.

Why? Because they could use a civil war between Shi'a and Sunni to claim Kirkuk and draw a green line around their territory. No one gets in from south of this line. Bingo! Instant Kurdistan. Or, alternately, if the Arabs discover this fiendish plot and counter-attack, the Kurds can set down their green line and set their pesh merga to defend their territory. Either way, they get Kirkuk and a state. Game, set, match.

Now, I don't really believe this. But A. and Y., got into the “fun” of it, and said I should go tell a few people on the street my theory. “In two days, it will be on every front page in the country,” A. said. Y. protested that it wouldn't be true. Ah! I countered. It doesn't matter if it's true or not. It only matters if enough people believe it to be true.

Y. smiled. “Now you are thinking like an Iraqi,” he said.

And yet, tell an Iraqi that many of the problems of their country—lack of security, meddling by Iran, Shi'a-Sunni violence, Zarqawi—is a result of a cascading series of American blunders and incompetence, and they will refuse to believe it. “America put a man on the moon,” said a friend of A. as we puffed on a nargilah last night. “That America has f**ked up so much is very hard for us to accept.” "
Back to Iraq 3.0

London Bombs: Mistakes pave the way for mistakes

"The terrorists in London attacks indicated that they are not just few people hate to see the British involvement of Iraq war, but a well organized and strong groups.

First of all these attacks appeared very well organized at least in its timing and planning. As in our previous articles we said that the terrorist may attack again in London in few days to prove their strength and ability and they did so. Though the second attack resulted in no causalities, a case which was explained by the London experts as luck, but they created a lot of chaos and insecurity which will take long time. However the attacks may even get more organized as we saw that in Iraq.

In Iraq they first used no tactics then they started to use police cars and uniform, booby-trapped belts, ambulances, fire engines, and so on. The same tactic may be used in London or in any other city."

I saw Tube man shot - eyewitness

"A passenger has told how he saw armed police officers shoot a man dead on a Tube train at Stockwell.

Mark Whitby said: "I was sitting on the train... I heard a load of noise, people saying, 'Get out, get down'.

"I saw an Asian guy. He ran on to the train, he was hotly pursued by three plain clothes officers, one of them was wielding a black handgun.

"He half tripped... they pushed him to the floor and basically unloaded five shots into him," he told BBC News 24."
One down, but how many to go?

Kiwis in Iraq cut adrift

"Kiwis working in Iraq have been stripped of vital security protection in a move some fear is retribution for New Zealand's refusal to support the American-led war.

But the Government disputes it has been snubbed by the United States and will not intervene. It has repeated warnings that Kiwis should not be in Iraq and that those who go should expect little help if in trouble.

An estimated 1000 New Zealand civilians are helping to rebuild the war-torn nation, working in an extremely dangerous environment with suicide bombings, gunfights and kidnappings."

Blanket Response

"Thanks or all the responses. New rule as of today, back packs not even aloud hanging on you bike outside the T-barriers. Perfect. And although you all articulated your arguments well I must disagree with the idea that the no back pack rule is good. If I am in uniform and have a military ID that some one actually looks at seriously I should be able to walk in with a bag. What would stop me or anyone else from walking in with a grenade or four in my pockets or explosives taped to my skin. Ooooh, news flash, I walk in with a weapon and ammo all the time. The force protection argument is weak. Better searches and ID checking are the ansewer not forbidding me from walking in with an issued ALICE or CamelBack. Also, this is my journal and writing in it is my business. If I want to name names so be it. If you don't like what I write you don't have to read it. I wish you would because some people shed new light on a subject. But I willnot be intimidated and actually invite the chance that some Brigade dweeb might take offense."

Bike Woes

"Not too much to write about here lately. I messed up my bike this morning. I borrowed the tire pump to fill my front tire only to discover that I couldn't get the nozzle off the stem! Ended up ripping the stem right out of the tube. So now I get to grovel to Randy and see if he will fix my tire. He is kind of our local tinkerer and local bike scavanger. Seems to really enjoy keeping his hands in the grease. He picks up all the old bikes and makes new ones out of old ones. Even though I chose to buy a brand new one, I was planning on asking him to make some adjustments to my gears and maybe grease up the chain. The dust is so bad here that grease doesn't do its job very long before it's dried up and crumbling off the chain."
Dave's Not Here Man

Finally and Fully Back!

"Am I glad that's over!

No, not my time away, that could have gone on forever with Mrs. Dadmanly, Jilly Bean, Spud, and Little Manly. I'm glad the Odyssey of my return has finally ended.

It is a pleasant idea that the process of the Army sending Soldiers home on R&R (Leave) reflects an admirable expediency. Policies, processes, and the core mechanics of the task favor the departing Soldier and gaining him or her maximum advantage in reaching final destination (home, vacation spot, whatever). Less pleasant is that the gathering back in of returnees is anything but. Some of it is probably due to physics. (Not like aerodynamics, although there may be some quantum components in play, but I digress)."

I got out of the office

"(Updated) Yes it is my Birthday!

Okay I know it has been a couple days since posting anything, but as everybody knows I have work to do here. Iraq is not just all fun and blogging. I went to LSA Anaconda for a few days."
Assumption of Command
Happy Birthday

Don't write Iraq constitution without us - Sunnis

"BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Sunni Arabs boycotting the committee drafting Iraq's new constitution warned other members on Thursday not to push the document through without their support.

wSunni Arabs suspended participation in the constitution-drafting committee on Wednesday after a Sunni Arab committee member and two fellow-members of the Sunni Arab umbrella group Iraqi National Dialogue were shot dead.

The committee is the main vehicle the government and its U.S. backers had hoped would lure the restive Sunni minority into the political process and help defuse Iraq's insurgency.

Washington and Iraq's Shi'ite leaders have called on the Sunnis to remain engaged in the constitution-writing process despite the assassination."

What are you:

What are you: or better yet what did you think you were? Find out by taking the quiz.

By the way this is about politics...only politics.

Here is some info for you, so you’ll know the difference for now on…

Centrist – Just what it sounds like. Someone who doesn’t have any particularly strong ideological leanings in any direction.

Conservative – Specifically a “fusionist” conservative of the National Review - Heritage Foundation mold. Someone who believes in traditional morality and capitalism, and the need for a limited government to allow both to flourish.

Left-libertarian – The quiz uses a mild definition of a left-libertarian, an anti-statist who is somewhat fearful of corporate and religious influence on public life.

Liberal – Supports economic regulation to promote social justice and takes a progressive stance toward moral or cultural issues.

Libertarian – A libertarian opposes most or all government activites. Does not favor much or any government support for either moral or economic systems.

Neoconservative – A “neocon” is more inclined than other conservatives toward vigorous government in the service of the goals of traditional morality and pro-business policies. Tends to favor a very strong foreign policy of America as well.

Paleoconservative – “Paleocons” want less US involvement in foeign affairs than other conservatives and oppose mass immigration. They are also more favorably disposed toward the South and the idea of secession, or at least decentralization, than neoconservatives.

Paleo-libertarian – Similar to other libertarians except for oppostion to mass immigration, and shares the paleocon appreciation of the South.

Radical – Critical of bouregois morality and strongly opposed to capitalism and willing to use state power to achieve desired ends.

Third-way – More supportive of foreign intervention than liberals and less supportive of economic regulation, coupled with more-or-less progressive social views. “Third-way” is to liberal what neoconservative is to conservative

The site where I got that info has a quiz you can take:

Take the Quiz

Originaly posted by Jeff at Ladybird's

Well I just found out that I'm a "Third-Way".
What are you?
People want to know.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Reading Lolita In Basra

"Last summer, I read "Reading Lolita in Tehran." Like Vahal, I wished we would never live to hear of secret women's book clubs in Iraq.

I day or two later, I read in an article about the screening of female students before being allowed into the premises of the University of Basra. The female students complained about Al-Sadr militia and others who command those students to return home claiming their makeup or outfits are not conservative enough. Reading that report brought back my worries while reading Azar Nafisi's book."
Iraqi in America
I wonder if the terrorism and instability are helping to fuel, and conceal the Sadrist actions in the south. Hopefully once things settled down there will be more interest in the rest of the country in this topic

State Memo on Plame Stamped "Secret"

"Walter Pincus and Jim VandeHei have dug around and discovered that the State Department memo mentioning Valerie Plame (Wilson) as a CIA operative is itself stamped "Secret" and makes it clear she is undercover and that the cover should not be blown.

The memo was on Air Force One during a trip to Africa and may be the way that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby found out about Plame. That it says "Secret" on it singlehandedly gets rid of all kinds of false assertions of the Republican noise machine, that Plame's identity as an undercover operative was widely known, etc.

Rove and Libby later outed Plame to the press, hoping to discredit Wilson by doing so.

On the other hand, that Pincus and VandeHei have to go to so much trouble to prove that the identity of a CIA operative working on Weapons of Mass Destruction was secret and shouldn't have been blown by Rove is a tribute of sorts to Rove the master of spin and propaganda."
Juan Cole

Residents fleeing Tal Afar

"MOSUL, Iraq (CNN) -- As U.S. soldiers construct a wall around the troubled city of Tal Afar to keep out fighters and weapons, residents are fleeing in fear of an imminent military attack by American and Iraqi forces against insurgents still in the city, according to a senior military commander.

"It's not a mass exodus right now, but people have moved out of the city along kinship lines," Col. H.R. McMaster, commander of the Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry, which is responsible for security in Tal Afar, told CNN."
"We're expecting news from Iraq about my detained brother, our goal is asking the authorities to take him to court..."
Raed in the Middle

im posting again

"Total time I spent in surgery was about 9 hours start to finish. The only thing I remember was being wheeled from the prep area to the OR and asking them to take some pictures once they cracked me open. I mean how often do you really get to see your own spine through some media other then X-Ray?"
tsyw -beemkay
My link to "Paint It Black" now leads to this, I'm not really sure if this "Red" or not, or if someone has taken over his site's after he took them down, I'll be monitoring to try and figure it out, anyway whoever you are, Get well soon.

Another trial update.

"Half an hour ago, Al-Arabiya TV broadcasted a clip from the latest hearing session of the Iraqi special tribunal and this time the session dealt with another charge against Saddam; this time he was officially charged with forcing the "Faily" Kurds (the Shea't Kurds) out of the country and confiscating all their belongings.
The story is dated to 1980 after a Faily Kurd tried to assassinate Tariq Aziz and Saddam took revenge by forcing thousands of families to leave Iraq and confiscating their belongings and homes."
ITM -Mohammed
And this on the constitution
"The countdown for the constitution continues.
Many statements from Iraqi officials and parliament members suggest that the work on writing the draft of the constitution will be done by the end of this month and that the CDC (constitution drafting committee) will not need to ask for an extra 6 months.
At the same time work has begun on preparing the country for the general referendum and just like the January elections, the IECI will also be responsible for making the arrangements and coordinating the process that is planned for the 15th of October of this year."
ITM -Omar
The last post in the constituton series.

And this historical note:
"No "official religion" was mentioned in the constitution of Al-Medina.
Iraqi blogger Samir Hassan (Arabic) raised a very important point that apparently most Muslims had forgotten; it's the important fact that the in 1st constitution written for a dominantly Muslim society (and by no less than the prophet himself) there was no mention of Islam as the official religion of the state!...

...Full English version can be found here."
ITM -Omar

Group Offers Redrawn Map to Iraq Assembly

"KIRKUK, Iraq (AP) - Kurdish leaders have presented a redrawn map with a larger Kurdistan to the Iraqi National Assembly for consideration in the new constitution, a Kurdish party official said Thursday.

The map reflected long-standing Kurdish claims that stretches their territory south toward the capital of Baghdad - well beyond the boundaries of the current Kurdish autonomous area.

"The Kurdistan parliament and Kurdish parties have ratified and agreed on this map. We want this map to be part of the constitution," said Mullah Bakhtiyar, a senior official with the Kurdish Democratic Party, one of the two main Kurdish political parties."
My Way

Breaking news

The radio is reporting an incident in the London Underground, some smoke, some people might have heard an explosion but nothing concrete, and an incident on a bus, but there is noting confirmed yet.
The tube is reported closed down, all trains are closed pending further investigation

3 London Underground Stations Evacuated

I'm hearing that it was a nail bomb on the bus... and that there was a bomb on the train, but only the detonator exploded.. all information is coming from the radio.. all unconfirmed

Armed police are searching a hospital, damn I missed the name. University college hospital.. just got the name
There is a report that a suspect threw a backpack into a train and them stepped out of the train just as the doors closed, then people heard a small explosion, like Champaign cork popping... on the surface this sounds like a copycat prank.. but who knows, they are now checking for any signs of chemicals or biologicals.. one person said injured.... Stay tuned


"Wed Jul 20 2005 20:20:53 ET

Terror investigators hunting the London bombing mastermind are to question a suspected Al Qaeda planner held in Pakistan.

British-born Haroon Rashid Aswad was seized at a religious school with a suicide bomb belt, explosives and GBP 13,000 in cash.

Security sources in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, claim he had up to 20 telephone conversations with London bombers Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer. One of these is believed to have been just hours before the blasts.

The UK's DAILY MAIL reports on Thursday: Security sources say he trained at an Afghan camp which was visited by Osama Bin Laden and that he is linked to two of Bin Laden's planners and an Al Qaeda suspect held in America.

U.S. investigators have been told that Aswad attended the Khalden camp in Afghanistan, favoured by foreign terror trainees. British shoe bomber Richard Reid is among those who attended the camp and it has been reported that London bomber Khan also went there.

Drudge Report

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


"We were on a patrol in Tal Afar when this specialist asked me if I ever heard of VigRX. From the sounds of it, I assumed it was a creatine or some kind of supplement. In Iraq, guys were always taking muscle pills or protein shakes with the dream of being more muscular or cut for their girls when they returned home"
In Iraq for 365
and this, not sure how it got by me
Women in the military

"Women serve a vital role in our Army. And recently there have been talks about banning women from combat situations. Currently, women are not allowed to join combat occupations, such as infantry, artillery and cavalry. But as seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, all military jobs see a fair share of combat. As a result, there have been several women killed in action. Now, some legislators want to restrict women from joining MOS’s that they’re traditionally allowed to join because of the occupation’s potential risk. The jobs include but are not limited to combat camera, military police and civil affairs."
In Iraq for 365

27 Iraqis Killed Members of Constitution Committee Assassinated

"Guerrillas sprayed a car transporting Sunni Arab members of the constitution-writing committee with gunfire on Tuesday killing all three. They were Shaikh Mujbil al-Shaikh Isa, Aziz Ibrahim, and Dhamin Husain `Ilaiwi al-Ubaidi. Al-Hayat says one of them was a prominent member of the Sunni Dialogue Council, which has committed to participation in civil politics in Iraq. It reports Sunnis darkly hinting that there is a conspiracy to kill off prominent Sunni Arabs (they are hinting that the Shiite government might have been behind it). Borzou Daragahi reports that the National Dialogue Council is now pulling out of involvement with drafting the constitution and is openly accusing the Jaafari government of having killed the three committee members. Al-Hayat says that some parliamentarians complained that the Sunnis on the drafting committee are not being given proper security because they are not themselves MPs. The guerrilla movement had earlier threatened to kill Sunnis who joined the committee, as collaborators with a foreign occupation."
Juan Cole
You forgot to blame the Americans, or the Jews, what's up with that?