Don't ask me, I was looking at the pictures, and I just had to have this. Reminds me of the hamster magic movie I made when I was a kid.
aka This Fucking "Overseas Contingency Operation"
"This is the Army, son. Your opinion doesn't matter. - Roger. Acknowledged. I'd figure I'd proffer it, just in case."
...Famous last words of a Milblog.
"I quess those pictures get acceptance by most of my reader. A friend of mine, (An American friend), send me more pictures but this time the crowd is of thousands of protesters.
Here are some of the new pictures."
A Citizen of Mosul
"This several acre pond surrounded by reeds is a focus of bird activity on base.
I found that another birder has made it to Anaconda. His main interest is reptiles but he's looking out for the other critters too. His work area is near the other large pond on post. He's got a few photos on his blog of black-winged stilts. I'm looking forward to hearing about his observations."
"I think the worst part of the Army Awards System is the fact that anyone can put anyone in for an award. In Iraq we all received a "blanket" commendation with the same citation. I was put in for 2 ARCOMs one with "V" and both were kicked back. Most of us in Iraq were turned down for at least one real decoration for actions in combat. The sad part is that this week we had a battalion awards ceremony and about 120 awards were given out. About one third were ARCOMs and for all but about 10 achievement medals were given out."
Candle in the Dark
"Today, Mohammed and I had the privilege to be invited to attend a conference organized by a group of civil society organizations to announce the launch of a new community under the name “Ahd Al-Iraq” or (the oath of Iraq).Leave it to the Iraqis to accept a constitution that now has to be amended. They seem to be on the right track, but now, after ratification, they are on a up hill battle with the religious authority and the US administration, that will not back your amendments. Good luck and all that, but your best chance to get a good constitution was last constitutional referendum. I hate to tell you this, but your up the creek without your prayer rug. Then again maybe the struggle will strengthen the movement in the future, you know 25-50 years down the road.
The basic theme of the community is to take a promise from politicians, civil society activists and MPs (current or running for office) to preserve and protect the rights and freedoms every Iraqi citizen is supposed to enjoy under the new constitution and under the internationally recognized conventions and laws and to work to introduce amendments in the constitution whenever believed necessary for the protection of these rights and freedoms.
The founders of the community named five main points in the constitution that require urgent reconsideration:"
"Libby and American Political Justice
Like many other people, I was closely following the ‘Plamegate’ affair in America: the investigation, the indictment, the spinning, the speculation… and the anticipation.
It is only natural. Libby and the likes of him have devastated my already ruined country. Anything that exposes these people for what they are must bring some gratification.
"MOSUL (Reuters) - Angry Sunni Arabs protesting the removal of a top police official have threatened to topple the provincial government of Nineveh as sectarian tensions flare in the volatile northern Iraqi province.They better learn to take it to the ballot box, and they better learn that quick. Or at least they better learn how to channel this anger towards the political and not the social values of the city, or it could burn.
Several hundred armed protesters, chanting slogans against what they say is Kurdish domination of Nineveh's regional administration, besieged government offices in the provincial capital of Mosul late on Saturday and were kept from overrunning the building by U.S. troops, local officials said on Sunday.
Sunni Arab groups in Nineveh, which has a mixed population of Arabs, Kurds and other ethnic groups, had demanded the reinstatement of Arab provincial police chief Ahmed Mohammed al-Jibouri, who was sacked following allegations of corruption."
"Oh God.Dear god, what can I say. I wonder if people still need proof that they're bad guys out there, waiting for their chance to get you. Hide under your bed if you like, maybe they'll miss you when they come by.
They were 16 years old. 16. Beheaded. Just like that. Jihad. Killing the christian infidels. Girls? Even better. Sisters of the Devils. Bonus Points for doing this during Ramadan. Praise Allah.
When will it end? WHEN WILL IT FUCKIN END?
Update: There are pictures of those 3 girls. I wouldn't recommend looking, but here they are. Try to withhold your rage and disgust, cause I couldn't!"
"The US government had "no comprehensive policy or regulatory guidelines" in place for staffing the management of postwar Iraq, according to the top government watchdog overseeing the country's reconstruction.So what's new?
The lack of planning had plagued reconstruction since the US-led invasion, and been exacerbated by a "general lack of co-ordination" between US government agencies charged with the rebuilding of Iraq, said Stuart Bowen, the special inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction, in a report released on Sunday."
"The United States military has for the first time admitted that it is keeping records of Iraqi deaths as it disclosed that it estimates 26,000 to have been killed or injured by insurgents since January last year.We knew this, cb told us as much way back when. It's always been why I believe he was shut down. Maybe now that the book is out, and who knows if it's selling, that they figured hiding the facts just would not do.
The data, released without fanfare in a report compiled by the Pentagon for the US Congress, says casualties, which include Iraqi police and soldiers as well as civilians, have risen from about 26 a day on last Jan 1 to 64 a day in the run-up to this month's constitutional referendum.
Attacks by insurgents have also tripled from just under 200 a week at the start of 2004 to more than 650 now."
"BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Having rid itself of Syrian occupying forces with a show of people power, Lebanon is now deploying its army to cut off Syrian support for its proxy - a Palestinian group behind some of the worst attacks against Israel over the years.Times, they are changing.
To many Arabs, the outfit that goes by the name of PFLP-GC, for Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, is Syria's tool in its shadowy war against its enemies. It is on the U.S. State Department's terrorist list and has lately been accused of involvement in the February assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri - the event that ended up forcing the Syrians to pull out of Lebanon.
Lebanese troops and armor have surrounded some of the PFLP-GC's bases in the rugged mountains along the Syrian border. The government has said it will not use force, but wants to stop weapons and reinforcements coming in from Syria which it fears will be used to stir up trouble."
"Hello and THANK GOD WE ARE ALL OK in Boca Raton!!And check out the pictures of what Wilma did to Cuba here, here, here, Thanks Charlie for some great pictures.
Just got our power restored after almost 6 days...not too bad considering the devastation that bitch Wilma has caused in Palm Beach County....Whatever you see in the news, not always the truth, so here is my version:
Monday Wilma came by around 6 am....we were told by our weather reporters that by the time Wilma came to our area after hitting the West Coast of Fla it would be a hard tropical storm.... most people in Palm Beach County did not prepare for a CATEGORY 3 HURRICANE!!!!"
"DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Saddam Hussein accepted an 11th-hour offer to flee into exile weeks ahead of the U.S.-led 2003 invasion, but Arab League officials scuttled the proposal, officials in this Gulf state claimed.Weird news
The exile initiative was spearheaded by the late president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, at an emergency Arab summit held in Egypt in February 2003, Sheik Zayed's son said in an interview aired by Al-Arabiya TV during a documentary. The U.S.-led coalition invaded on March 19 that year."
Rather, Hurricane force “Winds of Change”; that is what we are experiencing. Do you realize the significance of the results of the constitution referendum? To start with you have the percentages and figures. Of registered voters about 63% turned out to vote. Of these voters 78% voted "Yes" and 22% voted "No". Most of those who voted No were Sunnis. Some of the Sunnis have voted in favor, especially in Mosul. Therefore the percentages really reflect the percentage of Sunnis in Iraq. It is interesting that in Baghdad, roughly the same proportions of Yes & No’s as the overall figures, which goes to show that Baghdad has a sectarian mix almost representative of the whole country."
"My response to this survey is simply that it cannot be accurate. And why believe this kind of poll when you have the results of the referendum and elections to go by.
A simple fact: Regardless of what you think of the new constitution and regardless of what those voting in the referendum think concerning this document, it is a fact that each person voting is opting for the political process rather than any form of violent action"
"The following are percentages (%) of Yes and No results of votes for the constitution announced today by the High Electoral Authority"Wow 99.11%
"BAGHDAD, Oct 22 (Reuters) - The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq said on Saturday it had found no instances of serious fraud in an Oct. 15 constitutional referendum and was still verifying some results only because of statistical issues."Those people don't get out much, do they. What a joke.
"I decided, three years ago, to boycott the referendum. As day was moving toward sunset time, my nervousness increased. I kept on thinking about the kinds of problems would be caused to me & my family by the baathists on boycotting. I recall that I felt uneasy and, frankly speaking, terrified. I was sure, and the whole Iraqis, that the result to be announced was 100%. So, boycotting wouldn't make difference but harming oneself. As we were approaching the referendum deadline, I asked my brother to go to the polling place & vote for the family."
"As if the state of religious harmony wasn't already in shambels in Alexandria thanks to last week's attack and siege of a church by angry muslims duped by local MB parliamentary candidate, it seems that the situation won't get better anytime soon: The Mujahedeen of Egypt have issued a statement threatening the "cross-worshippers of Egypt" (Hattip Ritzy), and now a young man stabbed a nun and another man in a church in Alexandria while shouting "Allahu Akabar". While the young man was later arrested by the police and while the injuries sustained by the nun and the man were not dangerous, this incident is clearly disturbing, especially given the timing. It may be too early to call it, but there may be a resurrection of secterian violence in Egypt between christians and muslims once again."
"On the 19th this month, the trial of Saddam Hussein (Former Iraqi president, or الرئيس العراقي المخلوووع) began. An interesting timing, a try to distract Iraqis from the referendum results. Which were supposed to be announced after 5 days of the referendum, if no serious problems occured!!
Anyway, I was chatting with a friend from Canada yesterday, talked about the trial since he didn't have the chance to see it live himself.. Well, he thought he hasn't missed much, but he did, you too if you haven't seen it!"
A Star from Mosul
"I aint sure if this blog will get published or not since I have written quite a few in the past few weeks and whenever I hit that Publish button everything goes down the drains, and that just peeved me off. Anyways, Constitution Day was on Saturday and I VOTED, YAAAAAAAAAY. I didnt think I would be allowed to vote since I havent registered but hey I aint complaining. We went as a group from work, at first we thought we could cast our votes in the convention center in the GZ, but as we got in line, a guy came up to us and asked whether we were members of the National Assembly. We shook our heads, and said no, so apparantely the place was just for VIP's but after 3pm regular people could go in. We decided that it was far much of a hassle to wait and decided to go and vote in one of the schools that was a voting center."The more I read about that referendum, the more I dislike it. What a disservice to those who paved the way.
Neurotic Iraqi Wife
"The death of the interior Minister of Syria who was the main Syrian figure directly involved in Lebanon for long time is of no doubt related to the ongoing investigations about the Syrian role in the death of Rafiq Hariri.
Irrespective of whether the death was by suicide or some one kills him the investigations of Haririâ€™s death should be extended to include the death of the Syrian Interior Minister."
"A United Nations investigation headed by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis has identified political and military leaders as suspects in the Hariri assassination, Western diplomatic sources said .
The report, relayed on Thursday to UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, determined that leading Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officers lied to UN investigators and could be subject to prosecution.
"The UN could end up declaring leading members of the Syrian and Lebanese governments as criminals sought for prosecution," a diplomat said."
'14 July 2004
Today while wasting my usual 4 hours at the Hajji internet I was loading a blog entry about what goes on here and with perfect timing a mortar round went off near the gym. You can always tell who has really been in the shit and who is playing war. Not one single 1-23 guy ran while the reserve engineers all ran for the bunkers. The good part was it freed up some computers for the 1-23 guys waiting"
Candle in the Dark
"Most of you have probably already seen this Time article on the guy who supplies and trains murder-suicide bombers.
When his 9 year-old-son asked him the question that I've chosen for the title, he says "I didn't know what to say."
His brother and sister have approached him about becoming human bombs as well. He gave them "basic training", but talked them out of it. For his son?"
IBC -CMAR II
"One of the world's foremost fighters against terrorism, French judge Jean Louis Bruguiere, says that Iraq has become virtual manufacturing plant for Muslim terrorists in Europe. Young Muslims go off to fight there, and return with the skills to do damage in Europe itself. Seems like the flypaper has lost its stickum."Or more evidence that the policy has changed.
"The evidence prosecutors have assembled in the CIA leak case suggests Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff sought out reporters in the weeks before an undercover operative's identity was compromised in the news media, casting doubt on one of the White House's main lines of defense.Which trial do you think would get more ratings world wide, Dick Cheney's or saddam's?
For months, the White House and its supporters have argued top presidential aides did not knowingly expose Valerie Plame, the wife of administration critic Joseph Wilson, as a CIA operative.
At most, the aides passed on information about her that entered the White House from reporters, the supporters argued.
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald now knows that Libby met three times with a New York Times reporter before the leak of Plame's identity, initiated a call to NBC's Tim Russert and was a confirming source about Wilson's wife for a Time magazine reporter."
"That's my take on the latest Bush Administration push to evict all illegal immigrants, "without exception."Like there are any other wing's in the party, if they're out there they must be under rocks.
That's the same sort of "zero-tolerance" thinking that has made drooling morons out of school administrators across the country....
...xenophobe wing of the Republican party."
"The hot topic in Baghdad today is Saddam’s trial and one can easily see opinions divided about it; some see that it is a true victory for justice while others think the trial was seriously weak and in my opinion this is not unexpected from a people living the transition from a totalitarian regime to a state of law and institutions thus why some (or actually many) still think that the trial has to be repressive so they didn’t like the calm behavior of the judge especially when he addressed Saddam using the word “Mr”."This is a great post. Way to go Mo.
"A jab at the former dictator? Does that mean we should destroy Babylon because Saddam compared himself to Nebuchanezzar, King of Babylon? This isn't helping anybody except the outside groups that wants to see Iraq sink in its misery."Maybe it's a calling card from our friends the wahabies.
Iraqi in America
Hearty greetings to all my friends – actually I have been away for a few days. Guess where? To the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia! That was to perform Al Umra, a religious tradition which is less demanding than Hajj, which I had been fortunate enough to perform a couple of years back, Wa Alhamdu lillah (Praise be to God). It is quite an interesting subject, as a ritual, which I might talk to you about sometime."
"Last night a grain of hot metal tumbled through the air, a swift manmade meteor crashing through the heavens. The statistical chances of this solitary round impacting one the scattered buildings was negligible, and the chances of it actually injuring someone were almost infinitesimal. But in stark defiance to all known laws of probability, this small sliver of dead steel plummeted downward, downward, downward… until its path intersected a house. And then it continued on, tunneling its way into a little girl sitting down for the celebration of Ishtar. The round smashed into the girls head, its sheer velocity driving it on a merciless path through her neck and into her chest. Left alone she would have died in less than five minutes, her death throes painting the kitchen with bright spatters of arterial blood."
365 and a Wakeup
"The Iraq war is coming home, with more than one of every four returning vets complaining of mental or physical wounds caused by the conflict. The first time the U.S. went to war with Iraq, in 1991, ground combat lasted precisely 100 hours, but its impact on the U.S. troops who waged it, including physical and mental scars, was ignored and belittled by the Pentagon hierarchy for years. This time, with the war going much worse for U.S. forces, the Pentagon is paying much closer attention to the invisible wounds combat is leaving on soldiers."
"Madrid, 19 Oct. (AKI) - The Madrid chief prosecuto'rs office has issued arrest warrants for three American soldiers, accused of the murder of Jose Couso, a Spanish television cameraman, in Iraq. Couso was killed, along with Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk, as they were filming from the balcony of their 15th-storey room in the Hotel Palestine. Their room in the hotel, where many journalists were staying, was hit by a shell from a US armoured vehicle in April 2003. A Pentagon probe later concluded that the US-led forces bore "no fault or negligence" when they fired at the building.I wonder if they have indicted at terrorist while they were at it. Somehow there are all these rule out there that only tend to apply to us. Or how about castro and every member of his regime? When can we expect to see an indictment and arrest.
After an inquiry lasting more than a year, Santiago Pedraz, a Spanish High Court judge, has concluded that the three US soldiers; Lieutenant Colonel Philip de Camp, Sergeant Thomas Gibson and Lieutenant Philip Wolford, were responsible for the deaths of the two cameramen. Washington in June rejected a request to question the three men."
"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Silver-haired and seemingly patient, the judge presiding over Saddam Hussein's trial is a longtime Kurdish lawyer and judge who has worked under both Saddam's regime and under his own people's self-rule.
Rizgar Mohammed Amin, 47, the top judge of a five-judge tribunal overseeing the Saddam case, is from the town of Sulaimaniyah, about 160 miles north of Baghdad. He was asked about a year ago by Kurdish government officials to participate in the Iraqi Special Tribunal, local officials said.
It was unclear if Amin's Kurdish background played any role in his selection as presiding judge. But it is sure to hold symbolic power, because Kurds and Shiites were the two main groups that Saddam oppressed. The case Amin will oversee concerns Shiite victims of a 1982 massacre."
"While Baghdad’s streets were nearly empty, most Iraqis were glued to the TV and I bet many Arabs were as well.
Our place was full of full of friends today as we decided we would watch the trial together just like we lived what led to this day together; the first thing we noticed was that electricity was much better today and I don’t know if that was an exceptions made to allow more people to watch the awaited show but anyway we already prepared for outages and stored enough fuel for the generator."
"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq's former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and other secular leaders announced a new coalition Monday they said unites moderate Sunnis, Shiites and other political groups to run in December's parliamentary elections.
The coalition appeared to be aimed at striking a middle ground in Iraq's sharply divided political scene, where parties have been strictly defined on sectarian lines, including the Shiite and Kurdish groups that now dominate the government.
"This conference is a major attempt to create a political bloc able to bring unity to this country and intent on saving the people from sectarian strife," said Mahdi al-Hafidh, a former planning minister.
It also could be a vehicle for Allawi to try to return himself to a position of influence. With strong U.S. backing, the secular Shiite was named prime minister of an interim government put in place after American administrators returned sovereignty to Iraq in June 2004.
Allawi and his allies were swept out of power in January parliament elections - the first national vote since Saddam Hussein's fall in April 2003. Clerical-backed Shiite parties won a majority in parliament and kept Allawi out of their coalition with the Kurds."
"I don't think I've mentioned anywhere before that I was once bitten by a radioactive unrealist rejectionist (he ate some depleted geraniums). This has provided me with uncanny, superhuman powers to predict when a rejectionist is about to say something stupid. I call it Riverbend-sense. I began predicting to friends about a month ago, that if the Constitution seemed likely to pass* those who were hoping it would not pass--"
IBC -CMAR II
"Initial results from Iraq's constitutional referendum, as reported by election officials in each province. The figures are from the first tallies done by each province's counting centers, which must be sent to Baghdad for another check and compilation. The final official figures, likely to be announced no sooner than Wednesday, may differ.
The names of each province is followed by its capital in parentheses. No information was available from Baghdad province; the northern Kurdish provinces of Dahuk, and Irbil; and the central province of Salahuddin.
In some cases, elections officials gave only rounded figures.
Figures only from the area of the city of Fallujah. Turnout in other parts of Anbar province believed to be minimal, and results not known.
- Yes: 3 percent.
- No: 97 percent.
- Votes counted: All 100,000 votes from Fallujah counted. (Turnout of 77 percent in Fallujah. )
- Yes: 280,000 (70 percent)
- No: 80,000 (20 percent)
- Disqualified votes: 40,000 (10 percent)
- Votes counted: All 400,000 votes counted. (57 percent turnout)
- Yes: 326,774, (78 percent)
- No: 90,065, (21 percent)
- Disqualified votes: 2,965 (less than 1 percent)
- Votes counted: 419,804 votes, from 475 of the 500 polling stations counted so far. (Turnout percentage unknown.)
- Yes: 341,611 (63 percent)
- No: 195,725 (36 percent)
- Disqualified votes: 5,420 (1 percent)
- Votes counted: All 542,000 votes counted. (78 percent turnout).
SULAIMANIYAH PROVINCE (Sulaimaniyah)
- Yes: 676,451 (98 percent)
- No: 6,903 (1 percent)
- Disqualified votes: 6,903 (1 percent)
- Votes counted: All 690,257 votes counted. (72 percent turnout).
- Yes: 720,000. (98 percent)
- No: 18,000. (2 percent)
- Votes counted: All 738,000 votes counted. (Nearly 100 percent turnout).
- Yes: 640,200. (97 percent)
- No: 19,800. (3 percent)
- Votes counted: All 660,000 votes counted. (64 percent turnout).
DHI QAR (Nasiriyah)
- Yes: 415,000 (90 percent)
- No: 46,000 (10 percent)
- All 461,000 votes counted. (54 percent turnout)
- Yes: 417,715 (95 percent).
- No: 21,985 (5 percent).
- Votes counted: All 439,700 votes counted. (60 percent turnout.)
- Yes: 236,466. (90 percent).
- No: 26,274 (10 percent).
- Votes counted: All 262,740 (58 percent turnout).
- Yes: 494,950. (95 percent)
- No: 26,050. (5 percent)
- All 521,000 votes counted.(54 percent turnout).
Four southern provinces where only the turnout was known, as reported by Carina Perelli, the U.N. elections chief:
MUTHANNA (Samawah): 58 percent turnout
MAYSAN (Amarah): 57 percent turnout
QADISIYAH Diwaniyah): 56 percent turnout."
"BAGHDAD, Iraq Oct 17, 2005 — Election workers will audit results showing unexpected ratios of "yes" to "no" votes from some parts of Iraq in the country's landmark referendum on the draft constitution, officials said Monday.
The U.S. military said, meanwhile, that its warplanes and helicopters bombed two western villages Sunday, killing an estimated 70 militants near a site where five American soldiers died in a roadside blast. Residents said at least 39 of the dead were civilians.
Word of the unexpected results came as Sunni Arab lawmaker Meshaan al-Jubouri claimed fraud had occurred in Saturday's election including instances of voting in hotly contested regions by pro-constitution Shiites from other areas repeating earlier comments made by other Sunni officials over the weekend."
"Truth Teller from A Family from Mosul has been posting recently some articles about the validity of Saddam ordering the bombing of Halapja. News stories blaming the Iranian government for the gassing of Kurds is nothing new, but they seem to resurface over and over. Truth Teller has posted two stories in the past few days, here and here, and of course my favorite entitled No Proof Saddam Gassed the Kurds. Rather than paraphrases each post, please read what he wrote (which is mostly articles written by other people) and let me know what you think."
"An hour ago, dad came back from the mosque and said that the voting center is open. I went upstairs, changed my clothes, prayed and came down to go out with the family.That sounds like voter fraud to me? It's supposed to be one person one vote.
We went out to vote.. I and HNK are under the legal age, but we went out all together. The neighbors were out, waiting in the streets, men and women.
"They say a bus will come and pick us up to the voting center" said a neighbor.. And so we waited.. Few minutes later, the bus came and we all went up. It wasn't enough and so each 3 sat on 2 seats....
...After about half an hour, and with the help of our neighbor who has already voted, we knew we can vote. Our turn came, mom went in with us, she voted for herself and dad (Who was waiting outside for his turn, but since mom had his ID card, she could vote for him).. They even gave us 3 voting cards, by mistake, but we returned the third."
A Star from Mosul
"I have been thinking that we have a very good chance to vote the constitution out, since all what we need is two thirds of the voters in three cities only, perfect! Anbar, Mosul and Salahiddeen will do the work for sure, that's all what we need, three cities! too easy, too do-able, almost guaranteed results already...go people, go my friends, go my brothers..vote NO to the constitution...do this effort for your own country and your own future...
we have a very good chance! i was thinking.
and then it hit me like a vase on the back of my head: WAIT A MINUTE.
why did "they" make it so easy? why why why why?? they know that it will be rejected for sure with this kind of rules!"
Tell me a Secret
"well, I have not being following the referendum on the UNKNOWN constitution, but I have this very funny bit of news which I wanted to share, but I just thought I should write something as it is not very nice for KBU to be so quiet while the whole world's eye is on the Kurdish participation in the Referendum!
well quoting zaman.com.tr , the Islamic Racist Turkish newspaper's online version in this article says: "
"Even before the official result of the ballot count is due to be announced, it seams quite clear that the outcome of this constitutional referendum has been preordained to be an unequivocal yes by the majority of Iraqis except of course those areas where the Arab Sunni population so overwhelmingly outnumber any other sect that any suggestion of a ‘Yes’ vote would be so absurd as to be laughable.
It seams that the current Kurdish / Shia’t government, backed by the US administration, have managed to achieve a substantial coup in convincing the world that they have run an honest and legitimate vote count in order to pass this draft constitution. The fact that the average Iraqi is mind boggled by the 70+% ‘Yes’ acceptance in majority held Sunni Dyala and Niniveh provinces is considered neither here or there to the Iraqi government or the American administration."
"what is that silly constitution? what AlJa'fari is doing in Iraq, he is driving it to hell..And what looks like some more bad news
He is the one who's starting the civil war..
of course all of you are happy with the voting thing, but wait what will happen in the coming months.
Obviously the Sunnis do not want this constitution..."
Iraq at a Glance
My friend's father has been killed in Baghdad last week, a bullet in the head, he was in his car when an American soldier shot him."
Iraq at a Glance
"Over all how nice it is to be free and votes then calculate like the other civilized nations and not 99.999% yes for one person or one family under the barbaric dictatorship regimes."I think this says it all. Congratulation to the Iraqi people on what looks like a successful referendum.
"I've returned to Iraq.
People ask how journalists get embedded. This seems a fair moment for synopsis of some firsthand experience.
The process begins with an application to the Combined Press Information Center (CPIC). This is simple to complete with emails. If a journalist works for a credible media organization, and can pass some kind of background check—quick and transparent—in all likelihood, CPIC will instruct the applicant to fly to Kuwait.
My second application for an embed was recently declined, a process from which I learned that simple is not always straightforward. For me, one of the sharp turns came just before the intersection of independence and affiliation. Although the guidelines for embedding with the military stipulated an affiliation with a media organization, I was previously embedded, for more than eight months, as a completely independent writer.
For some reason, this time my independent status caught up on a snag and seized the embed machinery. Some have speculated that dispatches like "Proximity Delays" might have brought deliberate, even disgruntled, scrutiny to my work, but whether or not there's merit to that claim does not alter that I did not have a formal affiliation with any media organization."
"HADITHA, Iraq - U.S. Marines hurriedly finished last-minute fortifications to protect voters in Iraq's referendum, but one tribal sheik in this Sunni Arab city wondered why they bothered: His tribesmen will vote as he tells them anyway. In fact, he offered to just vote on behalf of all 500 of them.
Tribes throughout this area are the critical, unknown factor in Saturday's landmark vote on a new constitution. They could tilt the electorate toward or against the draft charter that many in this Sunni Arab area oppose. Few know the exact strength of tribes here in western Iraq or how they will urge their tribesmen to vote.
Some in the military believe the tribes have filled the void left after the fall of Saddam Hussein and are capable of going to the polls in a synchronized vote.
"The decision to vote will be a tribally sanctioned decision," said Col. Stephen W. Davis, who commands Marine operations in western Anbar province. "The sheiks will decide what's good for their people."
Others contend that tribal influence had been waning throughout the country for years, noting that senior members of the Dulaimi tribe, the largest tribe in the province, and other tribes have fled to London or neighboring Jordan.
Some sheiks are nonetheless confident in their clout.
"All my tribe is going to vote," said Sheik Mohammed Abd al-Jaleel, who says he oversees 500 tribesmen in Haditha. "If you bring me a place for them, I will have all of them there."
Better yet, he suggested, "I can vote for all of them.""
The Mercury News
"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Insurgents sabotaged power lines Friday, plunging the Iraqi capital into darkness and cutting off water supplies on the eve of a landmark vote on a constitution that would define democracy in Iraq.
The charter - hammered out after months of bitter negotiations - is supported by a Shiite-Kurdish majority but has split Sunni Arab ranks after last-minute amendments designed to win support among the disaffected minority.
In Friday sermons across the nation, the message from Shiite pulpits was an unequivocal "yes," but it was not so clear-cut in Sunni Arab mosques - varying from "yes,""no" and "vote your conscience.""
"Only hours separate us from a major historic day for our nation (too many historic days for Iraq in these two years!). Tomorrow will draw a line that would mark the beginning of a new era in Iraq; a constitutional Iraq will become reality.
It’s only a beginning since there will be more steps to go but it’s the right beginning because it’s a transition from temporary laws to a permanent-though amendable-constitution on which the people will assume control through their elected representatives and through their own direct votes."
"Tomorrow is suppose to be the big day (referendum day)…
I can't made up my mind about………….. what shall I do?
What shall I choose ?...am I be safe?"
"Today, I bring to you an interview with an Iraqi/International journalist . He's known to you as Iraqi blogger, Treasure of Baghdad. I hope you enjoy it.
Q: What made you decide to become a journalist?
A: Since I was a child I used to participate in school activities of writing articles and stories. In 1993, I established my own newspaper in my high school, Baghdad College, but it was forbidden by the schoolmaster as he was afraid of Saddam discovering there are students writing articles and expressing their opinions freely. Since then, I stopped writing but kept on reading newspapers in English and Arabic. Until, I worked as a translator first with a newspaper in 2003, after I got my B.A. in English Literature. This made me improve my English and start writing and reporting."
Iraqi in America
"We should free our selves from us ,to live in peace ,& to rebuilt our country. Many of our functionaries don’t do their jobs in dedication, as teachers, doctors , industrial workers ,engineers etc. Every citizen should be loyal & honest .
Every one of us experienced a bad behavior of some functionaries, when we need some papers to be done ,for example ,or when we have a patient in hospital, or when we have children in schools, or as a student in the university. WHY?"
"This has been my first experience witnessing the birth of an author. The experience is all the more compelling, knowing I have witnessed the metamorphosis of a talent unleashed during the chaos of the war in Iraq.
I first stumbled on CB’s blog, “MY WAR”, in the last days of August 2004, I don’t recall how, when he had already published the infamous post “MEN IN BLACK”. This post was his account of the surreal, chilling, mind-numbing events he participated in, while being ambushed, by who else, as many as 100 foreign fighters, all dressed in black. This was in the city of Mosul on 04 August 04."
"...The Egyptian government should realize that their biggest threat isn't the US presence in Iraq and the US pressure to democratize the region, but rather it's the islamist extreemist organizations who want to overthrow it by force and establish a theocracy in egypt. They should relaize that anything that would make the "Al Qaeda crowd" more popular with the public, like this article, shouldn't be allowed on the press, let alone the state-owned newspapers. It's not in their best interest to continue to do that, and it will surely bite them in the ass afterwards. Too bad that means it will bite us all in the ass as well. Morons."
"You could just feel how badly the media wanted to believe the President's videoconference with 10 U.S. soldiers was "staged." And dammit, if the media wanted it to be staged, then staged it will be."
"Suleimani (TheKurdistani.com) 14/10/2005 - A high number of professional Kurds would not participate in tomorrow's Iraqi constitution draft referendum, according to TheKurdistani.com reporter in Suleimani, in south [Iraqi] Kurdistan.All of a sudden I feel guilty, I've had the silly thing posted here from day one...And the people that really needed a copy cant seem to find one. But if your unsure what the damn thing says then go vote, vote fucken NO, it's a lot better than not voting at all and not telling the MAN that you did not have time to read and understand the thing. Vote NO.
TheKurdistani.com managed to obtain a paperback-copy of the Kurdish draft of the Iraqi constitution, in which only 200 000 out of 1 Million were delivered to Kurdistan. The 63 pages document is a translation of the Arabic version of the current constitution draft which will be put to be voted on tomorrow in a popular referendum throughout Iraq and Kurdistan. The document which was supposed to be distributed with the monthly food ratio in September, is very hard to obtain in a large city like Suleimani. TheKurdistani.com had to contact a few high ranking members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in order to get a copy of the Kurdish version of the constitution. Many ordinary citizens have not yet seen the document which they are going to vote on tomorrow."
"Baroness Thatcher has criticised Tony Blair for taking Britain to war in Iraq on the basis of flawed evidence about Saddam Hussein's weapons. The former prime minister's embarrassing criticism emerged as Mr Blair was among the 670 guests who attended a party to mark her 80th birthday.
Although Lady Thatcher remains a strong supporter of the decision to topple Saddam by invading Iraq, it is the first time she has questioned the basis for the war. Yesterday's Washington Post reported that when asked whether she would have invaded Iraq given the intelligence at the time, Lady Thatcher replied: "I was a scientist before I was a politician. And as a scientist I know you need facts, evidence and proof - and then you check, recheck and check again.""
"It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.From Drudge
"This is an important time," Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, said, coaching the soldiers before Bush arrived. "The president is looking forward to having just a conversation with you."
Barber said the president was interested in three topics: the overall security situation in Iraq, security preparations for the weekend vote and efforts to train Iraqi troops.
As she spoke in Washington, a live shot of 10 soldiers from the Army's 42nd Infantry Division and one Iraqi soldier was beamed into the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from Tikrit _ the birthplace of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
"I'm going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me," Barber said.
A brief rehearsal ensued. "
HADITHA, Iraq (AP) - U.S. Marines handed out thousands of fliers and copies of Iraq's new constitution Thursday, urging people to vote in this Sunni Arab town that only a week ago was the target of U.S. airstrikes.
But with the crucial referendum on the charter just two days away, many residents still did not know where to cast ballots. Across Iraq's insurgent heartland - the overwhelmingly Sunni Arab province of Anbar - fears of attacks have limited plans to only a handful of heavily fortified polling stations.
Even then, the sites were still unannounced Thursday for security reasons, officials said, and a ban on vehicle traffic will force many residents to walk miles to vote.
And American forces were not the only ones waging a public campaign: Insurgents had distributed fliers of their own before the U.S.-led offensive, Iraqi soldiers said, threatening that anyone who votes will be beheaded."
"Two days left before the vote for the constitution, but till now no body in Mosul have seen a copy of it which supposed to be distributed to the population before the referendum.
In addition till now we and our neighbors don't know yet the place where to vote which is necessory to be known in advance since there is a curfew for all vehicles started from wednesday Oct 12 at 10 pm till monday Oct 17 at 5 am. That mean no body can use a car for trnsportation from place to place inside the city, the schools, the University and all the governmental offices are closed for 4 days."
A Citizen of Mosul
"On a Kurdish mountain the Turkish national slogan is written by probably soldiers. It says ‘Ne mutlu Türküm diyene’, meaning ‘How happy is he who can say ‘I am a Turk’. Kurds have to look to this everyday. (Source google maps)
Delal made a good summary of the recent saddening news about the Kurdish question in Turkey here. Recently a Kurdish politician of the Dehap got sentenced for six months imprisonment and a fine of YTL 1,640 for beginning a speech at a local party convention by saying "good-day" in Kurdish.
He was charged with using a language other than Turkish for public political purposes in violation of the Political Parties Law."
"The Iraqi people is about to witness a historic day. It is the referendum on the proposed constitution on Saturday 15 October. I'll try to make a general review of some articles of the constitution, introducing my perspective about some of them. I'm not versed in jurisprudence, so I'm referring to the TEXT OF THE DRAFT IRAQI CONSTITUTION (Translated from the Arabic by The Associated Press)."
"Four more days until Iraqis vote on the constitution. So, let's talk about the rights of a small Iraqi minority that's almost neglected by everyone. It's the Iraqi gay and lesbian community. A community that exists and needs some attention."De Nile is not just a river in Egypt, it runs deep throughout the world.
Iraqi in America
""The warfare policy of Qaedat Al-Jihad in Iraq:H/T Rantburg
"After the fall of Afghanistan, the Jihad fighter Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, accompanied by his followers, set out for Kurdistan, where he began to prepare for the war of revenge against the American army that was about to invade Iraq. Commander Al-Zarqawi was a man of determined outlook, and therefore set out directly for Kurdistan, and from there began to prepare bases and arsenals throughout Iraq. Many Saudis went to Iraq in order to join Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, who was well known in Afghanistan.
"The American war [in Iraq] began, but Abu Mus'ab did not make an appearance. It is quite possible that this was a deliberate [tactic]: [to wait] until the Iraqi Ba'ath regime fell, in order to make a clean start and to avoid any accusation of having aided the Ba'ath regime headed by Saddam and his men.
"After the fall of the Ba'ath party, Al-Zarqawi's organization emerged under its previous name: Jama'at Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad. Then came the great alliance, which brought us much joy: [Al-Zarqawi] swore an oath of allegiance to Sheikh Al-Islam the Imam and Jihad fighter, Osama bin Laden, and became the commander of Qaedat Al-Jihad in Iraq, and perhaps in the [entire] Middle East and North Africa. The operations of the Al-Qaeda organization steadily increased and continue to increase, and it now targets well-defined, carefully chosen targets, which are legitimate.
"In order to [achieve] these legitimate goals on Iraqi soil, Al-Zarqawi employs three main courses: "
"October 12, 2005: Despite the controversy over independent operations certification, that has been in the news recently, the Iraqi military has clearly been coming into their own. Iraqi combat divisions have taken over security work in several parts of the country. On October 3, the 6th Iraqi Division assumed formal authority over Baghdad's central and northern districts, where it has been operating for several months. Also operating in the Baghdad area is the Ninth Iraqi Division (Mechanized), which has been teamed up with the U.S. 1st Armor in raiding operations over the major road networks. The Iraqi 4th Division has been conducting raids and cordon and searches along the Tigris River Valley north of Baghdad, up to Tikrit. The Iraqi 2nd Division has been operating with good success in extending control in and around Mosul out to Tal Afar. A battalion of the Iraqi 2nd Division was moved to Tal Afar at the end of August by the Iraqi 23rd Air Transport Squadron (operating C-130 airplanes). This was the first report of the new Iraqi Army supported by the new Iraqi Air Force."
"Che Guevara fans are preparing to commemorate one more anniversary of the revolutionary’s death, which took place thirty-eight years ago at the Yuro ravine in Bolivia. It’s an appropriate time to address ten myths that keep Guevara’s cult alive.H/T Nadzs in a post linked at Sandmonkey
The last time I visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York, an American student wearing a Che Guevara T-Shirt and a beret caught my eye (the fact that Nicole Kidman happened to walk in at that very moment may have had something to do with my noticing him). I asked him politely what exactly he admired so much about that man. Here are the ten reasons he mentioned— and my response."
"At this moment, the National Assembly is holding a ceremony celebrating the new breakthrough agreement on the constitution which President Talbani described as the “Day of National Accord”.And
The ceremony is attended by the ministers of the cabinet as well as the presidency council and the president of the Kurdistan region, Masoud Barzani."
"A last minute agreement brings a more flexible constitution...I don't know what to think. In a way it's a good thing that they will continue to work out the kinks, the people of Iraq will get another chance to elect representative and get their voice heard in the constitution. And that is a good thing, these questions are hard and complicated and no one can expect that the first draft will be perfect.
A surprising change of attitude by the Iraqi Islamic Party has dramatically shifted the balance towards ratifying the draft constitution.
An accord to approve the document has been reached and announced today in Baghdad between Iraqi Sheat, Kurdish and Sunni prominent political leaders after it seemed that all Sunni parties were going to encourage voters to vote ‘no’....I like this new rule and I think I will change my mind and vote with ‘yes’ as I wasn’t feeling prepared to accept the constitution as it is for whole eight years but now I feel much more hopeful.
The struggle for amendments will naturally be tough and tiring but no pain no gain they say."
"I just want to congratulate the Iraqis for the New document which we will have questionary on it in Friday 15 oct. 2005, I thank God that the Sunni Parties agreed to this constitution because if the didn't we would had more violence, but I think when all the Iraqis approve this document, that will put an end to this severe violence."
"Today's agreement of the main political parties including the Iraqi Islamic Party on the draft of the constitution has been described by some as a historic day.
The agreement came after amendment of some of the points which raised differences between the various political groups. On the other hand it left the doors open for farther changes after discussion with in 4 months after the new election by the end of the year."