Monday, January 31, 2005

The purple finger revolution.

"I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and then headed to the box, where I wanted to stand as long as I could, then I moved to mark my finger with ink, I dipped it deep as if I was poking the eyes of all the world's tyrants."

"One problem was the special ink that voters have to dab their fingers with. Many Iraqis were concerned that insurgents would catch them on their way back to Baghdad and recognise people who had voted."
Healing Iraq

"All these fingers are up for you terrorist, anti-democracy, pro-beheading, suicide-bombers, Baathiest, Saddamist and anti-peace people."
Kurdo's World
By the way Kurdos and Zeyad blogs were featured on the BBC clip they were playing on C-SPAN tonight
"This is a very hurried message, while we are witnessing something quite extraordinary. I myself have voted and so did members of my family. Thank God for giving us the chance.

Salaam for now"
The Mesopotamian
"My seven-year old daughter Debbie was moved by the photos of your people's
bravery in this historic moment, and wanted to send you her best wishes from
Korea. As we saw those fingers raised in defiance, we both agreed, "God _is_
great indeed."
"Entered on the booths and people checked my name and I colored my finger with this great voting color and I got my ballot which was very big (in the size of a poster) all I had to do is to put a sign beside my chosen party, to be honest I was very slow when putting the sign because I wanted to enjoy the moment, putting the ballot in the box was the most difficult emotional time, when I finished Iraqis (which I don’t know) came to congratulating me and shaking my hands"
Baghdad Dweller
Diary from Baghdad
Actually I'm a bit jealous, all we get is a sticker.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

A new birth of freedom

All hail Iraq, a land of the free and a truly brave people.

I know its a bit early to declare a success, but from where I sit everything point to a successful election with only a small amount of violence. A few sick people that tried to stand in the way of progress. But they have been shown for the small minority of the Iraqi society that they represent. That's if they represent anyone but their own interest.
Dictators, despots, and tyrants all over the world are on notice. The people have risen, and a new dawn is upon us. Your days are numbered, your time past. we will not tolerate you anymore.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

CB is back

CB is back home, in the arms of his wife no doubt.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank him for some of the best blogging I ever read, I hope he finds time to write all his stuff down and gets it published. Thank you sir for your service to our country and the free world. We're in your debt.

Friday, January 28, 2005

"Did you know that the "ratio" card of year 2005, that allows you to take sugar, flower and few other things too, which have been the main resource for Iraqi families' food since early nineties, will not be given except for those who will vote?"
Khalid Jarrar
I am going to try and find out how true this is.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

"Since I have been getting a lot of emails about this, I decided to create a link to salam pax reports, there are also video links on these pages"
AK Land

The New Iraq!

"The Iraqis will go for electing the following:

To say NO for the terrorists!
Iraqi Constitution!
Elected government for 3 or 4 years!
Elected parliament!
Freedom of talk!
Opposition parties practice without blood shed and coups!
Strong Economy!
Friendship rather than hate with the civilised nations and states!
No wars!
No place for terrorists!
Good education!
Better health and services!
Iraq for the Iraqis irrespective of who they are except the killers and terrorists!
The Iraqi fine oil is for the people not the dictators and their gangs!
Law above all!
No place for the mad dogs!
Just and sooner Trail for the former members of the massgraves killing fields!

The list can go for more and more!"
The only thing he got kind of wrong, is it's not freedom to "talk".. it's freedom to "think". might have lost something in the translation

Celeberation for the Elections in the Snow !

"It has been a few nights when everyone goes out at night celeberating the elections campaign in the freezing cold.
Snow has been falling in the recent days in some parts of Kurdistan but despite that people are happy for the elections coming up.

Here are the photos :"
Kurdo's World
Kurdo has been posting all the kurdish election posters. Why is it that we like these election posters? for some reason we can not get enough of it. What will we do once it's all over.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

"The Iraqi Islamic Party's announcement of withdrawal in late December was considered a big blow to the elections because the party is popular among Sunni Arabs. But the party never removed its slate of candidates from the ballot. Mr. Abdul-Hameed said that if the slate won national assembly seats, he would not bar his candidates from taking them, as long as the candidates were not official party members"
Well that answers that question. Even if it's two months after I asked..Now the only thing holding Iraq back from joining the modern world are the terrorist, and they are losing the war for the harts and minds of the Iraqi people.
In this post Fayrouz gives us an idea as to where the resent successes in arresting terrorist is coming from, and it's not torture, it text messaging!
"Its sad that not many people think that way. I was pretty disappointed at the low number of Iraqis coming forward to register. Is it apathy? Is it fear? I dunno. I asked some people who I know didnt register, and all they gave me was a shrug of the shoulders and the words"why should we?". Why should you? Cuz its your country. Why should you? Cuz you can make a difference. Why should you? Cuz every voice counts. So Why Shouldnt You??? What is it that you will lose if you DID vote? Nothing."
Neurotic Iraqi Wife

A Glimpse of Cuba

"I just received the following memoir from a reader, a Cuban-American, who traveled to Cuba in 2002 and chronicled his time there. I have read it before at La Nueva Cuba, but the author granted permission for me to post it here at Babalú. (Per his request, I am not posting his name.) It's a bit long for a blog post, but well worth the read."
Babalu Blog

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

"Al-Fayha Iraqi TV satellite channel showed for the last few days terrorists who were captured after they escaped the war in Falluja in their way to Basrah. They were from Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Libya, and other Arab countries.

Their confession comes in line with the previous indications and facts as follows:"

Monday, January 24, 2005

I found this new blog in my inbox, Iraq Election Blog by Duraid, from Canada.
He's got some info and links on the different political parties contesting this weeks election.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Via ,Jeff's

To start with, I wish to congratulate all Muslim people on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha."
The Mesopotamian
Alaa not dead, this post should put that rumor to rest, please click the link and see for yourself
"There hasn’t been a drop of water in the faucets for six days. six days. Even at the beginning of the occupation, when the water would disappear in the summer, there was always a trickle that would come from one of the pipes in the garden. Now, even that is gone....Why is this happening?
This is an Eid gift from the "resistance", they blew up the water pipe
Zeyad at Healing Iraq has a couple of new and intresting post. go read.

Friday, January 21, 2005

"In the first three days the registration has come to 68,027 - out of a world expatriate Iraqi population estimated at between 1.5 million and 2 million."
Abbas has company sitting this one out.
An interesting interview with Iraq's intelligence chief Shahwani.
from Back to Iraq
"My guess and my hope is that Iraqis will come out in large numbers defying the small group of terrorists and criminals trying to keep back the tide of history. In a few days we will see."
Iraq Calling
"The foreign ministry official said that his government was "in close contact with the Iraqi government and other sides," which he did not name, to try to secure the men's release."
Yahoo news
Well, a soldier in my battalion came up to me and said, " Congratulations Sir. I didn't even find out through Battalion. I had to find out on the 1ID webpage."

So I felt like a jerk.
So here's something.

Polls talk.

"Al Mansoor scored the highest percentage of people who have set up their minds on whom to vote, (87.94%) while the lowest was in Azzamyia, (13.15) and Sadr city scored 39.47%....

So lets leave polls speak for now and wait for the 30th of January as then we won't need my poll or others' polls. We'll just listen to the Iraqi people as they speak for the first time in their lives."
Free Iraqi
Ali and me seam to be on the same wavelength ~ ~ ~

Thursday, January 20, 2005


"Well it seems the Army is trying to stop my writing! Just kidding of course. They have how ever made it more difficult for me to do so. I have had to enlist my wife to help me get my words on the web. It seems that the camp that I am located on has blocked everything other than ".mil" web addresses. This could be for a number of reasons. Most likely it is because of some knuckleheads who have found a way around the system and have been abusing resources. Oh well it’s just a minor inconvenience I guess."
Soldier's Paradise II

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Calling all voters

"To be honest I wasn't really interested in the elections when I first heard of it, I wasn't against it either. I just didn't see the need of it, like there were more important things that were needed to be done first. But just seeing how dead set all these other countries and their mouthpieces are against it made me change my mind. So yes I'm pretty reactionary, wonder how many other are in the same situation. Especially with all these "people" are killing and murdering iraqis continuously just to stop it happening.
it's not fair for all these people to die for nothing. And think about it if ppl in areas as dangerous as baghdad or kirkuk are willing to risk registering, it would be lame if other in more secure areas wouldn't. And probably the exiles could make up to some of the ppl who can't vote out of fear. "
Thanks for saying it.

Mad day at Iraqi Elections Registrations

"So yesterday 19th of January 2005 I went all the way up to Wembly Park to register myself for the Iraqi elections.
I walked around the area and I found the Wembly Conference Hall. On the way there, I saw many posters for the Iraqi political parties.

When I reached the hall, I saw these guys (in the photo) shouting up and down "Don't Participate in the Elections".
Ups & downs of a London Kurd
Courtesy of Kurdo's World

The Election Front

"Insar Al-Sunna terrorist group executed two Iraqi computer engineers in Mosel because they work to establish an internet connection for the election. Click to see video
The war continues on the new front, that of elections. The terrorist are cuting off their own heads.
"The British press have released a series of photographs taken by a British soldier in Basra, showing British troops using methods of torture, violence, and intimidation that rival the Abu Ghraib scandal.

The pictures are shown in their entirety behind the link below.

( On to the pictures... )

So, the big question is what will the impact of these pictures be? My guess is that it will further weaken Blair's government in the British elections, tenatively scheduled for May, as disgruntled Labour voters defect to the Liberal Democrats to form a strong, legitimate third party.

It will also undoubtedly get a lot of coverage in the Arab press, which implies to me increased anti-British (and anti-occupation) sentiment, especially in the Shi'ite south. This shift in sentiments could greatly increase the risk of violence in what has been to this point one of the safer regions of Iraq. The risk could also be political -- arguably, this could further endanger the upcoming elections, as well as force Shi'ite leaders to be more public in their opposition to a continued occupation"

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

" Sarah Boxer's story on IraqTheModel in today's New York Times Arts section is irresponsible, sloppy, lazy, inaccurate, incomplete, exploitive, biased, and -- worst of all -- dangerous, putting the lives of its subjects at risk. Let's start with her lead:"
So that's what Kurdo was talling about.

when Red 6 saved the day

"Just to warn everyone, I am not Neil and I don’t write as well as him. My name is Chris Boggiano, and there is a reason why you are about to read one of my stories instead of his. Basically, Neil and I talked over one particular fight that happened while we were in Fallujah and agreed that this story was best told from my perspective, since my ass was the one being saved and he was the one saving it, so I offered to tell all of his fans what happened when Red 6 saved the day."
Armor Goeddon

violence in Iraq

"So, the mostly American liberation of Iraq dropped the rate of violent deaths from 50,000 a year under Saddam Hussein to 6,825 a year with the Americans in Baghdad. What Kennedy has labeled as American “savagery” has REDUCED deaths from violence in Iraq by 87%.

Not bad for a quagmire.
Thanks Jeff I was looking for this.

elections' posters

"As I promised you yesterday guys, here are some pictures for the elections' posters from Baghdad."
These election poster views are pretty good, they show a variety of competing posters from lots of groups. my only compliant is that you did not take some close full frame pictures of each. Go back out and don't come back in till you get then all, then translate them..... well thanks for what you did get.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Kirkuk Election news

"More Kurds are expected to participate in the upcoming elections after 170,000 refugees in Kirkuk were let to vote.

The Election Committee has extended registering voters in Kirkuk until 25th of January 2005. Hence allowing more returning Kurdish refugees estimated to be 145,000 to be participating in the elections.

Before this stage, the number Arab voters in Kirkuk were higher than the number of Kurds. The Kurdish political parties have also announced that they will participate in the Kirkuk elections.
Also other good news :"
Kurdo's World
Looks like the Kurds have found a friend somewhere? Who could it be.

Kurd, a four letter word?

"oh my god ! LOL (Laugh Out of Loud)
somebody searched in google for "why kurds are poor?" and reached to my blog !LOL ! I cant belive it !
it is a very very funny but more painfull !
I can imagine it, a lonely sad kurd , just put that word in google, may be he/she can find an answer for the question , why kurds are poor ?"
Medya Daily

and I'll try to explain my theory.

"The remaining question is, what are the intentions of the American administration? There seems to be two possible options: one is continue the fight in Iraq for few more years and the other is to transfer the battle soon after the elections to another base for terrorism in the ME ( as I mentioned in a previous post). The first means more loss for America in term of lives of soldiers and money, it's good for America's safety for as long as the battle continues but it's bad for Iraq and would make America lose most of her Allies there. Besides it is not realistic to expect that the battle in Iraq is going to defeat terrorism for good and future plans are still needed. The other option means probably even more sacrifices in both lives and money but would be good for Iraq, leave a friendly government and nation there and it's also good for America's safety and interests on the long term.

If I were an American I would never worry about a terrorist attack on America as long as American troops are in Iraq. I'd rather worry about my government plans about the future of this war. The presence of American troops in the ME is needed until all dictatorships fall with force or without it and this will declare the end of both wars."
Free Iraqi

"day of fire"

"We haven't had any mortar or rocket attacks here for a week, which is a long time in these parts. Its only happened three times since getting here last February. Word is that the insurgents are planning something they call a "day of fire". Probably the usual business of trying to cause as much damage as they can. A lot of car bombs are supposed to be roaming around the country. Our recent car bomb apparently was perpetrated by two Saudis."
Iraq Calling


"In conclusion there are strong indications about the arrest of Zarqawi who provided much information about his thugs which led to the intensified specific raids. This is probably the reason why he was not shown immediately.

It seems to be the announcement of Zarqawi arrest is just a matter of time, possibly in the next few days or weeks?"
Sam could be wrong, but he's usually right, and about a week ahead of the official news sources.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


“DAMN! That shit was CLOSE!” A single mortar round exploded in our LRP. So much for being on the safe side of the berm. The sound was incredible. I don’t know where they got that whistle sound in cartoons that bombs make when they drop. This sounded like the mortar round was ripping the sky open. The air was actually tearing. Imagine you are standing on the ground, and an elevated passenger train just zipped on its tracks right over your head. That was similar to the shocking and rushing, whooshing feel of the shell zipping by us before it impacted. Fortunately it didn’t hit anybody. So nobody panicked"
Armor Geddon

Voices from a Blog

An interview with Salam Pax I found on Jeffrey's

Iraqi Forces in Mosul's Street Again

"Today, Monday, the 10th of January we saw the Iraqi National Guard ING and the Commandos in the streets in high density even more than when we had police before November of last year.

Maybe most of the readers know that Mosul is without police since the security situation changed for the worst in the first half of November, and since that date the security is absent totally although it was absent partially since April 2003."
Iraq Today

the strength to make it endure

"Our streets is a real war zone these days and bombing and terror actions every where and I am talking about Baghdad. My resource in south and north telling me it’s much, much better there. But I can assure you and by an expert eye (an eye of someone who spent many years in middle of fighting, victories and defeats) that the Iraqi army, police and other security organizations here; are getting better every day and they are heading to victory, I even suspect that Zarqawi has been caught."
Iraq & iraqi's

Syria and the Wahabis

"On the other hand Al-Arabyia TV showed Saudi terrorist who was captured after his booby-trapped fuel tanker exploded in Baghdad before reaching its target. Ahmed Abdala Shaiyaa 24 yrs old said that he was not aware that the car is going to explode. He said that he was deluded by a group of terrorists in Saudi Arabia who recruit young Saudis and Arabs to work with Tawhed wa Jihad in Iraq. They took him to Syria where the Arabs and Saudis taken there and crossed via Al-Bokamal region to Ramadi. They gave him the tanker and asked him to take it to a specific location in Baghdad. They told him once he is there some one from the Mujahdeen will receive tanker there. In stead of that the tanker exploded and he was thrown away on the road."

nostalgic for Basrah

"The last few days have witnessed an upsurge in violence, a fact which is not in the least surprising. Suicide attacks have been carried out on a daily basis, mostly in Mosul and Baghdad, and political assassinations are alarmingly rampant in many parts of the country.

The power grid broke down several times these last two weeks resulting in country-wide blackouts sometimes lasting 2 or 3 days. At one point, oil exports were crippled from both Kirkuk and Basrah oil fields. Meanwhile, the shortage of local oil products has exacerbated and lines at gas stations are longer than ever."
Healing Iraq

We Shall Overcome.

"As for the elections, they are doing their best to intimidate and threaten people. What can be more abominable than this; openly intimidating people from participating in the first truly free elections in the history of not only Iraq but also probably the entire region. And what lame excuses they give! The security situation? But it is you gentlemen who are responsible for the havoc. And; what guarantee can there be if the elections are postponed that the situation will not get worse? In fact, we all know that you will do your damn best to aggravate it further in the vane hope that you might achieve your vile objectives. Fair elections cannot be held under occupation! : As if we ever saw any fair elections when there was no “occupation” for almost a whole century when your minority clan was lording over the people. Besides, Palestinian elections were recently held under Israeli occupation, and we did not see anybody objecting."
The Mesopotamian

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Iraqis dream

"The ArabicBBC site put up a forum for the readers to discuss the subject of some of the "militant groups" that distributed leaflets threatening the Iraqis who decide to participate in the elections, whether voters or candidates.
The total number of commentators was 141; the Iraqis were 104 and 37 were Arabs from other countries till the post was prepared.
89 of the participating Iraqis were strongly with the elections and determined to go to the boxes on the elections day in spite of the threats.
15 were against the elections, for different reasons.

13 of the Arab participants were also against the elections while the rest of them (24) were supportive of the Iraqis in holding the elections on time.

I will not try to offer my optimistic comments and views about the situation in Iraq, instead I will shut up and let my fellow Iraqis speak for themselves and let you then decide what you think about it."
This translation of the BBC forum has always been my favorite feature at ITM. I'm glade to see it again.
There is also an interesting radio interview with open Phone coming up go here to read the details. I will post the interview once it's on the net.

Driving Mr. Ali

""I hope things will change for the better after the elections" He said
"Yes I hope so too. Who are you going to vote for by the way?"
"I want to vote, but I don't know who to vote for. I don't know most of the parties"
"I know, but right now, who are the best candidate in your mind?"
"Allawi is good. He's like Saddam but he's good"
"What does that mean??"
"I mean he's tough but he's only tough with the bad guys"
"Ok I see what you mean""
Free Iraqi

Voices from a blog

Listen here to the voice of Fayrouz from Live from Dallas in a very short interview with Michael Leland of Michigan Radio reports.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Criticism is good

"Comments from bbc arabic

"To all those who claim that western countries donated and are still donating aid to the victims of this eaqrthquake are doing it soley for other reasons than for God's sake, may I ask whether the money donated by islamic and arabic countries to fund terorrism and murder is done to please God?"
Dina, Australia

"what do you expect from some arab countries that just display numbers of donation from westeren countries and criticize by saying that they just do it for politicial reasons"
Bewar, Baghdad

"the arab countries didn't offer as much as they counld to humanity for this disaster, i even began wishing to hold a japanese passport or any other just so that i could help the victims of this tragedy"
Ahmed Rashed ,Saudia Arabia

"I live in a small european country, the nationals here have raised over 30 million euros (not including the governments donation ),and that is how the west who live under american imperialism and follow the zionist agencies and the mossad try to provide life and support to victims including the muslims of indonesia. As for us (and i mean arabs and muslims) we do not provide these kinds of services but we can provide other things like .. terrorists, suicide bombers,beheaders, mortars, car bombs and terror funding"
Saleem, Holland

"I wish our brothers in arab countries could see what i see in france, everyone's donating.. media, government, school students, places of worship even in prison ppl are colleting donations. I have learned here the true meaning of togetherness here and i hope one day we will be able to teach our children that giving is better than taking."
Rami Yousef, France

"Why did western countries rush to help the victims (whom were mostly muslim) and there was no fatwa to ban these humanitarian efforts? And why didn't al-quaeda help the muslims in malaysia and indonesia? is it only iraqis that need "saving"? Or should we just be experts in killing and slaughtering.When it comes to humanitarian efforts we just see western countries making an effort while we're busy with our fatwas"
Imad kamal, Egypt

"To answer back to mr Imad kamal: thse ppl are just busy exploding cars and learning how to behead someone while he is begging their mercy. We have moved so far away from the teaching of our prophet and Quran that taught us mercy before everything. Give and have mercy then God will have mercy on you. I am a muslim who fear God but now we only have muslims by name and association"
Rita , Lebanon

"I would like to reitrate what some islamists or more accurately ppl who hide behind islam say, An imam in one of baghdads mosques , who btw supports the resistance, in a friday sermon said that God has sent a prophet to attack those beaches. A supposed muslim rejoices to the deaths of thousands of women children and familes while the
kaffir countries like america , the uk and others are donating by millions"
Muhammed Baghdady, Baghdad, Iraq "
By the way I wanted to thank you for this translation as it used to be my favorite regular feature at ITM back when they used to do it on a regular basics, and I have missed it.
"Is there any way this can still work? Is there any plausible scenario for how Iraq can turn into a functioning society?
These are the questions I've been throwing at government officials, military analysts and other wise heads over the past few weeks. Their answers, both uplifting and depressing, suggest that if we are lucky, the near future in Iraq will come in three phases."


"made for TV"

"Another element of the insurgency is the subcontractor. A significant number of people we catch are paid to plant a bomb or fire a rocket. They do it not necessarily for ideological reasons but instead to make a desperately needed buck or sometimes because of threats on their own lives or their family. If the security situation was better, they would likely be happier working on a reconstruction project."
Iraq Calling

To go or stay, what was the question?

"To expect to defeat the whole global terrorism through battles in Iraq is not realistic. The realistic goal is deprive them of one more base, establish a democracy in Iraq that can affect the neighboring countries to a great extent and then move on to another base, do the same (which would be much easier than Iraq and won't necessary require an invasion) and so on."
Free Iraqi
Ali make some good points, I like them because I have been saying similar things for a while. But unfortunately for us, I really don't know if the US will do it. The administrations announced plan is to invite the terrorist and their supporters to come to Iraq and fight there, and not here. This plan has worked like a dream till now, and I don't see them changing it unless the facts on the ground require it.

I was thinking that maybe the new government might start to control the borders and force the hand of the US, but that's a long shot at best.

I think for now the best we can hope for is that we are able to keep the insurgency corralled in a few cities, or that the terrorist stop coming in on their own, again forcing the administrations hand. Either way they will have to be dragged kicking and screaming out of their world view.
I have not had a chance to really read this yet, and it's now 1:30 in the morning, tell me if it said:

"this war is different and we did not know what else to do".

The only thing I have not heard yet is, our actions were a success, and these are the results. When you hear them say that, call me. Thanks again Jeff.

Monday, January 10, 2005

"It made me kind of sick, almost, I didn't know what to do," Specialist Matthew Wisdom, who has not been charged, said. "It just didn't seem right. You're taught everyday values, you're supposed to be better than the average soldier and there's a lot of pride that's supposed to go with that. And basically, when I came into the tier, what I saw, it didn't look right, it didn't look normal, and it didn't look like something an M.P. would do."
I find it hard to believe that any of that was in to old rule book

Rules, what fucking rules?

"God grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change; courage to change
the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference."

"Fuck it, send me back to my unit, this shit is bullshit."
RaMrOd's Blog
What Fucking rule change could he be talking about? I got the impression from reading Jeff's blog that somehow this rule change has something to do with torture gate and the dem's?? But I don't see it yet, maybe there is something here I just don't get.

Terrorism and Antiterrorism

"A new secret organization called (Brigades of Iraqana) issued a statement today threatened to attack and kill the terrorists and their supporters from now on."
sam brings some interesting news about Iraqis, taking back the street from the terrorist and thugs. I understand that sometimes no one else can do it but the locals, as many people just won't trust the foreign troops with intelligence. But I hope that it ends well and they don't just create new terror groups, or get themselves targeted by our troops by mistake

Still alive

Bad news from Mosul

The List of Iraqi Candidates

A list of candidates that I found in the comments of the Iraq Election Blog

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Insurgency Buster

"It's simply astounding that in the United States, the home of the greatest and most effective democratic revolution, so many people have come to regard democracy as a luxury-brand vehicle, suited only for the culturally upscale, when it's really a sturdy truck, effective in conditions both rough and smooth. "
Recommended by Iraq Election Blog
Just in case you haven't seen it yet Alaa from the Mesopotamian Blog, fixed his blog and is back with comments and archives, so you can drop by and again say hi.

Beware the Blog

""It's deplorable even if 10 percent of what the Web bloggers allege is true," Khatami said, referring to the writers who kept online journals, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency. "It's against the dignity of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It has to be probed.""
I bloged about this the other day.
Just to think that the blog can reach out and touch, even the black hearts of the Iranian Mullahs is a bit sobering. I better start watching what I blog! Today the Mullahs, tomorrow the World!

Here is more Info on Iran and all those nasty bloggers.

HOWTO bypass Internet Censorship

And Here and Here are some Iranian blogger that I know about.

US Success and Failure in Iraq

"- To be genuine in its agenda about democracy and reconstruction process
- To accept the choice of the Iraqis and not to impose its choice on them
- To understand the Iraqi mentality and culture
- To understand that the Iraqi Shiites are different from the Iranian politicians"
sam's Talking Points on US-Iraq relations

Kurdish Holiday Experience

"There you have it the Kurdish Holiday Experience, now most of you non-kurds who are reading this probably think this is a joke or a one off or a complete distortion from the truth (in which case I ask you to go to Kurdistan of Iraq, through turkey and see for your self), however my Kurdish brothers and sisters, for us this is the reality of our journey back home, so PLEASE stop and consider how bad this trip is, before you complain about whether our airline will have our national flag on it, or what airline will takes us home. Any kind of flight home, even with one transit is better than this. Thank you."
Kurdish Point of View
A new blog I just found a Kurdo's

Is Islam compatible with democracy?

"We don't need to democratize Islam, as it wasn't possible with any other religion. We simply need to separate the mosque from the state, and that could be done violently or peacefully depending on the place and the circumstances. So the right question in my mind is, can we separate the mosque from the state? I for one believe it's very possible, especially in Iraq."
Free Iraq

HUBBY speaks

"Before I do give you HUBBY's answers, bare in mind that HUBBY is in the Green Zone, and his communication with the Iraqi people is limited to the locals who come to work in the Green Zone everyday, and to those he meets when he does have the opportunity to leave the zone, hence its only a tiny persepective with respect to the whole population."
Neurotic Iraq wife
She finally, lets him get a "word "in.
"He said that the issues concering possible involvement of Syria and Iran in violence in Iraq were matters beyond the purview of Sistani, and were the responsibility of the Iraqi state."
Juan Cole on Sistani

Saturday, January 08, 2005

"(Oh sorry did it really hurt, what about this ....)."
Kurdo's World
"If any American deserves to be the poster boy for torture, it’s Alberto Gonzales."
Michael Totten
Iraq Elections Questions and Answers
Everything you need to know about the process.

9 November: Rescue and Recover

”Red 6, Phantom 6. I need you to take your platoon and head for this grid. Stalker 6 is tied up to our north. They’ve got men in a building and they’re pinned down by snipers.”
Armor Geddon
Red 6 next installment on the attack on Fallujah, is on the news stand now.
"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Two of its most prominent members were gunned down recently, but that didn't stop the Iraq's Communist Party from holding a campaign rally in downtown Baghdad, with supporters waving red flags and shouting leftist slogans."
In Iraqi politics even the Communist can look good, at least they are willing to come out in the face of the bloody terrorist and challenge them directly to try and silence them. I being Cuban am not by nature a big fan of the Communist Party. But I like to call it like I see it. And the ICP, by it's actions, are putting their best foot forward. Good for them.
U.S. Nuclear Submarine Runs Aground
"HONOLULU - A nuclear submarine ran aground about 350 miles south of Guam, injuring several sailors, one of them critically, the Navy said.

There were no reports of damage to the USS San Francisco's reactor plant, which was operating normally, the Navy said.u

Jon Yoshishige, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor, said the Friday afternoon incident is under investigation and the 360-foot submarine was headed back to its home port in Guam.

Details on the sailors' injuries were not immediately available. The sub has a crew of 137, officials said.

Military and Coast Guard aircraft from Guam were en route to monitor the submarine and assist if needed, the Navy said.

Guam is a U.S. territory about 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii. "

Friday, January 07, 2005

Iraqi expats vote

"Iraqi expats can vote in 14 countries. The countries are:

Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Jordan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Voter registration will take place between 17-23 of January 2005. The voter needs to prove his/her Iraqi identity with proper documents so he/she could register to vote. Voting will take place between 28-30 of January 2005. It means the voter needs to travel twice to the voting center."
Live from Dallas
"Majid Jarrar is traveling in the United States right now while on his winter break from Pearson College in Canada. We exchanged a couple emails and phone numbers and then last night, while he was in Manhattan and I was in Queens, we were able to talk on the phone for around an hour. Majid speaks fluent English and is without question a smart young man. About the future of Iraq, Majid is cautiously optimistic. Just like us, Majid has had trouble getting accurate information on the situation in Iraq these days. Again, like us, he has been getting conflicting reports.

Most of you will remember that Majid was one of the founding members of Al Muajaha, along with several other young Iraqis who were featured on the documentary Bridges to Baghdad. Majid told me that a week or so after Bridges to Baghdad I & II were shown on Iraqi TV, the Iraqi youth you remember -- like Haider, Hamza, and Walid -- starting getting death threats. Majid said that because of these threats all of his friends were eventually forced to leave the country for their own safety. And that is indeed a shame. These young Iraqis represent an important part of Iraq's future. I told Majid that we can only hope that before too long Iraq stabilizes and all of his friends return to Iraq and help build a strong, democratic Iraq.

Majid, thanks again for talking with me!

For the two Bridges to Baghdad documentaries:

Bridges to Baghdad I and Bridges to Baghdad II"
Jeffrey from New York
Well that answers that, Jeffrey you can die happy now
Borzou Daragahi reports for AP that Sadr City, with ten percent of the country's population, has put up its own electoral list. Regionally-based lists should not do as well as national ones""
Juan Cole
The sadrist seem to have learned the value of the one district system! anyway Cole actually brings a nice couple of stories, look past the head lines
News from the Front

"What is happening in Mosul these days is like a war for everyone of the people here in this city. The violence is covering most areas of the western part of Mosul and some areas of the eastern part."
Iraq Today

You might also want to read this
We pray with you, and then some
"Williams said Thursday he understands that critics could find the arrangement unethical, but "I wanted to do it because it's something I believe in."
Morals and Values, I'm really starting to believe it Rush, they are vanishing before our very eyes.

Finally word from Alaa

"I am still around, safe and sound. Will be back soon "Inshallah". I was a bit demoralised for the corruption of my site. Been really busy lately, no time even to scractch my head. But I miss you all and must come back "God's Willing". And I still say that "We Shall Overcome". Obscurantism and brutal medievalism will be defeated, must be defeated. All Glory to the Great Alliance of blood and sacrifice between the People of the USA and the Majority of Iraqis. The blood of American and allied men and women and that of our people shall not be in vain.

My Love to all my friends.

The Mesopotamian
Stay safe, good to hear from you, had us all worried. "Inshallah"

Thursday, January 06, 2005

""After the elections, we will start negotiations," Abbas said. "Ariel Sharon is an elected leader and we will negotiate with him. We will put the 'road map' on the table and say that we are ready to implement it completely.""
All of a sudden being elected is a good thing? Even two elections one right after another.

Where is OBL&Co?

The Palestinians have been abandoned and betrayed!!
"The blog-paper merger

: Jay Rosen covers the brave new world of merging blogs and newspapers being explored in Greensboro."
Sound Familiar

An open letter: European Union from Cuban exiles groups

"Cuban Exile condemns European Union's position regarding Cuba

The organizations listed below want to present to the world-wide public opinion the following message:

The present Spanish administration heads the position of those who struggle in the Old Continent to reduce the sanctions against Havana, underhandedly trying to isolate those who want to maintain them. Apparently during the secret agreement made in Havana November 26 2004 between the government of Cuba and government of Spain, it was agreed between both parties that Cuba would release some of the hundreds of political prisoners and in return the Spanish government would present this as a test of good will by the Cuban dictatorship to the Committee of the Council for Latin America (COLAT)

This disguised and dishonest game already produced results between the members of the Committee of the Council for Latin America(COLAT) and perhaps are getting results among other corrupt representatives of some of the members of the European Union. We do truly believe that no government needs more tests and elements, than forty-six years of a mono-partisan dictatorship, hundreds exterminated by the regime, hundreds of pacifist citizens jailed, an exile of more than two million Cubans and the endorsement that the very same Commission of Human rights of the United Nations even offers, where from its core and for more than one consecutive decade condemns the Cuban dictatorship for its constants and repeated violations to the Human rights.

The dictatorship in existence since 1959, late and after four decades the European Union took some small positive steps in favor of opening the necessary space for our dissidence and pacifist opposition, small compared with the size of the real cruelty implemented by the Cuban government. Although we had wanted more support and solidarity from the men and governments of good will, we accepted because our people suffer.

Now all the indicators point towards a shameful return of the European Union to their old positions of complicity with the dictatorship.

Few and manipulated liberations of political prisoners who never should have been imprisoned, is no sufficient reason to yield before a regime that publicly "releases" and behind the scenes retrieves more victims as it’s done from the beginning.

To ignore the right that our opposition has to participate in the democratic activities of its representations in the island is a right of freedom, if some European governments do not want to recognize that right and does not want to share with our opposition, it would be preferable that it closed his representation in our island.

We want to clarify to the world that we will condemn openly and with all our forces any change that the European Union makes in favor of the Cuban dictatorship and against our political prisoners, our freedom fighters, and our people.

We want to go on record that we will not remain with our arms crossed before the enemies of our freedom.

With God’s help, the accumulated sanity and political wisdom will reveal to the European governments that their position is on the side of the Cuban people and not of his old and discredited dictatorship.

Ing. César L. Alarcón
Presidente Movimiento Cubano Unidad Democrática.

Rigoberto Carceller
Coordinador General Plataforma Cuba Democracia Ya.

Ernesto Díaz Rodríguez
Secretario General Alpha 66

Ahmed Y. Martel
Director Net for Cuba International.

Cmte. Húber Matos B.
Secretario General de Cuba Independiente y Democrática (CID)

Dr. Wilfredo Ventura
Director World Health Care International"
Babalu Blog

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

"- Baghdad: The leader of the Special Republican Guards of Saddam regime has been arrested following information from recently arrested terrorists. Saiyf Den Rawi believed to have a prominent role in the terrorist attacks and there was a 1 million dollar prize on his head."

Weighing sides

"The situation in Baghdad gets more difficult everyday as the election time gets nearer. The attacks never seize to occur on a daily basis allover the hour. I haven't witnessed any, but we can hear the sounds of rockets, mortars, RPGs and machine guns on different times through everyday. The slight improvement in electricity that took place about a week ago didn't last for more than few days and now we're back to two hours of electricity followed by 4 hours of outage. This does not mean that life is impossible in Iraq now"
Free Iraq
I was thinking ?

"Afghans donated blood Wednesday for the victims of last week's devastating tsunami, and the government asked the US military to help it send war-hardened doctors to the disaster zone. About a dozen medics and a planeload of medicine and equipment would leave for India and Sri Lanka as soon as possible, the Defense Ministry said."
About Afghanistan
You can decide for yourself, if in fact they qualify.
Send a few of the cooks they don't come any more "war-hardened".

This is how Iraqis deal with TERRORISTS

"This is how Iraqis deal with TERRORISTS when they catch them.
Thanks to michael Totten for the link.
I just hope that the medai will someday go back to reason and quit using the term "insurgents". Someone planning to kill CIVILLIANS is a TERRORIST, not an insurgent.

They must consider calling things with their real names...That's if they want to be "objective" as they claim to be."
Iraq the Model

US forces attack innocents in Irbil (Hawler), current capital of Kurdistan

"I think this was a stupid unnecessary job. Kurdistan enjoys a high level of peace and prosperity comparing to the rest of Iraq.
Logically, when you want to capture someone, you don't take your whole army there. No need for helicopters, no need for fighter jets. We have police forces who speak the local language. You contact the local police, and you send a 5-6 of your guys, you go to that address and find who you want.

It seems that the US commander in Iraq is a military man who doesn't speak the language of politics and "winning hearts and minds".
I think that the US military are very good in losing "Hearts & Minds". So last night, many hearts and minds were lost in a place known until last night as a "pro-US area". "
Kurdo's World
Maybe "not" our finest moment.

Election poll from Al-sabah

"This poll was published in Al-Sabah newspaper showing that “terrorists” have failed to to dissuade Iraqis from votin, many be willing to take on the risks necessary to wrench back control of their nation. Even in a dangerous, quasi democratic election.

The poll was of 4974 Iraqis living in and around Baghdad.

The following is the translation of the poll and the results:

Will the security problems cause you to?
Not come out and vote the day of elections = 18.3%
Come out and vote the day of elections = 78.3%
No opinion = 3.4%

Do you support the Iraqi Government having its own official newspaper?
Yes = 67.7%
No = 30.9%
Do Not know = 1.4%?

Do you support military action against the terrorists?
Yes = 87.7 %
No = 11.1%
Don’t Know = 1.2%"
Baghdad Dweller
I would like to add that this reaction to violence was predicted by me.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Support the "Revolution"

"So Henry designed a calendar that uses 364 days, which breaks down evenly into 52 weeks. In his so called "Calendar-and-Time" (C&T) plan, each month contains 30 or 31 days. He decided on each month's length by forbidding the new calendar to differ from the old one by more than five days and by setting Christmas Day, 25 December, to always fall on a Sunday.

Extra week
His constraints meant eight months would have different lengths than they do now. March, June, September, and December would each contain 31 days, while the other months would each get 30. To keep the calendar in synchronisation with the seasons, Henry inserted an extra week - which is not part of any month - every five or six years. He named the addition "Newton Week" in honour of his favourite physicist, Isaac Newton.

"If I had my way, everyone would get Newton Week off as a paid vacation and could spend the time doing physics, or other activities of their choice," he says."
New Scientist
Resist the evil lords of time, cast away thier intrusive ideology, and free yourself for an extra week off "paid" vacation.
Count me in!
"And who cares to what is happening in Iraq??"
A Family in Baghdad

I don't know why I'm even reading this, maybe a little guilt, maybe an unquenchable curiosity, but whatever, I find myself reading.

If you ask me she's just "looking" for her keys under the street lamp.

Is Abo Mosub Zarqawi Arrested?

"Again there are strong indications from the Kurdish sources about the news of the arrest of Abo-Mosab Al-Zarqawi in Baqoba. Whether or not this terrorist was arrested and awaiting the DNA analysis we will get it live as soon as we know more.
We have to mention that the same Kurdish sources were the first to announce the arrest of Saddam and his deputy even before the US forces did so.
We will get more news as soon as it is available!"

A conversation with the office boys

"My friends are innocent. They are victims of a crazy media that publishes endless Abu Ghraib pictures yet treat those 2 Iraqi heroes who gave up their lives on Haifa street as 2 street cats that got crushed by a speedy car in downtown Cairo."
Big Pharaoh

Beauty and the Beast

"I came back from a mission down south near Nasiriyah a few days ago. The land around the base was rocky desert, much different from the fertile river valley around my home base. I was able to visit the ruins of the ancient Sumerian city of Ur. I have some photos on my other blog."
Birding Babylon

Do you smell something?

""Where's our extinguisher?" I hollered.
"In there." SGT Gwekoh replied. I peeked in the PC. There are two compartments running on both sides of the PC. One holds the radios and other equipment. The other side held M240 ammo, .50cal ammo, flares, grenades, and our assault packs...OH and the extinguisher. Guess which side was on fire? Exactly. We used SFC Kennedy's fire extinguisher and put out the fire."

Voter Interest on the Rise

"2 Million Voters Make Corrections to Ensure They Can Vote

Two million people came in to voter offices to go through “an involved process,” just to make corrections to ensure they would be able to vote. That’s not total voters, that’s just a FRACTION of total voters, those who needed to make corrections, which would be an odd thing to do if they had no interest in voting."

Fayrouz blogs and comments on the same article.

Iraq Election Blog

Monday, January 03, 2005

Let me count the ways

"Some readers asked me why I was so against partitioning Iraq."
Juan Cole

Questions from the green zone

"PS:made a deal with HUBBY to answer any questions you guys have, its easier this way, so anyone out there with questions pls post them in the comments section, and I will post HUBBY's answers once I get them....."
Neurotic Iraqi Wife
Would he know if the ballots have been printed, and are the names of the Sunni groups that withdrew form the election last month, on them, or not?

Damn I forgot she can't read this blog, it's censored from her location..

More attacks in Iraq & possible imminent attacks in the USA!

"The other important development today is the emergence of some rumors regarding unconfirmed reports about the arrest of Al-Zarqawi. Initially the news spread so widely in Diyala which is one of the regions where Zarqawi may stay in. This was also reported as urgent news in Al-Fayha satellite TV which broadcast from Dubai. The local US forces in Baqoba said that they don't have information that Zarqawi was arrested by their troops there."

Sunni in Elections?

"Interesting about-face going on in some parts of Iraqs, Sunni groups are now encouraging Sunnis to get involved with the elections in Iraq. I dont know if this is due to a realization that not being involved is politically stupid, or if the leaders of various Sunni groups are geniunly in support of democracy, but I think its a good trend."
Democracy in Iraq

Drumrolls please ...

"Did you know Hamid Karzai is married? Well, the lovely Zeenat Karzai (well, actually we're not sure if she's lovely) has not been seen in any official public events, in fact she rarely leaves the presidential palace. I've never seen any photos of her. I know people who've met her, but they had access to the president's compound.

According to Pahjwok Afghan news agency, the First Lady, who is a gynecologist by profession, wants to take on a public role.

"In the near future, I want to come in the society. The work I want to start should be useful for Afghan women," she said.

Jamila Mujahed, a prominent newspaper journalist who claims to be the first woman heard on Afghan radio after the fall of the Taliban, expressed thanks to the president's wife, saying: "Mrs Karzai encouraged us to work better in the future." Has she?
About Afghanistan

things that will not change

"I will continue to call out the injustices of fidel castro and his regime upon the Cuban people. I will continue to do my best to show the world just what a complete and utter failure his revolution is. I will continue to try to speak for those on the island that arent allowed to. I will continue to never, ever, capitalize the first letters in the name fidel castro. I will continue to write and work and scream at the top of my lungs for a free Cuba."
Babalu Blog
You can count me in, Val. Our day is coming, and nothing is going to hold us back.

The magic Kingdom

The great KSA has pledged 10 million Dollars to the tsunami relief. Big fucking deal.

A simple solution

"The skepticism of many Iraqis is understandable given their history with elections. When a “president” garners 99% of the vote it’s awfully hard to convince the masses that this time will be different. But those intimately involved with the process seem ever more optimistic and hopeful. They have faith in the Iraqi people. Shouldn’t we? "
Iraq Election BlogDaniel

An explanation

"I want to apologize for the mess I created. That post was probably the most stupid thing I've ever done in my life (and I've done so many stupid things before). I had no right in throwing accusations without specifying whom I meant and without providing any evidence and that caused many innocent people a lot of harm. I don't know if I can be forgiven for that, as I haven't forgiven myself, but I will continue to post on this blog and share my views and opinions with anyone that care to listen. I believe in free and democratic Iraq and I believe in America, the coalition and all those who are helping us.
Again, I'm so sorry."
Free Iraq

Iraqi defence minister floats election delay

"If this is what the Iraqi government and the IECI decide to do, I would be the last one to protest.

But I don’t see how they can structure a delay that accomplishes anything. The Iraqi government is offering this to “Sunni parties,” that presumably can be negotiated with. I’ll buy that assumption. There are responsible Sunni leaders who can speak for most, if not all, of the Sunni community, and those leaders are amenable to some agreement; they will discuss these things in good faith. All that I buy.

What are all the options in Iraq?"
Iraq Election Blog Stephen

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Iraqis should stand against the killers!

"In spite of threats and intimidations by the terrorist and pro-Saddam groups more Iraqis are coming to help the Iraqi forces by providing information about strangers and or strange behaviours in their areas. The best example is the information which resulted in freeing of two kidnapped Iraqis in Omarah and arresting at least 7 terrorists working under the name of a humanitarian organization. They have been arrested after buying arms and explosives for their groups in Baghdad. The Iraqis need to do much more to clean their areas from the killers and the terrorists. The other factor which may helped a lot is the important documents which have been found in Falluja though there are strong indications that the terrorist groups have changed their plans, codes and tactics since then."
If we did not have enough problem already: Canada confirms second case of Mad Cow. Burgers anyone?
If this is not satire, what is?
Have you ever heard the The Phil Hendrie Show


"So I look forward to tomorrow. Gently putting away today knowing that my family will soon be absent from my surroundings. This week has proven to me that we have some great friends and a family that are willing to be step up to the plate if needed."
American Soldier
"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began."
JRR Tolkien


"Today I received GOOD NEWS! My friend is fine and I can finally breathe and relax again. Not that I won't still consider this all tragic, it is. I know that it is selfish of me to care about only one person and not all humans, but that is the way we are, and probably we must be like that for the human race to have survived. We think of family, then friends, then tribe, then nationhood, then world. It has ever been thus, and to be otherwise would require sainthood I think:)."
Peshmerga Women

Election Ramifications

"If a relatively free and fair election take place at the end of the month, the ramifications for the Greater Middle East will be both far reaching and nearly impossible to predict. But that doesn’t mean that they should not go forward. One of the things that these elections are likely to accomplish is that the US will be able to gradually extricate itself in order to concentrate on the challenges ahead."
Iraq Election Blog-Daniel

Welcome to Kurdistan.

"I can't remember the last time I saw a turtle, I guess it wasn't flying too. After the 2003 war, work on two airports began in Kurdistan. The first one which has officially started working is called "Hawler International Airport". . The second one which will start working is called "Sulaimani International Airport" will open on 15th of February 2005. Finally, we can fly. The first direct flight from Kurdistan to outside world has taken place a couple of days ago from Hawler (Erbil) to Jeddah (in Saudi Arabia) to transfer the Hajis (pilgrimagers) from Kurdistan to Saudi Arabia. (see photo)."
Kurdo's World
WOW! Kurdo that is great news. Damn those evil Americans. Do you realize what it would mean for the economic sector of Kurdistan if you can establish a safe entry point to Iraq?
Kurdo this is a Kurdish victory over the rest. A slap in the face with the sole of your shoes.

little boy wonder…

"A very interesting story by a military blogger in stationed in Mosul/Iraq.
You've got to read it:

I was introduced to Logan in May when I was embedded with an infantry unit. I have never met a more amazing kid. Today was the first time I've seen him in six months. I was relieved he was still alive. Here’s the story I wrote way back when on this little boy wonder…
Iraq the Model

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Head Armor

"You will read in this article how the situation is going very bad to the Iraqi women.

They want to be invisible, these young women at Baghdad University explained. They were sitting in a small group – five students with pale head scarves pulled tightly around their somber faces.

They would not give their names. That would be crazy, they said. The whole point of wearing the scarves now was to be anonymous and unimportant, to avoid being singled out and followed, or kidnapped, or shot. It was more than a matter of blending in. It was a matter of disappearing into the landscape."
Baghdad Dweller

Did you all enjoy the grapes

Happy New Year
"Grapes are probably scarce in Miami today as they are every New Year's Eve. During the last week of the year you can go to any supermarket here and find the produce section invaded by grapes. All kinds of grapes. Red seedless, green seedless, big old red seeded grapes. Yet today, the 31st of December, they are hard to find. Where are all the grapes going? you may be asking. Well, I'll tell you"
Babalu Blog