Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 05:41 am
New playground, goys and birls, try to play nice . . .
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Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 07:12 am


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Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 07:34 am

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Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 08:22 am
As a special envoy for the Reagan administration in 1984, Donald H. Rumsfeld, now the defense secretary, traveled to Iraq to persuade officials there that the United States was eager to improve ties with President Saddam Hussein despite his use of chemical weapons, newly declassified documents show.

Mr. Rumsfeld, who ran a pharmaceutical company at the time, was tapped by Secretary of State George P. Shultz to reinforce a message that a recent move to condemn Iraq's use of chemical weapons was strictly in principle and that America's priority was to prevent an Iranian victory in the Iran-Iraq war and to improve bilateral ties...

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Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 09:02 am
MorningSir ....How are things to the North?
Wouldn't it be great if Rummy should have a melt down in a press conference and say 'I know that Saddam has WMDs ... I sold the damn things to him'?
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Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 10:23 am
A young friend in Iraq


DRAGON BASE, Iraq -- Outside the barbed-wire fence of this remote, sand-swept U.S. military base along the Syrian border, Jassem Hussin, 14, gestured and muttered softly in Arabic. His father was a key guerrilla in a cell that was killing U.S. soldiers, the boy said.

Jassem hangs out with one of the Dragon Company soldiers, who wouldn't give his name for security reasons. Jassem has been living on the Dragon Base and providing information on Iraqi insurgents. The soldiers have taken a liking to him but watch him closely.

Jassem wanted him arrested. The GI on guard duty radioed his superiors.

Information to fight the insurgency in Iraq can come from unexpected sources. With Saddam Hussein's capture 10 days ago, U.S. military officials are hoping that more Iraqi informants like Jassem will come forward.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Guetschow and a translator arrived and drove Jassem to the base's gate in a Humvee. Jassem asked to be "arrested" in case someone was watching. Being an informant carries a death sentence in the frontier town of Husaybah, which butts against Dragon Base. The town is filled with angry Hussein loyalists and smugglers.

So Guetschow searched Jassem, bound his wrists with strips of plastic and pulled a black hood over his head.

"Here we go again, another informant," the soldier from New Mexico recalled thinking. "We get three to four of them a day. We never know if the information is leading you into a trap or if the information will be productive."

Little did the soldiers of Dragon Company, 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based in Ft. Carson, Colo., know that the smiling boy with the sapling-sized arms would become one of their best informants and that soon they would have to protect his life.

Information checks out

At the base in early December, Jassem poured out his story through a translator. His father, Muhammed Hussin, was a former Iraqi colonel who fought against the coalition and was still loyal to Hussein. He used to like watching a video of Iraqi soldiers slitting the throat of a captured coalition soldier during the war. At least two British soldiers and at least four U.S. soldiers are believed to have been executed by Iraqi captors in late March.

Hussin often physically abused Jassem and his mother, Jassem said. He forced the boy to drop out of school when he was 8 to pick fruit on a farm.

"I told them that my father was attacking Americans and that he had a lot of weapons," said Jassem. "And he had 50 friends helping him."

Jassem said his father often held clandestine meetings at their home to plan attacks on U.S. forces in Husaybah. The cell included former Iraqi army officers and Syrians who financed the attacks, the boy said. He said he knew they were Syrian from their accent and dialect.

About two weeks ago, Jassem's father ordered him to join his cell.

"The plan was to hit a U.S. convoy. My father was going to shoot it with an RPG," Jassem said, referring to a rocket-propelled grenade. "My job was to cover his back."

Jassem refused. His father threatened to kill him. So one day, Jassem told his mother he was going to look for work in another town.

Instead, he ran away to the American base.

Jassem told the officers of Dragon Company that his father had hidden a cache of weapons in a field next to their house. The soldiers were skeptical. But then the boy provided the names of 10 combatants who worked with his father. The soldiers checked the names against their intelligence files.

"Some of the names he gave us were high on our lists," said Capt. Chad Roehrman, 29, the commander of Dragon Company.

They decided to test the information of their latest informant. The next night, they raided Hussin's house. They detained him and a friend, snapped Polaroids and took them to Jassem, who was waiting in the Humvee.

Jassem identified them. As a helicopter gunship buzzed above them, the soldiers began to search the field. Jassem, disguised in military camouflage and a black ski mask, joined in the search.

After an hour and a half, they struck pay dirt. Buried near a wall, they found two Chinese rockets, a rocket-propelled grenade and other weapons. One of the rockets had been modified so it could be fired from the shoulder, a method the soldiers never had seen before.

They arrested Hussin and his friend.

The new recruit

After the raid, the soldiers took a liking to Jassem. They nicknamed him Steve-O, after one of the stars of the MTV show "Jackass." They gave him $300 for the weapons find and a job on the base helping the cook.

Jassem now wears desert fatigues and sports a military-style buzz cut. He lives in a small room with the cook. On a wall above his bed are pictures of bikini-clad women. A soldier gave him a disposable camera. He's been snapping pictures with his new friends ever since -- and giving them more tips.

"He's been fingering people from pictures from other raids," said 1st Sgt. Daniel Hendrex of Oklahoma. " 'Oh yeah, that's the mortar man.' I look at our list, sure enough he's a mortar man."

Jassem's life, however, is in danger. While interrogating his father and the friend, special forces soldiers revealed that Jassem was the informer, Roehrman said. It underscored the difficulties the U.S. military faces protecting informants as intelligence is processed.

Soon afterward, Jassem's neighbor, who also is a member of the cell, threatened to kill his mother if he didn't hand himself over. When Jassem heard about the ultimatum during a visit home, he told the soldiers at Dragon Base.

"The Americans should help me like I've helped them," Jassem said.

The soldiers raided the neighbor's house, but spies tipped him off and he disappeared. Last weekend, they tried again. This time they found a passport-sized photo of the man, which they can use to track him down.

After the raid, Hendrex visited Jassem's mother. He gave her $200 to help get her family and herself out of town until the neighbor has been captured.

Though Jassem has helped them tremendously, the soldiers keep a close watch on him. In Iraq, even informants as nice as Jassem can turn, with enough money or threats. The last thing they want is to have Jassem provide intelligence to the guerrillas about Dragon Base.

"He's not leaving this base with that camera," Hendrex said.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 10:24 am
During a visit to Washington, Iraqi Under Secretary Kittani met at some length with U.S. Under Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. The administration's explicit goal for the meeting was to blunt the impact of the State Department's March 5 public criticism of Iraq's use of chemical weapons. As this cable puts it: "[T]he main message of the U.S. side [is that] our condemnation of Iraqi CW use was made as part of [a] strong U.S. commitment to long standing policy, and not as a pro-Iranian/anti-Iraqi gesture." To "reinforce" the point, Secretary of State George Shultz dropped in on the meeting briefly. "The U.S. will continue its efforts to help prevent an Iranian victory, and earnestly wishes to continue the progress in its relations with Iraq," Eagleburger told his counterpart. Among other steps to improve Iraq's position, Eagleburger indicated he had spoken with Export-Import Bank Chairman William Draper about the importance of financing projects in Iraq - at a time when internal bank objections threatened to scotch plans to provide loans for the Aqaba pipeline.

from: Saddam Hussein: More Secret History
link to primary source
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cicerone imposter
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 11:32 am
Jassem should be sent to the US; he's done his duty. Why continue to expose him to injury or death? I'm sure there are plenty of families in the US that would adopt him. He's earned that.
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Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 11:38 am
While interrogating his father and the friend, special forces soldiers revealed that Jassem was the informer

Brilliant. Just brilliant.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 11:44 am
It's all relative.
Citizen Conrad's Friends
December 23, 2003

Yesterday's eye-opening New York Times story about the
inner circle of Conrad Black, the troubled chairman of
Hollinger International, described him as a "throwback
press baron." Indeed, his style recalls that of William
Randolph Hearst. But it's a mistake to think of Lord Black,
whatever his personal fate, as a throwback to a bygone era.
He probably represents the wave of the future.

These days, everything old is new again. Income is once
again concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite, and money
rules politics to an extent not seen since the Gilded Age.
The Iraq war bears an eerie resemblance to the
Spanish-American war. (There was never any evidence linking
Spain to the Maine's demise.) And Citizen Kane is back, in
the form of an incestuous media-political complex.

Conrad Black's empire includes The Daily Telegraph in
London, The Jerusalem Post and The Chicago Sun-Times. He
switched from Canadian to British citizenship - an action
that forced him to give up control of Canada's National
Post - when the Canadian government prevented him from
becoming a member of the House of Lords.

Now he's a lord in trouble. Hollinger, it turns out, has
paid hundreds of millions in fees to companies controlled
by Lord Black and to individual executives. Some of these
payments were secret and were unauthorized by the board.
Even if viewed purely as a corporate scandal, this is
pretty major stuff.

But the Black affair isn't just about bad corporate
governance. It goes without saying that Lord Black, like
Rupert Murdoch, has used his media empire to promote a
conservative political agenda. The Telegraph, in
particular, has a habit of "finding" documents of unproven
authenticity that just happen to support neoconservative
rationales for war. We're now learning that Lord Black also
used his control of Hollinger to reward friends, including
journalists, who share his political views.

Inevitably the list includes both Henry Kissinger and
Richard Perle, whom I hereby propose (stealing an idea from
Slate's Tim Noah) as the subject of a parlor game about
cronyism, along the lines of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon."
The former Pentagon official, who has close ties to Donald
Rumsfeld, has enthusiastically embraced the advantages of
being both a businessman and a policy insider. His
prestigious if part-time official position on the Defense
Policy Board provides him with credibility, and at least
the suggestion of both inside information and policy
influence. This has led to lucrative consulting deals, and
has attracted investments in his venture capital fund,
Trireme Partners.

Last August, in a moment of supreme synergy, Mr. Perle,
wearing his defense-insider hat, co-wrote a Wall Street
Journal op-ed praising the Pentagon's controversial Boeing
tanker deal. He didn't disclose Boeing's $2.5 million
investment in Trireme.

Sure enough, Hollinger also invested $2.5 million in
Trireme, which is advised by Lord Black. In addition, Mr.
Perle was paid more than $300,000 a year and received $2
million in bonuses as head of a Hollinger subsidiary. It's
good to have friends.

The real surprise, though, is that two prominent
journalists, William Buckley and George Will, were also
regular paid advisors to Hollinger. Now, I thought there
were rules here. First, if you're a full-time journalist,
you shouldn't be in that kind of relationship. Second,
whoever you are, if you write a favorable article about
someone with whom you have a personal or financial
connection - like Mr. Perle's piece on the tanker deal or
Mr. Will's March column praising Lord Black's wisdom - you
disclose that connection. But I guess the old rules no
longer apply.

That, surely, is the moral of this story. Lord Black may
have destroyed himself by being a bit too brazen. But his
more powerful rival Rupert Murdoch just goes from strength
to strength, even though top positions in his media empire
have a tendency to go to his sons, and the News Corporation
has done far more than Hollinger to blur the line between
news and propaganda. And the empire keeps growing: last
week the Federal Communications Commission approved Mr.
Murdoch's acquisition of a controlling interest in DirecTV,
whose satellite television serves 11 million U.S. homes.

In other words, Lord Black may be about to fall, but the
nexus among news coverage, political influence and personal
gain seems likely to grow even stronger.

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Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 07:57 pm
Walter and blatham, that was an interesting article indeed in today's Times about Rumsfeld.
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Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 09:29 pm

Conrad Black is a fellow many Canadians have been quite happy to lose. He came to own some 70% of Canadian newspapers, including three of the four dailies that represent Vancouver's printed press (both local papers, and one of two national, since sold to the Asper family, also very right wing in editorial slant and in content). His credo as newsman was "one reporter, and two at the sales desk". His response to criticism was, often, to sue. A bully and a loudmouth whose behavior demonstrated more pathologies than he had any notion of. He hasn't improved.
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Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2003 05:38 am
Four-Star Marine General: Iraq Strategy "Screwed-Up&quo
Four-Star Marine General: Iraq Strategy "Screwed-Up"
By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday 23 December 2003

Anthony C. Zinni's opposition to U.S. policy on Iraq began on the monsoon-ridden afternoon of Nov. 3, 1970. He was lying on a Vietnamese mountainside west of Da Nang, three rounds from an AK-47 assault rifle in his side and back. He could feel his lifeblood seeping into the ground as he slipped in and out of consciousness.

He had plenty of time to think in the following months while recuperating in a military hospital in Hawaii. Among other things, he promised himself that, "If I'm ever in a position to say what I think is right, I will. . . . I don't care what happens to my career."

That time has arrived.

Over the past year, the retired Marine Corps general has become one of the most prominent opponents of Bush administration policy on Iraq, which he now fears is drifting toward disaster.

It is one of the more unusual political journeys to come out of the American experience with Iraq. Zinni still talks like an old-school Marine -- a big-shouldered, weight-lifting, working-class Philadelphian whose father emigrated from Italy's Abruzzi region, and who is fond of quoting the wisdom of his fictitious "Uncle Guido, the plumber." Yet he finds himself in the unaccustomed role of rallying the antiwar camp, attacking the policies of the president and commander in chief whom he had endorsed in the 2000 election.

"Iraq is in serious danger of coming apart because of lack of planning, underestimating the task and buying into a flawed strategy," he says. "The longer we stubbornly resist admitting the mistakes and not altering our approach, the harder it will be to pull this chestnut out of the fire."

Three years ago, Zinni completed a tour as chief of the Central Command, the U.S. military headquarters for the Middle East, during which he oversaw enforcement of the two "no-fly" zones in Iraq and also conducted four days of punishing airstrikes against that country in 1998. He even served briefly as a special envoy to the Middle East, mainly as a favor to his old friend and comrade Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

Zinni long has worried that there are worse outcomes possible in Iraq than having Saddam Hussein in power -- such as eliminating him in such a way that Iraq will become a new haven for terrorism in the Middle East.

"I think a weakened, fragmented, chaotic Iraq, which could happen if this isn't done carefully, is more dangerous in the long run than a contained Saddam is now," he told reporters in 1998. "I don't think these questions have been thought through or answered." It was a warning for which Iraq hawks such as Paul D. Wolfowitz, then an academic and now the No. 2 official at the Pentagon, attacked him in print at the time.

Now, five years later, Zinni fears it is an outcome toward which U.S.-occupied Iraq may be drifting. Nor does he think the capture of Hussein is likely to make much difference, beyond boosting U.S. troop morale and providing closure for his victims. "Since we've failed thus far to capitalize" on opportunities in Iraq, he says, "I don't have confidence we will do it now. I believe the only way it will work now is for the Iraqis themselves to somehow take charge and turn things around. Our policy, strategy, tactics, et cetera, are still screwed up."

'Where's the Threat?'

Anthony Zinni's passage from obedient general to outspoken opponent began in earnest in the unlikeliest of locations, the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was there in Nashville in August 2002 to receive the group's Dwight D. Eisenhower Distinguished Service Award, recognition for his 35 years in the Marine Corps.

Vice President Cheney was also there, delivering a speech on foreign policy. Sitting on the stage behind the vice president, Zinni grew increasingly puzzled. He had endorsed Bush and Cheney two years earlier, just after he retired from his last military post, as chief of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations in Iraq.

"I think he ran on a moderate ticket, and that's my leaning -- I'm kind of a Lugar-Hagel-Powell guy," he says, listing three Republicans associated with centrist foreign policy positions.

He was alarmed that day to hear Cheney make the argument for attacking Iraq on grounds that Zinni found questionable at best:

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction," Cheney said. "There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us."

Cheney's certitude bewildered Zinni. As chief of the Central Command, Zinni had been immersed in U.S. intelligence about Iraq. He was all too familiar with the intelligence analysts' doubts about Iraq's programs to acquire weapons of mass destruction, or WMD. "In my time at Centcom, I watched the intelligence, and never -- not once -- did it say, 'He has WMD.' "

Though retired for nearly two years, Zinni says, he remained current on the intelligence through his consulting with the CIA and the military. "I did consulting work for the agency, right up to the beginning of the war. I never saw anything. I'd say to analysts, 'Where's the threat?' " Their response, he recalls, was, "Silence."

Zinni's concern deepened as Cheney pressed on that day at the Opryland Hotel. "Time is not on our side," the vice president said. "The risks of inaction are far greater than the risks of action."

Zinni's conclusion as he slowly walked off the stage that day was that the Bush administration was determined to go to war. A moment later, he had another, equally chilling thought: "These guys don't understand what they are getting into."

Unheeded Advice

This retired Marine commander is hardly a late-life convert to pacifism. "I'm not saying there aren't parts of the world that don't need their ass kicked," he says, sitting in a hotel lobby in Pentagon City, wearing an open-necked blue shirt. Even at the age of 60, he remains an avid weight-lifter and is still a solid, square-faced slab of a man. "Afghanistan was the right thing to do," he adds, referring to the U.S. invasion there in 2001 to oust the Taliban regime and its allies in the al Qaeda terrorist organization.

But he didn't see any need to invade Iraq. He didn't think Hussein was much of a worry anymore. "He was contained," he says. "It was a pain in the ass, but he was contained. He had a deteriorated military. He wasn't a threat to the region."

But didn't his old friend Colin Powell also describe Hussein as a threat? Zinni dismisses that. "He's trying to be the good soldier, and I respect him for that." Zinni no longer does any work for the State Department.

Zinni's concern deepened at a Senate hearing in February, just six weeks before the war began. As he awaited his turn to testify, he listened to Pentagon and State Department officials talk vaguely about the "uncertainties" of a postwar Iraq. He began to think they were doing the wrong thing the wrong way. "I was listening to the panel, and I realized, 'These guys don't have a clue.' "

That wasn't a casual judgment. Zinni had started thinking about how the United States might handle Iraq if Hussein's government collapsed after Operation Desert Fox, the four days of airstrikes that he oversaw in December 1998, in which he targeted presidential palaces, Baath Party headquarters, intelligence facilities, military command posts and barracks, and factories that might build missiles that could deliver weapons of mass destruction.

In the wake of those attacks on about 100 major targets, intelligence reports came in that Hussein's government had been shaken by the short campaign. "After the strike, we heard from countries with diplomatic missions in there [Baghdad] that the regime was paralyzed, and that there was a kind of defiance in the streets," he recalls.

So early in 1999 he ordered that plans be devised for the possibility of the U.S. military having to occupy Iraq. Under the code name "Desert Crossing," the resulting document called for a nationwide civilian occupation authority, with offices in each of Iraq's 18 provinces. That plan contrasts sharply, he notes, with the reality of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S. occupation power, which for months this year had almost no presence outside Baghdad -- an absence that some Army generals say has increased their burden in Iraq.

Listening to the administration officials testify that day, Zinni began to suspect that his careful plans had been disregarded. Concerned, he later called a general at Central Command's headquarters in Tampa and asked, "Are you guys looking at Desert Crossing?" The answer, he recalls, was, "What's that?"

The more he listened to Wolfowitz and other administration officials talk about Iraq, the more Zinni became convinced that interventionist "neoconservative" ideologues were plunging the nation into a war in a part of the world they didn't understand. "The more I saw, the more I thought that this was the product of the neocons who didn't understand the region and were going to create havoc there. These were dilettantes from Washington think tanks who never had an idea that worked on the ground."

;And the more he dwelled on this, the more he began to believe that U.S. soldiers would wind up paying for the mistakes of Washington policymakers. And that took him back to that bloody day in the sodden Que Son mountains in Vietnam.

A Familiar Chill

Even now, decades later, Vietnam remains a painful subject for him. "I only went to the Wall once, and it was very difficult," he says, talking about his sole visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall. "I was walking down past the names of my men," he recalls. "My buddies, my troops -- just walking down that Wall was hard, and I couldn't go back."

Now he feels his nation -- and a new generation of his soldiers -- have been led down a similar path.

"Obviously there are differences" between Vietnam and Iraq, he says. "Every situation is unique." But in his bones, he feels the same chill. "It feels the same. I hear the same things -- about [administration charges about] not telling the good news, about cooking up a rationale for getting into the war." He sees both conflicts as beginning with deception by the U.S. government, drawing a parallel between how the Johnson administration handled the beginning of the Vietnam War and how the Bush administration touted the threat presented by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. "I think the American people were conned into this," he says. Referring to the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which the Johnson administration claimed that U.S. Navy ships had been subjected to an unprovoked attack by North Vietnam, he says, "The Gulf of Tonkin and the case for WMD and terrorism is synonymous in my mind."

Likewise, he says, the goal of transforming the Middle East by imposing democracy by force reminds him of the "domino theory" in the 1960s that the United States had to win in Vietnam to prevent the rest of Southeast Asia from falling into communist hands.

And that brings him back to Wolfowitz and his neoconservative allies as the root of the problem. "I don't know where the neocons came from -- that wasn't the platform they ran on," he says. "Somehow, the neocons captured the president. They captured the vice president."

He is especially irked that, as he sees it, no senior officials have taken responsibility for their incorrect assessment of the threat posed by Iraq. "What I don't understand is that the bill of goods the neocons sold him has been proven false, yet heads haven't rolled," he says. "Where is the accountability? I think some fairly senior people at the Pentagon ought to go." Who? "That's up to the president."

Zinni has picked his shots carefully -- a speech here, a "Nightline" segment or interview there. "My contemporaries, our feelings and sensitivities were forged on the battlefields of Vietnam, where we heard the garbage and the lies, and we saw the sacrifice," he said at a talk to hundreds of Marine and Navy officers and others at a Crystal City hotel ballroom in September. "I ask you, is it happening again?" The speech, part of a forum sponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute and the Marine Corps Association, received prolonged applause, with many officers standing.

Zinni says that he hasn't received a single negative response from military people about the stance he has taken. "I was surprised by the number of uniformed guys, all ranks, who said, 'You're speaking for us. Keep on keeping on.' "

Even home in Williamsburg, he has been surprised at the reaction. "I mean, I live in a very conservative Republican community, and people were saying, 'You're right.' "

But Zinni vows that he has learned a lesson. Reminded that he endorsed Bush in 2000, he says, "I'm not going to do anything political again -- ever. I made that mistake one time."
0 Replies
Steve 41oo
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2003 08:01 am
Just checking in.

Happy Christmas all.

Off to Norwich via RAF Mildenhall and Lakenheath which some of you might know

0 Replies
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2003 09:07 am

Great piece on Zinni! My christmas prayer...that more people will fall away from the fool's cap corner of partisan trust and loyalty and recognize this administration for its extremity and its threat to peace and liberty.

steve, and all else

a very merry christmas
0 Replies
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2003 10:30 am
Merry Christmas eh ....

Ok, on the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.. beer.
On the 2nd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... 2 turtlenecks, and beer.
On the 3rd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.. 3 french toast, 2 turtlenecks, and beer. There should be more there, eh? Where?
On the 4th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.. 4lbs of backbacon, 3 french toast, 2 turtlenecks, and beer in a tree. Oh. See? ya need more.
On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.. 5 GOLDEN TOQUES! 4lbs of backbacon, 3 french toast, 2 turtlenecks, and beer in a tree.
On the 6th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.. 6 packs of two-four. 5 GOLDEN TOQUES! 4lbs of backbacon, 3 french toast, 2 turtlenecks, and beer in a tree.

On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.. 7 packs of smokes, 6 packs of two-four, 5 GOLDEN TOQUES! 4lbs of backbacon, 3 french toast, 2 turtlenecks, and beer in a tree. oh, i keep forgettin'.
whew, this should be just the 2 days of xmas, this is too hard for us!
On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.. 8 comic books, 7 packs of smokes, 6 packs of two-four, 5 GOLDEN TOQUES! 4lbs of backbacon, 3 french toast, 2 turtlenecks, and beer in a tree.
Wow,That beers empty
Day 12.
G'day and welcome to day 12.
5 GOLDEN TOQUES! 4lbs of backbacon, 3 french toast, 2 turtlenecks, and beer in a tre-e.

The whole routine ...... eh
0 Replies
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2003 02:29 pm
Hey these posts are too long.

But following the trend, this from The Guardian today; I may post it elsewhere too.


They do it their way

Wednesday December 24, 2003
The Guardian

Even before the costs of the Iraq war and occupation, which themselves exceed $100bn, the United States had a regular defence budget this year of $334bn. The sum is larger than the combined defence spending totals of the 10 next largest military powers on the planet. For this outlay the US possesses the world's largest navy, the world's third largest air force and the world's sixth largest army, all of which are incomparably better equipped than their rivals, and employ a total of 1.43 million personnel between them. The US has taken part in 14 wars since Vietnam, and has troops of some sort stationed in the majority of the world's nations, with significant numbers in a dozen or more, from Iraq to our own.
To call the US a militaristic culture may be an exaggeration, but it is a pardonable one. This massive investment forms the bedrock of an intense national feeling in America about its armed forces. Pride in the military has become an essential theme in the national story, from George Washington to George Bush, represented in movies, monuments and an immense range of military literature. Though that narrative took a hit during and after Vietnam, it was rekindled in the Reagan years and has never looked back since. From the 50th anniversary of D-Day in 1994 onwards, modern middle America has been sustained by a renewed self-image of itself as heir to the "greatest generation". That connection was explicit in Mr Bush's Iraq speeches, and it has now reached a new apotheosis in Time magazine's decision to award its Person of the Year accolade to "the American soldier" in the aftermath of the Iraq war.

All of this will play well in Peoria. But the award shows precisely why some Americans just do not get it about other countries, this one included. Earlier this year, in his book Of Paradise and Power, Robert Kagan argued that the US and Europe now see the world differently. Naturally he placed the whole blame for this on the Europeans. Well, anyone who wants to understand why the US is indeed different from us, but why it also bears at least some of the responsibility for the current divergence of ways, would do well to read the current Time. From the front cover onwards, with its trio of posed soldiers - one white man, one black man and one white woman, all straight from central casting - the magazine exemplifies the gap between how America sees itself ("They are the face of America, its might and good will," as Time expresses it) and how so many others around the world see the current US administration and its military works.
0 Replies
cicerone imposter
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2003 02:47 pm
McTag, What this administration lacks is their ability to see the effect we have around the world as the "Great Bully." They never diverge from "might is right." Simple-minded and dangerous to all concerned - including us/US.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2003 04:06 pm
Simple minded
The USA has a simple minded Pres. He was apparently told by his handlers that invading Iraq would make him a hero and God would smile down on him. Seems to me that this plan was well recieved by the millions of simple minded Americans. Had all gone smoothly and the Iraqies been made to bow down to the Almighty Power of the USA Military the plan would have worked out. It still may work out. Six months from now we shall see won't we?

History is complex and many events are not understood until years pass that allow reflection. Iran/Contra was one of those events that was too complicated for most Americans to grasp.

The Admin. at that time did mostly get away with their subversion of the Constitution. Those that broke the laws and subverted the Constitution were in fact rewarded and Pres. Reagan is seen as an American Hero by millions. Such is the simplicity of most events. Most Americans have a deep desire to view their homeland as "the home of the brave and the land of the free" and "Good". Anything that encroaches upon that notion is swept aside and denied vehemently.

Simple perception becomes reality.
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Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2003 06:50 pm
Ooops, we invaded by mistake...It was just a goof. Aww shucks!
The source said the report concludes there was no intention to deceive; instead it was "a goof" as the administration searched for examples to share with the public of why the United States believed Iraq was attempting to build a nuclear program.

And this makes it forgiveable how? If anything such an occurance is even more reason for this group of incompetents to be removed from power!
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