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Cry Me A Riverbend II

Friday, December 31, 2004

New Years Greeting From Cox & Forkum

Trouble At Iraqi Elections Blog.

There seems to be an insurgency over at Iraqi Elections Blog. Unrealist Khalid Jarrar (of Tell Me A Secret) is one of the contributors there, and yesterday, Khalid posted a link to his most recent blog claiming that elections would be a provocation to civil war.

One day, someone is going to get Khalid to admit that all he wants is a civil war and to have Saddam reinstated.

In the comments section, I wrote:
Why give Khalid Jarrar a voice at all on a page devoted to the Iraqi elections? He doesn’t want elections. He believes (ahem) that elections will provoke violence and civil war (what’s going on now?). He would have rather seen Iraq go without elections entirely for the forseeable future rather than have someone from the “outside” take down Saddam Hussein’s regime. Khalid is a reactionary and you cannot wedge a strand of hair between his political alliegances, desires, plans, and worldview and those of the ex-Republican Guard working with the Islamofascists blowing up power lines, water treatment plants, kidnapping NGO workers, and killing Iraqi policemen.

My point is, why is Khalid Jarrar’s view of the upcoming elections any more worthwhile than Zarqawi’s?

Then top contributor Stephen appended a comment to Khalid's post (rather than simply placing it in the comments page). Khalid then posted an outrage at this action and a demand that Stephen remove his...er...appendage!

I posted a comment to Khalid's new post saying that I thought Stephen was being too generous with Khalid already.

Within a couple hours, Khalid's complaining post was removed, but Stephen's comment remains. Hmmmm...I really would have liked to see the emails flying between Stephen and Khalid.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

My Discussion Over At "Calling It Like Is"

Abbas Kadhim is an Iraqi Berkley doctoral candidate in the department of Near Eastern Studies.

I recall or have inferred that he is (at least by heritage) a Shia Muslim. He's no fan of President Bush's, but despite what you may gather from our current discussion, it is not really easy to tell from his blog what he thinks about about the MNF's deposing of Saddam. Maybe he's as confused as I am.

Anyway, Abbas has referenced an article, here, from "The Guardian" columnist, Naomi Klein, who (like Khalid Jarrar) believes elections will provoke a civil war. She also says that the MNF should get out immediately, and (by the way) pay reparations to the Iraqis.

(And after the REAL civil war is over, who shall we make the check out to? A re-installed Saddam? Zarqawi? Some Islamofacist beast who -- as the Taliban did -- turns men over to the torturers for trimming their beards and outlaws birds from the market because they sing?)

This idea that elections will be the cause of a civil war is an interesting new angle for the Unrealists. It is sort of akin to the one that says the troops that deposed Saddam and allowed Shiya to freely practice their faith are a provocation to the Saddamist dead-enders (like Khalid) and Saddam-wanna-be's like Muqtada al-Sadir (well of course they are!)

Abbas says:

I never liked Saddam and even fought against him, but here and important point you need to remember: Saddam gave the UN hundreds of thousands of documents, even when he was given an impossible deadline. The U.S. government dismissed what he provided, just hours after he produced it. They even did not wait until someone looked at it.That is why the rest of the world did not want to side with President Bush. He wanted war no matter what. He was wrong, and this is the genesis of today's catastrophe.

The truth is while I really like Abbas' blog and his writing, I'm getting very weary of this tact "I hated Saddam but I'm indignant at how he was mistreated by Dubya in the run-up to the war". There's something about it I just find hard to buy-off on. I might be more patient of it coming from a reasonable voice like Abbas' if I had not heard it ad nausem from maniacs like Raed and Khalid Jarrar.

Anyway, our discussion in in the comments section. Check it out.

The following is what I've asked Shirin in the comments section. Any Unrealist may consider it an open letter himself/herself:

I don't know what to say to you Shirin. You say Iraq is occupied, so the MNF is holding elections. You say the elections are not free without third-party monitoring. There are third-parties monitoring them but the UN won't because they don't think it's "safe". Of course, MNF and Iraqis are no less safe than the UN would be. So what do you want?

You have implied that there is no Zarqawi, that there are no Arabs that did well under Saddam and would like his regime returned. Then who are they and what would placate them?

Do you want the MNF to leave right away? You seem to be denying that you believe there will be no civil war if that happens, so what do want?

I can't decide whether you live in fairlyland or an endless conspiracy theory but if you ever make it to reality you're welcome to bunk at my house.

Quit hiding behind snide sarcasm (a common stance of the Unrealists) and come out and say what you want to see happen in Iraq. Just come out and say it.

Forget about whining about how Saddam was screwed because I'm not going to cry over Saddam or any of his cronies or supporters (dead or alive).

This is today. January 1st, 2005. What do you think should happen?


This is the answer Shirin gave:

Like the overwhelming majority of Iraqis I want the American occupation of Iraq to end, and the sooner the better. I want them to get out of Iraq lock, stock, barrel, bombs, tanks and helicopters. I want them to take their imported "Iraqis" with them. I want them to pay reparations for what they have done to Iraq

Now Shirin had previously accused me of misconstruing meaning of his words so I responded:

Great! Now I know. Now there's no danger of misconstuing your intentions. You want civil war. Great idea. So much better than elections.You also believe that the Iraqis who fled Iraq from Saddam Hussein should be sent into permanent exile.Let's get on to those reparations. Who should we cut the check to? The current government? Or to one of the two dozen warlords who will be in power two weeks from now? Maybe should release Saddam, Chemical Ali, Dr. Germ, and Dr. Anthrax from from their cells and give the checks to them.

How about the Kurds? Why don't we split the money between Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Saudia Arabia since those powers will definitely be moving into the country as the only way to secure their borders and prevent chaocracy from developing next to them.Maybe we could cut the checks separately to each Iraqi....hmmm...of course we can save money by holding off a year since about a third of them will be dead by that time.

Pick one of these or choose your own method. Don't bother posting that I'm misrepresenting you because I'm not representing you at all. I would really like to know how you expect things to play out after the MNF leaves.

Shirin's response was:

What do you think you accomplish with these kinds of games? Do you really think this is a good argument technique? Well, it isn't. What it is is a good way to bring a discussion to a screeching halt.If you are going to play these kinds of games, I am finished with you.

It always ends this way. When I plumb for details the Unrealists either go silent or get snippy and then dance some more. Shirin got snippy and then went silent.

But I'm still seeking answers to these questions so any Unrealists who would like to take a better shot at this than Shirin are urged to enter their comments here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Glance Back

I've suggested (based on information provided in Riverbend's blog) that Riverbend's family were important members Saddam's regime. I suggested at that time that she got her cushy IT job through her family connections and therefore lost it when Iraq was liberated and her family lost their positions in the Saddam's Orwellian kleptocracy. If you ask, "why should that matter?" I'll answer that you might as well ask why should we not accept the Bush Twins' opinions on merits of John Kerry as those of impartial informed observers.

It seems I was not the first to question Riverbend's credibilty or to suspect she was a Saddam booster. Ays at Iraq at a Glance on December 9, 2003:
it is obvious that you are one of “ Al-Mtannigain”, ( in Iraqi slang, it means: a haughty person with arrogance-look, as all of Saddamists were!).

Apparently "al-Mtannigain" was a pejorative name for someone closely connected to Saddam's regime. Gee, that's as good a term as "Unrealist". (He politely does not mention Riverbend's name, but he's fisking this post)

CMAR II says "Check it out".

Ali At "Iraq The Model" Calls It Quits

While his brothers Omar and Mohammed were on their US tour (including meetings with President Dubya), the third brother, Ali, was calling it quits.
I'll give the quote, but some background is necessary. Iraq the Model was completely ignored by the Unrealists since its inception. Ali noted this silence only a few weeks ago:

Speaking of the sides of the blogosphere, I wanted to say that I only knew about the left side of the blogosphere months after we started. I thought that the right side was the whole thing, as in the beginning I thought we were just posting our thoughts 'into the darkness' and get lots of visitors without having any idea were they come from except Iraqi blogs. Later we found about the major blogs such as Instapundit, Andrew Sullivan, Buzz Machine, LGF, Tim Blair, Roger Simon, Right Wing news…Etc and for long months I thought these were the only major bloggers! I didn't know because these were the sites linking to us and from were we get lots of visitors and when I used to go to their sites I would find a somewhat similar list. It turned out to be that the other side top bloggers rarely if ever mentioned us or other Iraqi blogs except for the very anti-American [Iraqi blogs]. I realized lately that the blogosphere was divided into two major parts with very few bridges.

But when they arrived on American shores they seem to have become impossible to ignore anymore -- even for experts at ignorance. The ITM boys became the subjects of nasty little slurs that they were CIA fronts for some secret PR plot to undermine the Anti-Liberation effort -- most famously by the ferret-faced Juan Cole. I won't go into that story any more than to direct you here, here, here, and here where the subject was tracked in depth.

The upshot is that the Unrealist Juan Cole made a very bad mistake in slurring the ITM boys and comparing them unfavorably to Riverbend. This was a bad mistake because A) Ali was doing the blogging at the time and, B) unlike the weasel-mugged Dr. Cole, Ali has a very firm grasp on a long gnarly Reality Stick and he knows how to wield it.

This whole event almost seemed to be a set piece because both Riverbend and Mr. Wiskers himself have previously been put through painful vivisections by Ali for spreading lies.

Ali set about here and here to introduce Dr. Cole to Reality in a manner likely to permanently alter his appearance (for which he should be grateful).

Note: Among the myriad of deficiencies Ali notes in the quack Dr. Cole's post is that when he compared Riverbend to Iraq the Model, he provided a hyperlink to Baghdad Burning but (oops!) neglected to do so for Iraq the Model. All part of a pattern for the Unrealists apparently.

But just as the blogosphere formed a circle around Ali and Cole, and as it whirred with the chants of "Fight! Fight! Fight!", Ali posted this enigmatic message:

This is the last time I write in this blog and I just want to say, goodbye. It's not an easy thing to do for me, but I know I should do it. I haven't told my brothers with my decision, as they are not here yet, but it won't change anything and I just can't keep doing this anymore. My stand regarding America has never changed. I still love America and feel grateful to all those who helped us get our freedom and are still helping us establishing democracy in our country. But it's the act of some Americans that made me feel I'm on the wrong side here. I will expose these people in public very soon and I won't lack the mean to do this, but I won't do it here as this is not my blog. At any rate, it's been a great experience and a pleasure to know all the regular readers of this blog, as I do feel I know you, and I owe you a lot. Best wishes to all of you, those who supported us and those who criticized us as well.

So Ali was quitting the blog. He reaffirms his alliance with America, with Americans, and with the democratic cause in Iraq; so what does he mean by these "Americans that made me feel I'm on the wrong side here"? He promises to "expose" these Americans but he won't do it on Iraq the Model. Will he start his own blog?

There has been a lot of speculation. Andrew Sullivan implied that he thought it had to do with Abu Ghraib.


So why did Ali quit? There were rumblings about this only a week prior. On Dec. 11th Ali said,

We were all invited in the beginning and I was very excited to meet our friends that we met through this blog, and I wanted to be able to say "Thank you America" in America, but I decided few days before the trip not to go (for reasons that I'll discuss in the future, probably). However, my invitation was cancelled even before I tell the people who set up the trip about my decision. So I asked Mohammed and Omar to go ahead, as I thought it might be good for our project "Friends of Democracy" and Iraq.I still hope to visit America some day, but I would love this to happen normally, and not through exceptional procedures and I would be so happy to meet all my American friends and to say thank you to the American people. More on this in the future, probably.

I still hope to visit America some day, but I would love this to happen normally, and not through exceptional procedures and I would be so happy to meet all my American friends and to say thank you to the American people.More on this in the future, probably.

Can his brothers provide any illumination? No. Not yet, anyway. Omar posted an equally strange non-explanation a couple days later:

Ali's decision to leave the blog is a personal decision that neither I nor Mohammed want, or have the right to interfere with, but I'm sure that he had his reasons which he preferred to keep for himself, at least for now. Anyway, he only left the blog because he thinks he can serve his country in a better way through doing other things but we still hope that he will reconsider his decision.

The really weird thing about this post for me is that Ali seems (so far) to be unwilling to elaborate on his reason for quitting the blog to his brothers.

It's too bad about Ali. I miss him already. I hope his brothers won't take this as a criticism when I say that I enjoyed his posts the most. They were orderly, analytical, and God help those who earned his wrath.

Hopefully, we'll hear more on this in the near future.

We have innocent men in jail,
The insane asylums are filled.
We've got unrighteous doctors
Dealing drugs that will never cure your ills.
- Bob Dylan

Ladel up a big helping of crow for me. I called Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com a liar for saying that Ali had identified "extreme conservatives" as the"some powers" trying to use Iraq The Model as a propaganda tool. I searched the ITM blog and found nothing but I didn't search haloscan.com and the quotes were in the Comments section of ITM. Furthermore, haloscan does not show any comments for Ali's posts although there are literally hundreds. I retract my statement and apologize to Justin. I've removed the comment from this post lest someone see it and not read this Update.

Here's what is known about why Ali quit. He says here:

The thing that upset me the most is that if there are some powers that are trying to use us and our writings as propaganda tool, you and other bloggers as well as some of the media outlets are doing the same with anti-American Iraqi bloggers yet still have the nerve not only to criticize all those who support us (who are not exclusively conservatives) but also insult us and apply the worst description to our efforts and hopes in building our country, many times going as far as disfiguring facts and using stupid conspiracy theories.

In the Comments, a reader Quentin said:
Don't you ever think that the war in your country has deep consequences for the people of the U.S. Tell me, do you?

To which Ali responded:
Yes of course I do. What I said is that I'm not going to support any party over the others, and that these parties should remember that it's not all about them. Some people just have forgot about us and deal with Iraqis as pawns to win more control inside the US. All they are interested in is news, not what these news mean in term of humans that are involved. They just look for news that support their stand; good news for the right and bad for the extreme left.

Then reader Lydia said:
I'm a little confused, Ali. Are you saying you're sorry that the trip was used and politicized by the MR blog and Juan Cole? Or that conservatives used it politically? Or... what?

To which Ali answered:
No Lydia, not conservatives but some group of extremist conservatives. I have nothing against American conservatives and I see them as true friends.

Lee C. commented:
Einstein claims the universe is finite (sorta "round"). You go far enough to the left and you wind up on the right.

And Lisa New York said:
Ali, I'm a little confused also and I think maybe you should clarify what you meant. Do you mean that you think your brothers were "used" during the actual trip, in who they met and what they did or do you mean that some people on the Internet or elsewhere used them by talking about the trip in a certain way. I think it's an important distinction.

To which Ali responded:
They were used during the trip, and Lee C is right. I have to wait for my brothers before I explain everything although I have no doubt what so ever about these people and their hypocracy. I was shocked when I discovered this as I truly thought they cared about us.

So who are these people -- these "extreme conservatives" -- that Ali says "used" his brothers during the trip? Spirit of America? They are the most likely candidates since Ali seems to have come to his decision about them before Omar and Mohammed even left for the states. His brothers don't seem to agree with him about them (whoever they really are).

Its difficult for me to understand why Ali would not feel comfortable "exposing" them on Iraq The Model but I don't claim to have insight into the dynamics of every family. What did they do that stepped over the line in Ali's opinion? Were the brothers given "talking points" or asked to limit what they said in some way?

It is increasingly difficult to believe that Omar and Mohammed do not know what happened to dissaffect Ali. It certainly seems that they don't agree on it, however. The two brothers could be staying quiet for one of two reasons:

  • They believe Ali's complaint has some merit or at least apparent merit and do not repeat it for fear of slandering them.
  • They (in their mind) are protecting Ali because they think revealing the reason would make him seem petty.

But if Ali starts a blog and "exposes" these "people", well, what then? Will the other two brothers come to their defense?

I think that if Spirit of America is not the people Ali is referring to then Omar and Mohammed should say they aren't. Because, it does look like they are the ones we are talking about. And if it is Spirit of America, then the brothers should lay out the facts and let the people decide rather than have everyone speculate on what horrible things they have might have done. Either way, their silence is not being merciful to Spirit of America.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A clarification of terms: Unrealists

What shall I call those who are ideologically committed to the failure of democracy in Iraq?

The anti-warriors? No, that won't do. They managed to hold their "peace" (ironically) while Clinton bombed the bejeezus out Saddam, Kosovo, and a Sudan aspirin factory (not that I'm complaining about it...I just saying is all). Anti-democrats? Well, they will vociferously deny that. They're for democracy...if some politician they like is doing it, or if it is done in some dream-world way (like Saddam and his sons deciding not to commit wholesale genocide to root out reformers), or if the new democracy is led by an American-hating Marxist...well, in those cases, they are for democracy, and they will tell you so every time.

However their comparisons of President Dubya to Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler for biting the bullet and taking out Saddam at last and liberating Iraq from 12 years of sanctions (all the while ignoring the fact that Saddam was a freakish metamorphosis of Hitler and Stalin) is a kind of lifting of their collective leg to the absolutely necessary effort (made clear by 9-11) to bring freedom to a region that for too long has been oppressed by dictators. Maybe they ought to be represented by a picture of dog peeing on a fire hydrant with the words "Free Iraq". But once again, that's not fair (they'll say), because they would support a free Iraq if it could be accomplished via some impossible method where the US or Republicans or the Religious Right or Eugene McCarthy could be criticized for something.

Come think of it, it seems that a firm grasp on unreality is the one thing that holds these pseudo-peace-mongers together. So I'll hence forth call them "Unrealists". Add that to your glossary for future reading.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Weather Report: The Flow OF Posts Will Slow To A Drizzle Until After Christmas

The Missus is flying into town tomorrow night (gotta clean up and do laundry tonight)...and then there are those 38 hours of driving there and back for Christmas.

So not much in the way of posting until the 28th.

If an emergency arises you might catch me on line via Yahoo IM (see the sidebar).

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Strange Conflations

Okay Livejournal has a section devoted to Computer-Mediated Anthropology...or CMA for short. I once wrote a post speculating on Riverbend's background.

Now, like chocolate and peanut butter, these two purposes have found each other in a single article entitled Online Accents?.

Dr. Evil Restarts His War Machine

"I don't believe that man's ever been to medical school!"

Once there was a boy named Jeffrey -- New York.

Jeffrey enjoyed posting to the comments sections of Iraq-related bloggers. His comments were strange, outrageous, and hostile. Reading them was like injecting your brain with epoxy until it congealed and then stretching it out at arms length. They also had the added nutritious value of being mostly dead-on true.

I tend to be anal retentive. But Jeffrey would never retain his anus. His anus ran about totally without retention. There was something in Jeffrey's posts to the Comments of blogs that was similiar to Raed's posts. There's definitely a maniacal quality to them. The difference is that Jeffrey's comments were from an obvious desire to see Iraq free and prosperous, and Raed is a backer of tyranny in Iraq, Iran, and wherever you find it.

Jeffrey loved everything about the Iraqi bloggers and even conversed with Raed and Khalid Jarrar via email.

He used to post at the old Cry Me A Riverbend blog. Then when the site shut down due to implied threats, and as I started this one in answer to that, Jeffrey started the Jarrars Up a River blog. Blogging changed Jeffery. His blog posts became increasingly more lucid and straightforward. People remarked that it was hard to imagine that it was truly the same person that had posted the bizarre cursing responses in the comments sections. After a short while he even changed the name of his blog in an attempt to make it less personally in the Jarrars' faces. After toying with a couple names, he settled on Iraqi Bloggers Central.

After posting all summer, he declared he was going to stop blogging in protest of the MNF letting Sistani mediate a peace in Najaf rather than wiping out the Muqtada mob of thugs. But it seemed to me that the truth was Jeffrey was tired. He was a teacher, school had started, and blogging can be all-consuming...especially the way he does it. So the posts at IBC ceased and the inimitable Jeffrey was silenced.

But recently...maybe it was Raed's decision to provide comments on his blog....Jeffery emerged from his spiderhole into the Comment sections. At first it was Blogger Jeffrey. the reasonable critiquer of Iraqi opinion. But soon.... Comment Jeffrey was back!

Jeffrey -- New York
I would say pull your panties out of the crack of your ass, but I don't think they make panties with burlap.He he.
Jeffrey -- New York

And then, it happened. In response to someone's comment about Jeffrey's silenced blog, he wrote:

Yes, I can think of a few others besides yourself who sighed with relief when I suspended major operations, unfurled my "Successful Evisceration" banner, and flew onto that floating carrier in my crotch-itching flight suit. However, I wonder if you have seen any of the Austin Powers flicks? If I resemble anyone on this beauteous orb it would be Doctor Evil. Drip. Drip. Drip. Oh-oh. It seems I'm starting to thaw.
Jeffrey -- New York

Dr. Evil's war machine is now up again and thrumming like a planet-sized kitten.

CMAR II says "check it out."

Senior Zarqawi thug killed...aids arrested

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Speaking of Kurdish Independence...

Here's a Kurdish joke....

You'll get an error message. Read it.

The Next Iraqi War?

Very good article by George Packer on the future problems between Iraqi nationalities bequeathed by Saddam. If you are a Kurd, and you are concerned about the whether Kirkuk will be a "Kurdish" city (and if you are a Kurd, I know you are), then you should read this:

Fanaticism is the legacy of Saddam’s Arabization policy. Every aspect of Kirkuk’s history is now violently contested. Kurds, Arabs, and Turkomans all make claims of ethnic primacy in a city where there are only pluralities. (According to the 1957 census, conducted before Arabization began, the city was forty per cent Turkoman and thirty-five per cent Kurdish.)

Ali Bayatli, a Turkoman lawyer, insisted that his people were direct descendants of the Sumerians and therefore the first residents of Kirkuk, with unspecified rights. Kurdish politicians have two slogans designed to end any argument: “Kirkuk is the heart of Kurdistan” and “Kirkuk is the Jerusalem of the Kurds.” Arabs, meanwhile, are angry about the sudden loss of power that followed the removal of Saddam. Luna Dawood’s view of her city’s future is grim. “It will be war till the end,” she said. “Everyone says Kirkuk belongs to us: Arabs, Kurds, Turkomans. To whom will it belong?"

Monday, December 13, 2004

Iraqi President Yawer says chaos could produce an Iraqi Hitler

Actually, they had one only 20 months ago.

Its time clean-up your neighborhoods.

GI Gets Three Years for Mercy Killing of Iraqi Terrorist

You're not allowed to perform them in the US. You can't perform them on the battlefield either.

8 Hussein Henchmen Refuse Meals in Jail

Good. The money spent to feed them can better spent on more worthwhile citizens of Iraq.

Raed Triumphs the People's Government of Iran As the Great Middle Eastern Democracy

But Iraqi federalist democracy is a colonialist plot.

The US administration is giving Kurdish dirty leaders their small haven, in exchange for them supporting the occupation.

Gosh, Raed's knack for Logic Of The Bizarre places him in competition with only himself. How does he do it? How does he continuously top himself as the High Priest of the Absurdist philosophy. He's a national treasure.

[Addendum] Raed also says:

If anyone outside the US forgot about the "Balkanization" that the US administration did in Yugoslavia, please read more about it. If anyone inside the US survived the collective amnesia and still remember the Balkanization, please try to spread the word.

A) The US didn't "Balkanize" Yugoslavia. Perhaps certain European countries made it worse by recognizing declared states before it was clear they could stand on their own, but the only thing the US did was to give Europe the backbone it needed to stop the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosova. (You remember the Bosnians and Kosovans, Raed? Those secular Muslims the US rescued?)

B) For the record, I was against the US getting involved in Bosnia and Kosova in Serbia. I thought the most we should have done is partitioned the region into defensible Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnia territory and only bombed the hell out of areas that left their little fascist corners. Unlike Iraq, I didn't see how it was in the US interest create a pluralist state in Eastern Europe (but then that was before 9-11). And I thought that if we did anything in Serbia we should declare Kosova independent from Serbia and grant Serbia some of the historic sites in the northern part of the region.

Still, that's not what we did. And I can understand the honest liberal point of view that motivated the chosen policies there.

But Raed? As always he has sided with the dictators, the genociders, and the most cruel dregs of modern governments. So lets update the list of noble leaders Raed has sidle-up to:

  • Slobodan Milosevik
  • Radovan Karadzic
  • Arafat
  • The Iranian Mullahs
  • Saddam Hussein

Who is next? How long before Stalin is becomes a harmless do-gooder threatened by the US?

Riverbend grumbles because gasoline is hard to get

She grumbles about oh so many things.

Riverbend, here's how you can do your part to improve things with the shortages. Every Iraqi gets to keep an AK-47 in their home. Next time you see terrorists hiking through your Arab Sunni neighborhood with an IED or RPG, poke that rifle out the window and shoot one in the head.

If each Iraqi who is sick of shortages and chaos would purpose to shoot one terrorist, there would soon not be a problem.

Many Iraqis are putting their lives on the line in the ING and the police force (not to mention, but I should, working for the water utility and oil production departments of the government). These are the heroes of Iraq. We need more. It seems to me that neighborhoods that shelter these guys are the enemies of Iraq and it is the job is the Iraqis to fix.

[Addendum] Incidentally, I meant to mention that Riverbend is complaining about spend $1 big fat dollar for a gallon of gas (which is about half of what Americans pay after taxes). Saddam was driving the economy of Iraq into the ground by selling it for 5 cents a gallon. The IPG has continued subsidizing the gas while slowly incrementing it up. I discussed this previously here.

Riverbend yearns for a return to the days of Saddam.

My conversation with Mitch at WarCrimes

...and for those who say the Islamofacists would not work with the Baathists or Saddam loyalists

Saddam planned insurgency before invasion

Now why would anyone say the terrorists are Saddam-loyalist?

Monday, December 06, 2004

Ladybird Throws Down The Gauntlet

I'd be lying if I said I was not itching to go.

I've sent to Rubicon for the details.

Hammorabi Reports Outrageous Sectarian Attacks

He declares that it is time for a no-holds barred onslaught againts the the terrorists and their supporters. I agree that that is needed, and I have said that Iraq will have no peace until these beasts - who cannot and will not benefit Iraq in life - benefit their country by fertilizing it with their bodies.

However, I hope the Shiia and Kurds do not forget that there are plenty of Sunni Arabs (like Zeyad) who are of vital importance to Iraq's future.

Then there are those like Riverbend and Raed who feel the same way as the monsters, but they are not like them and can be put to work in the new Iraq however grudgingly.

What the terrorists want to do is provoke a civil war. They would rather see the country in flames than see its liberation successful. What they most fear is not death, but elections - the Iraqi people unified without any further need of masters.

Elections are to these fiends what sunlight is to vampires.

Bring on the elections!

Iraqis, get out and vote! Campaign for your parties! A ballot is as good as a bullet in freeing Iraq from these brain-diseased vermin.

Another Foreign Policy Turn-Around On Iraq

India is expected to agree to help monitor the elections in Iraq.

This is the second turn around I've learned about today. Canada was the last one.

Found in Fallujeh: Ice Cream Truck Converted Into Car Bomb Factory

Among the most novel finds: An ice-cream truck that had been converted into a mobile car-bomb factory, complete with all the parts and weaponry needed to turn any vehicle into a weapon on the spot.

"You got a ice-cream truck, it's loaded with munitions, weapons, equipment to construct a car bomb," explained one senior U.S. military official here, who declined to be identified. "It could potentially drive anywhere, stop, convert a car into a car bomb and drive away. ... I don't think there was any ice cream."

Big surprise for the terrorists: Ice cream has actually been found to be more nutritious for children than car bombs. No mention of this by Raed or Riverbend.

Forkum and Cox have a new cartoon.

Fayrouz posts video from Iraq

If, as for me, the video does not properly display from her link, you can access it at the Operation Truth Video Gallery.

Fayrouz says:
[The] nation of Iraq will never die. For the terrorists who made Iraq their holy ground, there is no place in heaven for you.

Amen, Fayrouz. But, God Willing, the ING and MNF will speed them on to Hell.

Two Terrorist Cell Leaders Captured In Separate Raids

This captures occurred yesterday in Tikrit and Al-Owja.

New Photos From Ladybird

Returning Fallujans will face clampdown

It's encouraging to know that the scorpions will not be permitted to return to their former holes.

No doubt we'll hear from Riverbend and the Jarrars about what a burden this is to the Fallujahns. I hope they don't make me cry too much. ;-)

(Hat tip to a commenter)

2004 Best Middle East or African Blog Award Nominations

Iraq The Model and Riverbend's Bagdhad Burning are on the list.

[Update] And Healing Iraq too. Oh, heck here's the whole list:

Kurdo Settles On The Term "Terrorist" For The Insurgents

I've been on this jag for sometime. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

US Consolate Possibly Under Attack in Saudi Arabia

[Update] 9 Killed in Attack

[Update] Pictures

Kofi Annan Refuses To Resign Over The Oil For Food Scandal

That's always the first thing they say.... :-)

Spiegel Editors Add Their Voices To the Call To Put Off Elections

A UN official says the same thing. Raed calls the elections "fake" (ha ha). It is interesting that those with an ideological investment in Iraq's failure are those first to call for the elections to be put off.

Look, the terrorists will always be ready to provide reasons to put off the elections. They've killed at least 70 this weekend. Doing so because of their murders would only encourage them to kill more people. The Iraqis must have the elections now. We can think about expedited follow-up elections later, but putting off the current ones is only likely to get more people killed.


Anyway, if Raed is against them, the January elections are probably a good thing.

Meanwhile, Canada will send monitors for the elections, although they probably will not provide troops to increase security.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Iraqi National Guard break ground on Najaf barracks

The construction job was awarded to an Iraqi contractor.


[Update] Reconstruction projects in Sadr City.

[Update] New $65000 police station in Balad

Iran Backs Elections

The head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), Abdelaziz Hakim in Tehran says,

"Elections are a great development and an important factor in retaining Iraq's legal structures, which could pave the way for rulership of the people's will."
Help! I'm drowning in irony!

On the other hand, this statement is packed weird nuance. He seems to be suggesting that elections are something separate from "the rulership of the peoples' will." Oh, well. I'll just take the whole thing at face value and assert that free unfettered elections could do the same for Tehran.

Norway To Send Military Instructors To Iraq

The Coalition of the Willing steps up.

Sucide Bombers Kill 14 Across Iraq

The terrorists are voting now. I hope every other Iraqi will vote in January.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Ladybird Reports That Hospitals Have Been Refusing Patients From Fallujah For "Security" Reasons

This is reportedly a Health Ministry order!

Ladybird heard this originally from Basra.net (and was justly skeptical), however she says she has independent confirmation from sources in Bagdhad.

I can't imagine what security issues would arise from taking injured patients from Fallujah, even if every one of them were terrorists. Actually I would think the MNF and ING would like a common collection facillity to pick up all the terrorists who narrowly got away. This makes no sense to me.

But Ladybird is on the case and perhaps we'll get a more complete answer in the future.


This was started as a blog of pictures from Fallujeh but has lately been documenting the murders of police and government workers in throughout Iraq as well as pictures of fallen Marines.

Cleric Says God Sent Giant Spiders To Combat US Forces In Iraq

"The first miracle that occurred in Fallujah took the form of spiders that appeared in the city – each spider larger than this chair, or about the size of this chair. The American soldiers left, holding the legs of this spider, and I too, in one of the Friday sermons, held up a spider, with all its magnitude, in front of the satellite channels and in front of the world. This spider also had thin black hair. If this hair touches the human body, within a short period of time the body becomes black or blue, and then there is an explosion in the blood cells in the human body - and the person dies."

Some Arab Internet sites have repeated claims of Iraqis about the spiders, and there also are stories circulating of phantom white-robed knights on white horses sent by Allah that killed U.S. Marines in battle.

In a statement reminiscent of Saddam Hussein's spokesman, "Baghdad Bob," the sheik claimed the U.S. was underestimating the number of American casualties in Iraq by a factor of 100.

Al-Sumide'i claimed there were mass graves in Iraq filled with the bodies of American forces.

"A mass grave was created in a desert area near the Saudi boarder for the American soldiers killed. There is also a lake near Al-Sa'diya. The Americans place the casualties inside white or black bags, seal them and toss them from a plane into the lake."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Poems, Bombs, and the Road to Baghdad

Matthew Doherty was a contractor in Iraq. This article appeared in Poetry Magazine. The money quote is:
I have no sympathy for the insurgency. With a view toward my own preservation, I wish they would all cut it out. But apart from pure self-interest, I think that every mortar, whether it hits or misses, every burst of gunfire or roadside bomb is a dismal impediment to what can only be called progress. The wisdom and righteousness of our going to war are uncomfortable questions. But the insurgents rest on a justification that only the most ardent relativism could withstand. There’s nothing noble about them. They’re the Sopranos East.

But my favorite part of this article is at the beginning....fuuuunny:

The man I am talking with speaks pretty good English. He can read English, too.

“Look,” he says, running his hand across the soccer jerseys he has on offer: “Manchester United. Chelsea.” He also sells DVDs, cigarettes, watches, old Iraqi coins and “money-new”—the new Iraqi currency, whose certain ascendancy to its pre-Gulf War value is an article of faith among the bulk of the American expatriate workforce.


“I’m looking for books,” I say. “Iraqi poetry.”

He’s not sure what I mean.

Poems,” I say. “Poems. You know?” And I ask him if he knows any poets—anyone local who writes poems, or reads them, who could talk to me about them.

He makes a noncommittal gesture, something between a nod and a shake of the head. “Yes, I do know,” he says. “There are some people, not too far.”

“You think they’d come down here? I could talk with them?”

“We could arrange it. But here’s no good,” he says. He looks around.“Too much problem. The soldiers, they would come and ask what are we talking about.”


“You know what I’m talking about, right? People who write poems, or read poems, or know about them . . .”

“Yes,” he says. “There are some people.”

“ So you think they will come?”

He says he will talk to them. Not today, but he will see them. Probably they will come. He tells me they will want some money. Not unreasonable, I think—it would cost them time and some expense to get here.

“No problem. I could give them money,” I say. “But, you know, I’m just
going to talk with these people. Conversation.”

“Yes,” the man says, leaning forward and speaking a shade more quietly.

“You want to talk”—he wraps his hands together then splits them apart—“about the bombs.”

Killer. (hat tip: Andrew Sullivan)

Riverbend Posts

Without anything to talk about she only grumbles and rumor mongers:
I don't know about the chemical weapons. [...] I keep having flashbacks of that video they showed on tv [...] There was one brief video that showed [...] this old man leaning against the wall and there was blood running out of his eyes- almost like he was crying tears of blood. What 'conventional' weaponry makes the eyes bleed?

Possibly any bomb if you're close enough. But one must question whether she saw any such thing in that "brief video". Riverbend? Have you ever seen what a car bomb does to the eyes of children? Have you seen what a pistol does to a CARE workers hair-do? Have you seen how a sharp knife can wrinkle your collar?
The wounded in Falloojeh aren't getting treatment and today we heard about a family with six children being bombed in the city.

How could it be that families of terrorists get bombed? Because the Terrorists keep their children close to bring them into the family business. See here.
The situation in Baghdad isn't a lot better. Electricity has been particularly bad. Our telephone has been cut off for the last week which has made communication (and blogging) particularly difficult. The phone difficulties are quite common all over Baghdad. It usually happens in an area after a fresh bombing.

See here for the truth about Riverbend's electricity complaints. So the phones go out after the terrorists start mortaring and cutting lines. Hmmmm...I wish I could figure out why that happens.
Around 10 days ago, there were a series of very large explosions in our area and the third or fourth one took out three of the windows on one side of the house.[...]A'miriyah, A'adhamiyah, Ghazaliyah and Haifa to name a few. The rest of us just get our usual dose of daily explosions and gun fire.

Some of the poor Fallujehns, no doubt. On vacation in your neighborhood. Well, keep your eye on those MNFs and the INGs. We wouldn't want those tourists made to feel unwelcome.
Elections are a mystery. No one knows if they'll actually take place and it feels like many people don't want to have anything to do with them.

Well, of course they'll take place, but that so many people around you don't want to participate tells us the crowd you run in.
They aren't going to be legitimate any way. The only political parties participating in them are the same ones who made up the Governing Council several months ago.

Here's a list of the Parties submitting lists. Seems like a pretty broad collection to me. If you want to participate, Riverbend, start a Party and submit a list.
Allawi, in spite of all his posturing and posing, has turned himself into a hateful figure after what happened in Falloojeh.

Sure he has. To you and the terrorists.

As long as he is in a position of power, America will be occupying Iraq. People realize that now. He's Bush's boy. He has proved that time and again and people are tired of waiting for something insightful or original to come from his government.

Like elections?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Kurdish PKK Members Assassinated Near Mosul

The PKK is a Marxist Kurdish group that uses violence in attempt to gain independence of Kurdish territory from Turkey. Obviously, this is an attack orchestrated by the Turkish government. The last thing Iraq needs now is a side-war (covert or otherwise) between Kurds and Turkey within its borders.

Zarqawi Slaughters Dozens In Mosul

Ladybird Believes US Corporations Are Stealing Iraqi Oil Money

Ladybird asks:

Iraq is exporting the same amount oil now like under Saddam, the price of oil is double, no UN stealing or obstruction, no reparation, no army, no rebuilding, people unemployed so no salaries, ...yet we do not see evidence of this Iraqi’s oil money

Look, there seems to be a case that the US has not taken anywhere close to sufficient oversight of moneys being spent in Iraq. And some of that money is the money coming from Iraqi oil revenue.

However, (maybe I'm wrong but) I think I see where she is going with this. This is a subtle and totally fantastic passage to the old War For Oil canard.

  1. One of the ways that Saddam was running the economy of Iraq into the ground in order to hold on to his power is that he provided gasoline to Iraqis at the impossibly low rate of FIVE CENTS PER GALLON. For those of you on the metric system, Americans (with federal, state, and local taxes) were paying over TWO DOLLARS a gallon (more than 40 times as much).

    The MNF wanted to avoid sticker shock for the Iraqis so they've been subsidizing the price of gasoline since the invasion. That's where some the Oil money (and reconstruction money) has gone.

    The IPG has been slowly increasing the price to market levels. I'm not going to bother finding the news article here's an anti-war site that repeats an AP story on it.

  2. There has been obstruction. Its called Terrorism. Iraqis are the primary perpetrators of it (especially the Sunni Arabs but the Shiia and even some Kurds have been involved).

  3. There has been rebuilding. You've documented some of it. Sewage lines, power to regions of Iraq south of Baghdad that weren't getting it before, the re-flooding of the Marsh Arabs' lands, the training of policemen, bridges rebuilt, Fallujah to be rebuilt, etc, etc.

  4. There are people unemployed but there certainly are salaries being paid as well.

  5. There is an army, its called the ING and they are facing constant dangers in just enlisting. They need better armor but apparently the average soldier is still better armed and trained than in Saddam's days.

  6. Some of the lackadaisical methods for handling money are due to the desire to permit commanding officers to disburse it quickly at their own discretion.
Both the US and Iraqi citizens want their money to be spent efficiently, but lets be reasonable here.

The terrorist son of a Fallujahn Terrorist is dead, but he will fight on.

But he hasn't summed up the courage yet to tell the boy's mother that her son is dead.

I fear that many Sunni Arabs will have to be sent to Paradise before Iraqis in this world will have any peace.

Residents said that in [the 13 year old boys] first operation in March, he hung out at the mayor's office for days, selling candy on the street and joking with U.S. soldiers. Once his presence became familiar, he managed to leave a homemade bomb at the building, which detonated. Soon after, he joined his father as a fighter.
Abu Mohammed sent his son to fetch ammunition from among the rocket-propelled grenades, mortar shells, rockets and AK-47 assault rifles that he kept in a hole next to their one-room house. The boy ran, crouching, about 600 yards down a street lined with ocher-colored buildings. As he did, he was struck about 6:10 p.m. by a bullet whose source his father did not see. It pierced the back of Ahmed's neck and tore through his chest. The boy was buried three hours later, at a cemetery next to the Farouk mosque, with four others killed that day.

"Your voice is as precious as gold. No, it's more than that!"

New post at Iraq The Model on traveling on the highway through Latifriyah, recently cleared of terrorists.

Arab-language press finally starts to ask why only OCCUPIED Arab countries get elections

Could this be the start of the exoneration of the so-called neo-cons? This is, after all, what Wolfowitz claimed would happen after the liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan; that they would be "a reformist project that seeks to modernize and transform the Arab landscape. Iraq would be the starting point, and beyond Iraq lies an Arab political and economic tradition and a culture whose agonies have been on cruel display."

Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar), November 23, 2004
Interviewer: "We've heard that [head of the Sunni Clerics Council in Iraq] Sheik Al-Dhari says the purpose of [Sharm Al-Sheikh] summit aims to assist the occupation…"

Nabil Sharaf Al-Din: "This Al-Dhari is a mufti of terrorism and slaughter. This Al-Dhari is the military branch of the murderers, the military branch of terrorism and televised slaughtering This Al-Dhari … and his group… Sir, please… First and foremost, the claim that this summit was meant to save America… When have the Arabs succeeded in resolving their own crises and conflicts?"

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), November 24, 2004.
"...the talk of the illegitimacy of the [Iraqi] government … allows us to raise questions regarding [the legitimacy] of most of the regimes in the region. "

Al-Hayat (London), November 25, 2004
"Anyone who watches what is going on could, if he did not know the truth, almost believe that the Arab countries – which throughout their history have never known what elections are – have become the [countries] most keen that Iraq's upcoming elections will reflect the will of the Iraqi people, with all its elements – and will particularly [reflect the will of] the Sunni minority that in Saddam Hussein's day was, for well-known reasons no one even questioned, [considered] a 'majority.'

"It is outrageous, and amazing, that the first free and general elections in the history of the Arab nation are to take place in January: in Iraq, under the auspices of American occupation, and in Palestine, under the auspices of the Israeli occupation."

Iraqi Government Works To Gain International Support of the Upcoming Elections

Meanwhile the terrorist kill average Iraqis working to bring order to their people.

Most of the Arab (undemocratic) governments don't seem to crazy about the upcoming elections. I can't imagine why not. Jordan is a notable exception.

The Premier is to head to Germany and Russia to try to get them to face the future Iraq. Naturally, he's not even going to bother with France.

Abu Ghraib Soldier Being Tried For Crimes

More US Troops Being Sent to Iraq

..to bolster security against those who hate elections.

Iraq's Sunni president backs election

The Body Found In Fallujah Was Not Margaret Hassan's

One presumes however, based on the reported video, that she is in fact dead.