Wednesday, August 24, 2005

An open letter to Cindy Sheehan

Best selling author Stephen Mansfield pens a remarkable letter to Ms. Sheehan in an effort to prevent her from dishonoring her son's legacy (via Chrenkoff):

Dear Mrs. Sheehan,

You are in a firestorm of grief and what must be a disorienting swirl of world attention. For that reason, I will be as brief in my remarks as I hope to be compassionate.

I will not insult you by presuming to know your sorrow. The loss of a son in armed conflict abroad must be among the most soul-wrenching experiences possible. You are surely right to rage against the horrors of war, right to demand answers and right to reach for those of like mind.

I fear, though, that what began as a mourning mother's righteous cry for meaning is becoming something that threatens to dishonor Casey's heroism. Though I mean no disrespect, it is clear you are becoming swept up in a cynical drama that is far afield from the meaning of the war and your son's sacrifice. From your daily blogging on Michael Moore's web site to the pronouncements you feel obligated to make on Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip, you risk abandoning the moral high ground of a grieving mother and are in danger of becoming just another fleeting voice on the American pop culture landscape.

The central issue here is not whether George W. Bush meets with you for a second time or whether your self-styled "peaceful occupation" of Crawford, Texas ever wins the explanations you seek. The central issue is that when your son volunteered for military service, he placed himself upon an altar of sacrifice. Sadly, the ultimate sacrifice was indeed required. Yet he gave himself willingly, as all our soldiers do in this generation, and his death is therefore the noble death of a hero and not the needlessly tragic death of one accidentally or foolishly taken

What we must understand is that a pledge to military service is a surrender of rights, a surrender of comforts and, potentially, a surrender of life if the nation calls. What leaves us so stunned at the death of a soldier, beyond our grief for a life snuffed out and our personal loss, is often our failure to understand the noble calling of the profession of arms and the warrior code that gives this calling meaning. When your son, and the thousands like him serving today, pledged himself to military service, he did not just "join the army." He offered himself to his God and his nation in an act of devotion that has been repeated for centuries. He entered the fellowship of those who offer their lives willingly in service to others. His death, though a horror, was a horror with meaning, willingly engaged.

I cannot know your sorrow. I can urge you, though, not to taint your son's offering on what Lincoln called "the altar of freedom" by tethering it to the passing parade of trendy causes. I can also urge you to live now in the knowledge that your son's passing ennobles our nation, just as I trust it will now ennoble you.

With deepest sympathies for your loss,

Stephen Mansfield

Well said.

We all know at this point that she had already met with Dubya and spoke glowingly of her meeting with him at the time. And of course she is entitled to change her mind. But with the surrounding circumstances and ensuing media circus we have to question her motives. Is she still speaking out of the grief of a mother who lost her son tragically in war or is she now motivated by something else; something I will not even specualte about. Hopefully Stephen and others have published and/or sent her similar letters so that she might, for her own benefit, clarify her own intentions and what results she expects to garner from her actions.

Customs and Border Protection actually did their job or once

WASHINGTON (AP)-[off the wire, no link]-U.S. Customs authorities blocked a Jordanian man from entering the country 20 months before he was accused of carrying out an Iraq suicide bombing, according to an internal Homeland Security memo obtained Wednesday.

The Aug. 22 memo to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff credited Customs agents with identifying Ra'ed Mansour al-Banna as a suspicious traveler on June 14, 2003, when he flew into Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

"While it is not clear that al-Banna was a suicidal jihadist, the basis for denying him entry was that Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, officers that interviewed him believed his intent for entering ... was inconsistent with the purpose of his visa," wrote Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert C. Bonner.

Al-Banna has been accused of carrying out one of Iraq's deadliest suicide bombing - the Feb. 28 attack in Hillah that killed 125 people.

But the Jordanian government and al-Banna's family said he carried out a different suicide bombing in Iraq. The terrorist group al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for the Hillah bombing.

The Homeland Security memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, said al-Banna was carrying a valid Jordanian passport and valid work visa. But the Customs agents believed the passport was falsified, and ultimately rejected al-Banna's entry after secondary security screening and questioning, said Customs spokeswoman Kristi Clemens.

Al-Banna's denied entry into the U.S. was briefly mentioned in an April report in Time Magazine.

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--08-24-05 1314EDT

OK two things. First, way to go Border Patrol guys. I love the statement that they didn't let him in because they thought his "intent for entering ... was inconsistent with the purpose of his visa." It's slightly comforting that if they put down as their purpose for the visit to "see the Statue of Liberty, watch a Yankee game, and blow up the Capitol building" that we won't let them into the country.

Second, bad Border Patrol. If he was deemed a threat, why not hold him and turn him over to the FBI or CIA or the Boy Scouts or something. He ended up being a suicide bomber anyway (and don't you like how they're arguing over which bombing he did).

For those of you in the LA area, I'm sure you're familiar with Hugh's competition Jon and Ken. They're fun to listen to every so often; more center of the road than they get credit for, but they go off the handle on illegal immigration issues. And I remember one show they were saying how they don't buy the idea that us fighting terrorists in Iraq is preventing those terrorists from coming here. Well I think this shows that while we lost troops in whichever bombing this terrorist did, I think we'd all prefer our troops having a fighting chance with a possible IED or car bomb as opposed to civilians here in the states dying. It does seem that terrorists still want to kill us at home.

If you can, read the Time magazine article (subscribers only). It puts a totally different spin on the "denial of entry":

After he was denied entry at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport for apparently falsifying details on his visa application, al-Banna's life took a turn that led him down the path of radical Islam and ultimately to join the insurgency against the U.S. in Iraq.

Ah, yes. The US's abhorrent Middle East policy creates another terrorist.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Egypt promises to keep weapon smuggling into Palestinian territory to a minimum

I haven't posted on it yet, but we've all been watching the images of Israeli settlers being forcibly removed from Gaza. I don't think anything good is going to come of abandonning the territory. I don't think giving in to the demands of terrorists (or those who support terrorists) will yield anything but more demands, Hamas has already said they plan to use the territory as a training ground for terrorists, and now we can only hope Egypt keeps its word on this:

JERUSALEM (AP)-[off the wire, no link]-Israel and Egypt have sorted out the last details of an agreement on Egyptian supervision of the border with Gaza, a key element of Israel's pullout that is ending its 38-year occupation of the territory, Israel Radio and the Haaretz newspaper reported Tuesday.

The paper, citing unidentified defense sources, said the 750-member Egyptian border police will be equipped with armored personnel carriers, light arms, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

Egypt also will deploy naval patrol boats off the Gaza coast, it said.

Israel Radio said the last hurdle was overcome when Egypt pledged it would not provide weapons to the Palestinian Authority after Israel leaves the frontier.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said he had no new information on the accord.

Haaretz said there were no issues left outstanding, and the agreement will be signed by senior military officers once it is approved by Israel's government and parliament.

Israel has been concerned that weapons and explosives will be smuggled across the border from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula into Gaza town, and once its troops leave as part of the Gaza evacuation.

Israel completed the evacuation of all 21 civilian settlements in Gaza Monday.

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--08-23-05 1612EDT

All that I could muster as I watched Israeli citizens being dragged away from their homes by Israeli police were feelings of great sadness. I really don't care what the deal was. It won't be worth it.

Attempted attack on US warships

AMMAN (AP)-[off the wire, no link]-Investigators were looking into a possible al-Qaida role in a rocket attack that barely missed U.S. warships docked in Aqaba port as police made more arrests, security officials said Monday.

Police are hunting for a group of two Syrians, two Iraqis and possibly other nationalities - including Egyptians and a Jordanian - believed to be the prime suspects in Friday's attack, said one official.

Authorities made more arrests Sunday and Monday after an initial roundup of suspects for questioning immediately after the attack, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the press.

Investigations appear to be pointing to al-Qaida involvement, the official said. He declined to elaborate.

He refused to give the number of arrests but said the new group involved similar nationalities as the first, including Iraqis, Egyptians, Syrians and Jordanians.

So far none of those arrested appear to be among the group of prime suspects. Some of those initially detained have been released, the official said.

"Progress is being made in the interrogation process," Interior Minister Awni Yirfas said Monday. He said authorities were questioning suspects, but he wouldn't provide details, saying it could harm the investigation.

On Friday, assailants fired three rockets from a seaview window at a warehouse in a poor industrial area in Aqaba, usually a quiet Red Sea resort and an attraction to Western and Israeli tourists. The warehouse was rented to four Egyptians and Iraqis early last week.

One rocket narrowly missed two U.S. Naval ships docked in Aqaba port for joint exercises with the Jordanian military. The second rocket landed outside an airport in neighboring Israel, but didn't explode.

One Jordanian soldier died in the attack, the most serious threat against the U.S. navy since the 2000 al-Qaida bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.

It was also the first attack targeting U.S. personnel in Jordan since the October 2002 slaying of U.S. aid worker Laurence Foley outside his Amman home - which was blamed on Iraq's al-Qaida point man, Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

An al-Qaida group, called the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, claimed responsibility for Friday's rocket attack, saying it mainly targeted the U.S. warships.

The U.S. is being kept abreast of developments in the investigation, another security official said, also insisting on anonymity. He stressed that Jordanian investigators have the "leading role" in the probe - a clear suggestion that the U.S. was also taking part. But the official refused to comment further.

The U.S. Embassy in Amman also declined comment.

Hours after the rocket attack, the embassy issued a warden message warning U.S. government personnel against traveling to Aqaba and other U.S. citizens to "exercise caution."

Yirfas, the Jordanian interior minister, called the warden message "unnecessary," saying life in Aqaba was "normal" and "the security situation is under control."

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--08-22-05 1016EDT

I can't seem to get the image this video out of my head when I think of this attempted attack. Maybe he led the attack. I think this qualifies for the terrorist blooper reel.

What are those jokes... You couldn't hit the broad side of a barn... If it weren't for gravity you couldn't hit the ground.

And I like the group that took credit saying they mainly targeted US warships. Doesn't seem like they targeted anything very well. And he's taking credit FOR MISSING THE TARGET. "We claim responsibility for the attack on the infidels and their boats. Our rockets guided by the hand of Allah missed only when the godless, soulless infidels' ships suddenly jumped out of the way at the last minute and the rocket guided by the hand of Allah stayed straight and true to the target's previous location. It was a sad day, but will not soften our resolve! Allah Akbar!" Not even Allah can hit the broad side of a barn... or warship in this case.

UPDATE: 3:04 PM: Zarqawi confirms, Al Qaeda did it. Well tried to do it, to be more accurate...

AMMAN (AP)-[off the wire, no link]-Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed Tuesday it had reached across the border into Jordan again to carry out the weekend Katyusha rocket attack that narrowly missed a U.S. warship in the Red Sea port of Aqaba.

Jordanian authorities, after capturing a Syrian who was labeled a prime suspect in the attack, said it appeared a number of others had fled to Iraq.

The Internet statement by al-Qaida in Iraq, led by Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was the second claim of responsibility and was signed by group spokesman Abu Maysara al-Iraqi. It was impossible to authenticate the claim.

Al-Zarqawi is a key figure in the insurgency in Iraq and the second most-wanted terrorist on the U.S. list after al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden.

Al-Qaida in Iraq said it had not issued its claim until five days after the attack "so that the brothers could finish retreating."

"God has enabled your brothers in the military wing of the al-Qaida in Iraq to plan for the Aqaba invasion a while ago," the statement said. "After finishing the preparations and deciding on the targets, your brothers launched the rockets."

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--08-23-05 1707EDT

You will notice Zarqawi's response and my hypothesized response are strikingly similar... except of course for that Allah can't hit the broad side of a warship comment I threw in...

Monday, August 22, 2005

This just in... AP says giving charity is bad for you

This is really unbelievable. Dubya really is damned if he do, damned if he don't. Actually, maybe all people morally decent and concerned individuals (dare I say... Christians?) are screwed.

GENEVA (AP)-[off the wire, no link]-New inflows of development aid can overwhelm recipient countries and prevent them from concentrating on basic health care issues, the U.N. health agency said Monday.

"There is more and more money around for development and for health...and I suspect that there are more announcements (for aid pledges) to be awaited," said Andrew Cassels, who is in charge of health and development policy at the World Health Organization.

Cassels said poor countries can easily be overwhelmed by such large amounts of aid pledged by global partnerships such as the Global Fund or U.S. President George W. Bush's emergency plan for AIDS relief in Africa, known as PEPFAR, and also by individual countries.

He said donors demand a large degree of cooperation and monitoring from recipient countries, which often lack the health infrastructure to provide such information. In addition, donors increasingly earmark their funds for very specific projects, with the result that some poor countries have too little money to look after people's basic health care needs.

"This is quite a burden for countries to handle," Cassels said.

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--08-22-05 1004EDT

Dubya, the imperialist warmonger capitalist that he is, in an attempt to soften that image tries to help impoverished nations with aid, but that creates more problems than it solves.

I really don't think these people will be happy unless we burn all of our money, give away our natural resources, and institute a mandatory, minimalist monk-like lifestyle in caves surviving via subsistance farming and the charity of other nations. Only then will these impoverished nations (oh, and it's our fault they are impoverished) be able to better themselves and take their rightful spot as world superpowers.

What a huge, steaming, pile of crap.

They have no clue the responsibility that comes with being the world's superpower. That puts them on top of the pedestal for the rest of the world to hate and throw rocks at simply because they've worked hard and succeeded. They all want the power, but not the responsibility that comes with it. Is the rest of the world really that infantile, that similar to the typical angst-ridden teenager who thinks they're omniscient, yet wants absolute personal freedom.

They'd prefer a blank check with no strings attached because heaven forbid we actually insist the money goes to helping the poor citizens of the nation rather than lining the pockets of rich dictators. Because that extra palace will really make the sick and starving proud to be a destitute citizen of a country that can afford to squander its money on that bullshit.

I will repeat myself: what a huge, steaming, pile of crap.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

More illegal weapons found...

This time the Saudis hit the jackpot

RIYADH (AP)-[off the wire, no link]-Saudi Arabian authorities seized a huge cache of dynamite, ammunition, and drugs during a security sweep along the border with Yemen, al-Watan newspaper reported Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Murie Ussayri, border patrol commander, told the Saudi newspaper the three-day operation uncovered 1,200 sticks of dynamite, nearly 9,000 cartridges and 2,750 kilograms of hashish in addition to other drugs.

Ussayri told the newspaper much of the contraband was carried into the kingdom by Yemeni children enlisted by smugglers along the 2,000 kilometer frontier.

Last year, the newspaper said, Saudi authorities deported 150,000 Yemenis, including nearly 10,000 children, who had crossed the border illegally.

Both countries have increased security along the border in an attempt to stem the flow of illegal goods, including weapons and explosives, that have been used during militant attacks in both nations.

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--08-16-05 1303EDT

The Saudis score one for the good guys this time as they continue to try their hardest to play both sides of the fence. At this point we'll take what we can get, especially if it leads to successful raids like these, and I know that dealing with Saudi Arabia's role in terrorism is a lower priority right now behind Iraq, Iran, and Syria, but we'll get to them. Don't worry.

On a side note, who knew Saudi Arabia had an illegal immigration problem? You will notice that the Saudis deport their illegals.

Sure they support terrorist under the table, but at least they got that right.

Monday, August 15, 2005

All right, who hid the WMD's?

MOSUL, Iraq (AP)-[off the wire, no link]-U.S. military officials said Monday early tests of a suspected chemical production hideout indicate the shop may have been used to produce substances used in bombs but that no explosives or highly lethal chemicals have been found.

The building was raided last week by U.S. forces acting on a tip from a detainee. It was found to be holding 5,675 liters of various chemicals.

However, "Initial analysis did not indicate any highly lethal chemicals," said Col. Henry Franke, a nuclear, biological and chemical defense expert.

The military said no bombs - only their components - have been found.

The building was opened Monday to journalists, who were escorted by U.S. military officials.

At least six barrels and dozens of 20-liter containers were still in the building, which Army Maj. Michael Petrunyak said contained acids and ammonium.

Petrunyak, who led the tour of the site, refused to give further details about the chemicals, saying the information was classified because an investigation at the site continued.

Chemical samples have been sent to the U.S., and experts are working around the clock on further testing, Franke said.

Officials have said the seized chemicals don't appear to be linked to Saddam Hussein's former government. The U.S. invaded Iraq in March 2003 to destroy Saddam's purported weapons of mass destruction. No stockpiles have ever been found.

The military has found many suspected chemical sites in the past, none of which ended up containing chemical or biological weapons. Testing of such sites can take several days.

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--08-15-05 1420EDT

This started with a story reported Saturday I found via SayAnything.

The good news is that as we continue to pick up terrorists, we continue to get viable intel from them, as we did in this case. Bomb making materials and 5,675L of eyebrow raising chemicals are a great find for the good guys.

The bad news is that they don't think it's Saddam's much sought after WMD arsenal. Rob's theory is that it's being smuggled in by Iran or Syria. I don't know. That's a lot of crap to be trucking into Iraq. Like no one happened to notice that heavily laden flatbed of barrels with dangerous chemicals stamped on them. The simpler solution would be that they were Saddam's and have been hidden for who knows how long and/or the rest were trucked out before we got there.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Iranians helping arm the Iraqi terrorists

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)-[off the wire, no link]-U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday weapons from Iran are being brought into Iraq and that's a problem for the Iraqi government, the coalition forces in the country "and ultimately, it's a problem for Iran."

Asked at a news briefing in Washington to explain what he meant, Rumsfeld replied, "They (the Iranians) live in the neighborhood" and the people "in that region want this situation stabilized with the exception of Iran and Syria."

In remarks aired by cable news outlets, Rumsfeld said, "Weapons clearly, unambiguously from Iran have been found in Iraq... It's notably unhelpful for the Iranians to allow weapons of those types to cross the border."

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--08-09-05 1446EDT

I think "notably unhelpful" qualifies for understatement of the year. Is that like Saddam "notably disliked" the Kurds, or Bill Gates has a "notable sum of money," or Al Gore is "notably dead from the neck up"?

And to further piss us off they decide to up and start enriching uranium again for "strategic energy" purposes... also known as the "strategic elimination of Israel by nuking them back to the stone age along with the rest of the infidels purposes".

LONDON (AP)-[no link off, the wire]-The British government on Monday said it was "deeply concerned" by Iran's decision to restart work at a uranium conversion facility.

British Foreign Office Minister Ian Pearson said in a statement that the government regretted Iran's decision to reject European proposals for economic incentives in return for limiting its nuclear activities and said the decision was "damaging."

"We will discuss the next steps in the IAEA Board of Governors (Tuesday)," Pearson said in the statement.

The U.S. and Europe have warned that Iran's decision to resume work at the plant at Isfahan will prompt them to seek U.N. sanctions.

The resumption strikes a blow to European efforts to convince Iran to rein in a program that the U.S. says is intended to develop nuclear weapons. Over the weekend, Iran, which says it aims only to produce energy, rejected European proposals.

"The E3's proposals represent a serious attempt to find a way forward that would benefit Iran and the international community. We made them in good faith," Pearson said. The E3 are the U.K., Germany and France.

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--08-08-05 1356EDT

Yeah I know the Brits are representing a more hard-line approach in these ass-backward diplomatic negotiations, and they've been much tougher on terror since the London bombings (I dig the idea of kicking out extremists who preach hatred). But when the French get involved, I always get a little skeptical.

That last paragraph in the article screams "please don't get pissed at us we're trying to be as impotent as the UN... really."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Wake up call

Anyone else get the crap scared out of them by the space shuttle's sonic boom this morning?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Oil-for-Food UN probe update

NEW YORK (AP)-[off the wire, no link]-Investigators probing claims of wrongdoing in the Iraq oil-for-food program on Monday accused its former chief, Benon Sevan, of corruption for taking illegal kickbacks and recommended his immunity be lifted for prosecution.

The investigators said a former U.N. procurement officer sought a bribe and should have his immunity lifted as well. Alexander Yakovlev was also accused of collecting nearly $1 million in kickbacks outside the oil-for-food program.

The third report by the Independent Inquiry Committee, led by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, was a new blow to the scandal-tainted $64 billion program. For the first time, it gave a motive for Sevan's actions, saying his finances were "precarious" shortly before his alleged misdeeds.

Some critics have accused the U.N. of squandering millions - and even billions - of dollars in its mismanagement of the program. Yet Volcker's team found that Sevan appeared to have gotten kickbacks of just $147,184 from December 1998 to January 2002.

The report touched briefly on U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his son, Kojo. It said new e-mails suggesting Annan knew more than he said about his son's involvement in the program "clearly raises further questions" that would be answered in its final report, expected in September.

Yakovlev resigned earlier this year and Sevan announced his resignation on Sunday. He criticized investigators, Annan, the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. critics who have cited oil-for-food as emblematic of perceived U.N. bungling and outright corruption.

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--08-08-05 1227EDT

Sure it's only one guy who embezzled almost $150k, but that's where the paper trail starts, and it's how these cases slowly grow from the small guy to the big fish. All signs point to Annan, father or son, or both.

Should we start taking odds on Annan impeding this investigation and not lifting immunity?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Take our terrorists... please

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)-[off the wire, no link]-The Bush administration is negotiating the transfer of Saudi and Yemeni nationals held at the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with their respective governments, the Boston Globe reported on its Web site Friday.

Nationals from Saudi Arabia and Yemen make up a significant percentage of the population in the Guantanamo facility, the Globe said. U.S. and Afghan officials Thursday said they struck a deal to transfer most of its nationals to Kabul's control and custody. There are 110 Afghan detainees at Guantanamo - more than 20% of the prison's population - and their transfers could begin in the next six months.

The U.S. is negotiating the transfer of almost 70% of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, to share the burden of keeping suspected terrorists behind bars, the Globe reported.

The Globe cited Pierre-Richard Prosper, ambassador at large for war crimes, who led a US delegation this week to the Middle East.

Prosper held talks in Saudi Arabia on Sunday and Monday, but the negotiations were halted after King Fahd's death was announced, the newspaper said.

Senior US officials said the agreement Thursday was the first major step toward whittling down the Guantanamo population to a group of people whom the United States expects to hold indefinitely, the Globe said.

"This is not an effort to shut down Guantanamo," Matthew Waxman, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, said after leaving Kabul with Prosper, the Globe reported. "Rather the arrangement we have reached with the government of Afghanistan is the latest step in what has long been our policy - that we need to keep dangerous enemy combatants off the battlefield.

"We, the US, don't want to be the world's jailer. We think a more prudent course is to shift that burden onto our coalition partners," Waxman said.

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.(AP-DJ)--08-05-05 0824EDT

The more we can get the Middle East to cooperate, the better. Whether it's actually waging armed conflict, intelligence, or taking care of their own damn terrorists, it sounds good to me.

I actually had to look up Yemen and what they o in the GWOT. All I knew about Yemen was Chandler's quick sojourn there to escape Janice and her evil laugh, but apparently, they're being very cooperative with us, even helpful.

But this means absolutely nothing to the "Chicken Little, the sky is falling" Democrats. They're still trying to sell that whole quagmire bit.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Some Ireland pic... finally

Here are some of the promised pics. Please keep the jokes about my photography to a minimum. Me and my 3.2 megapixel camera did the best we could.

Oh and one comment about the door photo. All the doors in Dublin are different colors. It's all brownstone, walk-up type buildings that all look the same, so ages ago they started painting all the doors so that when the men would come home after a long evening of drinking they would go to the right home.

Any culture that encourages, no embraces, that level of drunkenness is OK in my book.

US soldier named sheik

How cool is this! (AOL members only. Sorry)

Horn, 25, a native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., acknowledges he had little interest in the region before coming here. But a local sheik friendly to U.S. forces, Dr. Mohammed Ismail Ahmed, explained the inner workings of rural Iraqi society on one of Horn's first Humvee patrols.

Horn says he was intrigued, and started making a point of stopping by all the villages, all but one dominated by Sunni Arabs, to talk to people about their life and security problems.

Moreover, he pressed for development projects in the area: he now boasts that he helped funnel $136,000 worth of aid into the area. Part of that paid for delivery of clean water to 30 villages during the broiling summer months.

"They saw that we were interested in them, instead of just taking care of the bases," Horn said.

Mohammed, Horn's mentor and known for his dry sense of humor, eventually suggested during a meeting of village leaders that Horn be named a sheik. The sheiks approved by voice vote, Horn said.

Some sheiks later gave him five sheep and a postage stamp of land, fulfilling some of the requirements for sheikdom. Others encouraged him to start looking for a second wife, which Horn's spouse back in Florida immediately vetoed.

All those evil Americans. Just there for glory, oil, and the chance at gaining a harem.

The MSM will never get beyond their tired old "how many people died today in Iraq" headlines, dig a little deeper, and find the true gems. Sure some are simple human interest stories, but there are plenty of good news to report as well. And as usual Chrenkoff has a good chunk of that news.