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The WeatherPixie
Weather Conditions, Wish we were there...

Odd things and such things, as I feel appropriate, possibly relating to the war.
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Jerry Lawson, Proprietor

Comments by: YACCS

Monday, March 31
Telegraph | News | Royal Marines storm Basra suburb
For the Iraqis the arrival of the British also appeared to be welcome news. British troops discovered evidence of the brutality of the regime in a police station in the suburb where they found what appeared to be a torture chamber.

"If any proof was needed of the nature of Saddam Hussein's regime then things like this give it," Lt-Col Gordon Messenger, the commanding officer of 40 Commando, said.

Local people were not yet in any mood to discuss the past, but life appeared to be returning to some sort of normality yesterday.

Shops opened, selling bags of spices and nuts, and at least one bakery was producing fresh, unleavened bread in a wood-fired oven.
Wait a second. I thought Basra was a quagmire!

You mean - we're suceeding? What a concept!


Sunday, March 30
Pyramid Schemes
For generations of Americans, good nutrition means consuming a balanced diet from the four basic food groups, "layered" in an easy-to-understand scale within the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food pyramid. Today, however, we're seeing a multi-pronged attack on the famous food pyramid, with one activist group or another attacking nearly every layer for its own political gain.

The Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust, which campaigns against modern agriculture technology, wants to replace the USDA's food pyramid with a bewildering array of four different food pyramids, each designed for people with Asian, Latin or Mediterranean ethnic origins; there is, of course, a purely vegetarian pyramid for everyone else. For those who want to eat meat, the Oldways pyramids allow for a very small portion… once a month.
An interesting site - worth your time. Especially the ads on the home page...

By the way, those ads are work-safe. Unless you work for PETA or Greenpeace...


Tense times in a shooting gallery where civilians are the targets - War on Iraq -
Most nights they sit out the shelling and the sniper fire; not daring to move from the room. But when the mortars work their way up the slope from the icy green river towards their mudbrick house, they abandon the room and make a dash for the mountains.
There are 56 of them. Men who can never forget what Saddam Hussein's soldiers have done to them in 20 years of bitter reprisals; striking young women full of optimism and humour; and 30 children, enough to fill a classroom - except in Kalak there are no schools to speak of.
The families come together each night under one roof seeking sanctuary from indiscriminate fire. Three of the families live on the far side of the Zab-al-Kabir River. From there you can see the Iraqi soldiers - deadly miniatures manning a shooting gallery where civilians are the targets. To stay on the wrong side of the river when the shooting starts is to invite a quick end.
And there are people who want desperately for this to continue.

Why? Ask anyone in the Peace Movement. They have all the answers - it's about oil, it's about military contracts. It's about everything EXCEPT...

The Iraqi people being shelled by their own government.


Telegraph | News | Air defence head 'dismissed over market missiles'
The head of baghdad's air defences has been sacked by Saddam Hussein over last week's explosions in two market places in the city, according to intelligence reports given to Tony Blair yesterday.

Downing Street claimed that Saddam dismissed his own cousin, Musahim Saab al-Tikriti, because air defence missiles had been failing to hit their targets and falling back on Baghdad. According to the intelligence reports presented to the Prime Minister before yesterday's meeting of the War Cabinet, Saddam has recalled a retired officer, Shahin Yasin Muhammad al-Takriti, to take over Baghdad's air defences.
Well. Who'd have thought it was Iraq's misses? Gee. What a surprise. I had NO idea.



Saturday, March 29
Eject! Eject! Eject!: HISTORY
All of these stories have a common thread: someone has gone back in time, tinkered ever so slightly, and produced a horrific world in which, for example, the Nazis and the Japanese divide their American possessions at the Mississippi. In them, something has gone horribly wrong.

But I have often wondered, what if this history, the one we know as reality, was the one gone horribly wrong? For example:

And think about it.

I have no other words.


Anyone got any good suggestions as to glue for a sugar cube castle? Aaron and I have been building one - egg white doesn't quite cut it, and Elmer's glue seems to be doing the job - just wondering if anyone has any other suggestions...


USS Clueless - Pandering to the membership

Have you perhaps wondered why Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch is so quiet about what's going on in Iraq? We take out a television transmitter, and they call it censorship. Iraq fires on it's own people in Basra to keep them from escaping - and it's beneath their notice.

Steven DenBeste has some speculations on just WHY they're silent. As the saying goes - it's all about the money. Specifically, the core supporters of AI and HRW aren't the folks in flyover country - it's the folks to whom the US can't do a damn thing right, no matter what. So a dead transmitter by the US is FAR more important than a couple hundred dead civilians who were killed by Iraq.

Read the whole thing. It'll likely make you as mad as I was.


Headline news from Sky News - Witness the event
New intelligence suggests a series of Iraqi missiles have mis-fired and hit residential areas of Baghdad, Downing Street says.
The Prime Minister's spokesman said information had been received which indicated Iraq's air defence commander has been sacked due to the poor performance of missile systems in Baghdad.
He said: "A large number of surface-to-air missiles have been malfunctioning and many have failed to hit their targets and have fallen back onto Baghdad before exploding.
"Civil defence workers have been instructed to remove Iraqi missile fragments which fell on residential areas before journalists arrive on the scene."
Things that make you go "Hmmm...."

Remember that market explosion a few days back? There was another one yesterday.


And apparently the commander of Iraq's air defence force has been... removed. Here's hoping he hasn't gotten a bullet in the head for non-performance.


Wierd Spam:

"Receive large breasts, securely and suddenly!"

Heh. You find your amusements where you can.


Friday, March 28
Truth in History

We'll try it again. I didn't include any text in the image identifier - so the link didn't show.



AP Wire: British: Iraqis Fire on Basra Residents
CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar - Iraqi paramilitary forces in Basra fired mortars and machine guns Friday on about 1,000 Iraqi civilians trying to leave the besieged city, forcing them to retreat, British military officials and witnesses said.

Britain's 7th Armored Brigade apparently tried to fire back, but stopped out of fear that civilians would be wounded, said Lt. Cmdr. Emma Thomas, a spokeswoman for British forces in the Persian Gulf. As a result, the civilians retreated into Basra in trucks, she said.

British forces have ringed the southern city - Iraq's second-largest, with a population of 1.3 million - in hopes of eliminating units loyal to Saddam Hussein and opening the way for badly needed humanitarian aid.
Now - remind me again how we're targeting women and children? How we're doing everything possible to commit genocide in Iraq? How we're dropping thousands of bombs, and have only managed to kill about 300 Iraqi civilians?

Now, can you possibly explain WHY the Iraqi paramilitary thugs are shooting AT THEIR OWN PEOPLE?


Thursday, March 27
The Black Hills Pioneer, Newspapers, South Dakota, SD
SPEARFISH -- Stepping back from comments he made last week that President Bush failed "miserably" in diplomatic efforts to avoid war with Iraq, Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D. said Thursday, "My timing wasn't the best."
Yeah. Your timing wasn't the best, but you spoke from the heart.

That said, I'm still not going to vote for you.

(Not that he's from Georgia. But if he were, I'd still refuse to vote for him.)


Dreaded Purple Master
I'll suggest that Iraq is fighting out of its weight class. The only reason we haven't glazed Baghdad is that we actually don't want to hurt them. And this does handicap us somewhat: Word is, the only reason Iraqi TV is still on the air is that their broadcast tower is on top of a daycare center and hospital. (Or so I've heard: Still searching for confirmation.) If true, I can't think of any way to read it other than to conclude that Iraqi children's lives mean more to the U.S. Army than they do to the Iraqi government.
Yep. I think the following articles graphically illustrate how the Iraqi goverment views the lives of the children. Why am I reminded of madmen who take hostages and threaten to kill them if their demands aren't met? And of course, it's not THEIR fault that the hostage is dead, it's the fault of the police.

Headline news from Sky News - Witness the event
During General Vincent Brooks's briefing in Qatar, he told reporters that Iraqi forces are becoming increasingly desperate in their actions.

"Iraqi regime forces are seizing children from their homes telling their families that they must fight for the regime or they will all face execution," he said.

He also said Coalition forces had proof that Saddam Hussein's forces are hiding weaponry in cultural, religious and historical landmarks, promising to destroy it without damaging the buildings.
All violations of the Laws of War. But you won't hear many of the peace folk protest that, I think.

Headline news from Sky News - Witness the event

Blasts in a Baghdad market place that killed up to 15 civilians may have been caused by a stray Iraqi missile or deliberate Iraqi sabotage, a US military spokesman has said.

Brigadier General Vincent Brooks, America's deputy director of operations based in Qatar, said US forces had not aimed at targets in the area.

He added the blasts could have been caused by Iraqi surface-to-air missiles falling back onto the city. He said: "We think it's entirely possible that this may have been an Iraqi missile that went up and came back down or even an Iraqi attack.
There's an article that has the opposite take.

Edinburgh Evening News - Top Stories - US says its jets probably hit market
US says its jets probably hit market

THE Americans have admitted that their warplanes were probably responsible for hitting a Baghdad market, killing a reported 14 civilians and injuring 30 others.

A statement by US Central Command said the planes’ target had been Iraqi missile sites less than 300 feet from civilian homes.

Earlier, senior coalition commanders had suggested that the Iraqis had deliberately staged the explosion to discredit the US and British forces.

The strike on the market, by US warplanes using precision-guided weapons, was the worst incident of so-called "collateral damage" in the war so far.

It came as a bitter setback for the coalition forces which have been at pains to stress they take the utmost precautions to avoid civilian casualties when planning air strikes.
And please note, I haven't seen the above confirmed anywhere else.

I don't put it past the Iraqi forces to put a bomb into the marketplace. I'm sorry - it's just too unlikely that we'd:

1. Miss that badly.

2. Miss that badly it drops RIGHT into a market. While people are there.

Car bombs, however, can be placed where you want them, and timed to go off when you want them to. And if you're grabbing kids out of their homes and threatening to shoot them if they don't fight - it's not a far step to killing your own folks when you know it'll gain you a propaganda victory.

And, judging by the way it's trumpeted, it's a big one.

And then there's ... France.

Headline news from Sky News - Answer the Question!
During a question and answer session at the end of his speech he refused to answer the question: "Who do you want to win the war?"

France has been fiercely opposed to the US and British-led military action against Saddam Hussein's regime.

De Villepin said France's main priority in the reconstruction of Iraq would be for the United Nations to pass a humanitarian resolution on the oil-for-food programme.

He said the UN must be at the heart of the reconstruction of Iraq following a crisis which has "shattered" the established world order.
Guy? Listen - France was weilding a pretty mean hammer there. But we're starting to find out why...

Military Balance in the ME.
You hear a fair amount about how much we sold Iraq as far as weaponry went. On page 22 of the linked article, you find a chart of arms sales before 1991. The following figures are the TOTAL purchases from each country by Iraq.

$5 Million from the US.
$330 Million from Britain
$995 Million from Germany
$5.5 Billion from China
$9.24 Billion from France
$31.8 Billion from Russia
Now - who was it who vetoed the UN resolution? And made it clear that they'd countenance NO action against Iraq, no matter the provocation?

Russia was kind of hemming and hawing, but I'd say most of it was sold by the USSR. As far as France goes, if Saddam is deposed they can kiss their $9 billion goodbye. The Soviet Union is essentially gone - they aren't going to be sending bill collectors to Iraq for the money. But France - that $9 billion would help a LOT. And then there's the oil contracts they stand to lose. You know the saying - "follow the money" - and the money trail points pretty hard at France.

And they won't say which side they want to win. You know, you straddle the fence long enough, and you get split down the middle.

And this is it for the day! My eyes are starting to cross, I need to get off this thing...Busy today - maybe tomorrow I'll have time to blog more.


Wednesday, March 26
Truth in History

We'll try it again. I didn't include any text in the image identifier - so the link didn't show.



Tuesday, March 25
CBS News | U.S. Drops 'E-Bomb' On Iraqi TV | March 25, 2003 22:27:57
(CBS) The U.S. Air Force has hit Iraqi TV with an experimental electronmagetic pulse device called the "E-Bomb" in an attempt to knock it off the air and shut down Saddam Hussein's propaganda machine, CBS News Correspondent David Martin reports.

The highly classified bomb creates a brief pulse of microwaves powerful enough to fry computers, blind radar, silence radios, trigger crippling power outages and disable the electronic ignitions in vehicles and aircraft.
Hmmm. The shows were BAD, but not THAT bad...

So now we wait and see.

(See what? Heck if I know! That's why we've got to wait and see!)


Way back HERE I posted an exchange on Indymedia where two people were discussing freedom for Iraq.

I heard from the gentleman today who posted something rather unkind to a gentleman looking for support for the Iraqi people. At the time, I posted the following.
Compassion, thy name is the peace movement. So, it's BETTER for the Iraqi people to be under a dictator, because they're unable to get out of his tyrrany through their own efforts, than be liberated by the US or UK.

Damn. This is the caring 'Peace Movement"? The folks who 'Care' about women and children? The people who don't want any blood spilled in war, but don't seem to care at all about blood spilled by dictators?

Morally bankrupt doesn't come CLOSE to describing them.
Apparently, sometimes seeing ourselves as others see us has a sobering effect on our excesses.

Alex posted the following in the comments.
I am the same person who posted that.
All I can say now about it is that I'm *ashamed*. Ashamed for being simply cruel. In fact, I never considered myself as a 'peace activist' or that I was compassionate for the iraqi people, and the reason is that I don't really know these people, or their country. As I didn't know you Americans. But sth has changed since then...

I am a 28 year old male, and what I've listened to all my life made me think of americans as "fools with guns". And believe me, Greece is not an isolated backwards country with a totalitarian government. We have a strong democracy, like you do, and in fact we have more or less like you, two big political parties in which people try to represent themselves, even if sometimes they don't totally agree with their politics.

I was angry at you people for starting this war. I know that sometimes strength is needed for a greater good. But weapons on the market these days and most of all, the *fear* they impose on people, sometimes makes them do crazy things in order to protect their homes and their food on the table. So in fear myself, I started reading your blogs, trying to find a place to pick a fight, as I thought I could make you see the "truth". Not feeling ready to actually do it (I think now I felt it in my heart it would make no difference), I kept on reading. Guess what happened! I found out you are not as I thought. I understand now that you support this war in order to protect yourselves. But I always believed, still do, that self-control has to come from self. Ourselves are the only teachers we really listen to. And as the enlightened Krishnamurti said not so long ago, 'You are your own master, be a light unto Yourself'. I'm not a buddhist btw. I was a christian orthodox as a child, but now I just believe in God in every one of us, and respect every religion for they all manifest our bits and pieces of His wisdom.

I guess I try in vain. I can't do anything to make it right. Guess we are too many on this planet nowadays and we can no longer stand each other. I only hope these paths that helped me get to know you, and change my way of thinking, will help others see the same truth: That we are all brothers and sisters on this planet, and in spite of our differences, we better get to know and respect one another before it's too late.
I commented back the following.

Thank you for posting here. May I put your comment up on the main page?

By the way - it takes quite a bit of courage to say you're wrong on something. You've increased my respect for you tremendously.

A lot of people think they can never admit they've made a mistake - and they keep going on and never learn from their mistakes.

I visited Greece (Athens) in 1979. It was a very fine city, and I got to go up to the Parthenon. I would like to go back, someday. I may never manage it, but I'd like to.

One problem, I think, is that we assume people are as we think they are. Like you viewing Americans as 'fools with guns'. Myself, I tend to take people as they present themselves, and I'm glad to see my impression of you that I got from your post is a wrong one.

I'd like to hear from you. Please e-mail me, if you would.

To which he replied...
I'd be happy to see my post on your main page, as long as you don't change it or use parts of it.

Thank you for being one more of those that show we have
so much in common yet we are so much apart.

I truly believe now, that these paths of communication,
the same ones that feed on our common fears, lead to
the only bridge we have among us.

By crossing this bridge, curious and hungry as we always are,
we may find that the other side of the cliff
is just as beautiful and fragile as our own.
But we have to cross like children,
as we truly are inside, uncertain, not like wise-fools,
claiming to know even the will of God.

After all,
being sure of what we'll find on the other side
just might keep us from crossing.

I promise I'll e-mail you as soon as possible
I have a great deal of respect for Alex. When faced with information that didn't match his worldview, a lot of people go into denial, get angry or defensive or what have you. Alex considered the information, and decided he was wrong on an issue - it takes a great deal of courage to examine yourself like that, and even more to admit you can be wrong or that you hurt someone else.

Like Alex, I wish that war wasn't necessary at this point. However, there doesn't look to be any reasonable alternative, and leaving things as they are is not acceptable. If we must go to war, it looks like we're doing it as well as we can, with as few casualties as possible. And that is, at this point, the best we can do.

By the way, Alex, I'll be e-mailing you later this evening (my time) - can't do it from work.

And, thank you.



From Indymedia - bottom photo...

See the losers, how big they've grown.
They think society should be overthrown,
Because they're not valued for what they are,
Spoiled nuts from a pickle jar...

They hate the US, they hate the cash,
that they need to use to buy their stash -
"Agrarian is what we want to be!" -
with a life expectancy of forty-three?

"Rip it down, let anarchy prevail!"
A stupid refrain, a nightly wail.
They don't understand what keeps them alive
Is a society rich enough for them to thrive.

Hand to mouth, and they'd starve fast.
They're nowhere near smart enough to last.
Hatred and anger - they've got plenty
But it doesn't put food in an empty belly.


P.S.: BTW, are those sneakers you're wearing, guy? Real sneakers? Made in Indonesia? Or maybe Taiwan? Heck, I can't tell - are they Nikes maybe?

Oh, you got them from Sears.


Rage on against the machine, man.


Monday, March 24
Beautiful day yesterday - much better things to do than sit in front of the computer. Hammock - little boy - large chunk of meat on the grill - yeah, much better things.

However - today there's a few things I'd like to mention.

Media reports that there's resistance aren't surprising. What IS surprising is the type of resistance - that we're seeing reports that Iraqi units surrender - and then when they can they attack their captors. This is flat-out WRONG according to the rules of war. It makes the Iraqi Army look like criminals - which may not be far off from the truth. Geneva Convention be damned - once you surrender, you SURRENDER. You don't use surrendering as a ploy to get where you can do damage to the enemy. And as far as prisoner treatment goes, are the folks who were hopping mad about our putting prisoners in Camp X-ray in Guantanamo outraged over the POW shots on Al-Jazeera?

(Crickets chirping)

Well, at least you aren't REJOICING over them. At the very least, you damn well better not - because it shows that you don't give a damn about the Geneva Convention protocols, you'd rather see dead or tortured Americans. And understand this - if WE are being held to the letter of the law on the Geneva Convention, you'd BETTER not give a pass to IRAQ on it.

On other aspects - the media is trying to portray us as being at the brink of losing the war, because the Iraqi army hasn't given up. Ah, excuse me? We HOPED they'd give up - that they didn't isn't unforseen or unexpected. We've got a LONG way to go yet. WW2 wasn't won in a day, you know, and this is AT LEAST as vital as that was.

On the fragging incident - this has pretty well eroded my belief that Islam is a peaceful religion. Apparently this scum 'got religion' a couple of years back, changed his name to an Islamic name - and then tossed grenades into the tents of the commanders of the 101st Airborne, and tried shooting them as they came out.

The military has a term for people like that. (Fucking traitor. Excuse me - fucking ALLEGED traitor. Until the court martial convenes. Even Johnny Cochrane couldn't get him off.)

And there's a medical term for what he should soon be. (Dead. Excuse me - Metabolically Challenged.)

I just can't WAIT to see the excuses on that. And of course, Indymedia's got some prime shit on it. They're happy - it fits with their perverted worldview. Of course, there's folks who aren't quite so... willing to accept that particular viewpoint.

Gotta go. Support our troops! Give blood, give to the USO - it's for the good of all!


Sunday, March 23
Two Jewish youths hospitalized after being attacked in Paris

Two Jewish youths were hospitalized Saturday afternoon after being stabbed in Paris by individuals who had taken part in an anti-war demonstration. The separate incidents took place near the Hashomer Hatzair youth group building in the city, in close proximity to Beaumarchais Boulevar and Bastille Square.

One young man was stabbed and lightly wounded after a group of men noticed his yarmulke. He was taken to the hospital for treatment. The attackers are believed to have been immigrants from North Africa. After stabbing the young man, they tried to break in to the Hashomer Hatzair building, but members of the youth group managed to block the entrance.

Fifteen minutes later, a 24-year-old youth group advisor exited the building to address a television crew that had arrived to interview him. After exiting the building, he was seriously wounded when passers-by attacked him with metal rods and chains.
WTF is going on with France? It looks like they're starting to implode, and anarchy is the norm.


Saturday, March 22
Telegraph | Opinion | I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam
It hit me on visceral and emotional levels: this was a real portrayal of Iraq life. After the first conversation, I completely rethought my view of the Iraqi situation. My understanding changed on intellectual, emotional, psychological levels. I remembered the experience of seeing Saddam's egomaniacal portraits everywhere for the past two weeks and tried to place myself in the shoes of someone who had been subjected to seeing them every day for the last 20 or so years.

Last Thursday night I went to photograph the anti-war rally in Parliament Square. Thousands of people were shouting "No war" but without thinking about the implications for Iraqis. Some of them were drinking, dancing to Samba music and sparring with the police. It was as if the protesters were talking about a different country where the ruling government is perfectly acceptable. It really upset me.
It's easy to ignore a situation that's been going on a long time. It's easy to think it's not as others are telling you it is.

But when you're immersed in it, when you can actually SEE it, when you can SEE that the people involved are frightened and cowed, virtual slaves - you get a different perspective on things.

And you wise up.


Saddam Meets Top Officials, Praises Army -Iraq TV (
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi state television said President Saddam Hussein chaired a meeting of his top officials on Saturday and said he was satisfied with the performance of Iraqi soldiers facing a U.S. and British invasion.

"The president expressed his satisfaction at the performance of the Iraqi army and members of the Baath Party and Iraqi tribes," the television said, without showing pictures of the reported meeting.
Hmmm. Must be some definition of "performance" and "satisfaction" that's exclusively Iraqi... Unless he's happy that they're surrendering, and not putting up much of a fight.


Times Online
IRAQI conscripts shot their own officers in the chest yesterday to avoid a fruitless fight over the oil terminals at al-Faw. British soldiers from 40 Commando’s Charlie Company found a bunker full of the dead officers, with spent shells from an AK47 rifle around them.

Stuck between the US Seals and the Royal Marines, whom they did not want to fight, and a regime that would kill them if they refused, it was the conscripts’ only way out.

In total, 40 Commando had collected more than 100 prisoners of war yesterday from the few square miles of the al-Faw peninsula that they controlled. Two of them were a general in the regular Iraqi Army and a brigadier. They came out from the command bunker where they had been hiding after 40 Commando’s Bravo Company fired two anti-tank missiles into it. With them was a large sports holdall stuffed with money. They insisted that they had been about to pay their troops, to the disbelief of their captors.

These were the men who had left their soldiers hungry, poorly armed and almost destitute for weeks, judging by the state we had seen them in, while appearing to keep the money for themselves.

It was only as dawn broke that the 900 Royal Marine commandos, who had moved forward during the night, realised the pitiful shape of the enemy. The first white flag was hoisted by three soldiers in a trench just outside the complex’s north gate, which had been surrounded by heavy machinegunners from Command Company.
Shame these guys aren't Iraqi, then...


The War Machine - The military's laptop of choice provokes shock and awe. By Paul Boutin
Just as Desert Storm boosted the sales of Hummers and GPS handhelds, Gulf War II will spawn its own crossover hits, pieces of military equipment that become civilian fetish objects. A prediction: One of the war's big winners will be Itronix's GoBook MAX, a sort of Windows laptop on steroids. The GoBook MAX has already been spotted in video from the front, and Air Force firemen deployed in Turkey have them. If Gulf War II is the first Internet war, then a computer should be its first piece of military chic.
And with that - goodnight!

(Hey, sweetie? This is what I want for Christmas...)


Friday, March 21
Al Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology
My first encounter with this particular kind of fantasy occurred when I was in college in the late sixties. A friend of mine and I got into a heated argument. Although we were both opposed to the Vietnam War, we discovered that we differed considerably on what counted as permissible forms of anti-war protest. To me the point of such protest was simple — to turn people against the war. Hence anything that was counterproductive to this purpose was politically irresponsible and should be severely censured. My friend thought otherwise; in fact, he was planning to join what by all accounts was to be a massively disruptive demonstration in Washington, and which in fact became one.

My friend did not disagree with me as to the likely counterproductive effects of such a demonstration. Instead, he argued that this simply did not matter. His answer was that even if it was counterproductive, even if it turned people against war protesters, indeed even if it made them more likely to support the continuation of the war, he would still participate in the demonstration and he would do so for one simple reason — because it was, in his words, good for his soul.

What I saw as a political act was not, for my friend, any such thing. It was not aimed at altering the minds of other people or persuading them to act differently. Its whole point was what it did for him.
Ah. This is it - this is what I remembered. THIS is why the violent protestors are doing what they're doing.

And why they'll fail.

They aren't trying to win support. They're just doing it for the thrill they get. Other people be damned - THEY are all that matters.


The Intellectual Origins Of America-Bashing by Lee Harris - Policy Review, No. 116
Those who, speaking in Marx's name, try to defend the fantasy ideology embodied in 9-11 are betraying everything that Marx represented. They are replacing his hard-nosed insistence on realism with a self-indulgent flight into sheer fantasy, just as they are abandoning his strenuous commitment to pursuit of a higher stage of social organization in order to glorify the feudal regimes that the world has long since condemned to Marx’s own celebrated trash bin of history.

America-bashing has sadly come to be “the opium of the intellectual,” to use the phrase Raymond Aron borrowed from Marx in order to characterize those who followed the latter into the twentieth century. And like opium it produces vivid and fantastic dreams
Long, but worth reading. It may well explain why the protestors are doing what they're doing.

J. - News - SF Police Find Cache Of Molotov Cocktails
SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco arson investigators removed 12 Molotov-type cocktails on Friday from a backpack discovered by a groundskeeper cleaning up debris left by anti-war protesters in a downtown alley way.

The investigators carefully removed the homemade devices -- consisting of old liquor bottles filled with gasoline and having a wick -- and fingerprinted them. Police said the site where the devices were found was an area near 11th and Howard that had been traversed several times by a rather violent group demonstrators during Thursday's protests.
A violent group of peace demonstrators? No! Say it ain't so!

Read the whole thing. These people are doing a Real Good Job of alienating any support they may have from the general public and the media. Consider the critical tone here - and this is a San Francisco station! They piss off the media, and they'll really lose the PR battle - if they haven't lost it already. As it is, they're not paying attention to what's coming out of Iraq.
One of those arrested was Vanessa Acosta, 45, of Highland Park. She knelt in the street and prayed the rosary. She held a sign saying "Peace is the first casualty in war." She held her hands together in prayer as she was led away.

"I want to give a little bit of myself ... the people in Iraq don't know who I am but at least I know that I'm with them," she said.
And they would think you a fool for doing what you're doing. No, I take that back.

Saddam would be cheering you on.


From IndyMedia UK

Regarding an article about a 'Peace' protestor who got on a RAF base and bravely took a hammer to an un-guarded Tornado, there were a number of interesting replies. The most interesting was this little exchange...

Please support the Iraqi people
by Iraqi exile living in the UK 10:34pm Wed Mar 19 '03

Hi everyone. I am an ex-Iraqi citizen whose family (what is left of it) was forced into exile by the Ba'ath regime in 1989 when I was just 15 years old. My uncle was an Iraqi army officer who was critical of the conduct of his superior officers who were giving orders to murder civilians. My uncle was tortured to death by being sliced into pieces, which were then delivered to his family's door. His wife and 6 children were forced to eat his remains and then they were murdered by being nailed to lamp-posts and signs in the street. The rest of us escaped across the border to Syria from where we flew to the UK and we were granted asylum by this wonderful country. So far, nearly 1 million of my fellow Iraqi families have suffered a similar fate as mine.

I still count myself as Iraqi, as I did not leave Iraq of my own free will, and would one day love to return and open a general practice surgery, which is my profession. I would like my children to be able to play in the Tigris as I did with my sisters when I was a boy.

Now, on with the discussion about this wrecker-of-aeroplanes. Although I respect her for acting according to her beliefs I can only say that she is helping the man who murdered my uncle's family, namely Saddam. This war is not about killing innocent women and children as these groups will not be deliberately targetted, although several thousand will die at the most by being used as human shields by Saddam. Compare this though to the at least 25 thousand of my fellow Iraqis who are tortured to death each year and you will see that it is worth it to go to war to free my people from the terror of the current Iraqi regime headed by the despicable sadist Saddam. My noble people have a chance of freedom and welcome the efforts of the Americans and British to free them. For the first time in two generations my people will be free from torture and murder. Please listen to the Iraqi people before deciding what is good for them. My people want this war to happen. They want to be free. They are not interested in the so-called "peace activists" using this war as cover for their anti-capitalist and anti-American agendas.

If you care about the Iraqi people, like you claim to, then please support this war and if you want to do some good then go to post war Iraq and help them rebuild the country, instead of sitting here trying to stop something which in reality is truly good, which is the liberation of my people. Maybe I'll see you in post-war Iraq?

To iraqi exile
by Alex 11:58pm Wed Mar 19 '03

We had a dictatorship here in Greece during the 70s
(supported by the CIA btw)
and thousands of people died in the hands of torturers.
But we gave our blood for our democracy.
Many people died in protests and in prisons,
but we liberated ourselves without foreign "help".

If your people can't do the same
then they simply don't deserve their freedom.

They won't have struggled for it
and they won't appreciate it.
They'll probably have a new dictator in a few years,
when Mr. Bush will have his oil assured.

(Because, you see, it's "All about the OOOOOOIIIILLLLLL" - couldn't resist, sorry. J.)

In the meantime, your country will be flattened
and many women and babies killed
and everybody else will have to pay for rebuilding it.
Cause the oil companies' directors were fucking idiots
and invested on a country as unstable as Iraq.

So, see you in postwar Iraq?
Don't think so.
My people earned the right to their peace.
We just support those that make their own stand.
Like that brave woman.
Ulla, let her name be remembered.

Compassion, thy name is the peace movement. So, it's BETTER for the Iraqi people to be under a dictator, because they're unable to get out of his tyrrany through their own efforts, than be liberated by the US or UK.

Damn. This is the caring 'Peace Movement"? The folks who 'Care' about women and children? The people who don't want any blood spilled in war, but don't seem to care at all about blood spilled by dictators?

Morally bankrupt doesn't come CLOSE to describing them.

But Iraqi Exile does have an additional comment or two...
From Iraqi Exile to Alex

by Iraqi Exile 7:06pm Thu Mar 20 '03

To Alex: Please re-read my post, as it seems that you didn't read it at all.

You state that if a people cannot throw of the rule of their regime then they do not deserve freedom. It is impossible for my people the Iraqis to overthrow Saddam without foreign help. His security apparatus is too strong. The Iraqi people welcome outside help in deposing Saddam, so it is not YOUR choice whether there is foreign intervention: it is the choice of the Iraqi people. And the Iraqi people choose that the Americans help them.

You think that the Iraqi people have not struggled for their freedom? I tell you that they have struggled every day for the last 20 years. They deserve their freedom.

Your comments are stupid and uneducated and I wonder if you are genetically stupid or if you were maybe just dropped on your head as a baby. Either way, you have the pity of every thinking man and woman who has read this. And like we say in Persia, "A fart be on your beard".
More like in his head - but that's as may be.

Here you see a fine example of the moral center of the peace movement. It's not about the people who need peace, it's about the people who are protesting. They're 'for' the victims - but don't want to see the victims escape their chains.



Thursday, March 20
And I think I shall follow the good advice of Captain DenBeste. There's nothing I can do, and I'll get all wound up following the war - so I might as well go to sleep.



>bt: Protesting the Protesters II << Video

Oh, man.

You can't make this stuff up. Requires Quicktime...


Oh - now THIS is fun.
A Flash adventure. Enjoy!


San Francisco protesters stage a 'vomit in'
08:41 PST -- In a unique form of opposition, some protesters at the Federal Building staged a "vomit in,'' by heaving on the sidewalks and plaza areas in the back and front of the building to show that the war in Iraq made them sick, according to a spokesman.

Many of the approximately 300 protesters demonstrating at the building at 450 Golden Gate Ave. attempted to block building entrances.
Oh yeah. THIS will really get you support.

You want to make a difference? Try apologizing to the poor wage slave that has to clean up your barf. I'm sure HE will be cognizant of the essential rightness of your cause. Or did you clean up after yourselves after the protest? (Which would have been the MORAL thing to do. Problem is - I think you've only got a nodding acquaintance with morality and civic responsibility in the first place. But hey - although I find you morally lacking and publicly disgusting - I wouldn't puke on your shoes for it.)


USS Clueless
And in particular, when you hear any kind of hot report of critical breaking news, take a deep breath. Breath it out. And then try to cultivate philosophical patience. If it's really true, in a few hours it will become apparent. And if it's a distortion, you won't hear much more about it. The more important it seems to be, the longer you should wait before reacting.
Very good advice from Captain DenBeste - there's going to be a whole lot of stuff flying through the media. Some will be right, some will be wrong - but just because you agree or disagree with something doesn't make it automatically right or automatically wrong. So, as he advises, take a deep breath - and wait.

The fog of war eventually dissapates.


$2 at Taco Bell
On my way home from the second job I've taken for the extra holiday cash I need, I stopped at Taco Bell for a quick bite to eat. In my billfold is a $50 bill and a $2 bill. That is all of the cash I have on my person. I figure that with a $2 bill, I can get something to eat and not have to worry about people getting pissed at me.
Of course, is life ever that simple?

And a tip of the hat to the Dreaded Purple Master who had this via Instapundit, via South Knox Bubba.


Daily Pundit Archives
2. It is important for the lessons of the Iraq campaign to sink into countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran. If the campaign goes well, two points will sink in: First, that the international system, alliances and institutions cannot contain American power; there is no protection there. And second, that the American ability to exercise warfare at extreme distances is overwhelming. Therefore, resistance to the United States is less rational than accommodating the United States. Since Washington seeks a change of behavior -- and war is merely a means toward that end -- time must be taken to allow the lessons of Iraq to be absorbed.
Stick - or carrot? We'll see which one wins.


Wednesday, March 19
Air raid sirens in Bagdad. Nothing on-screen yet - CNN is doing the usual wall to wall coverage. AA firing - nothing visible in the sky. No detonations on the ground.

Good luck, Salam Pax and Raed - wherever you are.

Signing off for the night.


Lt. Smash is down. A very good blog, the Lieutenant's been posting from a very sandy place, close to where the action will be. I'm hoping it's a temporary thing.

Godspeed, Lieutenant. And God bless.



For 12 years, Saddam ignored 17 UN resolutions calling for his disarmnament. He hemmed and hawed and stalled and finally kicked out the UN inspectors. He thumbed his nose at the international community, and played the UN like a violin.

Well, time's up. THESE inspectors aren't going to be stopped.

Kick ass, guys - and don't stop to take names!


France and Germany think they may have gone too far.

(File this under the "No shit, Sherlock" category.)


Now, we've been hearing on occasion about how 'non-violent' the peace protestors actually are. How they're not the ones doing the break&entering stuff on businesses, smashing windows and the like. Why, they're peaceful. They wouldn't hurt a fly.


They're clueless. Worse yet, they're VIOLENTLY clueless.
black bloc for the night the war starts. SFPD has red squads with cameras everywhere. do you trust john ashcroft? wear a black mask, shirt, pants, etc so that we can be ANONYMOUS ON THE STREETS


BLACK BLOC – THE DAY THE NEW WAR ON IRAQ STARTS: Anti-war groups have called for a protest the day the new US war on Iraq begins. The protest will meet at 5pm the day the war starts at Powell and Market.



In Afghanistan, the US military has killed thousands of people. The US spends billions funding genocidal policies against the Palestinian people. In Colombia, the US is escalating a civil war in which thousands of labor activists and peasants have been murdered. In Iraq, economic sanctions and radioactive weaponry have killed hundreds of thousands in the decade since the last war. The US “War on Terror” keeps expanding, threatening millions around the world.

This is not a war between the people of the US and the people of the world. It is capitalism—a war on the poor. Investors in US oil companies will get a new pipeline through Afghanistan and increased access to the Iraq’s oil reserves (second only to Saudi Arabia).

The growing anti-war movement has called a number of demonstrations in the upcoming weeks and months. We will be there in solidarity. But we are worried that our protests have become nothing more than parades. Protest isn’t protest if it doesn’t threaten the established order or physically disrupt the functioning of the war machine.

So let’s use our collective power to change things directly. Wear black in mourning for the victims of capitalism, racism, state violence. Let’s stick together and watch each other’s backs. Let’s fight back.

Join us for a creative rampage.
It's all about the OOOIL to them, supposedly - but they're looking to PAR-TEE! And what sort of things do these 'peaceful' protestors intend to do?

all the pretty colors
by Neo S Tuesday March 18, 2003 at 12:37 PM

Hitting the stock exchange is brilliant.

Smashing up the City Hall of a town that's declared itself officaly against the war and Ashcroft is a bit like burning down the henhouse to get the fox.

Tipping over newspaper racks is keen--- unless you are from out of town and don't know the difference between the Gaurdian and USA Today.

Killing people is wrong. Every man and woman is a star, or so the old bastard said. The problem is that a certain sanctimonious fuck forgot that the 10 Commandments he supposedly reveres applies to him as well.

For every bloc-er letting the air out of the tires of an Escalade (don't SLASH, damnit-- its not environmentaly sound) there needs to be someone trying to talk to a soccer mom.

Arm yourself with facts, engage people in rolling debates whereever you find them.

Your universal greeting for M 18: "Do you condone this? How can you condone this?"

But try, dear friends, to remember that this City, my City loves you. Target you actions well. If you're going to hit democratic headquarters along with republican headquarters remember to brand them "moral cowards" and "Bush Appeasers."

There are two fronts in this conflict and two sets of goals.

-Corporate America [Which must be made to fear the power of the polis. As opposed to the people fearing the power of the police.)

-Individuals [Who must be brought around to hating war and wanting to ensure it doesn't happen again.]

-Short Term: Bringing the war to a halt. Shaming the Bush administration. Ensuring that he does not resume office in 2005.

-Long Term: Ending the domination of the polis by transnational capital and creating a new social network where individuals are responsible for themselves and to others in a mutual exchange of commodities, respect, agape, and trust. [What that would look like has yet to be determined.]

These are two seperate, but harmonious goals.

add your comments

To "yo"
by Mr. Kropotkin Tuesday March 18, 2003 at 03:11 PM

"DC por ejemplo, doesn't do that. "

do you know what you're talking about?? during the march 15th ANSWER march, my comrades and i (about 50 of us) broke away and marched to the World Bank Headquarters. Not only did we get inside... we destroyed the place! All their banquet decorations were torn down. when the security called the alarm, all the doors locked automatically and cops were pouring in looking to kick some ass. so we smashed 2 windows and got the fuck out of there. only 6 (out of 30-50) were arrested.

so don't go saying DC anarchists are innactive. Also, i always see "LIES!" on the front of newspaper bins.

add your comments

SF Trolley Wire Map
by How to Stop Buses Dead Tuesday March 18, 2003 at 08:16 PM

Here is a link to the SF Muni trolley WIRE MAP.

If you study this map closely, you can learn how to disable an entire bus line and prevent Muni from rerouting buses around your roadblock. For instance, if you block an intersection where two trolley-wire bus lines cross, and throw debris on alternate-route wires, the buses cannot move through and cannot be rerouted--voila! A dead bus line.

add your comments

zebra action
by somegirl Tuesday March 18, 2003 at 09:21 PM

one thing i noticed during the last bb: -(right before the first set of arrests after the police said it was an unpermitted march and to get on the sidewalk)- people were running from one side of the street to the other from both sides. from where i was standing it looked like the bb was doing some sort of zebra action confusion tactic--people WERE getting on the sidewalks like the police asked but the flow of people never stopped because they kept running to the other side.

then i realized people were maybe just trying to get on the same side of the street as their friends (?) not sure. i wonder how long that could have lasted.

a group of people running back and forth looks very confusing and may buy time...or atleast be more fun than just sitting down.

add your comments

Little Yellow Cans for Peace
by Hedgehog Tuesday March 18, 2003 at 10:04 PM

Find empty soup cans and paint them Bright Yellow with rustoleum or similiar paint. Write the word Duck on them. They will look like cluster bomblets. Leave them near the palaces of the wealthy.

Duck, duck, duck,...........

add your comments

Re: SF Trolley Wire Map
by ummmm Wednesday March 19, 2003 at 08:46 AM

To: How to Stop Buses Dead

Come on! Do we really want to disable the only means of transportation for the people like us. Disrupting movement within downtown and around certain strategic targets is one thing. But there are those who can't walk very far and use Muni for going to the store down the street.

This may only push more people away from our cause. We don't want to hurt future recruits!

See "Time to Focus on the Message" by Daniel Burton above.

I think this info is great for downtown, just not in the outlying neighborhoods. If that was your intention all along, you need to spell this out. Some people will read your post and not understand the overall ramifications of these actions.


add your comments
But there ARE voices of sanity on Indymedia. They're rare, but they're there.
I just don't get it
by whyinSF Wednesday March 19, 2003 at 09:10 AM

First off, I've seen these black bloc kids... that's right, kids. Its a bunch of angry Korn fans trying to revive the protest days of their parents but this time with anger and aggression. All it does is make our cause look stupid and childish.

Second, why the hell are wagin war in SF. If anything you should be protesting in places that are overwhelmingly for the war. SF? Berkeley? Oakland? I don't understand why you need to cause chaos and violence in a city that is on the same side as you. so there are a few dissidents, but not everyone in the financial district is for the war. The generalizations made about people and the weak tactics used are nothing short of making more enemies and losing your battles.

Peaceful protests or non-violent sit ins do more to show and garner support to call an end to Bush's crazy antics. How can you preach peace when you go out and break windows and make others suffer? Fear tactics are plain stupid.

add your comments

a suggestion for 'whyinSF'
by anarchist communist Wednesday March 19, 2003 at 10:30 AM

Go to Danville and prance around with a flower in your hair. Relish the blank stares directed your way.

The rest of us are intent on RESISTING this incipient slaughter in a manner that makes the capitalist war-makers shit in their draws.

Contrary to your suggestion, the Bay Area is an excellent sight for revolt--it is a vital node of the global capitalist economy: if its productive and distributive capacities were crippled, Bush and his capitalist cronies would be forced to take heed.

Which is a lot more than can be said for the namby-pamby tactics you'd like the anti-war movement to forever embrace.

add your comments
Yeah. Violence and riots are going to get support for you? Slicing tires? Smashing windows? Being a rampaging punk? This will HELP the anti-war movement?

Don't think so, bub. And if you were bothering to think about what others might be thinking of your little 'actions', you'd probably realize it too.


Tuesday, March 18
The Palistinian Peace community has significant problems.

An member of the 'International Solidarity Movement' holds a portrait of Rachel Corrie and a wreath of flowers as he stands in front of an Israeli army armored vehicle in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip.
Uh, guy?

That ain't the front...

Better hope the backup lights work. Or there's a beeper.


In times of stress, we like our toys. First, a kalideoscope, and now a



Times Online - First shots fired at sea as allied battle plan unfolds
THE first shots of the war have been fired, killing at least one Iraqi during a suspected operation to mine the waters off Kuwait. But that opening skirmish is about to be dwarfed by the most formidable military assault in modern warfare: 250,000 British and American troops — backed by more than 1,000 aircraft, 400 tanks and a 110-strong armada — are poised to unleash their awesome power on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq the moment the order is given.

The first clash occurred in the mouth of the Khawr al-Zubayr river, a few miles south of the port of Umm Qasr, when a Kuwaiti gunboat challenged a flotilla of about 25 Iraqi dhows. The boats failed to respond and the Kuwaitis opened fire. It was unclear whether the dhows had laid any mines.
And so - it starts.


And for your time-wasting entertainment, may I show you a

In the category of "Too Little, Too Late" our winner is - FRANCE! -
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Despite French opposition to a war in Iraq, the French military could assist a U.S.-led coalition should Iraq use biological and chemical weapons against coalition forces, the French ambassador to the United States said Tuesday.

"If the war starts and if (President) Saddam Hussein uses chemical or biological weapons, it would change completely the situation for the French president and for the French government, and President (Jacques) Chirac will have to decide what we will do to help the American troops to confront this new situation.
Gee. Thanks for the HELP, guys.

You wouldn't HELP before, but you're willing to HELP now. Now, that we've told you to go piss up a rope. Now that you've said you'll block any military action with a veto. Now that it looks like you're going to have all your oil contracts with Iraq VOIDED - (Hmmm. The peacenicks are right - it WAS all about the "ooooiiilll" - only not the way they figured) you indicate you're willing to HELP.

Go away. The time to offer your HELP was months ago. Now it looks like you're desparately trying to maintain your 'relevance' in the world. But Chirac's already blown that for you.
And an official in the French president's office referred to statements made Monday by French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, who said, "If the U.S. and our allies face a new and unforeseen situation in a new crisis, France would obviously be on their side to show solidarity in the face of an exceptional crisis."
Oh. Really?

You missed your chance to show the 'solidarity', guys. Now you're going to try to pretend that 'veto' crap wasn't serious, that it was all good diplomatic fun and games? That you didn't really mean it? That you'll be there when the chips start flying?

Forgive my skepticism - but we've seen what your 'solidarity in the face of an exceptional crisis' is worth. That plus a buck and a nickle will buy a McChicken sandwich.


Monday, March 17 - Bush previews speech for congressional leaders - Mar. 17, 2003
But Daschle, who voted for the October resolution, lashed out at President Bush on Monday, saying he had "failed so miserably" at diplomacy in the crisis with Iraq that the United States now stands on the brink of war.

"I'm saddened," Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat, said in a speech to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "Saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war. Saddened that we have to give up one life because this president couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country. But we will work, and we will do all we can to get through this crisis like we've gotten through so many."
No thanks to you, asshole. Run for President - you've got about the same chance as Al Sharpton after that.

There's no way diplomacy would work. Diplomacy requires both sides to give and take - and Saddam wasn't giving more than a very small token amount. And now - he's moving chemical weapons up.

The weapons he swore he didn't have.

Diplomacy Did Not Work. Unless you were hoping Saddam would expire from old age - in that case, it MIGHT have worked - but the costs in the mean time would be HORRENDOUS.

I don't like the idea of war. But there's a shitload of things I like even less. Saddam continuing in Iraq and building WMD is one, Saddam funding Palestinian suicide bombers is another, Saddam giving aid and comfort to Al Quaeda is a third. Saddam defying 17 UN resolutions for 12 years is a fourth.

And the French - they've shown the UN has no teeth, and it has to borrow them from the US whenever they've got to bite someone. Daschle needs to immigrate, IMO. He and the French would happily blame that damn simplesme' cowboy Bush for cleaning out the nest of snakes that's Iraq.

You can talk at a snake all day. But it doesn't have ears. Diplomacy is wasted on snakes.

J. -
Iraq Arming Troops With Chemical Weapons
Senior Defense and other U.S. officials confirmed that intelligence reports indicate that Saddam Hussein's troops are armed with chemical munitions.

"The information is raw … and hard to confirm ... but we are seeing -- using different methods -- that Saddam Hussein has armed troops south of Baghdad with chemical weapons," one official said.

Officials say it's hard to tell how many of these weapons are being distributed, but the intelligence reports indicate that "some chemical shells" have been provided to troops.
Now, tell me how Saddam's a poor, innocent humanitarian just concerned with the welfare of his people? Who wouldn't even THINK of using chemical weapons?

You believed him when he said he didn't have any, right?

Saddam's the good guy, right?

We'll see.



This pisses me off so much... THAT sort of sentiment from the "Peace" crowd? On the main page there's a picture of the banner - not in the other pictures of the demonstration. What's the matter - didn't they make the cut?

These people don't have a clue - not a single clue. Saddam, to them, is a side issue. Disregard the fact the man's killed over a million of his people - this is an Anti-Bush demonstration dressed up as an anti-war rally. It's all about how MEAN GWB is. And of course it turned violent.

Man, I'm SO glad I don't live in California. It must be something in the damn water or something...


Sunday, March 16
Israeli Bulldozer Kills U.S. Woman, 23 (
Rachel Corrie, 23, a college student from Olympia, Wash., had been trying to stop the bulldozer from tearing down a building in the Rafah refugee camp, witnesses said. She was taken to Najar hospital in Rafah, where she died, said Dr. Ali Moussa, a hospital administrator.

Greg Schnabel, 28, of Chicago, said the protesters were in the house of Dr. Samir Masri. Israeli almost daily has been tearing down houses of Palestinians it suspects in connection with Islamic militant groups, saying such operations deter attacks on Israel such as suicide bombings.

"Rachel was alone in front of the house as we were trying to get them to stop," Schnabel said. "She waved for the bulldozer to stop and waved. She fell down and the bulldozer kept going. We yelled, 'Stop, stop,' and the bulldozer didn't stop at all. It had completely run over her and then it reversed and ran back over her."
And a human shield fails.

Rachel Corrie, 23, from Olympia, Wash., a member of the 'International Solidarity Movement,' burns a mock U.S. flag during a rally in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah in this Feb. 15, 2003 file photo. Corrie was run over and crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer Sunday, March 16, 2003, while she was trying to stop it from tearing down a building in the Rafah refugee camp, witnesses said. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Pause your mouse cursor on the photo above for the caption. Just your standard anti-war protestor, against the evil US. So reasonable looking, so willing to look at both sides of any issues that concern her.

So dead.

I'm sorry if I don't sound sympathetic here, but the human shield fantasy is just that - a fantasy. You have someone going and protecting the Palestinians - a group that's so well-loved in the Arab world that NOBODY wants them on their land (See their record in Jordan) and that gets pushed hard against the Israel people at every opportunity. It's a win-win for the Arab world - if the Palestinians actually win and destroy Israel, the Arab world will displace the Palestinians and nobody will object - if the Palestinians are destroyed by Israel, then it's another reason to hate the Jews, but no real loss as far as the Palestinians go.

But be a human shield for them? Its like being a human shield for a bunch of folks in a crack house who are shooting at everything that moves in the street. You don't want the cops to roust out the crackheads, so you try to block a cop car - and get run over.

Regrettable - but the crackheads wouldn't give a shit. And the Palestinians won't mourn her for long - if they did at all.


Guardian Unlimited Sport | Special reports | India v New Zealand
Thoughts of a Cricket Reporter.

The game will drive you mad.


YETI@Home is a scientific experiment that harnesses the power of hundreds of thousands of Internet-connected computers in the search for giant ape-like creatures (YETI). We, the YETI team members who founded this experiment, are experts in the field of cryptozoology (the study of animals that do not exist).
First, SETI@Home. Now, for those a bit more down-to-earth (so to speak) you can search a bit closer-to home.



FrontPage - A Grateful Briton
Dear America, you quirky mix of 280 million misfits that have somehow blended into the strongest nation in the world, I write to offer you four apologies and two vows.


I, who work as a journalist with the Daily Mail, one of Britain's national newspapers, and (directly because of the sacrifice of your nation) is able to say exactly what he wants whenever he wants without fear of death or imprisonment, also apologize for saying to the same colleague that many of the Americans I met were far less sophisticated and worldly than Europeans.

I, James Black, a man born free of social or physical shackles and chains, who is able to travel around the world and visit other countries and who (directly because of the sacrifice of your nation) is able to converse, discuss, even argue with people from other nations, would like to apologize for mocking your president and your political system.

Your president may not be the sharpest knife in the cutlery set, but I now understand he and the good people of the United States operate not just from a high intellectual stance, but also from the heart -- a heart that knows the difference between good and evil. And importantly, your president was smart enough to have picked the best to sit with him at the world table.
It's rather unfortunate that sometimes one's preconceptions can take precedence when you're trying to sort out what ACTUALLY is from what you THINK is. It's been pretty easy to go "Well, Bush is just a simplese' cowboy" and discount and denigrate his efforts to take care of what actually IS a problem, but maybe it's finally it's starting to sink in that the US isn't the problem here - no more than Britain was the instigator of WW2.


Saturday, March 15
Telegraph | News | Iraqis launch campaign of sabotage and defiance to undermine Saddam
Open acts of defiance by opponents of Saddam Hussein's regime have intensified in the past week, with saboteurs carrying out attacks against Iraq's railway system and protesters openly calling for the overthrow of the Iraqi dictator.
The most blatant act of sabotage took place 20 miles south of the north Iraqi city of Mosul when members of the Iraqi opposition blew up a stretch of track on the Mosul-Baghdad railway, causing the derailment of a train.
Before fleeing back to their base in Kurdistan, they left piles of leaflets by the side of the track urging the Iraqi soldiers who were sent to investigate the explosion to join the "international alliance to liberate Iraq" from "Saddam the criminal". In a separate incident, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at a train illegally transporting fuel from Baghdad to Syria.
The Iraqi people aren't stupid, by any stretch of the imagination. They KNOW they've got a madman as their leader - but without the external support it's been pretty difficult to get a rebellion going. A failed one would be death to them all.

But now, with Saddam otherwise occupied... they're starting to move. They know they've got external support - they know that although the French, Germans, and Russians are for Saddam, no one else is.

The Iraqi battle has started.


Unified Theory of Liberal Stupidity - or - Why does the Left hate Western Civilization?
The reality of the poor being better off in America (or other Westernculture societies) than anywhere else in the world does not phase their arguments. It's a moot point to them. Ditto the others. The communist countries had the worst environmental record in the world; the only saving grace was that they were so inefficient they couldn't do more damage. Orphans in America get clothing stipends and Christmas gifts that when Karin and I were "just making it" often had us green with envy. In Romania they were chained to their beds and fed a bowl of gruel a day. The reason you don't see "homeless" in Iraq is that they are all in prison or murdered by the government.
John Ringo's been a lot of places, done a lot of things. (He's also the author of the books to the left - hint, hint.) And he's not ashamed to call it like he sees it when it comes to stupidity on either side. In the above referenced article he asks "Why do they hate themselves?" when it comes to the Left - and has some surprising (well, somewhat surprising) answers.



Friday, March 14
The Sun Newspaper Online - UK's biggest selling newspaper
A SCHOOL has banned the Three Little Pigs story from classes — in case it offends Muslims.
All other tales about porkers, including Babe, have been removed.
The school insists any talk of pigs is offensive to Muslims who make up 60 per cent of the 250 pupils.
But leading Muslims yesterday said there is nothing in their religious rules to stop children READING about pigs.
Pre-emptive PC Strike! It MIGHT be offensive, so let's ban it!


Movie Poop Shoot - Monkeyman
Monkey Man
Or - what would happen if Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly took over from the Charles Shultz estate.

A hat tip to Amygdala for the link. It's his fault.


United Press International: Kurd PM: French, Russians to lose Iraq oil
French and Russian oil and gas contracts signed with the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq "will not be honored," Barhim Salih, a leading Iraqi Kurdish official, said in Washington Friday, just before a series of high-level meetings with Bush administration officials.

"A new Iraqi government should not honor any of these contracts, signed against the interests of the Iraqi people. The new Iraqi government should respect those who stood by us, and not those who stood beside the dictator," added Salih, who is prime minister in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan government that controls Iraq's eastern Kurdish area.
Whoops. France and Russia may have backed the wrong horse.


Thursday, March 13
Times Online
THE message scrawled on the side of an American bunker-busting bomb being wheeled out into the desert was blunt: “Fuque the French” had been scrawled on the side by a member of the US Air Force.
Oh, the sheer HORROR!

Why, France might cease exporting escargot in protest of such villification!

(Is it okay to make fun of the French?)

J. : Saddam Could Launch First Strike
Specific new evidence indicates that Iraqi activity in the Western desert shows the strong likelihood Scud missiles are hidden there. These missiles could easily reach Israel carrying chemical or biological warheads which could draw Israel into any war.

Detailed new intelligence from the southern Iraqi oil fields shows that many of the 700 wells have now been wired with explosives. These explosives appear to be connected to a central command post, so Saddam could easily set the wells ablaze.

Near the border with Kuwait, where 135,000 U.S. troops are now stationed, recent surveillance indicates Iraqi artillery batteries have been moved dangerously close. The artillery is capable of firing shells filled with poison gas.
But, but, I thought he said he didn't have any poison gas! Or other WMD!

Damn - could he have been... LYING?

(Sigh. You know, it's hard to make fun of something like this. All along he's been saying he's innocent and unarmed and the inspectors haven't beena ble to find anything - and now he's pulling stuff out of his sleeves like a magician. Goes to show, you have twelve years to hide stuff with a virtually unlimited budget and the prediliction of killing whoever knows where the stuff is except for a VERY trusted few - and you can hide a LOT of stuff.)

Well, about all I can say is he may get the first punch in - but in war it's not who gets the first punch. The last punch, however... that's another story.


Tuesday, March 11 - ESSAYS ON OUR TIMES
The gap is now clearly unbridgeable. Those not already onside with the U.S. are opposed to war under any circumstances at all. The revelations of the last few days -- including the discovery by U.N. inspectors in Iraq of such "smoking guns" as a gas-spewing air drone, and delivery devices for chemical and biological bombs; the revelation on Al-Jazeera TV of one of Saddam's suicide-terrorist camps; the public threat by a member of Iraq's cabinet to gas the Kurds again; multiple reports of the placing of explosives in Iraqi oil wells both north and south; the allegation that France has been shipping spare parts for the repair of Saddam's air fleet through third parties in the Gulf -- such overwhelming evidence of the true state of affairs is ignored alike by media and diplomats. They have reached their decision, to isolate and damage the United States as much as possible, and grant Saddam a pass. They don't want to know about anything that doesn't advance their argument, just as the appeasers of Hitler in a former generation did not want to know.
This just pisses me off.



This and This have gone unidentified.

I suppose it's not too surprising. That's a pretty old base, and no longer an active one as far as the AF is concerned. There's a number of things going on there, but from what I was able to find a lot of the dorms have been torn down, and although I spent about three months there, it's not one I ever really plan on going back to.

But for hints - technicians learned about Quail there - and other things like the LGM series deployed in the US. Will that help?

If you give up, that's okay. Just tell me what THIS is...



U.S. Halts Surveillance Flights in Iraq
The U-2 planes were flying missions at 2 a.m. Iraqi time for the U.N. weapons inspectors when Iraq launched fighter jets. According to U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, the threat was directed against one of the planes.

Multiple flights are permitted under a U.N. Security Council resolution approved last November, and the Bush administration sought clarification from U.N. inspectors after the U-2 flights were suspended.

Buchanan's statement made no reference to Iraq launching fighter jets, nor was it critical of Baghdad in any way.

In Baghdad, Maj. Gen. Hossam Mohammed Amin, the chief Iraqi liaison with U.N. weapons inspectors, told reporters that the second flight by the American U-2 had not been scheduled.

Amin said the second plane's entry point was over the Iraqi-Saudi border and not from Kuwait as it has been the custom since the flights began last month.

He said he contacted the senior U.N. inspector in Baghdad, who told him that a technical error was made. "He promised that the mistake would never be repeated and offered his sincere apology," Amin said.
Two U-2 planes over Iraq at once - and they throw a hissy-fit. The UN immediately apologizes. They're telling Iraq what the schedules are that the U-2s are flying...

What's wrong with that picture? You'd almost think they were trying to hide something.

But wait a sec! They don't have anything to hide! They don't HAVE any WMD!

Hmmm. What's wrong with the ENTIRE PICTURE here?


You know, I'm getting a bit tired of the anti-war stance of "We've got to do everything possible, exhaust all diplomatic possibilities before war should be considered as an option."

We've been DOING that. We've tried containment, sanctions, and shaking our finger sternly at Saddam. We've tried the occasional cruise missile, overflights, and trashing any radar site that locks on to our planes. We've tried 17 UN resolutions - that would seem to have all the effect of toilet paper. (And, indeed, may be used by Saddam FOR that - for all the good they've done)

We have him saying they've got no WMD, then threatening us with the same.

And it's like every moring the clock starts fresh for the anti-war crowd. Don't they have ANY idea what's gone before? Don't they CARE that he's killing his own people? That although HE is free to disregard the UN's pronouncements with NO repercussions - even a stern scolding from Amnesty International or other anti-war folk, the US is held to a higher standard and severely criticized if ANY civilians get hurt?

Apparently, it doesn't matter and doesn't register worth spit. (And speaking of that, if you're tired of spitting it's possible to get artificial spit. Ewww.) And it's no longer looking like reasoned anti-war debate, but unreasoned anti-American sentiment.

You know, I don't want to see war happen. But there's worse things than war - and we're headed right into that scenario. And it's going to be costly.


Sunday, March 9
Times Online - Blix 'hid smoking gun' from Britain and US
BRITAIN and the United States will today press the chief UN weapons inspector to admit that he has found a “smoking gun” in Iraq. Such an admission could persuade swing voters on the Security Council to back the March 17 ultimatum.

The British and US ambassadors plan to demand that Hans Blix reveals more details of a huge undeclared Iraqi unmanned aircraft, the discovery of which he failed to mention in his oral report to Security Council foreign ministers on Friday. Its existence was only disclosed in a declassified 173-page document circulated by the inspectors at the end of the meeting — an apparent attempt by Dr Blix to hide the revelation to avoid triggering a war.
Sigh. Bury it deep in the details and hope nobody notices?

Or was it just an 'inadvertent' mistake that he didn't mention it?

Either way - there's something pretty darn fishy about all this. I'm thinking we're going to find some pretty damning stuff in Iraq, and there's going to be European labels on an awful lot of it.

The UN may be about to self-destruct, too. You can't have inspectors hiding their findings. That's almost as bad as having UN troops stand by while Muslims were slaughtered in Serbia.


Microsoft TerraServer Imagery

Ah, the good old days. Can you identify this? Two points if you can.

And for an extra "5" points, you see the two water towers. What is the small building directly to the southwest of the bottom tower?

Why 5 points? Because there's very few cues to the function of that building. The building to the west of the water towers was at one time the Class 6 store, IIRC. The one to the southwest of the towers had a vital purpose, too.

Just trying to make it a bit harder for you!

TERRIFIED Iraqi soldiers have crossed the Kuwait border and tried to surrender to British forces - because they thought the war had already started.

The motley band of a dozen troops waved the white flag as British paratroopers tested their weapons during a routine exercise.

The stunned Paras from 16 Air Assault Brigade were forced to tell the Iraqis they were not firing at them, and ordered them back to their home country telling them it was too early to surrender
Ummm, aren't you're supposed to wait until the war actually starts?

But it does show just how the average Iraqi soldier may be feeling.


Saturday, March 8 in the Middle East! - French complicity
What happens when we fail to act against evil?

In Rwanda the consequences were horrendous. Close to a million Tutsi's were slaughtered while French and UN troops looked on. Kind of reminds me of the plight of Adnan Abdul Karim Enad while he begged weapons inspectors for help and asylum they stared straight ahead and allowed him to be led away to the Iraqi interrogation chambers.

Rwanda is a shining example of the failure of the United Nations to "maintain international peace and security," as well as the moral failure of French and American (Clinton administration) liberal foreign policy. It is also all the proof anyone should ever need of the true utility of war.
Sometimes - war isn't the worst thing that could happen.


Mean Mr. Mustard: Job Opportunities

Apparently, Al Quaeda's having a few... recruitment problems.


Pyongyang: We'll put a torch to New York -
North Korea would launch a ballistic missile attack on the United States if Washington made a pre-emptive strike against the communist state's nuclear facility, the man described as Pyongyang's "unofficial spokesman" claimed yesterday.

Kim Myong-chol, who has links to the Stalinist regime, told reporters in Tokyo that a US strike on the nuclear facility at Yongbyon "means nuclear war".

"If American forces carry out a pre-emptive strike on the Yongbyon facility, North Korea will immediately target, carry the war to the US mainland," he said, adding that New York, Washington and Chicago would be "aflame".
Okay - here's a question for you. What sort of leader of a communist regime would WANT to start a nuclear war?

Someone who knows he's got little or nothing to lose, whether they go to war or not.

Let's face it. The Socialist paradise of North Korea has failed big-time. Their people are starving, Their economy subsists by selling war materials to other semi-socialist countries, and they're not doing much business there. In other words, their econopmy isn't tanking, it's hit the bottom of the tank and dug it's way a couple hundred feet further down. They'd need an economic miracle to get UP to Great Depression levels.

The Leader of the country is a narcissictic SOB who's so ingrained in the "I can do no wrong' method of leadership that he'd destroy his country before admitting he's wrong. He figures he can get whatever he wants by threatening to go to war - and the less attention we pay him, the more extreme the threats get.

Well, guess we'll see what happens with North Korea...


Okay. It's pretty obvious that I'm making this stuff WAY too easy.

Firstly, I'm using the images off TerraServer - which gives the game away as far as location goes. After all, you've got the location at the top of the screen, for crying out loud.

Second, I think I'm giving you too many hints.

I'm gonna have to think on this. (Evil grin.)


Friday, March 7
Buildings From Above!

What's their function? And how tall are they?

And for an EXTRA point - What's This?

I'm not sure I should give any further hints..



Thursday, March 6
Russian Information Agency Novosti
TEHRAN, March 6, 2003. /from RIA Novosti correspondent Nikolai Terekhov/. - Iraq has dropped bombs hitting 2,500 oil fields that cover a vast area.

According to the IRNA agency, the bombing near Sharjeh resulted in the explosion of an oil refinery near Kirkuk.

Some oil-bearing wells were mined with antitank mines.

The Iraqi Army units are ditching around near Baghdad and Kirkuk round the clock to resist the US Army.
Hmmm. Wonder how long it'll be before Saddam loses the support of the environmentalists....


Okay - were you wondering what THIS is?

It's the place where final checkout is done on THESE. As far as scale goes, the base of the bus module is a bit under five feet in diameter, and the shroud is about eight feet tall, IIRC.

Okay. That was pretty good. Two identified it as a Minuteman related facility, and one thought it was Thiokol, who makes the solid fuel stages that the Minutemn III uses.

Now we'll go with something a bit easier. You've likely seen facilities like this in a number of movies. This one doesn't seem to be used so much any more. Two points for identification of the purpose, and an EXTRA point if you can identify the three short linear things to the left of the building.



Wednesday, March 5
Thunderstorms tonight. Answer tomorrow - and a new "What is this?" for you...


Monday, March 3
Power Line: Antiwar Movement Exposed
It isn't clear whether the Washington Post reporter who authored this piece, Glenn Frankel, realizes to what extent he exposes the "antiwar" movement as a fraud. On its face, the Post article seems admiring of the "antiwar" movement. But the key paragraphs are buried in the story:

"[T]heir roots go back to the days just after Sept. 11, 2001, when activists say they began meeting to map out opposition to what they anticipated would be the U.S. military response to the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
So - their principled stand against war isn't so much a stand against war itself, as it is a stand against AMERICA going to war.

Gee. Who'd have thought?


New Scientist - China plans three-phase Moon exploration
China has revealed further details of its plans to explore the Moon - the first unmanned probe could be launched by 2005, say officials. They also hinted that the motivation for the missions is to mine the Moon's resources.

The lunar program, named Chang'e after a legend about a fairy that visits the moon, would be in three phases. First an orbiter would be sent to the Moon, followed by a lander, and then finally a sample return craft.
Maybe this will re-ignite NASA's creativity, and the US space program. Let's face it - for too long they've been hamstrung by Proximire-types chipping away at their budget. Maybe this will be a technological kick in the pants that gets us going seriously in space again.