Thursday, September 07, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR THURSDAY, September 7, 2006 Photo: An Iraqi girl Marwa Faris, 15, cries, after she was injured and her father killed in a roadside bomb explosion, in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday Sept. 7, 2006. Faris was on her way with her father to appear for an academic exam in their car, when a roadside bomb exploded killing her father, injuring her and another civilian. (AP Photo/Assad Mouhsin) Bring 'em on: One Soldier assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division died Wednesday due to injuries sustained from enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province. (MNF - Iraq) Bring 'em on: A Task Force Band of Brothers' Soldier from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division was shot and killed Wednesday, while executing a mission near Hawija. (MNF - Iraq) Bring 'em on: One Marine assigned to 1st Marine Logistics Group died today due to wounds sustained from enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province September 6. (MNF - Iraq) OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Baghdad: The nephew of Iraq's parliament speaker was kidnapped in the Hurriyah neighbourhood in north Baghdad. A suicide car bomb targeting a police patrol outside a gas station near the Elouya Hospital in central Baghdad killed 10 people, including four policemen, and wounded 21. A bomb hidden under a parked car near al-Nidaa Mosque in northern Baghdad exploded as a police patrol passed by, killing three civilians and wounding 20. Two suicide car bombs exploded near al-Nidaa Mosque in northern Baghdad. The first caused no casualties, but the second killed three civilians and wounded another 12. A suicide car bomb in Taiyran Square in the center of the city killed two civilians and two police special forces members, and wounded 13 people. A roadside bombing in Qahtan Square near Yarmouk hospital in western Baghdad wounded four people, including a policeman. A roadside bomb explosion killed a man and injured his daughter and another person in the upscale district of Mansour. Gunmen killed two policemen and wounded four civilians when they attacked Shi'ite pilgrims crossing a southern Baghdad bridge. A doctor at the Yarmuk hospital specialising in facial surgery was shot as he made his way to work. A mortar attack injured five policemen including a colonel in the Yarmuk neighbourhood. Four corpses were found in various spots in west Baghdad. Two roadside bombs exploded in different areas of the neighbourhood in southwestern Baghdad, killing two civilians and wounding seven others. The target of the bombs was unclear. A suicide car bomber struck a police checkpoint in central Baghdad wounding 12 people. The attack targeted a police checkpoint and a nearby police commando base in the area. A suicide car bomber detonated his explosives at an Iraqi police commando checkpoint in western Baghdad's Yarmouk district, wounding seven police commandos. An assistant to one of the defense lawyers in the trial of Saddam Hussein has been found dead, a lawyer said Thursday. Lawyer Badih Aref Izzat said his 50-year-old assistant Abdel Monem Yassin Hussein had been kidnapped on August 29 in Baghdad, and his family discovered his body five days later in a nearby hospital morgue. He had been shot twice in the head and once in the arm, Izzat said. Baqubah: Two people were killed in separate shootings in the provincial capital of Baquba, where gunmen also set fire to 12 shops in a market. Balad Ruz: A civilian died when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Balad Ruz. Tikrit: Gunmen killed two Facilities Protection Service guards and wounded two others while they were travelling in a car north of Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad. Gunmen clashed with a police patrol in the northern city of Tikrit, in which a police officer, a policeman and a civilian were killed. Gunmen in cars descended on a police patrol killing three and wounded four northeast of Tikrit. Six corpses were found between Tikrit and Kirkuk. Hay: A policemen was shot dead by gunmen in the southern town of Hay, about 50 km south of Kut. Suwayra: The bodies of three people, including a beheaded woman bearing signs of torture, were retrieved from the Tigris river near the town of Suwayra, south of Baghdad. Mosul: Gunmen killed two people, a man and a woman, guarding a parking lot on Wednesday in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad. A man and his 15-year-old son were killed by gunmen in Mosul. The bodies of six men with multiple gunshot wounds were found in the northwestern suburbs of Mosul. Kirkuk: The bodies of two people with multiple gunshot wounds, showing signs of torture with their hands and legs bound together, were found in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad. A roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol in Kirkuk wounding four policemen, including an officer. Police found six corpses in Kirkuk overnight. One police officer was killed and four wounded by a roadside bomb attack east of Kirkuk. >> NEWS Coalition forces handed over control of Iraq's armed forces command to the government Thursday, a move that U.S. officials have hailed as a crucial milestone on the country's difficult road to independence. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed a document taking control of Iraq's small naval and air forces and the 8th Iraqi Army Division, based in the south. However, it is still unclear how rapidly the Iraqi forces will be prepared to take over their own security. (...) Previously, the U.S.-led Multinational Forces in Iraq, commanded by Casey, gave orders to the Iraqi armed forces through a joint American-Iraqi headquarters and chain of command. Senior U.S. and coalition officers controlled army divisions but smaller units were commanded by Iraqi officers. Now, the chain of command flows directly from the prime minister in his role as Iraqi commander in chief, through his Defense Ministry to an Iraqi military headquarters. From there, the orders go to Iraqi units on the ground. Initially, this would apply only to the 8th Iraqi Army Division, the air force and the navy. The other nine Iraqi division remain under U.S. command, with authority gradually being transeferred. U.S. military officials said there was no specific timetable for the transition. [meanwhile, back in the real world… -- zig]
Britain to reinforce its military presence in Iraq in a move that reflects increasing concern about the threat to its troops and the inability of local forces to take over responsibility for the country's security. The decision was announced by the Ministry of Defence as the foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, on her first visit to Iraq, warned that it was making "very slow" progress on security. Separately, a leading international thinktank warned that the conflict in Iraq was producing highly trained and motivated jihadists ready to commit terrorist acts in Europe and elsewhere. The 360 extra British troops will be deployed in southern Iraq to reinforce the 19 Light Brigade which takes over from the 20 Armoured Brigade, at present based in Basra, later this year, the MoD said. They will include soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, based in Cyprus, Royal Engineers, Royal Marines and Military Police. The MoD said the engineers would help counter the threat from improvised explosive devices, which have killed 19 British soldiers patrolling in "snatch" Land Rovers over the last 16 months. A Royal Marine boat troop will be deployed to step up security on the Shatt al-Arab waterway, which borders Iran. The extra military police will train local Iraqi forces. The number of U.S. troops in Iraq rose to 145,000 this week, the highest since December and 15,000 more than a month ago. Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Vician said Thursday the increase is temporary, and that it owes to a routine rotation of forces — that is, a bump in numbers.
Iraq has executed 27 "terrorists" convicted by Iraqi courts of killings and rapes in several provinces, the government said Thursday. The 27 were executed in Baghdad on Wednesday, the government's media office said in a brief statement. It did not provide any further details. Tempers frayed and sectarian faultlines were exposed when several Shi'ite lawmakers tried to force debate on a Shi'ite- proposed draft law, an item not on Thursday's [parliament] agenda. The Sunni speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, objected, saying he had not received a copy of the draft, and the rowdy chamber adjourned shortly after television coverage was cut. "This is an insult to me," Mashhadani told lawmakers. "This proposal should have been submitted ... two days ago. I just heard about it today." Officials in the dominant Shi'ite Alliance bloc said on Wednesday they had completed a draft of their proposal for a mechanism by which provinces could form autonomous regions. The Iraqi government ordered Arabic satellite network Al-Arabiya to shut down its Baghdad operations for one month, state television reported. Al-Arabiya said Iraqi police later arrived at its offices to enforce the order. The other pan-Arab satellite network, Al-Jazeera, had its office in the capital closed two years ago. Al-Arabiya, which is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at first said its headquarters had not yet been informed of a ban, but later said on live television that police had arrived at its Baghdad offices to close its operations down. (...) In July, al-Maliki warned television stations against broadcasting video that could undermine Iraq's stability. A statement by al-Maliki's office cited news reports that "capitalize on the footage of victims of terrorist attacks." He called on media outlets to "respect the dignity of human beings and not to fall in the trap set up by terrorist groups who want to petrify the Iraqi people." >> REPORTS Updated figures from Iraq's Health Ministry show there was a significant increase in violent deaths in Baghdad last month, but the U.S. military insisted Thursday that the murder rate in the capital had fallen by 52 percent. Baghdad recorded more than 1,500 violent deaths in August, according to final figures released this week by the Health Ministry. The final count was roughly the same as the figure the ministry released for July, before the U.S.-led security crackdown began in the Baghdad area. The final figure also was nearly three times the preliminary count released by the same ministry last week. If accurate, the final figures cast doubt on U.S. and Iraqi claims of a significant reduction in the level of violence here since the crackdown was launched Aug. 7. BAATH PARTY STATEMENT: A CALL TO THE HEROIC TRIBES IN SOUTHERN IRAQ Events roll up in southern Iraq in a fast and positive way putting both occupations the US and the Iranian in a tough position. For since the start of the armed revolution to overwhelm the Occupation forces and its stooges in the heroic Iraqi South, the enemies of Iraq have realized that their fate is sealed and known to every Iraqi citizen who was a victim of persecution, murder, and aggression against sacro sanct values plus the destruction of our homeland after its occupation to the point that the stooges who used to go and hide in the South from the Iraqi people wrath have fled outside Iraq like the kinds of Jalabis and those who came under the protection of the US tanks. The South has endured very difficult times ever witnessed due to the execution and the deportation of thousands of Iraqis, in order to enflame sectarian loggerhead to only benefit the US, Iran and International Zionism. The Iranian infiltration into Iraq has gone into unbearable extent establishing open Intelligence headquarters in many towns of Iraq detaining citizens torturing them to death by Iranian militaries, humiliating well known social figures and personalities such as Arab tribal leaders and liquidating many because they refused to accept the Occupation and the society' scum, gangsters, ordinary criminals and Iranians who entered Iraq by the thousands, and were recruited in gangs set by Iran and the US. Intrepid Sons and daughters of Arabity in the South! Both Occupations US and Iranian have purposely imposed upon you local insipid individuals in a franc attempt to suppress your patriot role into protecting Iraq and its Arab identity and prevent turning it into another Ahwaz or another Palestine. When you refused to play the Occupiers game, and defended your Arab identity, your dignity and your honor, Iran and the US occupation started savage campaigns against Arab tribes, and against their patriot leaders and clerics who reject strongly to cooperate with the Occupation and chose to defend Iraq, its independence, its security and its citizens' freedom. Many of the Ulemas and their aides were martyred including scores of tribal leaders and thousands of these tribes sons and daughters while defending Iraq. These bloodthirsty campaigns didn't stop the heroes of Iraq, the combatants of the South from undertaking their patriotic obligations and started huge demonstrations condemning Iran and the US and proclaiming his Excellency the President Saddam Hussein the Commander of the Armed Revolution (may the Lord save him from the hands of his bloodthirsty enemies) as it happened in Basra, Nasyriah, Diwanyah and Kut and many others. The proclaimed song (Min Baa'dak Saddam Indhalena) Saddam without you we are humiliated, spread in the demonstrations of the South to assert that Iraq is well and that the sectarian loggerhead which Iran, the Zionist entity, and the US wanted to enflame will not succeed and will never be allowed as long as the sons and daughters of Iraq are more and more aware about the real objectives of the Occupation and the plans of Iran to divide Iraq and to wipe it out from the map turning millions of Iraqi citizens into refugees erring in the countries of the world with their wives and children. The rebellion's leadership in the north of Iraq announcement to bring down the Iraqi flag from all the self-determination region was a grave step towards encouraging the Safawides Iranian stooges to proclaim the federation in the south in a planned and systematic way to wipe the existence of Iraq as a nation. read in full... >> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS IRAQ LOSES ITS VOICE OF REASON The saddest news coming from Iraq is the decision of the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to cease all political activity and restrict himself to his religious duties in Shi'ite Islam. He said this weekend: "I will not be a political leader anymore. I am only happy to receive questions about religious matters." If Sistani lives up to his word, this means silencing the loudest - and only - remaining voice of reason and moderation in Iraqi politics. This is the same man who used his paramount influence to silence the guns of two Shi'ite insurgencies in 2004. He then wisely ordered his supporters to vote in last years national elections, claiming that it was a "religious duty" to join the political process and jump-start democratic life in Iraq. (...) Never supportive of the US occupation of Iraq, he nevertheless decided to cooperate honorably with the Americans (in anticipation of their eventual withdrawal), knowing that violence would not defeat them or make them go away. Honorable cooperation, to a Ghandian leader like Sistani, was certainly more rewarding - and less costly - than a military insurgency. His political endorsement was all that was needed for any politician to win the parliamentary elections of 2005 and 2006, and he is considered the guiding force behind the broad coalition of religious Shi'ites known as the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) that has been in power for the past two years. Recently, however, Sistani has been both angry and disappointed at the UIA for failing to bring law, order and security to Iraq. He is appalled by the rising power of Shi'ite militias in the streets of Baghdad. (...) But his calls are falling on deaf ears. The biggest example was when fighting broke out on August 28 between Iraqi soldiers and the supporters of Shi'ite leader Muqtada al-Sadr in Diwaniyya, 160 kilometers south of Baghdad. Sistani called for calm. Nobody listened to him, and as a result 73 people were killed. The other reason Sistani has decided to retreat from political life is that he is being greatly overshadowed by the younger, more populist Muqtada, who is 42 years his junior. Hailing from a strong dynastic family that once worked in opposition to Saddam Hussein, Muqtada rose to fame after the US invasion of 2003 as a loud anti-American leader. (...) Sistani is well connected to the older generation of upper-middle-class Iraqis in the Shi'ite community. He also has friends and followers among the rich urban elite. He is well connected to Iran. Muqtada, however, is popular in the slums of Baghdad and among the unemployed youth who see salvation in Muqtada and the Mehdi Army. The reason is simple: when lawlessness prevails, the masses search for people who can protect them. In a country like Iraq, Sistani means guidance, while Muqtada means protection. Life to the Iraqis is more important than wisdom. (...) Sistani, who is an Iranian living in Iraq, was seen by Iraqis as a foreigner because he speaks Arabic with a Persian accent, and does not even hold an Iraqi passport. When people say, however, that Sistani is a follower of Iran, this is not very correct. The truth is that Iran follows Sistani, because of his paramount standing as a religious authority on Shi'ite Islam. Sistani and Muqtada stand on different ground when it comes to Iran and the status of the Shi'ite community in Iraq. Muqtada is greatly opposed to creating an autonomous Shi'ite district in southern Iraq, something that has been lobbied for by Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Hakim is a creation of Iran and an ally of Sistani. His family is also the historical contender to Shi'ite leadership in Iraq against the family of Muqtada. The young Muqtada believes in a united and Arabist Iraq. He pays little more than lip service to the mullahs of Tehran, arguing that they should not interfere in domestic politics. Both men have an ultimate goal of creating an Iran-style theocracy in Iraq. Sistani wants it influenced and controlled by Iran, while Muqtada wants it to be independent from Tehran. This brings the two men further apart when added to how they view the US occupation of Iraq. While both may be equally opposed to it, each deals with this occupation in a very different manner. Historically, one must remember that it was Sistani who saved Muqtada from the hangman's noose in 2004. Muqtada went to war in April 2004 and Sistani ordered a ceasefire that went into effect in May. That August, however, Sistani went to London for surgery and before reaching Heathrow Airport, fighting had resumed between the Americans and the Sadrists. Some speculated that Sistani's journey to London at such a time was deliberate: a green light to the Americans to launch a full assault on Muqtada. If the Americans won, then Sistani would have rid himself of a noisy challenger in Shi'ite politics. If they lost (which was impossible) then he would get rid of the Americans. What happened was a different story. During Sistani's absence, more fighting broke out. On his return, when Muqtada and his men were stranded in combat, Sistani stepped in at the last moment to end the crisis. He secured another ceasefire, a pardon for Muqtada, and his continuation in the political life of Iraq. Sistani was sending Muqtada a message: "I saved you in a minute, and if I wish, I can also destroy you in a minute. Do not get too strong or overambitious. I am No 1 in the Shi'ite community of Iraq." This message reached Muqtada loud and clear in 2004. Fate - and US mishandling of Iraq - which leaves no room for "honorable cooperation" anymore, played directly into the hands of Muqtada, making him "No 1" in the Shi'ite community of Iraq. read in full... FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF BATTLEFIELD PROMOTIONS When a top Iraqi government official held a press conference over the weekend to announce the arrest of the supposed No. 2 leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, the response from the American side was strangely unenthusiastic. For example, the New York Times reported:
. . . a United States military official was more cautious in describing Mr. Saeedi's place in the organization's pecking order. While he was a "top-tier guy" who supervised those who carried out the Samarra bombing, "I'm not sure we are ready to put a number on him," said the American official, who agreed to speak only without being named because Iraqi officials had been designated to announce the capture. "It's a very decentralized operation."
Very odd, considering the desperate attempts lately by the Bushites to pump up the volume on their imagined successes in the War on Terror(tm). But never fear, more dishonest wiser heads have since prevailed, as the Associated Press tells us today:
The U.S. military said Wednesday the arrest of al-Qaida in Iraq's second in command took place in June and was the most significant blow to the terror network since the death of al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Violence continued around the country, with at least 28 people dying in shootings and bombings that also wounded at least 53. Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell said Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, also known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana, was captured on June 19 - not a few days ago as the Iraqi government had initially announced. . . . Iraq's national security adviser, Mouwafak al-Rubaie, announced al-Saeedi's arrest on Sunday, saying it had occurred a few days earlier. But Caldwell said that it was only the permission to announce the arrest that had been given a few days earlier.
You'd think that it be easier if they just made up the story once, instead of revising it...
MORE ON AL-QAEDA'S #2 IN IRAQ Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, also known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana, Iraq's Al-Qaeda #2 has apparently been captured on June 19th, but it had only been reported in the last few days. One of the question which needs to be asked right now is this: If the death of #1 (al-Zarqawi) and the capture of #2 (al-Saeedi) in June, nearly three months ago, is a severe blow to Al-Qaeda, then how comes things have actually worsened rather than improved since? Over and above that, an additional 20 Al-Qaeda members have either been arrested or killed as a result, 11 of those are considered to be high- and mid-level operatives... As to the reason why they might be telling us now, rather than brandish the 'successful' capture of #2 back in June? I have a feeling that someone decided to keep this one up his or her sleeve until now, closer to election. News like this may survive the next few weeks but would have certainly disappeared by now had it been released any earlier. BTW - am I the only to think that this guy looks dead? So far, I have only seen the one photo of him and he does not at all look alive and well. I wouldn't be surprised at all, if this #2 nonsense turns out to be utter bullshit and the guy is a pawn, a dead one at that. One who won't be able to talk and give his side of the story... link
If free peoples do not heed the call of history, Mr. Bush said, "Fifty years from now, history will look back on our time with unforgiving clarity"... The possibility that Saddam Hussein might develop "weapons of mass destruction" and pass them to terrorists was the prime reason Mr. Bush gave in 2003 for ordering the invasion of Iraq.
Yeah...I don't know if there will be that much unforgiving clarity in fifty years, given that the New York Times can't remember what happened three and a half years ago. link >> BEYOND IRAQ Afghanistan: Taliban militants have occupied two districts in the insurgent southern provinces of Helmand and Zabul. The districts are Garmser in Helmand and Arghandab in Zabul, which have been under mounting Taliban pressure over the past months. "Taliban captured the center of Garmser and we have relocated the district headquarters," said Mohammad Nabi Mullahkhil, the provincial police chief. Meanwhile, Noor Mohammad Paktin, Zabul's police chief, said both district chief and police chief of Arghandab have resigned due to unknown reasons and that the Taliban has entered the district center. The Taliban's purported spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi claimed that militants have captured both the districts and hoisted their flags there. No high-ranking officials were immediately available in Afghan capital Kabul to make comments on the incidents. NATO's top commander of operations acknowledged the alliance had been taken aback by the extent of violence in southern Afghanistan and urged allies to provide reinforcements. "We are talking about modest reinforcements," Jones told a news briefing at NATO's European military headquarters in Mons, Belgium, saying that commanders on the ground sought several hundred additional troops, more helicopters and transport aircraft. One UK soldier has died and 5 others were very seriously injured as a result of a land mine contact in northern Helmand Province at approximately 1220 local time. Another soldier received minor injuries.
There were also two other separate contacts involving UK Forces in Northern Helmand Province today: In the first, UK forces were involved in a contact with insurgent forces starting at approximately 0800 local time. Sadly, one UK soldier died as a result of this action, while one soldier was seriously injured and another three received minor wounds. In the other contact, which was earlier today at a separate location, one UK soldier was very seriously wounded and one other received serious injuries. A soldier from 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment, who was very seriously injured during an attack by insurgents in northern Helmand on Friday 1 September 2006, has today (Wednesday 6 September) died from his injuries.
HOW ABOUT "CUT AND WALK" INSTEAD OF "CUT AND RUN"? (...) things are not getting better for Karzai, no matter how accommodating he tries to be; and the prognosis for the government in most provinces is quite different from what is being written and broadcasted in the Western media. Contrary to the information now being fed by the US-led coalition's military brass, or those who speak for Karzai, it might take only a year, maybe two, before the Taliban assumes once again the reins of Afghanistan; or, submerges the nation into another civil war with devastating consequences. And what about this Afghan Army that Americans have been training for four years? It's likely to disappear overnight as individual soldiers, even entire units, desert to join the Taliban. Gen. Eikenberry, I'm told, has no better prospects for success in this rugged mountainous nation than his Soviet counterpart, Gen. Pavel Grachev, did in the 80's; or, for that matter, than Gen. Westmoreland did in Vietnam during the crucial 1964-8 period. No military taskmaster, regardless of personal genius or creditable resume, can deal effectively with the complexities involved in a contrasting culture and the diverse and conflicting needs of the ruggedly independent, and individualistic, Afghan people. An interesting anecdotal commentary on the subject, now making the rounds among the more educated Afghans, is that America is always a culture, or a war, behind the times. They point to the current Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, as a Russian speaker with background in Slavic Studies, heading diplomacy in a world where the US is facing a three-prong confrontation with Arab-Muslim peoples, Latin America and China. (...) Communism, whatever the reasons, never had a chance to coagulate in Afghanistan. [US help to the Mujahideen, Osama bin Laden among them, is at the top of the list.] And democracy, for many of the same reasons, is not likely to sprout and take roots... at least not quite yet. On that note, Americans may just wish to do what the Soviets did in 1988... not "cut and run," that to many implies cowardice and defeat; but rather "cut and walk," which implies maturity in the realization that a mistake has been made, and that it's time to cut your losses. It took the Russians nine months to effect the pull out, capping a war that had lasted almost a decade. America cannot prop up a government that is to its liking, not in Afghanistan and not in Iraq, just so that it can show the world its invincibility... for that myth burst long ago, one recalls, in the jungles of Vietnam. And Americans cannot just say, not with a straight face, that they are doing it for freedom and democracy, or for the people who inhabit those lands. Fewer and fewer Americans continue believing that. The sooner America "cut and walk," the better its chances that it won't have to "cut and run" later; something forced to do in Vietnam. And if the nation's chickens-in-command need to be plucked of their hawkish feathers, so be it. It's about time America gets surgery of its ripened cataracts. read in full... WILL WE LISTEN? WILL WE PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT THESE EVIL MEN SAY? Bush gave the first in the latest series of "pretty please won't you support my war?" speeches today. It's actually a kind of interesting speech, containing many quotes from documents and speeches of Al Qaida leaders and others showing that they don't like us very much and that they think Iraq is important to their cause and so on. He says ignoring these statements would be like ignoring Hitler's Mein Kampf and Lenin's "What Is To Be Done?" He says that "Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is: Will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say?" but intentions are not capabilities. Al Qaida may want to take over Iraq and Afghanistan and establish a caliphate from Basra to Boise, or wherever, but... OK, right in the middle of that sentence I realized that just as Bush was treating bin Laden's wet dreams as sensible strategic thinking, I was attempting to engage Bush's speech with logic, which is about as sensible as punching jello. read in full... QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Yes, going to war in Iraq was definitely a good decision --//-- compared to drinking sulfuric acid -- or smashing yourself in the face with a hammer -- or poking your eyes out with knitting needles -- or --// Ahem, / we get the ideia." -- dialogue in the last panel of Comparatively speaking, things are going great!, a 'This Modern World' cartoon by Tom Tomorrow


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