On that Iraqi election

Those who supported Democracy there are vindicated now. And there is no turning back..

These elections will produce a new majority in Iraq, which will be always determined by coalition building. However, one result cannot be reversed anymore; no more return to single party dictatorship. Iraq may break in pieces, but it will never return to a Saddam-like monstrosity; and that is what authoritarians in contiguous countries fear the most.

The seeds of elections are now planted in Mesopotamia. With more than 140 political party and associations, hundreds of newspapers, publications, dozens of radio and TV stations — a mosaic is in existence. It will be hard on the Iranian Mullahs and on Al Qaeda to crush all this diversity across the Shia, Sunni, Kurdish and Christian lines. Once young Iraqis who will be voting for the first time, women who have broken the walls of gender exclusiveness, and minorities emerging from the underground, have tasted and tested this democratic exercise — a resistance to fascism and totalitarianism is born. Fundamentalism is said to have lost some support as an increasing number of Iraqis (41% in the latest poll) said they prefer secular parties over religious ones.

You bet your ass that Iran and Saudi will double their efforts to ruin things in Iraq now.

The Shoe Statue is gone

Yes. It got destroyed. Just like my heart got when I heard the news! Why, God? WHYYYYYYYYYY?

Is throwing shoes at someone freedom of speech?

Seriously now, because some people at AlBaghdadeya TV, the employee of Shoe-chucker, are claiming that his freedom of speech is violated by his arrest. And here I thought he tried to assault Bush and failed, twice. Am I missing something? Can I beat up people and call it freedom of speech now? And isn;t it awesome how they likened his arrest to the massgraves of Saddam? I can totally see them writing it too, being like "Yes, link it to that shit. Americans are stupid and filled with guilt. They will totally cave!". Or am I being unfair here?

On the shoe throwing Incident

Three thoughts:

1) Bush has some seriously fast reflexes for an old man.

2) You notice that Malki did not move or budge throughout the whole incident? He wasn't exen startled or shocked. Check out the Slideshow to see for yourself.

3) The thrower of said shoe, Muthathar al Zaidi, a Baghdadiya reporter who is a supporter of the secterian sunni shia militias that attack both the US and the Predominantly Shia government forces, is going to be just fine. I know some people over in Juan Cole land are worried that their Hero might be tortured or his life be put in jeoprady, but rest assured that no such thing will happen. No matter how pathethic that may be, that boy just became a Hero to the majority of the "arab street" and the "leftist world". He will be fine, and he will get invited to Dinner parties for a very long time just for doing that.

BlogIraq is dead

A light turns out in Baghdad! God be with his family and friends!

Your quick mental health break

Mahdy Army Penguins!

Texans are wussies!

From the Petraeus testimony:

Petraeus to Chris Dodd: "Every Iraqi is allowed an AK-47 in his house, by law."

I want one! :(

So not fair. hmmph! 

Prince Harry was in Afghanistan

And now the whole world knows, so they are pulling him out for "safety reasons", and he is not buying it:

In an interview just last week, Harry conceded that on his return to
the UK, he could be a "top target" for homegrown jihadists sympathetic
to the Taliban.

"Once this … comes out, every single person that supports them will be trying to slot me," he said.

Let's hope not! What this could do to the UK, and any arabs or muslims living there, I don't even want to think about it!

Angelina Jolie has a brain

I am impressed!

Today's humanitarian crisis in Iraq — and the potential
consequences for our national security — are great. Can the United
States afford to gamble that 4 million or more poor and displaced
people, in the heart of Middle East, won't explode in violent
desperation, sending the whole region into further disorder?

What
we cannot afford, in my view, is to squander the progress that has been
made. In fact, we should step up our financial and material assistance.
UNHCR has appealed for $261 million this year to provide for refugees
and internally displaced persons. That is not a small amount of money
– but it is less than the U.S. spends each day to fight the war in
Iraq. I would like to call on each of the presidential candidates and
congressional leaders to announce a comprehensive refugee plan with a
specific timeline and budget as part of their Iraq strategy.

As
for the question of whether the surge is working, I can only state what
I witnessed: U.N. staff and those of non-governmental organizations
seem to feel they have the right set of circumstances to attempt to
scale up their programs. And when I asked the troops if they wanted to
go home as soon as possible, they said that they miss home but feel
invested in Iraq. They have lost many friends and want to be a part of
the humanitarian progress they now feel is possible.

It seems to
me that now is the moment to address the humanitarian side of this
situation. Without the right support, we could miss an opportunity to
do some of the good we always stated we intended to do.

May your common sense become infectious! 

How the news sounds to me

This is brilliant!

US troops in Egypt

First they said that the US would send equipment, but wouldn't have any troops there. Now there is a report of Iowa National Guard soldiers being deployed in Egypt for a Year. And they are not part of the MFO either. Actually:

The battalion is being activated under
several missions, including the war on terrorism and Operation Iraqi
Freedom. The soldiers will provide command to three companies that
remove explosives and offer logistical, medical and aviation support to
troops in the region.

So, either someone is not telling the truth, or we are officially now part of the Iraq War. 

52% of Americans: there is progress in Iraq

Up from 39% last year. Hmm…

Just like Iraq

At first it reads like the usual "Now the whole world hates us because of the War" american leftist diatribe, but upon close inspection this article does make some serious points. Definitely worth a read!

Iraqi cemetery workers suffering due to lack of business

..because the death toll in Iraq has been decreasing significantly. More than a 30% drop in deaths actually in the past 6 months. How about that?

A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al
Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and
that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living
digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.

[...]

Dhurgham Majed al Malik, 48, whose family has arranged burial services
for generations, said that this spring, private cars and taxis with
caskets lashed to their roofs arrived at a rate of 6,500 a month. Now
it's 4,000 or less, he said.

The Poor guys. They should form a Union and demand more attacks from the government or something. Oh and Iraq is not improving. No sir. It's a failure. And it won't get better. That's what the media you watch tells you, right?

Yeah. Make sure you listen to it. It doesn't lie at all!

News you won’t pay attention to

Hmmm….

The civilian death toll in Iraq
fell to its lowest level in recent memory Saturday, with only four
people killed or found dead nationwide, according to reports from
police, morgue officials and credible witnesses.

[...]

The daily number of civilians killed, not including those on days
when there were massive casualties from car bombs, had climbed above
100 at the end of last year and the beginning of 2007.

Saturday's decline in deaths was in line with a sharp drop in September of both Iraqi civilian and U.S. military fatalities.

Too early to tell. Could be Ramadan affecting things, but goddamn if this isn;t an encouraging sign! 

The Bush Memo: Grounds for impeachment?

A couple of days ago I passed by the blog of Juan Cole and found this post, in which he has seletced passages from the  translated secret Bush-Aznar Memo regarding Iraq in the run up to the war. Juan has selected parts of the transcript and spun them in a way to meet his agenda, which is dishonest and disgusting. Having the entire Memo translated by PJM's Jose Guardia, it's easy to see how much of a spin mesiter Juan Cole is, and we are awarded a glimpse of what went down in the run-up to the war in Bush's head, which I suspect is not what many people suspect at all. For example:

Bush: Saddam won’t change and will keep playing
games. The moment of getting rid of him has arrived. That’s it. As for
me, from now on, I’ll try to use the most subtle rhetoric I can, while
we look for the resolution to be approved. If some country vetoes [the
resolution] we’ll go in. Saddam is not disarming. We must catch him
right now. We have shown an incredible amount of patience until now. We
have two weeks. In two weeks, our military will be ready. I think we’ll
achieve a second resolution. In the Security Council, we have three
African countries [Cameroon, Angola, Guinea], the Chileans, the
Mexicans. I’ll talk with all of them, also with Putin, naturally. We’ll
be in Baghdad at the end of March. There’s a 15% chance that Saddam
will be dead by then or will have flown. But these possibilities won’t
be there until we have shown our resolution. The Egyptians are talking
with Saddam Hussein. It seems he has hinted he’d be willing to leave if
he’s allowed to take 1 billion dollars and all the information on WMDs.
Ghadaffi told Berlusconi that Saddam wants to leave. Mubarak tells us
that in these circumstances there is a big chance that he’ll get killed.

We would like to act with the mandate of the UN. If we act
militarily, we’ll do it with great precision and focus on our targets
to as high a degree as possible. We’ll decimate the loyal troops, and
the regular army will quickly know what it’s all about. We sent a very
clear message to Saddam Hussein’s generals: we will treat them as war
criminals. We know they have stocked big amounts of dynamite to blow up
the bridges and other infrastructure, and the oil wells. We are
planning to take control of those wells very soon. Also, the Saudis
will help us by putting as much oil as necessary on the market. We are
developing a very strong aid package. We can win without destruction.
We are already working on the post-Saddam Iraq, and I think there’s a
basis for a better future. Iraq has a good bureaucracy and a relatively
strong civil society. It could be organized as a federation. Meanwhile
we’re doing all we can to fulfill the political needs of our friends
and allies.

Aznar: It’s very important to have that second
resolution. It will be very different to act with or without it. It
will be very advisable to have a sufficient majority in the Security
Council backing that resolution. In fact, having that majority is more
important than whether some country vetoes. We think that the
resolution should, among other things, clearly state that Saddam
Hussein has squandered his opportunity.

Bush: Yes, of course. That would be better to mention than “the necessary means.”

Aznar: Saddam Hussein hasn’t cooperated, hasn’t
disarmed – we should summarize all his non-compliance and make a more
elaborate message. That, for example, would allow Mexico to change [its
opposition].

Bush: The resolution will be made in a way that can help you. I don’t care much about the actual content.

Aznar: We’ll send you some text.

Bush: We don’t have any text. We only have one
goal: that Saddam must disarm. We can’t allow Saddam to drag his heels
until the summer. After all, he has had four months in this last stage,
and that’s more than enough time to disarm.

Hmmm… It gets better. Check out what they said about Chirac.

Aznar: I’m meeting Chirac next Wednesday [February 16]. The resolution will be circulating by now.

Bush: I think this is a great idea. Chirac knows
the situation perfectly. His intelligence services have explained it
all to him. The Arabs are sending Chirac a very clear message: Saddam
Hussein must go. The problem is that Chirac thinks he is “Mister Arab,”
and the truth is that he’s making their lives impossible. But I don’t
want any rivalry with Chirac. We certainly have different points of
view, but I’d like that to be all. Give him my best regards. True! The
less rivalry he feels there is between us, the better it’ll be for us
all.

So Bush didn't want rivalry with Chirac. Ok! That doesn;t sound like the Bush we know from the Media. But surely he is very pro-war, right?

Aznar: Is it true that there’s a chance that Saddam will go into exile?

Bush: Yes, there is. There’s even a chance that he’ll be assassinated.

Aznar: An exile with some kind of guarantees?

Bush: No guarantees. He’s a thief, a terrorist, a
war criminal. Compared to Saddam, Milosevic would be a Mother Teresa.
When we go in, we are going to discover many more crimes, and we’ll
take him to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. Saddam
Hussein believes he has escaped. He thinks that France and Germany have
stopped the process of his prosecution. He also thinks that last week’s
anti-war demonstrations [Saturday, February 15] protect him. And he
believes I’m weakened. But people around him know that things are
totally different. They know their future is in exile or in a coffin.
This is why it’s so important to keep the pressure up. Ghaddafi is
indirectly telling us that this is the only thing that can finish him.
Saddam’s only strategy is delay, delay, delay.

Aznar: Actually, the best success would be to win the game without firing a single shot when entering Baghdad.

Bush: To me, it would be the best outcome. I don’t
want war. I know what war is like. I know the death and destruction
they bring. I am the one who has to comfort the mothers and wives of
the dead. Of course, for us [a diplomatic solution] would be the best
one. Also, it would save 50 billion dollars.

Bush didn't want war?? WHAT???

Aznar: What we are doing is a very profound change
for Spain and the Spanish citizens. We are changing the last 200 years
of the country’s politics.

Bush: I’m guided by a historical sense of
responsibility, as you are. When history judges us in a few years, I
don’t want people wondering why Bush, Aznar, or Blair didn’t confront
their responsibilities. At the end of the day, what people want is to
enjoy freedom. A short time ago, in Romania, I was reminded of
Ceaucescu’s example: it only took a woman to call him a liar for the
whole regime to come crumbling down. It’s the irrepressible power of
freedom. I’m convinced I’ll achieve the resolution.

Aznar: That’s better than good.

Bush: I made the decision of going to the Security
Council. In spite of some internal disagreements within my
administration, I told my people that we needed to work with our
friends. It will be great to have a second resolution.

Aznar: The only thing that worries me about you is your optimism.

Bush: I’m optimistic because I believe I’m doing
the right thing. I am at peace with myself. We have the responsibility
of facing a serious threat to peace. It irks me tremendously to
contemplate the insensitivity of Europeans toward the suffering that
Saddam inflicts on the Iraqis. Maybe because he’s dark-skinned,
distant, and Muslim, many Europeans think that all this doesn’t matter.
I will never forget what Solana [European High Representative of the
Common Foreign and Security Policy] asked me once: why do Americans
think that Europeans are anti-Semitic and unable to confront their
responsibilities? That defensive attitude is terrible. 

Ok, so let's recap. Bush wanted to work with and through the UN, he didn't want to fight with Chirac, who knew that Saddam had the weapons and had the encouragment from the arab states to support the war, but didn't because he thought he knew better? And not only that, Bush didn't even want to go to war, but wouldn't allow Saddam to loot the country and get away with his crimes, which he believed should be tried for in the International Court of Justice?

Ok, well, all of that sounds great and reasonable. One question though: How did we get here from there?

 This War will give Historians headaches for decades to come I fear!

The Invasion is now complete

I am talking Iraq , of course!

I could’ve seen that one coming

The Judge who sentenced Saddam to death is seeking asylum in the UK!

And arab conspiracy theoriest will now have "the evidence" that it was the Coalition who wanted Saddam dead, and that the Judge is now getting his pay-off for doing their dirty deeds. 

I love this region! 

Rejected

Arab League says: "For the Iraq problem, the arab league's position is to recommend what we always recommend: Get the UN Secuirty Council on the case and let them deal with it, because we ain't fixing shit."

Iraqi government's response: "FUCK OFF, Moussa!"

Biking militants explode

Now this is the kind of story that puts a smile on my face in the morning!