TITLE:

I Hope They Realize, What Goes Around, Comes Around.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/30/2003 06:28:00 PM ----- BODY: Second Judicial Nominee Targeted (washingtonpost.com)
Senate Democrats said yesterday they will block the judicial nomination of Priscilla R. Owen, marking the second time this year they have employed filibuster tactics to thwart President Bush's efforts to name conservatives to the federal bench.
They should know that they have now legitimized the use of the filibuster to derail judicial appointments. They should not be surprised if the Republicans use this to derail a Democratic President's nominations. A law of politics that most seem to have forgotten. Don't give powers to your opponent that you don't want used against you, because the tables will turn eventually. -------- TITLE:

So Who Is More Credible, U.S Soldiers Or Saddam Supporters?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/30/2003 06:23:00 PM ----- BODY: Troops Kill Anti-U.S. Protesters (washingtonpost.com)
U.S. forces stationed at an elementary school opened fire on an angry mob protesting the American presence here after several demonstrators began shooting at soldiers guarding the building, U.S. officers said today. Local officials said 13 Iraqis were killed and as many as 75 wounded in the shooting Monday night, making it the bloodiest clash between civilians and U.S. forces in postwar Iraq.
Two injured demonstrators and three men who live across the street and viewed the confrontation said the participants were unarmed and were complaining only about the U.S. occupation of the school. But three other witnesses said several of the protesters were shouting slogans in support of former president Saddam Hussein and firing assault rifles into the air in defiance of U.S. orders.
Well, you know who the press will believe. The pro-Saddam thugs, of course. -------- TITLE:

From The SF Gate? This Is What True Bravery Is.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/28/2003 06:44:00 PM ----- BODY: The Left's Weapons Of Mass Distraction / VIEW FROM THE RIGHT
Basic Rights: New rights not found anywhere in the Constitution that include the right for slackers to get free food, free housing, free medical care and conjugal visits in prison, plus permission to deal drugs, defecate in the streets and aggressively panhandle, as well as get enough welfare money to trade their cars in every three years.
I hope he is in the Witness Protection Program or is writing under an assumed name. The Left does not respond well to being made fun of. (It's Mean-Spirited) Read the whole thing. -------- TITLE:

Wherefore The News Media

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/28/2003 04:52:00 PM ----- BODY: Today I read an article in that dreadful rightwing magazine, Insight on the News, that made the case that the American news media seemed to be fixated on finding whatever they could to portray the Iraqi War as a quagmire and failure, while in fact it was one of the premier military feats of modern times.
Out of the 'Quagmire'
The attitude of many reporting on the war in Iraq seemed to be, "Daddy, are we there yet?" Day after day the mood in the TV studios was one of impatience and incoherence about what U.S. military leaders now are calling one of the most awesome military campaigns in history. At the same time, in the three weeks it took U.S. forces to topple Saddam Hussein's regime and seize Baghdad, Americans were treated to some of the most professional and thorough war reporting ever - contaminated from the editorial suites and studio directorate by a steady, noxious dripping of ill-informed speculation, whining and defeatism.
I was also directed by Neal Boortz to a column by Victor Davis Hanson, Our Western Mob.
It occurs to me that much has changed since the days of WWII, I'm not talking about the cameras and communications or even the negativity of the coverage. (although a journalist that tried to report the American casualties at Tarawa or Normandy would probably have been jailed.)
I'm talking about the willingness, indeed the obsessive eagerness to report the other side without engaing in the questioning and skepticism that is characteristic of American news conferences.
In the 1930's and 40's the Axis Powers invested heavily in the control of the news media at home and wherever they had under their thumb. Goebbels and his counterparts tightly monitored who said what, and where it was shown. They also invested in foreign propaganda in so-called "neutral" countries and presented such memorable personalities as Tokyo Rose, Lord Ha-Ha and Axis Sally. They had huge agencies for this that had people in the news and movies studios and in the pressrooms of all the newspapers. This has now become entirely unnecessary.
Now we have large media companies not only willing, but anxious to report from the "other side". They are willing to slant their coverage, censor stories and even pay bribes to despotic governments just so they can retain "access".
This was admitted to by CNN's Jordan Eason in the New York Times (no link, everyone has it.) and alluded to by several reporters from other agencies.
So you have to ask. Why maintain access if the only thing you are gong to be allowed to report is the propaganda of the local dictator? The only gain that is apparent is for the regime. They no longer have to maintain expensive talent to affect the foreign news. They can get CNN to report it and make them pay too. Looks like a win-win for tyrants and a black eye for the news media. Why would we ever trust their reporting again? -------- TITLE:

A Brief History Of North Korean Non-proliferation Agreements

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/28/2003 03:45:00 PM ----- BODY: Robert Bartley in the Wall Street Journal gives brief history of the success of Nonproliferation Treaties with North Korea.
The Reagan administration solved the North Korean nuclear problem for the first time back in 1985, persuading them to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), with inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, North Korea said its adherence to the agreements was contingent on the removal of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons from South Korea.
So in 1991, President George H.W. Bush solved the North Korean nuclear problem a second time, announcing that the U.S. would withdraw all tactical nuclear weapons abroad, including 100 or so in Korea. This may have made military sense because of improved conventional weapons, and allowed the two Koreas to ratify that the problem was solved through a bilateral agreement not to test, store or deploy nuclear weapons.
In 1992, North Korea concluded its agreement with the IAEA, declared seven nuclear sites and some plutonium open for inspection. So the problem was solved, except that the IAEA discovered discrepancies in the report and demanded special inspections of two nuclear waste storage sites. In response, the North Koreans announced their intention to withdraw from the NPT.
So in 1993, the Clinton administration solved the problem a third time, persuading the North Koreans to "suspend" their withdrawal and submit to inspections. However, the CIA estimated that North Korea may have produced one or two nuclear weapons. When IAEA inspectors arrived, the North Koreans refused to allow them to inspect the plutonium reprocessing plant at Yongbyon and announced that it was withdrawing from the NPT after all.
So in 1994, former President Jimmy Carter showed up to solve the problem a fourth time, charming the North Koreans into confirming their willingness to freeze nuclear development and hold more talks. Later that year, Clinton administration negotiators solved the problem a fifth time with the "Agreed Framework." North Korea agreed to drop proposed nuclear reactors, in exchange for two "light-water" reactors designed by the U.S. and built by an international consortium. Pending their completion, North Korea would get fuel oil shipments.
In 1999, the Clinton administration solved the problem a sixth time by inspecting the Kumchang-ni site, where the U.S. suspected underground nuclear facilities. In exchange for food aid the Koreans allowed inspections, after five months during which spy satellites showed them moving things away. The inspection found no nuclear activity, so the problem was solved again.
The "Agreed Framework" incorporated the brainstorm of installing cameras to monitor the plutonium stored in North Korea. Last December, the Koreans blandly turned off the cameras.
Interestingly, the solution urged by many is for the Bush administration to negotiate still another agreement. I guess for them, the best outcome is not a solution to the problem, but a continuation of the process that has failed before on the vain hope that it will work this time -------- TITLE:

Not A WMD, Perfectly Acceptable By UN Standards

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/27/2003 10:20:00 PM ----- BODY: TIME.com: Iron Maiden Found in Uday Hussein's Playground
Around 7 feet tall, three feet across and deep enough to house a grown man, the sarcophagus-shaped device is essentially a large, metal closet with long spikes on the inside door that closes to impale its victim. Its name derives from its mummy shape and the beatific woman's face depicted on its headpiece. The one found in Baghdad was clearly worn from use, its nails having lost some of their sharpness. It lay on its side within view of Uday's first-floor offices in the soccer association. Ironically, the torture device was brought to TIME's attention by a group of looters who had been stripping the compound of anything of value. They had left behind the iron maiden, believing it to be worthless
I'm sure this would not warrant even a notice from the Human Rights Council or even the Security Council. Under the International Law, torture is perfectly acceptable unless you have friendly relations with the United States. -------- TITLE:

The Real Dixie Chicks Interview

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/27/2003 10:08:00 PM ----- BODY: Somehow, Jared Myers at ThePolitiBlog got hold of a copy of the real Dixie Chicks interview. The one that was shown on TV was actually a fake that was done using sock puppets and special effects. -------- TITLE:

Even After All The Criticism, America Allows Looting To Continue.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/27/2003 10:02:00 PM ----- BODY: £1m haul of gallery art thieves
Police were last night hunting a gang of art thieves who raided a Manchester gallery and stole paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso and Gauguin valued at an estimated £1m.
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Stupid Arguments.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/27/2003 07:51:00 PM ----- BODY: I was listening to the radio this afternoon, I don’t know exactly what show I was listening to, but it really doesn’t matter. It was a round-table discussion of the war in Iraq and whether it was justified. It amazes me that with what has already been uncovered, the torture chambers, the children's prisons, the mass graves, that this debate is still going on, but that’s another matter.
One of the panelists maintained that if weapons of mass destruction were not found, and soon, the entire premise of the war should be found to be illegal and the President and his staff should be prosecuted. That is a stupid statement right there, but it is another one one that has been discussed elsewhere.
He made the obligatory statement about Saddam being a bad man and that the Iraqi people are better off, but he then made a statement that I have to consider one of the stupidest of a host of stupid remarks that have been made about this war. He said that, we had no business invading Iraq just because Saddam was a vicious tyrant that abused his own people. His reasoning was, as he stated, there are many countries in the world that have oppressive governments, if we are not prepared to invade them all, we should not invade any.
I find this incredible. This man is stating that any help we provide for anyone must be provided to everybody. Do you think that he of the opinion that because we cannot help all poor people we must not help any? How about sick people? If we cannot help the terminal cancer patient, then we must not help the pneumonia patient? Gosh, I guess we can get rid of a whole bunch of well-meaning programs because they don’t help everybody If I was a writer like Lileks, I could do a riff on this that would leave you ready to hunt down and string up this fool...or at least severely embarrass him, but I'm not, so I won't. If you want Lileks, go to Lileks, other wise you're stuck with me.
This is just one of the many stupid statements that are being thrown around, mostly by people who oppose the war. Others have pointed out the whole “crushing of dissent” stupid statements so I won’t go there either. -------- TITLE:

It Was Better When The Explosives Were In Schools?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/27/2003 06:28:00 PM ----- BODY: Attack Sets Arms Depot in Iraq Afire (washingtonpost.com)
A fire that U.S. military officers blamed on an Iraqi guerrilla attack set off a chain of fierce explosions at a U.S.-controlled munitions dump today, sending rockets, missiles and other ordnance shrieking into residential neighborhoods in this southern Baghdad suburb.
the weapons stockpile was started by the Hussein government and built upon by U.S. troops after they conquered Baghdad. He said no demolitions of weapons had occurred since the Army took control of the site from Marines about a week ago.
The most severe damage today appeared to come from old Soviet-made Frog-7 rockets, according to Army officials.
It figures that most of the damage was done by Russian built rockets with a French name. -------- TITLE:

MadBlast - The Real Hussein (Slim Shady Parody)

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/26/2003 10:58:00 PM ----- BODY: MadBlast - The Real Hussein (Slim Shady Parody) -------- TITLE:

Those "International Agreements" Sure Work Well, Don't They?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/25/2003 10:45:00 PM ----- BODY: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - Latin America/Caribbean
Venezuela refused to sign an internationally brokered agreement Thursday for a referendum on President Hugo Chavez's presidency.
The refusal cast doubt on prospects for any vote on Chavez's six-year term, which ends in 2007. Venezuela's opposition staged a two-month general strike this winter to demand the plebiscite.
Chavez didn't budge, but after five months of negotiations, the Organization of American States announced on April 11 the two sides had agreed on a plan for a referendum.
Hell, He's just another one of those bannana republic Presidente-For-Life's the left loves. Don;t look for any elections anytime soon. Unless, of course, he can do one of those Saddam style ones. -------- TITLE:

KFC Will Get You Every Time

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/25/2003 04:00:00 PM ----- BODY: Oldest American, Mary Christian, dies at 113
Mary Christian lived long enough to see the turn of two centuries. Christian, who was certified as the longest-living American in November, died Sunday at the Creekside Healthcare Center in San Pablo after a bout with pneumonia. She was 113.
Before her diet was restricted to soft foods, Christian was fond of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Twinkies.
"She had a nice, long life," said her niece, Rita Rinna.
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I Guess That Whole First Amendment Thing Doesn't Apply Here.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/24/2003 12:10:00 AM ----- BODY: Sarandon joins Dr. Laura battle
Actor and gay rights supporter Susan Sarandon has added her voice to the campaign to keep radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger off TV
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Boycott This!

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/23/2003 11:50:00 PM ----- BODY: The Dixie Chicks found a use for those almost nude shots they did for the PETA ad. -------- TITLE:

It's Earth Day; We're All Gonna Die!

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/23/2003 10:07:00 PM ----- BODY: Take the Earth Day Footprint Quiz. It figures out how many planets we would need if everyone lived like we do.
If everyone lived like me we would need 7.5 planets. This is food for thought. My thought was that I sure hope more people live like me because we need some more planets.
Giving the same answers, if I lived in Thailand, I would only use 5.2 planets. It must be the conversion rate. -------- TITLE:

What The Hell Are You Talking About?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/23/2003 12:33:00 PM ----- BODY: North Korea's Choices (washingtonpost.com)
[T]he Bush administration should at least test whether Pyongyang might choose a path of cooperation
North Korea certainly won't give up its nuclear option, which it sees as its defense against a possible U.S. attack, unless the Bush administration is willing to forgo the option of forcible regime change.
The Clinton administration offered Mr. Kim that assurance, only to be deceived as North Korea froze one nuclear weapons program and secretly began another
It appears that the WaPo cannot be serious. This looks like some kind of CYA editorial. They can point to different parts as being correct no matter what the outcome.
In one column they call for the Bush administration to give the Norks a chance, that they might give up their Nuc's for assurances and admit that when Clinton did that, Pyongyang cheated. Isn't one definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results? -------- TITLE:

Can You Hear The Black Helicopters?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/22/2003 09:14:00 PM ----- BODY: Tunnel between Camp David and Site R?
I was stationed at Ft Ritchie for a while. Never heard anything about a secret tunnel from Site R to Camp David. With both being on mountain tops that would be quite a feat. Site R was built back in the 50's and 60's and construction was no secret. The existance of Site R itself is not and never was a secret. I suppose it is possible there is a tunnel, but it sounds pretty far fetched. What would be the purpose? There is vehicle traffic to and from Site R all hours of the day or night, another one wouldn't stand out and would be a hell of a lot cheaper and simpler than building a tunnel.
Yes, I know Ft Ritchie is supposed to be honeycombed with tunnels from the WWII days as an OSS training camp, but I never saw one of those or met anyone who had. It seems to be one of these "friend of a friend" things.
My son went to Ft. Ritchie a year or so ago while he was in D.C. for some kind of training. It is now defunct and has been sold off. I guess people bought the housing units and the buildings are now used for civilian things. If there's a tunnel there, it's still a secret. -------- TITLE:

Hollywood Takes Care Of It's Own.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/22/2003 08:57:00 PM ----- BODY: The Spoils of Antiwar (washingtonpost.com)
The Entertainment Industry tells Pro-war Americans to "Fuck Off"; funnels money and engagements to anti-war celebrities.
"Hey, we make the shows and the movies. The public will damn well watch whoever we want to show them. If we make it they will come; and pay us a hell of a lot of money for it too. Who cares what they think." -------- TITLE:

Yankee Go Home, Let Us Install A New Dictator.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/22/2003 08:40:00 PM ----- BODY: That seems to be the reigning attitude that Rajiv Chandrasekaran found while doing this story for the WaPo.
Thanks for Ousting Hussein, 'Now Please Go Home' (washingtonpost.com)
BAGHDAD, April 21 -- When Marines helped pull down a bronze statue of Saddam Hussein in downtown Baghdad 12 days ago, Rafeh Mohammed took to the street and cheered the legions of American troops pouring into the city to end Hussein's three-decade rule.
"We were so happy," he said. "We were being liberated from a dictator. We thought life was surely going to get better."
Today, Mohammed is a bitter man. "The Americans," sniffed the 32-year-old trader, "have failed us."
The first thing I'd like to know is, who in the hell is Rajiv Chandrasekaran? He is only described as "Washington Post Foreign Service". What does that mean? Is he Iraqi? If so, did he live under the Hussein regime and did he let his work be censored by the "minders"?
What method did he use to find these disgruntled people, and who are they? There are a lot of people in Iraq that had much invested in the status quo under Hussein. What was these people's relationship with the Ba'ath party?
Hathem Mohammed Bender, a poet? If he made a living as a poet under Hussein then he must have specialized in turning out the drivel that was pleasing the Saddam and sons. Is he expecting to make a living as a poet now? That's not a very well-paying profession without sponsorship.
[D]emonstrators have gathered daily in front of a large downtown hotel housing U.S. troops and foreign journalists, calling for Iraqis to be allowed to manage their affairs immediately.
How many demonstrators? How much do they represent the people of Baghdad? Has anyone checked to see if perhaps these are Ba'ath party members or some of the Saddam Fedayeen that changed clothes and disappeared last week? I'm sure they would love for the Americans to go away so they could take over again.
I'm just not inclined to take any news writer's word for things, especially after seeing the lengths some of them went to avoid reporting things in Iraq. It's not just CNN, I don't trust any of them anymore. -------- TITLE:

No Shit???

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/22/2003 07:19:00 PM ----- BODY: Hunt for Iraqi Arms Erodes Assumptions (washingtonpost.com)
intelligence suggesting that Iraqi insiders have stolen files, electronic data and equipment from nonconventional arms programs under the cover of recent looting.
Stupid bastards. This was obvious. -------- TITLE:

Saddam Didn't Have Any Chemical Or Bio Weapons. This Guy Must Be Lying.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/20/2003 11:50:00 PM ----- BODY: Illicit Arms Kept Till Eve of War, an Iraqi Scientist Is Said to Assert
A scientist who claims to have worked in Iraq's chemical weapons program for more than a decade has told an American military team that Iraq destroyed chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment only days before the war began, members of the team said.
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Sounds Great If You Don't Mind Dead Prisoners.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/20/2003 11:25:00 PM ----- BODY: End Apartheid in the State Prisons -------- TITLE:

Go, Fox!

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/20/2003 10:36:00 PM ----- BODY: Cable's War Coverage Suggests a New 'Fox Effect' on Television
MSNBC's moves have news executives and some liberal critics worried that Fox's success will push TV news too far from a neutral tone.
It's amusing that the New York Times considers themselves and CNN as "neutral". -------- TITLE:

See? Americans Don't necessarily mean KFC

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/20/2003 09:16:00 PM ----- BODY: Fast food comes to Iraq - War on Iraq - smh.com.au
Basra: Fastfood giants Pizza Hut and Burger King have set up their first franchises inside war-torn Iraq, even as many aid convoys waited on the borders for the war to officially end.
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Hmm..They're A Facist Dictatorship That Supports Many Terrorist Groups and Has Chemical Weapons. Why Would They Worry About US?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/20/2003 05:01:00 PM ----- BODY: With Iraq War Over, Wariness of U.S. Pervades Syria (washingtonpost.com) -------- TITLE:

Where Does This Idiot Think Jobs Come From?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/20/2003 04:33:00 PM ----- BODY: Democrats Say Jobs Will Revive Economy
More jobs, not tax cuts, are needed to help Americans struggling in the nation's slumping economy, Rep. Elijah Cummings said Saturday.
Cummings, who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, reproached Republicans "for cutting taxes that disproportionately benefit wealthy Americans."
Same old, same old. Private industry is what makes the economy go, not public employee jobs for people with the right skin color and political viewpoint. All of the "programs" in the world, don't add anything to the economy.
The question that should be asked of all these proposals is: "For this program and the spending that you propose. How many private sector jobs do you believe this will add to the economy?" Then you can watch the politicians scatter like cockroaches when you turn the light on. Even better is to ask liberal politicians about how many low skill, high pay private sector jobs their proposals will generate.
Hate to tell you folks. TANSTAAFL You get what you pay for and if you are paying these government bureaucrats to provide for you, the only thing you're going to get is more bureaucrats.
Maybe Rep. Elijah Cummings thinks the President has all those jobs in a sub-basement under the White House. Maybe (more likely) he is talking out of his ass. But it appears that the only thing the Democrats care about is protecting the jobs of their Union supporters. The rest of the country can go to hell. -------- TITLE:

Wanna Bet This Is Considered Americas Fault?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/19/2003 11:51:00 PM ----- BODY: Under cover of war, Mugabe unleashes a new reign of terror
Hidden from a world whose gaze has been fixed on Iraq, a full-scale reign of terror has been unleashed on opponents of the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of Zimbabweans were arrested and tortured as Mr Mugabe, apparently taking advantage of the lull in international scrutiny, stepped up his campaign of repression during the three weeks of the United States' war on Saddam Hussein.
In response Michael Ancram, Britain's shadow foreign secretary, called on Tony Blair and Jack Straw to bring a new UN resolution. "The UN cannot turn a blind eye to the abuses of Robert Mugabe," he said, "and nor can South Africa which is beginning to be affected financially and politically by what is happening."
Many Zimbabweans who would not have supported the Iraqi war are talking of a "Bush solution". "Mr Bush, when are you coming to liberate us?" has become a catchphrase among unemployed youths.
Do you think that the UN is going to do anything? -------- TITLE:

Obviously The Parenting Classes Didn't Help Much.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/18/2003 11:44:00 PM ----- BODY: Texas Couple Accused of Decapitating Kids (washingtonpost.com)
A couple accused of killing and decapitating their three young children could face the death penalty if convicted.
They previously had been referred to the state child protective agency because the children were found to be malnourished and needed medical attention, but the parents weren't accused of physical abuse.
Weeks before the youngest child was born, state investigators closed the case because the couple were living in an apartment and had completed parenting classes and the children were gaining weight.
Or maybe they did, because at least they didn't eat them. -------- TITLE:

Tell Me Again Why We Should Trust The UN?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/18/2003 08:38:00 PM ----- BODY: Justifying Abuse (washingtonpost.com)
HUMAN RIGHTS FILE was closed forever, and Sudan's innocence declared." So read a newspaper headline in Khartoum this week after the vote by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights to remove Sudan from a list of countries requiring special monitoring.
The UN Commission on Human Rights from which the U.S was expelled and Syria elected, shows why we should let the UN go somewhere else and use the land for something constructive. Like a landfill. -------- TITLE:

WaPO Friday, April 18, 2003, Impartiality Check

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/18/2003 08:19:00 PM ----- BODY: Lifting of Sanctions Linked to U.N. Role (washingtonpost.com)
Wise Europeans counsel U.S. to let UN handle the rebuilding contracts. (you can trust us, we know what we're doing.)
======================================================
Expert Thieves Took Artifacts, UNESCO Says
UN expert says U.S. not at fault for museum looting.
======================================================
'Open' Contest Pledged For Iraq Subcontracts (washingtonpost.com)
Democrats keeping close eye on the letting of contracts, want to make sure Bush and Republicans don't act like Clinton and the Democrats. (No more China deals!)
======================================================
Measure of Doubt in Rhythm of Life (washingtonpost.com)
Iraq War hurts Arab self-esteem. (Oh Goodness Gracious! Call the counselors.)
======================================================
Edwards Returns Law Firm's Donations (washingtonpost.com)
Democrat caught with illegal campaign contributions. (Harumph, Harumph...no wrong doing...will return the money...highest ethical standards...No other irregularities.)
======================================================
Aiding Iraqi People Is Priority, Poll Finds (washingtonpost.com)
Also finds many people who opposed war, do not want U.S.to stay in Iraq.
======================================================
Judges Question U.S. Move in Cheney Suit (washingtonpost.com)
Justice Department using "an unusual legal maneuver to avoid disclosing information about Cheney's energy policy task force." (Evidently only Democrats are authorized to use "unusual legal maneuvers")
======================================================
Tougher Reviews Urged for Shuttles (washingtonpost.com)
Panel trying to find way to point fingers without damaging bureaucracy. (I still think it was a left-wing plot.)
======================================================
U.S. to Help Probe Looting of Iraqi Cultural Treasures (washingtonpost.com)
FBI rushes to find museum looters. (But Muslim groups complain that any questioning of Muslims will be "profiling".)
======================================================
Contract for Rebuilding of Iraq Awarded To Bechtel (washingtonpost.com)
Democrats complain that only the rich will benefit. (this is a San Francisco company. Maybe the city should force them to leave. Heh.) ======================================================
Looters May Have Destroyed Priceless Cuneiform Archive (washingtonpost.com)
The same people that are "expert thieves" in other stories, are now bunglers that wouldn't know the value of what they have and may destroy them. (Huh? They're geniuses. No, they're idiots. Make up my mind WaPo.)
======================================================
One Step Forward, Direction Uncertain (washingtonpost.com)
A little mutual backscratching with Iran. -------- TITLE:

Lifting Of Sanctions Depends On Paying Off UNSC Members

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/18/2003 07:31:00 PM ----- BODY: Lifting of Sanctions Linked to U.N. Role (washingtonpost.com)
Discussions in the UN toward the lifting of the economic sanctions against Iraq are starting to look like a meeting of the five families of Mafia fame.
But Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, speaking in Moscow, said economic sanctions cannot be lifted until a number of conditions required by Security Council resolutions -- including proof that Iraq has fully disarmed -- have been met.
Administration officials said they view the upcoming debate over sanctions as a test of whether the council is prepared to do its part to improve the lives of Iraqis or simply rekindle old battles.
"We need not to have everybody go to their corners and talk about theological expressions of what the U.N. has to be, but all unite now and do what is best for the Iraqi people," a senior U.S. official said. "The means when it comes time to lift sanctions, it ought to be done because it will benefit the Iraqi people."
The Russians and French seem to be arguing that the sanctions against Iraq must be continued because the WMD (that they previously maintained were not there) are not accounted for. This is a very flimsy cover for an outright extortion demand. They are upset because the Iraqis were freed against their wishes. The U.S. by invading Iraq, broke a lot of rice bowls. They are signaling that they are prepared to maintain the sanctions and harm the Iraqi people on any pretext. Their insistence that the reconstruction be controlled by the UN is nothing but a money grab. They seem to think that because they lost a lot of legal and illegal business, they should be "reimbursed" by letting them control reconstruction contract, which could then be awarded to their cronies.
Asked whether there would be opposition from some factions in the Bush administration to the United Nations making such a decision, the French official said such opposition "is not wise," and added, "If they want to have trouble, it's up to them."
That sounds to me like a not so veiled threat. I don't know if Pepe La Pew has noticed, but there's a new President in town and he doesn't take kindly to that kind of talk. -------- TITLE:

Baghdad Power Problems.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/17/2003 04:33:00 PM ----- BODY: Those heartless Americans are really screwing things up in Iraq, its been more that 2 weeks and they haven't got the electricity restored,
In the Dark Over Power Outage
At 8 p.m. on April 3, as U.S. tanks rumbled into Baghdad's international airport to prepare for a final attack, the power went out across this sprawling city.
They should have listened to France and Germany and let the UN do it. Look how successful they have been in Kosovo. They've been there for four years and things are looking up. Kosovo's Iraqi lessons
Kosovo is a lucrative post for more than 10,000 exorbitantly overpaid international administrators and perked consultants as well as 40,000 itinerant peacekeepers.
In the wake of NATO's Operation Allied Force in 1999, Kosovo was practically severed from Yugoslavia and rendered a U.N.-protectorate under Resolution 1244 of the Security Council. UNMIK, the U.N. Mission in Kosovo, was formed to serve as the province's interim administrator. It was charged with institution building and producing a transition to self-governance by the now overwhelmingly Albanian populace.
Nor has Kosovo's infrastructure been rehabilitated despite the $5 billion poured into the province hitherto. Electricity, for instance, is intermittent and unpredictable. The roads are potholed and few, the railways derelict. Fixed line penetration is low, though mobile telephony is booming. This sorry state was avoidable.
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Clinton Still Running For UN Secretary General.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/16/2003 05:43:00 PM ----- BODY:
FORMER US president Bill Clinton today blasted US foreign policy adopted in the wake of the September 11 attacks, arguing the United States cannot kill, jail or occupy all of its adversaries.
Bill Clinton is still running for something, probably UN Secretary General.
He has assured the rest of the Security Council that the U.S. was now a paper tiger to be restrained by the UN and used for whatever purpose they had in mind. George W. by taking action with or without the UN's blessings has upset Clinton's legacy.
Compare the actions in Afghanistan and Iraq to the on again off again efforts in Haiti and Kosovo. The invasion of Haiti marked some of the most comic fiascoes in history. First of all we have Jimmy carter, Colin Powell and Sam Nunn meeting with this "tyrannical" dictator who had been painted as a monster, and while these high profile people sitting around with said dictator, Clinton calls and tells him the "troops are on the way". What would Billy done if Raul had taken them hostage?
After that you have the spectacle of U.S. troops standing around watching the "attaches' beating Haitian people and not doing anything. That was because no one knew what the mission was supposed to be. When you send in the troops you better tell them what you want them to do. George did, Clinton didn't.
Clinton seemed to expect that the mere sight of American soldiers would result in everyone having a group hug and being nice.
Bill, you don't have to kill or occupy your adversaries, just make them wonder if you might.
"Our paradigm now seems to be: something terrible happened to us on September 11, and that gives us the right to interpret all future events in a way that everyone else in the world must agree with us," said Clinton, who spoke at a seminar of governance organized by Conference Board.
Clinton thinks that we should just ignore Sept 11. "Hey it's just one of those thing. Could have happened to anyone. We ignored Osama and Saddam and nothing happened. Well, nothing that can be used against me in a court of law."
"And if they don't, they can go straight to hell."
Well...Yes. So What?
The Democratic former president, who preceded George W Bush at the White House, said sooner or later the United States had to find a way to cooperate with the world at large.
Or the world at large has to find a way to cooperate with us.
"We can't run," Clinton pointed out. "If you got an interdependent world, and you cannot kill, jail or occupy all your adversaries, sooner or later you have to make a deal."
No. You can let them know that we can and will take them out if need be. Sooner or later they have to make a deal.
He said he believed Washington overreacted to German and French opposition to US plans for military action against Iraq and suggested that the current administration had trouble juggling foreign and domestic issues.
Clinton spent a lot of time sucking up to the Europeans and George W. just screwed it up. It might even mess up his chance to be the first American Secretary General.
I seem to remember news stories about how distracted Clinton was by the whole Monica thing. Just recently I read a story about him being too distracted by his golf game to take a phone call about Osama. No problem though, we can rebuild the WTC.
"Since September 11, it looks like we can't hold two guns at the same time," Clinton said. "If you fight terrorism, you can't make America a better place to be."
Let's see, Osama is dead or hiding in a cave, Saddam is dead or hiding somewhere else. The North Koreans are willing to have multilateral talks about those nuclear weapons that they developed despite you and Jimmy's worthless treaty. The torture chambers and children's prisons in Iraq are closed. Yeah, pretty pitiful.
Clinton said if he were at the White House right now he would scrap a $US726 billion ($1.2 trillion) tax cut proposal made by the president in January to stimulate
Of course! Money for new programs, new agencies, new administrators, new regulators, new bureaucrats, new Union members, new Union dues, more votes for Democrats, more power for Bill. Can't have those common people keeping more of their own money, they might save it or invest it creating new businesses and jobs and that might "benefit the rich" and we can't have that. -------- TITLE:

The "Peace" Activists Wanted This To Continue.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/16/2003 05:16:00 PM ----- BODY: Shepherd claims he saw desert massacre
He describes how soldiers, wearing the khaki uniforms of the Baath party, climbed out of three Toyota pick-up trucks and walked behind the crowd sitting in the dirt. Some were crying, Mr al-Khalidy said, others trying to comfort the eight children he counted.
One child got up and tried to hide behind her mother. Another reached out and held his father's hand. "Then there was shooting," he says. "Lots of shooting, and an earth mover shovelled dirt and sand over the people in the pit without anyone looking to see if they were alive or not. "All the time Ali Hassan al-Majid was walking up and down, three bodyguards following him. I recognised him. I had seen him many times on television.
"Everyone knew al-Majid," he says, his body tensing at the mention of the name. "The whole thing, from the time the buses arrived to filling in the grave took no more than 20 minutes. I was scared they would see me. Soldiers saw my sheep, and some began to search the area, but I shrank down into the ground and hid."
But the UN and the "peace" protestors still say that this was preferable to the war. -------- TITLE:

French Tell U.S. Public Not To Retaliate For Opposition.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/16/2003 03:32:00 PM ----- BODY: U.S. Boycott Being Felt, French Say (washingtonpost.com)
An American backlash against French products and businesses has started to bite, dashing hopes here that appeals in the United States to punish France economically for opposing the war in Iraq would go unheeded.
"Certain French enterprises are suffering today from the differences that have arisen among states over the Iraqi question," the Movement of French Enterprises (Medef) said. "It is necessary to say to those who are unhappy with the positions of French diplomacy that they are free to criticize, but they must keep products and services of our enterprises outside their quarrel."
I see, we're entitled to our opinion, but keep the dollars flowing. Riiiight. -------- TITLE:

See, If Iraq Hadn't Signed That Treaty, There Wouldn't Have Been A Problem.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/15/2003 08:13:00 PM ----- BODY: Bush vetoes Syria war plan
Mr Rumsfeld repeated accusations yesterday that Syria had tested chemical weapons in the last 12 to 15 months. However, Syria is not a signatory to the chemical weapons convention and would not be breaking international law if it did possess, nor is it suspected of selling chemical weapons to others.
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UCLA Faculty Shows Support For Torture Chambers and Childrens Prison.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/15/2003 08:06:00 PM ----- BODY: THE DAILY BRUIN ONLINE
A groundbreaking but controversial resolution condemning the war in Iraq was passed 180 to 7 by UCLA faculty Monday,
After the swift takeover in Iraq, town after town has shown the cruelty of the Iraqi regime. Every town, village and neighborhood has their local secret police headquarters and every secret police headquarters has its torture chambers.
Other places were revealed to be prisons for children. Children who would not join the government youth groups, children who , in effect, said "no" to political correctness as it was practiced in Saddam's Iraq.
In answer to this, the faculty of one of America's most famous universities, has voted to condemn the war. What they are saying is that in balance it would have been better to have continued the torture chamber, continued the children's prisons, continued the fear, rather than have the U.S. use its power to bring it down.
This shows well where the educators' head is at. They will accept no action by the U.S. against any crime, anywhere, by anyone at all. They wish to tell the wannabe Saddam's of the world, "Go Ahead, kill your people. They're YOUR people. They belong to you the same way as a pet belongs to his master. They are of no consequence to us. As long as you leave American civilians alone, we don't care. We have our careers and reputations to uphold. If the U.S. takes action against leaders for killing their own people, some of our students might be inconvenienced. We might not be seen as what we are, really COOL and that might affect our self-esteem. So be it known throughout the world that as long as you confine your depredations to the non-english speaking brown people of the world, Hey, have at it. We'll make some token protests, but that's just for the hometown folks. Carry on. -------- TITLE:

Moose Determined To Cash In On Snipers.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/15/2003 07:42:00 PM ----- BODY: Moose Asks For Review Of Book Ban (washingtonpost.com)
Montgomery County Police Chief Charles A. Moose, who has agreed to write a book about October's sniper manhunt, asked yesterday for a judicial review of the county Ethics Commission's decision to bar him from taking part in the project.
You are all welcome to him. I understand Portland is glad to be rid of him. -------- TITLE:

Another Sensless Smoking Ban Related Fatality.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/15/2003 07:36:00 PM ----- BODY: NYC Bouncer Killed in Smoking Ban Brawl
NEW YORK - A bouncer at a Manhattan nightclub died Sunday after he was stabbed in a brawl that police said began when he tried to enforce the city's new ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.
At least the smokers do it voluntarily. The do-gooders are going to make sure we don't die, no matter how many are killed. -------- TITLE:

Michele Reveals The Truth!

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/14/2003 12:10:00 AM ----- BODY: a small victory:the gentle art of making enemies
The truth according the far left:
All celebrations in Iraq are staged.
All weapons, suicide vests, etc. found in Iraq were planted by the CIA
The Bush administration planned and carried out 9/11.
No plane ever crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.
Republicans killed Paul Wellstone.
The POWs were all faked/staged to get public sympathy.
Bush is responsible for the anthrax attacks.
Everything is a Zionist conspiracy
Everything is a Right Wing conspiracy
Bush is responsible for the demise of the unicorn, the burning of Rome, the popularity of boy bands, the poor defense of the Mets, the death of everyone on this planet in the past four years, freak snowstorms in April and your failed relationships. Everything else is the fault of the Jews.
Now you know.
Michele! How could you blab like that? Now that you have exposed all our secrets, we will have to revert to Alternate Plan B.
Everyone please review Alternate Plan B and take action accordingly. -------- TITLE:

Mark Steyn Gives A Size Up Of The Henny-Penny Complaints.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/13/2003 11:41:00 PM ----- BODY: Movers and shakers have moved on to the next 'disaster'
10) America is already losing the peace. MBITRW: In a year's time, Iraq will be, at a bare minimum, the least badly governed state in the Arab world and, at best, pleasant, civilised and thriving. In short: not a bad three weeks' work.
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Please Explain To Me Why I Should Believe Anything CNN Reports?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/12/2003 10:48:00 PM ----- BODY: The News We Kept to Ourselves
Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.
I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me. Now that Saddam Hussein's regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely.
CNN - Cohen: No nerve gas used in Operation Tailwind - July 21, 1998
A Pentagon review has found no evidence to support allegations by CNN and Time magazine that a 1970 military operation in Laos was designed to hunt down American defectors and kill them using sarin nerve gas, Defense Secretary William Cohen said Tuesday.
Cohen presented the findings of the Pentagon report at a news conference that came in response to a now-retracted CNN broadcast, which claimed that U.S. troops used sarin during 1970's Operation Tailwind in Laos.
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It's All About OOOIIILLL!!!!

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/11/2003 06:56:00 PM ----- BODY: Russia, France, Germany Open Iraq Talks
With U.S.-led forces consolidating their hold in Iraq, the leaders of Russia, France and Germany were opening talks Friday and expected to push for the United Nations to lead Iraq's reconstruction.
Having done everything they could, including shipping banned weapons to Iraq, to keep Saddam Hussein in power, the Axis of Weasels meets in Leningrad to try to figure out how to screw the Iraqis out of their oil wealth. All the countries made deals with Saddam for oil far below the market value, now that it looks like the Iraqis could invalidate those contracts and sell their oil on the market for prevailing price. The Axis of Weasels is desperate to keep that from happening. It was fine with them if Saddam stayed in power to kill, torture and rape his own people, after all, each of them had done so in the not so distant past, but the prospect of losing the profits they had counted on and probably already spent is galvanizing them into action.
How about this for a suggestion? The contracts will be held in abeyance until there is a functioning Iraqi government and decided by the Iraqis when they are ready. After all the Weasels are not just there for the OIL, are they? -------- TITLE:

Damn Fools, These Weren't Started By Looters.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/11/2003 05:22:00 PM ----- BODY: Headline news from Sky News - Witness the event
Fires are raging across the Iraqi capital tonight after looters set light to government ministries and banks in full view of US forces.
The fires in government offices and banks were most likely started by Baathist party members anxious to cover up documentation of their crimes and records of their loot. -------- TITLE:

Insufficient Reason For The Democrats, The UN and The Axis of Weasels

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/11/2003 05:08:00 PM ----- BODY: Saddam Hussein: A Life Of Evil
Saddam’s disappearance and the collapse of his regime this week ended 40 years of depraved brutality and crushing oppression which has seen hundreds of thousands of Iraqis murdered – a fair number by his own hand – and a proud and cultured nation of 26 million people cowed into silence.
He started two wars which caused the deaths of more than a million people, slaughtered Iranians and Kurds with chemical weapons, tortured or killed all opponents, sanctioned mass rape as a weapon of oppression, orchestrated a grotesque and all-pervasive personality cult and drove four million Iraqis into exile.
No one since Josef Stalin, whom he much admired, has caused such suffering. And, like Stalin, Saddam Hussein was an example of brutal, peasant power run riot with no restraint. He came from a desperately unhappy, impoverished and abusive background, similar to Stalin’s.
Doesn't it make you feel good that even after Saddam has been overthrown there are still people who feel that it was not worth it. They still insist that allowing Saddam to remain in power would be the lesser of the evils. I hope we never come under these peoples control. -------- TITLE:

Australia; Home Of The Uber-Lawyer.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/11/2003 04:46:00 PM ----- BODY: From Best of the Web, this tale of an Australian lawyer. She is the epitome of legal beagle, an attorney of attitude, someone that American lawyers can look up to and hope to emulate.
Herald Sun: Lawyer guilty of road rage abuse [09apr03]
A LAWYER who chased and abused two paramedics has been found guilty of offensive behaviour.
But Rosemary Brondolino had charges of reckless conduct endangering life, reckless conduct endangering serious injury and unlawful assault dismissed in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court yesterday. The court heard Ms Brondolino, 54, of Ivanhoe, followed an ambulance to the scene of a drug overdose in Peel St, Collingwood, angry that it had nearly caused her to have an accident.
She then yelled at the paramedics as they tried to treat a patient, demanding their names so she could make a complaint, the court heard.
Paramedic Joanne Selby told the court Ms Brondolino also tried to force open the back door of the ambulance to speak to her.
Maybe she should give seminars at various law schools in the U.S. -------- TITLE:

What Happens Next.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/10/2003 06:23:00 PM ----- BODY: There is still fighting in Iraq. There are still American troops in danger as well as Iraqis. The war is not over, but the end looks to be near. After the shooting has stopped is when the real test begins.
There is no military force in the world today that can stand against the Americans. Our forces always prevail when matters are decided by violence. As someone, I don’t know who, said; “Americans are the masters of applied violence.” This is true and there is nothing wrong or shameful about it, sometimes violence is what is called for. But after the violence comes the rebuilding. Not only of the physical structures destroyed, but the fabric of society and the framework of the government.
This is where we may be led astray. Now as our Army and Marines are spreading throughout Iraq, there are calls for America to turn the next phase, the rebuilding and reestablishment of the government phase, over to the United Nations. This would be a monumental mistake.
The United Nations is a bureaucracy without a master. When the UN goes into a country they give all the right reasons, but their actions reveal a different story. The UN has been in many countries for many years. I cannot think of one that they have left voluntarily. They come and set up “missions” and make decisions that affect the locals, but they bear no responsibility for the outcome. They come to try their pet theories and when they fail, they pick up and leave and are replaced by yet another “expert” that has a different theory that they want to try.
Many times they do not come to help. They come for their own reasons. It is good to be a big fish if the pond is small enough. It is the modern equivalent of the Victorians sending their young sons to colonies to rule the locals. As with the Hawaiian missionaries, “they come to do good and do very well indeed.”
Look at the history of UN governance. In Cambodia, site of one of the most horrific massacres of recent history, we had the UN going to help. They helped the Cambodian people by selling drugs and guns; They helped the Cambodian people by selling their daughters into prostitution; Some help.
The UN workers and NGOs did the same in Africa, Bosnia and Kosovo. Why would we want to let them do the same to the Iraqis?
America won this war against all the opposition from the “civilized” nations of Europe. The ones who had no problem enslaving people during their various reigns. Now they want America to stand aside and let the professional bureaucrats take over. They will not help the Iraqis set up government, they will convince them to follow their lead. Some among the UN people will make fortunes and disappear. Sometime in the future a report will be made that girls were sold, arms were smuggled, money disappeared and deals were cut. There will be no one to hold responsible, because fighting the UN bureaucrats is like punching smoke. They will issue some statements, deplore the actions of their former employees, transfer some workers to somewhere where they can exploit new people and go on with their mission, which is the continuance of their particular program. Nothing is done at a tremendous price and no one is happy.
If we allow the UN more than a supporting role, that is what will happen? Who will be blamed? Why, the Americans, of course. We will be the barbarians that destroyed Iraqi society and did nothing to repair it. The Americans will be known as the exploiters of Arabs and Muslims and that they not to be trusted. Our enemies and many of our sometimes friends will point and cry out; “We told you so.” The UN will do the damage but America will get the blame.
The Americans need to take charge and stay in charge, at least initially. A free Iraqi government needs to be set up. Equally important is a free Iraqi press. There needs to be a press with the adversarial role common in America but missing in much of the Arab world. Every government will have opportunists and outright crooks. The American government has them and the Iraqi government will have them. The important thing is to have a mechanism where they are detected and shown as what they are. The best instrument for doing this is a free press.
The Americans should stay. In Haiti, we invaded to help the country. Our Army and Marines flew in and after the takeover in Port a Prince, stood around and watched as the Haitian secret police attacked citizens and continued terrorizing the people. Why? Because there was no plan, no idea about what comes next. It was expected that at the sight of the American military, everyone would straighten up and do the right thing. That didn’t happen. It never happens.
There has to be a plan and there has to be accountability. In Haiti, the Americans landed, the killing (supposedly) stopped and the TV cameras went to look for a story elsewhere. After the TV cameras were gone, there was no one to keep an eye on things anymore. The new Haitian government, which was just as authoritarian as the old Haitian government, took over and things were back to where they were before, only with new U.S. approved faces. The people were just as poor, the government was just as bad, and the thugs changed their loyalty and things became more like they used to be than ever before. Because it was no longer a story for Dan Rather and Peter Jennings, it was over and nobody looked back.
In Iraq, the people have been under the control of a totalitarian government for thirty years. They have come to terms with it, the children have grown up with it, it has been accepted as a normal way of life for as long as many can remember. Many of the crowds cheering the troops are not particularly glad to see them because they bring uncertainty. Before, you knew who to trust and who to watch out for. Now, with the Americans, they don’t know, but they know that they should cheer the man in charge. This has been survival in Iraq for thirty years and for now it is the Americans that are in charge.
It is important to set up an interim Iraqi government, perhaps made up of returning exiles and vetted civilians. There is much to be done and quickly. A justice system must be reinstalled. Here it would be good to use the mullahs and village elders as much as possible. There must be a credible Iraqi law enforcement agency. Someone has to stop looting and direct traffic, not to mention arresting and re-imprisoning those criminals that actually prey on the people; the thieves, murderers and rapists that belong in prison.
There must be an agency, made up primarily of Iraqis, to gather the documents from the Baath party and secret police headquarters and start a process like the de-Nazification that was done in Germany after WWII. There are thousands of families that want to know what happened to their relatives and part of setting up the new society must be the exposure and punishment of those who participated in the oppression. The new Cambodian government has only prosecuted the Khmer Rouge leaders reluctantly or not at all. They claim that they want to heal the country after the depredations, but they only reinforce the idea that all their leaders are same, just some are more cruel that others. They all take care of one another, not the people.
There needs to be a school system. An Iraqi system but not a maddrass or using the vile teaching of the Palestinians or Saudis. A system that teaches reading and writing and not hatred of others. A school that Iraqi parents will be happy to send their children to. It may mean separate schools for boys and girls, at least initially. The UN and NOW may wail and cry, but it is their culture and they are the ones that have to live with it. Forcing drastic changes in their culture will win no friends. With work and a lot of luck, in time things will change, but they should change when the Iraqis want them to change.
The most important thing is to keep the UN out and the U.S. in. As long as the U.S. is there, the news people will be there and as long as the news people are there, things will be kept on the up and up. If the UN comes in, the news people leave and it becomes the same filthy swamp we have everywhere else. -------- TITLE:

UN Bureaucrats Try To Justify Their Existance.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/08/2003 07:47:00 PM ----- BODY: washingtonpost.com: Dispatches
VIENNA -- United Nations weapons inspectors must be asked to verify any test results indicating the existence of weapons of mass destruction n Iraq, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said on Tuesday.
Among a number of finds of suspect chemicals by U.S. forces in Iraq were 14 barrels discovered at an Iraqi military training camp on Sunday.
"Any test results would have to be verified by the United Nations weapons inspectors to generate the required credibility," Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told Reuters through a spokesman.
After all, look at the marvelous job they've done elsewhere. -------- TITLE:

Will Allowing The UN To Administer Iraq Win Us Friends?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/08/2003 06:33:00 PM ----- BODY: The latest hype is for the UN to take over from the US after the combat phase of the war is over. This is supposedly because we want to have world participation so it won't look like we are colonialists. There is pressure, primarily from "Old Europe" for the UNSC to take over even though France and other members did their best to prevent the Iraqis being freed at all. One of the first UN missions to look at is Cambodia. Another country whose people were allowed to be slaughtered because the Western powers didn't want to appear "insensitive".
Canadian officers abused Cambodians during UN mission
Documents show Canadian officers on the United Nation's mission to Cambodia physically and verbally abused Cambodians and were accused of running a prostitution and gun-smuggling ring
Cambodia Since April 1975
UNTAC proved incapable of supervising or controlling the "existing administrative structures" of the SOC administration. The SOC retained control of the government at all levels, including the national security apparatus. A campaign to harass and contain opposition political parties resulted in the deaths of more than 100 opposition political activists across the country in 1992-93.
Hooray for our "sensitive brethren in the UN. They sure showed how much we care about the Khmer people.
Then of course we have the marvelous things that the UN is doing in Africa.
Rebels threaten collapse of largest UN mission in Africa
UNITED NATIONS: Rebels clashed with United Nations peacekeepers on Saturday night on the outskirts of the capital of Sierra Leone, as the rebels advanced toward Freetown in an apparent attempt to attack it, UN officials said.
The crisis is becoming the most humiliating episode for the UN, whose troops have surrendered with little resistance, since Bosnian Serbs chained UN peacekeepers to bridges and military posts to deter NATO air strikes.
What do you think the UN will accomplish in Iraq?
Air Workers Trade Food For Sex
A report released this week by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees revealed that sexual exploitation of children by aid workers had become rampant in many West African refugee camps. Relief workers routinely demanded sex in return for items such as plastic sheeting, bars of soap or a few biscuits.
This is not an isolated instance of a few corrupt workers.
Institute for War and Peace Reporting
The United Nations mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina may face an investigation following charges that it sought to cover up media reports implicating its officials in selling women into prostitution. UN headquarters in Sarajevo has denied the claims but acknowledged that several members of its staff have been sacked for misconduct. Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has demanded an investigation and diplomatic sources have told IWPR that she may get one.
And you know that the French in particular only have the best interests of the local people in mind.
Kosovo telecom head accuses UN mission of corruption
The ousted head of Kosovo's telecom firm has accused the UN administration here of corruption following the signing of a deal to provide the Yugoslav province with a new mobile phone network.
Dida had staunchly opposed the signing of a mobile phone contract with the French firm Alcatel, arguing that a rival offer from German telecoms giant Siemens provided a better financial package.
So maybe they're right. Maybe we should turn post-war Iraq over to the "international community" but do not expect to gain any goodwill by doing so. All the corruption of the UN and NGO workers will reflect on the US, and we will be powerless to do anything about it because their sponsors in the UNSC will cover for them. -------- TITLE:

No Iraqi Links To Terrorists.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/07/2003 07:57:00 PM ----- BODY: US marines discover "PLF faction's bomb-making facility" in Iraq
US Marines in Iraq have discovered bomb-making facilities at a facility described as a training camp operated by the a faction of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), a military spokesman said Monday.
Bomb-making facilities, chemicals, mortars, gas masks and AK-47s were found inside the 20-building complex to the east of Baghdad, said Public Affairs Officer Corporal John Hoellwarth.
The complex, which was the size of a battalion headquarters, featured pictures of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, PLF faction leader Abu Abbas and the PLF's flag, Hoellwarth added.
Other photos included pictures of Abu Abbas posing with a brigadier general from Saddam's Republican Guard inside the camp.
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Truth In Spending.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/07/2003 05:24:00 PM ----- BODY: Sen. McCain, who is not my favorite person, is a bit of a grandstander. I have often thought his way of doing business as having more in common with the Democrats that with the GOP. That said, I must point to the enormous favor he has done everyone that cares to look with his amendment to S.762, The supplemental appropriations bill to support "Department of Defense operations in Iraq, Department of Homeland Security, and Related Efforts". Sen. McCain introduced and amendment (S.amdt.481) " To remove unauthorized and earmarked appropriations" from the spending bill. In other words, he wanted to strip away the "pork" that congressmen always try to slip into any appropriations bill. I'm sorry to say that it got voted down 38 yea to 61 nay. It is interesting to see whose fingerprints are on it, who it is that opposes cutting the pork. The Democrats who whine about the deficit, the Republicans that cry about government spending, or both? -------- TITLE:

ArabNews: Truth as Casualty

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/07/2003 12:17:00 AM ----- BODY: ArabNews: Truth as Casualty
We should know in the next 24 to 48 hours whether this war is going to last a long time or be over soon, whether US troops are going to be bogged down in an urban guerilla war, fighting for Baghdad street by street or quickly take the city. But if Basra is anything to go by, it will not be a drawn-out affair; the British now appear able to move in and out of the city, albeit with great risk. Iraqi resistance is collapsing in slow motion, more with a whimper than with a bang — and the information minister’s bravura propaganda performances cannot disguise that stark fact.
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Puzzling Advice.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/06/2003 08:42:00 PM ----- BODY: I'm not sure what to make of this editorial column in the Washington Post. On one hand they wonder whether the Iraqis will continue to welcome us or if they will start suicide bombings.Final Battles (washingtonpost.com)
Once the regime in Baghdad is destroyed, the central question facing the allies, apart from locating and eliminating weapons of mass destruction, will be whether the welcoming and cooperative spirit seen in some places, or the tenacious and even suicidal resistance encountered elsewhere, will prevail in postwar Iraq. That will depend in part on whether U.S. and British forces on the ground continue acting to minimize harm to innocent civilians, despite such challenges as suicide bombers who, in the most horrific incidents of last week, attacked checkpoints in vehicles loaded with pregnant women or small children.
This makes sense to me.
But then they segue into this bizarre advise that it also depends on whether the UN (read France) will run the postwar Iraq.
It will also depend on political decisions now being debated in the administration and among the allies -- particularly the question of whether Iraq's postwar administration will be imposed unilaterally by the U.S. military, or forged through a more open and inclusive process with the participation of the United Nations. President Bush would be wise to embrace the latter course. If the United States comes to be perceived as isolated in its occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, sustaining the incipient goodwill for its mission will be far harder, as will neutralizing those who would destroy that mission with suicide bombs.
I'm not sure, but I think the WaPo is saying that if France is not allowed to participate in a major way in postwar Iraq, that will encourage suicide bombers. I, along with many of my fellow Americans, are looking at France in a new light after their desperate fight in the UNSC to preserve Saddam's government. I know that in Vietnam many of the remaining French secretly aided the North Vietnamese government against the South Vietnamese and the Americans. In the last 50 years, the French have not built a reputation for selfless sacrifice. I don't understand why the WaPo is now holding them up as some type of paragon which we should emulate while at the same time implying that ignoring them will incense Iraqis to the point of suicide bombings. -------- TITLE:

"Arab Street" MIA Again.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/06/2003 07:46:00 PM ----- BODY: A Muslim World Torn (washingtonpost.com)
For Muslims throughout the world, the war in Iraq has set off a wave of anger, sadness, frustration and despair. What it hasn't done, so far at least, is produce a flood of jihadist recruits willing to die for President Saddam Hussein's cause, or a backlash strong enough to topple Arab governments with close ties to the West,
The Arab street was supposed to rise up when we invaded Afghanistan, but didn't. They were supposed to rise up when we invaded Iraq to depose Saddam, but didn't. Do you think this is going to keep the media from using the "Arab street" boogeyman in the future? Don't bet on it. -------- TITLE:

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraqi Minister Of The Twilight Zone.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/06/2003 04:32:00 AM ----- BODY: CNN.com - Iraqi official: U.S. lying about progress - Apr. 2, 2003
The minister also said that coalition forces were throwing booby traps in the form of pens and pencils into Iraqi villages and townships.
"The authority of the civil defense ... issued a warning to the civilian population not to pick up any of those pencils because they are booby traps," he said, adding that the British and American forces were "immoral mercenaries" and "war criminals" for such behavior.
"I am not talking about the American people and the British people," he said. "I am talking about those mercenaries. ... They have started throwing those pencils, but they are not pencils, they are booby traps to kill the children."
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Human Shield Fulfills His Purpose.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/06/2003 03:26:00 AM ----- BODY: Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian, U.S. Activist Hurt (washingtonpost.com)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli troops killed a Palestinian gunman who fired on a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on Saturday, the army said, and U.S. peace activist Brian Avery was severely wounded in the face in another incident.
Tobia Karlsson, a colleague from the International Solidarity Movement to Protect the Palestinian People whose supporters act as "human shields" in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, said he was standing next to Avery at the time.
Isn't that what "human shields" do? They're there to keep anyone else from getting hit by jumping into the line of fire and taking the bullet themselves. Apparently that's what he did.
Now if the other "human shields" would stop standing around in loud clothing and start jumping in front of bullets and bulldozers as they are supposed to, they might make a bigger impression. (Oh, in light of Rachel Corrie, that's insensitive, I'll try to do better.) I mean, they're supposed to be saving Palestinian gunmen from getting killed by Israeli soldiers by getting out there and letting themselves be killed instead. I've seen very little of that and am starting to doubt their sincerity.
Link from Emperor Misha -------- TITLE:

Bangladeshi Grandpas Coming To Teach Us A Lesson

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/05/2003 02:04:00 PM ----- BODY: Metropolitan
The Chairman of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad (BMS) yesterday at an anti-war rally declared that some 10,000 freedom fighters, who participated in the War of Independence of Bangladesh in 1971, have decided go to Iraq to fight guerilla warfare alongside the Iraqis against the US-British forces.
Do they really think that we're going to worry a lot about a bunch of 50 year old men that fought against Pakistan 32 years ago? -------- TITLE:

Can Anyone Name A Successful UN Operation?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/03/2003 08:05:00 PM ----- BODY:
Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) told Washington's European allies and friends Thursday the United States — not the United Nations (news - web sites) — must have the lead role in Iraq (news - web sites)'s postwar reconstruction.
Powell's comments clashed with the view in European capitals that the reconstruction of Iraq should be guided by the United Nations, not the United States or Britain, which went to war against Iraq on March 20.
We must stabilize Iraq and the region," said French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin. "The United Nations is the only international organization that can give legitimacy to this."
This is nothing but an attempt to cash in on the situation. I cannot think of any place that the UN has successfully managed the peace and reconstruction of. They are very successful in taking credit for American aid and getting sweetheart contracts with the new rulers.
There are two models for the post war period in Iraq. There is the post WWII American model and there is the bureaucratic nightmare of every UN managed mission since its inception. The UN just recently gave up on negotiations on Cyprus that have been going on since the 60's, UN workers in Cambodia and Bosnia are getting rich supplying girls to the highest bidder. Just what accomplishment can the UN point to since 1948 that shows that they should be handling this delicate matter? -------- TITLE:

Good Info For Active Duty Military.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/03/2003 05:38:00 PM ----- BODY: I'm retired Army but unlike most retirees I'm totally isolated from the service. I do not live near a base nor are there many other retirees in the area. I do keep in contact with another retiree that lives in the Atlanta, Ga area. He was the first NCO that I worked for on my first assignment out of Signal School in 1968 and he was my final Command Sergeant Major in Okinawa when I retired in 1989. He sends out e-mail to a group of people that he has got to know throughout his career. Today he sent one from the web site "CompanyCommand". This is a site for Company Commanders and First Sergeants and has excellent info on what's going on where "the rubber meets the road". Check it out. -------- TITLE:

That's Gotta Be A Big Blow To Saddam.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/01/2003 05:23:00 PM ----- BODY: Yahoo! News - Marines Capture Huge Iraqi Ammunition Depot
AS SAYLIYA CAMP, Qatar (Reuters) - U.S. Marines captured a huge ammunition depot in south-central Iraq (news - web sites) that included 40 warehouses, U.S. Central Command said on Tuesday.
The facility compared in size to the ammunition dump at Camp Pendleton in southern California, which is home to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said a Central Command statement from its war headquarters in Qatar.
This is really hitting them where they live. The Iraqis only have a finite amount of ammunition. They're having to fire it up as fast as the coalition but without the resupply. For all the bragging from Syria and the Palestinians, there isn't enough supplies getting through to make a whole hell of a lot of difference. Vast quantities of supplies is America's strong point, no one can outproduce us or match our ability to get the right stuff to the right place at the right time. -------- TITLE:

Isn't That What The "Shields" Are There For?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/01/2003 04:48:00 PM ----- BODY: BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq latest: At-a-glance
1100: Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf says several people were wounded when a US jet bombed two Iraqi buses carrying international volunteers, some of them American, who were operating as "human shields". There is no confirmation of this.
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We Armed Iraq? What "Everybody" Knows Isn't True.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/01/2003 04:37:00 PM ----- BODY: Times Online
Sir, I have often heard the claim that “we armed Saddam”. Thankfully A. H. Cordesman, in his 1998 report on the Iraqi military for the Center for Strategic & International Studies, has enlightened me.
In the key period between 1973-91 the US exported a mere $5 million of weapons to Iraq; more reprehensibly the UK sold $330 million-worth of arms. Of much greater interest are the arms export totals to Iraq of the four countries most against military action: Germany with $995 million, China $5,500 million, France $9,240 million, and the Russians a massive $31,800 million. So the claim that we armed Saddam has to be treated with a degree of care, particularly by those who would award the moral high ground in this debate to the leaders of nations such as Germany, France and Russia
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Richard Cohen Is Right And He's Wrong.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 4/01/2003 03:31:00 PM ----- BODY: Democracy Delayed (washingtonpost.com)
In about a week, the Bush administration has done in Iraq what the Johnson administration took more than a year to do in Vietnam: opened a credibility gap.
Richard Cohen is right about there being a credibility gap between the press and the administration over the Iraq War. He is wrong in that he is saying that it is the administration that can't be believed.
There is a credibility gap, but it is the press that is increasingly losing credibility. Yes, the war is not going a swiftly and easily as was hoped, but the ones that were promoting that view were not the military but the press. Increasingly I hear complaints about the coverage given, why are stories from the Iraqi press reported without comment and American's stories given a proctological exam before being grudgingly penned with numerous qualifiers. Why is the intentional use of civilians as shields by Iraqi troops are reported without any judgement regarding their humanity and dropped off the screen, but reports of civilian deaths or injuries that can be attributed to coalition troops are examined ad nauseam to the delight of our enemies.
Why does the U.S. government and especially George W. Bush automatically have to prove themselves time after time but France and Germany are accorded unfettered praise as being "internationalist" without anyone looking at their under the table dealings. The French violations of the UN sanctions and potential profit from sweetheart deals with Saddam give them great incentive to try to derail the U.S.
None of these things are examined in the "mainstream" press. The press is showing its biases like never before and people are starting to realize that those "right-wing" nuts actually had a point. There is a credibility gap, and it doesn't look good for the press.. --------