Monday, September 29, 2003

Clifford D. May on Joe Wilson on National Review Online 

Clifford D. May on Joe Wilson on National Review Online

How can you divulge a secret that is not a secret?

Obviously "Mrs. Wilson" aka Valerie Plame showed the world her panties long before anyone lifted her skirt. At least according to Clifford May.

I think a more important question is that of Mr. Wilson's credibility and personally I would ask how much of this brouhaha over Mrs. Wilson is a distraction tactic?

What is Mrs. Wilson's actual job and job status? Is she an agent? An analyst? Undercover because of requirement or undercover because of preference.

If an analyst maintains a cover for convenience and not necessity, is it the same as divulging an agent who maintains a cover as a necessity? Is it still unlawful to divulge a a CIA employee who does not need to maintain secrecy? Personally I would like to have those questions answered.

I have a problem trying to convince myself that this whole scenario is more than just a distraction or a smoke screen for something else.

".Obviously there are legitimate questions on why Mr. Wilson was chosen and by whom. Also Mr. Wilson's "intentions" versus his "orders" is suspect if you take into consideration his public positions on th ecurrent administration and its policies. Did Mr. Wilson investigate the charge that Iraq was attempting to purchase uranium from Niger to the best of his ability with an unbiased view for searching out the truth? I doubt that if there wasn't "something" to feed the fire these questions would have been answered and put to rest . But they have not, they are as pertinent today as when they were first asked. If you consider that the British have not changed their story on this subject, even under extreme political and public pressure.

Obvisouly both cannot be correct accounts.

There are also legitimate questions on what would be the value of leaking Valerie Plame's CIA connection? Who would benefit and why?

Mrs. Wilson would not be discredited if the connection would be known. No, at the most her field work would end and she would be ineffective.

Mr. Wilson, would the fact that his wife worked for the CIA as "something" concerned with WMD hurt the credibility of his report or help it? No, if anything it would perhaps add some credibility.

Karl Rove, Why would he risk leaking such information? It doesn't "damage" either of the Wilsons except that it would limit Mrs. Wilson's ability to go undercover ever again. The damage of such a move would be much more dangerous to Rove than any payback I can think of.

Why would Clifford May assert that he was aware of Mrs. Wilson's CIA staus prior to the incident? By admitting that fact he is leaving himself wide open to investigation and censure.

Why would two anonymous top White House officials call multiple reporters offering a piece of information...O wait! "Why would two anonymous White house officals (drop the top)...oh wait..."Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this," Novak said on CNN's "Crossfire,"

(last three links courtesy of On the third hand

What was that line from the movie "Basic"? Something about "telling the story right".

Religion Archive :: Hilla University redefines religious education :: The Independent Voice of Iraq - IRAQ TODAY 

Religion Archive :: Hilla University redefines religious education :: The Independent Voice of Iraq - IRAQ TODAY

This is where the true value of Iraq lies. This type of effort should be model for the future of the mid-east.

Whomever said Iraq was only valuable for it's oil needs to look a little bit closer.

FOXNews.com - Top Stories - Audiotape Accuses U.S. of Trying to Abolish Islam 

FOXNews.com - Top Stories - Audiotape Accuses U.S. of Trying to Abolish Islam

Al-Jazeera (search) spokesman Jihad Ballout told The Associated Press the station received a telephone call from an unknown person saying they had a recording "that is of concern to you." Ballout would not say when the call was received.

He said the station would broadcast only portions of the tape. Al-Arabiya appeared to have aired more of the tape, which it said it "obtained" but did not explain how.

Editor-in-chief Salah Nejm told the AP that the station received the tape shortly before they broadcast it Sunday. He would not comment on where and how the station obtained the tape.

He said that they only showed "parts that have news value."

If true then is Aljazeera becoming more responsible for their content? Naw, I didn't think so...
Alhazeera's article on Taliban tape urges resistance

Drew Carey Performs at Base in Iraq 

FOXNews.com - Foxlife - Drew Carey Performs at Base in Iraq

A bow for Drew and company....Thankyou

Rarely do I feel that the media attempts to tell the story fairly 

Aljazeera.Net special report on Baath party

A nice short report on the Baath party and it's history. Aljazeera "could" have written this report with extreme bias, but they did not. (At least not overtly...) They could have left out the "alledged" connection of the U.S. with the failed assasination attempt that Saddam was involved in. And if they feel it is necessary to leave it in, they may want to balance it with examples of other countries attempting to manipulate Iraqi politics.

What I do wish Aljzeera would do is report on more than just the negative in Iraq. I have yet to see them write an article on what is going well in Iraq.

Aljazeera is still biased overall, but occasionally individual articles show more balance.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Tis the season...Iraqi football! 

soldiers teach Iraqi orphans American style football

The boys puzzled over the unfamiliar ball which is carried and thrown, not kicked along the ground as in soccer, Iraq's national sport.

"It's a tougher game," said Mushtaq Zeki, 11.

The children were shown how to hold and throw a football and kick from a tee and raced each other cradling a ball. Some tried to dribble it soccer-style or lost interest and wandered off to play or do somersaults on their own.

The orphanage's director Amira Hassan al-Sharaf said the outing was welcome and helped create closer ties, but relations would be even better if the United States fulfilled its promise to help draft a constitution and create a new government.

This is so frustrating. The news services take an upbeat, feel good story and turn it negative.

Dear Reuters and Amira Hassan al-Sharaf ,

The United States has promised to help, not do it for the Iraqis. Why do I not hear any one asking why the Iraqis have not written a constitution or created a government.

Isn't it about time we asked the Iraqi people why they haven't accomplished these tasks? American efforts have given you a clean slate to accomplish this...So what is the holdup?

Friday, September 26, 2003

Come one, come all! Jump on the bandwagon, there's plenty of room! 

Russian cards

I'm waiting for the commemorative set from Liechtenstein....

Fish tales 

John Edwards

"I swear it was THIS BIG!"


"No way! are you sure it wasn't more THIS SIZE?"

(pictures from the Washington Post)

Thursday, September 25, 2003

More Bad Behavior 

More Bad Behavior...But by who?

Ah, the fever is catching. It is now "in vogue" to slam American's and especially President Bush. Even when reporting or writing an opinion piece on sports.

Now, according to Starr quote:
Because when it comes to international athletics, we Americans far too often prove to be the jerks of the world: the drug cheats, the poor losers, the tantrum-throwers, the kings (not as often the queens) of bad sportsmanship and unseemly litigation. If it distresses you that much of the rest of the world views President Bush as the perfect symbol of American arrogance and bad behavior, well … that view is mirrored and then some in athletics. In politics and war, such a perspective on this country is, at the very least, debatable. In sports, it is pretty much regarded as gospel.

ummm...Remind me to go back and see how many back articles I can find about those soccer players that had a downright nasty temper tantrum and some of the other shenanigans that go on in international circles. You know I won't be able to find any in the current media. If it isn't American and bad, they do not want to speak of it.

Dickey doo doo, Now THAT'S a mess 

Dickey fighting back

Dickey's talking fast and furious defending his position.

Again with the "mess" word. What is it with these media types?

This just reinforces why I believe the alliance is right in it's quest . (I learned about it at On the third hand)

The Clark Critique 

Clarks' book and his claims

I think the most disturbing thing about Clarks claim of foreknowledge, is that he supposedly was able to simply walk into the Pentagon, discuss classified information about supposed future military operations and just walk out. Not as an active duty general...But as a private citizen.

What is wrong with this picture and why isn't anyone one making a stink about it?

Number one, if Clark's claims are true, does that not leave the very large problem of unauthorized access to sensitive data?

If the security of the Pentagon has not been breached by Clark, then Clark's claims are false and he is lying.

Another twist on this is that Clark was only given bits and pieces of information which he wove into an interpretation not based on actual fact, but on his own imagination.

Truthfully? I don't know which senario is the most dangerous.

Hand me the deep conditioner Honey....We have been spliting hairs again. 

Powell tries to explain 2001 remarks on Iraq

"He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq, and these are policies that we are going to keep in place,"

A Democratic congressional aide dug out his remarks this week and has circulated them to the media.

Asked why he changed his assessment, Powell said: "I didn't change my assessment... I did not say he (Iraqi President Saddam Hussein) didn't have weapons of mass destruction."

"He was a threat then. The extent of his holdings were yet to be determined. It was early in the administration and the fact of the matter is it was long before 9/11 (the date of the 2001 attacks on the United States)," he added.

There is no "tries" about it....The situation with Iraq has been a developing not a stagnant issue. Powell did not in his remarks say that Saddam did not have capability. He simply stated what he had been informed of at that moment in time.

This is simple straight forward political back biting.

I'm still wondering why Reuters believe it is noteworthy?

another warning shot over the bow! 

French deck

...and the French are "surprised" and cannot understand why American citizens have yet to soften their stance towards France?

I can just see Chiarc in his little Napolean costume....another round of freedom fries please.

The mess with a plan or the plan with a mess...Or none of the above? 

Rumsfeld "Beyond Nation Building"

Everybody and their brother in the blog world is discussing Rumsfeld's article this morning. Most of them have concentrated on identifying America's "plan" for Iraq within its text. Oh the plan is there all right, outlined, yet vague enough to frustrate those who would undermine it and flexible enough to allow for any eventualities that may occur.

What I found interesting is what Rumsfeld had to say about the UN's involvement in nation building.

A foreign presence in any country is unnatural. It is much like a broken bone. If it's not set properly at the outset, the muscles and tendons will grow around the break, and eventually the body will adjust to the abnormal condition. This is what has happened in some past nation-building exercises. Well-intentioned foreigners arrive on the scene, look at the problems, and say, "Let's go fix it for them." Despite the good intentions and efforts of the international workers, there can be unintended adverse side effects. Because when foreigners come in with solutions to local problems, it can create dependency. Economies can remain unreformed, distorted and dependent. In some instances, educated young people make more money as drivers for international workers than as doctors or civil servants.

For example, East Timor is one of the poorest countries in Asia, yet the capital is now one of the most expensive cities in Asia. Local restaurants are out of reach for most Timorese and cater to international workers, who are paid 200 times the average local wage. At the city's main supermarket, prices are reportedly on par with those in London and New York.

Or take Kosovo. A driver shuttling international workers around the capital earns 10 times the salary of a university professor, and the U.N. administration pays its local staff between four and 10 times the salary of doctors and nurses. Four years after the war, the United Nations still runs Kosovo by executive fiat, issuing postage stamps, passports and driver's licenses. Decisions made by the local elected parliament are invalid without the signature of the U.N. administrator. And still, to this day, Kosovar ministers have U.N. overseers with the power to approve or disapprove their decisions.

Our objective is not to create dependency but to encourage Iraqi independence, by giving Iraqis increasing responsibility, over time, for the security and governance of their country. Because long-term stability comes not from the presence of foreign forces but from the development of functioning local institutions. The sooner Iraqis can take responsibility for their own affairs the sooner U.S. forces can come home.

If you combine Rumsfeld statements with Bush's UN speech from the 23 rd along with Annan and Chirac's animosity with the UN's latest decision to pull out.

I start to wonder if it isn't for the best (actually I know it's for the best) and if there wasn't some Machiavellian manipulation going on.

But consider for a second. If the UN actually has altruistic motives for its operations. Then why are they still controlling Kosovo? Why do they not hand over power? Who is profiting from the UN's involvement there? Why didn't they do something about Iraq when after decades the sanctions did not appear to work? What and who actually benefits from programs? Why not work to fix the problem so the sanctions could be lifted and Iraq could function as a healthy economy.

Who profits from the mismanagement of countries?

The UN should be answering some very "uncomfortable" questions.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

"Mess? What mess...." 

My son didn't want go to war

...But he volunteered to stay behind to do clean up???? If he didn't want to go then why did he stay when he didn't have too? (What is wrong with this picture?)

The article is a full out leech feeding frenzy.

I get so tired of reading blatant emotionalism from the media. They find a mother who is grieving for a son who was killed in a mine cleaning accident to interview and "bled" emotionalism all over the article. Her son died not of an engagement with hostile forces, but an accident. Something that could have happened anywhere he was stationed and fulfilling the job of cleaning up mines. It could have been Afghanistan or any other legitimate area of operation.

The job has inherent risks. Being in the military has inherent risks. People who volunteer to serve in the military must be prepared to accept those risks.

The BBC and Ms. Bradach are not the only ones who have taken to bandying the word "mess" around in connection with Iraq. Aljazeera's article on the Bush/Schroeder reconciliation used it also.

Talk about a word with a negative connotation..."Mess", nobody likes a mess, because that intimates someone has to clean it up. In the BBC, Ms. Bradach's and Aljazeera's case they prefer it to not be the U.S. holding the reigns of the clean up. No surprise there, leaving the U.S. in charge certainly wouldn't advance certain adgendas would it?

Now I maintain it really isn't a mess. How can I do that? By listening to the people, not the media. Reports from the soldiers, Iraqis (those without ulterior motives) and other people who have been on the ground and face to face with the situation.

A mess, well folks, cleanup and nation building isn't like the computer programmed, multi-tasking, database driven world of today. It's more like the parchment and quill world of yesterday. Patience, perserverence, complexity and attention to detail. An art. It's labor and time intensive, but when done well it can be a beautiful thing.

And as far as I'm concerned anything less than "doing it right" is a disservice to the men and women who have fought, died and sacrificed to give Iraq a chance. The men, women and children of Iraq deserve better than "half measures". Our men and women in the military deserve better than half measures. To walk away from the "mess" at this point would be to make a mockery of everything that has lead up to this point.

While it would probably make those who hate or disagree with Bush or the U.S. happy to see all we have accomplished come to naught, I have always hated wasted efforts and wish to see it to the end.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

adding titles 

I'll figure more out tommorrow...enough is enough

Good night Winifred.

adding comments 

I am attempting to add a comemnts section, lets see if it worked. Now if I can just remember how to use the spell check! It's "comments!!!!"
Hang with me folks I'm attempting to change how things look around here and I think I'm screwing things up.

Note to myself...Find someone who can tell me what the heck to do!!!!! I've a hyperlink by my name yet I haven't the slightest idea how to connect it up? I better get to work figuring out where I change that and how. I know it's in the template someplace.(sigh) If your electricity goes out or your hairdryer doesn't work....Don't blame me, at least I don't think what I'm playing with will affect anything else. If it goes black in here you know I did something really stupid.
David Adesnik dissects the NYT and WaPo UN articles

Very good, give it a read. I found this throughOutside the beltway

It ties right back into what Aljazeera failed to do, they failed to look at both sides, compare it to the facts (or transcripts) and report on what "actually" occurred.
I attempt to listen to all sides of a situation so that I can understand it better. So I have started reading along with my normal glut of news sources the Aljazeera website.

But some days...the coverage is so blatently one sided. Today for example after they were banned for two weeks from broadcasting in Iraq.

Personally I agree with the decision. Consequences Aljazeera...consequences...if you allow yourself to be used for relaying battlefield information, then you can expect to be considered a dangerous target.

Freedom of speech Arab style

If Saddam and Bin Laden used weblogs to convey instructions to their followers, Aljazeera wouldn't be in this mess.
Annan's speech covered by Aljazeera

But not a word of Bush's speech reported?

Since Bush is, at this moment in time, a very important person in the mid-east situation, Don't you think someone from the Arab newspaper would think it important to publish what Bush said?

But then...that would be reporting both sides...(egads!!!!) where would we be without bias??? How could we ever influence the mindset of our readers if we gave fair coverage to all sides of the debate.
Aljzeera's article on Clark

Aljazeera and General Jello Clark...

Could Aljazeera ask for a better puppet? I can see it now, full scale backing for Clark from the Arab news service. Why? for several reasons...a couple of examples you ask? Well,

1. He's not Bush
2. Clark will say the darnedest things

Now anytime I hear Clark mention he has learned of controversial secret intel from an unnamed source, I always have to wonder...Is this source any relation to the think tank source from Clark's CNN days?

Robert Novak's article on Clark


"Since retiring in 2000, Clark has not been less contentious. Secretary of State Colin Powell was furious that a fellow four-star general in his CNN commentary would criticize U.S. strategy in Iraq, without much information and with the war barely underway. Clark attributed one comment to a Middle East "think tank" in Canada, although there appears to be no such organization. After claiming that the White House pressured CNN to fire him, Clark later said, "I've only heard rumors about it." "

Rumors...Now that's the problem isn't it? Who is spreading what "rumors" for whose benefit.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Excuse me while I check out the new digs. I'm not really sure how this all works, but I'll give it a try.

It seems that blogging has definately caught on and become very popular. While I used to enjoy message boards and the give and take of those exchanges, I've found myself drawn to the concept of the blog and a place all my own where I can attempt to express myself and my views on life.

It should be an interesting experiment.

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