January 12, 2004
Palestinians Caught Funneling Stones To Iraqi Insurgents By Robert Krupto
Near the Iraqi-Syrian border: The CIA, in conjunction with the Iraqi Police (IP), seized a shipment of Palestinian stones yesterday as it came over the Syrian border into Iraq. The stones, which were in barrels marked "baby milk," were intended to be funneled to Iraqi insurgents, said a top IP commander.
Col. Lincoln Anderson, leader of the 101st Airborne which helped to intercept the stones, claimed that the seizure was a "major blow" to the Iraqi insurgents. "The Sunni Triangle is a relatively flat, stone-less place," he explained at a press conference following the raid," so the insurgents there had to resort to throwing blown-out tire parts, tin cans, and dead cats. None of those things could do half the damage of a well-thrown stone."
Col. Anderson gave a detailed explanation of the seized shipment: "The majority of stones are sharp, pointy ones, which could easily put an eye out. There was also a good amount of rounded, weighty ones, which could cause severe bruising if thrown from point-blank range. Surprisingly, there was a not-insignificant number of skipping stones [small, rounded, light stones], the exact purpose of which is unknown, given that there is virtually no skipable water in Iraq. These stones fall into the 'unknown unknowns' that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld spoke about, and have us most worried." When asked to speculate on the possible uses of skipping stones in war, Anderson said, "at this point, all I can say is that the Army Corps of Engineers is testing whether the stones may skip across sand, like water, and were thus intended to stealthily strike the shins of coalition soldiers."
The stone seizure has caused a diplomatic furor. President Bush took to the airwaves and announced that, "the seizure of rocks proves beyond a doubt that there is a connection between Palestinian and Iraqi terrorists. The excellent work of American intelligence establishment and the Iraqi Police ensures that coalition soldiers will not endure put-out eyes, bruises, and possibly crippled shins. The Iraqi insurgents' days are numbered, and their now stone-less-ness will only hasten their demise."
Yasser Arafat, in a speech in English later that day, claimed that he had no knowledge of the shipment of stones, and was against the throwing of stones at coalition soldiers. However, later that day he gave a speech in Arabic on Palestinian television, in which most observers claim that he made a veiled reference to the shipment when he said that, "they will never take the stones that swing between our legs."
Dominique de Villepin, the French ambassador to the United Nations, stated in a press conference that, "the French are unequivocally against the seizure of stones that fairly belong to the Iraqi people." He added that, "stones have many other uses besides throwing. They can be used to build houses, as a decorative element in fish tanks, or to line a walkway. There is no proof that these stones were intended to be thrown." When asked to explain the presence of skipping stones in the seized shipment, the French Ambassador said that, "it's not impossible to skip a stone across a river, you know? Maybe they were going to skip stones across the Euphrates, okay?"
Donald Rumsfeld then released a statement that, "while it may be possible to skip stones across a river, that makes little sense compared to the fun of skipping stones across a placid lake, which produces a nice ripple effect. There are no placid lakes in Iraq. Clearly the skipping stones were intended for something other than skipping, and it is the task of the United States to determine what that intent was. Again, we will have to do this without the French."
Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, agreed to hold a multinational forum on whether one could skip rocks across a river. Pending the outcome of that, he will then introduce a resolution denouncing either the "Palestinian's attempt to arm the Iraqi insurgents or America's possible misappropriation of Iraqi skipping rocks or decorative elements in aquaria." The forum is expected to begin to take shape in September 2009.
It is thought that the stones will remain under coalition authority and eventually be transferred to the Iraqi Governing Council.
If you enjoyed this satire by Robert Krupto, you can read more of his work at Broken Newz.
Summing Up Paul O'Neil In Two Words: Sour Grapes
I'm not going to spend too much time talking about Paul O'Neill's latest accusations against the Bush administration, because quite frankly, I consider them to be little more than sour grapes from a crybaby whose big ego couldn't take the indignity of being fired. But, I did want to address a couple of claims that are getting a lot of press.
First off, O'Neill claimed that he never saw any evidence of WMD,
"In the 23 months I was there, I never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of weapons of mass destruction. There were allegations and assertions by people."
Well, I'd say that's not terribly surprising given that he was the Treasury Secretary, not the head of the CIA or the Secretary of Defense. As Time quoted "a top Administration official" as saying,
"That information was on a need- to-know basis. He wouldn't have been in a position to see it."
Of course, he wouldn't "have been in a position to see it". O'Neil knows that too, but you don't get people to pay attention to your book by alleging the President spent too much time listening to what you had to say and not enough time asking questions.
Then there's this "startling revelation"....
"And what happened at President Bush's very first National Security Council meeting is one of O'Neill's most startling revelations.
�From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,� says O�Neil, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.
�From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime,� says Suskind. �Day one, these things were laid and sealed.�
As treasury secretary, O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked.
"It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying �Go find me a way to do this,�" says O�Neill. �For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.�
And that came up at this first meeting, says O�Neill, who adds that the discussion of Iraq continued at the next National Security Council meeting two days later."
Paul O'Neill, the book's author Ron Suskind, and all the other people in the know who are trying to act as if this is some sort of surprise should be ashamed of themselves for trying to mislead the public about the significance of this.
The implication here is supposed to be that the Bush administration planned to get rid of Saddam no matter what and just used 9/11 as an excuse. But, in reality, regime change in Iraq has been the official policy of the United States government since the Clinton administration. Furthermore, as Glenn Reynolds points out, George Bush openly said that he wanted to get rid of Saddam during the Presidential debates,
MR. LEHRER: With Saddam Hussein, you mean?
GOV. BUSH: Yes, and --
MR. LEHRER: You could get him out of there?
GOV. BUSH: I'd like to, of course, and I presume this administration would as well.
So to present this as "new" and "startling" information really shows how far O'Neil and for the matter the media covering this book are willing to go to try to stick it to Bush.
Oh...and how much chutzpah does it take to call a snarky hit piece on your former employer, "The Price of Loyalty"? It's like Jenna Jamison writing a book called "The Price of Celibacy" or Jayson Blair writing "The Price of Honesty". In any case, that's enough of Paul O'Neil's petty complaints. I don't think they're going to get much more traction anyway...
Howard Dean In Quotes
Here are some of my favorite quotes by and about Howard Dean so far. They go from outrageous to contradictory, grating to bizarre. I think when you look at them as a whole, you'll find they paint an unflattering picture...
"The Soviet Union is supplying much of the equipment that Iran, I believe, most likely is using to set itself along the path of developing nuclear weapons. We need to use that leverage with the Soviet Union and it may require us to buying the equipment the Soviet Union was ultimately going to sell to Iran to prevent Iran from them developing nuclear weapons. That is also a country that must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons much the key to all this is foresight. Let�s act now so we don�t have to have a confrontation which may result in force, which would be very disastrous in the case of North Korea and might be disastrous in the case of Iran." -- Howard Dean in a 2003 interview with Chris Matthews
"The French will always do exactly the opposite on what the United States wants regardless of what happens, so we're never going to have a consistent policy." -- Howard Dean in 1998
"I don�t think we could have built an international coalition to invade or have a substantial bombing of Saddam." -- Howard Dean Defends Bill Clinton bombing Saddam in 1998
"I thank God F.D.R. was my commander in chief in WWII. Had it been Howard Dean we would have not participated. This would have saved lives and none of us would have been wounded. Just one little problem: we would have lost our liberty and freedom." -- Bob Dole
"We got rid of him. I suppose that's a good thing." -- Howard Dean on Saddam
(When asked if the Iraqis were better off without Saddam Hussein) "We don�t know that yet." -- Howard Dean
"I think in general the ends do not justify the means." -- Howard Dean after we blew away Uday & Qusay Hussein
The capture of Saddam has not made America safer." -- Howard Dean
Losing & McGovern
"This 'security mom' thing is real. Women are even more hawkish than men. Until you can convince the voters that you, too, can keep the country safe, you don't get heard on the other stuff." Can Dean beat Bush? "Absolutely impossible." -- Jim Jordan, John Kerry's Campaign Manager
"A Dean nomination could again [mean] Democrats lose 49 out of 50 states." -- Mark Penn, Lieberman's pollster
""I told Steve McMahon, the media guy for Dean, who was on 'Crossfire': You have one of the three most influential presidential campaigns of my lifetime. That's the good news. The bad news is the other two are McGovern and Goldwater." -- James Carville
(9/11 & the aftermath will) �require a re-evaluation of the importance of some of our specific civil liberties. I think there are going to be debates about what can be said where, what can be printed where, what kind of freedom of movement people have and whether it's OK for a policeman to ask for your ID just because you're walking down the street." -- Howard Dean in Sepember of 2001
"[I]t was in many ways the most important event in my political life.' -- Howard Dean on Vermont's Civil Unions Law
"You cannot balance the budget and tell people you�re going to keep all these tax cuts. I am going to balance the budget, and I�m going to do it in the sixth or seventh year of my administration. We�re also going to have health care� (Crowd laughs) -- Howard Dean at a Democratic debate
"The most interesting theory I have heard so far, which is nothing more than a theory, I can�t think � it can�t be proved, is that [President Bush] was warned [about 9/11] ahead of time by the Saudis. Now, who knows what the situation is?" -- Howard Dean
"Dealing with race is about educating white folks." -- Howard Dean
(I want to be the)"candidate for "guys with Confederate flags on their pickup trucks" -- Howard Dean
"I believe that the flag of the Confederate States of America is a painful symbol and reminder of racial injustice and slavery which (Abraham) Lincoln denounced from here over 150 years ago" -- Howard Dean
"We have got to stop having the campaigns run in this country based on abortion, guns, God and gays." -- Howard Dean
"From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people." -- Howard Dean
"My view of Christianity ... is that the hallmark of being a Christian is to reach out to people who have been left behind. So I think there was a religious aspect to my decision to support civil unions." -- Howard Dean
"Dean himself moved from Episcopalian to Congregationalist "because I had a big fight with a local Episcopal church about 25 years ago over the bike path." He does not hesitate to reveal this information or to declare that he seldom goes to church." -- Robert Novak
"After hearing Dr Dean's observation, beginning with 'If you know much about the Bible - which I do', a reporter asked about his favourite New Testament book. Dr Dean named Job, adding, 'But I don't like the way it ends... in some of the books of the New Testament; the ending of the Book of Job is different... There's one book where there's a more optimistic ending, which we believe was tacked on later'.
The candidate returned an hour later to confess error: Job was in the Old Testament, not the New. Beyond that slip, his recollection of 'one book where there's a more optimistic ending' is muddled; the Book of Job in the Old Testament has an upbeat ending, with God doubling Job's former wealth and giving him new children for having sustained his piety through all his trials." -- William Safire describes Howard Dean's difficulties with Job.
Social Security Flip-Flop
"The way to balance the budget is for Congress to cut Social Security, move the retirement age to 70, cut defense, Medicare and veterans pensions, while the states cut almost everything else. It would be tough but we could do it." -- Howard Dean in 1995
"I would also entertain taking the retirement age up to 68." -- Howard Dean to NBC in June of 2003
"I have never favored a Social Security retirement age of 70 nor do I favor one of 68." -- Howard Dean in August of 2003
(I promise that I will) "repeal every dime of President Bush's tax cuts." -- Howard Dean
"Governor Dean would repeal all of the Bush tax cuts. And that would mean an increase in taxes on everybody, including the middle class and working families who don't deserve it now, can't take it, in fact need a break." -- Joe Lieberman on Howard Dean
"Dean not only advocates universal health insurance but also tells audiences that Vermont already has moved in that direction. . . . How to pay for this? Simple, says Dean. Roll back virtually all of President Bush's tax cut of 2001." -- David Broder
January 09, 2004
If You Say We're Raping Iraq, Why Aren't You Rooting Against Us?
"...Susan Block, a California sex therapist who hosts a syndicated radio show and HBO's "Radio Sex TV," wrote an April 15 column titled "The Rape of Iraq" for the antiwar Web site Counterpunch (www.counterpunch.org).
...The column used rather elaborate metaphorical language to compare the conquest of Baghdad to rape.
...On Oct. 22, Yeni Safak, an Islamic journal in Turkey, published an article that said "thousands of Iraqi women are being raped by American soldiers. There are more than 4,000 rape events on the record."
...The journal cited "Dr. Susan Block" as its source.
The U.S. Embassy in Turkey responded by condemning the Turkish journal for publishing "outrageous allegations based on a U.S. 'source' best known for her pornographic Web sites and erotic television program," according to the Globe.
Whatever the source, Ilyas Kuncak of Istanbul was enraged by the reports, according to his son, Nurullah Kuncak.
"Didn't you see? The American soldiers raped Iraqi women," the son told the Globe's correspondent in Istanbul. "My father talked to me about it. Thousands of rapes are in the records. Can you imagine how many are still secret?"
On Nov. 19, Ilyas Kuncak drove a car bomb into the Istanbul headquarters of the British bank HSBC, his suicide attack part of four separate al Qaeda-planned car bombings that also destroyed the British Consulate and two synagogues in Istanbul, killing 27 and wounding more than 400.
For her part, Miss Block says she is horrified and tells the Globe she never meant her charge of an American "rape" of Iraq to be taken literally: "I am appalled to be misquoted and even more appalled that the story inspired someone to such violence."
As the "Inside the Beltway" column I just quoted from mentioned, Susan Block DID NOT actually claim US soldiers were actually raping Iraqi women. However, I want you take a look at the opening of her column "The Rape of Iraq"...
"The supreme victory for the rapist is proof that his victim "enjoyed" it. Though he may force his way into her property, demolish her home, murder her loved ones, pillage her belongings, though he may terrify and humiliate her, beat and batter her, break her bones and tear her flesh, spill her blood, wound her organs and lay waste to her very soul, if, in the midst of the rape, between tears and shrieks of agony, if his victim should, for a moment, for some reason, any reason, if she should smile, or, better yet, orgasm, the rapist is redeemed; he is even (in his mind) heroic.
This is why, when the Anglo-American rape of Iraq began, we so desperately searched the Iraqi faces on our televisions for a smile. And that is why, when after three weeks of horrendous carnage, we finally got more than three Iraqis in one place to smile at our handsome invading army and help them to topple a statue of our mutual accursed enemy, we declared the war to be, virtually, over."
Now after reading that, I have to ask; Why is she "appalled that the story inspired someone to such violence"? I mean, she is morally comparing our invasion of Iraq in the most graphic of terms to a rape, right? Well, if let's say you happened to be walking through a park and you saw a rapist and his accomplices sexually assaulting a young girl, would you feel bad about pulling out a gun, ordering them away from the girl, and blowing one of them away if they refused? Sure, you might not feel good about taking a human life, but would it be wrong? No way, it would be the right thing, the moral thing to do in that situation. So again, given that Susan Block seems to view what we're doing in Iraq as the moral equivalent to rape, why is she "appalled that the story inspired someone to such violence"?
The people who toss around this sort of rhetoric, who compare Bush to Hitler, who claim we're no longer a Democracy, who say America wants to rule the world, and who allege that we're ravishing Iraq for empire, oil, and Haliburton should really understand that their words, albeit indirectly, may end up producing a bodycount if people take their arguments to their logical conclusions. I'm not suggesting in any way, shape of form, that people like Susan Block shouldn't be free to level their criticism, but I am saying that they should be a lot more cautious about tossing off this sort of incendiary rhetoric.
Why I Am A Democrat By David Burge
I sometimes hear the question, "Why are you a Democrat?" and frankly, I have to laugh. Laugh and laugh, because perhaps this person may tire of my laughing, and he will eventually wander off. Sometimes I ponder seriously when I hear this question, because I'll look around and around and there's nobody there asking the question. Why am I a Democrat?
I am a Democrat because I believe everyone deserves a chance. And if necessary, a second chance. And if, by the eighth or ninth chance, this guy needs another chance, I mean, come on. This guy is due.
I am a Democrat because I believe in helping those in need. All of us, you and I, have an obligation to those less fortunate. You go first, okay? I'm a little short this week. (Cont)
Birthday On Monday
I just wanted to let all of you know that like Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh, I have a birthday coming up on Monday. So Richard Mellon Scaife, if you're out there and were just waiting for an opportune time to give me $60,000 so I can go full time on RWN for a couple of years, this is the time to act!!!
As far as the rest of you go, I don't want to say that you're a Noam Chomsky lovin', commie sympathizer who probably wants to go live in a commune in France, but I'm pretty sure that people like that won't be heading over to the support section and chipping in any money or buying me any gifts. So draw your own conclusions...
A One Word Definition For Wesley Clark
When I heard that Wesley Clark said this...
"If I'd been president, I would have had Osama bin Laden by this time."
...I chalked it up to mere arrogance. But, after this...
"Asked whether the current administration is doing enough to keep the country secure, Clark said he would increase homeland security efforts.
He added: "But if you're asking me, as a citizen, you know, should you be worried about this, I'm going to tell you, you should not be worried about this. And if I'm president of the United States, I'm going to take care of the American people. We are not going to have one of these incidents.
"I think the two greatest lies that have been told in the last three years are: You couldn't have prevented 9/11 and there's another one that's bound to happen."
...I don't believe you can just call this conceit. Anyone who actually believes that they can guarantee that there isn't going to be another 9/11 if they're elected President could better be decribed as...
1) A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
2) An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions
Now I think I have a good idea of why Clark was so disliked in the military.
© copyright 2001-2003 John Hawkins
Design & Various Scripts by Nicole Baker