Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Open Letter

Open letter to the brave men & women of the U.S. Armed Forces and their Coalition and Iraqi partners:

Many of you are probably getting wind of a lot of the nasty rhetoric coming from the United States Senate lately. I'm sure you're concerned about the effect of this rhetoric on the average American and his or her support for your mission.

First of all, let me just say that Senators Kennedy and Durbin are not only embarrassments to their party, they are embarrassments to this great nation. Please disregard their posturing and negative rhetoric. We do. Most Americans know that they are simply trying to position themselves for the next political race. While many of us dislike their nastiness, we now simply ignore it. We put no stock in what these pompous windbags have to say anymore. Most of us wish they would resign from the Senate or be censured for their treasonous disregard for your safety during wartime.

There is a sense here among intelligent Americans that some "left-overs" from the Vietnam era are trying to turn the war against Islamo-fascism into another Vietnam. I'm sure you're concerned that these old leftists will break the American spirit. Let me set this straight for you: Many of us, myself included, have grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers, sons who were mistreated on their return home from that war -- a war that was lost when people, in very much the same fashion as Kennedy and Durbin, broke the American will to win. Many Americans are well aware of what happened to our loved ones when they returned home from Vietnam; we have vowed never to let it happen again. America and her coalition partners are in this to win; we support you and the brave Iraqis in freedom's mission.

Even though the "mainstream" media in the United States reports only the bad news from the war, many Americans are able to stay up-to-date on the positive developments in Iraq using alternative news sources. We see what you are doing for the good people who have suffered under the yoke of tyranny for 30 years. We know that what you are doing will keep us safe on our own soil in the long run. We understand that it may be a long, tough war against Islamo-fascism and terrorism. Please know that your country is behind you; those of us who cannot be there to fight beside you in person are there with you in the sand and heat of Iraq in spirit. Your courage, determination, and patriotism are admired and appreciated by all Americans.

Be proud of your achievements on behalf of all liberty loving Americans. We are proud of you. We stand with you 100%. We pray for your safe return home when victory is won. We will welcome you home with pride; home, where we can shake your hand and thank you in person for your courage and sacrifice.

With utmost respect, admiration, and thanks,

Dawn McCurry
Average American
Louisville, Kentucky

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Make your Reservation Today!

I'm calling ahead now to reserve the Revengeis suite for a long weekend before they start construction on the Lost Liberty Hotel. Thanks for the heads-up, Drudge. I'm sure this hotel will be booked year-round well in advance. It's bound to produce lots of great revenue for Weare, New Hampshire.

Backstage Pass, Anyone?

According to PowerLine, Live 8's Geldof is looking for a few good bloggers to blog from backstage at Live 8 then take a plane trip with the Live 8 bunch to Scotland for the G8.

Short notice (July 2nd event) but, if you are interested, email for more details. Cool, no?

49ers Training Film

Having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 17 years, I was shocked that a training film done for the 49ers created such a hubbub. Although, I guess I should have known that the bastion of Liberal diversity and tolerance would be home to folks who would want to squelch creativity in an effort to remain "politically correct." No surprise there, really.

I ran across the film today online. The acting stinks but the messages delivered in the film were delivered creatively and probably got the attention of the players. If you intend to view it, please be advised that there is some strong language and some nudity.

The team's Director of Public Relations, Kirk Reynolds, is looking for employment elsewhere these days. Maybe he should look for work in a Red State where we have a great sense of humor and are tolerant of creativity.

C'mon Bay Area... where's your sense of humor? Where's your tolerance for diversity in the world of ideas?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Kadnine Makes Top Fold of the C-J

A very nice article was published today in the Louisville Courier-Journal about local bloggers. Our friend, Kadnine, made the photo in the top fold today and veteran blogger, Dodd, was quoted:

"A blog can be a driver of news or something completely divorced from anything other than what six people will care about," said Louisville lawyer Dodd Harris, who edits a respected blog about conservative politics called Ipse Dixit , which is Latin for "Because I say so."

Nice job, fellas!

Blogger Bash Recap

I am pleased to say that the Louisville Blogger bash on Friday night was a total blast! Thanks for putting it together, Rob! It was a true treat to visit with my favorite local bloggers: Dodd (Ipse Dixit), Keith (Kadnine), and Aaron (Got Design). I also met Rob (Business Pundit) and Veronica (B-Net) for the first time.

These folks are non-stop interesting in person and a few of us didn't wind down until close to midnight. Although 15 bloggers were expected, only about six or so showed for the shindig. That was just fine with me as all my favs showed up. I find it interesting that, of those attending, the majority of us are Conservative political bloggers.

After a number of beer-soaked conversations with Lane (spelling?), Keith's wife, I'm convinced that she should be blogging too. We had some extremely intriguing philosophical conversations. She could probably hold her own in the blogosphere as she certainly had me going on the topic of meritocracy.

Dodd certainly wins the award for the most jokes; he and Keith tag-teamed for the most repulsive jokes. Gee thanks, guys... Sure hope we can do it again soon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Take Back the Memorial

I can't believe that anyone is unaware of this by now, but if you haven't heard what the Libs are trying to do to the Memorial at Ground Zero, PLEASE read all about it ASAP. The best round-up on this issue is at Cox & Forkum. Once you've caught up on this disgrace, visit Take Back the Memorial's website. I signed the petition today. I hope you'll do the same.

It's time to stop this madness of blaming the victim for the crime. Even Libs will defend a woman's right to wear a mini-skirt against claims that she was raped because she was dressed provocatively; evidently not a single Lib will defend America's right to exist against the jihadists' claim that 3,000+ innocent civilians were slaughtered because America exists.

Where have all the flowers gone, Libs?... Hypocrites.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Yep, it's still there...

I find myself wondering if somehow or another the Libs have managed to remove the Article pertaining to treason in the US Constitution. I am perplexed to find it still there: Article III, Section 3. Interesting... I wonder why it's still there if we are determined never to use it. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even *I* can think of a couple of good candidates for charges under Article III, Section 3. Can't you?

Help Wanted: Tutor for Congress

I won't beat a dead horse -- I had simply posted a little tongue-in-cheek blurb about this; however, now I'm royally miffed! Michelle Malkin has done a great round-up of the Durbin flack. If you haven't read it, please do; you'll get a nice summary. Take some action after reading it; trust me you'll feel better for having done so.

Unfortunately, the RINO John McCain (R-AZ) has now joined the other ill-informed senators and stepped over the line with his comments about Gitmo. Combined, Durbin and McCain have provided more aid and comfort to our enemies than I can remember since Fonda and Vietnam.

This is getting way out of hand and needs to stop. If John McCain truly thinks that we need to try the detainees at Gitmo, I think he'd better get a grip on reality. For example, would McCain have wanted to be tried by the Vietcong when he was a POW? I'm sure he was threated with that very thing many times. Does he not understand that we are holding these people at Gitmo as "enemy combatants?" Not quite the equivalent of POWs but they are not being held for trial. They are being held to prevent them from re-joining their comrades in jihad against our soldiers. DUH, McCAIN!! Get a grip on yourself. We negotiate the release of detainees after the end of a war; we don't try them. We try war criminals AFTER the war is over and not one minute before. Where are the level-headed grown-ups? Who's in charge of the daycare center we call Congress anyway?! Can we hire a history and civics tutor for these dolts??

Sheessh. I've done some poking around in an effort to find the comments of McCain as I heard them on two different radio shows today. When I find them, I'll post them. Take a slug of Pepto Bismol first though... you're going to need it.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day, All!

As Father's Day is now upon us, I think it's worth remembering that Father's Day isn't just a time to honor our dads. It's a good time to give thanks for the blessings embodied in the fathers and grandfathers we have been fortunate to have in our lives. Without them we may not have learned to build and fix things, deal with novelty and frustration, and roughhouse with each other in a playful way.

We are biologically geared to traditional parental roles. Regardless of how many efforts are made to "equalize" the roles and responsibilities, I certainly hope the Liberal loons in our society don't suceed in emasculating our traditional Dads. Steven E. Rhoads, author of "Taking Sex Differences Seriously" (now out in paperback), did an excellent piece on this very thing called "What Fathers Do Best."

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads, Grand-Dads, and Great-Grand-Dads!

Most of all, Happy Father's Day to my dad --
Dad, you did what fathers do best.
Thanks for all you've done and all you do that makes us a fun, smart, solid, and loving family.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Bustin' a Move instead of a Perp

I can't tell for sure from the video but I don't think this officer is from the LMPD. Although, I wouldn't bet on it... I am still chuckling. Thanks, officer!

Link between Hezbollah and Al Qaeda

Never in my wildest imagination did I think I'd run across an enlightening article on the Islamo-fascist terrorist problem in Readers Digest! But, oddly enough, I did just that tonight. I'm still scratching my head...

Kenneth R. Timmerman has written an article called "As Bad as Bin Laden" for Readers Digest. I wish I could link you directly to the article but Readers Digest is counting on subscriptions and they only publish the first part of the article online. Sooooooo, I've turned up the next best thing: another article that highlights the same information. The Iranian Voice has published similar information (likely based on Mr. Timmerman's research).

The gist of which is that Bin Laden learned what he knows about terrorism (and was likely aided in his efforts on 9/11) by a master terrorist known as Imad Mugniyah of Hezbollah infamy. Read the Iranian Voice information. Al Qaeda and Hezbollah have been working together for some time now. Mugniyah is still lurking. Most likely he is behind some of the damage being done in Iraq right now.

Google the name "Imad Mugniyah" and follow the links. His is a long history of terrorist activity that surfaced for us here in the States with the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beruit in the 1980s. This war against Islamo-fascism has, so far, only scratched the surface. We have miles to go before we sleep, my friends.

(My thanks to Mr. Timmerman for bringing this article to Readers Digest and eventually to my eyes. Sorry for going around your original article to get the info out, Mr. Timmerman. I deal only in the free info online.)

Friday, June 17, 2005

He puts the Rat in Ratner...

Thanks to David Horowitz's Frontpage Magazine, a glaring spotlight is being shined right in the face of anti-American attorney, Michael Ratner.

Michael Ratner is a lawyer who began his legal career in the late 1960s at the National Lawyers Guild, a Soviet created front group which still embraces its Communist heritage. He worked his way up through the NLG’s radical ranks to become its president, then moved on to hold the same position at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which share's the NLG's anti-American radicalism and was founded by pro-Castro lawyers Arthur Kinoy and William Kunstler. Among its many outrages, the CCR has defended domestic and international terrorists, and has honored Ratner's NLG colleague and convicted terrorist enabler Lynne Stewart, a modern Legal Left idol. Since 9/11, Ratner and his comrades have attempted to extend undeserved “civil rights” on Islamist murderers with notable success. On this front, Ratner and the Legal Left have dealt America its few setbacks in the War on Terror.

Read the entire article. It's enlightening. If we are to win the War on Islamo-Fascism, we first need to defeat the enemy within.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I Need a Vacation!

I have been browsing the brochure for Club Gitmo. Looks fabulous! I wonder if I'll have to wear a burqa there though... how's a gal supposed to get a tan?!

Thanks, Rush! You have made me laugh more this week than I can remember ever laughing over the absurdity of the Left. You're da bomb, baby!!

Open Love Letter

Open love letter to Dickie Durbin and Dr. "Foot in Mouth" Dean:

As a single Conservative female, I've got to tell both you to keep up the good work for the GOP. If you weren't taken already, I'd be snuggling up to give you big, warm Compassionate Conservative hugs! I mean, keep talking fellas! With every new snippet of your wisdom, I am more in awe of your political prowess. You are filling our ranks faster than ever. I have you to thank for the many comments I've heard from Dems about the loss of dignity in their party. Seriously, they are now pondering joining our team. You are turning me on, boys! The more you talk, the bigger grow the Conservative ranks. Bigger and bigger. Size matters, guys, and I can't thank you enough! It's amazing what you fellas can do! Keep up the good work, Dickie and Dr. Dean. This Conservative gal is rapidly joining your Tiger Beat fan club!!

Dawn (aka, the Lib magnet)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Amen, Ned Rice!

The best rebuttal to the Amnesty International idiocy that I've read is written by Ned Rice for National Review online. Allow me to simply say, Hallelujah! Well done!

PS: Hey Ned, as a writer on his show, could you do us all a favor and sit Craig Ferguson down for a chat about the real America? I know he's a Scotsman but sheeeesh he wears his Socialist stripes on his sleeve in just about every monologue anymore. Makes him hard to watch.

Pardon the Tangent

I am convinced, after 41 years of this life, that if my mind didn't work in tangents, it wouldn't work at all.

While driving to work today, I was stopped by a very large family of geese crossing the road. They took their sweet time. Gawking at me, honking at each other, waddling in no particular hurry to cross the road. It made me wonder about people. Pedestrians. Ever notice how some people look at you in an apologetic way as they scurry across the intersection -- almost apologizing for their need to get somewhere. Others seem in no hurry whatsoever and almost oblivious to the time available to them to safely cross. I wonder what makes the difference in the way a person chooses to cross the road?

I suppose this morning's little "geesestrian" incident prompted me to wonder not why the chicken crossed the road but in what fashion the chicken crossed it.

Human as Experimental Subject!

I am either proud or mortified (not sure which just yet) to report that my little weblog has been selected as one of 5000 specifically requested to participate in a study being conducted by MIT. I am now officially a "Human as Experimental Subject."

"This is a general social survey of the greater weblog community being conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Our goal is to help understand the way that weblogs are affecting the way we communicate with each other. Specifically we are interested in issues of demographics, communication behaviors, experience with weblogs and other technology, and the meaning of various types of social links within the blogosphere."

Judging from some of the questions posed, I believe there must be an impression out there in the world that we webloggers live our lives primarily online! I had to chuckle about answering whether I met a certain type of person "online" or "offline." Are there blogosphere block parties going on without an invitation coming my way? Should I be offended? What am I missing? ;-)

The study is open to volunteers as well, so if you have a weblog and would like to participate visit MIT's Blog Survey website. Results for the study will be posted to the same website ( as soon as the study ends and the results are compiled, probably sometime in mid-July.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

What the EU Constitution Vote Means to Us

I had blogged earlier this month about the Dutch and the French voting down the EU Constitution. I follow the EU effort primarily to see what the effects of the media's proclaimed "anti-American sentiment" will be on Europe's efforts to close ranks. Chirac and Schroder have been very vocal on this score and they are also very vocal in pushing the EU Constitution on their countrymen and women. Blair has won re-election handily as has Howard in Australia. Need I mention that Blair and Howard are very pro-America and pro-freedom? The future doesn't look as bright for Chirac and Schroder...

"But now things look different. German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, the man who opened the European floodgates to anti-Americanism during his 2002 election campaign, has just called early elections after his Social Democratic party was routed in its stronghold of North Rhine-Westphalia for the first time in four decades. Few give him any chance of winning a new term next fall. After investing his all in the constitutional "Yes" campaign, Jacques Chirac appears to be facing the end of his political career. It is true that he nominated the antiwar standard-bearer Dominique de Villepin as his new prime minister last week. But the embarrassing price for Chirac was that he also nominate his arch-rival, Nicolas Sarkozy, the most pro-American (and most popular) politician in the country, as minister of state. The Villepin choice may dig Chirac deeper into a hole. Only a third of voters approve of the choice, according to a poll taken last week by Ipsos. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they wanted a thoroughgoing change in the government, and only 20 percent thought Villepin was the man for that job."

A great article in The Weekly Standard by Christopher Cauldwell discusses the no votes of the Dutch and French. It's worth a read if you, like me, are following EU developments.

Chief Chamberlain -- Bring It!

"It's happening everywhere; I'm just the one who brought it to people's attention," he said.

"We're applying a state law to illegal aliens, instead of federal law, because the federal government refuses to enforce its own laws. Someone needed to bring it, so I brought it."

The news about New Ipswitch's Police Chief, Garrett Chamberlain, and his strategy for "bringing it" to the issue of illegal immigration (pardon the oxymoron there -- it's not really immigration if it's illegal, is it?) is music to these Conservative ears! I am so tired of hearing the claims of racism from ACLU types who are content to let our borders (and our very security) be overrun by illegals. This is about security; this is about the rule of law; this is about doing the right thing for a change.

"Paula Grenier, a spokeswoman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau, said Ramirez will now stand before an immigration judge on deportation charges. But she dismissed Chamberlain's accusations that the feds were slacking on immigration enforcement. She said her office focused on aliens who were actually committing crimes, like violent gangs, drug traffickers and sexual predators."

I've got news for Ms. Grenier, there was no need to prioritize an investigation. The Chief did your investigation for you. He found an illegal worker in this country. 'Nuff said. Deport him. How difficult is that? If the Federal Government doesn't have a fast track for deportation of people here illegally, it's time they put one together. No proof of citizenship; free bus fare back to Mexico or the illegal's country of origin. I'll be more than happy to endorse a reapportionment of my tax dollars to provide some funding for bus fare or plane fare as I'm sure many other US citizens and legal immigrants would.

Keep up the good work, Chief Chamberlain!

June 12, 1987

It was only 18 years ago that President Ronald Wilson Reagan gave a speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in which he proclaimed "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" The echoes of that speech are still being heard today in the Middle East. We miss you, President Reagan!

"...As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner (quote):

"This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality."

"Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall, for it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom..."

Friday, June 10, 2005

Revisiting the Transcript

I'm home again from Greenwood for the weekend. Thunderstorms are all around us this evening and likely will be all weekend as well. Fortunately, no tractor trailer incidents on the drive home this evening! I do love coming home to my high-speed internet connection and my fat grey cat though. Even if I lived in a cardboard box under the overpass, I'd still love simply knowing that I was home and in my own box (so to speak). Ah freeeeeeedom!!

I just printed and re-read the transcript of the Al-Hurra video tapes. I am just sick from the nasty syrup that drips off the pages with the words of each sycophant captured on tape. Media corruption aside, the transcript highlights the extent to which the Husseins were able to mold their world into whatever image they liked courtesy of their oil coupons. It is simply sickening.

The harrassment described by Raed's family is simply mortifying. The word "behead" is so short and so simple yet so very descriptive. It seems a blip on the paper but I'm sure it hung in the air for that family like no other word. And, I'm left wondering where the outcry was in this country for people like Raed's family after all this has been uncovered. Why do we not hear more Americans say "Thank God those people are finally free to live their lives without fear of Uday"? What will it take for these stories to get to the mainstream so that Americans can be proud -- I mean TRULY proud -- of our country for what we have done there?

Raed's mother is quite descriptive of the conditions she and her daughter suffered while in custody. It is simply incredible to me that Liberals in this country are filing lawsuits and complaining about the conditions at the holding facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Have they not read (and heard) from Iraqis themselves about the disgusting conditions they were subjected to in Iraqi "security centers?" Have they missed the stories about people who have lost limbs in Hussein's torture chambers? How can they turn their heads and proclaim America wrong to have liberated these people from such atrocities?

I have told more than one Lib, when subjected to the "lies" diatribe that I really don't give a damn why we went to war with Hussein in the first place; those fine people are now free to form a more civilized society and exert their freedom to do good in the Arab world. While that certainly sounds Machiavellian, maybe Machiavelli was on to something. In our case, of course, we had nothing but a fierce need to protect our country proactively from what would have most certainly come out of that country to our country one day. Maybe, just maybe, when the reasons are just, the ends do sometimes justify the means.

Thanks to all the brave men and women who are still out there freeing Iraqis from the last threat to their freedom -- terrorists. The despots have been taken down; one more group of miscreants to take out and we can all rest for a bit, eh?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

al-Hurra Video Tapes Transcript

I had blogged last month about Daveed Gartenstein-Ross's article on the "Oil-for-News" connection between Saddam Hussein and the Arab media. I am happy to report that the author has emailed a transcript of the al-Hurra tapes discussed in his article in The Weekly Standard.

The transcript is interesting, enlightening and, I must admit, a bit sickening. It's longish and I have no other place to post it, so please bear with me as I post it here. My thanks to Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, not only for sending the transcript my way but for his fine work in keeping the rest of us informed.

If you're interested in following more of Gartenstein-Ross's work, check out the Counter-Terrorism Blog where he has become a contributor.


Things from Uday

Part one: "The magnanimity of Uday"

-Uday: They brought you from Basra, right?

-Abdelamir Ahmad (AA), father of Iraqi Olympic weightlifting champion and political asylum seeker: Yes

-Uday: Now tell me, what's this new move?

-AA: What move sir?

-Uday: Well, your son is now a fugitive and he's badmouthing the government and Saddam Hussein

-AA: He talks about the government?

-Uday: About the government and about the rest of us too.

At the end of July 1996, the weightlifter Raed Abdulameer Khdhaier carried the Iraqi flag during the opening ceremony of the Atlanta, USA Olympic Games. At the same time Raed was preparing to make a move that was as bold as it was uncertain.

-Raed Abdulameer: In 1995 I participated in the world weightlifting championship that was successfully organized in china. At that time I contemplated seeking asylum but I didn't have a chance to do it. As you know the situation in china left a lot to be desired; besides I was staying at the Iraqi embassy which as everyone knows is staffed with pawns of the regime and members of the secret police who prepared a daily report on the activities of our delegation in china. So I feared that if I expressed any intention to defect I would be not just turned down but also handed over to the Iraqi embassy and later tried. So I decided then that I had better wait for the upcoming Olympic Games which turned out to be a truly historic event given the participation of over 197 countries. And I thought to myself, God willing, when I get there and if an opportunity should present itself I will ask for political asylum knowing that, with regard to my folks back home, neither my father nor my mother had any idea that I was going to do so. I managed to contact my wife and organize her travel to Kirkuk as a first step to getting out of the country. On the same day she got there I gave a press conference in which I announced that I was seeking political asylum. The rest of the delegation was flabbergasted to see that one day I was lionized by the Iraqi media as the foremost athlete, the standard-bearer of our national pride, the personal representative of the President and the next day I was on TV asking for political asylum.

This decision had a devastating effect on the Iraqi leadership and especially on Uday who chaired the Iraqi Olympic Committee. So the first thing Uday did was to meet with the IOC members.

-IOC Member # 1: Dr. Sadek!? Of course it's not reasonable to compare Dr. Sadek with Anmar. There is no commonality between the two men. We are all on the side of Dr.Sadek and those present before you here today, M'hammed, ghazi Dr. Raafaa and myself assume fully our responsibility in this regard. Everyone thought it's not befitting Dr. Sadek to play such a tiny role especially that he is Dean of a faculty and we all collectively, thought he should be afforded a shot at a bigger mission. However nobody asked me personally what I thought about it because I might have had a different opinion. Yet I consulted with Dr.Ali, I went to his office and asked him, (pointing to Dr.Ali) isn't that right?

-Unidentified off-camera voice: We consulted with Dr. Ali on another matter.

-IOC member # 1: No Dr., as soon as I heard from you I went to the office to meet him personally and he asked me to take him off this trip and told me that he didn't want Dr. Sadek to go either, because he judged the mission to be beneath his stature.

-IOC member# 2: This line of justification makes total sense and I of course stand by it, however and with all due respect, what we are talking about here is an event that takes place every four years and those who participate in it should have a certain political, patriotic background in addition to familiarity with delegations from other Arab countries coupled with a technical savvy when it comes to dealing with athletes. In other words we should send people who feel comfortable going right into the housing quarters of the athletes and talking to them. Of course majority decisions must be respected and I certainly abide by them but this was not the correct one. And before they even remitted the final report to you I talked to each and every one of them and told them all the same thing. When I talked to Raafaa finally he suggested that I express my thoughts "in a letter to you, professor"(addressing Uday).

-IOC member # 3: The nature of the administrator or his job is what led to Anmar being sent with this delegation and not the Dr.[Sadek]; and as it was said before there is no comparison between Dr. Sadek and professor Anmar.

-Uday: Why are we recycling the same thoughts over and over again? If you have anything new to add go ahead and say it but what you just said has already been voiced by Hichem.

-IOC member # 3: What is new is that, and I'm not here defending the executive bureau or the committee, the mistake is due to..

-Uday: This is what I will be investigating because the committee is saying that this guy is not a candidate and that's what was in their report to me.

-IOC member # 3 (off camera): He was their alternate candidate.

-Uday: well, I'll look into all that if this turns out to be true then that means that the committee has had no hand in this. Now is there anything new for us to hear?...Brigadier General (BG).

-BG: With your kind permission sir, the truth is that, like the rest of my colleagues in the organization, I feel sorry for what happened. This is not a pleasant situation and I frankly feel embarrassed because of it.

Only one day after he had asked for asylum, Uday ordered that the whole family of the weightlifter be brought to Baghdad. On August 1, 1996 the family was officially arrested and transferred from Basra to Baghdad.

-Leila Salah Hassoun, Raed's Mother (RM): we didn't know he had asked for asylum and around five o'clock in the morning I heard noise coming from the garden so I went down to check it out. I met Abdelbaki who explained to me that Mr. Uday wanted to honor us and extend his hospitality to us in recognition of Raed's athletic accomplishments. I told him why doesn't he invite Raed's wife instead, after all she's closer to him than any of us. He said no no, he wants you and his father not his wife. They gave us no time to prepare ourselves or even put on some appropriate clothes. At that moment I was told there was a phone call for me from America, from Raed, so I hurried over to get it. He [Raed] asked me to tell Mohammed and Ammar to leave and go north. Then I heard someone running towards me so I hang up. He asked me what the call was about and I told him that the communication was bad and that I couldn't hear anything. As I came out I found a real armada of all sorts of vehicles and armed people there, even Lieutenant Ahmed in his car. We were surrounded from all directions. I said my God what do they want from us this early in the morning. The front yard gate was made of flimsy pieces of wood so they easily pushed it open and came right into the house without any regard for our privacy. I didn't even have a head scarf on so I grabbed one from the neighbor's. They went upstairs and brought my fifth-grade daughter and her two other brothers down.

Uday kept pressing for information about the whereabouts of the fugitive athlete's wife saying that the security forces had been looking for her without success.

-Uday: Where's his wife now?

-Raed's father: She's in Baghdad, sir.

-Uday: Where? Security forces are looking for her but they can't find her.

This athlete wouldn't have embarked on such an enterprise if he had thought it could put his family in danger. Indeed, he learned about an important fact that he knew would shield, for a while, his family from any retaliatory action.
-Raed: What I know is that the guarantor is the person ultimately responsible for the individual who travels outside Iraq. In my case the guarantor was Uday. So there wasn't much he could do. Besides all the training camps I have attended throughout my life as an athlete were mostly organized in Baghdad and while my family lived in Basra my wife's folks were from Baghdad so I was always traveling back and forth between the two cities. More importantly my family wasn't even aware that that I had traveled abroad. Therefore, while I feared that he might hold them accountable I was sure he didn't have much leverage with them since he was himself my guarantor. Had my father been my guarantor Uday wouldn't think twice about killing him in front of his family. But he knew the mistake was his own and no one else's. Normally any member of any delegation that travels outside Iraq must have a family member, either a wife, a brother or a father, who would be a guarantor of his/her return to the country and if they don't return to Iraq the guarantor would be held accountable.

-Raed's mother (looking emaciated): Her folks? I know where they are sir; they live in "Essaidya".

-Uday: You don't look like you are from Basra. Are you from "al-amara"? , "el-nassirya"?

-Raed's father (off camera): We belong to the "awled amer" tribe, from Basra. Basra, we are originally from Basra.

-Uday: Take their names and check them out.

(A new frame with Uday addressing the family of Raed)

-Uday: The filthiness of his behavior surely is the result of the filthy ways in which he was raised at home.

(A new frame)

-Uday: "Asking for political asylum".what do you call that, pride?

-Raed's father: No sir, it's wrong.

-Uday: No! it's shameful. It's wrong for him but shameful for you. Isn't this the definition of filthiness? Is there anything filthier than this?

Then Uday dismissed the cameraman and every one else so he could talk to the family in total privacy and of course, off the record.

-Raed's mother: He ordered the recording of the meeting stopped and told us that he was giving us a last chance to contact Raed.

-Raed's father: He told us if we can't succeed in talking to him [Raed] he would behead the three of us.

-Raed's mother: But for now, he said, take them all into custody. The kids and their father put their T-shirts over their heads and I and my daughter were made to sit in the back of the car.

-Raed's father: we left the headquarters to be taken to General security

The whole family was locked up for 16 days in Baghdad's general security jail in appallingly inhumane conditions.

-Raed's mother: Me and the little girls were put in one area and the father and the boys in another area, I am not sure where. They put us in a miniscule room with a tiny opening in the door. Very scary. There were no facilities besides a metal platform. The food consisted in an awful soup that was served in the same utensil we used for our ablutions. We hardly drunk any water either, it was disgusting.

Three days into their detention Uday managed to find Raed's wife and sent Raed's mother along with security forces in order to bring her to prison.

-Raed's mother: Three days into our detention she was found and I was taken in a car to go get her. When I got to "el-saiddya" she was not there but her father said he would bring her to us. He said she had gone to Karbala to visit with the family. Sure enough, in the afternoon her father brought her. She's a nice beautiful girl and we feared for her from those guys.

After a period of incarceration Raed's wife was released from prison and fired from her job as a teacher. In the meantime Raed had put together a plan to whisk his wife out of Iraq and into Amman with a forged passport.

-Raed: After those events I learned that my wife was released from prison and was fired from her job as a teacher, so was my mother who also was a teacher. I started thinking about ways to get them out of there with fake passports, except for the photograph which had to be authentic. So I made contacts with some close friends I know over there in Basra and one of them said perhaps he could help and he offered to issue a passport with his wife's name and my wife's picture. We all so agreed and a passport was issued for my wife who made it to Amman.

-Raed's mother: He told us we were traitors of the party and of the revolution and we were under surveillance around the clock. No 24 hours passed without somebody knocking on our door, then there was the "mokhabarat" [Infamous Internal security].

-Raed's father: They took us to Baghdad three times. It was during Ramadan and we never even had an opportunity to break our fast.

This ordeal continued for seven years and all the way until one week before the beginning of the war in Iraq.

-Raed's mother: The war began on March 20, on the 7th I had to report to them for a "meeting". It was too much we couldn't take it anymore. I told my husband you either get rid of them or get rid of us. We came to hate our lives.

(Frame showing Uday in a wet suit and on a jet-ski)

(Closing frame with the sentence "The magnanimity of Uday")

(Frame of fast-cascading short footage from this documentary and other operating room scenes)

Part Two: "Kissing is allowed"

-Uday (off camera): Welcome Mrs. Hamida

-Hamida Naanaa (HN): Hello to you too, the dear son of the dear and the precious son of the precious. Hello, is kissing allowed?

-Uday: Certainly

The oil coupons that the Saddam regime used to hand out to some Arab media figures in return for supporting his regime were of two kinds: Silver coupons, entitling their holders to a maximum of 9 million barrels of oil and Gold coupons for amounts in excess of that bar. The Syrian writer Hamida Naana is among those on whom the Golden coupon had been bestowed.

-Fallah Mich'al (FM) Editor in Chief of Assabah: I used to observe closely the Arab delegations as they streamed into Baghdad. They were for the most part special guests of ministers, high ranking officials and other personalities at the top of regime's pyramid. Saddam and the symbols of his regime had a predilection for dealing with the Arab media. This was the expression of a deep seated (and vastly known) complex that made them a great deal more generous to the lousiest Arab media personality than they ever would be towards his more competent Iraqi counterpart. This attitude exemplified the oppressive way in which the regime dealt with people in the media and the arts in this country. These Arab delegations would arrive to Baghdad according to specific schedules and would represent institution or individuals with interests tied to the fascist regime. These relationships were sustained through oil coupons, domestic investments, gifts and all manner of other private transactions.

Hamida Naanaa was well known for her fierce defense of the Saddam regime in the media and especially in her Paris-published magazine "Arab Accord".

-Uday: (As he leafs through the magazine) Excellent quality!

-Hamida: Let me tell you about the trick we had to resort to. Well, after Iraqi media outlets were shut down in France it became difficult for us to publish anything in France. I mean just when we began to make a profit.

During that profit-seeking visit to Baghdad Hamida offered to write a book on Saddam but Saddam turned down her offer on account that she had passed him up as her first choice when she wrote a book about Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Salah. She decided then to settle for a biography of Tarek Aziz which appeared in the year 2000 under the title Tarek Aziz, a man and a cause. However, her most effective efforts to defend the Saddam regime were made on TV and in the press.

-Uday: God willing the 7th issue will be just as good. Well by then 7 months will have elapsed.

-Hamida: Well, for the 7th issue I looked for a picture of your father in my personal archives. It was not easy because I wanted a picture in which he would look victorious or smiling.

-Uday: True, this is a picture.

-Hamida: Could you date it...

-Uday: I would say 1985.

-Hamida: From the days of "Al-Quadissiya" [the Iran/Iraq war], perhaps?


-Hamida: I suffered a great deal to find it.

-Uday: If you had asked we would have helped you.

-Fallah Mich'al: In reality the meaning of the oil coupons that were handed out by the regime and more precisely by its top cadres is clear to all. These were bribes that were paid to media figures, politicians, ministers and other influential people in important positions in neighboring countries and, indeed, across the world. In this regard Hamida Naanaa was only one name on a long list of other names.

During the unfolding of the oil coupons scandal, subsequent to the fall of the regime in Iraq, Hamida Naanaa's name was found on documents listing those who took millions of barrels of oil in return for services rendered to Saddam Hussein. Hamida Naanaa has denied ever receiving such favors but a year after the story broke, copies of the original coupons were found in Baghdad and one of them, a Golden one, was made to Hamida Naanaa.

-Fallah Mich'al: The document which we published and which had Hamida Naanaa's name on it is one of many others that we gave consideration to here at Assabah.

Among the documents that were handed to the United Nations in the context of its investigation of Iraq's oil-for-food program, and in which 21billion dollars have gone missing is, a coupon in the name of Hamida Naanaa along with a document signed by Taha Yassine Ramadhan and in which he orders an increase of her quota by one million barrels.

-Hamida Naanaa: As you mentioned in your beautiful and sweet letter to me.

-Uday: I just want to hear your views please.

-Hamida: God! I was so always looking forward to seeing you

-Uday (addressing someone hidden from the camera and to his left): sit down here, Jawad.

-Hamida: When your magazine "babel" was published I was very happy you know. I liked the format a lot and the manner in which it was published and everything else about it. It has a lot of character especially when it is read abroad. It is the Iraqi publication we are most curious about; we all want to know what "babel" is saying. We were very happy to see it come to the world and are even happier to see it stand on its feet. We are just delighted with it, and as true as your life is dear to me, if I had the means I would publish a magazine like "babel".

Hamida's admiration for "babel", a magazine that was published by Uday, has evolved into an admiration of Uday as a person so she expresses her deep consternation at the news of the assassination attempt that was perpetrated against him in 1996 and which caused him serious injuries.

-Hamida: we got worried about you, you know.

-Uday: Thank you.

-Hamida: I just lost it when heard the news

-Uday: God bless you

To see a prominent media personality who claims to be a defender of Arab national rights in this situation is surely disturbing to the Arab conscience and spirit alike.

-Fallah Mich'al: The Iraqi and the Arabs are well aware of the record breaking performance of the Iraqi dictatorship when it comes to bribes and the amounts thereof. For while other regimes dole out watches and other such small personal items, the Iraqi regime under Saddam dilapidated the resources of all the Iraqi people including the children, the weak, women, the elderly and the downtrodden simply to luster its political image. He squandered the people's wealth just to maintain itself in power. This is surely disconcerting for every honest human being in general not just Arabs, it should also be shocking to those who benefited wrongly from the past regime at the expense of the suffering and pain of the Iraqi people, never mind at the expense of the truth.

Hamida's fascination with the personality and activities of Uday made her sit there and listen to him as he dispenses lessons and advice and, unabashedly, spews eternal wisdom such as "everyone has a price".

-Uday: It is true that everyone has a price but not necessarily in money

(Reading a document shown on the screen)
To: Your Excellency minister of oil resources,
Subject: Approval of crude oil contracts.

Based on the appropriations statement for the period number 13, dated November 9th 2002, on the approval of his Excellency deputy-President Taha Yassine Ramadhan and as per our phone conversation of November 21, 2002 regarding the increase of Mrs. Hamida Naanaa's quota by one million barrels, kindly proceed as follows:

Name of the company: Devon Petroleum Ltd
Beneficiary: Hamida Naanaa
Oil type: Basra light
Destination: North America and the Far-East
Price: According to destination
Approximate value: 42 million Euros, based on $31/ barrel

Part Three: "It is your TV station both figuratively and literally"

-Mohammed Jacem Al-ali (MJA): Assalamu -alaykum.

Name: Mohammed Jacem Al-ali
Dob: 1954 in Doha
Nationality: Qatari
Job title: managing director of Al-jazeera satellite TV since its inception in 1996 and until the fall of the Saddam regime

-MJA: Hello, hello, good to see you

-Uday: As you can see I'm not wearing a tie today I am civilian, so to speak.

-MJA: How are you? Fine I hope.How is your health?

-Uday: Fine thank you. (Greeting another guest) Welcome Shamel

What many observers find interesting about Al-jazeera is that it seems to share with the previous regime in Iraq the same feelings of enmity towards the same parties. The question is: Was this mere coincidence? But if it was so, how can we account for this chance meeting-of-the minds lasting this long, eight years to be precise? The elements of the "coincidence" premise began to crumble immediately following the fall of the regime in Iraq and when the ground started to shake under the feet of Al-jazeera's board of directors as news of financial scandals, shady dealings and secret communications with the fallen regime started to emerge.

(On the screen appears a picture of two men with the caption: Faysal Alkacem with Zeid Mohieddine, Station manager of Iraqi intelligence in Doha)

This is what prompted the decision makers at Al-jazeera to bring a new managing director in an effort to preempt the fallout of the events.

-MJA: Thanks to God our mission here has been successful. Indeed, yesterday we met with the information minister and the commerce minister and we had a succession of other activities which will have, Inshallah, beneficial results for both parties.

-Uday: Good, good, and it's nice to see you after this relatively long period of time, about a year I think, right?

Commentary by Jalel el-Machta, Iraqi media and politics figure:
Integrity in the media means the ability to report the facts as they are and to allow the reader, the listener or the viewer to accede to as many perspectives as possible of these facts. In other words Integrity requires that we completely divorce the fact, the truth or the news item from the opinion and the commentary. Any overlap of these two aspects constitutes a deliberate effort to slant the news-consumer's leaning in a particular direction. That is simply unacceptable in a media that seeks to be free, independent, and not the instrument of a propaganda machine.

On March 13, 2000 Uday had a meeting with the managing director of Al-jazeera in his office at the headquarters of the Iraqi Olympic Committee. This was not the first meeting between the two, as the dialogue seems to suggest, but the follow up to a previous one that had positive results. Indeed, the directives and advice that Uday seems to have offered during that initial meeting appear to have been implemented resulting in the hiring of new faces by the station such as Ahmed Mansour, or "that lad, Mansour" as Uday refers to him.

-Uday: During your last visit here along with your colleagues we talked about a number of issues and it does appear that you indeed were listening to what I was saying since changes took place and new faces came onboard now such as that lad , Mansour.I'm not sure Mansour who.

Uday started by commenting on an episode of "The opposite direction" news magazine then he alluded to what the director of Al-jazeera, Mohammed Jacem Al-ali had told him on a previous occasion , namely that "Al-Jazeera is your channel" and that therefore "Uday had the right to express his views about it".

-Uday: Regarding "The opposite direction" well, there was a sort of slight misunderstanding [In English in the original] there. As you may know it was reported to me by some that Mohammed Jacem said "Al-jazeera is our station both figuratively and literally" as the expression goes, so It is important that I share with you my observations about the station.

Commentary by jalel el-Machata, Iraqi media and politics figure:
The integrity of the media is completely predicated on its independence, so for the media to be independent it has to be free from government and its influence, money and its temptations, tribal and nationalistic affinities etc.In other words the sine qua non prerequisites for the integrity of the media are its independence and its objectivity. Numerous factors, however, can undermine the integrity of the media. First: Money. The media can be said to have integrity if is biased in favor of the funding party.

The visit of Mr. Jacem had one purpose: to listen to the remarks and directives of Uday as evidenced by the following exchange.

-MJA: I am here in fact to relay to you the greetings of Sheikh Hamad bin Thamir, chairman of the board, and who will soon be coming to visit you, God willing. He's looking forward to meeting you here in Baghdad. As for myself, I am only here to listen to your ideas and register your observations, sir, may Allah prolong your life.

Such exchanges normally take place "in chambers". On TV however, when Al-jazeera invokes the "news coverage" concept, it is clear that the way it covers the news takes into account its allegiances.

Commentary by Jalel el-Machta, Iraqi media and politics figure:
There is another important factor behind the lack of integrity in the media which is ignorance. Indeed, ignorance of what the "facts" mean and ignorance of the ways in which they could be packaged can lead to the undermining of the media's integrity. There is also, of course, bias grounded in ideology or self-interest. Such bias is illustrated in the way a few Arab satellite TVs report the news, for example: when a car bomb is detonated in front of the green zone some outlets report this news and add " in the close vicinity of the American embassy" which is meant to suggest that the US embassy was the intended target of the operation and therefore it is part of the legitimate resistance to the occupation. However, if one wanted to report this news item objectively one would have to say that this explosion targeted civilian cars and resulted in civilian casualties. Another example: A few days ago we heard about the bombing of a ten-truck convoy that was carrying food. How was the news reported to us? Well, we were told that the bombing occurred indeed but that the convoy "in the estimation of an eye witness, could possibly be carrying food for the Americans". This reflects a total lack of integrity and utter disregard for the truth.

Uday gave his directives to the director of Al-jazeera based on the strong relationship between them and which is as old as the station itself.

-Uday: if I feel comfortable talking to you this way it is because of our three year old relationship. But it is true that one can tell the mettle of a human being from his demeanor and the way he walks. This message of course is not meant for you but the other members of the board.

Right from the outset Uday wanted to get to the aspects of success and those of failure as soon as possible.

-Uday: Mr. Jacem. (Correcting himself) Sorry, Mohammed, if we are to get a grip on the issue as a whole we must agree on an understanding of what success means. Then, defining the objective will become a very easy task. And when that is accomplished we can go back and improve the initial steps that we took at the outset.

Uday's interest in Al-jazeera is not confined to the news aspect of the station but reaches also into the managerial side of the operation. In this regard Uday is of the opinion the station's management has suffered a set back brought about by the board of directors and his opinion things would have been much better had the management been simply left entirely in the hands of Mr. Mohammed Jacem Al-ali.

-Uday: In my personal opinion if all the managerial responsibilities were left to you, just as things were at the inception of the station as opposed to what happened during the subsequent period in which a board of directors was set up and other people were given responsibilities etc, etc., this station would be enjoying a faster pace of growth right now.

And just as easily as he scolds Al-jazeera, Uday makes no bones about poking fun at the state of Qatar itself because of its size and the size of its population; hence his understanding of Qatar's (and al-jazeera's) attempts at walking on many straight ropes at the same time.

-Uday: You live in Qatar and you know this but one a Sheikh came to visit from Qatar and I took him to see the "People's Stadium". When we got in there he looked at the bleachers and asked about their capacity, 50 thousand I told him and up to 70 thousand if they're standing tightly, shoulder to shoulder. His reaction was so striking that I shared with the other guys. He said "brother Uday don't be too hard on us because, you see, our total population could fit into this stadium so when you see us oscillating from right to left that's because we are merely trying to hold our balance as we move between tight ropes"

But the director is not saddened in the least by these words; on the contrary he hastens to express his satisfaction and gratitude for the support that Uday has been extending both to him personally and and to Al-Jazeera. This support, according to the director, is the real reason behind the station's success.

-MJA: First of all, sir, I would like to express to you my unequivocal thanks for the precious trust that you put in me so that I was able to play a role at Al-jazeera, indeed I can even say that without your kind cooperation with us and your support my mission would have failed. My mission at al-jazeera is to serve Iraq, the country that has had so much to do with the success of the station. Indeed, in this regard the lion's share of the credit goes to you personally sir, yet we would be remiss not to mention our colleagues here who constantly strive to implement your directive while they lent us their unremitting.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Pass the Dramamine

If you're in the mood to explore one of the most worthless and confusing theories of our time, please take the Implicit Attitudes Test (IAT) of your choice. At the IAT Home page, click on the "Go to the Demonstration Tests" link; At the "Measure Your Attitudes" page, find and click on the "I wish to proceed" link. Then select the test you want to take.

I was asked to do this as an assignment in my Diversity class. I took the Native American test. Evidently I have a "moderate" tendency to associate "white people with foreign." WHAT?! If you take any of these tests be prepared to expect a red X when your answer is not acceptable. It was not only infuriating but the results read like Greek in the Twilight Zone.

I believe that somewhere along the way during this test, I was expected to associate names of American cities and/or states with Native Americans. However, when your choices for the word "Utah" are Native American, White, American, or Foreign, who wouldn't think of Utah as an American city? You'll have to see the way these tests are conducted to see what is so infuriating about them.

What clever exercises do I get to do next week for this class?... An assignment on Post-9/11 Prejudice! Wooohooo!

1. Read Making Enemies, by Solana Pyne
2. Examine the relationship between the decline of prejudice and the rise of modern racism. In what ways does racism persist, while overt prejudice is less prevalent? 3. Post your response to these questions: According Pyne, how have post-9/11 government responses affected prejudice and discrimination against Muslims, Arabs, and related groups? How may affective prejudice contribute to hate crimes against these groups? In addition to the examples of tolerance identified in the article, what else can individuals do to promote tolerance in their towns and cities? For ideas, go to

Gee, I can't wait to see what we horrible white people have done to Islamo-fascists. Anytime a class uses an article in The Village Voice as educational material, you know you're in for a treat!

Rainy Days and Fridays...

After spending each week in Greenwood, Indiana working on this contract gig, I am convinced that blogging is a high-speed connection sport. My uncle, who is kind enough to put me up at his place through the week, doesn't have high-speed internet at his house so I am at the mercy of dial-up when trying to keep up with school, email, and blogging after work.

Don't get me wrong. Staying at my uncle's house is like being in a 5-star hotel suite. He and his wife have a gorgeous home. But after being spoiled to a cable modem for years now, it's like stepping back in time. It takes much longer to get things accomplished online. At any rate, my apologies for being MIA for so many days. I'm sure you can relate to the dial-up diatribe.

While driving home from Greenwood this Friday, I was looking forward to attending a 40th birthday party at Howl at the Moon in Fourth Street Live. I was excited about getting back home for the weekend. I had things to do; people to see.

I had driven about an hour or so when the rain started. At about an hour and a half, I had made it to the bridge. I could see the Louisville city skyline shrouded in clouds and rain. I was almost home... Traffic was at a dead stop on the bridge as the rain pounded down.

While staring at the back-end of the tractor trailer about 20 feet in front of me, waiting for traffic to move, I noticed something odd... the tractor trailer was rolling backward right at me! At first, I thought I was moving forward, you know that odd sensation you get when another car in your sight is moving but it feels like your car is moving? It became apparent quite quickly that I wasn't moving at all but the truck in front of me was rolling backward. I put the car in park and pulled up my emergency brake hoping that, if he plowed backward into me and shoved my car back, I could at least keep from rolling into the car behind me.

(click to enlarge)

Needless to say, the SOB in the big rig didn't catch himself in time. He managed to roll back far enough into the front of my car to smash it up pretty badly and scare the beejeezus out of me. Either the driver of the truck didn't hear my horn or chose to ignore it. He began to move forward and didn't look back once. Nor did he ever offer to pull over and exchange insurance information. I should have stayed right there on the bridge and called the police; however, I thought I could get the driver's attention and he would pull over. That effort was in vain as he got onto I-71 and went his merry way. I will now have to file a Civilian's Accident Report with the state.

When I pulled off the interstate under an overpass to survey the damage, I was furious. I swore like a sailor the rest of the way home. By the time I reached my place, it occurred to me that the only good thing about the incident is that my favorite bumper stickers survived almost completely unscathed!

I hope everyone's Friday was better than mine!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


While browsing the Fox News website this morning -- trying to avoid banging my head on the wall while figuring out where my code has run amok -- I ran across some interesting insight on the French EU vote from Greg Palkot. I certainly hope this is the death knell of Chirac's presidency. He's a corrupt America-hater whose departure has been long overdue, in my opinion.