Saturday, April 05, 2003

Pond Scum
British MP and Saddam dung fly, Georgie Galloway has had his fingers in the till. Dominic Kennedy at the UK Times - Galloway used fund for leukaemia girl to pay for Iraq trips:
GEORGE GALLOWAY has paid for frequent visits to Iraq from a fund set up to save the life of a four-year-old girl with leukaemia.

The MP flew Mariam Hamza from Iraq to a children’s hospital in Glasgow and launched a public appeal for money using her name. On House of Commons notepaper, he wrote to donors telling them that the money would all go on hospital fees for Mariam and medical care for other Iraqi children.

But the fund, which is not a charity and refuses to divulge its accounts or trustees, has so far paid for 14 trips by Mr Galloway to 15 countries, including eight visits to Iraq.
More by following the link. Georgie has been a busy little bee.
A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight?
The cable networks are reporting from embeds that US troops are inside Baghdad and there is much watching of the "Bagcams" to see them show up at the traffic circle near the Palestine hotel where the cams are located. So far just occasional small arms fire and police cars roaring around.

Update: If you are going to join the Bagcam crowd, you'll need a broadband connection. Also the feeds often temporarily conk out - you'll have to hunt around. See for a list of the more popular links. I have to say though, that it is akin to watching paint dry. One moderate source of amusement is CBS newsdroid Laura Logan when she is heard on the NTV Bagcam - she tends to curse a lot while recording her bits for various news outlets.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Today's Hoot
Ben Macintyre in the UK Times astounds with Chemical Ali invites you into his world of interiors:
Nothing explodes a despot's mystique like an avocado bathroom suite

When dictators fall we rummage through their medicine cupboards, we gasp at their lavishly tasteless bathrooms and whistle at their walk-in wardrobes packed with designer clothes. For only by exposing those excesses, the bully’s luxury in the midst of want, do we understand the tawdriness of tyranny. Uncovering a dictator’s private opulence is the most intimate of liberations: Imelda Marcos’s bulging shoe cupboard, Nicolae Ceausescu’s gilded kitsch, Hermann Goering’s looted art collection.

We have yet to penetrate Saddam’s bunker, with its mythical gold-inlaid light switches and mother-of-pearl lavatory paper holders, but already his regime is going the way of all despotisms as the greed and self-indulgence of his rule are held up for contemplation and ridicule.

On Wednesday, US Delta Force troops entered the Maqar-al-Tharthar Palace outside Baghdad, the President’s pleasure complex inevitably nicknamed "Saddamland", with its amusement arcade and safari park with elephants and deer, Ferris wheel, casino and artificial lake.
Sounds like Michael Jackson!
British forces occupied the country home of "Chemical" Ali Hassan al-Majid, a pink monstrosity on the outskirts of Basra, its flowerbeds planted with exotic species, dying for lack of water. The floor is covered with shards of smashed chandelier; the swimming pool is filling up with wind-blown sand. Thus has the most feared mass-murderer of Saddam’s regime been demystified into a murderous fugitive with an overwrought patio.
Last November, exactly one year after the fall of the Taleban, I stayed in the Kabul house once occupied by Osama bin Laden. Though hardly on the scale of Saddam’s palaces, by Afghan standards it was a stately home, the residence of the Saudi-born terrorist’s third wife. It was at once a surprise and a confirmation to discover that the ascetic, anti-Western terrorist had chosen French bidets for the green-tiled en-suite bathrooms. His luxury mansion outside Kandahar, with its door handles studded with semi-precious stones, would not have been out of place in Footballers’ Wives. A computerised replica of another bin Laden home, albeit a less comfortable one, will soon be installed at the Imperial War Museum to allow vistors to live, briefly and virtually, chez Osama. Bin Laden’s naff door handles and Chemical Ali’s broken chandelier serve the same symbolic purpose, rendering terror as commonplace as expensive bad taste.
Much more by following the link.
He's back! (well maybe)
The Big Boy made a surprise taped appearance on Iraqi TV (Photo) - Saddam Urges Iraqis to Strike Coalition:
The speech made only one topical reference - to the capture of an Apache helicopter March 23, which Iraqi officials have said was brought down by farmers in central Iraq.
Now everyone is analyzing it. Or at least the people outside Baghdad - there the power is off.

If he's still wasting oxygen, it's just as well. It's bad form to start the party without all the guests.
Michael Kelly, RIP
Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post:
Michael Kelly, the Atlantic Monthly editor-at-large and Washington Post columnist who abandoned the safety of editorial offices to cover the war in Iraq, has been killed in a Humvee accident while traveling with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.
Defiant Saddam urges resistance against US assault on Baghdad

That's entertainment!
"When the capital resists, the invaders can no longer advance and have to retreat," Saddam said in a speech read Friday on his behalf by Information Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf on Iraqi television.
But there are still hardcore fans:
The owner of the snack bar interrupted the conversation to add: "I will only believe it when I see it. The Americans cannot be in Baghdad after all the heroic Iraqi resistance we saw on television."
Now here's a good idea for you compulsive tourists
Christina Valhouli at Forbes suggests Take A Coalition Vacation!

Look what's floating on top the pond
In Bill O'Reilly's column of yesterday he quotes an email from a colonel in the 3rd Infantry division:
Bottom line, they shoot - they die. Every American soldier (here) is getting a chance to engage and kill the enemy.

Iraq has these maniacs, death squad guys called Saddam Feddyen, DGS forces, IIS, and Ba'ath party forces that we spend most of our day killing.

They continuously make suicidal charges at our tanks, brads (fighting vehicles), and checkpoints. We are happy to send them to hell. You would not believe the carnage.
And Bob Arnot (embedded with the Marines and doing one Hell of a job) reported on broadcast MSNBC this morning that most of the Fedayeen they are encountering are Palestinian, Jordanian, and Syrian and that they were up to their usual tricks.

Which brings us to today's Car Explodes in Iraq, Killing Three Coalition Soldiers, Pregnant Woman:
A car exploded near a coalition checkpoint in western Iraq, killing three coalition soldiers, a pregnant woman and the car's driver, U.S. Central Command said Friday.

The apparent homicide attack occurred Thursday evening about 11 miles southwest of the Haditha Dam, Central Command said in a written statement. The site is northwest of Baghdad and about 80 miles east of the Syrian border, a spokesman said.

"A pregnant female stepped out of the vehicle and began screaming in fear," the statement said. "At this point the civilian vehicle exploded, killing three coalition force members who were approaching the vehicle and wounding two others."

It said the woman and the driver also were killed.
Sounds familiar doesn't it?
Candy Gram!
US raiders drop in on Saddam's palace:
Under cover of darkness, US Delta Force troops dropped into the Maqar-al-Tharthar Palace, an ornate villa lying in a vast walled compound 56 miles from the capital on the road to Tikrit, Saddam’s home town.
I bet Saddam just hates it when folks drop in without calling first.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Iraqi Family Risks It All To Save American POW
Sgt. Joseph R. Chenelly, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, reports:
MARINE COMBAT HEADQUARTERS, Iraq, April 3, 2003 - New heroes have surfaced in the rescue of U.S. Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch.

Under the watchful eyes of more than 40 murderous gunmen, the 19-year-old supply clerk laid in Saddam Hussein Hospital suffering from at least one gunshot wound and several broken bones.

As her captors discussed amputating her leg, an Iraqi man leaned to her ear and whispered, "Don't worry." Lynch replied with a warm smile.

The man was already working with U.S. Marines to gain the critical information needed to rescue one of the first American prisoners of war in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Just a day earlier, the lawyer from An Nasiryah had walked 10 kilometers to inform American forces he knew where Lynch was being held.

The shocked Marines asked Mohammad to return to the hospital and note certain things. He was tasked with counting the guards and documenting the hospital's layout. Knowing the risk, he agreed to help the young woman he had seen only once.

"I came to the hospital to visit my wife," said the Iraqi man, whose wife is a nurse. "I could see much more security than normal."

The man, who, for his protection, will only be identified as Mohammad, asked one of the doctors about the increased security. "He told me there was a woman American soldier there."

Together, the two went to see her. Peering through the room's window, Mohammad saw a sight he claims will stay with him for a life. An Iraqi colonel slapped the soldier who had been captured after a fierce firefight, March 23. First with his palm, then with his backhand.
Much more by following the link.
Mohammad and his family are now in a secure location and have been granted refugee status. He doesn't feel safe in An Nasryah, but he hopes things will improve as the war against the regime advances.
I hope we can do a little more than that.
What a knee slapper!
It's those Vichy Chicks again:
Dixie Chick Natalie Maines told a New Zealand TV reporter last week that her now-infamous slam at President George W. Bush was a joke.

Maines admitted that she told a London concert audience that the group was ashamed that the President is from their home state of Texas, but added, "It was a joke and it wasn't planned. And it was really funny at the time. It got lots of cheers, and that's what it was meant for. You see the trouble that you can get into if you speak religion or politics. It gets people very upset."
Joke's on you, pinhead.
They took my advice!

Now he'll keep talking while I drink this glass of water!

Hat tip: Redcloak at Free Republic.
David Bauder, the AP Television Writer is wringing his hands - Medical Reporter Performs Surgery in Iraq:
While reporting on a U.S. Navy (news - web sites) medical team in Iraq (news - web sites) on Thursday, CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta unexpectedly became part of the story when asked to perform emergency brain surgery. The 2-year-old Iraqi boy did not survive.

As the only neurosurgeon available to treat a patient with a severe brain injury, Gupta said it was his moral duty to help. But it raised questions about the blurring of roles between doctor and journalist.
Say what? The only questions I have are about what the Hell they are teaching in Journalism school these days.
There are still empty lamp posts in Baghdad
Maki Becker in the NY Daily News - POW Jessica was tortured:
Jessica was being tortured.

That was the urgent word from an Iraqi man who alerted U.S. troops where to find Pfc. Jessica Lynch - and her injuries seem to bear out the allegation.

Lynch, who was flown to a military hospital in Germany yesterday, had her legs broken, one arm broken and at least one bullet wound, officials said.
Belying her country-girl smile and petite 5-foot-5 frame, Lynch put up a Rambo-worthy fight when her unit, the Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance Co., came under attack, according to a new report.

Lynch opened fire on the Iraqi assailants, picking them off one by one until she ran out of ammunition, according to today's Washington Post.

She continued shooting - even after she was shot and stabbed and her unit members were killed all around her.

"She was fighting to the death," a U.S. official told The Post. "She did not want to be taken alive."

Yesterday, when Lynch was plucked from Saddam Hospital, Special Forces troops found a soldier in pain.

Her broken bones are a sure sign of torture, said Amy Waters Yarsinske, an ex-Navy intelligence officer and an expert on POW treatment.

"It's awfully hard to break both legs and an arm in a truck accident," Yarsinske said.

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's thugs are known to use steel bars to bash their prisoners' limbs, she said.
They must be joking!
Chris Tryhorn in the Guardian - Reuters TV forced to pull plug on CNN:
Reuters has barred CNN from using its Baghdad video feed after the Iraqi authorities ordered the news agency not to supply the US network with pictures.

Although CNN can use Reuters' audio material, pictures being sent around the world by the agency are marked "NO ACCESS CNN".

The agency's reluctant decision to prevent CNN using its TV footage comes after the rolling news network was expelled from Baghdad.

The Iraqis accused CNN of being a "propaganda tool" for the US army.
The Iraqi thugs must not have caught Judy "I'm deeply saddened" Woodruff lately. But Reuters is right where I would expect them to be - marching with Saddam.
Welcome to Saddam World
Four journalists on their recent stay in an Iraqi prison:
Iraqis held in the same prison block were not so lucky, according to the journalists.

The four described Iraqi prisoners being led off to torture chambers. Other prisoners bore bruises, cuts, and other signs of beatings. Some hobbled about as if the soles of their feet had been whipped.

''We could hear screams, especially at night,'' McAllester recounted. ''They were being beaten a few yards from my cell, beaten with some sort of implements.''
Frankly, this is pretty mild compared to Uday's Fun House. But it's nice to think that while Molly and her co-workers were imprisoned, fearless newshawk Peter Arnett was swapping spit with the head thugs.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

From LT Smash:
"Where do they get young men like this?"

Martin Savidge of CNN, embedded with the 1st Marine battalion, was talking with 4 young Marines near his foxhole this morning live on CNN. He had been telling the story of how well the Marines had been looking out for and taking care of him since the war started. He went on to tell about the many hardships the Marines had endured since the war began and how they all look after one another.

He turned to the four and said he had cleared it with their commanders and they could use his video phone to call home.

The 19 year old Marine next to him asked Martin if he would allow his platoon sergeant to use his call to call his pregnant wife back home whom he had not been able to talk to in three months. A stunned Savidge who was visibly moved by the request shook his head and the young Marine ran off to get the sergeant.

Savidge recovered after a few seconds and turned back to the three young Marines still sitting with him and asked which one of them would like to call home first, the Marine closest to him responded with out a moments hesitation "Sir, if is all the same to you we would like to call the parents of a buddy of ours, Lance Cpl Brian Buesing of Cedar Key, Florida who was killed on 3-23-03 near Nasiriya to see how they are doing."

At that Martin Savidge totally broke down and was unable to speak. All he could get out before signing off was "Where do they get young men like this?"
Quick before it disappears!
Hop on over to Sharpton Explore 2004 and check out the footer on every page:
Copyright © 2002 Shaprton Explore 2004 Committee
Hmmm, I wonder what it says on their FEC filings? If they make any.
Today Saddam made yet another statement - Saddam Hussein: 'Victory Is at Hand'! But the funny thing is that he's never at hand himself.
Saddam did not appear in person, and there was no way to verify if any of the statements actually came from the Iraqi leader.
Guys, this will never do! Here's a suggestion:

Shhh! He's taking a dirt nap

Have the puppet bounce up and down while reading the statement - it's a winner!

Over at Little Tiny Lies, Steve reports another theory - Iraqi Info Minister: Hussein Living it Up at Orlando Resort
Today, groans erupted throughout Iraq as Saddam Hussein failed to show up for a much-touted live TV appearance. Instead, Minister of Information Saeed al-Sahaf appeared and read a letter drafted by the low-profile despot. A transcript follows.

Al-Sahaf: Our fearless leader Saddam Hussein regret he not be here today, and he provide letter which I now read to you. "Dear Subjects: Hi from Uncle Saddam in sunny Florida. I fine, not being turned into lumpy pulp by puny cruise missile or anything like that. Hoping you are same. Uday and Qusay here too and send hugs and kisses.
We fly to Fort Lauderdale and Delta lose bloody bags. May thousand djinns dance in their sphincters with football shoes. Girl at counter offer $750 per bag, like that going to pay for new anthrax and AK-47. I want to shoot her, but Qusay not let me, and besides, AK-47 on way to Denver.

This all I need after twelve hours of Uday asking "are we there yet?" until Saddam's ears bleed. And Uday and Qusay fight whole time. "Papa, Uday make faces at me." "Papa, Qusay touching me." Ymam tell Saddam not to marry niece, but Saddam, he young, he know everything. He now sorry for shooting Ymam in knees.

Bloody uniforms gone, so Saddam go to Ron Jon's and buy day-glo baggies with large flowers. Clerk say Saddam 'styling.' Refuse to take Baghdad Express Traveler's Cheques because not know what 'dinars' are, but Uday staple clerk's zib to counter, and clerk change mind.

Saddam and boys take in wet T-shirt contest. Like very much, but Uday pout when not allowed to rape contestants. When return to Iraq, plan to celebrate easy victory over swine-eating infidels with nationwide wet burqa contest.
Much more by following the link including their visit to Disney World.
Ruh Oh!
Al-Jazeera's Basra hotel bombed:
A hotel in Basra being used as a base by al-Jazeera's team of correspondents in the city was shelled this morning, the Arabic TV news channel has claimed.

The Basra Sheraton, whose only guests are al-Jazeera journalists, received four direct hits this morning during a heavy artillery bombardment, according to the Qatar-based broadcaster.

No casualties were reported in the incident, but al-Jazeera said it would be writing to the Pentagon again to provide full details of the location of all its journalists and bureaux in Iraq.
Call up the targeting guys - there's new intell! As for the whiners themselves - if they don't want plaster dust in their breakfast, maybe they ought to get out of a war zone. They can write up their propaganda screeds from a hotel anywhere.
How ya doing?
Bill Sammon in the Washington Times - White House dares Iraq to prove Saddam is alive:
"We don't know how Saddam is feeling today," the spokesman said. "We don't know how he's been feeling for a couple weeks."
Don't be a stranger! Just pick up a cell phone and give us a ring!
What goes around, comes around
Jennifer Fermino and Todd Venezia in the NY Post - ‘Mogadishu' Professor Cuts Class:
Nearly a week after Columbia University professor Nicholas De Genova called for the mass slaughter of U.S. troops, the man who wants "a million Mogadishus" fears so much for his own life he is refusing to go to class.

De Genova claimed death threats forced him to skip his 2:40 p.m. Latino History course at the university's Hamilton Hall - the first lecture he had scheduled since the March 26 anti-war "teach in" in which he referred to the 1993 "Black Hawk Down" incident in which 18 GIs were slain.

Instead of the professor, some 25 students were greeted by three graduate students, who said class was canceled and the professor was in hiding.

"Because Nick is afraid for his life, nobody knows where he is," said one, who refused to identify herself.

The woman then invited the undergrads to protest at the library.

Almost two dozen De Genova supporters gathered at 4 p.m. by a statue outside the Ivy League school's library. The protesters sat silently near an empty chair meant to symbolize the absence of the professor.
Aw, poor babies! Boo F***ing Hoo.

Well, first you have to assume that there actually were threats and it's not just a sympathy ploy. Given that, I'd say that little Nicky just learned a valuable "life lesson" about issuing death threats.
As for the thugs that are bagged
Michelle Malkin - Keep Iraqi POWs off American dole:
Will President George W. Bush allow Iraqi troops to come to America, enjoy better welfare and health-care benefits than our own soldiers, and endanger national security?

It has happened before.

After Gulf War I, the first Bush administration and the Clinton administration recklessly opened our borders to former Iraqi prisoners of war - from conscripts to elite Republican Guardsmen. The resettlement program was launched in response to pressure from the United Nations, the Saudi government (which balked at taking in the captured soldiers), and our own feckless State Department (which has, and always will, act like a hostile foreign entity).

As a result, an estimated 6,000 enemy Iraqi soldiers have resettled in the U.S. at public expense since 1993. Their welcome gifts included air travel, Medicaid, job and language-training assistance, health care, Supplemental Security Income, food stamps, Refugee Cash Assistance, and other welfare and housing benefits worth about $7,000 per person.

In total, the resettlement of Gulf War I-era Iraqi POWs and their family members in America soaked up some $70 million in taxpayer funds. No such aid was offered to American troops and their families who sacrificed during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Going downtown
The rescue of Jessica Lynch:
NBC’s Kerry Sanders, reporting from near An Nasiriyah, said U.S. officials were made aware that at least one female prisoner was being held at Saddam Hospital when a note was passed to a Marine on Tuesday morning. In handwriting that looked as though it was written by a female, the note said, in English: "She’s still alive. She’s in room [XXX]."

A resident of An Nasiriyah who spoke English approached Sanders on Tuesday and told him: "There’s a woman in the Saddam Hospital who’s an American soldier. Please make sure the people in charge know that she’s being tortured."

... military officials said 11 corpses that were also discovered in the building where the soldier was found, and it’s believed some were American.
And the van barreling through the roadblock:
Sahid Mohammed Bakir Almohari - a prominent Muslim cleric from the town near where the shooting and an earlier homicide bombing occurred - said on Fox News Channel that villagers told him Iraqi militants mercilessly orchestrated both incidents to try to whip up anti-American support.

"These people, children and women, those were put in the bus by Saddam Hussein's forces, their husbands or fathers were taken hostages and the driver was ordered to speed up to the checkpoint and not stop so that they would be shot at," said Almohari, one of many Shiites opposed to Saddam.

As for Saturday's homicide bombing, in which an Iraqi posing as a cabdriver lured four soldiers to his vehicle at another nearby checkpoint and then blew them all up, the cleric said the "bomber" became involved only to save his family.

The thugs had threatened to kill his relatives, including his infant son, if he didn't comply, the cleric told Fox.

Almohari said one man who refused to carry out an attack at another checkpoint was personally killed by Ali Hassan, a k a "Chemical Ali," the mastermind of Iraq's brutal gassing of the Kurds in the '80s.
The Marines:
The Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment are hoping to make a strong impression.

Along the road to Baghdad, U.S. Marines have started knocking on doors - hard. They're sweeping into towns, drawing out and crushing Iraqi attackers, clearing ruling Baath Party militia bases and setting Saddam Hussein's most loyal fighters on the run.
At first U.S. forces bypassed smaller towns on the road to the Iraqi capital, hoping to avoid confrontations as they pressed north toward the war's decisive battle. But after a series of attacks on rear supply lines, Marines began provoking conflicts in areas where they suspected Iraqi militants were hiding.

Marines have targeted four towns since Saturday, killing more than 100 Iraqi fighters, capturing key Baath and military headquarters and seizing ammunition, mines and rockets. They took dozens of prisoners, including some members of Saddam's vaunted Republican Guard. Not a single Marine was injured.
All of the Iraqi soldiers were gaunt, except for one fat, groaning man, Marines identified as a Republican Guard officer. Shot in the back, he died of his wounds.
Some day the name of Saddam Hussein will only be spoken in Hell. But let's not forget the whining apologists that are still hovering around his ass like flies.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

My bad!
Yesterday, I suggested that "Based on ole Peter's record, I tend to to think that when the Iraqi Disinformation Minister breaks wind, Peter's cheeks inflate." Mike Shelton at the Orange County Register corrects me with an illustration of the precise situation:

Don't light a match!

Hey, he's just looking for his gerbil!
Whining in the peanut gallery
US war planners lack professionalism: Belgian foreign minister:
The US officials who planned the war in Iraq "lack professionalism," Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel said in a newspaper interview published in Brussels, adding that he thought the real reason for the war was the United States' need to reassert its power after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

"It's incredible to throw so much power into a war while hinting that the whole thing had been worked out in advance, when in fact it appears that things aren't so clear," Michel told the French-language newspaper La Libre Belgique.
A lot was lost in the translation or Louie is a moonbat. I'm voting for the latter.

Louis Michel - Moonbat
Way to go
Palestinian Volunteer Returns from Iraq in Coffin:
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Guns and roses on Tuesday greeted the coffin of Palestinian volunteer Thaer Othman, killed in Iraq on his way to fight U.S.-led troops.
Palestinians in the camp, solemnly holding Othman's picture, said they saw him as a role model.
Fer sure, dudes. Boy, Iraq sure is an idiot magnet - he was a resident of Denmark.
Today's Hoot!
Fake "war correspondent" has cover blown. No it's not Peter Arnett, but that's close.
Listeners to Swaziland's state-run radio station thought it had its own correspondent in Baghdad covering the war -- until legislators spotted him in parliament at the weekend.

"Why are they lying to the nation that the man is in Iraq, when he is here in Swaziland, broadcasting out of a broom closet?" MP Jojo Dlamini demanded of Information Minister Mntomzima Dlamini in the House of Assembly on Monday.
Meanwhile down in Basra
Greg Swift of the Sun reports on Gluttons for Punishment:
Five members of Saddam Hussein’s Gestapo were arrested after Desert Rats dramatically stormed a Ba’ath Party HQ yesterday ? and found it stuffed with food.

The British troops threw open the doors of the palatial building to cowed and starving Iraqis, who were stunned to learn how their oppressors had been gorging themselves all along.

The two-storey complex boasted TWO huge, well-equipped kitchens - each with cavernous larders piled to the rafters with grub.

The gluttons had even hoarded gigantic sacks of rice and grain donated as humanitarian aid.
What a surprise!
Fresh garlic, tomatoes and sauces stood alongside giant chest freezers filled with meat and frozen produce.

Meanwhile, poverty-stricken children in the shanty town surrounding the lavish HQ a few miles from Basra had been left to starve.

Saddam’s brutal henchmen were deliberately carted away in full view of amazed citizens ? to show the crowds they no longer had anything to fear.
I'm sure a little detention will help with their slimming plans.
The lavish lifestyle enjoyed by those happy to do Saddam’s dirty work soon became apparent. Along wood-panelled corridors the British soldiers raced through a series of luxurious bedroom suites.

Each boasted its own sitting room with TV, armchairs and sofa. In the heart of the complex a number of imposing rooms fanned out from a central reception area.

In one was a bar complete with snooker table.
Tsk, Muhammed will not be pleased.

With the boys from Southern Pines in Northern Iraq
Sandro Contenta in the Toronto Star - U.S. forces call Iraqi retreat `amateur night at the Apollo':
After a day of spotting targets for warplanes, a team of U.S. commandos kicked back in the late afternoon sun, relaxing in T-shirts, beach flip-flops and wrap-around sunglasses.

The Canadian on the team, a 32-year-old born in Winnipeg, trimmed his goatee with an electric razor. He sat in the back of a pickup with an M60 machine-gun and anti-tank LAW bazooka by his side.

Just for laughs, his American commando buddies called him "the Québécois" ? a double tease in their eyes because it linked him to two countries, Canada and France, that don't support the U.S.-British war on Iraq.

"Everyone loves the French so much," said the Canadian, oozing sarcasm while refusing to give his name.
Since last Thursday, Iraqi soldiers have made five strategic retreats, giving up large tracts of land to concentrate their forces close to Kirkuk, which has Iraq's most productive oil fields.
The Iraqi soldiers, he said, are "total morons ... It's amateur night at the Apollo."

On Sunday, he said, he watched an air strike hit Iraqi soldiers in a bunker his team had spotted for the bombers. He watched as other Iraqi soldiers came to pick up what was left of their colleagues.

"I thought: `Man, don't you know a second one always comes after the first?'" he said, adding that, indeed, the next bomb wiped them out, too.
Near the bridge, Razgar Ismail and his 13-year-old son, Raebin, had come to find the Kurdish village his family called home until the Iraqi army chased them out in 1987.

All that was left of the 50 or so mud brick houses of Chamsurkhow was a grassy field covering lumps of dirt.

"I can't even find the spot where my house use to be," said Ismail. "After the war, God willing, I will rebuild right here."
More by following the link.
Celeb Hijinks!
The SF Chronicle shocks with Robin Williams Blasts Bush.
"In America, we have orange alert, but what the hell does that mean? We're supposed to be afraid of Krishna? Of orange sorbet? Then it's like, 'You can't go out and shop, it's too dangerous out there,' but if that happens then the economy falls."
Too much tootsky again, eh Robin?

Plus I was shocked to read that Michael Moore has been named as one of the 50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers! Tsk, innumeracy is rampant - Mikey is obviously three of the 50 most loathsome New Yorkers.
eBay Alert!
From the Boston Globe - Spoils of war include likenesses of Hussein:
UMM QASR, Iraq -- A US Navy truck pulled up onto the median of the now deserted main road through this strategic port at about midnight, and stopped just beneath a lamppost. A lone military man hoisted himself atop the truck, angling forward dangerously, machete in hand, and snatched a sought-after souvenir: the latex backlit portrait of Saddam Hussein triumphantly brandishing a rifle.

Such portraits of Hussein, in a multitude of shapes, sizes, and poses, flood the Iraqi landscape. With coalition troops in control of the Umm Qasr port, Hussein trophy hunting -- and desecration of the objects -- is rife.

US Central Command has issued orders against tampering with symbols of the Iraqi president. But his ubiquitous portrait has met a variety of ugly fates. One now decorates a Navy unit's quarters, with a new faux inscription: ''To Steve -- Thanks for all the memories. Saddam.''
Hmmm, I do need something to keep the crows out of the garden.

Monday, March 31, 2003

April Fool Alert!
Baghdad Peter Arnett already has a new gig amongst his fellow bottom dwellers at the Mirror. I still think Al Jazeera is more his style.
Today's Hoots
Geraldo gives precise location of Peter Arnett:
Just hours after Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera was asked to leave the 101st Airborne for revealing tactical information about the unit, Mr. Rivera attempted to redeem himself by giving the precise location of fired NBC war correspondent Peter Arnett.

"To the 101st, let me say this: my bad," Mr. Rivera said in a televised segment on Fox News, before unveiling satellite photos showing Peter Arnett’s most recent movements.

Mr. Arnett, who was fired by NBC for giving an interview to Iraqi TV in which he said that the U.S. war plan for Iraq had failed, was shown to be moving in a remote region near the oil-rich town of Kirkuk.

"To all my buds in the 101st - wherever you are - go get him, dudes," Mr. Rivera said, pumping his fist in the air.

But Mr. Arnett seemed to have a surprise of his own up his sleeve, appearing on television a few minutes later in his new role as a war correspondent for The Food Network, the only cable network yet to fire him in his decades-long career.
And over at Scrappleface - Iraqi Soldiers Crowd Streets Chanting 'Arnett Akbar :
Iraqi soldiers demonstrated their gratitude to former MSNBC reporter Peter Arnett by gathering in the streets of Baghdad and chanting 'Arnett Akbar' (Arnett is Great!), and "There is no God but Saddam, and Arnett is his prophet."
Mr. Hussein has ordered construction of a new mosque in Baghdad to honor Mr. Arnett, whom he called "my most effective information ministry official".
How about a pissoir?
Sound familiar?
The AFP reports US soldiers wounded as Iraqi troops open fire from Red Crescent ambulance:
SOUTHERN IRAQ (AFP) - Three US troops were wounded , one seriously, after Iraqi soldiers used a Red Crescent ambulance to stage an attack in southern Iraq, an AFP correspondent reported.

The Iraqi troops in Monday opened fire on a group of American soldiers who had approached the ambulance at a town north of Nasiriyah.

The seriously injured soldier would be evacuated, while two others were undergoing surgery at a captured air base, a US air force source said.
Time to cancel the "How low can you go" contest.
Listening to the UN has consequences
David Sharrock in the (UK) Times - 'We hope this is liberation but we don't yet know'
"Nobody is taking their pictures of Saddam down yet because we don’t know if he is finished and we don’t know if the British and Americans will stay," he smiles wearily. "All the Iraqi people hope to get rid of this regime. But most of us are afraid that what happened in 1991 will happen again."

"That’s why we don’t trust you, you let us down before. That is why people do not want to talk. We hope that this is the liberation of Iraq, but we do not know."
Baghdad Pete Redux
This morning Peter Arnett is visiting with his like minded pals on the Today Show. He's apparently been cut loose by NBC, MSNBC, and National Geographic and he's leaving town. Boo F***ing Hoo.

And no, he didn't apologize - he just said his remarks were "stupid". Hey, maybe he can get a gig with Al Jazeera.
Special Ops with the Kurds in Northern Iraq
Anthony Loyd in the (UK) Times:
The US special forces team had arrived that morning, pushing forward to the new front line about 13 miles southeast of Kirkuk. Iraqi forces had abandoned their positions as far as this point two days earlier as part of a planned withdrawal for the defence of the oil-rich city.

Dividing themselves into two groups, one, American callsign "Moto", moved to a commanding slope to provide forward air control for the strikes, while the second four-man team, "Shifty", secured a position in a deserted rectangular pit directly facing their enemy. They then set up a small, multispoked communications antenna.
"You say 52 come 10 o’clock," one of the peshmerga challenged impatiently as he peered over the lip of the pit at the Iraqi positions beyond. "Yeah, well, it’s been a kinda slow morning," the American soldier drawled as he looked skyward. It was nearly midday.
Suddenly the ten or so peshmerga sitting behind the team became excited: "52, 52," they shouted, pointing up. High above us, all the way from RAF Fairford, the silver beast trailed white vapour against the blazing blue. "Shifty to Moto, inbound," a soldier said over the radio. Yet still, even with the distant roar of the engines, the Iraqis loitered above their bunkers.
The saddleback ridge all but disappeared, and with it the standing Iraqi men. A huge series of brown clouds took their place as other elements of the B52 payload flashed white, airbursting flame above them.
Bye, bye.
Big Noise from Baghdad
No, it isn't a bunker buster, it's Peter Arnett. My better half thinks that he may have been coerced into delivering his Iraqi TV endorsement of Saddam's terror regime. Based on ole Peter's record, I tend to to think that when the Iraqi Disinformation Minister breaks wind, Peter's cheeks inflate. Would you like some nerve gas in your baby milk, Petey?

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Today's Hoot
From Samizdata - The truth about the Aussie SAS...:
However there is another more... puzzling... aspect to the lack of news, considering the Australians are the only group to invite the Al-Jazeera TV channel to embed journalists with them. A recently broadcast signal from a Australian SAS unit 'somewhere in Iraq' made mention that they had run out of embedded journalists and could they send a couple more out, preferably less stringy ones this time. It is unclear what the significance of that last remark was.
I hope the lads have had all their shots.
Combover alert!
Tatiana Deligiannakis and Eric Lenkowitz in the NY Post - Saddam's Swine Eats High on Hog:
The Iraqi people might be starving, but they can rest easy knowing their U.N. ambassador is stuffing his face and running up a fat tab at one of the city's poshest eateries.

Saddam mouthpiece Mohammed al-Douri, whose boss vowed terror attacks in the United States and issued posthumous medals to a suicide bomber yesterday, was spotted by The Post enjoying a meal that included French-style crème brulee at celeb hot spot Nello's last night.

The servant to Saddam, who was joined by his Iraqi Mission colleague Benon Sevan, also feasted on grilled swordfish, which he washed down with a glass of champagne and a sparkling water.

The ambassador, who believes that America wants to "kill everyone in Iraq," enjoyed a night of good old American hospitality, which he capped off in Marie Antoinette fashion with both crème brulee and a chocolate cake.

All told, the meal set back the Iraqi treasury $200. But a least no one can say Saddam's underlings are cheap - al-Douri did leave a $30 tip.

Other patrons said al-Douri and his pal yukked it up during their dinner conversation - apparently a respite from a hard week of attacking the United States and seeing his boss send children into battle.
Another United Nations moment. And Pig Boy himself promised terrorist attacks on the United States.
That's really swell, but....
Matthew Rosenberg of the AP - Lopsided casualty count loads U.S. hospital ship with wounded Iraqis:
ABOARD THE USNS COMFORT (AP) -- Navy nurse Kimberlee Flannery came to the Persian Gulf expecting to help wounded Americans. Instead, she has been caring mostly for injured enemy soldiers.
Navy officials won't give out numbers, but doctors and nurses said the vast majority of patients are Iraqis, including soldiers.

Iraqi women and children are among the Comfort's patients, but most of the wounded there are young men in their late teens and 20s, an emergency room doctor said on condition of anonymity. But catching a glimpse of the Iraqi wounded is difficult.

Journalists are not permitted to see them, in part because interviewing prisoners of war is a violation of the Geneva Convention, said Lt. Byron Adams, the ship's lawyer.
I'm so glad we have the ship's lawyer on the case. And of course:
But there initially were other constraints with Iraqi patients.

Officials had wanted only male nurses to tend to the prisoners in deference to cultural and security concerns.

But Flannery said the crew's demographics made that impractical.
I hope they have some real troops watching over this - I'm sure the Jihadists would like nothing more than busting up a hospital ship.

Which reminds me of Iraqi troops targeting ambulances:
Basra, March 29: Shock Trauma Platoons (STP) attached to the US Marine Corps have covered their trade mark red cross on ambulances after being targeted by Iraqi forces, a military spokesman said today.

A senior commander was quoted in an agency report as saying that the decision was made at a meeting of STPs, the first line of medical help for injured troops on the front, after fierce battles with Iraqi forces in Nasiriyah last week.

STP ambulances that were displaying the red cross were clearly and significantly targeted by Iraqis armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers, he reportedly said.

Under Geneva Conventions ambulance drivers have a choice of whether to fly the red cross. But they do not receive non-combatant status in conflict if the flag is not displayed and corpsmen are captured by opposing forces.
Counting on receiving "non-combatant" status from Saddam's thugs is a poor bet anyhow.
Look who else was under the rock!
Jed Babbin suggests that the Iraqi car bomber was really one of the usual Jihadist space cases:
There is more, much more, than is being reported about the suicide bombing that killed four Americans earlier today. And from a very credible source, I have heard enough to convince me I had to correct something I wrote this morning. This suicide attack does represent an evolution of this war to something far uglier than we may be prepared to deal with. The suicider was not, as the Iraqi vice president announced, an Iraqi army officer. He was a member of Hamas--or possibly a Saudi--and one of many terrorists that are embedded throughout Iraq. This is no longer a war to remove the threat of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and liberate Iraq. Yes, those still are part of our objectives. But it is--much more--a war between our conventional forces and most of the terrorist world.
In preparation for this war, while we diddled with the U.N. for the past five months, Saddam has been welcoming terrorists in by the truckload. And now, it is they who are fighting, and preventing regular Iraqi units from surrendering. They are also at the heart of the atrocities we are seeing, and will continue to see. Especially the civilian deaths that the Iraqis are trying to lay at our door.
And Junior Assad says he wants in:
Syria, alarmed by the impending collapse of its neighbor and ally, has called for suicide missions against U.S. forces in Iraq.
And then there's our old pals:
One of the top commanders of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, the largest faction of the PLO, says hundreds of Palestinians living in Lebanon have been sent to Iraq to carry out suicide attacks against American and British soldiers, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.
What a surprise.