Are you a word?

Since a number of people are involved in the project, saram (see entry below) has created an “iam.A WORD” forum.

…and sorry about the repeated downtime this morning…

I guess the “big news” is that Arafat is almost dead with news widely reporting that he's on death's door with stomache cancer (more). Now, I don't know whether this is some Mossad trick or if it's the real deal, but it definitely will represent an interesting shift in that dynamic.

In nearby news, Iran “has until October 31st” to show that they don't have a secret nuclear weapons program (more) — John Bolton (US Undersecretary) said, “They will try and throw sand in our eyes and use a modest level of cooperation to hide some level of obfuscation and lack of cooperation, to conceal as much as they can.” To prepare, the US is in negotiations with a number of poorer European states to place missile arrays pointing at Iran on their soil (more). The White House did just approve the $87 billion for Iraq (more), but how much will these add to the bill?

Back in Iraq, death and violence still grows daily (more) and US soldiers continue to be killed, being lured into ambushes by average citizens (more) — let me again remind people that in Vietnam only a small percentage of people actively fought. You only need to convince a small percentage of the population to successfully stage a resistance movement… and the enemy can't fight you without turning more and more of the population to your cause. Rumsfeld says he's “surprised” that there's any resistance (more) which makes one have to wonder — given the large number of Iraqi immigrants, as well as US businesses doing business with Iraq, why was the US unable to get a better picture of the social issues in Iraq? Now they have 10,000 Iraqis protesting “US terrorism” in the streets of Baghdad (more).

As US troops are being forced to retreat in parts of Iraq, losing territory to guerrilla forces (more), they're left with trying to find Iraqis to fight on their side… So because of dwindling man-power, the US is switching to boy-power, funding and supplying an army of ten year olds and teens (more). One of them sums up their training:

"The soldiers trained us good. If someone tries to kill me, I can shoot them. If someone drives by without stopping, I can shoot them."

In further Iraqi unrest, Kurds have deployed forces and will be declaring war on Turkey (more)… so ultimately this all brings us to the big question: Given that Saddam Hussein had to kill and oppress a lot less people than the US is doing in Iraq to maintain order, and was able to provide his people with far more social benefits than they have now, and was able to stop all of these domestic and international civil wars, does it not follow that Saddam Hussein was a good (maybe better is the right word) leader? I'm not saying he was — I'm just saying that the current circumstances dictate the question, and Iraqis don't seem to want to see his legend die (more).

The affairs of Iraqi society cannot be managed without a great deal of violence and power. Iraqi society cannot be controlled by someone who treats them in a nice way. It cannot be run by someone open minded. It needs someone all-powerful, ready to use force or violence to get the people to do what he wants.

- Qasim al-Jawai, Iraqi Army General

When all else fails, just scream, “but I was protecting you from a MADMAN!” (more) — as if anyone believes that Saddam was any threat to the US, I mean, these nations need the US for income — and then use old faithful: blame Cuba (more, more). Yeah, some impoverished Caribbean nation is really a threat to the US… Uh, oh, if people aren't believing that, better claim that Paraguay is the new terrorist HQ (more). The US military ought to be able to take on Paraguay, right?

Whatever you do, don't let anyone know that more and more territory is falling back into the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan (more)… Approximately 666 Taliban are being held in Guantanamo Bay, where the Red Cross has finally broken their silence on the prison death camp, alleging horrendous and illegal conditions (more), with lawyers for the detained screaming claims that the US is employing torture (more).

Finally, I wanted to mention one last upcoming war. Calpundit covers the Texas Republican platform in more detail (more), but I wanted to quote one part of it,

The Party urges Congress to support HJR 77, the Panama and America Security Act, which declare the Carter-Torrijos Treaty null and void. We support re-establishing United States control over the Canal in order to retain our military bases in Panama, to preserve our right to transit through the Canal, and to prevent the establishment of Chinese missile bases in Panama.

Or, to put it simply, seize back with military force, the Panama Canal. If the Chinese really are in a position to seize control of Panama and the canal (more, more, more), then watch out for this issue as it certainly could escalate. Actually, let me mention some other points in the (Texas) Republican platform very briefly, since there still is a very good chance that Bush will win another term:

  • Separation of church and state should be eliminated.
  • Gay sex should be criminalized, and gays should not be permitted to be around children.
  • Creationism should be taught at school.
  • Abortion (of all kinds) should be constitutionally banned.
  • The minimum wage should be eliminated.

There's more, but now I've got to go do some real work…

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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