Laugh of the Day Update

You’ll notice that Mr. Tasty Manatees has altered, fabricated, and deleted at will on the comments board I talked about here. He also removed his warning about this Orwellian practice. Several readers have written to inform me of his alterations and deletions, but the funniest comment was this:

    After watching the speed at which opinions that differ from his own get removed,
    I’d have to say his appreciation of free speech rivals that of a Hussein or a

Oh well, I say keep him busy!

Fallujah turns in junk weapons

Marine commanders say some rebel fighters are turning in weapons as promised. But most of the weapons don’t work.

Did they say they had to turn in their good stuff?

Peace efforts in this besieged city ran into trouble Wednesday as guerrillas mounted a heavy attack on Marines in a battle that killed 20 insurgents, and Marines said almost all the weapons turned in so far in a crucial disarmament were in such bad shape they were already useless.

In response, Marines halted the return of some of the 70,000 residents — more than a third of Fallujah’s population — who fled during this month’s bloody fighting. Crowds massed behind concertina wire, with women and crying children pressing forward demanding to be let in. Nearby trucks were stacked high with the families’ belongings.

About 10 families re-entered the city in the morning before Marines announced to some 600 Iraqis waiting at the checkpoint that no more would be allowed in.
Marine commanders said some weapons were handed over during the day, but 95 percent were in such bad shape they were useless. They would not say how many weapons were turned in.

“These may be early indications that the insurgents may not be living up to the requirements of the agreement,” Marine Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne said earlier in the day, when Marines reported no weapons had been surrendered.

I’m so surprised. I thought everyone in Fallujah would rush to disarm themselves.


This is too funny. A guy who calls himself “Conservative Observer” says that the rebels turning in their useless weapons is like “the annual no-questions, gun buy-backs the Democrats have forced on so many city governments in the US.” It just gets funnier from there.

Basra and the Brits

Three Iraqi police stations and one police academy in Basra have been attacked by five simultaneous car bombs, killing over 60 people and wounding at least 200.

British soldiers attempting to get to the sites of the explosions were reportedly stoned by the crowds.

You might remember that turning on American soldiers and Western journalists was also the response of the crowds after the massive Najaf bombings.

Inevitably, after one of these bombings, journalists will write that the Iraqis were angry at the “lack of security” and blame the occupation for this. It is true that Iraqis blame Americans for a lack of security, but their anger is now directed at the occupation itself for preventing Iraqis from providing their own security. The violence in Iraq today is mostly committed by the Iraqis intent on dislodging the occupation and the occupation’s violent responses. I think the occupation had a brief period of time just after the invasion to prove themselves capable of providing security rather than being an impediment, but that time is long past.

It is widely recognized now that the disbanding of the Iraqi army and the overzealous de-Baathification policies of the American-imported exile Iraqis, Chalabi in particular, and the American neocons guaranteed that chaos far too great for the too-few American soldiers to handle would ensue. This chaos created an atmosphere of distrust toward the occupation in ordinary Iraqis and those Iraqis most virulently opposed to the occupation were and are more easily able to use violence to accelerate the process of total estrangement between the Iraqi population and the occupation.

The occupiers have been herded into untenable positions. They must use severe repression and excessive firepower to maintain their tenuous grip on those portions of territory still in their control because they neither understand the culture well enough to craft a suitable political response and because they don’t have enough troops to effectively prevent the rebels from operating freely. This situation creates the downward spiral of violence that will spark further bloodbaths like the Marine assault and siege on the town of Fallujah, which only furthers the goals of the rebellion. Fallujah has been sufficient to turn most Iraqis who were neutral about the occupation against the Americans, to the extent that the rebels are now able to cripple and at times completely cut off the occupation supply lines. They will undoubtedly continue and intensify their efforts at this successful project.

The Basra attacks indicate that the rebels are now going to add the last semi-peaceful area to the general rebellion. The British have already acknowledged that it is not possible for them to hold Basra if the locals turn against them. The British generals have also spoken out about their disgust and alarm at the counterproductive and inhumane tactics and racist, arrogant attitudes of the Americans. The British contingent will place the blame for the unrest in Basrah squarely on the Americans for mishandling and inflaming the Najaf and Fallujah crises. It will be interesting to see how the situation with the British develops because the military appears to be breaking with the politicians and Blair, who are still uttering irrelevancies about staying the course, firm resolve and a united coalition despite the evidence to the contrary.

Before consenting to join the Americans in the initial invasion of Iraq, he British military insisted on guarantees that they would not be prosecuted for an illegal invasion before they consented to budge from Kuwait at the beginning. During the invasion, troop placement plans were hastily redrawn when unacceptable numbers of British soldiers were killed by “cowboy” Americans.

Since the numerous “friendly fire” deaths during the invasion, the British have kept their troops strictly separated from the Americans and lately, this physical distance has turned into a tactical and philosophical distance such that the Brits are actually denouncing American tactics and attitudes and publicly discussing the fact that they have been shut out of any strategy decisions and are forced to deal with the results of brutal American tactics of repression with which they disagree. The horrific bombings in Basra are just what the Brits were dreading would happen. What will their response be?

Laugh of the Day

Just because I’m a nice guy, I’ll give this kid a link. Here’s a snippet regarding my column on Monday:

    Normally, I ignore the disgusting rants of fools like Bargainer, given the extremist nature of his website and his fellow authors. However, since he’s singled this blog out for special inclusion in a racist diatribe, I thought I’d ask Bargainer a question in return: How do you sleep at night?

If even four of you click on this link, you’ll quadruple his daily traffic! Go help the kid out!

Beware: His stated policy for comments is as follows:

    If you: (1) use profanity, (2) get overly abusive with other commenters or me (at my discretion), or (3) launch into some paranoid schizophrenic “Bush Lied, People Died” rant, I will delete your tirade and insert an extremely embarassing piece of my own, while attributing it to you.

I fully expect that by the time you read the post, he will have replaced my comment with some racist cant. Just for the record, however, my original comment read as follows: Continue reading “Laugh of the Day”

Israelis: Die, Atomic Spy!

Mordechai Vanunu was released from Israeli prison today, where he was greeted by hundreds of Israelis gathered to wish him a speedy death and to express their regrets that he hadn’t been killed at Auschwitz.

Vanunu says he will continue to campaign against Israel’s nuclear policy of “ambiguity” and that “My message to all the world is open the Dimona reactor for inspections.”