Friday, November 24, 2006


photo by Atef Hassan for Reuters

Those of you who enjoy (?) the challenges of parenthood, have encountered many a conflict between two children (or more) in which one party blames their action on the other. Or better put, re-action. "Well, HE/SHE started IT!", they'll inevitably protest, and once again (and again and again) we'll say, it doesn't matter WHO started it, you a)know better, b)were told not to do such and such if they started such and such, and c)two wrongs do not make a right.
Well, and creative variations on those themes.
So the latest gruesome reports tell us that 6 Iraqis were grabbed after friday's prayer at their mosque and burned alive:
Mr Maliki, a moderate Shia, faced the dilemma as the cycle of killings reached new levels of savagery. Yesterday, there were reports that at least 60 Sunnis had died in revenge killings and suicide attacks, including one episode in which Shia militiamen seized six Sunnis as they were leaving a mosque, doused them with petrol and set them alight, while soldiers reportedly stood by. In another attack, gunmen burned mosques and killed more than 30 Sunnis in Baghdad's Hurriya district before US forces intervened.

Apparently, this cycle of violence can only stop if the following happens according to Moqtada al-Sadr;
Appealing directly to Harith al-Dari, the leader of the Association of Muslim Scholars, a radical Sunni organisation which has always denounced the US occupation, Mr Sadr told the congregation: "He has to release a fatwa prohibiting the killing of Shias so as to preserve Muslim blood and must prohibit membership of al-Qaida or any other organisation that has made Shias their enemies."

There is a point, when one has to stop blaming others for their own conduct. Yes, this was a powder keg that was unleashed by unpreparedness and hubris of the Bush administration. You know my feelings about them. And yes, this conflict goes back further than we can understand. But at some point, there has to come and end to this, whether the US troops disengage from Iraq or not. Will all of this violence stop then? I am not so sure. There is a primal vengefull atmosphere in Iraq with so many wounded and dead that only by sheer will and desire of the parties on both sides a reconciliation can be foreseen. Only Muslims in the rest of the world can probably understand this deep hatred and distrust and prejudices between Sunnis and Shias, but even a parent, you have to say, stop already. Fights can go on and on and at one point, if no one intervenes or decides to stop on their own, no one will know what the origine of the conflict was all about.
Yes, let's have the troops pull out of Iraq but don't keep blaming others for the cycle of violence that keeps being perpetuated.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving...

to all my buddies;
Mash, Robster, Zebster, Granny (Ann), Worried, Zazou, Zee, Gary, Lindsay, Jamie, Betmo, Cyberotter,Tooners, Rogel, Lirun, Abufares, Yohay, Kel, Sothis, DA (Dimitri), Sadiq and am I forgetting anyone?? Sorry! It's late, and I gotta turn in to get ready for the big feast. Or better put, cooking part of it.
Btw..I hope to sneak away tomorrow so I can post because I sure have been missing it (that and I have things to tell)
Wish we could all get together for a nice communal feast, I'd consider that a Thanksgiving meal no matter what time of year that would be,
(note to self; remember to write about my strange dreams; bumping into Alex Jones, seeing Jim Hightower and some interesting articles I read...check!)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Impeachment off the table? We think not!

Admittedly, I am not a Democrat but an Independent, but a common goal is a common goal; the impeachment of President Bush. I've said it before on many a comment; what's worse, a speck a' sperm or a river of blood?

As I am on the list, I figured that was the reason for the email I received from the people and they're determined to go after the impeachment of Bush, grassroots style.
So here is the plan. Go to the Impeach for Change site. Never mind if you're Republican, Independent, or Libertarian or "other". The idea is to work across the country together to get the elected Democrats to go for impeaching Bush. Nancy Pelosi might have chosen Murtha which I think was a good choice, but the Democrats as a party needs to stand up and show backbone and really lead this country into a serious inquest into what happened, how, why and impeach Bush. We need to stand up for the men and women in uniform who've enlisted with the best intentions (never mind that I think it's because of propaganda patriotic beloney)to serve, and in turn got served a terrible raw deal and be some sort of offering to the God of wealth as if they mean nothing. Or the thousands and thousands of Iraqis. (for some serious, yet very graphic pictures of war casualties, go HERE. Be advised, it IS very gruesome but this is the reality of war)

Now lest you think I'm forgetting something, Cheney is included in the impeachment package. To sign the petition for impeachment for the both of them, go HERE!

To print copies of the impeachment petition, go HERE!

Now when you go to the impeachment for change site (note, the democrat site but never mind that), when you scroll down you'll see that some people do not agree on impeaching him while in office. What do you think? Personally, I think Bush and Cheney will be prevented from pulling any more stunts if they're being investigated while in office. Of course, we also should not forget Karl Rove and some other neocons, names elude me right now. So let's act as decisive as we did when we voted on November 7th.

It cannot be repeated enough; what's worse? A speck of sperm on a dress, or rivers of blood on our leaders' hands? Really.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I'm feeling pretty good

I'm cautiously optimistic and since last tuesday/wednesday have been feeling 'lighter' since years. Years of the Bush's neoconservative administration's hubris in action and words. (that and Fox's) We're not out of the woods. Even after a withdrawal out of Iraq, we will still have to deal with Islamic fundamentalists who feel that the world needs to be converted into Muslim followers. Of course, underlying that will also be some of their leaders who are using the religious pretext for their political gains; followers, political legitimacy, continued fighting of American dominance, overt and covert. That is, overt and covert actions on the part of the Bush administration;
The Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz cabal that runs the Bush Administration's military and national security agenda, was hit with the political equivalent of a tsunami on Jan. 17, with the publication of a story by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in the Jan. 24-31 issue of The New Yorker. Hersh revealed that the Administration is working on plans to launch missile and commando attacks against as many as three dozen of Iran's suspected nuclear and chemical weapons facilities, perhaps as early as Summer 2005. While the Administration's wanna-be imperialists, led by the Vice President, fantasize that such military strikes will trigger a "velvet revolution" of Gap Jeans-wearing young Iranians, who will peacefully overthrow the mullahs, in yet another Bush-induced outbreak of spontaneous Western democracy, experts warn that such an action would deepen the grip of the Islamic Revolution, and trigger regional chaos.

So I know that Nancy Pelosi has taken impeachment off the table but we saw last tuesday what the American people are capable of. There will still be many who cannot fathom impeaching a president, but last tuesday did give me hope.
I have resisted becoming American and perhaps after the next big election I can totally reconsider. Still, not since the Cold war was finished have I felt this good. Phew. One down, three more to go.

Friday, November 10, 2006

U.S. was warned of Iraq chaos, says ex-diplomat

Carne Ross, Joseph Rowntree Charity visionaries for a just and peaceful world.

Kel, from the Osterly times, found another gem of info that is for most of us not surprising. In the event you even had a smidgeon of pity for Rumsfeld being given the boot (sure he resigned), here's an excerpt of Kel's post:
A former diplomat has revealed that the British mission to the United Nations opposed the policy of regime change in Iraq but was ordered by London to change its position in the lead-up to war.

Carne Ross, a member of the mission who resigned in protest at the Iraq war, told the Foreign Affairs Committee that the US government was repeatedly warned by British diplomats that Iraq would fall apart if Saddam Hussein was toppled. But shortly before the Iraq war they were told to change that view by Blair's government to fall in line with the Bush administration's plans

Click on excerpt for the full article.
Here's an article Carne Ross wrote for Slate earlier this year.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld and the Iraq syndrome

Donald Rumsfeld

In January of 2005, Lawrence Freedman wrote in the Washington Post what he thought would happen when Rumsfeld would step down:

Rumsfeld cannot complain that he was the victim of poor advice, because the only advice he appears to trust is his own. This was evident from the moment he arrived at the Pentagon and is one reason why comparisons with President Lyndon B. Johnson's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, are apt and illuminating. And just as McNamara left behind the "Vietnam syndrome," when Rumsfeld departs, his bequest may well be an "Iraq syndrome."

At first glance there appears to be little in common between McNamara -- the brash, relatively young, number-crunching corporate manager of the 1960s -- and Rumsfeld, the relatively old, former wrestler and veteran political bruiser of the 2000s. But they share some traits: When it came to the defense budget, both were leery of military advice, which they believed favored certain weapons programs for institutional as much as strategic reasons. And they carried their suspicions forward into operations, leading both to be accused of arrogance. Air Force Gen. Thomas White famously chastised McNamara's Pentagon for being full of "pipe-smoking, tree-full-of-owls" defense intellectuals, much as uniformed officers today disparage the intellectuals surrounding Rumsfeld.

The irony is that for three decades, American interventionists like those surrounding Rumsfeld have been laboring to overcome the Vietnam syndrome and its reluctance to get involved in overseas wars. And now, in their hour of seeming triumph, having waged a war that was largely supported by Americans despite the perils, these interventionists have much to fear. That's because whenever Rumsfeld finally packs up his office at the Pentagon, he will leave behind an even more burdensome Iraq syndrome -- the renewed, nagging and sometimes paralyzing belief that any large-scale U.S. military intervention abroad is doomed to practical failure and moral iniquity.
bold added by yours truly.

Indeed, Jim Webb, who at this point of writing has claimed victory over George Allen as Senator for Virginia, wrote about the reason why the United States ought not to engage in certain battles:
My final admonition—and I got into some trouble with this during the Gulf War—is that we are not in a position as a nation, and particularly as a military, to occupy large pieces of territory. The Wall Street Journal editorialized repeatedly during the Gulf War that we should set up a MacArthurian regency in Baghdad. There has been a lot of discussion about why we did not take Baghdad during the Gulf War. I think as much as anyone in this country, I would like to see Saddam Hussein go. To my knowledge, I was the only guy in the Reagan administration who opposed the tilt toward Iraq, in writing, in 1987. I do not think we had nor have the resources to occupy Iraq.

If you think we have problems in Israel, try putting a Judeo-Christian military system in the cradle of Muslim culture. And when you think about a military of 1.4 million people, with other responsibilities around the world, that is not a winnable situation. I tried to say ten years ago, over and over again, that we must be involved only to the extent that it directly involves our national interests. These arguments have been going on for 3,000 years. And when they do relate to our national interests, as this international terrorist movement does, we must act with a great deal of specific lethality. We must go after the people who are doing this and eliminate them.

(James/Jim Webb was an Assistant-Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration)

Credit goes to Mash at Docstrangelove for locating this source of information.

So Rumsfeld finally has left the building. We can only hope, that next year, the neoconservatives that have been put in place by this, faux-conservative administration will punch their clocks to never return as well. Hasta la vista Rummy!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Saddam Hussein trial travesty, and the Euro

Let me preface this by saying that I believe Saddam Hussein deserves to pay for killing millions of Iraqi people. But yet again, the wisdom in the manner of ensuring this, has been starkly absent in the whole proceedings against him. Consider the reason Wesley Clarke wanted to be his defense lawyer:
The United States, and the Bush administration in particular, engineered the demonization of Hussein, and it has a clear political interest in his conviction. Obviously, a fair trial of Hussein will be difficult to ensure — and critically important to the future of democracy in Iraq. This trial will write history, affect the course of violence around the world and have an impact on hopes for reconciliation within Iraq.

The one thing that has upset a lot of people is not the fact that Saddam Hussein got deposed, but the fact that he fought America's proxy war against Iran.
The press has proven incapable of even noting the obvious irony of the charges that Washington has chosen to level against its prisoner. Saddam Hussein is being tried for the deaths of 148 men and teenage boys in the predominantly Shia village of Dujail, following an assassination attempt against Hussein that occurred there in 1982, during the Iran-Iraq war.

For the Bush administration to try him for this crime—wreaking lethal vengeance against a rebellious population in wartime—underscores the hypocrisy and absurdity of the entire enterprise. Why is Bush not in the defendant’s dock for precisely the same crime? What, after all, was the barbaric siege of Fallujah carried out by the US military just a year ago? After the deaths of four American mercenaries in the city, Fallujah was targeted for a savage reprisal

Another worrisome thing to consider is this; the real reason of going to war against Iraq. Not weapons of mass destruction, but a simple economic one; euros. That's right. Not oil, (well, just in part) but euros. I have not had time to request permission for reprint, so I will lead you to the link to read it for yourself. Saddam Hussein in 2002 switched to euros, instead of petro dollars. The European community is a larger consumer than the American one and the euro is not debt-laden as the dollar is. Check out the Dollar vs Euro!
As you can see in the comment section, my permission was requested to have this posted on, so here it is, lookin' pretty good with picture and everything;
The Saddam Hussein Trial Travesty, and the Euro, with a little added info. I only need to edit that I'm not in Canada and change my bio..hmm..of course, now the word is out what my name is and everything.. oh well.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

How to fold a t-shirt

Say what? Yes, under the famous category, "and now for something completely different", I present you, a genius way of folding your t-shirts. Do try it at home.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Speaking of therapy..adolescent America

as the song goes "now that I have your attention".. (garden of Allah).
Yesterday I went to my first appointment with the psychologist who seems to be a psychotherapist as well. After he asked me for my reason for being there (and no btw, I'm not breaking my HIPPAA rule), he asked me a bit of history about myself. I jokingly said well, you know that list with the stress factors? Or it's called life changes chart (could only find one reference), well, I told him a preliminary time line of all my moves and changes and he said, wow! You're off the chart no wonder you're here! It actually made me feel good. It validated that it's not just a weakness or "it's all in my head", although, it kinda is of course. I've been feeling for a while as if all the things that have happened to me over the past 22 years since I emigrated, just saturated my system and I needed to find a way to get it out. I've moved more times than I like to remember, and come to think of it, I will make a time line for the good doctor so he can have a quick reference and poke and prod in a easier manner rather than just letting me talk. It's overwhelming to think of the things that have built up in me, but not so overwhelming that I feel I can't take it anymore. I've been on the Lexapro for little over a week and the xanax (the 'baby xanax'as the doctor called it) helps me to start the day.
As we briefly talked about culture and my experience/difficulties with this (American) culture vs the one I grew up in, he referred to this country as an 'adolescent' country. Aside from having been around for a relative short while, the values and attitudes are still far from mature. That reminded me of all the pathetic political ads I have been seeing on tv. Even when/if a candidate wants to expose the incumbents' or the opponents' short comings or illegal/clandestine affairs, you'd think, that's what you have the press for. The smear campaigns on either side just seem so immature and pathetic to me, I would not want to vote for anyone who runs a campaign like that. The excuse used is that 'the other one does it' and 'it works', but what does it say about American voters? What does it say about this culture? Yep, it's highschool adolescent behaviour although that said, I don't think in highschool that such behaviour is accepted.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Writing therapy?

I got introduced by my good buddy Robbie ('Robster' to me) to the NaNoWriMo; the National Novel Writer Month. The idea is to write a 70.000 word novel by the end of the month of November. Start time , one second after midnight of November first and some people have had their apparent parties to kick off the event. What started out as 21 wannabe writers got together in the San Francisco Bay area to try to write that significant novel, got turned into thousands and thousands of people joining each year from different countries as well. For a humerous account on how it all started, click HERE.

This year, the people at NoNoWriMo will donate 50% of their funds acquired by the sale of their book or individual donors, in partnership with the non profit Room to Read, to buy books and establish libraries in Vietnam. In the past, NaNoWriMo has built 7 libraries in Laos and 3 in Cambodia. For more info and I encourage you to check this out, go HERE!

The idea is to write at least about 3000 words a day to get you started. Especially at the beginning. Robbie had his outline and everything and is no doubt banging away at his keyboard, possessed, obsessed! (it's a writer's lot in life) I figured, I always wanted to write (and have taken quite a few scriptwriting workshops and classes) and with my first therapy session coming up tomorrow, I figured what the hey! Why not? I did not prepare at all and just started to write. Not long hand but on the computer. If I did long hand, I could not read my own writing at some point. I am at 1572 words right now which is pretty good considering I had (and still don't) no clue as to what I would write. I'm going to enjoy the process for its own sake and hope I make it to 70.000, but most of all, hope to see where this story unfolds. The working title is Solsbury Hill, inspired by Peter Gabriel's song. Not even thinking about the lyrics, I always had images of kids from different backgrounds, coming out together from a shared ordeal that made them understand each other. I am talking VERY different backgrounds. So for now, my character Sanjit (a 12yr old Indian boy born in India who had emigrated to the UK with his parents) is on the plane, ready for takeoff, to go to Thailand for the summer. Don't think 'Lost', it's not going to be something like that. What the story will be though, I have no idea. Write hot, read cold. Then edit edit edit!
Good luck Robster, let's see how we do!
"Climbing up on Solsbury hill...
My heart going boom boom boom
"Son," he said "Grab your things,
I've come to take you home."