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Iraq War Quiz

April 3, 2003 12 comments

Originally from ZNet, received in email.

Ready? Let’s go.

1. The anti-war movement supports our troops by urging that they be brought home immediately so they neither kill nor get killed in a unjust war. How has the Bush administration shown its support for our troops?
a. The Republican-controlled House Budget Committee voted to cut $25 billion in veterans benefits over the next 10 years.
b. The Bush administration proposed cutting $172 million from impact aid programs which provide school funding for children of military personnel.
c. The administration ordered the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to stop publicizing health benefits available to veterans.
d. All of the above.

2. The anti-war movement believes that patriotism means urging our country to do what is right. How do Bush administration officials define patriotism?
a. Patriotism means emulating Dick Cheney, who serves as Vice-President while receiving $100,000-$1,000,000 a year from Halliburton, the multi-billion dollar company which is already lining up for major contracts in post-war Iraq.
b. Patriotism means emulating Richard Perle, the warhawk who serves as head of the Defense Intelligence Board while at the same time meeting with Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi on behalf of Trireme, a company of which he is a managing partner, involved in security and military technologies, and while agreeing to work as a paid lobbyist for Global Crossing, a telecommunications giant seeking a major Pentagon contract.
c. Patriotism means emulating George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, John Bolton, Tom DeLay, John Ashcroft, Lewis Libby, and others who enthusiastically supported the Vietnam War while avoiding serving in it and who now are sending others to kill and be killed in Iraq.
d. All of the above.

3. The Bush administration has accused Saddam Hussein of lying regarding his weapons of mass destruction. Which of the following might be considered less than truthful?
a. Constant claims by the Bush administration that there was documentary evidence linking Iraq to attempted uranium purchases in Niger, despite the fact that the documents were forgeries and CIA analysts doubted their authenticity.
b. A British intelligence report on Iraq’s security services that was in fact plagiarized, with selected modifications, from a student article.
c. The frequent citation of the incriminating testimony of Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel, while suppressing that part of the testimony in which Kamel stated that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed following the 1991 Gulf War.
d. All of the above.

4. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher stormed out of a press conference when the assembled reporters broke into laughter after he declared that the U.S. would never try to bribe members of the UN. What should Fleisher have said to defend himself?
a. It wasn’t just bribery; we also ordered the bugging of the home and office phones and emails of the UN ambassadors of Security Council member states that were undecided on war.
b. Oh, come on! We’ve been doing this for years. In 1990 when Yemen voted against authorizing war with Iraq, the U.S. ambassador declared "That will be the most expensive ‘no’ vote you ever cast."
c. Why do you think the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act makes one of the conditions for an African country to receive preferential access to U.S. markets that it "not engage in activities that undermine United States national security or foreign policy interests"?
d. All of the above.

5. George Bush has declared that "we have no fight with the Iraqi people." What could he have cited as supporting evidence?
a. U.S. maintenance of 12 years of crippling sanctions that strengthened Saddam Hussein while contributing to the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.
b. The fact that "coalition" forces have indicated that they will use cluster bombs in Iraq, despite warnings from human rights groups that "The use of cluster munitions in Iraq will endanger civilians for years to come."
c. By pointing to the analogy of Afghanistan, which the U.S. pledged not to forget about when the war was over, and for which the current Bush administration foreign aid budget request included not one cent in aid.
d. All of the above.

6. The Bush administration has touted the many nations that are part of the "coalition of the willing." Which of the following statements about this coalition is true?
a. In most of the coalition countries polls show that a majority, often an overwhelming majority, of the people oppose the war.
b. More than ten of the members of the coalition of the willing are actually a coalition of the unwilling – unwilling to reveal their names.
c. Coalition members – most of whose contributions to the war are negligible or even zero – constitute less than a quarter of the countries in the UN and contain less than 20% of the world’s population.
d. All of the above.

7. The war on Iraq is said to be part of the "war on terrorism." Which of the following is true?
a. A senior American counterintelligence official said: "An American invasion of Iraq is already being used as a recruitment tool by Al Qaeda and other groups… And it is a very effective tool."
b. An American official, based in Europe, said Iraq had become "a battle cry, in a way," for Al Qaeda recruiters.
c. France’s leading counter-terrorism judge said: "Bin Laden’s strategy has always been to demonstrate to the Islamic community that the West, and especially the U.S., is starting a global war against Muslims. An attack on Iraq might confirm this vision for many Muslims. I am very worried about the next wave of recruits."
d. All of the above.

8. The Bush administration says it is waging war to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Which of the following is true?
a. The United States has refused to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, viewed worldwide as the litmus test for seriousness about nuclear disarmament.
b. The United States has insisted on a reservation to the Chemical Weapons Convention allowing the U.S. President the right to refuse an inspection of U.S. facilities on national security grounds, and blocked efforts to improve compliance with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.
c. Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified on Feb. 11, 2003, "The long-term trends with respect to WMD and missile proliferation are bleak. States seek these capabilities for regional purposes, or to provide a hedge to deter or offset U.S. military superiority."
d. All of the above.

9. The Bush administration says it wants to bring democracy to Iraq and the Middle East. Which of the following is true?
a. If there were democracy in Saudi Arabia today, backing for the U.S. war effort would be the first thing to go, given the country’s "increasingly anti-American population deeply opposed to the war."
b. The United States subverted some of the few democratic governments in the Middle East (Syria in 1949, Iran in 1953), and has backed undemocratic regimes in the region ever since.
c. The United States supported the crushing of anti-Saddam Hussein revolts in Iraq in 1991.
d. All of the above.

10. Colin Powell cited as evidence of an Iraq-Al Qaeda link an audiotape from bin Laden in which he called Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party regime "infidels." Which of the following is more compelling evidence?
a. An FBI official told the New York Times: "We’ve been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don’t think it’s there."
b. According to a classified British intelligence report seen by BBC News, "There are no current links between the Iraqi regime and the al-Qaeda network."
c. According to Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, "Since U.S. intervention in Afghanistan in October 2001, I have examined several tens of thousands of documents recovered from Al Qaeda and Taliban sources. In addition to listening to 240 tapes taken from Al Qaeda’s central registry, I debriefed several Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees. I could find no evidence of links between Iraq and Al Qaeda."
d. All of the above.

Answers and Sources
1. d (a) Cong. Lane Evans, "Veterans Programs Slashed by House Republicans," Press Release, 3/13/03, http://www.veterans.house.gov/democratic/press/108th/3-13-03budget.htm. (b) Brian Faler, "Educators Angry Over Proposed Cut in Aid; Many Children in Military Families Would Feel Impact," Washington Post, 3/19/03, p. A29. (c) See Veterans’ for Common Sense, letter to George W. Bush, 3/20/03 http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/print.asp?id=563; Melissa B. Robinson, "Hospitals Face Budget Crunch," Associated Press, 7/31/02; Jason Tait, "Veterans angered by marketing ban," Eagle-Tribune (Lawrence, MA), 8/2/02, http://www.eagletribune.com/news/stories/20020802/FP_003.htm

2. d (a) Warren Vieth and Elizabeth Douglass, "Ousting Hussein could open the door for U.S. and British firms. French, Russian and Chinese rivals would lose their edge," Los Angeles Times, 3/12/03, p. I:1; Robert Bryce and Julian Borger, "Halliburton: Cheney is still paid by Pentagon contractor, Bush deputy gets Dollars 1m from firm with Iraq oil deal," Guardian (London), 3/12/03, p. 5 (which notes that Halliburton "would not say how much the payments are; the obligatory disclosure statement filled by all top government officials says only that they are in the range of" $100,000 and $1 million. (b) Seymour M. Hersh, "Lunch with the Chairman," New Yorker, 3/16/03; Stephen Labaton, "Pentagon Adviser Is Also Advising Global Crossing," NYT, 3/21/03, p. C1. Perle is to be paid $725,000 for his lobbying effort, including $600,000 if his lobbying is successful. (c) New Hampshire Gazette, "The Chickenhawks," http://nhgazette.com/chickenhawks.html.

3. d (a) See the evidence collected in Cong. Henry Waxman’s letter to George W. Bush, 3/17/03, http://www.house.gov/waxman/text/admin_iraq_march_17_let.htm. (b) See Glen Rangwala’s report, http://traprockpeace.org/britishdossier.html. (c) See Glen Rangwala’s report, http://traprockpeace.org/kamel.html.

4. d (a) Martin Bright, Ed Vulliamy, and Peter Beaumont, The Observer (London), 3/2/03. (b) Quoted in Phyllis Bennis, Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today’s UN, New York: Olive Branch, 1996, p. 33. (c) Sarah Anderson, Phyllis Bennis, and John Cavanagh, Coalition of the Willing or Coalition of the Coerced?: How The Bush Administration Influences Allies in Its War on Iraq, Washington, DC: Institute for Policy Studies, 2/26/03, p. 4.

5. d (a) For background, see Anthony Arnove, ed., Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War, Cambridge: South End Press, updated ed. 2003. (b) Paul Waugh, "Labour MPs Attack Hoon After He Reveals That British Forces Will Use Cluster Bombs," Independent, 3/21/03, p. 4; Human Rights Watch, Press Release, 3/18/03: "Persian Gulf: U.S. Cluster Bomb Duds A Threat; Warning Against Use of Cluster Bombs in Iraq." (c) Zvi Bar’el, "Flaws in the Afghan Model," Ha’aretz, 3/14/03, http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/objects/pages/ PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=272884.

6. d (a) See, for example, the revealing comment of Secretary of State Powell: "We need to knock down this idea that nobody is on our side. So many nations recognize this danger [of Iraq’s weapons]. And they do it in the face of public opposition." Quoted in Steven R. Weisman With Felicity Barringer, "Urgent Diplomacy Fails To Gain U.S. 9 Votes In The U.N." NYT, 3/10/03, p. A1) (b) U.S. Dept. of State, Daily Press Briefing, Richard Boucher, Washington, DC, 3/18/03. (c) Country list: White House, Statement of Support from Coalition, 3/25/03, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/print/20030325-8.html; population calculated from Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2001, Washington, DC: 2001, table 1327. Total includes USA. The White House list includes countries whose leaders have done no more than state their support for the United States, and the listing changes from day to day, with some countries being added and some removed.

7. d (a) Don Van Natta Jr. and Desmond Butler, "Anger On Iraq Seen As New Qaeda Recruiting Tool," NYT, 3/16/03, p. I:1. (b) Van Natta and Butler, NYT, 3/16/03. (c) Van Natta and Butler, NYT, 3/16/03.

8. d (a) Colum Lynch, "U.S. Boycotts Nuclear Test Ban Meeting; Some Delegates at U.N. Session Upset at Latest Snub of Pact Bush Won’t Back," Washington Post, 11/12/02, p. A6. (b) Amy E. Smithson, "U.S. Implementation of the CWC," in Jonathan B. Tucker, The Chemical Weapons Convention: Implementation Challenges and Solutions, Monterey Institute, April 2001, pp. 23-29, http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/reports/tuckcwc.htm; Jonathan Tucker, "The Fifth Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention," Feb. 2002, http://www.nti.org/e_research/e3_7b.html. (c) Testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, excerpted at http://traprockpeace.org/usefulquotesoniraq.html.

9. d (a) Craig S. Smith, "Saudi Arabia Seems Calm But, Many Say, Is Seething," NYT, 3/24/03, p. B13. In fact, "Though the Saudi government officially denies it, the bombing campaign is being directed from Saudi Arabia – something that few Saudis realize." (b) On Syria, see Douglas Little, A Cold War and Covert Action: The United States and Syria, 1945 1958,@ Middle East Journal, vol. 44, no. 1, Winter 1990, pp. 55 57. On Iran, see Mark J. Gasiorowski, "The 1953 Coup D’Etat in Iran," International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 19, Aug. 1987, pp. 261-86. (c) Andrew Cockburn and Patrick Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, New York: Harper Perennial. 1999, chap. 1.

10. d (re audiotape, see David Johnston, "Top U.S. Officials Press Case Linking Iraq To Al Qaeda," NYT, 2/12/03, p. A1; Mohamad Bazzi, "U.S. says bin Laden tape urging Iraqis to attack appears real," Newsday, 2/12/03, p. A5. (a) James Risen and David Johnston, "Split at C.I.A. and F.B.I. On Iraqi Ties to Al Qaeda," NYT, 2/2/03, p. I:13. (b) "Leaked Report Rejects Iraqi al-Qaeda Link," BBC News, 2/5/03. (c) Rohan Gunaratna, "Iraq and Al Qaeda: No Evidence of Alliance," International Herald Tribune, 2/19/03.

Interpreting Your Score
9-10 Correct: Excellent. Contact United for Peace and Justice, and work to fight the war and the system that produced it.
6-8 Correct: Fair. You’ve been watching a few too many former generals and government officials who provide the "expert" commentary for the mainstream media. Read the alternative media!
3-5 Correct: Poor. Don’t feel bad. George W. Bush only got a C- in International Relations at College.
0-2 Correct: Failing. You have a bright future as an "embedded" journalist.

Categories: War Tags:

HA!

And now, the funniest editorial cartoon about the war I’ve seen yet.

geraldo-lotr.jpg

Categories: Linky, War Tags:

How Does That Go?

March 20, 2003 3 comments

A fictional argument between a peacenik and a warmonger over why we’re invading Iraq. Author unknown.

Peacenik: Why did you say we are invading Iraq?

Warmonger: We are invading Iraq because it is in violation of security council resolution 1441. A country cannot be allowed to violate security council resolutions.

PN: But I thought many of our allies, including Israel, were in violation of more security council resolutions than Iraq.

WM: It’s not just about UN resolutions. The main point is that Iraq could have weapons of mass destruction, and the first sign of a smoking gun could well be a mushroom cloud over NY.

PN: Mushroom cloud? But I thought the weapons inspectors said Iraq had no nuclear weapons.

WM: Yes, but biological and chemical weapons are the issue.

PN: But I thought Iraq did not have any long range missiles for attacking us or our allies with such weapons.

WM: The risk is not Iraq directly attacking us, but rather terrorists networks that Iraq could sell the weapons to.

PN: But couldn’t virtually any country sell chemical or biological materials? We sold quite a bit to Iraq in the eighties ourselves, didn’t we?

WM: That’s ancient history. Look, Saddam Hussein is an evil man that has an undeniable track record of repressing his own people since the early eighties. He gasses his enemies. Everyone agrees that he is a power-hungry lunatic murderer.

PN: We sold chemical and biological materials to a power-hungry lunatic murderer?

WM: The issue is not what we sold, but rather what Saddam did. He is the one that launched a pre-emptive first strike on Kuwait.

PN: A pre-emptive first strike does sound bad. But didn’t our ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, know about and green-light the invasion of Kuwait?

WM: Let’s deal with the present, shall we? As of today, Iraq could sell its biological and chemical weapons to Al Qaida. Osama BinLaden himself released an audio tape calling on Iraqis to suicide attack us, proving a partnership between the two.

PN: Osama Bin Laden? Wasn’t the point of invading Afghanistan to kill him?

WM: Actually, it’s not 100% certain that it’s really Osama Bin Laden on the tapes. But the lesson from the tape is the same: there could easily be a partnership between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein unless we act.

PN: Is this the same audio tape where Osama Bin Laden labels Saddam a secular infidel?

WM: You’re missing the point by just focusing on the tape. Powell presented a strong case against Iraq.

PN: He did?

WM: Yes, he showed satellite pictures of an Al Qaeda poison factory in Iraq.

PN: But didn’t that turn out to be a harmless shack in the part of Iraq controlled by the Kurdish opposition?

WM: And a British intelligence report…

PN: Didn’t that turn out to be copied from an out-of-date graduate student paper?

WM: And reports of mobile weapons labs…

PN: Weren’t those water trucks?

WM: And reports of Iraqis scuttling and hiding evidence from inspectors…

PN: Wasn’t that evidence contradicted by the chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix?

WM: Yes, but there is plenty of other hard evidence that cannot be revealed because it would compromise our security.

PN: So there is no publicly available evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

WM: The inspectors are not detectives, it’s not their JOB to find evidence. You’re missing the point.

PN: So what is the point?

WM: The main point is that we are invading Iraq because resolution 1441 threatened “severe consequences.” If we do not act, the security council will become an irrelevant debating society.

PN: So the main point is to uphold the rulings of the security council?

WM: Absolutely. … unless it rules against us.

PN: And what if it does rule against us?

WM: In that case, we must lead a coalition of the willing to invade Iraq.

PN: Coalition of the willing? Who’s that?

WM: Britain, Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain, and Italy, for starters.

PN: I thought Turkey refused to help us unless we gave them tens of billions of dollars.

WM: Nevertheless, they may now be willing.

PN: I thought public opinion in all those countries was against war.

WM: Current public opinion is irrelevant. The majority expresses its will by electing leaders to make decisions.

PN: So it’s the decisions of leaders elected by the majority that is important?

WM: Yes.

PN: But George B-

WM: I mean, we must support the decisions of our leaders, however they were elected, because they are acting in our best interest. This is about being a patriot. That’s the bottom line.

PN: So if we do not support the decisions of the president, we are not patriotic?

WM: I never said that.

PN: So what are you saying? Why are we invading Iraq?

WM: As I said, because there is a chance that they have weapons of mass destruction that threaten us and our allies.

PN: But the inspectors have not been able to find any such weapons.

WM: Iraq is obviously hiding them.

PN: You know this? How?

WM: Because we know they had the weapons ten years ago, and they are still unaccounted for.

PN: The weapons we sold them, you mean?

WM: Precisely.

PN: But I thought those biological and chemical weapons would degrade to an unusable state over ten years.

WM: But there is a chance that some have not degraded.

PN: So as long as there is even a small chance that such weapons exist, we must invade?

WM: Exactly.

PN: But North Korea actually has large amounts of usable chemical, biological, AND nuclear weapons, AND long range missiles that can reach the west coast AND it has expelled nuclear weapons inspectors, AND threatened to turn America into a sea of fire.

WM: That’s a diplomatic issue.

PN: So why are we invading Iraq instead of using diplomacy?

WM: Aren’t you listening? We are invading Iraq because we cannot allow the inspections to drag on indefinitely. Iraq has been delaying, deceiving, and denying for over ten years, and inspections cost us tens of millions.

PN: But I thought war would cost us tens of billions.

WM: Yes, but this is not about money. This is about security.

PN: But wouldn’t a pre-emptive war against Iraq ignite radical Muslim sentiments against us, and decrease our security?

WM: Possibly, but we must not allow the terrorists to change the way we live. Once we do that, the terrorists have already won.

PN: So what is the purpose of the Department of Homeland Security, color-coded terror alerts, and the Patriot Act? Don’t these change the way we live?

WM: I thought you had questions about Iraq.

PN: I do. Why are we invading Iraq?

WM: For the last time, we are invading Iraq because the world has called on Saddam Hussein to disarm, and he has failed to do so. He must now face the consequences.

PN: So, likewise, if the world called on us to do something, such as find a peaceful solution, we would have an obligation to listen?

WM: By "world", I meant the United Nations.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the United Nations?

WM: By "United Nations" I meant the Security Council.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the Security Council?

WM: I meant the majority of the Security Council.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the majority of the Security Council?

WM: Well… there could be an unreasonable veto.

PN: In which case?

WM: In which case, we have an obligation to ignore the veto.

PN: And if the majority of the Security Council does not support us at all?

WM: Then we have an obligation to ignore the Security Council.

PN: That makes no sense.

WM: If you love Iraq so much, you should move there. Or maybe France, with the all the other cheese-eating surrender monkeys. It’s time to boycott their wine and cheese, no doubt about that.

PN: I give up.

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The War Prayer

March 19, 2003 Comments off

With no further ado, a little Mark Twain offering, from the public domain.

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came-next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their faces alight with material dreams-visions of a stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender!-then home from the war, bronzed heros, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation — "God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was that an ever–merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory –

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there, waiting.

With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside — which the startled minister did — and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said "I come from the Throne-bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd and grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import-that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of-except he pause and think.

"God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of His Who hearth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this-keep it in mind. If you beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant’s prayer-the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it-that part which the pastor, and also you in your hearts, fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory-must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle-be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause)

"Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

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Please?

March 10, 2003 1 comment

Terrified Iraqi soldiers have crossed the Kuwait border and tried to surrender to British forces – because they thought the war had already started.

The motley band of a dozen troops waved the white flag as British paratroopers tested their weapons during a routine exercise.

More in link

Granted, the article is from the Daily Mirror, which isn’t the most upstanding of newspapers.

I saw an article last week I passed out to the folks on IRC that reported that the aerial assault would begin on the 13th, with ground troops moving in on the 17th. A few days later, the UK introduced their resolution to the UN with the 17th as the deadline for Iraq’s complete compliance with UN accords or face military action.

Or something. I think at this point Saddam Hussein has to kill himself on live TV to have a chance of stopping invasion. And even that probably wouldn’t do it.

Not that I’m opposed to the idea of Saddam snuffing it. Really, the man is a despicable tyrant who would best be in a shallow grave. If I thought the invasion would actually do any good, instead of making a generation of enemies, I might even find a way to support it.

Oh, well.

This is so frustrating.

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US Dirty Tricks

March 3, 2003 1 comment

The United States is conducting a secret ‘dirty tricks’ campaign against UN Security Council delegations in New York as part of its battle to win votes in favour of war against Iraq.

Details of the aggressive surveillance operation, which involves interception of the home and office telephones and the emails of UN delegates in New York, are revealed in a document leaked to The Observer.

More in link

I hear Finland is a nice country. Cold, but nice. I could grow a walrus moustache. Start driving a Volvo. Eat reindeer. It couldn’t be that bad…

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No, Really?

February 14, 2003 1 comment

"Officials said that a claim made by a captured al Qaeda member that Washington, New York or Florida would be hit by a "dirty bomb" sometime this week had proven to be a product of his imagination."
http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/US/terror030213_falsealarm.html

Well, no shit. Every time the alert/danger level gets raised a color, hasn’t it turned out to be prompted by false premises?

Click the more link for a picture of something I sure as fuck never needed to see in my lifetime…

A Surface-to-Air Missile Battery, with the Washington Monument in the background

I’m tired of having reactionary military-oriented idiots in charge of things. Any chance any of them will start thinking anytime soon? Any at all?

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