24 February 2004

History in Reverse: The Appeal of Blogging

A dear friend of mine says, "We should teach history in reverse." When I first hear him say this I am studying both western and eastern classical authors, dead white male philosophers, and newer ideas in academia like post-colonial studies (which could be banned from being taught in the U.S.---more on that later perhaps) and woman studies. I was (and am still) a person intermingling and finding the associations between the hard sciences and the social sciences. So, it makes sense.

Being a person who has been able to reflect on my own past, study ancient and modern history, while studying, experiencing, and reflecting on modernity(the times we live in today)...I agree and immediately feel like this must be applied somehow. Teach history in reverse. Makes sense. If we're going to save ourselves from ourselves, one way we might be able to do it is by teaching history in reverse. This deserves some adumbration(-by yours truly-) and attention by those who've never thought of the idea before.

That is why I am attracted to blogs and blogging. In many cases, you essentially see history in reverse when you go to a person's blog. This is a very powerful mechanism that changes the manner in which time is perceived both by the viewer and the writer. Contextually, it's quite complex. But just stepping back from context, and thinking about time and space (i.e. chronotope, which is context), it is a beautiful thing. (I could rephrase this as, "But just stepping back from context, and thinking about context, it is a beautiful thing.")

The question I have for those in the blog, if anybody is still there (I don't mind talking to a wall, but I like talking to people better), is the following: How can we first understand that "power" in this mechanism--blogging--better, then harness it for a creative and free means of expression that will lead perhaps some people to understand other perspectives and connect dots that have thus far remained unconnected?...yet should not be! (in my opinion)

Another question:

Should there be dots that remain unconnected in (((((current)))))) chronotope? There is this argument, but...morelater,

22 February 2004


So, I got a quote, too!

“What we are watching today, I believe, is a culmination of 10-15 years of mounting barbarism of the American culture the world over, crowned by the achievements of science and technology as a major weapon of mass destruction. We are witnessing manhunts and wanton killing of the type and scale not seen since the raids on American Indian populations, by a superior technological power of inferior culture and values. We see no corrective force to restore the insanity, the self-righteousness and the lack of respect for human life (civilian and military) of another race. Science cannot stay neutral, especially after it has been so cynically used in the hands of the inspectors to disarm a country and prepare it for decimation by laser guided cluster bombs. No, science of the American variety has no recourse. I, personally, cannot see myself anymore sharing a common human community with American science. Unfortunately, I also belong to a culture of similar spiritual deviation (Israel), and which seems to be equally incorrigible.”

--Eminent physicist Dr. Daniel Amit, University di Roma, serving his notice of his refusal to review US colleagues’ papers, 9 April 2003



(The word “Terrorist” seemed totally inappropriate. It is a term too frequently applied by people to certain other and serves only the shore up there own prejudices. ‘Some terrorist wear pin-striped suits, they hide there terrorism behind institutions and law or social regulations that have more to do with control than liberation. This terror maintains the status quo and power brokerage in the hands of a select few. Democracy has become a myth-word. It has a magical quality. One has only to speak it and people bow down to it and worship it without knowing there own surrender.)

I was reading a book and I found this piece of paragraph in it really interesting, I thought it would be nice to share it.
21 February 2004


Mark my word...

Check Sistani, der speigel interview...(if anybody wants links, I'll provide them when I have the chance...) [i.e. if there are riots and killing in the streets of iraq's cities in september and october, bush doesn't get elected. and honestly, i've always thought (besides one or two moments of hope) that he would be re-elected. but now...very interesting.]

Certain Iraqi voices around me mutter that they will kill Sistani. BUT that would be the most foolish thing to do...esp. if the U.S. is worried about Iran. (THEY SHOULD BE GUARDING HIM.) What they had in IRAN on 20 FEBRUARY were NOT legitimate democratic elections. What Sistani wants is just that, DIRECT ELECTIONS...one wo/man, one vote. But he also wants the UN to be involved, passing a resolution making the process more legitimate to Iraqis and the world community. Calling on Sharia, is a new one for him. So what's the result? Sistani is beating the USA at its own game...politics.

Isn't it all so ironic??? An invading force (USA), occupies a place (IRAQ), then the people of that place(IRAQ) have the power to decide who stays in power in the place (USA) that invaded that other place(IRAQ) to begin with. One breath...in........ out........ WHY DOES DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ THREATEN THE US?



So that's why they want to have a "lunar space station" and go to Mars! Silliness. Har Har to the futurists...who do you believe?

Got to a CPU and was somehow inspired.

Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

· Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war
· Britain will be 'Siberian' in less than 20 years
· Threat to the world is greater than terrorism

Mark Townsend and Paul Harris in New York
Sunday February 22, 2004
The Observer

Who are we kidding, tho? We knew (well, some of us perhaps knew) it was gonna happen. But this soon? Oh come on! I wanted to be alive long enough to be able to afford a 20 foot plasma television. Damn it!

Should one believe the Pentagon? In an odd way, it is alarming...don't you think. (that is indeed a statement)

But come on really, we've got problems enough.


20 February 2004


I couldn't sleep, so I had to get this off my chest before I leave for a while. Also, I was feeling quite depressed because of certain events taking form and (what seems like) so little action and the quality of information I am seeing used and consumed by Americans...but now since I've been energized by new news, I'm very hopeful. Anyhow, one of my fellow Iraqi bloggers emailed me about this in a very thoughtful and concerned manner in what amounted to the following idea expressed. All Iraqis think they are right. It is something I would like to just state, first. And then perhaps hear what anybody has to say about the topic...or "fact"...! :)

Also, I plan on making more jokes if I continue blogging. Beware. Laughter is one of those tools we must use at all times. My spirits are high now. All Iraqis should celebrate their correct-ness today. I commend you all for being right-on-the-money at all times! GOOD JOB!

With that, I'll leave you alone to ponder.

Love over Fear.

17 February 2004

15 February 2004

ALERT: A Television COUP D'ETAT...THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT...stay tuned for further information.


UPDATE: Possibly a mild over-reaction. I don't regret it, though. The program will be shown in one of my readers' area at 3am NOT "IN THE THREE TOWNS only," just to CORRECT THAT...I apologise for this. But it is only scheduled on WNET in New York at 1 a.m. February 16. Also on WETA in Washinbtgon, D.C. at 12 p.m. Feb 15 and 10 p.m. Feb 17. Thank you to the reader of Bakazay that sent me this information. Also, thank you for the reader who said, "You are correct that some stations which air Frontline apparently do not plan to air this particular program (I believe one is WHUT in D.C. which lists Beyond Baghdad as online only)."

Another reader reported that it was shown in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
And another reader also said it was shown in Humboldt County, CA at 9pm on Thursday. The next post I will try and put every PBS station that showed the program during a "primetime" slot. We will get to the bottom of this...again, I do not regret over-reacting. And I want as much of the truth out as possible. Perhaps this happened for a reason. I will be more cautious next time. I am very concerned about such matters, though. I know my sincerity will not go un-noticed, at least.

This information needs to reach as many people as possible. I've already written to River and Salam about mentioning it or linking to it...and I cannot stress the importance that all of their readers know about this...let's see what happens. It is again, Frontline:BEYOND BAGHDAD You can see it on the internet . The possible confirmation of my initial fears made me even more upset, at the time. I am going to find out more about what stations are playing the program during primetime hours, like I said. I want the truth out. Keep reading this post. Watch the program. People need to get this information immediately.

And I will find out if you could call this a black-out.


coup d'état
- n. (kü-dA-'tä)-a sudden and decisive exercise of force in politics;
especially the overthrow of a government by a small group of persons
in positions of authority. [French - literally, a "blow to the state"]

Happy VD! here's an anti-VD site to send e-cards to all your loved ones....

Now I'm going to describe to you what I call a "Public TV Coup D'etat"...There's this program that I respect very much that PBS (Public Broadcast Service) produces called Frontline. Normally, it is broadcast first on Television (all public TV stations across the US), then sometimes they move it to an online version. An archive of all the former Frontline programs that are now online can be found here.

Now, I know today is Valentine's Day and Al Hurra was just launched in Virginia and the Prez is in alotta hot water over his poor performance on the Oval Office interview with Tim Russert...but this program, Beyond Baghdad, went straight to the internet. That's like a big Hollywood movie going straight to video as far as I'm concerned. Now let me explain why.

This program that had producers Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria risking their lives visiting Mosul, Hawija, Suleimaniya, Kirkuk, Tikrit, Baquba, Baghdad, Fallujah, Kufa, Najaf, Shatrah, and finally Nasiriyah did not get the public screening it deserved. And I'm upset about it. They were in Iraq traveling for five weeks from November 12th until the day of Saddam's capture. I think they found out a couple of interesting things about Iraq and its people that certain people in positions of power in the US didn't want to be broadcast on Public TV. Many americans cannot afford cable TV anymore, so this was a dangerous program. Bush would have lost a few votes if this program saw TV-time. Check it out yourself and be the judge. Luckily, those who have internet connections (low or high band) can see it from anywhere. I recommend checking it out if you don't believe me. You will see it in six segments of 5-10 min (in either Real Video or Windows Media).

Damage control are the key words in the oval office these days. The last thing they need is the de facto governor of Baquba, a woman US commander, Leitentant S.G., saying...we "ran out" of money.

(From a segment of the show, Beyond Baghdad, below.)
Martin Smith, one producer notes in this section. "We had come here at a critical time. It has not been widely reported, but in October reconstruction money, so important to winning hearts and minds, dried up."

Click here for a low-bandwidth version of that... (Approximately, 2:03 minutes into this 12:47 minute clip)

" 'Hello, hi there,' Lt. SG says she ran out of money (Martin Smith speaking) while trying to set up a police force. 'What happened was initially (Lt. SG speaking) when we arrived here we used coalition money, and then, you know at some point, you know, it ran out. And honestly, for a few months, we were really at a stand-still. I couldn't get weapons. I couldn't get uniforms. Patrol cars...I have a couple of police stations that only had one patrol car. ...we cannot really work on public works if we don't have the security to protect the workers that are there. We can ask all the contractors in the world to come out and build a sewege line and everything else, but you know what, someone can come right behind them throw a couple RPGs at it, and what'ayou have? We need the security first in order to allow the civilian contractors to get out and do their job." (Aproximately, 3:36 into 12:47 min. clip)

LOW BAND, click.

And the "mayor" of Fallujah, who "says he is pro-American," (according to Martin Smith) says (in translation from Arabic) "Most Americans have a military mindset. They don't bother to know or learn about our culture or customs. They have a misinterpretation of Iraqis. When somebody kicks down a door to search a house, does he expect to be loved? (the mayor smiling...). (approximately, 7:54 into 12:47 minute clip)

I checked and re-checked our local public TV website for the time they would show Frontline: Beyond Baghdad...but there was no sign of it on the schedule. I wondered why because, again, it is not usual for the program to go directly to the internet. Then I quickly used deductive reasoning and figured there could be only a few reasons why they are not broadcasting this to over 100 million (probably closer to 200 million) homes. 1) It is negative news about Iraq during the months of November and December, which were supposidly high times, esp. after Saddam was caught. So this would basically confirm things were NOT doing well in Iraq, when they were in fact NOT doing well...while the likes of, (insert one White House or Pentagon high cabinet official's name here), in the Bush Administration continued to say they were making great progress as they were fighting off Howard Dean's position (who in turn woke up the Democratic party with the unfortunate help of REAL tragedies occuring in Iraq). Facts and reality are tough pills for most Americans to swallow. But I believe that once swallowed, there is a great chance of swaying an enormously powerful sleeping giant in the spirit of what is good: American Public Thought.

Then Saddam was caught. And the Bush administration's position was saved. But only temporarily. Honestly, I was initially shocked and melancholic. Unbelievable. "Arrested" ??? Yet I was happy in the strangest possible way and uniquely affected when I first believed it was true. I don't even think "happy" is the right word, because I knew it would have no bearing on the terrible ground situation. Even so, I wanted to share the moment with my father. It was a historical water-shed moment.

Let me tell you how I found out. I was online (it was early early in the morning) when I saw what I thought were rumors on a Iranian Kurdish news web site...I translated it into english. (I first saw it as "Breaking News" on the BBC...u know, when there's no story. So I Googled it, found the exact news site it derived from. I can even supply you with these initial discoveries, because being Iraqi and a organisational and information freak...I've kept records of them) So, I first sat back and thought, this is most probably a double. Then I double checked another Kurdish site...and it starting to sink in...it seemed to be real. I was beside myself, pacing back and forth. I assumed I woke up my father because I was making more noise than usual...and Iraqis can be very suggestive when they get over-excited. (It's a personality trait of mine.) Besides, I was being loud in the middle of the morning, and that's not too respectable in my family. Anyway, I approached my parents' bedroom...and he was snoring so LOUD!!! OMG! (FACT: My Dad snores so loud...it is like an airplane in the room.) I thought to myself...he shouldn't lose any of this excellent sleeping over such a trifle. So, I left a note at the foor of his doorway for him saying "They arrested him. -son" I did not sleep that night. A few hours later my dad comes up to me in a daze. I was glad I didn't wake him. He rested so well. (U know, I admire people who sleep well...so so much. I'm a terrible insomniac.) We hugged and made some extremely funny jokes that I will not mention. Meanwhile, BBC streamed on the internet while the Arabic whispers of a female Al-Jazeera anchor floated in audibly from the other room. My dad was shocked and asking me ten questions a minute. I responded like a robot. My mom slept. We remained in this state of shock-question-response-internet/Tv-media-absorption until we smelled the "gah'weh"...(coffee) My dad and I drank "Chai"...(tea)

Basically, this was the Coup the Bush Administration needed (and I'm not saying it wasn't a good thing in and of itself), but this was the event that I thought--at that point in time--was enough for Bush to ride-out on and win re-election. And so, while I was so oddly and violently happy (not like bjork tho). To be completely frank, I was perversely freaked out. I was weary of Howard Dean very early on...but I commend him for waking up half the country. Now, bye bye baby. Wisconsin, Shminsconson.

So it helped Bush and co. tremendously at the time...Bush's approval rating shot up and suddenly the war was justified. And Dean looked like a hippy. This powerful symbol of "rogue-state," "smoking gun as a mushroom cloud," "WMD," "spit-in-the-face-of-American" (though invented by America) was wrapped in American justice and even given both a medical exam and clean shave (and let him hold onto what little bit of manhood he had left, the moustache). How kind. (This was actually one of the most humiliating things to do to this person...and it satisfied many people, while it left many Arabs, even Iraqis, kind of astonishingly impotent. While many would not admit it...it was a clear slap in the face of Arab pride, whatever that is. So, it was an odd event that I felt very oddly about...because immediately I knew what the reactions would be. And that is the capture of Saddam, while intrinsically good, was going to be an event representing nothing that is close to reality and make matters seem peachy-keen on the surface in Iraq (to the American populous) while they are actually get much worse (underneath the surface). We all have to look underneath the surface at some point.

BTW, Mr. Bremer, when you said "We got em!" that was a phrase that completely backfired on you. I must be blunt. Very unintelligent...and directed at an American audience. You would have made things better for American troops and the Iraqi people if you had let an Iraqi announce his capture. That's my opinion. And it is pretty much a no-brainer.

What would have happened if this program Frontline: Beyond Baghdad had aired on public TV, as it was meant to have been? That is my question. You tell me. Email me, right now. Click the orange writing here.

I think once you lie, you have to cover it with another lie, then that lie gets bigger and bigger but nobody notices or cares because they are too comfortable with their narrow minds. Until somebody has the backbone to reveal the truth, like Daniel Ellsberg did during Vietnam, there will be one huge lie that is backed up by consistent white-washing and continued, sometimes self-inflicted, delusion to facts.

America Today = "Brain-wash....then, Brain-rinse." -KRS-ONE said it.



"Bremer Opens Iraq Human Rights Ministry" (AP)

And... What took so long? ___? We will NOT forget Amiriyah, 13 Febuary 1991.
10 February 2004

In the Cockpit of the B1 Stealth that bombed Al Mansur

Shameless Crossposting & addedums, edits:

It was supposed to be a "decapitation attack" to take out a bunker underneath Al-Sa'aa restaurant where Saddam or "the big one" was supposed to be at the time. Now, we all know for certain there was no such bunker. So, I'd first like to thank the Department of Defense for providing the transcript that includes an hour of questions from reporters while the pilots are still in the B1 Stealth Bomber.

Here is the link (of the hour of questions) to the B-1 Pilot Telephone Interviews on Tuesday, 08 April, 2003 at 10am.

Here are three excerpts. Click the link above if you want to read it all.

And so, we really didn't have time to reflect on anything until after the bomb run was done. And then coming off target myself, as I -- you know, I personally was never prouder to be in the Air Force, if actually this was the big one, which we thought it was, based on everything we heard. And everything went as advertised; the weapons came off. We knew we hit the target, because the weapon accuracy is -- it's going to hit within 40 feet. And so, as the weapons come off the jet, they're going to hit the target. So, not a lot of time to reflect. There was a lot of time to reflect on the two-hour drive back to our base, and at that time, again, just everybody's proud to be doing their job and making it happen.


Q: Colonel, good evening. It's Meredith Buel from Voice of America. You gave us a bit of a technical explanation as to exactly which bombs were dropped on the target in Baghdad at the beginning of the briefing. Would you be kind enough in layman's terms to describe which bombs you did drop on the target, in what sequence, and exactly what the desired effect was?

SWAN: Well, the -- I'm sure that the desired effect was to basically destroy the building, the target that we gave. And again, that goes back to somebody deciding that, you know, we want to minimize collateral damage, since it looked like it was in a suburb- type of an area. So by using a GBU-31 or Joint Direct Attack Munition, Version 3, which is the hard-target penetrator that would bury itself in farther before it exploded, which would minimize the collateral damage around the area, it will take out that particular structure, but it's going to minimize the fragmentation of the weapon and also the target itself into the outlying areas. And so that's why we used that weapon. And it's got a delay built into it so that it penetrates into the ground and then goes off.

Does that make sense?

Q: Yes it does, sir. How deeply does this generally penetrate prior to explosion?

SWAN: It depends on the type of soil or concrete that it's going into. But it's going to go, in rough terms, you know, 10, 20 feet, is probably a good average. And again, it depends on whether it's going through a runway or just going through soil.


Q: I was curious when you were discussing the JDAM before; in an urban setting, how do you approach your weapons loads for an urban setting? I mean, the 2,000-pound JDAM is not known for its utility in that area. I mean, do you really have to rely on the penetrator version for targeting?

K. Pilot: Well, first of all, I'd like to say I don't think anybody has really thought about using it in that kind of area, simply because the weapon is so large, and by nature we tend to think of using smaller weapons in that just because smaller weapons tend to give you less collateral damage. However, when you take the Version 3 of the JDAM, you actually cut the explosive weight of the weapon in about half, so now you've really got, you know, really what amounts to a 1,000-pound class weapon. And by making it a penetrator and delaying the explosion, you're putting the weapon down into the ground before it goes off. So you find that you limit your collateral damage radius when you use that type of weapon, so that it becomes a little more useful for the planners when they look into a dense environment.


It isn't the fault of these soldiers. They were doing their job, one could argue. But who is accountable, then, for all those people that died and were injured in Mansur because of these weapons of mass destruction that were dropped on a target that did not exist?

You tell me? I know many will just blame an "intelligence failure"...but for me, that is not sufficient. I want answers. And those families that had members of their families killed or injured in this attack NEED both answers and DESERVE compensation. But how can you really compensate for a death or the maiming of a loved one???

08 February 2004

Is it a Mall, Airport or a Prison ?

Here is the latest news I got from Iraq, one of them is really funny.

I was chatting with my cousin in Baghdad, He was filing me with the latest about the Situation, electricity, water, gas, and security. He said that to fill your car with gas there’s odds and even numbers and there is a certain days for odds car numbers and even car numbers, this is not the first time Iraqis had to deal with this sometime during Iraqi-Iran war, I can recall when exactly, and he said that its better now, meaning u don’t have to wait 12 ours to fill your tank. Security situations still bad, and I was asking just tell me one thing that is good, is there anything good, are they rebuilding or fixing anything and the answer was yes with not much details, he said they are fixing the Telephone exchange boxes and telephones are getting back slowly “good” and the reason that its not going fast cause they are scared, ok we understand that one. Now to the thing that I didn’t believe.

While I was talking to him he said “hey I ate Burger King Hamburger” and I said WHAT, where did get it from, he said I got it from the Airport,

No way, so this is the deal, they have a Burger King branch at the Airport with some other nice shops, so I guess the Airport is our First undeclared Mall, But I heard its like the Bad Prison, so now am confused,

By the way the :-() Baghdad Burger King is more expensive than the ones in the states.

19 March, 1917, Lieut. General Sir Stanley Maude's Oration shortly after British Forces captured Baghdad

To the People of Baghdad Vilayet:

In the name of my King, and in the name of the peoples over whom he rules, I address you as follow:-

Our military operations have as their object the defeat of the enemy, and the driving of him from these territories. In order to complete this task, I am charged with absolute and supreme control of all regions in which British troops operate; but our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators. Since the days of Halaka your city and your lands have been subject to the tyranny of strangers, your palaces have fallen into ruins, your gardens have sunk in desolation, and your forefathers and yourselves have groaned in bondage. Your sons have been carried off to wars not of your seeking, your wealth has been stripped from you by unjust men and squandered in distant places.

Since the days of Midhat, the Turks have talked of reforms, yet do not the ruins and wastes of today testify the vanity of those promises?

It is the wish not only of my King and his peoples, but it is also the wish of the great nations with whom he is in alliance, that you should prosper even as in the past, when your lands were fertile, when your ancestors gave to the world literature, science, and art, and when Baghdad city was one of the wonders of the world.

Between your people and the dominions of my King there has been a close bond of interest. For 200 years have the merchants of Baghdad and Great Britain traded together in mutual profit and friendship. On the other hand, the Germans and the Turks, who have despoiled you and yours, have for 20 years made Baghdad a centre of power from which to assail the power of the British and the Allies of the British in Persia and Arabia. Therefore the British Government cannot remain indifferent as to what takes place in your country now or in the future, for in duty to the interests of the British people and their Allies, the British Government cannot risk that being done in Baghdad again which has been done by the Turks and Germans during the war.

But you people of Baghdad, whose commercial prosperity and whose safety from oppression and invasion must ever be a matter of the closest concern to the British Government, are not to understand that it is the wish of the British Government to impose upon you alien institutions. It is the hope of the British Government that the aspirations of your philosophers and writers shall be realised and that once again the people of Baghdad shall flourish, enjoying their wealth and substance under institutions which are in consonance with their sacred laws and their racial ideals. In Hedjaz the Arabs have expelled the Turks and Germans who oppressed them and proclaimed the Sherif Hussein as their King, and his Lordship rules in independence and freedom, and is the ally of the nations who are fighting against the power of Turkey and Germany; so indeed are the noble Arabs, the Lords of Koweyt, Nejd, and Asir.

Many noble Arabs have perished in the cause of Arab freedom, at the hands of those alien rulers, the Turks, who oppressed them. It is the determination of the Government of Great Britain and the great Powers allied to Great Britain that these noble Arabs shall not have suffered in vain. It is the hope and desire of the British people and the nations in alliance with them that the Arab race may rise once more to greatness and renown among the peoples of the earth, and that it shall bind itself together to this end in unity and concord.

O people of Baghdad remember that for 26 generations you have suffered under strange tyrants who have ever endeavoured to set on Arab house against another in order that they might profit by your dissensions. This policy is abhorrent to Great Britain and her Allies, for there can be neither peace nor prosperity where there is enmity and misgovernment. Therefore I am commanded to invite you, through your nobles and elders and representatives, to participate in the management of your civil affairs in collaboration with the political representatives of Great Britain who accompany the British Army, so that you may be united with your kinsmen in North, East, South, and West in realising the aspirations of your race.

You can find another version provided by Harper's Magazine with additional resources and interesting timelines. Just click the picture above to go there.
06 February 2004

How Independent is an *Appointed* Iraq Intelligence Inquiry?

just wondering...
Co-Chair of Bush Panel Part of Far Right Network - inter press service
Bush to Pick Panel for WMD Inquiry, Official Says - CNN
Iraq Commission Could Pose Serious Threat to Bush - Reuters
September 11 Inquiry Could Become Election Embarrassment for Bush - Agence France Presse
...oops wrong post! Incidentally, a two month extension was graciously accepted by John McCain (Rep.) today...who will also be on the commission Bush is appointing that shall investigate Iraq Intelligence failures.

fyi . :