Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bush's dirty secret

Reading a selection of stories from British papers yesterday dealing with Middle East issues provided a clear sense for me - if it wasn't obvious already - that we are in deep, deep trouble in the world, and Lebanon has been merely a small part of the American obsession with the war on terror. It is deeply depressing. Especially for the Palestinians who must look around the world and go mad that no one responds to the absolutely despicable, abhorrent and murderous war of attrition Israel is waging on them and has been for since 1948.

As the world's attention has been focused on Lebanon and Iraq, Gaza has become like a "jail". Gaza is a densely populated area with an estimated 1.5 million people. Israel's brutal siege of Gaza has left many dead and the rest of the Palestinians feeling hopeless and barely able to survive. (The Independent)

Much to the anger of many Israelis, Israel lifted its air and sea blockade of Lebanon yesterday. The family of the two kidnapped soldiers have said this may hinder the process of finding the soldiers. (The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Financial Times)

As the anniversary of September 11th comes up, another tape of Osama Bin Laden has been released showing him meeting some of the September 11th attackers. (The Telegraph, Financial Times, The Independent)

The EU demands Washington reveals the sites of the alleged CIA "secret prisons" where Bush admitted that many "terror suspects" are being held in what have been described as "foreign jails". (The Telegraph)

It is this last issue - that of Bush's secret prisons - that is also particularly worrying. How this man who has lied so blatantly can remain president is beyond words. That he has no credibility left with any thinking people is certain, if he ever did. Below is yesterday's Guardian leader on the subject which among other things points out that dedicated journalists, human rights activists and lawyers deserve praise for not giving up on investigating this story until the truth came out. It is such journalists and others who are the protectors of the American people's liberty - not President Bush nor the Republican party.

CIA prisons
Bush's dirty secret

Friday September 8, 2006
The Guardian

Not many people will have been taken aback by George Bush's admission that the CIA has been secretly holding suspected terrorists at "black sites" across the world. Nor will many feel that it represents a fundamental change of heart about the morality, legality and political wisdom of aspects of the US "war on terror." The methods used in these facilities, were "tough but lawful", the president asserted, even as the Pentagon was announcing that methods such as hooding, electric shocks and "waterboarding" - torture by any definition - are to be outlawed in future. And these prisons, reported to be in Romania and Poland as well as Arab allies such as Morocco and Egypt, have not been closed. It would now be useful to know, as Euro MPs insisted yesterday, just who has been telling lies about this and the related issue of extraordinary renditions.

Mr Bush's sudden, if partial, candour is born of the need to persuade Congress, in the few weeks left before November's mid-term elections, to back his plan for military commissions to try prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, though some of what he wants was ruled illegal by the US supreme court in June. There is also an obvious advantage for him, days before the fifth anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, in telling the American public that 14 "high-value" terrorist suspects are now likely to be facing justice in US custody in the legal twilight zone of Gitmo. These include the alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and the Indonesian Hambali, the Jemaah Islamiyah operative linked to the Bali bombings. But Democrats and some Republican senators, including John McCain, have made clear they will not approve a military commission system which allows convictions based on secret evidence - ostensibly needed to protect intelligence sources - or evidence obtained as the result of prisoner abuse. The likely demand for the death penalty in some trials is likely to be a contentious issue at home and abroad.
Still, this is a welcome shift. While the Gitmo detainees are classified as enemy combatants rather than prisoners of war, new guidelines do afford them protection under the Geneva conventions and will mean access for the International Red Cross: that will go some way to restoring a sense of the legality that has been one of the principal victims of these last five years. Credit is due to those who have campaigned on this for so long: human rights activists, lawyers - and journalists whose tenacity helped ensure that this murky, important but unfinished story did not just fade away.


Blogger Jaeger said...

protection under the Geneva conventions and will mean access for the International Red Cross:

Reading stuff like this on a Lebanese blog is pretty rich. You realize the Geneva conventions allow summary execution of those not in uniform, while the kidnapped Israeli soldiers actually are entitled to Geneva protection - including humane treatment, verification of such by the Red Cross and to be released after hostilities have ended.

I'm just curious. Do the Lebanese here expect their representatives to behave to the standards they demand of western countries?

6:28 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

"Rich" in what sense? It's actually pretty valid and has more validity for being so. The whole thing is disgusting. Every country has problems. But question and criticize the US as a citizen and you're "unpatriotic." Question Israel's policies and you're an anti-semite. Weird Logic.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

7:00 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

Israeli Advisors - Too Close For Comfort

Bush, under advice from his Neo-con handlers, sent US officers to Israel to train with the IDF to prepare for Iraq. Now we learn the IDF is fighting within our ranks in Iraq.

The Neocons Who Got Us Into Iraq

Mossad backs Kurds

There are 60,000 Jews among the Kurd's leaders, and they want an independent state, Kurdistan, which just happens to sit on the world's largest oil deposits

The leader of the Kurds, is a Jewish billionaire named Massoud Barzani, who has a massive Kurd militia that is funded by the CIA.

Who are these people ?

These are Neo Cons { new conservatives ) and they are all Dual Citizen Israelis. Not a single one served in the US armed forces. They basically are a lobby that pushes for Israeli bills.

We elected Bush, a Zionist puppet with a Messiah complex, and he has put a group of Jewish Zionist Generals, in charge of Iraq, whose first loyalty is to Israel,. These generals allow the IDF to be embedded internally with the US army, and have access to all military data. Our troops are involved in ambush after ambush by Mossad /Al Qaeda, and no one is the wiser. Operation Matador is a perfect example.

Israel engineers an ambush, and sits back while Marines level a village.The Sunnis think Shiites are blowing up their Mosques, and Shiites think Sunnis are blowing up their schools.

Mossad operatives plant bombs on Blackwater Security helicopters, British transport planes, inside US mess halls, and point the blame at Arabs. The internet is drenched with videos of beheadings of American truck drivers and Japanese translators, which only benefit Israel.

Operation by Israel's Mossad

Standing up to Italian crime gangs is not anti-Italian; standing up to American crime gangs is not anti-American; and standing up to homosexuals who have been blackmailed over their homosexuality is not anti-homosexual.

So don't be fooled into thinking that standing up to Zionist crime gangs is anti-Semitic!

We are prejudiced only against criminals.

7:33 AM  
Blogger James Quigley said...

So how is it news that there are secret prisons? The only thing secret about them is where they are. Who in their right mind didn't believe in their existence 10, 20, 30 years ago?

8:22 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...


Menahem Begin index.html index.html

Haganah organization struggle against British Rule index.html index.html

Who really orchestrated the OKC bombing? Oklahoma...a_City_Bomb.htm

So don't be fooled into thinking that standing up to Zionist crime gangs is anti-Semitic!

We are prejudiced only against criminals.

8:51 AM  
Blogger RS said...

Its not that it is news that there are secret prisons but the fact that obviously there were and Bush denied their existence after the travesties of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib that we have a big problem.

10:32 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...


Myron Fagan on the Illuminati and Council on Foreign Relations
Myron Fagan exposes the hidden government that exist behind the government of the United States of America. Mr. Fagan explains the founding of the Illuminati and the Council on Foreign Relations and the men behind these organizations. The original recordings were on three LP Vinyl Records and they are presented in six parts representing the six sides of those recordings.

Do you know what three things a judge has to do before he can acquire jurisdiction over you? Do you know what you can do to prevent the courts from acquiring jurisdiction? This recording will give you the answers to these questions.


What is "Zionism"?

Prepare for the upcoming battle
updated 29 Dec 2005

11:25 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

Daryl Smith says

Future leader, learn form mistake and redesign the nation

Sweep the USA in the trash and start over

Most Americans believe that the nation will improve if we remove George Bush from the presidency, but that will not do anything to make America a better place. Even with a different president, we still have the same crummy cities, the same corrupt and greedy corporations, the same corrupt unions, the same crummy school system, and the same crummy media.

Daryl Smith says that America needs a Mulligan, which is a golfing expression to start over. I agree. America is hopeless. We need to learn from our mistakes and redesign this nation. We need new attitudes, a better method of selecting government leaders, and a better school systems.

I am not struggling to keep America as it is and merely replace George Bush with John Kerry or Al Gore. Rather, I would like to see the nation become better. With the technology we have today, we can make an incredible world for ourselves. We no longer have to rush out every day to search for food and water. We could have beautiful cities, beautiful trains, wonderful gardens, and healthy food to eat.

I am not struggling to help the stupid goyim. Rather, I am hoping to reach that small number of goyim whose brains are functioning properly, and who would like to make a better world.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

While I don't think George Bush has been very effective in the war on terror I KNOW that he did not start it and must agree with Sam when everybody tries to blame him for everything. As stated above the Geneva Convention agreement does allow summary execution for soilders fighting that are not in uniform, this is where I believe this blog makes its mistake and starts to turn moderate people like me off! YOU MUST BE EVEN HANDED OR YOU RISK TURNING THE MODERATES TOWARD SAM's POINT OF VIEW.

7:02 PM  
Blogger clare said...

I think you would be hardpressed to drum up support for the prisoners being held on suspicion of terrorism. Even though I don't agree with the Iraq war and the situation in Lebanon, I do understand using some harsh tactics to prevent another 9/11. The geneva convention is certainly not on the minds of the terrorists and to be completely honest being concerned with detainees who are terrorists are the last thing I would be concerned about in the world. The thought of beheading a living human being that is no threat and not a combatant really drains any sympathy from this issue as far as I am concerned.

7:34 PM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

a Tribute to Beirut....
the City that never surrendered & never will.

7:56 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

It's no risk, Bryan. Arguing the Geneva Conventions permit summary execution is a non-starter. Not to mention non-sequitur. Show me a convention that applies to the unilateral destruction of a country with neither good reason nor authority in any civilized idea of "war" being used to impose a national will. What Israel did is nothing less than terrorism. They used weapons which should not have been used, they destroyed infrastructure for no good reason, they continue the misery with the nonsense "blockade" purporting to block what? The Hezbollah resupply tankers and freighters? Where are the patrols in the mountains - where the arms really are coming in?

You suggest by talking we can convert "moderates" to Sam's point of view? What do you suppose a couple million pounds of cluster bombs do? Keep the moderates in southern Lebanon "Moderate?"

If you don't like what you hear, here - go elsewhere. There are plenty of places you can talk with people of like mind. This is a Beirut blog.

10:42 PM  
Blogger clare said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:55 PM  
Blogger clare said...

The tribute to Beirut was very moving and heart rending. Thanks for sharing this.Blessings, Clare

11:56 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Bryan - an addition to what I said earlier. I can hear the response about me being narrow minded and refusing to listen because I invited you to look elsewhere for similar minded people. My problem with this whole thing - what Israel calls a "war" and I call an "attack" - is that so many in the US and Israel are working so hard to justify it. So, when I hear things like it's ok to summarily execute a person not in uniform, I recoil. I remember, for instance, the VC in black pajamas. It certainly was not ok to summarily execute them because they weren't in what we thought is a "uniform." What is being said now is simply an excuse - Israeli and American soldiers wear "uniforms" because, among other reasons, we can afford them. And, of course, they are regular forces.

But all the talk about all the reasons for all that Israel has done is nothing but diversion of attention from the real problem. The real problem is that neither Bush nor Cheney nor Rumsfeld nor Olmert nor Prevetz could care less about what the real problem is. The real problem is that it doesn't matter if Bush started it - the fact of the matter is he - all by himself with Cheney and Rumsfeld - have made it hundreds of times worse. The real problem is that nobody reads the things that are posted here and elsewhere about WHY a child or young person would kill him or herself with family blessing just to blow up some Israelis or Americans. The real problem is we stick a bumper sticker on it - the latest being "Islamo Fascist" - and say "we have to kill them all." Or we say we "must win the war on terror." But we don't even try to understand what that means.

Bush is at the heart of the problem because the man is an arrogant idiot. Cheney is at the heart of the problem because he is truly evil. Rumsfeld is at the heart of the problem because he is so arrogantly sure that no one else in the entire world has any idea of what to do about the problem that he has invented in his own mind. Put the three of them together in a room and it is a disaster getting ready to happen somewhere. Add Olmert and Prevetz and you get Lebanon with the idea of also bombing Iran.

Look at it, Bryan - ignoring the lies about why we went to Iraq - these fools thought they could fly overhead, drop bombs and win with "shock and awe." Just like Israel thought could be done in Lebanon. Even assuming they aren't evil, they are either stupid or insane thinking they can impose their wills on a nation simply by bombing it. Bush likes to compare it to WW2 - well, review the Battle of Britain to see what bombing does for resolve.

There simply has to be some other way than constantly talking about why yet another invasion or bombing or assassination is or was necessary. Bush is a gunslinger and, as such, ought to know there's always a faster gun out to get you if you claim to be fastest. He has GOT to get something else started. And he cannot get it done by talking about why Israel is right in destroying so much. He MUST start by examining the mistakes made, admit them, talk about what positive steps can be taken and then implement them. Without talking so much about why we can't talk to the adversary.

There's way to many people out there who hate us, Bryan. We can't kill them all. And they keep having babies. So .....

12:52 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

hcb, Was this post about the war in Lebanon or secert prisons for terrorists???????????? Your blind hate for Bush reminds me of the FAR rights "crazies" hate for Clinton. The destruction of the infrastructure was wrong,so was the taking of the Israel soilders, so was HZ's targeting of Israal's cities, so was Israel's use of cluster bombs, do we want to spew hate and blame FOREVER?????? THIS POSTING WAS ABOUT SECERT PRISIONS FOR TERRORISTS!!!! That is what I was addressing, not the war in Lebanon. This post keep "Quoting" the Geneva Convention so don't get mad when somebody points out where THE terrorists status falls under the Geneva Convention. AND, I WILL POST WHAT I WANT WHEN I WANT!!!!!!!!!!!

1:33 AM  
Blogger Mohamad Masri said...

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from the Middle East to Launch in FALL 2006

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Exeunt Editorial Board

2:05 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

hcb, I hope this answers your question! Why do they hate us?" asked President Bush in his speech to Congress last Thursday night. It is a question that has ached in America's heart for the past two weeks. Why did those 19 men choose to wreck the icons of US military and economic power?
Most Arabs and Muslims knew the answer, even before they considered who was responsible. Retired Pakistani Air Commodore Sajad Haider - a friend of the US - understood why. Radical Egyptian-born cleric and US enemy Abu Hamza al-Masri understood. And Jimmy Nur Zamzamy, a devout Muslim and advertising executive in Indonesia, understood.

They all understood that this assault was more precisely targeted than an attack on "civilization." First and foremost, it was an attack on America.

In the United States, military planners are deciding how to exact retribution. To many people in the Middle East and beyond, where US policy has bred widespread anti-Americanism, the carnage of Sept. 11 was retribution.

And voices across the Muslim world are warning that if America doesn't wage its war on terrorism in a way that the Muslim world considers just, America risks creating even greater animosity.

Mr. Haider is a hero of Pakistan's 1965 war against India, and a sworn friend of America. But he and his neighbors in one of Islamabad's toniest districts are clear about why their warm feelings toward the US are not widely shared in Pakistan.

In his dim office in a north London mosque, Abu Hamza al-Masri sympathizes with the goals of Osama bin Laden, fingered by US officials as the prime suspect behind the Sept. 11 attacks. Abu Hamza has himself directed terrorist operations abroad, according to the British police, although for lack of evidence, they have never brought him to trial.

Mr. Zamzamy, a 30-something advertising executive in Jakarta, knew what was behind the attack, too. Trying to give his ads some zip and still stay within the bounds of his Muslim faith, he is keenly aware of the tensions between Islam and American-style global capitalism.

The 19 men - who US officials say hijacked four American passenger jets and flew them on suicide missions that left more than 7,000 people dead or missing - were all from the Middle East. Most of the hijackers have been identified as Muslims.

The vast majority of Muslims in the Middle East were as shocked and horrified as any American by what they saw happening on their TV screens. And they are frightened of being lumped together in the popular American imagination with the perpetrators of the attack.

But from Jakarta to Cairo, Muslims and Arabs say that on reflection, they are not surprised by it. And they do not share Mr. Bush's view that the perpetrators did what they did because "they hate our freedoms."
Rather, they say, a mood of resentment toward America and its behavior around the world has become so commonplace in their countries that it was bound to breed hostility, and even hatred.

And the buttons that Mr. bin Laden pushes in his statements and interviews - the injustice done to the Palestinians, the cruelty of continued sanctions against Iraq, the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia, the repressive and corrupt nature of US-backed Gulf governments - win a good deal of popular sympathy.

The resentment of the US has spread through societies demoralized by their recent history. In few of the world's 50 or so Muslim countries have governments offered their citizens either prosperity or democracy. Arab nations have lost three wars against their arch-foe - and America's closest ally - Israel. A sense of failure and injustice is rising in the throats of millions.

Three weeks ago, a leading Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat, published a poem on its front page. A long lament about the plight of the Arabs, addressed to a dead Syrian poet, it ended:

"Children are dying, but no one makes a move.
Houses are demolished, but no one makes a move.
Holy places are desecrated, but no one makes a move....
I am fed up with life in the world of mortals.
Find me a hole near you. For a life of dignity is in those holes."
It sounds as if it could have been written by a desperate and hopeless man, driven by frustration to seek death, perhaps martyrdom. A young Palestinian refugee planning a suicide bomb attack, maybe. In fact, it was written by the Saudi Arabian ambassador to London, a member of one of the wealthiest and most influential families in the kingdom that is Washington's closest Arab ally.

Against the background of that humiliated mood, America's unchallenged military, economic, and cultural might be seen as an affront even if its policies in the Middle East were neutral. And nobody voices that view.

From one end of the region to the other, the perception is that Israel can get away with murder - literally - and that Washington will turn a blind eye. Clearly, the US and Israel have compelling reasons for their actions. But little that US diplomats have done in recent years to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians has persuaded Arabs that the US is a fair-minded and equitable judge of Middle Eastern affairs.

Over the past year, Arab TV stations have broadcast countless pictures of Israeli soldiers shooting at Palestinian youths, Israeli tanks plowing into Palestinian homes, Israeli helicopters rocketing Palestinian streets. And they know that the US sends more than $3 billion a year in military and economic aid to Israel.

"You see this every day, and what do you feel?" asks Rafiq Hariri, the portly prime minister of Lebanon, who is not an excitable man. "It hurts me a lot. But for hundreds of thousands of Arabs and Muslims, it drives them crazy. They feel humiliated."

Resentment rises, a radical is born

Ask Sheikh Abdul Majeed Atta why Palestinians may not like the United States, and he does not immediately answer. Instead, he pads barefoot across the red swirls of his living room carpet and reaches for three framed photographs on the floor beside a couch.

The black-and-white prints show dusty, rock-strewn hills dotted with tiny tents and cinderblock houses: the early days of Duheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem in the West Bank. It was where Mr. Atta was born, and where his family has lived for more than half a century.

Atta's family village was destroyed in the struggle between Palestinian Arabs and Jews after Britain divided Palestine between them in 1948. For 10 years his family of 13 lived in a tent. The year Atta was born, the United Nations gave them a one-room house.

It doesn't matter to Atta that the United States was not directly involved in "the catastrophe," as Palestinians refer to the events of 1948. Washington averted its eyes when it could have helped, he says, and since then has been firmly on Israel's side.

Heavyset, solid, with a neatly trimmed full beard, Atta is the preacher at a nearby mosque. He looks the part of the community leader, always meticulously turned out in crisp shirts and pressed trousers, gold-rimmed reading glasses tucked into a pocket.

In the past year of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Atta has joined Hamas, the radical group responsible for recently sending most of the suicide bombers into Israeli towns. Frustration at watching the rising Palestinian death toll at the hands of the Israeli army played a large part in his decision, he says.

His resentment at Israel, though, dates back to his infancy, and the stories he heard of his village, Ras Abu Amar, which he never knew. That village is still alive for him, just as millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and throughout the Middle East cherish photos, house keys, and deeds to homes that no longer exist or which have housed Israelis for generations.

Today he lives in his own house in Duheisheh, a sprawling tangle of densely packed concrete buildings that crowd snaking, narrow alleys. But he still dreams of the home he never knew, and recalls who took it from him, and remembers who they rely on for their strength.

What happened on Sept. 11 "was an awful thing, a tragedy, and since we live a continuous tragedy, we felt like this touched us," he adds. "But when we see something like this in Israel or the US, we feel a contradiction. We see it's a tragedy, but we remember that these are the people behind our tragedy."

"Even small children know that Israel is nothing without America," says Atta. "And here America means F-16, M-16, Apache helicopters, the tools Israelis use to kill us and destroy our homes."

Superpower swagger

Such weapons are very much the visible face of American policy in the Middle East, where military might has held the balance of power for 50 years. Thousands of US soldiers stationed in the Gulf, and billions of US dollars each year in military aid to Israel, Egypt, and other allies, have shored up Washington's interests in the strategically crucial, oil-rich region.

That military presence and power looks like swagger to some in the Muslim world, even far from the flashpoints. "Now America is ready with its airplanes to bomb this poor nation [Afghanistan], and most people in Indonesia don't like arrogance," says Imam Budi Prasodjo, an Indonesian sociologist and talk-show host.

"You are a superpower, you are a military superpower, and you can do whatever you want. People don't like that, and this is dangerous," he adds.

"America should spread its culture, rather than weapons or tanks," adds Mohammed el-Sayed Said, deputy director of Cairo's influential Al Ahram think tank. "They need to act like any respectable commander or leader of an army. They can't just project an image of contempt for those they wish to lead."

Ten years ago, at the head of a broad coalition of Western and Arab countries, the United States used its superpower status to kick the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. Since then, however, Washington has found itself alone - save for loyal ally Britain - in its determination to keep bombing Iraq, and to keep imposing strict economic sanctions that the United Nations says are partly responsible for the deaths of half a million Iraqi children.

Those deaths, and those bombs (which US and British planes drop regularly, but without fanfare), are felt keenly among fellow Arabs. And Saniya Ghussein knows all about bombs.

A daughter dies, and parents wait for US apology

In the middle of the night of April 16, 1986, the deafening sound of anti-aircraft guns woke Saniya Ghussein with a sudden start. "My God," she thought, "there's a war being fought above my house."

She slipped out of bed and ran into the bedroom where her husband Bassem and their 7-year-old daughter Kinda had fallen asleep earlier in the evening. "Bassem, the Americans are here," she said urgently. "It looks like they're going to hit us."

She checked on her other daughter, Raafat. She had been suffering from her annual bout of hay fever, and the 18-year-old art student was in the television room next to the humidifier so she could breathe easier.

Raafat was still sleeping, completely oblivious of all the commotion going on around her, due to the medication she had taken earlier. There was little Saniya felt she could do. She climbed back into bed and pulled the sheets tight around her.

Bassem lay awake on the bed, listening to the appalling noise in the night sky above.

A Palestinian-born Lebanese national, Bassem had worked in Libya as an engineer for Occidental, the American oil giant, for 20 years, helping exploit the country's massive oil reserves. He and his family lived in the upmarket Ben Ashour neighborhood of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, on the ground floor of a two-story apartment block.

Bassem never heard the explosion. Instead, he watched in astonishment as the window frame suddenly flew into the room, and the roof collapsed on top of him and his daughter.

Kinda was screaming in the darkness near him. Bassem tried to move, but was pinned by the rubble. He groped in the blackness for Kinda. "Don't worry," he said, squeezing his daughter's hand. "Daddy's here, don't cry, it will be okay."

The blast had knocked Saniya unconscious. She woke to hear Bassem calling from the next room and Kinda screaming. She stumbled in the darkness, barefoot across the rubble and glass shards, choking on the fumes from the missile blast, as she called her daughter's name "Raafat! Raafat!" for several minutes. But there was no response, and Saniya knew with a terrible certainty that her daughter was dead.

"Bassem," she cried. "Raafat has gone."

Pinned beneath the rubble, Bassem heard his wife's words, and he felt a deep sense of anger and resentment well up inside him. His life and that of his family had been shattered, and nothing would ever be the same again.

It took them eight hours to dig Raafat out from under the ruins of the house. "Our pain and agony, which I cannot describe, started at that moment," Saniya says.

Raafat was one of an estimated 55 victims of an air raid mounted by US warplanes against a series of targets in Tripoli and another Libyan city, Benghazi.

The attacks were in retaliation for the bombing of a disco in Berlin, Germany, 10 days earlier in which 200 people were injured, 63 of them US soldiers; one soldier and one civilian were killed. The Reagan administration blamed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

Bassem and Saniya Ghussein are not natural anti-Americans. Bassem studied in the US before going to work for Esso and then Occidental. He sent Raafat to an American Catholic school, and on family trips to the US, Saniya would take Raafat to Disney World in Florida. "We did all the typical American things," she says.

But since that terrible night 16 years ago, neither Bassem nor Saniya have stepped foot in America. They returned to Beirut in 1994 when Bassem retired.

In 1989, the Libyan government enlisted the help of Ramsey Clark, an attorney general during the Carter administration, to file a lawsuit against President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for the civilian deaths during the air raids. "When Clark came to collect our documents and evidence, I asked him if he thought we had a case," Bassem recalls. "He said 'Oh, definitely. This was murder.' "

But US district court judge Thomas Penfield Jackson disagreed. He dismissed the suit, and fined Clark for presenting a "frivolous" case that "offered no hope whatsoever of success."

Twelve years later, the court's decision still rankles with Bassem. "I will only return to America when I know someone will listen to me and say: 'yes, it was our fault your daughter died, and I am sorry.' So long as they think my daughter's death is 'frivolous,' I won't go back," Bassem says.

The Ghusseins have no sympathy for religious extremism and thoroughly condemn the Sept. 11 suicide bombings in New York and Washington. Yet they both maintain that the devastating attack was a result of America's "arrogant" policies in the Middle East and elsewhere. "We wish the American people could see what their governments are doing in the rest of the world," Saniya says.

A feeling of betrayal among friends

On the other side of Asia, in Pakistan, Air Commodore Haider would sympathize with the Ghusseins' wish. He has always been a friend of the United States, and not just because he enjoyed the 10 years he spent in Washington as his country's military attaché. Like most other members of the ruling elite in Pakistan, in the armed forces, in business, and in the political parties, he sees America as a natural ally.

But not a reliable one.

The prevailing mood in Pakistan of anger and suspicion toward the United States springs from a deeply rooted perception that the US has been a fickle friend, Haider says, and not just to Pakistan, but to other nations in the Muslim world.

If there was a moment of betrayal for Haider, it was the 1965 war between India and Pakistan, largely over the future of Kashmir. As Indian tanks advanced on the Pakistani metropolis of Lahore, Haider was head of a squadron of F-86 Sabre jets sent to destroy them. India's Soviet allies helped with money, arms, and diplomatic support. But at a crucial moment, Pakistan's ally, the US, refused to send more weapons. As it turned out, Pakistan was able to defeat the Indian attack on Lahore and elsewhere without US help. Haider's squadron decimated the column of Indian tanks that had reached to within six miles of Lahore. But the lesson lingered: America cannot be trusted.

"There is a feeling of being betrayed, it's a feeling of being let down, and you can only be let down by somebody you care for," says Haider, out for an evening stroll in a tony Islamabad neighborhood.

"They said you will be the bulwark of America and of the free world against Communism. But then they dropped a friend for no good reason."

Today, Haider sees a "convergence of interests" between the United States and Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. But he says that President Bush will need to watch his language when he talks about the Muslim world. "When Bush talked of a Crusade ... it was not a slip of the tongue. It was a mindset. When they talk of terrorism, the only thing they have in mind is Islam."

Ultimately, Haider does see a way for America and Muslim nations to become lasting friends, but only if the US begins to give as much weight to the interests of Muslim nations as it does to Israel.

"When you deny justice to people, which you have been doing for several decades in Palestine, and they are intelligent, sensitive people, they are going to find something to do," warns Haider. "They might take shelter in Islam, in fatalism, and some will come to despise you."

An Egyptian 'inspired' to join Afghan fighters

Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Masri, the radical Muslim cleric who runs a mosque in a shabby district of north London, has certainly come to despise America.

Abu Hamza says he used to admire the West when he was a young man - so much so that he dropped out of university in his native Alexandria, Egypt, to study in Britain. And he clearly had nothing against the British government when he took a job as a civil engineer at Sandhurst, the British equivalent of West Point, after he graduated.

But as he immersed himself more and more in religious studies, and came into contact with more and more Arab mujahideen, who had travelled from the mountains of Afghanistan to England for medical treatment, he began to change his outlook.

"When you see how happy they are, how anxious to just have a new limb so they can run again and fight again, not thinking of retiring, their main ambition is to get killed in the cause of God ... you see another dimension in the verses of the Koran," says Abu Hamza.

Inspired by their example, he took his family to Afghanistan in 1990, to work there as a civil engineer, building roads, tunnels, and "anything I could do." And he also fought with the mujahideen against Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah (seen as a Russian stand-in supported by the Soviets), until he blew both his hands off and lost the sight in his left eye, in a mine explosion.

What transformed him and his comrades-in-arms from anti-Soviet to anti-American militants, he says, was the way Washington abandoned them at the end of the war in Afghanistan, and sought to disarm and disperse them.

"It was when the Americans took the knife out of the Russians and stabbed it in our back, it's as simple as that," says Abu Hamza. "It was a natural turn, not a theoretical one.

"In the meantime, they were bombarding Iraq and occupying the [Arabian] peninsula," he says, referring to the US troops stationed in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War, "and then with the witch-hunt against the mujahideen, all of it came together, that was a full-scale war, it was very clear."

Abu Hamza would rather see Islamic militants fight corrupt or secular Arab governments before they take on America (indeed, the Yemeni government has sought his extradition from Britain for plotting to overthrow the government in Sana). But he is in no doubt that the American government brought the events of Sept. 11 on its own head.

"The Americans wanted to fight the Russians with Muslim blood, and they could only justify that by triggering the word 'jihad,' " he argues. "Unfortunately for everybody except the Muslims, when that button is pushed, it does not come back that easy. It only keeps going on and on until the Muslim empire swallows every empire existing."

Can he understand the motivation behind the assault on New York and Washington? "The motivation is everywhere," he says, with the current US administration. "When a president stands up before the planet and says an American comes first, he is only preaching hatred. When a president stands up and says we don't honor our missile treaty with the Russians, he is only preaching arrogance. When he refuses to condemn what's happening in Palestine, he is only preaching tyranny.

"American foreign policy has invited everybody, actually, to try to humiliate America, and to give it a bloody nose," he adds.

In Jakarta, countering American culture without violence

You wouldn't catch Rizky "Jimmy" Nur Zamzamy justifying violence that way, though he professes just as deep an attachment to Islam as Abu Hamza.

Mr. Zamzamy, a rangy young Indonesian advertising executive in a pink shirt, is sitting in a Western-style cafe in Jakarta, his cellphone at the ready, and his fried chicken growing cold as he explains how he tries to be a good Muslim by right action, not fighting.

That, he feels, is the best way of countering what he sees as the corrupting influence of American culture and morals on traditional Indonesian ways of life in the largest Muslim country in the world.

Until a few years ago, Zamzamy led a regular secular life, hanging out in bars and dating women. Then he met a Muslim teacher who became his spiritual guide. Now he follows Islamic teachings and donates most of his $1,300 monthly salary to his "guru" to be spent on building mosques and helping the poor.

He says he has made sure that none of the money goes to extremist groups that use violence in the name of Islam, such as the Laskar Jihad group, locked in bloody battle with Christians in the Maluku region of Indonesia.

Two years ago, in line with his growing religious beliefs, he quit the advertising agency he had worked for and set up his own company along Islamic lines: He won't take banks or alcoholic-beverage producers as clients, for example, and he does no business on Friday, the Muslim holy day.

But he is relaxed about those who don't share his beliefs: He does not insist that his wife wear a headscarf, for example, and he is not uncomfortable sitting alongside the rich young Jakartans in the cafe who are flirting and drinking. They must make their own choices, he says.

And though he does not like the sexual overtones of American pop culture, he knows that "you can't hide from American culture." By living his life according to Islamic precepts, he says, "I am fighting America in my own way. But I don't agree with violence."

Ambivalence about America

All over the Muslim world, young people like Zamzamy are juggling their sense of Islamic identity with the trappings of a globalized, secular society.

In a classroom of Al Khair University, set in a concrete office park in Islamabad, Nabil Ahmed, a business student, and his classmates are fuming over their president's betrayal of the Pakistani people by pledging to support what they fear will turn into a crusade against Muslims.

Ahmed and his friends are well-dressed, middle-class boys, and represent neither the old-money security of Pakistan's elite nor dirt-poor peasants who make up the bulk of Pakistan's angry conservative masses. They are the silent majority of Pakistan, with their feet firmly planted in both the East and the West. On weekdays, they listen to Whitney Houston and Michael Bolton, wear Dockers and Van Heusen shirts. On weekends, many switch to traditional salwar kameez outfits and go with their fathers to the mosque to pray.

They have much to gain from a Western style of life, and most have plans to move to the United States for a few years to make some money before returning home to Pakistan. Yet despite their attraction to the West, they are wary of it too.

"Most of us here like it both ways, we like American fashion, American music, American movies, but in the end, we are Muslims," says Ahmed. "The Holy Prophet said that all Muslims are like one body, and if one part of the body gets injured, then all parts feel that pain. If one Muslim is injured by non-Muslims in Afghanistan, it is the duty of all Muslims of the world to help him."

Like his friends, Ahmed feels that America has double standards toward its friends and enemies. America attacks Iraq if it invades Kuwait, but allows Israel to bulldoze Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It ostracizes a Muslim nation like Sudan for oppressing its Christian minority, but allows Russia to bomb its Muslim minority into submission in Chechnya.

And while the US supported many "freedom fighter" movements in the past few decades, including the contra movement in Nicaragua, America labels Pakistan and Afghanistan as terrorist states because they support militant Muslim groups fighting in the Indian state of Kashmir and elsewhere.

"There is only one way for America to be a friend of Islam," says Ahmed. "And that is if they consider our lives to be as precious as their own. "If Americans are concerned about the 6,500 deaths in the World Trade Center, let them talk also about the deaths in Kashmir, in Palestine, in Chechnya, in Bosnia. It is this double standard that creates hatred."

Ahmed's ambivalence about America - his desire to live and work there, his admiration for its values, but his anger at its behavior around the world - is broadly shared across the Muslim world and Arab world.

"I think they hate us because of what we do, and it seems to contradict who we say we are," says Bruce Lawrence, a professor of religion at Duke University, referring to people in the Middle East. "The major issue that our policy seems to contradict our own basic values."

That seems clear enough to Muslims who sympathize with the Palestinians, and who say that Washington should force Israel to abide by United Nations resolutions to withdraw from the occupied territories. "The Americans say September 11th was an attack on civilization," says Mr Hariri, the Lebanese prime minister. "But what does civilized society mean if not a society that lives according to the law?"

It also seems clear to citizens of monarchical states in the Gulf, where elections are unknown and women's rights severely restricted. "Since the Cold War ended, America has talked about promoting democracy," says John Esposito, head of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington. "But we don't do anything about it in repressive regimes in the Middle East, so you can understand widespread anti-Americanism there."

At the same time, the state-run media - which is all the media there is across much of the Middle East - often fan the flames of anti-American and anti-Israel sentiment because that helps focus citizens' minds on something other than their own government's shortcomings.

In Sana, the Yemeni capital, where queues of visa-seekers line up daily outside the US embassy, the ambivalence about America is clear. "When you go there, you really love the United States," says Murad al-Murayri, a US-trained physicist. "You are treated like a human being, much better than in your own country. But when you go back home, you find the US applies justice and fairness to its own people, but not abroad. In this era of globalization, that cannot stand."

Nor has the mood that has gripped Washington over the past two weeks done much to reassure skeptics, says François Burgat, a French social scientist in Yemen.

"When Bush says 'crusade', or that he wants bin Laden 'dead or alive', that is a fatwa (religious edict) without any judicial review", he cautions. "It denies all the principles that America is supposed to be."

A fatwa is something Amirul Haq, a Pakistani shopkeeper whose son died two years ago in a jihad in Kashmir, understands better than judicial review. "When I heard that my son died, I was satisfied," he says.

It's a sentiment shared by Azad Khan, too. On a hot Sunday afternoon in Mardan, Pakistan, Mr. Khan and his family have laid out a feast in a small guesthouse next to the local mosque. They are celebrating because they have just heard that Mr. Khan's 20-year-old son, Saeed, has been killed in a gun battle with Indian troops in the part of Jammu and Kashmir state that is under Indian control. With his death, Saeed has become another shahid, a martyr and heroic defender of the Muslims against the enemies of Islam. According to the Koran, shahideen are not actually dead; they are still alive, they just can't be seen. And through acts of bravery, a shahid guarantees that his whole family will go to heaven.

"It is not a thing to be mourned. We are happy," says Khan, sitting down to a meal of chicken and mutton, rice and bread, along with leaders of the group with which Saeed had fought. "I told him to take part in jihad [holy war] because he is the son of a Muslim," Khan says. "And just as we fight in Kashmir, if we need to fight against the United States in Afghanistan we are ready, because we are Muslims. It is our duty to fight against any infidels who are threatening our Muslim brothers."

It's not likely that many Pakistanis, or other Muslims, will actually go to Afghanistan to fight the Americans - assuming American soldiers land there. Khan's militant views are not shared by most of his countrymen.

But in a broader sense, and in the longer term, many people in the Middle East fear that the coming war against terrorism - unless it is waged with the utmost caution - could unleash new waves of anti-American sentiment.

Jamal al-Adimi, a US-educated Yemeni lawyer, speaks for many when he warns that "if violence escalates, you bring seeds and water for terrorism. You kill someone's brother or mother, and you will just get more crazy people."

Trying to root out terrorism without re-plowing the soil in which it grows - which means rethinking the policies that breed anti-American sentiment - is unlikely to succeed, say ordinary Middle Easterners and some of their leaders.

On the practical level, Hariri points out, "launching a war is in the hands of the Americans, but winning it needs everybody. And that means everybody should see that he has an interest in joining the coalition" that Washington is building.

On a higher level, argues Bassam Tibi, a professor of international relations at Gottingen University in Germany, and an expert on political Islam, "we need value consensus between the West and Islam on democracy and human rights to combat Islamic fundamentalism. We can't do it with bombs and shooting - that will only exacerbate the problem."

2:07 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

Mohamad El Masri, I Wish you the nothing but the best, Good Luck and I look forward to seeing your progress for a free Middle East.

2:11 AM  
Blogger Mohamad Masri said...


Many thanks for your well wishes. "progress for a free Middle East" is rather ambitious, lol, but we'll do our best. At a free press is something more tangible considering how bad things are right now :)



2:24 AM  
Blogger HCB said...



2:25 AM  
Blogger Mohamad Masri said...


Bryan we've posted a link to this blog on The Thinking Lebanese blog site. Keep it up!

2:25 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

hcb, what do you expect when you try to tell me what to do like I am one of your children, I also think you would agree with my second posting as an answer to your question, if I offened you I truely am sorry, please accept my appoliges.

3:42 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

I don't expect you to do anything I am not treating you like one of my children. I am very passionate in my anger with what has happened to Lebanon and about what has happened to the United States. I am beyond angry and I have a very difficult time trying to talk about it as if it were some kind of academic exercise. I fully appreciate the terror in Israel about not knowing if the person at the next table or standing in line or walking down the street may suddenly explode. But I also appreciate the terror resultig from what has just happened in Lebanon. What I don't appreciate is the idea that the United States can run around the world like some damned missionary of "democracy" and get it so completely wrong nearly every time.

I haven't read your second post yet because of my anger. I'll calm down and then I'll read. In the meantime I apologize for losing my temper.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

Way to go George, another reason GW has got to go.

McCain in 2008

Rick, hcb you will love this!

7:59 PM  
Blogger clare said...

I have been watching the film of 9/11 this morning. It isn't difficult to see why Bush has a "dirty little secret". If secret prisons prevents something like this from happening again then I do understand. I watched c-span with Ted Koppel last night, and a survey taken stated that 1 in 4 americans would be willng to have Arabs in America detained in camps to see if they had affilliations with terrorists and half of all Americans favored having Arabs carry identification cards. This is scary, but it shows the depth to which most people would go to protect themselves. Whether this is from fear mongoring on the administration's part or just a deep seated fear stemming from the attacks, who knows. I really think the Arab world must do all it can to reign in terrorist activity and until they do there will be this type of reaction including the prisons and racial profiling (which most americans favor) going on. Since most people here believe Hezbollah to be terrorists it is easy to see the support by Americans for Israel in this last "war" against Lebanon. Really sad.

4:43 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Bryan - that piece says it precisely. I don't think Bush even realizes he is the poster child for the "terrorist" organizations. Every time he opens his mouth he adds credence to what Bin Laden and the others preach about the evils of the west. The whole idea of a "war on terror" is fantastic in its imagined scope and impossible goal.

There have been a lot of people who compare "tough" republican presidents to Jimmy Carter. I would say Bush and Carter share identical faults - Carter obsessed over the Iranian hostages to the exclusion of all other programs. That resulted in inflation and crazy oil prices as well while domestic programs went wanting. We wound up with a nice guy who didn't really seem to know what to do. Bush obsesses over the "Islamic Fascists" and the "war on terror" and what to do about Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. And, from time to time, North Korea. Once a year, about Darfur. But his obsession with the "war on terror" has the same result as Carter's obsession with the hostages. The result? A crazy guy sits in a cave on the other side of the world and makes a home video saying, "I'm going to attack." Our president, department of defense, department of homeland security and military goes nuts.

The French refused to read ho chi minh or che guevara's writings because they were "criminals." They lost in Vietnam as a direct result of not knowing what was going to happen and not knowing the sincerity of the guerillas. We are doing exactly the same thing - we talk about "Islamic Fascists" and "evil" and "wanting to convert the world to Islam" but we have no idea about what we are talking or what to do about it even if we do. And so we proceed on bumper sticker statements with the fear that if we don't do SOMEthing, the world will end. That's my grievance with Bush and crowd. I don't doubt for a minute that "terrorists" are dangerous and must be stopped. But I don't know who they are and Bush knows no more than I do. Every time another bomb is dropped, another "terrorist" is born. Every time we speak or attack we prove bin Laden is right in the eyes of the people who we oppress. Whether or not we are "right" in a moral or practical sense is irrelevant to the outcome - bin Laden and Nasrallah and all the others simply point to the same pictures we've seen on this blog - the cluster bombs, the destroyed buildings, the torn bodies - and say, "do you not see what I am telling you is the truth?"

Until we at least attempt to understand what we are fighting, we cannot "win" the "war on terror." For the very simple reason that we are in a dark room with a dozen bogey men all around us. And the room is shrinking. Rather than talk about and harass Muslims in America, Bush ought to put a couple in high position as consultants, at least, in the state department, the national security counsel and homeland security. He ought to be doing the same kind of "sensitivity" training we insist on when somebody makes a derogatory remark about a black person or tells an ethnic joke. We should be doing what we can to learn about the culture and grievances and showing the world we want to know. But what we now are doing is bullying - showing that we possess amazing weapons of death and destruction and that we intend to rule the world by forcing democracy down every one's throats. We run around talking about how good we are while we show everyone how bad we are - in their view.

Thanks for your thoughts.

6:21 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

oh - and Bryan - the "piece" I'm talking about is your longer one - the second one in which you answered my question.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bush is far worse than just an arrogant idiot, in my view.

Add incompetent; we are still fighting the Taliban five years later in Afghanistan, and we still have not stopped al Qaeda from being able to coordinate terrorist attacks.

Add criminal; we routinely violate the rights of our own citizens, we violate the rights of those in our custody, and we maintain secret prisons where rights are nonexistent. Bush has directed us down the road where we have become what we hate by acting no better than the enemy.

He has (and therefore we have) facilitated the slaughter of over 1,000 Lebanese innocents. We have illegally invaded another nation and instigated a civil war that results in the daily deaths of both Iraqi civilians and US military personnel.

And we have done this in the name of the 2,973 people who lost their lives on this day five years ago.

We have dishonored our fallen.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

You guys have dishonored the fallen. On this day all you can do is point and persecute. What have any of you done to honor the fallen, NOTHING! All you do is make the country weaker, day by day, lie by lie. You people don’t deserve to be Americans; you don’t deserve the freedom given by my ancestors, my fallen countrymen.

Your not knights of the keyboard, they had the guts to face the people attacked.

You are all cowards of the keyboard, cowards to the core.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Did you ever notice how the minds of the weak can't tolerate the truth?

We want to delude ourselves into believing that we are right in all things. Eavesdropping on our citizens is alright when it is done to "protect" us. But, as the old saying goes, who watches the watchers?

I have to believe that the Bush Administration took it as a nice kick in the teeth last week when lawyers for the US military testified that we should not prevent defendants from seeing information being used against them because it is unfair. So I guess the military must be disloyal now, eh?

Bush needs to be impeached. Rummy needs to be fired. Maybe after that we will actually start making progress.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Rick your not worth it, traitors and cowards deserve no attention.

7:28 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

"You guys have dishonored the fallen."

How? Not generalities. Present your argument

7:30 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I also notice that the minds of the weak never have a significant argument of their own. They just tear down others to distract people from the fact that their arguments lack substance.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Rick said...


In the minds of the weak, dissent is treason.

7:37 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Sam, you talk constantly of "cowards" and "cowardly." So we will have a frame of reference, tell us what you have done to demonstrate your bravery. Tell us also what you have done to serve your country.

7:38 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

I agree, Rick. But Sam has accused me repeatedly of being so narrow minded I will not listen to another point of view or argument. I am asking him to state his argument. So far, he has stated a position - precisely what he complains about with me. But he has refused to respond to Mrtez' request for some kind of support for his position. Now I am asking for it. If there is nothing forthcoming, he will have demonstrated conclusively there is no substance at all to "sam." Rather, it is as he has so often said, his decision simply to hate and spew because he thinks that's all any of us are doing.

This blog is intended as an interchange for ideas - not just hurling insults.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

From the two biggest cowards of them all. Howard and Rick.

Howard the filaure in Nam, so you can't use that. You were drafted so you only wne t becasue your family didn't have money to send you to school. If it were up to you and you had the choice.... well you would have been smoking pot and chanting anti war slogins. Even thought that war was started by the Dems.

Rick, you hide behind who knows what.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Ideas????? Are you serious, tell me your kidding.

7:46 PM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

What Ariel Sharon Said
We, the Jewish people control America

Rockefeller: Bush Duped Public On Iraq

Tortured screams ring out as Iraqis take over Abu Ghraib


7:52 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Wait I'm done for the day, I’ll argue this tomorrow.

I'm not going to darken a day of remembrance of American Hero’s and those lost to cowards. Today I remember the lives and people lost to the tragedies of 9/11 and to the soldiers fighting for my freedom and the leaders that have to live with the day to day struggle of running this country and keeping it safe.

God Bless America

7:52 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Well, Sam - another disappointment for you. I wasn't drafted - I graduated the United States Military Academy at West Point. The president of the United States commissioned me in the Armed Forces of the United States. I served in Europe and the Middle East. My security clearance, after much investigation of my background, was top secret. My duties included commanding men in combat and in peacetime garrisons. My education was continuing and I met and worked with people from around the world.

Now - what is it about you that gives you any perceived right to say the things you say?

You've proven yourself, Sam - you have no substance at all. Your response to a challenge is to scramble for some bumper sticker philosophy that you think you understand but you don't. When you run out of bumper stickers, you resort to filth and insult. When it becomes uncomfortable - like what did YOU do that served or serves the country - you ignore the question and throw some more filth.

There is simply nothing to you - not even hot air. Do you REALLY think anyone in the entire world listens to you seriously? Do you not understand that you are not even a joke when you act as you do? I was serious when I suggested you simply try being nice. But you are so completely stupid, you don't even recognize the invitation to join in as a person. You simply continue to type your malaprops and misspellings and complete gibberish in the attempt to be noticed because of your ignorance and despicability.

Stay, Sam and keep on ranting. You are the proof of my argument times ten. No one illustrates the complete idiocy and lack of thought behind our national "policies" better than you - talk and talk and talk without substance or meaning of any kind.

At least, though, take a bath.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Amen, hcb.

But I think you are asking for something that is not in the cards.

I find it incredibly ironic that he would call out someone who has served in Vietnam, which up until now has been politically the least popular war in our history. The people who served during that period have my respect... they did their duty and asked for very little in reutrn. I see our current troops that way as well. I have seen a number of these people as they have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan; it is not an easy life.

Isn't it interesting how he automatically assumes I have something to hide because I would dare to disagree and dissent? The last I checked, I was the person posting here with the least amount of anonymity.

The minds of the strong look internally for answers and wonder about their own contributions to both the problem and the solution. The weak minded have no idea what that means. They avoid accountability. That's why I think you'll never get the satisfactory answer you are looking for.

But I admire you for trying.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Howard whats your lst name? My friend works for the DOD. I just want to see if your telling the truth then I'll debate you.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Both Rick and I have used our real ful names so don't be a coward..... wait to late.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

You you would believe anyone who says anything. Your here adn blind so go put Howie's pic un der your pillow and he'll keep you warm at night. Howard can't prove a thing, he's a affraid of using his real name. He'll be shown as a fraud and coward, at least you have the balls to shown who you are.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Howard is trying to come up with a name or info on a person to challange me. Come on Howie, your full name.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Sam said...


8:35 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I see someone is still avoiding the issue, probably because he doesn't have a point.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Rick go play with outlet, Howard said these things and just like the post here most info is disstorted and questionable.

Howard said things and challanged me. All he has to do is do what you and I have done, post our real names.

Come on Howie, a few letters which will prove me an ass.

I know, your gone just like when you called me out. You are a coward.

8:52 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Here's another piece of information for you, "sam." I no more believe that you have used your "real" name than I believe you have ever had an intelligent thought. However, I KNOW people like you stalk girls online and get your kicks harassing people. You've demonstrated your sickness too many times on here with too many people - especially the women to whom you so often referred as "cunts" or "bitches" or "whores." I'm not so stupid as to invite your inane phone calls or mail. Remember when I told you the name of my blog how you reacted? You promised to shut it down. Which is why I opened a different one and let you spout away.

I don't give a damn what you believe because so far as I'm concerned, you are a complete nothing. I've asked you several times to say something - anything to demonstrate you have EVER done anything for the country you claim to be so proud of and are so ready to defend. You are worse than a coward, sam - you are a useless, cackling chickenhawk - ready to tell others what they should do but not ready to do anything but sit on your fat, stupid, completely worthless ass talking gibberish.

I will speak to you again when it pleases me. If you want me to speak to you on some subject before I've decided to say something to you or about you, approach me with courtesy and I'll consider your request. Until then, twirl away on whatever it is you've stuck up your ass today. And stuff your false courage up your ass beside it.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

As we all know Howard, coward to the core. I have always used my real name, I'm not a pussy like you. Ha Ha to funny, you're a classic form of internet coward. Say what you like, your color is true.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Oh ya, when called to the window you run and hide behind insults and more spew as you put it.

Classic stroy Howard, the men dying in your arms, presidential appointment and a security clearence. Good fiction, Tom Clancy should use you as a fiction character. Dr Ryan..... Dr Dumbass Howie.

You give Yellow Ribbon a new name.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I can't stop laughing...... I hope the people here support you and your lies. I bet they do just to spite me too.

I bet your a security guard, what storage unit do you watch over?

Funny Howie, you made me laugh today. Thanks so much.

9:32 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

"Come on Howie, a few letters which will prove me an ass."

You don't have to go way back - just read the last few you wrote.

And, of course, the one about how you are going to "honor" the dead.

Now - since this blog is not about you, I will again ignore posts by "sam" about anything

9:41 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

It's okay Howie, you've proven all I need to know about you.

It's okay Flipper.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I honor the dead by denouncing cowards and traitors hidden our midst. When faced with adversity some rise to meet the struggle face on. Some choose to hide in the back of a group and claim support but only on there terms.

I have been personally challenged twice by people here; I asked the same of the people calling me out. Twice the people have hidden behind their screens and avoided the very issue they either started or aggravated. Twice I have learned I am on the right side, I have hidden from no one, I hide from no one still. This site promotes all that we fight against; this site promotes the spread of terror through lies and half truths. Let the cowards do their bidding here, I will always be around to confront and poke at the liars and haters. You know who you are; you all know who is hiding again form me.

Since lying is promoted here maybe it’s time I start doing it too, then we’ll all be equal.

Sorry, nope. Honor and Truth

10:11 PM  
Blogger clare said...

I believe that the "war on terror" cannot be "won" unless the root causes are addressed in the middle east and that means dialogue with countries that we seem to be unwilling to engage. It is an endless cycle of violence that is fueled by radicalism in Islam. We should have never went to war with Iraq but the taliban are another issue . They needed to be deposed if for no other reason than their treatment of women. I don't believe for a minute that we were attacked because of our "freedom" or because they simply "hate" us. There are much deeper reasons involved and I think the view of the Bush administration was too simplistic in trying to bring democracy to Iraq and hoping for a utopian outcome. They knew there were no weapons of mass destruction. Bin Laden has hurt other muslims especially here in the U.S. I don't agree with racial profiling and bigotry in any way, however I can understand it and while I understand the fueling of extremists movements in Islam resulting from our actions, I also see that the actions of 9/11 fueling the elements within our own society that want the profiling and the detainment of suspected terrorists. It works both ways. While trying to address these problems it is important for both sides to understand each other and the issues that are creating the anger. I am an independent and vote both sides of the aisle. The one thing that I hated about the republicans during Clinton's administration was their willingness to push something to the limit to ruin him even if it was humiliating and bad for our country. I also see that in some on the extreme left who want to blame everyone on the U.S. even 9/11. No, it was Bin Laden and his extreme understanding of Islam that caused 9/11. No matter what else fueled it, no matter how wrong some of our policies were and are there is no excuse for what happened that day. No excuse. Bush may be the devil incarnate, I don't know, but what happened to our country was wrong and an element within islam did it. Not all arabs are terrorists to be sure, but almost all the terrorists attacking our country have been arab and muslim. While we strive to understand and dialogue, they need to do the same thing.

10:46 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

You've been nothing but a lie since you've been here. Once again, you talk of cowards. Once again - do something very simple, sam. Tell us what you have done for your country. You don't "honor the dead" - you dishonor your parents and everyone you know by talking filth and telling others what to do. You talk a lot about cowards hiding - you have no courage. You don't even have the courage of your convictions. The Lebanese have reason to be proud. You have none. What have you EVER done, sam. anything.

You never think - just like our president. You talk about war but you have no idea about it. You say "the dems" "started" vietnam. Do you remember the excuse for going to Vietnam? Do you know anything at all about Hezbollah? Who are the Lebanese, Sam? Do you know the religions in Lebanon? Do you know any of the religions in the United States other than Catholic and Jewish? Before you say something vile about them, remember the constitution.

Do you have any idea what is going on in Lebanon today? In the mideast? Have you read a newspaper in the past year or so? Ever study a philosophy other than what's offered by The Simpsons?

Tell us Sam - do you offer anything other than the filth that dribbles from your mouth? You've been asked by our host - not just me - several times to say something constructive. Anything at all, sam. But your response is filth and lies and bigotry. You dishonor your mother sam - you pretend you liked her and that she taught you but you lied to her as you lie to us.

You are a stalker, sam. The kind of perverted mind that stalks women just to cause them anguish. You hide and stalk and when you can't get near, you telephone or write filth. Anything to make another human being uncomfortable or fearful.

That is what causes these kinds of wars. Unthinking, unlearned, uncaring people who simply have to do something to show they are capable of doing something. You are a cartoon caricature of that mindset, sam. You are completely useless - you have no ability for intelligent thought much less discourse. You are not pititful, Sam - you are nothing. And the only meaningful difference between you and the terrorists who you so regularly condemn is that they are courageous enough to blow themselves up for something in which they believe. Rightly or wrongly, they believe. You have no beliefs at all. You have no courage because you have nothing to believe in - nothing to draw from when courage is required. You are a completely useless being who contributes absolutely nothing to the world but several hundred pounds of solid waste each year.

People like you will be routinely ignored soon. Our country is coming around to recognize what happened in Lebanon and Iraq and Afghanistan. They are recognizing more and more that it is fools like you - fools who use fear and intimidation to control - who have caused so much hate and destruction. It is fools like you who wander the world and try to convince people you have some value or for some reason other than amusement you should get attention.

As I said, sam - stay around and continue your rants. You are not simply comic relief - you are the example of what happens when we let our education system slip and our fears control. We wind up doing constantly stupid things all over the world with the only hope being we can kill enough people that we can survive.

If you would complete the contact form I gave you earlier, I could have you write an essay for some high schoolers about your vision. I think the high schoolers would see immediately the danger of missing an education opportunity.

Now - why not watch yourself as you attempt a response? See how intelligent you sound when you start your attempted insults and filth. Even there you have worn yourself out - the impact in insults and sarcasm, Sam, results from infrequency. When you act as you do constantly, you do not appear smart or able - you appear as a complete fool. A buffoon with no purpose. Your mother can tell you that. Your school teachers tried to tell you that.

Now - comfort yourself with your filthy language and demonstration of ignorance, sam. Let me demonstrate with you that it is the fools in America who are at fault. And that not all Americans are fools.

10:57 PM  
Blogger clare said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Howard I can't give yo uthe resopnce you need. You're a coward, a traitor.

I have never lied here, you make stuff up to try to make me look lesser. It's okay coming from you it's music to my ears. I would kill myself if you ever agreed with me. I'm not hiding like you, never have. Call me a stalker to cover your cowardly ways. Call me what you like and typefor 20 minutes to divert the focus off you. Hide behind words and insults. Hiding is what your good at, well great at. SO responding to you is a watse of time. Cowards like you will always be around. Yellow to the core my little friend.

11:10 PM  
Blogger clare said...

Here is a good site for those who want a different perspective on the middle east from a christian point of view: I believe that some who post are kids and maybe they have been deeply affected by what has happened in their short life spans. Maybe they are bitter or have relatives serving in Iraq or whatever. Have some mercy.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I have more respect for our countries real enemies than you. Japan, Germany & Itally at least faced us in the open. You and the Muslims hide and act like the filth of the earth. Cowards to the core, your a great addition tho their casue my little cowardly friend.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Enimies of the past that is.

11:13 PM  
Blogger clare said...

You're amusing really. Either a bored kid who likes to yank other peoples chains, a very disturbed person in which case there is no point in trying to reason or a "plant" just to prove how americans really are. Nah...I vote for a kid with a dirty mouth who likes to yank people's chains. You are good at your job.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Sorry for pushing you into a corner Coward. It's not nice picking on people that are lesser than yourslef. I am sorry for hurting your feelings Coward, I shuld have known your all talk.

Howard is made up person in his place is Coward.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Not a kid Clair and very much all American. More than you can handle baby. Sorry, not into cross breeds though.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Clare, why come after me. I have done nothing to you or have asked you talk to me so in a nut shell piss off.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Oh ya all you loser can do is talk about Americans, go hide in your bomb shelter and suck an RPG. We Americans are the rulers of the world plain and simple. How does it look from the cheap seats? Is coward there with you?

11:44 PM  
Blogger clare said...


11:49 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

To bad, maybe one day you'll be wiped out. Wait thats not bad, it's population control. Wars are good for that, control the spreading of the lesser people like yourself and howard. To ba dhe didn't get killed in the Nam war. Oh wait he wasn't even there.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Oh Coward where are you hiding, come out come where ever you are.

12:00 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

Clare you said on 10:46 PM "We should have never went to war with Iraq but the taliban are another issue . They needed to be deposed if for no other reason than their treatment of women." Whey dose that not apply to saddom and the killing of 1000's of his own people

12:13 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

clare you said "We should have never went to war with Iraq but the taliban are another issue . They needed to be deposed if for no other reason than their treatment of women." whey dose that not apply to saddom and the killing of 1000's of his own people

12:15 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

sorry for secound post first came back with error

12:16 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Clare, you are very right about needing to address the root causes. This unfortunately seems to be something that at least a few people posting here are unable to comprehend, let alone the Bush Administration.

Violence begets violence. Always has, always will. Real peace requires dialogue.

12:20 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

Sam a teacher of mine once told me “Some times it is better to remain silent and appear ignorant then to speak and remove all doubt”

12:22 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

And yet again, he still can't address any contribution or sacrifice he has made for this nation, nor can he articulate a rational position with logical statements. It's just hate, insults, and filth. But I don't buy the distraction; I know it's based on a lack of content, intelligence and thought.

If you think about it, it must be pretty freeing --- to live a life uncomplicated by serious thought or self-analysis. This way you don't have to be troubled by things like values, ethics, or integrity.

And to prove my point, I will now no doubt be again attacked in a most irrational manner.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Amen, Kevin!

12:27 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

I know Kevin and your right too, but as stated these people don't deserve any better. I tried but all people here want to do is complain and point fingers. Then they attack anyone who says something they don't agree with. Some are cowards that have threatened me physically and other things so the evil I show is becasue of their actions only. Well they're hate of America too and what it stands for.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:32 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

Sam you just sounded like the terrorist. You can never justify hate by someone else's actions. Show you are are a man and be responsible for your own actions.

12:36 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

It's okay Kevin, Coward said the same thing. I don't want to harm a soul. I am just wanting to make sure the people throwing stones are shown in the truest light.

Miss statement, not a cop at the school but in bloomington / Normal

12:40 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Mediation? REally, well Rick to be honest you must suck at it. From what you've shown here God help the students.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Rick said...


What a pathetic worm. You go to all of that trouble, and for what? I use no anonymity here and anyone who wanted to could contact me at any time.

And what would these friends find? That I have no criminal record, that I am highly regarded in my profession both at my own institution and in the nation, and that I am blessed to have a wonderful existence. You can't threaten someone who has nothing to be afraid of.

The fact of the matter is that I choose to lead an examined life, which means examining not only my own actions, but the actions of others as well. And when the government does things under the guise of representing me, and these things are things I believe to be immoral, I have enough integrity to stand up and say something.

Not you, Sam. You're a follower, and I can think of no worse fate than to be a follower. It's followers that have made all of the worst events in human history possible. No doubt if we lived in Nazi Germany during WWII, you'd be spewing hate towards Jews and be the guard at the concentration camp wanting to turn on the gas.

Please, as hcb said, stay here and continue to spew your filth. You serve as a poster child for birth control.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Sorry Rick, follower I'm not. Proven here every day. Don't be so scared Rick, if your clean I will have nothing to post. But even if there rumors it's fair game here. Here rumors are gold.

I love the Israeli's, only your kids would be the people gasing the Jews with the way you think and teach them.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

See Howard does hide, I could show him for what he really is. I guess having friends in law enforcement in 5 states helps too. From tactical to narcotics and a few in between.

1:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

You're not a follower? Hah!! You have your nose jammed so far up Dubya's ass that you could floss his teeth. You are a follower of an immoral and illegal administration that has no ethics and is proud of that fact. That makes you a follower of the worst kind. You are the follower of an oppressor; a leech surviving off of fear.

And yes, I'm sure you love the Jews now...that's my point, Sam. They are your friends now because it is fashionable to be pro-Israel and anti-Arab. In Nazi Germany it was fashionable to hate Jews, and I'm quite sure your values system (or lack of one) would have helped you fit right in.

Nice try making me sound like I am worried, but you mean nothing to me, and are therefore of no consequence.

And yet again, you have avoided hcb's questions. Grow a spine Sam and just try to answer them.

1:09 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

You're not a follower? Hah!! You have your nose jammed so far up Dubya's ass that you could floss his teeth. You are a follower of an immoral and illegal administration that has no ethics and is proud of that fact. That makes you a follower of the worst kind. You are the follower of an oppressor; a leech surviving off of fear.

And yes, I'm sure you love the Jews now...that's my point, Sam. They are your friends now because it is fashionable to be pro-Israel and anti-Arab. In Nazi Germany it was fashionable to hate Jews, and I'm quite sure your values system (or lack of one) would have helped you fit right in.

Nice try making me sound like I am worried, but you mean nothing to me, and are therefore of no consequence.

And yet again, you have avoided hcb's questions. Grow a spine Sam and just try to answer them.

1:09 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Really, so why bother. As to your statement I haven't answered becasue why answer you? You're nobody in the real world. I n your world [in your mind] you're top dog. What ever made you think I have to answer to a coward like you. Go play with the other coward. Or is it little boys you like playing with, is that the secret that is going to come out. that your a rapist of liitle boys?

I bet you are, you're a sicko.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

LMAO! Wow... that's about as pathetic a distraction I've ever seen. From now on, I will see you for what you truly are (besides a follower). You are the coward using the anonymity of the internet to spew your vile sense of reality. You are the coward who uses hate to disguise the lack of intelligent thought.

I'll admit you are sometimes worth a good laugh; most of the time though, you are simply a horrible waste of human DNA.

1:26 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

What a hack..... Anything of your own? So now you use my own text too, what a loser Rick. Pretty sad.

Oh maybe I'll put an I love myself page like you too. No I think not, I don't have to post my pluses to feel good. You seem to need to do so. Also, I'm respected here and Nationaly. thanks for patting your back for me. Pretty sad Mr Rick, pretty sad.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Speaking of DNA, stop spreading yours to little boys you pervert.

1:45 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Hey everyone we have Coward and Michael. What a pair they are. Coward lies about being in the service and Michael likes little boys. Where's your wonderland Michael aka Rick, let me know so I know where to send the cops you sicko.

1:48 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

Rick and all - Clare called it right. He's a child - literally. don't let a teen hijack the blog.

2:00 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

9/11/2001 We shall never forget and always honor those who died that day..........

During the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, the people of the United States took part in silent reflection and fresh mourning. The day was marked with quiet observances at the three attack sites. After attending tributes at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and crash site of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa.
Solemn tributes and memorials were held in cities and towns across the nation.

"If I could build a staircase to heaven, I would, just so I could quickly run up there to have you back in my arms," Carmen Suarez, widow of city police officer Ramon Suarez, said at the Ground Zero podium while reading names of the 2,749 people who died there five years ago
On the 16-acre New York City expanse where the World Trade Center towers once stood, four moments of silence were held at 8:46, 9:03, 9:59 and 10:29 a.m., the times when jetliners struck each of the twin towers, and when each tower fell.

Some spouses and partners of Trade Center victims who read off names included brief personal tributes to their own loved ones.

"Honey, I want you to have a happy grandparents' day in heaven," said Elaine Moccia, addressing her late husband, Frank Moccia Sr, as she released a balloon gently into the sky where the towers once rose 110 stories above the New York skyline
Families of the victims began arriving before 7 a.m., many clutching pictures of their loved ones, descended the ramp into what's known as "the pit" to roam the area and lay flowers. Some wore pins bearing pictures of the victims. The mournful sound of bagpipes, so familiar from the seemingly endless funerals that followed Sept. 11, echoed across ground zero after a choir performed the national anthem.

"We've come back to remember the valor of those we've lost, those who innocently went to work that day and the brave souls who went in after them," former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said in a ceremony at Ground Zero
Family members at Ground Zero held up signs reading "You will always be with us" and "Never forget," and quiet sobs could be heard as the moments of silence were observed. Some victims' relatives crossed themselves and wiped away tears.

"Five years have come, and five years have gone, and still we stand together as one," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "We come back to this place to remember the heartbreaking anniversary — and each person who died here — those known and unknown to us, whose absence is always with us."

A youth choir sang "America the Beautiful" and "My Country 'Tis of Thee," and religious leaders of several faiths offered words of comfort.

"I think it's important that people remember as years go on," said Diana Kellie, of Acaconda, Mont., whose niece and niece's fiance were killed on one of the planes. "The dead are really not dead until they're forgotten
Firefighter Tommy King and others stood beside a fire truck with a windshield emblazoned with the names of two comrades who died on Sept. 11.

"It's just weird being back here," King said outside the World Financial Center, where he hasn't been for five years. "This building here was a morgue."
Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynn, attended a service of prayer and remembrance in Washington Monday morning. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher joined them. Cheney then joined Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at a ceremony at the Pentagon.

Rumsfeld choked up during his brief remarks at that event.

"I remember working our way through that long tragic day," he said, pausing in between sentences, noting that family and friends of those lost wore double American flag lapel patches. "Know that you are always in our thoughts and prayers," he added.

Cheney said, "September 11 ceased to be an ordinary day in America."

"We honor the men, women and children whose lives were taken suddenly and so coldly here at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and on a field in Pennsylvania," the vice president continued. "We remember all that we saw and heard and felt on that Tuesday morning and how the world changed on the eleventh of September, 2001. Nine-eleven is a day of national unity that stays with all of us … we were meant to take it personally and we still do take it personally."

Camp Blanding, Fla., remembered Florida soldiers killed in action since Sept. 11. Firefighters and law enforcement officers were to be honored at Idaho's Statehouse. And in Muncie, Ind., a service was set at a funeral home that features a Sept. 11 garden with twin glass towers that light up at night.

In Chicago, people filled churches to pray and remember the victims. In Virginia Beach, Va., firefighters and residents formed a human flag. Firefighters in Akron, Ohio, displayed 3,000 American flags on a 10-acre spiritual center.

3:41 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Quite right hcb, though I do worry about his fascination for little boys; I wonder if we should notify the local authorities in his area. :-)

4:03 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

I'd like to notify the local crips or bloods in his area. See how quickly his law enforcement and DOD buddies come to his rescue.

In any event, I remain amazed at how our media can simply ignore what's going on in Lebanon. Especially with the naval buildup described in a later article (above). I was not aware it is such a potent force - I thought it was there just to search and interdict. What in the world do they need aircraft carriers for? And two state of the art command and control centers? Maybe it's just a drill and they get to work in an international arena - see how it goes.

Our local "international" writer is a respected but semi-retired woman who travels the world constantly. We had a nice conversation once about how airlines and air travel used to be so I thought she would be receptive to my idea of an article or two on the mess in Lebanon. Her answer - she has to "prioritize" since she is "only one reporter." Her current priority is a report on how the army has been lying to parents and spouses concerning the deaths of their loved ones in combat.

So - I've been collecting articles to publish under a heading that I hope will draw attention locally - I'll advertise it in the paper if necessary. I'll be asking Mrtez for copy permission and will be presenting the articles in a chronological order. the trouble is they have to be condensed to fit the attention span of most readers.

And, of course, it won't work with the input I'd hoped for - Sam was there within minutes with his childishness in "tearing it down" by posting the bill of rights many times. So, I'm getting input from other blogs and will incorporate it into the final product.

I wish I could get over my anger with what we are doing in our missionary approach to democracy and our elitist approach to the "war on terror" but worrying about Bush and Cheney is as pointless as worrying about Sam - it makes no sense what they are doing and there's no way I can stop it. So, I will do what I can by spreading the word and hoping enough people will get interested that others will join them.

If only there was a draft ....

5:05 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

HCB...anyone hoping for peace should be grateful for your efforts... I sure am.

Julie from this blog and I are talking about a blog network to make sure that important stories can no longer be ignored by the media. Feel free to join our chat on either of our blogs.

If Sam is reading, this is called taking action - look it up.

5:42 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

More action, Rick - by a woman who does a whole lot more than just talk.

An interesting article is on MSNBC. All about an Iranian woman entrepreneur - obviously not an "Islamic Fascist" - she describes herself as a "moderate muslim."

The first two paragraphs of the article:

The first woman to buy a ride to the international space station says she wants her flight to serve as an inspiration for expanding the final frontier — an expansion that extends even to orbital toilets.

Anousheh Ansari, who was born in Iran but made her mark as an telecommunications entrepreneur in the United States, is due to lift off in the company of two professional astronauts next Monday aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, for a 10-day trip to orbit and back. Although Ansari's contract bars her from disclosing how much she's paying, the published price tag for a space station flight is $20 million.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

You clowns can post all the lies you like, only fools like yourselves read them and or care. The people who run and control the country could care less, if we do it's for a few minutes then we decided it's crab and change channels.

Who runs the country? Did you watch that speach lastnight. God is that man good or what. My first choice for a war pres would always be Regan but Bush Jr is doing a great job. The speach made me so proud to be an American & one that voted for a world leader thats not a coward like Clinton and you homo's.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Notice she had to buy her way. The arabs and Musilms aren't smart enough to get on board an American Space flight. I guess the towels they wear would come offin flight and casue problems plus those robs would be to problematic.

Arabs & Muslims are a joke, the scurge of the world.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Hmmm, funny...I always thought scourges of the world were people who spewed hate and filth behind the anonymity of the internet. Oh wait, no, those those are just dickless cowards.

HCB... great piece; she is a very interesting person.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

You guys make me so mad and filled with hate. I blame assholes like you for spreading the hate I feel.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

God forbid you take responsibility for your own feelings.

We don't "make" you feel anything, and to think so is to have the maturity of a six year old. You have noone to blame but yourself. If you feel hate, it is because of the life you live and the decisions you make.

Quit hiding behind anonymity, act like an adult, and start taking responsibility for yourself. Maybe then people will start taking you seriously.

11:18 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

What I really liked about the article was that she is Iranian. All the things Bush isn't, she is. She's intelligent, entreprenaurial, driven, young and educated. Bush is a suit with strings that run to Cheney's office. She's Muslim but she sure isn't a fascist - even whatever it is Bush thinks that means. She's decided to do something with her life and she's doing it. She enjoys herself and the people around her. If she were a soprano, she'd be Anna Moffo.

I wish more could be seen about her and others like her. We worry that Iran is making a nuclear weapon but we don't stop to mention that the nation we think of as leading the "Islamic Fascists" has scientists, and engineers and machinests capable of doing such a thing. And they apparently do it on their own without a lot of money from Russia anymore.

If we all could talk and see so we could understand. That is Bush's biggest failing - he doesn't lead. He prods. Just like he thinks the nation is cattle - stick 'em with the cattle prod and scare 'em into doing what he wants to do.

Don't get me wrong, Rick - there are bad people out there who want to do bad things to us and others. But there are bad people in New York City and Chicago and Miami who want to do bad things too. But Bush and his gang simply say, "Muslim" or "Islamic" or "Arab" and that becomes code for "terrorist." It's so outrageous but it fits on a bumper sticker.

That's also the trouble with our schools - they don't seem to teach critical thinking anymore. Or, from what I've seen from our high school kid here, spelling or grammar or sentence structure. Or logic or rhetoric or argument. That is what will ultimately destroy us - we will be a service economy beholden to those European and other countries who have chosen to educate their children.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Ah HCB, you once again hit the nail on the head... there are bad people everywhere. We can't generalize about an entire people and expect it to be productive, or expect to make friends. yes, I think that the leader of Iran has some pretty negative motivations. But to blanket Iran as evil is idiocy. If we bothered to peacefully engage with these nations and take their concerns seriously, radicals would find much less willing populations.

It's funny that it was the conservatives in this nation that always argued we should be invested in South Africa and China in order to affect change in those nations. Yet we intentionally limit contact with Syria, Iran, Cuba and others because we see their governments as evil. Where is the consistency? Where is the logic?

I also agree about schooling. I don't think we have yet figured out how to change our educational system to catch up with the reality of a global society. And I do fear it will be our undoing. It's bad news to see our society so polarized, and people don't seem to possess the thinking, listening, and speaking skills that are required to maintain some semblance of civility.

I sat my wife down to watch "V for Vendetta" and she instantly saw the connection, and knows the US is headed down a similar path. The parallels are just frightening.

11:48 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

This is a response to what Bryan posted on why we are hated but I can no longer find it so I will post it here because I think it was here where I saw it.

Bryansaid I read most of that in the gulf daily new. Not let me tell you why most Americans have trouble with see what we are doing is wrong. In Israel we didn't setup Israel or support it the British did but that dose not matter we didn't stop it. In Lebanon we went there to help stop a civil war and 300 of our men died and we heard it was because we were interfering in the middle east. If we buy the oil witch send money into the country we are exploiting the country. If build factory in the middle east we are taking advantage of the people. If we get involved in the Palestine we are supporting Israel not trying to find peace. If export our culture then we are trying to convert you to are ways. It seams to a lot of Americans that no mater what we do or say we will be damed if we do and damed if we don't it is so much easer to blame the Americans for all that is wrong. We are hatted for removing Saddam who killed thousands of his people and hated for not taking out the king of Saudi Arabian . So why should we not just do things are way it will be wrong anyway.

12:15 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

Kevin - you're right, of course, but only to the extent of HOW we go about doing what we do. We don't "give." We demand. What is it that makes "democracy" so "good" that we have to demand it be installed everywhere? Americans think the only way to govern is with a democratically elected "representative" form of government. Look at Dubai.

The first problem with democracy as we practice it is that it is nothing at all like what we preach. Our government gets away with all that it does because it keeps people distracted. Not intentionally - it simply encourages with tax and social loaws the degradation of principles and meaning. Why are we so obese? Other people in the world are not starving but they are a long way from obese. Why are our children so poorly educated? Why do we have more people in jail per capita than practically all other "civilized" countries? Ours is not really a "democracy" in the truest sense of that word since most people neither care to know about nor participate in the "democracy." They will complain mightily about the abridgement of a perceived right of their own but they will support and insist upon the most draconian laws when they are afraid they are not safe.

But, more important, many of the countries we want to "democratize" don't understand or want "democracy." Certainly not as we understand it. Some people enjoy the idea of no responsibility in the government. Many have no idea what a checking account is much less how a central banking system works. People can be happy in many systems of government other than "democracies" but we insist they will be happier if they live like we want them to believe we live.

The solution to the problem you pose is fairly simple: recognize the United States is the world's largest consumer of the world's natural resources. Pay for it. Don't demand anything in return in the form of governmental or lifestyle changes.

Go where needed to help. Darfur is in desperate need of help right now - and we are doing about nothing. but we've spent half a TRILLION dollars on the "war on terror" while we ignore real life genocide. We hear how good we are to remove Saddam Hussein because he was evil but we do nothing about some truly evil people in Africa. Why? There's no oil there.

We are hated by so many because we make ourselves hateful. It didn't use to be that way. Americans were recognized as cheerful, big hearted, generous people. Some hated us, of course, but that's to be expected. Most, though, admired America and thought good.

We MUST stop running around the world telling others how to conduct their lives. And we MUST get Israel to learn some manners in how to deal with its neighbors. Until we do those things, we will never be able to do anything "right" and our best choice is to throw a missile barrier around the US and isolate ourselves from the world.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Sam said...


Cowards and Liars to the core. I figured it out, you guys have no life. You brag that you do but you spend way to much time complaining and not enough enjoying. So it boils down to this, you guys don't have good sex with your so called wives. Your kids are a dissapointment, hopefully they get drafted and used as front line foot targets.. Road side bomb triggers.

So my advice is walk away from your computer, enjoy life and get a wife that can make yoou smile. Then maybe you won't be so down on the USA. Great sex alwasy makes a real man smile, you guys should experience it someday.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Sex isn't just fro breeding your little critters and wellfare cases.

1:36 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

So, Rick - another fine old tradition bites the dust. Remember when the bad boys walked around with a condom in their billfolds? It made a circle in the leather that impressed itself on the jeans pocket. Advertised to the world "this bad boy's been to bed with a girl and will be doing it again." The bad boys knew no girl would have anything to do with them but they wanted the rest of the school to think they'd actually had sex with a live girl.

And now? Now the bad boys aren't even THAT creative. They simply write about it to make everyone think they've actually had sex with a live girl.

You would think of all the people here, Sam would be the most sympathetic to suicide bombers. They must remind him of his girlfriends - both get blown up.

Of course, he's been talking about "homos" a lot lately ....

Ahhhh - to be sixteen again. Nothing known, all to learn.

3:16 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

HCB...he he he he!

Yes, he's been talking a lot about furry critters, children, etc, etc. My guess is that even his blow-up doll won't have sex with him.

The real trouble he has is that he is complete denial that anything he wants to believe in could ever be wrong or flawed. Addressing that would probably make his head explode. And because he can't make an intelligent argument and is so full of hate, we see the daily drivel that he can come up with after a full night of sleep to think about it.

I also note his earlier comment that we "make" him feel this hate. As I said to him, he needs to assume responsibility for his own feelings and actions. But of course, since my argument is logical and accurate, he either has no comment, or feels the need to say something about wives and children, as though his comments will make me less rational.

Sorry Sam, I'm not like that, like you, and I will thank God for that every day of my life.

4:44 AM  
Blogger M2Timechange said...

Hcb & Rick,

Well written, fair and excellent analysis with regards to Bush character, administration and their foreign policies.

English is my third language; perhaps, I may not be able to express my feeling and point of views clearly.

There are many US outstanding issues internally and externally have not been addressed and resolved clearly and fairly. The root causes are the following:-

Bush Internal and external affairs

1. Administration – over reliance on the neo cons ideas and react without prior discussion with Democrats senators and the people of Americans.
2. Twin tower become white elephant and re-building just about to begin after five years.
3. Re development of housing for the Katrina victims is very slow.
4. Biased and prejudice media coverage to Americans that confused too many.
5. US government is well known for their democracy as what they preach but did not practice.
6. There are many intellectuals out there in US but their views and messages were not conveying to publics internally and externally.
7. He instils fear and hate towards Arab and Muslims each time he appear in TV.
8. He labels Arab and Muslims as terrorists that could further fuel Arab and Muslims as well as world communities as prolonged angry and hate towards US administration build up overtime.
9. Occupied territory by Israel in Palestinian land and economics sanction has not been resolved.
10. He does not welcome dialogues offered by Arab leaders and the terrorists’ organization.
11. US continue with the strong support of weapons to Israel that killed many innocents many others.

Having said the above, Arab leaders must also play their role to have dialogues with the leader’s of terrorist organization to address root causes and provide with resolution that are realistic, justifiable and sustainable for a long period.


It is important for Bush and the neo cons, Blair and Israel government to learn and understand other nation religion and cultures if we want to live in peace. The Palestinians basic needs, physical and spiritual and safety have been deprived for the past decades. It is natural for one to react by violently (although I do not favour) when their basic need are not met. See link Maslow theory

US may be powerful with latest weapons and aggression but they achieve nothing so far. US citizen clouded with fear, anger and hate that pulling them down further. The violent is still continuing in Afghanistan, Palestine and other part of the world. 9/11 attacks of US soil become platinum tools and weapons for US & Israel to invade Muslims countries as they wish. We have to put aside our pride, practice good listening skills by listening to their point of views, without assigning blame who is right and wrong. We have to spend our time to fix the problem (not blaming) if we want to be successful in everything we need. Like I said before, we look at our own biases and prejudices, all of us have ones. We may have graduated with Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degree, but that do no guarantee us to be able in managing the people and govern your country successfully. We may lack of certain knowledge that we have not learnt in school, college and university, so we need the soft skills, street smart that is critical for one to learn and exercise in 21st century. We can no longer apply the old strategies to fit current problem and the environment. Our brains are being trapped in a confine space that prevented us from looking at a broader angle for the solution to the problem. Therefore, we have to think out of the box with creative thinking and produce creative and realistic solution. It is a leader responsibility to educate his people in social studies at early age (from kindergarten right to university) so as to equip them and practice in our daily life. Although, we have been separated by different religious belief, cultures and ideology, but it is important to acknowledge that all of us were born in this world has to be treated as human beings in a fairly manner. I am afraid, what ever happened to Palestine at this moment, could happen to other nation as well if there is no one to do a soul searching with regards to the abovementioned.

12:08 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Agreed, m2 - you correctly say what "leaders" should do. The trouble with your analyis is its practical aspect. I think Olmert and Bush and their gangs are stupid and incapable of leading - they push with fear mongering. On the other hand, the led must be willing to be led. Again, I grant that leadership includes inspiration to the led but I'm not certain it's possible to "lead" a nation of people who live in a kind of moderated anarchy and call it "democracy."

At the same time, people like Nasrallah have simply imposed themselves on the people they "lead." The comparison to Hitler is not unfair. Hitler came to power with an election. It was rigged in large part but it was an election. More important, however, is the fact Germany in 1933 was in the middle of the worst financial depression ever in modern history. Add to that the humiliation of the treaty of Versailles and the rape of the country's natural resources by France and England. The result was a desperately poor, previously wealthy and proud nation. People didn't understand and they didn't like the situation. they hated what had happened to them even if they didn't actually hate the English and French. Along comes Hitler - real name "Shickelgruber" and stirs up the masses. He changed his name - "Heil Shcikelgruber" did not have the desired effect. He perfected his passionate speaking style. He spoke to the fears and hopes of the people and appealed to their need for a reason - the jews were at the bottom of it all. So, he had a people in chaos with little hope and a lot of anger who were ready for a massive change in their circumstances. He offered the answer and they accepted. He said we'll all have cars and Ferry Porsche invented the volkswagen. So there would be a place to drive them the autobahns were built. As Hitler delivered on some of his promises, he became more credible and he developed the ability to intimidate. Ultimately, he became too impressed with himself and lost the war.

Hamas and Hezbollah are filling the same need. But the west does not understand that. The west determines to call them "terrorists" and "evil" and "criminals" and "fascists" without ever stopping to think what they are talking about. As important, we act on those prejudices with no clear idea of what it is we want to do. So, we kill and destroy and create even more chaos, misery and hopelessness - all of the things a totalitarian dictator - a fascist - needs to take control. If the palestinians had hope and some of the necessities of life, Hamas would not be listened to for any reason. When Israel destroyed so much in South Lebanon, Hezbollah and Hamas and Al Queda all become much more credible and much more important. The west says "we want to give you democracy and freedom." Even the Russian prime minister said, "we don't want that kind of democracy." And Hezbollah says, "do you not see I am your only hope?"

That is the leadership problem - first to recognize and appreciate the "enemy" and then to determine what to do. We finally are saying it is not a military problem entirely. Finally. And when we get a thoughtful administration, we will discover the roots of the "evil" and will help the people in the clutches of the real evil escape it. But we'll help - not impose by military force. And then we will learn that not all people want "democracy" - certainly not the kind we have to offer.

I hope a nation of selfish individuals can be persuaded to do what's necessary. We spend many billions of dollars on the instruments of death and destruction. But we complain mightily about "foreign aid."

2:57 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Well written posts by both of you, M2 and HCB. Not much I can add to that, except that it is important to understand everyone's perspective (even if we deem it to be "wrong") so that we can both find solutions and create an environment where terror is far less likely to flourish. Unfortunately, that is exactly what our Administration does not get.

5:39 PM  

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