Life in Iraq
Tuesday, November 30, 2004 ~ 04:01 p.m.
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"My best relationships are with Iraqis who hate me, but want to see a new government and reconstruction. I tell them, 'I have plenty of friends at home and my dogs worship me, I just want to leave this place better than I found it.' They can work with that." -- Lieutenant Bryan Suits

The BBC is running a log of commentaries on day to day life in Iraq from an assortment of people, Iraqis and foreigners, starting yesterday and running for two weeks.

All the contributors currently live in Baghdad. They are:

- A 29-year-old doctor who works for the national inoculation program run by the Iraqi Health Ministry.

- A housewife living in the al-Dorah area.

- A civil servant in his late 40s who is married and a father.

- A Shia Muslim Iraqi medical student and researcher who returned to Iraq after living in Britain for several years.

- An Iraqi doctor who lives and works in Baghdad.

- A 61-year-old UK citizen and a contractor working for an international company in the Green Zone.

- An officer in the US Army's 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment.

...It shames me to say I was pointed this way by a Livejournal user, but I was. *hangs head*

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Two year's worth
Wednesday, November 24, 2004 ~ 01:39 p.m.
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The moving process continues. Last night Todd and I moved most of my closet, dresser, and the contents of my bookshelves. I've discovered that junk breeds when you're not looking. Or at least that's what I claim whenever I uncover yet another stash of random, useless items. Surely I'm not directly responsible for all this stuff.

I also re-discovered my collection of pictures, letters, and tickets stubs and spent a happy hour looking through them. I've kept every letter, card, and drawing anyone's ever given me since 1999, no matter who it was or what has happened since. I keep meaning to organize everything by date. Todd says I should just take up scrap-booking.

We have yet to touch the kitchen or my storage closet. Once those are done, all that's left is furniture. Hopefully Saturday will go quickly and painlessly. Which reminds me, E, our parents will be bringing you a nice kitchen table on the 11th.

As much as I've come to loathe it, I'm going to miss the apartment. It's the first space that belonged only to me, and there are a lot of memories there. I get too attached to places.

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It's time for my nap.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004 ~ 12:20 p.m.
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Rain makes me sleepy, so I post to stay awake. I'm sorry.

I spent yesterday stomping through the woods on top of a hill in Florence. UNA is building a couple new buildings and an intramural soccer field in an area behind the campus, and I drew the job. Because the trees are so thick and the hill is so steep, I had to borrow Todd's GPS unit to lay out the borings. It was something of an adventure, especially once it began to rain. Once I'd finished laying everything out, I spent the rest of the afternoon slipping and sliding my way around behind a dozer. After we finished clearing the areas we needed, I sent everyone home because of the rain and came back to dry out.

I was supposed to be out there at 7 this morning, but we were rained out again. A good thing too, since I set my alarm clock for 5 PM and didn't wake up until the drillers called me at 6:15. I'm pretty sure if they hadn't called, I'd still be asleep.

Plans for the Holiday:

I'll be spending Turkey Day in Birmingham with Todd's family. Todd will be experimenting with fried turkey, so something might burn down. Friday, I'm supposed to work, but I might play hooky to pack. Saturday, my father, grandfather, Todd, and Jackie are helping me move.

Thrilling, isn't it? ;-)

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Some Perspective
Friday, November 19, 2004 ~ 09:37 a.m.
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Since everyone is busily freaking out over the Marine who shot the wounded Iraqi, I thought I'd post this article. It's written by Phillp Carter, a former Army officer. The entire article can be summed up in this one quote:

"Killing the insurgent in a split second because it was instinctual...was a tragedy, not an atrocity."

And he's right, people.

"In this unit's case, one early lesson in Fallujah was to avoid Iraqis altogether, dead or alive. Iraqis wearing National Guard uniforms had ambushed them, killing one of their own. Another Marine had been killed when an explosive detonated under an insurgent corpse. Several insurgents had continued desperate fights notwithstanding gruesome wounds. Others tried to exploit the civil-military moral gap, acting as soldiers at 500 meters and as civilians when the Marines closed in. The Iraqis in the mosque may have been immobile, but to the Marines, they posed a threat."

"...the Marines entered a building in Fallujah and found several men who, until moments before, had been enemy insurgents engaged in mortal combat. A hidden grenade would have changed everything, and the Marine would have been lauded."


So everyone who's screaming about innocent blood and all that, needs to understand that this is a war. The Marine is not guilty of committing an atrocity. He's guilty of making the wrong decision in a split second in a combat situation. Let's see how well you do under those conditions before you condemn him.

If you want to fret about "innocent" blood, focus your efforts on preventing our government from starting wars like this in the first place, not on utterly crucifying someone caught up in the works.

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A Heartfelt Letter
Thursday, November 18, 2004 ~ 09:19 a.m.
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To the conservatives of America:

Please stop trying to save me.

No, really. Just stop. I don't want to be saved by you; neither does 49% of this country. We don’t want or need your help with our salvation.

More than that, your efforts to save us are twisted, misguided, and harmful. Given the choice between your "moral values" and my "immoral" values of common courtesy, respect for others and their opinions, and basic decency, I'd much rather stick to mine.

It just amazes me that some of you feel compelled to insert yourselves into everyone's lives. You seek to pass judgment on even the most personal of choices. You pry and delve into issues that should be left alone. You want to dictate what we should watch, what we should read, what we should say. Your goal is to worm your way in between a person and God, so that God speaks only through you and says only what you want heard. You want us to be just like you.

Why can't you people leave the rest of us alone?

Why don't you worry about yourselves for a while?

I don't need you to tell me if other human beings should or should not be accorded the same rights you enjoy.

I don't believe that I should find a breast offensive. Especially not when I have two of my own.

I don't think you should have the right to tell me how many children I should have or what choices I should make.

I don't understand why you moan and bitch and whine every time a politician speaks the truth. They lie enough without your encouragement.

I especially don't think you should work to make laws that enshrine your particular religion above all others and strip the rights of others.

You demand that the government oppress half the people around you just because you think its God's will. You know what? Al Qaeda thinks that flying planes into the World Trade Center was God's will. I would have thought that would teach you something about the dangers of religious conviction.

In America, you are able to annoy people like me because we have a Constitution that enshrines your ability to do so. It's perplexing to me that you would spit on that same Constitution in your attempts to mold the government in your image.

Please, do us all a favor. Just stop. Stop attacking your fellow Americans. Stop attacking our Constitution. Use your time to do something good for a change. Help the poor, feed the homeless, care for the sick. And leave the rest of us alone.

Sincerely,

Me

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Oh happy day!
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 ~ 09:57 a.m.
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I am one step closer to my dream of owning Depo Darts. Now, look at the picture and tell me that's not a good thing.

Last Sunday, Todd and I decided to run up to Knoxville after leaving Clingman's Dome. We had actually planned on stopping in Gatlinburg for lunch, but the sheer number of people there drove us out. According to the GPS, Knoxville isn't but about 40 miles from Gatlinburg, so we headed that way. Two hours later, we arrived. My advice, never, ever try to drive through Pigeon Forge on a Sunday. In case you ever doubted that it really is the Redneck Gatlinburg...

In other news:

Happy Birthday,Jeff!.

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I am bored out of my @#*&!$% mind
Tuesday, November 16, 2004 ~ 12:29 p.m.
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On days like this, I find myself spending most of my time contemplating all the things I could be doing if I wasn't stuck at work. I need to pack, I want to go shopping, I need to write thank you notes, I want to be outside. I want to go home and read a book and play with Lilo. Instead, I'm at my desk, my brain oozing out my ears.

Yesterday wasn't much better. Tomorrow's not looking good either.

Arrrrrggggghhhhhh.

Still, with all this time to think, it occurs to me that they ought to invent smell-resistant clothing. You know how you'll go into McDonalds or some mom-and-pop diner and come out smelling like a walking heart attack? Or how woodsmoke gets into your sweater and you smell like a forest fire for the rest of the evening? Wouldn't it be nice if they came up with something that didn't let those smells stick? Have they already? I really don't know.

This totally usless post brought to you by the letter C.

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Observed
Monday, November 15, 2004 ~ 12:06 p.m.
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"I am not going to pretend that I understand why we are thinking of going to war with Iraq. I know the reasons we are given - some seem more credible than others.

No matter what, I will go, and fight with all my heart. Not to win a war but to come home to my wife and children."

- Army Pfc. Jesse A. Givens


For Veteran's Day, HBO and Life produced a show called "Last Letters Home" which featured ten families reading the last letters of their loved ones who were killed in Iraq. It wasn't anti-war, it wasn't pro-war. It was a remembrance on a day when we are SUPPOSED to remember the fallen soldiers of every war.

I missed the show, although I wanted to see it. It'll be airing again Wednesday night.

Also, last year The New York Times published some of the letters: The Things They Wrote

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Excerpt of a letter from Army Pfc. Jesse A. Givens, 34, of Springfield, Mo. Private Givens was killed May 1 when his tank fell into the Euphrates River after the bank on which he was parked gave way. This letter was written to be delivered to his family if he died. Melissa is his wife, Dakota his 6-year-old stepson and Bean the name he used for his son, Carson, who was born May 29.

My family,

I never thought that I would be writing a letter like this. I really don't know where to start. I've been getting bad feelings, though and, well, if you are reading this...

The happiest moments in my life all deal with my little family. I will always have with me the small moments we all shared. The moments when you quit taking life so serious and smiled. The sounds of a beautiful boy's laughter or the simple nudge of a baby unborn. You will never know how complete you have made me. You saved me from loneliness and taught me how to think beyond myself. You taught me how to live and to love. You opened my eyes to a world I never dreamed existed.

Dakota...you taught me how to care until it hurts, you taught me how to smile again. You taught me that life isn't so serious and sometimes you just have to play. You have a big, beautiful heart. Through life you need to keep it open and follow it. Never be afraid to be yourself. I will always be there in our park when you dream so we can play. I love you, and hope someday you will understand why I didn't come home. Please be proud of me.

Bean, I never got to see you but I know in my heart you are beautiful. I know you will be strong and big-hearted like your mom and brother. I will always have with me the feel of the soft nudges on your mom's belly, and the joy I felt when I found out you were on your way. I love you, Bean.

Melissa, I have never been as blessed as the day I met you. You are my angel, soulmate, wife, lover and best friend. I am sorry. I did not want to have to write this letter. There is so much more I need to say, so much more I need to share. A lifetime's worth. I married you for a million lifetimes. That's how long I will be with you. Please keep my babies safe. Please find it in your heart to forgive me for leaving you alone... Teach our babies to live life to the fullest, tell yourself to do the same.

I will always be there with you, Melissa. I will always want you, need you and love you, in my heart, my mind and my soul. Do me a favor, after you tuck the children in. Give them hugs and kisses from me. Go outside and look at the stars and count them. Don't forget to smile.

Love Always,
Your husband,
Jess

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Random Stuff
Tuesday, November 9, 2004 ~ 11:20 a.m.
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- The sulfur vapor from the lab is filling up my office. I just turned on my fan, but my eyes are still watering. I figure I might as well get used to the smell, because according to several people, I'm going to hell.

- I spent yesterday in Benton, Tennessee. It's a pretty place, but very very small.

- Todd's cat, Stitch the Fatass, chewed apart my cell phone antenna. I suspect Todd put her up to it because he hates my phone.

- Whenever I go to Lowes or Home Depot, I have this urge to get paint chips. Then I go home and tape them all over the walls. It's out of control, people.

- Sue, the Environmental secretary, brought back these nifty skirt/pants from Thailand. She's been trying to get every girl in the office to buy a pair. I've got mine picked out - they're awesome!

- I'll probably be back in Cullman for the rest of the week. Aaarrrgh.

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That sinking feeling
Tuesday, November 9, 2004 ~ 10:11 a.m.
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SECRETARY POWELL: "...I think the American people have, through this election, demonstrated to the President that they expect him to keep acting in the manner that he has been acting.

...So the President has had an active foreign policy that has been controversial in the sense of, should we have done what we did in Iraq? We did it. Now what we’re going to do is complete the effort to give the Iraqi people a democracy.

But in so many other parts of our foreign policy it has been a reaching out policy. It has been aggressive in terms of going after challenges and issues that needed to be dealt with by the nation with the most power in the world. And the President is going to keep moving in that direction.

...So the President is not going to, as has been said, trim his sails or pull back. It’s going to be a continuation of his principles, his policies, his beliefs. And I think people will see that it is a foreign policy of national interests and the interests of our friends and alliances, multilateral in nature, willing, however, when necessary, to act if we have to act alone or with a willing coalition to defend our interests and our needs. And the President took that message to the American people and the American people accepted that message and gave him more than a marginal mandate to keep moving forward."

-- Excerpts from Colin Powell's interview with the British Financial Times.

Do I really have to say it?

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As the dust settles...
Friday, November 5, 2004 ~ 08:36 a.m.
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It's been two days now. I can honestly say that I never expected the volume of comments I received on my previous two posts, both online and off.

I can say now that while I still don't agree, I do understand a little bit more. I know that there are many educated people out there who, as Todd put it, cast their vote for Bush with a tear in their eye. For various reasons, many people who disagree with the war (or his other policies) voted for Bush.

That's a different set of priorities from mine. I disagree very strongly with them, but that doesn't necessarily make them wrong.

Right now, my concern stems from the idea that the President interprets your votes as approval. That he does not understand the level of concern among his own supporters. You hear dissent, but it's from Democrats. It's rare that a Republican voice is heard in opposition.

So, I have a new challenge for you. If you have concerns, now is the time to voice them. If you think the war was wrong, say so. If you think the war was right, but disagree with the way it's been fought, say it. If you disagree with his environmental policies or his financial decisions, speak up. Write your newspapers. Write your representatives. Tell others. Join some of the political organizations out there. Make your opinions known and hope that the President hears you.

Not that I expect it to really make a difference, but again, it's the principle of the thing. ;-)

Edit: Look at these kids! They've got the right idea. I'm not saying everyone should stage a sit-in or something, but I'm all about getting the message out.

"Students said they are not protesting the election, but are worried about the national debt, military recruitment in schools and the environment."

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Reply to "A Marine's View"
Thursday, November 4, 2004 ~ 04:21 p.m.
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This post is a reply to the comments from my previous post. I had to break it into sections, because it's a book and a half long. I have tried to be as factual as possible, although I admit that it is my opinion is that Iraq has done nothing for this country.

To the Marine: Thank you for being open about your opinions. I understand your concerns, even though I don't agree with them. I hope you accept my opinions and concerns in return, and stop to consider some of the facts I have included.

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How Disrespectful can you be to put the pictures of dead Soldiers, Sailors, airmen, or Marines on this site! You may have a point in your mind, but if these were friends of yours, or family members would you want their pictures pasted all over the web.

You know what the disgusting thing about that picture is? Those men died for NOTHING. That’s the obscenity. They didn’t die protecting America or battling America’s worst enemies - their deaths were wasted. It’s a tragedy, and one that I think everyone should be completely aware of.

Do you want to make war sterile and user-friendly, to make it easier for the public to support sending troops off to die for nothing? I don’t. I think if you support the war, then you should be completely and totally aware of its cost. It shouldn’t be easy.

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If you want pictures of dead people to paste on the web, then how about the nearly 3,000 that died on Sept. 11, Oh no we wouldn't want to do that they were Innocent Civilians. I carried a shot and dieing Marine in my arms, and I thank God that you didn't get ahold of his picture so that his wife and new born child would ever have to see it pasted on the web.

Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with September 11. Please, read the 9-11 Commission Report. Watch something besides Fox News. Vice President Cheney himself stated in September of 2003 that there was "no evidence that Iraq was involved in the September 11 attacks."

The impression that Saddam was involved in the attacks is one very carefully created by the Bush administration. The best intentions of you and others were MANIPULATED and men and women are still dying for it. Where’s your moral outrage on that?

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Those service Men and Women are doing what they agreed to do when they signed the contract to enlist, and even the Media found most Service Men and Women wanted Pres. Bush to win and Sen. Kerry to lose.

I am thankful that there are people willing to sacrifice themselves for this country. But I think that in exchange for that, we owe them a cause worthy of their sacrifice. It is not the responsibility of the military to question its orders. It is OUR responsibility, as citizens, to ensure that their orders don’t send them out to die and suffer needlessly.

The war in Iraq has done nothing for this country and al Qaeda is stronger and more active than ever. If our troops had died fighting al Qaeda, that would be one thing. But they died attacking the wrong country, the wrong people, while al Qaeda spread.

THEY DIED FOR NOTHING.

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Any Idea why? Maybe its because Sen. Kerry has put them much more in HARMS Way, by VOTING AGAINST every weapon system that has come up in front of the Senate since he has been in office. Did you here about the soldier who died because his HUMVEE didn't have armor (guess we can THANK Sen. Kerry for his support of our troops).

It is true that when Kerry first ran for the Senate in 1984 he did call specifically for canceling the AH-64 Apache helicopter, as did Dick Cheney himself, five years later. Incidentally, Cheney's Pentagon budget also proposed elimination of further production of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle as well, along with 80 other Pentagon programs, including the F-14 and F-16 aircraft.

Kerry's only votes against specific military hardware, aside from the Apache helicopter, were against strategic nuclear weapons including the B-2 bomber, Trident missile and anti-missile items, not against conventional equipment such as tanks. As Kerry put it in 1984, "There's no excuse for casting even one vote for unnecessary weapons of destruction, and as your senator I will never do so." Personally, I think Rumsfeld is insane for wanting to develop more nuclear weapons, and I have to respect Kerry for being against them.

The 1996 bill Kerry introduced to cut $6.5 billion from defense spending was intended to provide the money to hire an additional 100,000 police officers (above the 100,000 President Clinton already was proposing to fund.) It was called the Safer Streets Act of 1996.

Kerry has voted FOR military spending bills regularly since 1997.

Also, the $87 billion Kerry is accused of voting against was an issue in October of 2003. If you recall, the war started in March of 2003, nearly seven months prior. The troops were not sent with the proper equipment. In fact, on Sept. 24, 2003, Army General John Abizaid, chief of the U.S. Central Command, estimated that 40,000 troops did not have the proper equipment. This was before Kerry ever got involved. So, at whose doorstep would you care to lay the blame now?

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Let me ask you a question, Should we do NOTHING when we are attacked on American Soil? Should we fight the war in the street of Huntsville? What did Pres.Clinton do when we were attacked on US soil (Oh and by the way US Embassies and US ships are American soil!)? [You may have never heard the saying " the best defense is a good offense" and you are right we can lose 3,000 lives on US soil a day, by not stopping terrorist, or 1,124 lives on foreign soil.]

"This will be a long, hard struggle. There will be setbacks along the way. But just as no enemy could drive us from the fight to meet our challenges and protect our values in World War II and the Cold War, we will not be driven from the tough fight against terrorism today. Terrorism is the enemy of our generation, and we must prevail...

But I want to make it clear to the American people that while we can defeat terrorists, it will be a long time before we can defeat terrorism. America will remain a target because we are uniquely present in the world, because we act to advance peace and democracy, because we have taken a tougher stand against terrorism. But to change any of that, to pull our troops back from the world’s trouble spots...to weaken our opposition against terrorism, to curtail the freedom that is our birthright would be to give terrorism the victory it must not and will not have."

-- Excerpt from a speech given by President Clinton immediately after the attack on the Air Force personnel stationed in Khobar, Saudi Arabia and before requesting $1 billion for counterterrorism.

1. A month before Clinton left office, his administration was praised by two former Reagan
counterterrorism officials, Robert Oakley and Paul Bremer. Oakley gave Clinton "very high marks" but thought Clinton was "obsessed with Osama." Bremer said that Clinton "correctly focused on bin Laden."
(See Washington Post, 12/24/2000, “Planned Jan. 2000 Attacks Failed or Were Thwarted.”)

2. The WTC bombing of February 26, 1993 took place after Clinton had been in office for only 38 days. Under the Clinton administration, those responsible for the bombing (Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim M urad, Walki Khan Amin Shah) were captured, tried, convicted, and imprisoned. They are all still behind bars.

3. Clinton tripled the counterterrorism budget for the FBI and doubled counterterrorism funding overall. He also created a top-level national security post to coordinate all federal counterterrorism activity. These moves were responsible for closing al Qaeda cells in over 20 countries, as well as thwarting plots to (1) kill the Pope, (2) blow up 12 US airplanes simultaneously, (3) attack UN Headquarters, (4) attack the FBI building, (5) attack the Israeli embassy in Washington, (6) attack the LA airport, (7) attack the Boston airport, (8) blow up the Lincoln Tunnel, (9) blow up the Holland tunnel, (10) destroy the George Washington bridge, and (11) bomb the US embassy in Albania.

4. Clinton’s first two crime bills contained strong antiterrorism legislation, and his administration sponsored a series of simulations to see how officials (local, state, and federal) should coordinate their responses to a terrorist attack. Clinton created a national stockpile of drugs and vaccines (including 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine), and convinced foreign leaders to join the fight against terrorism. Clinton gave greater priority to counterterrorism measures than any president before him.
(See Washington Post, 12/19/01, “Broad Effort Launched After ’98 Attacks,” and 12/20/01, “Struggles Inside the Government Defined Campaign.”)

5. During Clinton’s time in office, the Republicans fought Clinton on counterterrorism spending and legislation. After the Oklahoma City bombing, the Republicans rejected Clinton’s proposed expansion of intelligence agencies’ wiretap authority in order to fight terrorism.

6. In 1998, Clinton struck targets in Sudan and Afghanistan in retaliation for the terrorist attacks against US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Newt Gingrich stated approvingly that “[Clinton] did exactly the right thing. By doing this we’re sending the signal there are no sanctuaries for terrorists.”

7. Immediately after the embassy bombings, Clinton issued a presidential directive authorizing the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

8. After the bombing of the USS Cole (October 12, 2000), Clinton put Richard Clarke, the first national antiterrorism coordinator, in charge of coming up with a comprehensive plan to destroy Al Qaeda. Clark produced a strategy paper that was presented to Sandy Berger and other national security officials on December 20, 2000. The plan was to break up al Qaeda cells and arrest al Qaeda personnel, attack financial support for al Qaeda’s activities, freeze its assets, stop its use of fake charities, give aid to governments struggling with al Qaeda, increase covert action in Afghanistan to eliminate al Qaeda training camps and get bin Laden, support the Northern Alliance’s fight against the Taliban, and put Special Forces troops on the ground in Afghanistan. A senior Bush administration official said that this plan "amounted to everything we’ve done since 9/11."
(See Time Magazine, 8/12/02.

9. Because the plan was completed only a few weeks before Bush took office, Clinton turned Clarke’s plan over to the Bush administration to carry out. National Security Advisor Sandy Berger arranged 10 briefings for Condoleezza Rice, who asked Clarke to stay on as head of counterterrorism. Unfortunately, the Bush administration did nothing to implement the plan, even after the Hart-Rudman report (issued on February 15, 2001) warned that “mass-casualty terrorism directed against the US homeland was of serious and growing concern” and urged the creation of a National Homeland Security Agency that would include Customs, Border Patrol, the Coast Guard, and over a dozen other agencies. Instead, the Bush administration actually cut back on or froze counterterrorism activities in order to concentrate on pet projects.
(See New York Times, 2/28/02, “How Sept. 11 Changed Goals of Justice Department.” See also Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 3/1/03, “Slow-walked and Stonewalled” and USA Today, 5/17/02, “White House Defends Its Action on Hijack Warnings.”)

10. Throughout July and August 2001, Clarke and CIA Director George Tenet were “nearly frantic” with concern over chatter about upcoming terrorist activity. At the same time, President Bush was on vacation (he spent 42% of his first 7 months in office at Camp David, the Bush compound in Kennebunkport, or at his ranch in Crawford) and a meeting about Clarke’s plan was postponed until September 4, 2001.

-- Summary stolen from electjen.org because I’m too tired to type my own identical list

Clinton did more. The Predator drone flights over Afghanistan are another good example. Bush cancelled those when he came into office, but they provided valuable intelligence on al Qaeda while they flew.

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I VOTED FOR PRES. BUSH -- AND I HAVE LEFT MY WIFE AND DAUGHTER TO DEFEND YOU RIGHT TO YOUR OPINION -- DOESN'T MEAN I HAVE TO LIKE IT OR AGREE WITH IT. BUT GET YOUR PICTURE OF SOMEBODY SON, MAYBE HUSBAND, MAYBE FATHER OFF YOUR SIGHT YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE SO DISRESPECTFULLY TO THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO FIGHT AND YES DIE FOR YOUR FREEDOM.

No. I'm sorry, but I will not take down that picture.

I don't think it's the families you’re really worried about. Even if they did see my site, I doubt they could identify those men. I didn’t pick out a close-up, I picked a picture that could be anyone. I WANT people to see that picture and imagine their son or brother or husband. That is the cost of war – you know that more than most. How can you be angry that the safe, comfortable people who sent you and others might see how ugly it really is?

A vote for Bush is telling him, “It’s okay that you sent our troops to the wrong country for the wrong fight. It’s okay that 1,124 Americans have died while our real enemy grows stronger. It’s okay that you sent our troops without the proper equipment. It’s okay that you ignored the warnings about al Qaeda attacks in the US. It’s okay that you lied made a mistake. We’ll never hold you responsible.”

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Oh I did forget one last thing even with all the security at our airports -- there are NO gaurds
stopping you from leaving the country. The link to find those nearly 3,000 other name and
pictures you have forgotten about is http://www.cnn.com/special/2001/memorial


This country is my country too. My opinions and ideas will be heard as much as yours. At least until the Patriot Act II passses.

I’ve never forgotten that 3,000 Americans died on September 11. Have you forgotten who did it? Because they’re still out there.

While we pour American blood into Iraqi soil, al Qaeda is growing, planning, and waiting.

But that’s okay, George W. Bush. We understand.

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Where your mouth is
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 ~ 02:47 p.m.
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Note: This post was originally directed against the people who seem to regard the election and the war as a game. If you voted for Bush because you truly believe in him, I respect that. But just because I respect that doesn't change the fact that you, most of all, should put your money where your mouth is.

Around my office, you'd think the election was a sporting event. Sadly, my coworkers put just as much thought into their selection of a candidate as into their preference for Bama or Auburn.

The way I see it, if you voted for Bush, then you should go sign up for the military...right fucking now. You believe in him so much, then you should support the war in Iraq with something besides words. Get your asses up off your sofas and go join up. After all, you seem pretty willing to send others.

If you voted for Bush, then you're saying the war is right. And if you believe the war is right, then you should be out doing your part.

Don't you want to end up a hero too?


I wonder if their mommies and daddies voted for Bush...

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Somewhere in a cave...
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 ~ 08:32 a.m.
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...Osama bin Laden is dancing a little jig.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the next president of the United States of America:

I kind of wonder what your Shrub in Chief will do now that he doesn't have to worry about re-election.

You people have a lot to answer for...


Update: I give Kerry points for putting the country above his political agenda. It's a pity George W. Bush could not do the same.

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I got a sticker!
Tuesday, November 2, 2004 ~ 11:56 a.m.
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This morning when I drove by my polling location (Madison City Hall), it was pouring down rain and the line was wrapped entirely around the building and across the parking lot. I kept driving, figuring that surely by 10 AM, the crowds would have died down.

Well, I was partly right. At least no one was standing in the parking lot. I had plenty of time to admire the dumpsters behind the city hall building, though. I was still in line 45 minutes later, when someone who had just voted came down the line telling anyone S-Z to go on inside. A small group of us found our way in, cutting past the hundreds of people in line and wiggling past the knots of people blocking the doors. Sure enough, there wasn't a single person waiting at the S-Z table. I spent 45 minutes in line because none of the poll workers had the sense to come outside and tell us we could walk straight in.

But hey, I got my sticker.

My little, insignificant voice has been heard.

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Interesting
Monday, November 1, 2004 ~ 12:13 p.m.
-------------------------------

Global Vote 2004 has posted the results of their mock election.

John Kerry is the preferred candidate worldwide.

The countries with the most people voting were:

Country
Germany
United Kingdom
Canada
Poland
Spain
Japan
New Zealand
Netherlands
France
Switzerland

Total Votes
32315
17641
8587
7829
3932
3885
3105
2582
2269
2235

But the interesting thing was, 37% of the 800 respondants from the Middle East voted for Bush (45.6% for Kerry). In every other region of the world, Bush only garnered 8-15%. Go figure.

In other news, how low will (some) Republicans sink to smear John Kerry? The answer is, pretty damn far. Heaven forbid voters make a decision based on the facts.

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2004 © slyflame