Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Tale of Two Organizations

The Iraqi National Foundation Congress
– & –
The Anbar Salvation Council




A Study of Public Perception about Iraq

There is a widespread misconception that the Iraqi insurgency is popular among the Iraqi people. While there is a high degree of support among Sunni Arabs, the entire community only compromises about 20% of the population and it is unknown how much support the insurgency actually enjoys out of that percentage.

Terrorist propaganda can be quite effective at creating false impressions on the subject. A high-level leader for the defunct terror-related group, The Iraqi National Foundation Congress (INFC), had the following to say about the situation… “The resistance is an Iraqi resistance - a popular resistance”.

The Iraqi National Foundation Congress was supposedly comprised of members from many Iraqi ethnic groups with the common aim of putting a united political face to the “Resistance”. They made confusing claims that they represented the insurgency, at the same time they sought to limit the liability that would result from such position.

Secretary-General, Sheik Jawad al-Khalisi, stated, “Bit by bit, the Congress has become the main force representing the opposition to the occupation. It represents opposition using different forms. We don’t have direct contact with the military group of the resistance, but these groups send letters and messages to us. They consider the INFC their political structure and defend the political positions that the resistance groups are fighting for.”

He then went on to add, “We don’t say that we are the political face of the resistance. Firstly, we are a political structure; we don’t have a military wing. But some resistance groups whom we don’t know of say that the positions expressed by the Congress represents the whole opposition in Iraq - armed and unarmed.” …This is classic doublespeak, yet such political groups have gained a great deal of credibility with the Western media. As a result they have received positive coverage in media sources like Business Week and the Guardian.

Let me give you a little more background before I drive this point home. The INFC was a failed attempt to unite the Sunni and Shiite insurgencies into one political force. Sheik al-Khalisi is a Shiite Imam, but the organization was dominated by the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars.

You may be aware that the Iraqi government has recently issued an arrest warrant for its leader, Dr. Muthana Harith al Dhari. He is wanted in regards to his role in the current Sunni violence against the Shia. This fighting between Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias has captured the headlines for many months now. So the contrived alliance between the two groups has been revealed to be a total farce. It was amazing that they managed to propagate this lie for so long, even as Sunni insurgents continued to bomb Shiite mosques and murder Shiite civilians. This was only possible because there are so many people in this world that are uncritical of anything that makes the US look bad.

The INFC was created in the heady atmosphere which surrounded a failed two-pronged military campaign by Iraqi insurgents. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tried to exhaust the US military by creating a second front during the US offensive against Sunni terrorists in the city of Fallujah. It was vitally important to secure the city in order to help legitimize the upcoming nationwide elections. As a distraction, and also as a power grab, Sadr launched an attack on the holy city of Najaf. The result left him fighting an uphill battle against both the US military and his fellow Shiites. All of these insurgent operations ended in defeat, but at the time the media hailed those events as a well coordinated attack that was bringing the US military to its knees.

Some reporters have a heavy anti-American bias and they are eager to promote as much terrorist propaganda as they possibly can. A good example would be Naomi Klein, a well known journalist and author of several anti-globalization books. To underscore the polarization of her politics I would like to point out that she actually co-authored a book with Noam Chomsky and Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

In popular opinion it is an unquestionable truth that the Bush Administration doesn’t know what it is doing in Iraq. The focus of the media has been to cultivate this misconception by highlighting the perceived mistakes of the Administration. So get a load of this conclusion from an article written by Klein and published in the L.A. Times on April 9, 2004…

Fury Ignites Solidarity in Iraq

“For months, the White House has been making ominous predictions of a civil war breaking out between the majority Shiites, who believe it’s their turn to rule Iraq, and the minority Sunnis, who want to hold onto the privileges they amassed under Saddam Hussein. But this week, the opposite appeared to have taken place. Both Sunnis and Shiites have seen their homes attacked and their religious sites desecrated. Up against a shared enemy, they are beginning to bury ancient rivalries and join forces against the occupation. Instead of a civil war, they are on the verge of building a common front. You could see it at the mosques in Sadr City on Thursday: Thousands of Shiites lined up to donate blood destined for Sunnis hurt in the attacks in Fallujah. “We should thank Paul Bremer,” Salih Ali told me. “He has finally united Iraq. Against him.”

So the blood of Shiites now flows in the veins of their Sunni murderers and the Bush Administration was exaggerating the animosity between the Sunnis and Shiites. How can people be so wrong on so many levels?

US Rep John Murtha claimed that, “Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against US forces, and we have become a catalyst for violence”. Meanwhile the UN estimated that as many as 100 Iraqis a day are being killed in the current wave of sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites. That would be about 3,000 people killed per month, more than the total of US casualties over the last three years. While the UN number is probably an exaggeration, the true number of Iraqis killed by terrorism and sectarian violence is hard to come by. This is because those who compile Iraqi casualty figures do so solely to bolster anti-American propaganda. Attributing casualty counts to Iraqi insurgents goes against their political agenda.

Anyways, the most frequently quoted and well documented casualty figures originate from the anti-American website Iraqi Body Count. They estimate that a maximum of 1,842 civilians were killed in Iraq during the month of October. This is still a significant number, but nowhere near 100/day. The website exclusively blames the US for those deaths despite the fact that the overwhelmingly greater part of the casualties resulted from sectarian, insurgent and criminal violence. Thus they can ignore the implications of sectarian violence just like Klein did.

It is surreal that Iraqi terrorists have successfully transferred the guilt for their own crimes into the lap of the United States. However, this violence existed long before the US liberated Iraq. International human rights groups indicate that Saddam’s regime killed up to 182,000 Kurds in the Anfal campaign. The Iraqi military used chemical weapons including mustard and nerve gases to kill Kurdish civilians and samples of the chemicals have been collected as evidence. This brutal campaign focused on razing hundreds of villages to the ground. Those lucky enough not to be killed were subjected to mass deportations.

In the south Saddam’s regime is responsible for the deaths of up to 300,000 Shiites. The great marshlands at the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were drained as revenge for a Shiite uprising. This destroyed the livelihood for almost the entire Marsh Arab population. The political repression against the Shiites resulted in the banning of the public display of most Shiite religious ceremonies and severe restrictions of their human rights.

Hundreds of thousands of deaths resulted from Saddam Hussein’s invasions of Iran and Kuwait. In 1990 retreating Iraqi troops ignited over 600 Kuwaiti oil well fires that burned for months. Efforts to put out the fires were hampered by land mines that were intentionally concealed for that purpose. Even worse was the intentional spilling of millions of gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf and Kuwaiti land. This resulted in the deaths of 25,000 birds and the most serious ecological disaster in human history.

Overall the dictator is responsible for over a million deaths that resulted from cold blooded executions and his aggressive wars.

There are some in the media that are dedicated to suppressing the guilt of Saddam Hussein in order to transfer that guilt to George Bush and Tony Blair. The Guardian ran the most twisted editorial that I have ever seen in a major news publication. In the wake of Saddam Hussein’s death sentence David Cox waxed nostalgic for Saddam’s regime. He called it “a fortress of stability in the shape of Saddam’s Iraq”. Cox babbled on making excuses or downplaying the crimes committed by Saddam’s regime.

The hysterical nature of the piece is reflected in its poor research techniques. Cox went as far as to absurdly defend Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. He pointed out that Iraq has had a long-standing territorial claim based on the fact that Kuwait had once been part of the Iraqi province of Basra. Cox omits the fact that the same source which he used as a reference indicates that Iraq had officially recognized the borders of Kuwait on two separate occasions prior to the invasion. The article (which originally appeared on the Library of Congress website) only relates that Saddam used the prior territorial claims as a pretext for the invasion, but that kind of shoddy journalism is the standard fare at the Guardian.

So let’s get back to the issue about how popular the “Resistance” is. There is a great deal of concern (or hope) that the US is losing the battle in Iraq due to what is perceived to be “heavy-handed” tactics by US forces. Do you think the media shows any consistency on this issue when addressing the different insurgent groups in Iraq?

In September a prominent Sunni tribal leader, Sheik Fassal al-Guood, approached the Iraqi government and asked them to formally recognize a Sunni-led anti-insurgency group, The Anbar Salvation Council. He had the following to say, “Anbar has been ruled by terrorists. There has been a real mess ... criminal gangs are kidnapping and killing children and women and so we ask our esteemed government to legitimize this council.”

These were more than just words. The Anbar Salvation Council has produced results by neutralizing two high level Al Qaeda leaders and in one engagement killing 55 Al Qaeda terrorists. This was the product of an alliance between 25 of the 31 predominately Sunni tribes in the volatile Anbar Province. They all share the common goal to defeat Al Qaeda and insurgency. Since they are composed from the majority of Sunni tribes in the heartland of the insurgency, the fact that they have allied themselves to the Iraqi and US governments should raise more eyebrows.

Another member of the Anbar Salvation Council, Sheik Abdul Al-Rishawi (chief of the Rishawi tribe), made himself a target by speaking out about the anger that the Sunnis feel against the insurgents who are claiming to be defending them. “We held a meeting earlier and agreed to fight those who call themselves Mujahideen… We believe that there is a conspiracy against our Iraqi people. Those terrorists claimed that they are fighters working on liberating Iraq, but they turned out to be killers. Now all the people are fed up and have turned against them.”

During this conflict it has been noted that it is vitally important for the US to secure the cooperation of the Iraqi tribes. Dr Abdul Hamid Al Rawi, from the College of Political Science at the University of Baghdad pointed out; “If the US is serious in wanting good relations with the Iraqi people, then it must have good relations with the sheiks. It is my considered view that loyalty to the tribes is bigger than ethnic or religious loyalty in Iraq.”

Such advice has been taken very seriously by US policy makers. Reconstruction projects have been designed to benefit tribal leaders and employ as many of their tribesmen as possible. Sometimes this has caused tribal leaders to be targeted for such collaboration. A good example would be the assassination of Sheik Hikmat Mumtaz in the restive city of Samarra. Although the city has been resentful of the US occupation, the killing of their leader united much of the tribes against the insurgency and led to a drastic reduction in attacks against US forces. The level of violence was reduced enough to enable the redeployment of most US troops that were formerly inside the city and give Iraqi government forces more control over the city center*.

Ironically, Sunni Arabs in neighborhoods afflicted by sectarian fighting find themselves relying on US forces for protection. They do not trust government troops which are dominated by Shiites and Kurds. In several Baghdad neighborhoods the Sunni residents have put the Iraqi authorities on notice that they are not to enter their territory without American escorts or they will be fired upon.

Amir al-Qaisi, a Baghdadi of Sunni origin, spoke about the fear that his fellow Sunnis have of government troops that are not under direct American observation because they behave themselves more humanely when under such supervision. His local mosque uses loudspeakers to signal that gunmen are entering the district without American escorts and the locals randomly open fire until American troops come to investigate the disturbance. Al-Qaisi stated, “When we hear the Americans coming, we stop so that they will not think we are firing at them. Some Sunnis might be saying the Americans should withdraw, but I’m certain that deep down, they’re not convinced.”

A measure of the shifting nature of the relationship between the Sunni population and US troops is that Sunni tribal chiefs who formerly advocated and possibly supported the insurgency have held a series of meetings with the American military to discuss protection against Shiite militias. The escalation of sectarian violence between Iraqis has changed the stature of US troops in Iraq for the better. While Jassim al-Samurraie (a resident of a Sunni neighborhood) views the US with suspicion, he still has a shocking admission… “Now, when we see an American checkpoint we are less worried than when we see an Iraqi checkpoint.” So while the world looks at the US as an abuser of human rights, members of the civilian population that we are supposed to be abusing have to concede otherwise. In this case, the admission is clearly stated despite the individual’s deep-seated anti-American sentiment.

Sadr’s militia has much in common with the Sunni insurgency. The use of violence as a tool of intimidation is a shared trait that they both heavily rely on. Since the “idealistic” days of the Iraqi National Foundation Congress this dependence on violence has driven a huge wedge between the two groups. During the existence of this alliance Sadr was willing to ignore Sunni brutality against his people so that he could expand his selfish pursuit to increase his powerbase. The destruction of the golden dome of the Al-Askari Mosque was the spark that ignited the current bloodbath, but it was bound to happen sooner or later. Terrorists cannot co-exist together, as the current fighting between Fatah and Hamas shows. The self-destruction of their communities was earned through their tactics of hatred.

So where does that leave the people of Iraq?

The Sunni tribes are increasingly turning towards the US for help against internal and external foes. Foreign Jihadis and lawless insurgents are tearing up the Sunni homeland, while the Shiite militias drive out Sunni civilians from Shiite-dominated neighborhoods. It is no small wonder why the majority of Sunni tribes have allied themselves with the pro-American/anti-insurgent Anbar Salvation Council.

No other group besides the Americans actually gives a damn about the welfare of Iraq as a whole. US troops are in opposition to any group that pursues violence in the country.

Sunni society is plagued by insurgents who seek a return to Sunni rule. They senselessly target innocent Shiites, Kurds, and civilians of other ethnic groups. They also can be very brutal towards their fellow Sunnis that are accused of collaboration (just about anyone without connections to the insurgency can be a collaborator).

Islamists demand a Sunni theology in a country with a Shiite majority. They attack anyone they deem to be collaborators and take a special zeal in attacking Shiite holy places. These terrorists are mostly funded and organized by groups outside of Iraq.

Shiites are resentful of years of oppression by the Sunni minority and seek to oust Sunni influence from almost all aspects of society. Some have formed militias that have adopted an appetite for retaliation against Sunni terrorism. They wantonly commit acts of genocide against Sunni civilians and have little regard for reconciliation.

Kurds have sealed themselves into an autonomous territory where they rule as almost a sovereign nation. Some Kurds seek to take back their homes that Saddam’s security forces evicted them from in the Anfal campaign. Thankfully this fighting has not been as intense as that between the Sunnis and Shiites.

The media has a “US-centric” view of Iraq. They only care about the events in that country which affect political power in the United States. The suffering of the people of Iraq is only used as propaganda in this one-sided distribution of information. That’s why I am a blogger.

*Footnote:
Our successful engagement with tribal leaders is not limited to Iraq, it can be seen on a grander scale in Afghanistan. Last year 1,000 tribal Afghani chiefs and elders approved their government’s plan for long-term security ties with the United States. The alliance with these tribes has been instrumental in keeping the violence in Afghanistan almost exclusively limited to the isolated regions of the mountainous border with Pakistan.


62 comments:

Freedomnow said...

I've been working on this post for the last couple of weeks, so if you were wondering what I was up to...this is it.

Anonymous said...

Lets back the Kurds and let the Sunnis and Shiites kill each other. Our troops can protect the Kurds from Turkey and Iran. The Shiites will deal with the Sunnis and take revenge. The Kurds have earned their right to be free.

The Assyrians and Yezidis should be protected in the new state and the Turkomen sent packing.

Farmer John said...

Wow! That was a great post, FN! Once you stop emphasizing US boogiemen, the light comes on.

Freedomnow said...

Beak I dont think that you have caught the spirit of this post.

US policy has been to challenge any group that threatens the stability of the country as a whole.

Our strategy is clear to our enemies and potential friends:

1. If you attack the Iraqi government or its citizens we will kill you.

2. If you give up violence we will give you reconstruction benefits.

Whatever the controversary behind the effectiveness of our reconstruction, it cant be denied that this money has influenced tribal chiefs to do business with us.

The value of that is priceless...

Anonymous said...

I want to seprerate the Kurds and the Assyrians from the rest. They have earned their freedom.

Let the Shia deal with the Sunnis. Iran and Saudi Arabia can send in their proxies. Saudi Arabi gets finnished once and for all as their Oil is on Shiite territory.

Freedomnow said...

On a personal level I prefer the Kurds and the poor Assyrian Christians as well. However, the splintering of Iraq will lead to a civil war that would combine the worst elements of the Lebanese Civil War and the Partition of India.

It is important to know when to think emotionally and when to think strategically. Bitterness towards those who have betrayed us will not get us anywhere (ie. the Saudis and a sizable minority of Iraqi Shiites).

Saudi Arabia will be most weakened by a strong centralized Iraqi state. That is the reason why they opposed the liberation of the country. Kuwait was so badly violated that they were willing to sacrifice their Sunni ideology to get rid of Saddam.

A Shiite rebellion in Saudi Arabia will be put down brutally. It will not succeed even if they use terrorism. The Saudis don’t have the restraint that our country has.

In Iraq the ambitions of militant Shiites will be hampered by the Sunnis and Kurds. Therefore it makes sense to keep the country whole.

Farmer John said...

The Shi'a presence in Saudi lies mainly in her oil-rich regions...
this doesn't quite cature it... but the coastal Persian Gulf region is heavily Shiite.

The Merry Widow said...

Fern- Totally Off Topic Alert!
Want my pork rinds?

tmw

The Merry Widow said...

BTW- Excellent article, your research shows!

tmw

Freedomnow said...

FJ, yeah the Shiites are a huge and oppressed minority in the region. Little is said about their relationship with the Sunni govt that dominates Kuwait, because there isnt much bad to say about our allies. So like the Kurds, we dont know too much about them unless something negative happens.

Anyways, the Kuwaitis use their oil wealth to take care of their Shiites, while the other gulf states like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain oppress them.

By Middle Eastern standards Kuwait is a great country. They have a pre-existing Constitutional Monarchy and have recently allowed a woman to join their govt (this is a big deal for a Gulf State).

It amazes me that Leftists claim we need to educate ourselves about what is going on in the Middle East. The more you really educate yourself, the more you realize that Leftists are just trying to pass off their biased agenda in a carefully scripted revisionist history.

Freedomnow said...

TMW,

"Pork grinds" was a low blow. My stomach was just recovering from that!!!!!!!!

The Merry Widow said...

Fern- I think FJ has "cured" her! I hate the things, they leave a nasty aftertaste! I had one nibble, and spit it out! So I agree with you. LOL!
Besides after the cake recipe, I'm never(or not for a long while anyway)saying unpleasant things about you! Isn't that special?

tmw

American Crusader said...

A lot of material was covered.
I still think it's interesting to note that in only three of 18 provinces is there significant violence.
The Sunnis have been slow to realize that they can no longer assume control over Iraq. The best they could have hoped for was a representative democracy and powersharing. Those days may have passed. By far, the Sunnis are most responsible for the violence leading to American deaths.
The Kurds just want an autonomous region where they will be safe.
The media has blown the "Civil War" completely out of proportion to the actual level of violence and by far the majority of violence has been directed at fellow Iraqis based on sectarian lines.
The Shi'ites might be the big winner.

Anonymous said...

Do not be so certain the Saudis would win. A newly created Arab Shia state will intervene, not to mention Iranians. The Saudi Royal family falls
after defeat unless Egypt decides to intervene.

The Kingdom of Saud is defanged.

The Merry Widow said...

Okay Fern, 2 recipes up, one from you, the other mine! No meat either!

tmw

nanc said...

kiss butt.

pork rinds - pork rinds - pork rinds!

The Merry Widow said...

Nanc- You and my son! He can eat a whole bag in one sitting, the really hot ones too! He can have mine!

tmw

The Merry Widow said...

Now, you want to talk baby back ribs, or pulled pork, or ham, or roast, or...

tmw

Anonymous said...

fn this was most excellent...one of the best I've read on the subject in a long time.

VDH has a good one up as well...highlighted at Joe Gringo's

Anonymous said...

under "Things are coming to a head"

Freedomnow said...

Thats good stuff, thanks EB.

It will take my mind off of those infamous pork rinds.

I'm scarred for life and I'm not talkin bout Rose Tattoo neither...

Anonymous said...

pork rinds will give you nightmares

Anonymous said...

Freedomnow: very well-written post! You make a lot of points that had been a mystery to me quite clear. For instance, I had been sure Iraqis had been uniting in their fight against America. You reveal this info. is fabricated. I was sure America was, in general, losing the war, as most media sources have been reporting. You seem to take that b-ball and chug it back into their court. Good for ya!

Freedomnow said...

Its a war. This is not a picnic or a hippie love-festival. If the American people werent prepared for it then they shouldnt have supported it in the first place.

In the wake of all these "We are losing" media stories, US troops handed over a third province to Iraqi government forces and captured a top Al Qaeda leader.

When discussing how the war is going in Iraq, our successes are almost never mentioned. The fact that so far we are successful in our pursuit to train a new Iraqi security force untainted by the Baathist regime is almost NEVER acknowledged. The fact that Iraq has its first democratically elected govt in its history was a story that was lucky to make Page 37 of most newspapers, while the difficulties they had forming it was front page news.

Give our troops some time and we will CONTINUE to score successes.

(I will visit this issue in my year-end post)

Anonymous said...

Freedomnow: Well, good to know the "other" side; or what most newspapers in the world are not printing. It's very reassuring.

Farmer John said...

Mele Kalikimake, FN!

Me no kao kao pohk rind no moah. Get plenty broke da mouth food at tmw's! I goin' kakaroach and talk stories at nanki's now. Bumbye I see you dare!

Freedomnow said...

Merry Christmas to you too FJ.

You know sometimes I have no idea what the hell you are talking about and then when I do know what you are talking about I feel that my level of intellectual thought is not as high as it should...

American Crusader said...

"This was only possible because there are so many people in this world that are uncritical of anything that makes the US look bad."

This is being proved on a daily basis. I cannot understand why our own press is so virulently anti-Bush and anti-American?
It seems that they want us to fail.

Anyways...the real reason I stopped by was to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Anonymous said...

FN, about FJ...that makes 2

Farmer John said...

You guys jes need to play moah, have fun, no skeered! Make plenty mistakes, like farmer! No mistakes mean you no try.

Freedomnow said...

Mes no makie misteaks. Mes purfect!!!!!

AC,

Yes the press wants us to fail in Iraq. Many of them are activists who think that they can stop all war by defeating the US. They are brainwashed into thinking the US is the problem.

- Ignoring Saddam's invasion of Kuwait and aggression against his own people. They dont address the fact that the existence of his regime was a threat to peace.

- Ignoring Al Qaeda's worldwide efforts to wage the most insidious warfare ever known to humanity.

- Ignoring the fact that the US is the best defender of human rights for the Iraqis.

(Yes, I have heard of Abu Ghraib, but I also am aware that:

1. the parties responsible for that case are currently in a US prison!!!!

2. the US helped build Iraq's first truly democratic govt in its history

3. the US is committed to the reconstruction and protection of ALL Iraqi ethnic groups. A concept unique throughout all of Iraq's history and no other group has the same commitment.)

Other reporters are not activists, they are realists. They know that the path to the Pulitzer Prize lies in attacking Operation Iraqi Freedom and US national security. They are just in it for the cash.

Merry Christmas AC and lets keep telling the other side of the story.

Russet Shadows said...

You have some of the best analysis on the web here, FN. I say this because your stuff is focused, fast-paced, and well-researched. Anyways, have a merry Christmas and thanks for the comments on my blog.

Freedomnow said...

Hey! The Shadow knows!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Merry Christmas my friend

nanc said...

to my fern travolta:

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A FRED ASTAIRE NEW YEAR! HAPPY FEET - YEAH!

Freedomnow said...

Merry Christmas Nancster.

You iz da coolest!!!!!!!!!

nanc said...

YOU THE BOMB!

now, keep it down over there...the floor over here is startin' to shake!

Warren said...

Mery Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Merry (belated) Christmas, gang!

The Merry Widow said...

Merry Christmas, Fern and friends!

tmw

Anonymous said...

Lets see are stuck in a morass of the status quo. Let the Kurds have independence as they have earned it. Turkey has no say in Iraq as they obstructed.

Let the Shiites deal with the Sunnis. This will exacerbate the tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia/ Al Queda.

By the way do note the silence of the media over the assasination of the children of a Fatah leader in Gaza. This seems to have escaped the attention of the usual suspects who are so concerned with the content of Conservative bloggers. Panties on the head runs for months but assasinated school kids in Gaza is ho hum.

Freedomnow said...

Merry Christmas everyone.

Beak, Kurdish independence would free Turkey to make war on them. Our Kurdish allies are great but there are some among them that sponsor terrorism against Turkey (They sponsor terrorism just like every other group in the Iraq does).

Meanwhile Iran and Saudi Arabia will get involved eventually leading to a full scale war with all Middle Eastern powers.

Every solution except for "Stay the Course" follows this formula. Al Qaeda does not want us to the Stay the Course because they want this all-out war. This is how they believe they will wrestle control of the Sunni Arab majority.

nanc said...

o.t. - as blog librarian - i must inform you that former president gerald ford, age 93, has passed away.

carry on.

Freedomnow said...

Thanks Nanc.

93 years is a long time. Here's to a good life!

The media is twisting Ford's words to paint him as against the liberation of Iraq. He had some criticisms but concluded that, "Saddam Hussein was an evil person and there was justification to get rid of him"

He talked about tougher sanctions and other alternatives, but his biggest disagreement was over the use of weapons of mass destruction as the main crux of our argument for removing the dictator.

I hardily agree with that point.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, everyone!

note: here, in Israel they call it "Sylvester" and I'm still trying to understand why this is. If there are any Israelis tuned in, please explain.

Freedomnow said...

Oopps that should read "Heartily" in my last comment. Me typo too fasto.

Greg, I looked up Silvester at About.com and they say it is a German tradition named after Saint Sylvester.

http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa010499.htm

So Happy Sylvester everyone. Its time to party!!!!!!!!

nanc said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR, FERN!

nanc said...

you'd better let me or someone know if you've had a drunken dancing accident or something soon...

Farmer John said...

...just a sign, FN... we don't wanta hafta call-in a Code Blue... I think I see some spammers circling overhead, nanc.

kuhnkat said...

WAKE UP!!!!!!!!

nanc said...

he's just playing hard to get. let's ignore him for a couple of days.

fern? i'm officially ignoring you! let me know when i should stop.

Farmer John said...

nanc,

To be on the safe side, bes' dial 9-1-1 first.

Freedomnow said...

Oh, you kids!!!!!!!!

...But Hey! Kuhnkat came by, lets break out the good stuff!!!!!!!!

Yes, I am still here. I had an internet-free holidays and enjoyed it very much.

Over the last week I have been working on a new post. I am packing much more research into these new postings.

So stay tuned...

Farmer John said...

Great! It's good to see some signs of life. I look forward to reading it. The spammers not only lose again... but even better, I don't have to change my reading habits.

Farmer John said...

btw - Happy New Year! The new Congress is now officially in session, and there's lots of work needs getting done so as to not get raped and robbed...

nanc said...

so is that my cue to stop ignoring you?

is it the homeschooling article i've been working my fingers to the bone on for the last several months?

Freedomnow said...

Ha haaa haaaaaa

Nanc, you are the only person that I allow to give me a hard time... errrr... besides FJ, Kuhnkat, TMW and well everyone else!!!!

The Merry Widow said...

Fern? Moi? How can you possibly say such a thing? I'm crushed, crushed I tell you!
:huff: stomp stomp
footsteps coming back...
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!
:huff: stomp stomp

tmw

nanc said...

i can just hear her tiny little feet...

Farmer John said...

Okay, tmw, what was that 2nd huff-stomp-stomp all about?

whoosh-SHUFFLE-SCHuffle-Shuffle-shuffle-.......

Freedomnow said...

Hey TMW, It was 3 o'clock in the morning Pacific time when you were stomping on my ceiling.

I was trying to get some sleep...

Good Morning!!!

;-)

kuhnkat said...

Hey FN,

talk about legislating something to death:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53660

and leftards in the US want to emulate Europe!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

nanc said...

don't even think of telling me what to do you little whippersnapper!