Sunday, December 04, 2005

Taxi Conversation

Taxi driver: Wow. Look at all these posters. They must have spent fortunes on all this
advertising.
Me: (Thinking *Oh, not again*)
Taxi driver: What do they get in return once they're in?
Me: (resigning to my fate) Well, the pension is more than worth it. A retired parliament
member gets $5000 a month for the rest of his life.
T.d.: (whistles) That's a lot of money.
M: It is.

*long pause*

T.d: So you're gonna vote or what?
M: depends.
T.d: Oh, I see.

*another pause*

T.d: So who do you think would be best?
M: (not falling for it) depends on how you see things.
T.d.: I know. I think we should vote for the secular lists.
M (shrugging)
T.d: (Probably thinking I might get him wrong) Look, I have all the respect for sayyids but
I don't think that's what we need at this moment.
M (nod)
T.d: (gesturing at a nearby poster) You know. I think Mithal al Alusi is a good choice. I
mean he has the courage to say the truth. No complimenting and all that.
M: (more interested in reading car registration numbers than the conversation) true.

*long pause*

T.d: You know what. I think the country is divided now. Saddam the bastard managed to hold
it together. Now all hell is breaking loose.
M: uh huh.
T.d: If only he paid a little more attention to his people, we wouldn't be in this mess.

..

T.d: (gesturing at another poster) See that guy Mutlag. Do you know what the hell he wants?
Yesterday he was talking about pulling out American troops from Iraq. Did you see it?
M: No, I don't think so.
T.d: Well, what do you think? Would it be a good idea for them to pull out? I mean without a
strong Iraqi army or a strong government?
M: (guessing that the guy wants to see me say no) No, it wouldn't be a good idea.

..

T.d: (pointing at an overhanging advertising banner) Look! The Tawafuq list says "With your
vote, we will change the constitution." Have these guys even read the constitution? Why
would they want to change it? To make it more Islamic?
M: I think it couldn't get more Islamic than it is now.
T.d: No. Islam should be a private thing.
M: Well, many politicians use Islam as an excuse for their own personal interests.
T.d: That's wrong man.
M: It's true. Why do you think some groups are blowing up barber salons and DVD stores?
T.d: No. I mean some Islamic clerics even say that it is allowed to watch porn to spice up
your sex life in the privacy of your home. What's wrong with that? It's not like you're
going to go out and tell everyone that you're not having an erection or something.
M: Yes, I like that. We should have more clerics like those.

..

M: This is my stop. Thanks.

43 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHA.. hilarious post!! Post more like it please!!!

12:28 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I just want to let you know that your blog is one of my daily stops now. Here in the United States, we're barraged by so much propoganda from both sides of the politcal fence about what THEY SAY Iraqis think, that it's impossible to take anything in the mainstream press seriously.

One of the virtues of the blogs is that it allows regular people like us to talk to each other, completely bypassing our governments, which have never given much of a damn for the people.

Keep posting, please; I'll keep reading.

2:14 AM  
Anonymous IraqRulez said...

I agree with Nathan.

All the other Iraqi blogs are either are filled with posts about the promise of Iraq's future or proclaiming that they want the 'Great American Satan' out of Iraq that we are lead to believe that there are only two types of people in Iraq: crazy fundamentalists or poetic optimists.

This blog is a refreshing change.. it reminds us that Iraq is not different from any other country... people are just trying to get on with their lives, your blog, in my humble opinion, does that....

Keep posting! You just gained a new fan!

Take care and God Bless!

2:57 AM  
Blogger Nadia said...

iraqrules can you please tell me which iraqi blog have used/use the words "Great American Satan"?

You refer to it so you must know who is using it.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

By the way I am an Iraqi woman who is a poetic optimist who sees the best way forward for Iraq is to get the U.S troops and U.S political ruling of Iraq out and end it. Since they set their feet on Iraq instead of choosing the road of respeting human rights an international law they have taken the same path Saddam did, only spicing it with words to hide that is't the same dish afterall.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

once again iraqrulez give me the list of iraqi bloggers who use the words "Great American Satan" I'll check for your answer later today.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

By the way there are lots of Iraqi blogs such as Dayez's just go to Liminal's list of iraqi blogs at

http://shlonkombakazay.blogspot.com/

Iraqrules have you visited them?

2:12 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Nadia asks a good question. In my comment I referred to the American press, not Iraqi blogs. I'm new to the blogosphere, but so far I haven't seen anything from Iraqi bloggers using that phrase.

5:06 PM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

Wow, nadia... what are you going to do to him if he doesn't meet your demands? I gotta say, you don't seem much like an optimist to me! Maybe that level of hostility is what passes for optimism in Iraq these days?

I don't think he was referring to bloggers like you when he spoke of optimists. I think he was including you in the other category.

Dayez, great post. Especially the porn reference :p

PS-Nadia, you and I seeem to want the same thing: Americans out of Iraq.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous IraqRulez said...

Wow Nadia, must you take things so literally?? I was simply drawing a comparison between the bloggers from Iraq who hate America with every single drop of blood in their body without any rational thought (like those who believe the Jews are behind everything) and the extremist fundamentalists who commonly use that phrase. I was also drawing ire at the fact that some blogs seem to be overtly optimistic mentioning nothing about the hardships Iraqi society faces.

I am in agreement with craig now though :)

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nadia,
Are you a former Baath-loyalist? Americans going through the same path Saddam did? PLEASE.. answer me this, show me one Iraqi blog that was in place when Saddam was in power.

You can claim that things are bad, and there is constant insecurity.. but don't you dare draw a comparison between America and Saddam. I'm in agreement with the above two posters about you now.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Melantrys said...

*lol*

Are there really people reading Iraqi blogs who have never heard of Salam Pax????
The Iraqi blogger, who already blogged during the time of Saddam?
Hm.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow.. you managed to dig up one blog!!! Congrats.. even then, that blog doesn't criticize Saddam. Iraqis can now go into Internet cafes and not have what they type be the cause of punishment.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

Nadia,

We KNOW who you are. We've been listening to your anti-American diatribes for two years now. So you can lose the batting eyelashes.

We've got FILES on you, sister.

Anyway, if you want references to both the Great and Little Satan -- you know who they are, don't you, Na-di-a? -- how about stopping by the blogs run by Faiza, Raed, Khalid, and Riverbend. You'll find all of them supporting Saddam now that he's on trial.

See you around, Nadia.

I know we'll meet somewhere soon.

*

3:07 AM  
Blogger Nadia said...

Iraqrulez you explicitly referred to iraqi blogs that refer to ”Great American Satan” so I just wanted to know which bloggers are you talking about, you have not provide me with one single blogger who have used these words, not one.

Now you suddenly talk about “bloggers from Iraq who hate America with every single drop of blood in their body without any rational thought” can you please provide me with these bloggers URL’s that hate America without any rational thought?

-------------------------------------

U.S have tortured Iraqis so have Saddam
U.S have used chemical weapons against Iraqis so have Saddam
U.S have manipulated Iraqi media so did Saddam
U.S people are above Iraqi law so was Saddam and his closest supporters
“We've got FILES on you, sister.” As Jeffrey wrote is exactly what mochabarat had too.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Bruno said...

Ah, well, as long as its only Jeffrey that 'has files' on you you'll be fine, Nadia. MY FILES indicate to me that Jeffrey is a useless clown, so relax.

I understand your anger on the issue. Funny, isn't it, every time somebody disagrees with the official US position they must be a 'ba'athist'? I doubt that the people making the claims even know what a 'baathist' stands for.

Iraqi Rebel - Your blog is really good. Keep it up, man.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

Brunhilda,

What's wrong, sweet thing? Your panties twisting again?

Tell your black butler down in SOUTH AFRICA to get you a clean pair.

*

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Nadia, I was only joking about you being a Saddam Loyalist, but I guess its true.

There is a HUGE difference between what the US did and what Saddam did, to not see just shows how much narrow-minded you are..

In each and every case you mentioned by the US, people were held accountable for their actions and appropriate action was taken. Can you say the same for criminals under Saddam? And you have to be kidding me about the 'secret files' comments.. you honestly belive that Jeffrey is part of a secret police in Iraq. Wow... I guess you believe that the Jews are the ones blowing your people up too huh?

I honestly doubt you are an Iraqi...

2:10 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

"Jeffrey is a useless clown" I think you are right on spot Bruno!

Iraqi Rebel good luch with your blog!

Peace/ Nadia

2:24 PM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

Nadia said:

"can you please provide me with these bloggers URL’s that hate America without any rational thought?"

"U.S have tortured Iraqis so have Saddam"
"U.S have used chemical weapons against Iraqis so have Saddam"
"U.S have manipulated Iraqi media so did Saddam"
"U.S people are above Iraqi law so was Saddam and his closest supporters"

I can provide you with such a URL, Nadia. What's your URL? :D

Didn't take long for the flamewars to start up here, did it?

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In each and every case you mentioned by the US, people were held accountable for their actions and appropriate action was taken."


Simply not true.


There are torture videos from abu Ghraib that have not come out yet, but the US Senate has seen them.... in 2004..... nothing done about it yet.


There were autopsy reports uncovered by the ACLU and published in November 2005 that clearly shows people were murdered in CIA run prisons and US military run prisons. Nothing done so far. No indication that our media noticed.

The CIA has moved their secret gulag from eastern Europe to north Africa. No body in trouble there.... I guess kidnapping, torture and murder in secret prisons is the new American ideal.


NOBODY gets in trouble with a checkpoint shooting in Iraq.... most times, they don't even know.


I also heard that the drone bombing in Pakistan, that supposedly got al Qaeda #3 (and this was the third #3, if I didn't miss something) turned out to be two preteen boys that were killed in that bombing.

now, that may or may not be true, but with this US government's record, we can count on them never establishing the truth.



ALSO NOTE: SADDAM DID NOT COUNT OR NAME THE INNOCENT VICTIMS OF HIS VIOLENCE....AND GUESS WHO ELSE FOLLOWS THAT SAME PATH????


IF BUSH AND COMPANY CARED ONE WHIT ABOUT IRAQIS, THEN A CAREFUL COUNTING AND NAMING OF ALL VICTIMS WHOULD BE STANDARD PROCEDURE.


if you believe this administration, then you are a total fool.... and one day, you may wake up and find your entire country in as bad of shape as most of New Orleans. And it will happen just as fast too - once it starts.


We are losing our country. And I am talking about the USA.

1:24 AM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

"Simply not true."

So you say, anon, but all you present for proof is a bunch of biased speculation, published by newspapers that have repeatedly told out and out LIES. I've spent at least 10 hours in the last week, debunking ONE Italian documentary about Falluja. And you know what people do when they realize the facts are not on their side? They say "Ok, so it wasn't chemical weapons! So it wasn't banned weapons! So what! It's STILL wrong! The US is still EVIL!"

There's no fucking point in arguing. There was proof of wrong doing at Abu Ghraib, and it was prosecuted. You know what happens to these cases when they get buried under an avalanche of false charges? NOTHING. It becomes impossible to seperate fact from fiction, and the whole story just vanishes into thin air.

I sincerely hope this story about the (apparrently) british mercenaries shooting at innocent Iraqis doesn't get buried under a wall of lies as well. You guys need to pick what you think you can prove very carefully... and then PROOVE it. I'll support you if you have actual proof. But I damn well won't support dishonest agenda motivated claims of wrongdoing.

2:13 AM  
Blogger Mabus said...

Ah, the battlelines have been drawn. I'm not going to let myself get pulled into this one.

Great blog Dayez, you made my daily rotation.

Oh and Craig, this is a little off topic, but you made to comment about debunking the WP story. I'm not questioning your resoning, but I did find that most of the people who questioned the story did so because they didn't fully understand the chemistry behind this kind of NE thermobaric weapon. Is there any place to discuss (or at least view) your findings, I don't want to do it here.

7:09 AM  
Blogger cile said...

i'm trying to imagine how y'all would do, in the back of a car in baghdad, talking with dayez's taxidriver'.

naam, human imagination is unlimited, and great are the capacities of our human brains.

8:34 AM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

mabus, that italian documentary hasn't been "questioned" - it's been exposed as a complet fraud. BTW, I suggest (if you do want to comment on white phosphorous) that you do your own resarch. You haven't used any approproiate terms to descibe white phosphorous.

Here's a link to your NE thermobaric weapon.

http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001944.html

As you can see, it neither uses White Phosphorous, nor is it a smoke munition, nor is it an artillery or mortar round. In short, it has nothing to do with the WP controversy.

To be honest, Mabus, I have no interest in discussing the issue with somebody who makes such a galring error in his opening statement. So, please don't post a follow-up.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

Programmer craig, you need to get your facts strait with regards to the italian documentary. You migt see it as fraud but it's not. You are ofcourse free to have your opinon but the fact in iraq does say its true.

And by the way it must be good to know what your views are regarding chemical weapons, but somehow I find it very difficult to see them being the same if a U.S city was hit by it. But then again maybe you would just brush it off too as long as you live.

4:21 PM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

Nadia, white phosphorous has been used against American troops THOUSANDS of times. White Phsophorous and High Explosive are the two most commonly used types of munitions. The documentary was a farce, for that reason alone. Every battle fought in the 20th century saw WP rounds used in exactly the same manner they were used in Falluja.

I really don't know what to say to somebody like you, Nadia. You'll believe what you want to believe, no matter what I say, and no matter what history says. have fun with that. But, December 7th is the wrong day of the year to be claiming that video of burned bodies constitutes evidence of the use of illegal weapons. I doubt there's anything that happened in Falluja that could compare to what happened on December 7th, 1941. And yes, there's plenty of video of that as well.

4:01 AM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

BTW Nadia,

"You are of course free to have your opinon"

Nothing I have stated in all my posts on this issue (on several blogs) has been OPINION. That's the problem with this story, everyone has an opinion, and mmost the people commenting don't know what the hell they are talking about.

I've been fighting "opinions" with the actual text of the international treaties people make reference to, with the actual stats and characteristics of the weapons people have "opinions" about, and with historical data.

I was a heavy weapons specialist in the Marines (in fact, my old unit was at Falluja) and I know that the story is false... every claim they made was false. But it doesn't take a weapons specialsit to do basic fact checking, Nadia. You could find out the story is a fake for yourself in an hour or so with Google. I'll bet you haven't done that, though, have you? Don't feel bad... none of the papers who ran the story bothered to fact check either. I wouldn't be surprised if this story was a plant, meant to make the anti-war crwod look stupid. Because they sure do look stupid, claiming smoke screens are chemical weapon attacks.

"but the fact in iraq does say its true."

You just used "fact" and "Iraq" in the same sentence! Amazing!

Who is bringing you the facts, from Iraq, Nadia? I really want to know. Because from where I'm sitting, all I see is liars. All the governments lie. All the media outlets lie. All the militaries lie. All the insurgent/militia/terrorist groups lie. All the bloggers lie. All the blog commenters lie.

Wasn't there a time when somebody somewhere said things that were true, at least some of the time?

4:19 AM  
Blogger Nadia said...

Iraqi rebel here is a must read!


Harold Pinter – Nobel Lecture
Art, Truth & Politics

http://nobelprize.org/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-lecture-e.html

Take care/ Nadia

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you kick ass iraqi rebel. your sense of humor is universal.

5:07 PM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

Nadia, I think this link would serve you better:

Playwright Pinter uses prize ceremony as anti-war pulpit

In your link, the reader doesn't get to hear about how evil America is until they read more than halfway through the article. Americans idiots don't have the patience for that :)

2:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

vg+Hello,

I'm doing a story on nutrition and health of the US and British forces
in Iraq, and wanted to discuss what the average Iraqi citizen eats as
well - since the traditional diet has been disrupted. Can anyone give me a
quick breakdown on what Iraqi's eat on a daily basis? Please let me
know if I can quote you or not.. .Thanks. Any help would be appreciated.

Jeff jeff@gutfeelingcolumn.com
www.gutfeelingcolumn.com

2:42 PM  
Blogger ManiaC Provost said...

You have some funy stuff, although I'm not sure if "Ramzi al Clark" was meant to be funny.. Please keep blogging.

10:48 PM  
Blogger LeRoy said...

Another great post Dayez, thanks for writing.

Craig, you may well be right about the WP issue, but you'll never convince anyone with that ranting and raving of yours. Instead of just calling everyone else an idiot, just state the facts as you know them. You say "Nothing I have stated in all my posts on this issue (on several blogs) has been OPINION", but all anyone ever has is opinion based on the evidence that they've seen. Maybe the evidence you've seen in your experience as a "heavy weapons specialist" is more reliable than what others have seen, but it's still just a matter of degree. To claim that what you believe is fact, and what everybody else believes is opinion, makes you sound a little over-impressed with yourself.

Finally, this is a blog, not a governmental report. People are just writing off the top of their head; they have busy lives and don't have time to fully research everything they say, but they have just as much right to say it as anyone. Cut 'em some slack.

- Leroy

3:51 AM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

Leroy, I'm not going to re-hash this argument again, but using the text of the actual treaties (like Protocl III of the Geneva Conventions) to prove that somebodies claim that WP is "banned" is false, is not a statement of opinion. Neither is pointing out that the casualty radius of a 155mm artillery round is 15 meters, and not 150 meters, as stated in the italian documentary that caused this controversy.

I have not stated my personal opinion about the use of WP, anywhere. I stand by that statement.

In *this* thread, somebody claimed an unrelated weapons system was at the center of this controversy. I posted a link that described the weapon system, and pointed out that that it doesn't use white phosphorous (at all) - this is also not a statement of opinion.

You're right, though. I've yet to change anybody's opinion with a mere presentation of the facts. I've switched to ridicule instead. Doesn't work any better, but it feels good.

And no, Leroy, I'm not going to cut them slack when they falsely accuse the US of using weapons of mass destruction.

That's a very big thing for people to be making mistakes about, Leroy, just because they are too lazy to check the facts before they open their mouths.

6:55 AM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

Hey, Leroy, after posting this I went back and checked my comments, because you obviously thought I was being offensive. (ranting, raving, calling everyone else an idiot) And I make it a point to try and take the same tone in my replies that people have taken with me. I thought I might owe somebody an apology.

But I can't find anything I wrote in this thread that was a personal attack, and I most definately didn't use the word "idiot" - maybe you saw me doing that someplace else?

Well, in any case, I'll take your criticism under advisement. But I'm just being nice when I refer to false charges that the US is guilty of Crimes Against Humanity as "opinion." That's not an opinion, it's a vicious lie.

7:14 AM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

Heh... I just checked your blog, Leroy! You obviosuly don't think charges of WMD is such a trivial thing, when it's Bush making the charge. Why don't you cut him some slack :p

7:18 AM  
Blogger LeRoy said...

Craig,

Thanks for taking my comment so seriously and looking back over what you read. I looked back over all of the comments also in an attempt to justify what I said, and I have to admit that you were, in large part, using the same tone as other commenters were doing. Maybe you just caught my attention because you were doing it better than anyone else :)

Anyway, just for completeness, here are some of the things in your comments that I had problems with:

1) At 1:24 AM, anonymous made a bunch of comments about how bad the U.S. was, none of which had anything to do with White Phosphorus. At 2:13 AM, you respond by saying:

"but all you present for proof is a bunch of biased speculation, published by newspapers that have repeatedly told out and out LIES"

Since anonymous didn't name any sources, you could'nt possibly know which newspapers he's getting his information from, so that statement seems to be an accusation against all newspapers. Are you suggesting that we should discredit all the information we read in the newspapers and only get our information from you? That's the message I took from that statement.

2) In your response to Mabus you said:

"To be honest, Mabus, I have no interest in discussing the issue with somebody who makes such a galring error in his opening statement. So, please don't post a follow-up."

That was just plain rude. He may well have had some confusion about what he was talking about, and you were certainly justified in trying to correct him, but you didn't have to belittle him like that.

3) Nadia said:

"Programmer craig, you need to get your facts strait with regards to the italian documentary"

You responded with:

"I really don't know what to say to somebody like you, Nadia. You'll believe what you want to believe, no matter what I say, and no matter what history says. have fun with that."

Now, I don't know if you and Nadia have had previous interactions and had already established the fact that you're a heavy weapons expert, but from my reading, you don't establish this fact until your next comment, so at the time of Nadia's comment, I think she's justified in questioning your statements. You can't expect someone to just accept your statements without knowing your credentials.

4) You later said:

"Nothing I have stated in all my posts on this issue (on several blogs) has been OPINION. That's the problem with this story, everyone has an opinion, and mmost the people commenting don't know what the hell they are talking about."

There have been a lot of facts in your statements, but there have also been a lot of opinions. To claim that everything you say is a fact and everything everybody else says is an opinion is arrogant.

Also, blogs are a place where people can express their opinions based on whatever level of knowledge they happen to have. You can try to correct them whenever you see errors in what they're saying, but don't deny them the right to say it.

5) Later, in the same comment, you blast Nadia for saying:

"but the fact in iraq does say its true."

by saying:

"You just used "fact" and "Iraq" in the same sentence! Amazing!"

To be honest, I have no idea what either of you was trying to say, but at least Nadia had the excuse of having to try to work in a foreign language.

6) You went on to say:

"Who is bringing you the facts, from Iraq, Nadia? I really want to know. Because from where I'm sitting, all I see is liars. All the governments lie. All the media outlets lie. All the militaries lie. All the insurgent/militia/terrorist groups lie. All the bloggers lie. All the blog commenters lie."

Again, are you expecting us to only get our facts from you?

Anyway, thanks for visiting my blog. I'm not going to claim that I don't make some of the same mistakes that I'm accusing you of. I know I certainly feel the same way you do a lot of the time, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of leaked through. However, I do try not to put down other bloggers for stating their opinions.

As for cutting Bush some slack, if Bush were commenting on a blog about some subject about which he wasn't supposed to be an expert, you can bet I would cut him some slack. I guess I just think ripping apart whole countries requires a little more justification than making a comment on a blog.

- Leroy

10:50 PM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

Well, Leroy, in appreciation for your civil tone, I'll attempt to answer all your points.

"Since anonymous didn't name any sources, you could'nt possibly know which newspapers he's getting his information from"

I can make a pretty good guess, based on his commentary. He's repeating things he read on other blogs, loosely based on stories by Al Jazeera, the BBC and various other "less than credible" sources. Or, he just made it up. Same problem with the WP story, that's why I used it as an example. My point was that he was just throwing out a bunch of accusations, without any evidence.

"so that statement seems to be an accusation against all newspapers."

You betcha.

"Are you suggesting that we should discredit all the information we read in the newspapers
and only get our information from you?"

No, I'm suggesting that people hold the press accountable! Instead, when a story is exposed as false reporting, people who really WANTED to believe the story was true, will defend the fake story for the most ridiculous imaginable reasons. No. I absolutely do NOT trust the press. I'll move on now.

"That's the message I took from that statement."

And the message I take from yours, is that people shouldn't engage in any type of critical thinking, and that if they read something or hear it on the news, they should believe it's true.

"That was just plain rude. He may well have had some confusion about what he was talking about, and you were certainly justified in trying to correct him, but you didn't have to belittle him like that."

OK, you got me there. I had thought he was saying I didn't know what I was talking about, so I returned the favor. But I just reread his comment, and I think I miisunderstood what he was saying. My apologies, Mabus.

Re: Nadia... she said I needed to "get my facts strait" - my credentials don't really matter, Leroy, she basically said I was ignorant and that I had said things that were not true.

"You can't expect someone to just accept your statements without knowing your credentials."

Maybe not, but I can certainly expect not to be called a liar by somebody who doesn't actually have any idea if what I'm saying is correct or not, can't I? I owe Nadia no apologies. I treated her better than she treated me.

PC: "You just used "fact" and "Iraq" in the same sentence! Amazing!"

Leroy: "To be honest, I have no idea what either of you was trying to say, but at least Nadia had the excuse of having to try to work in a foreign language."

I have no objection to blasting Nadia, but that wasn't my intent with that statement. I was questioning whetehr there were people in Iraq who still believed all the outrageous stuff they hear on a day to day basis. I've seen Iraqi bloggers report things (that they appeared to believe) that are like things from an alternate reality. Go read what some people are saying about Saddam... he's a damned Saint! A Saint, I tell you! And the suicide bombings are all being done by the crazy Americans, or maybe it's the British... because NO IRAQI would do that! OK, enough sarcasm. It's mean, I know. I actually laugh (out loud) about some of the things I've read on Iraqi blogs. I just thought it was funny that Nadia was trying to use things she heard on the rumor mill in Iraq as proof that she's right.

"Again, are you expecting us to only get our facts from you?"

The word "fact" implies that something can be independently verified. That means people can check it on their own and find out whether it's true or not. That's what I expect them to do, when somebody has made a claim that they are factually in error. Prove it, or back away.

Thanks for the input, by the way, Leroy. I did realize I made a mistake with Mabus as a result of your comments. And I think ( due to discussion on other blogs ) I'm a bit too hot about the Falluja stories to keep arguing with people about them. I'm not saying I'm wrong, but maybe I should try and deal with people a little better, when they piss me off :)

6:30 AM  
Blogger LeRoy said...

Thanks for the response PC. I would like to add that you have opened my mind somewhat about WP. From all the news reports I'd heard, it seemed to me that WP was only not banned because it's primary use was to illuminate an area, and that the U.S. was merely circumventing the ban against chemical weapons by using WP as a chemical weapon. I still think that's true, but if other nations are doing the same thing, then there is some justification for doing it ourselves. I won't say that you've completely convinced me, only that I'll leave myself open to further input on the issue.

Also, it's not that I don't think people shouldn't engage in critical thinking, or shouldn't question what they read, it's only that the world isn't a perfect place, and you have to work with the resources available to you.

Anyway, thanks for the conversation,
- LeRoy

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Craig,

You're wrong about the WP - it was being used as a chemical weapon. I don't really care about the accuracy of the documentry on the kill radius of a 155mm shell. But unless you are slicing legal definitions WP is a chemical weapon (although its a huge step down from agent orange, or even napalm).

If you want to read more - here are a few links:

globalsecurity.org is one of the most reliable sources for military information - it provides a bit of information on the uses of WP, and the forms useful in combat -

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/wp.htm

Here is a BBC report covering some follow up:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4440664.stm

here is a military report, the march-april 2005 us army field artillery magazine (page 26 bottom left):

http://sill-www.army.mil/FAMAG/Previous_Editions/05/mar-apr05/PAGE24-30.pdf

The US isn't bound by any treaties which ban the use of WP, so 'illegal' is the wrong word. But you are far from right to be sitting around whining about it.

Here's the argument you should be making:

"The United States has not made any form of binding legal agreement with any nation or body of nations that prohibits the use of White Phosphorus."

See, if you had said that - you'd be right.

I'm not arguing that WP should be a banned weapon. If you are allowed to use daisy cutters I don't see why this substance (being awful, but far less awful than napalm, or many conventional weapons) should be banned. But clearly it was used, and clearly it is a (albiet low intensity) chemical weapon.

3:39 PM  
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12:07 PM  
Blogger Green Kokichi said...

Well, I wish I could believe you. If that is true, then why all the killings?

Now that Saddam is gone, why not get serious about putting the country back together, sharing the oil profits and starting to live normal, productive and happy lives?

Except for George Bush, I'm sure most Americans would like to leave Iraq as soon as possible, hopefully in one piece.

A wish for peace in the New Year!


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11:49 AM  

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