June 28, 2004

"Let Freedom Reign!"

Iraq is now sovereign. By now, you know all the details, but here's how President Bush found out -- while seated next to British PM Tony Blair at the NATO meetings this morning.

Posted by mhking at June 28, 2004 01:47 PM

Thanks for collcting these here. The handshake photo is nice. Two other things to note: Bush doesn't seem to care much for the bottled water, and apparently (ashtray) the smoking laws in Turkey are a sight looser than the ones in the US.

Posted by: chthus at June 28, 2004 04:54 PM

Great photos. Great day.

Posted by: Guy S. at June 28, 2004 05:14 PM

Seeing Dr. Rice's hand-written note is inspiring. In education, this is what we call a "primary source document," and it just means seeing the real thing. I wonder who's writing is at the bottom-left (possibly Rumsfield's?). It does not appear to be the same handwriting; rather, it seems to be an editiorial comment added by someone who carried the note.


Posted by: Speedy at June 28, 2004 07:13 PM

Look at the Sharpie in GWB's left hand. Look at the writing in bold black ink on the note. There's no doubt in my mind who wrote that.

Posted by: Stephen at June 28, 2004 09:59 PM

Outstanding. I had seen the letter, but not the photos. Thank you for this.

Posted by: Tanya at June 28, 2004 10:09 PM

Speedy, read the note again. It says reign, not ring. As in rule. Ok, either would be appropriate, and if W spells the same way he pronounces some words ... you may be right.

Posted by: Drew at June 28, 2004 10:49 PM

The bold Sharpie was written by Bush, and it is "Let Freedom Reign!" Bless Bush and Blair...

Posted by: ishmael at June 28, 2004 11:17 PM

Great photo montage. It speaks far greater than any "Mission Accomplished" sign; it's a sign of a job well-done.

Posted by: Simon at June 29, 2004 02:01 AM

Coolness. Now wait for the Leftists to accuse Bush of lying when he said the handover would come on 30 June. Think I'm kidding? Remember when he made his secret trip into Baghdad for Thanksgiving? The craphounds in Big Media asked him if he thought it was right for him to have lied about his plans and to have sent out false flight ID info en route. You can't write stuff like that. You just have to wait for a dhimmicrat to "feel" it out.

Posted by: Toby Petzold at June 29, 2004 03:58 AM

Quite cool, indeed. And Bush actually can spell, althought the dhimmicrats will no doubt claim Condi or Rummy gave him the note with his response already on it. Or they will simply ignore the facts altogether, and claim that he actually mispelled it "rain "riegn" or whatever. The facts won't matter, never have to the intellectual bullies on the left. It's the joke they can sell that counts. Look at Fahrencrap 911

Posted by: Stu at June 29, 2004 07:05 AM

if only I lived in a real democracy and could vote for one of them

German politicans ALL avoid them and their courageous policy as they were radioactive :(

you can vote for communism and AGAINST Bush and AGAINST Turkey but not for Iraqi freedom here

it seems like my fellow countrymen want to be 'worthy' successors of their fascist grandfathers

the Spaniards at least had a choice and didn't by far all chose to surrender (people in Madrid didn't at all!)

In Germany, I NEVER got asked if I was in favour of the European Etatism or treason against our former allies (though Germans should have learned that the friendship of England and America is worth more than the approval of some fascist thugs)

I just can stay at home, it's sickening :|

Posted by: ch.speicher at June 29, 2004 07:50 AM

I found you via ITM in the comments.

Thank you thank you! I was looking all over the net for those pics. Good job.

Posted by: Lydia at June 29, 2004 12:31 PM

BEAUTIFUL. Inspiring. Will be in textbooks in years to come.

Posted by: Laura at June 29, 2004 01:29 PM

You've done an excellent job, Michael!

Posted by: Fausta at June 29, 2004 01:35 PM

GREAT pics! Thanks for posting them.

Posted by: Bruce at June 29, 2004 01:41 PM

Love your site!

Posted by: Kris at June 29, 2004 01:52 PM

Who's the guy in the upper right corner? I'm thinking he's really pulling the strings and the two guys in front are just his puppets.

BTW, why didn't they let SOS Colin Powell in on the note, like they did Rummy?

Anyhoo, it just goes to prove the 6/30 schedule for the turnover was unrealistic. ;-)

Two reasons to shoot fireworks on the upcoming 4th.

Posted by: ACE at June 29, 2004 02:35 PM

Oops. Looking again, it appears Rummy handed the note to GWB. Still wonder if CP doesn't feel like he was left out of a private note passing. Perhaps he was busy conducting business, and needed to listen at the moment.

Posted by: ACE at June 29, 2004 02:39 PM

Nice sequence, Michael!

Posted by: Pat Curley at June 29, 2004 02:42 PM

Judging by the way his face changed colors, do you think our President might be choking back tears? Hell, I am just looking at the pictures!

Great, wonderful photos.

Posted by: harbormaster at June 29, 2004 03:32 PM

There are rumors circulating, that one "pretz," in fact, RULERULEZZZZZZZZZZ~~~~~~~~~~~. But I don't usually buy into hearsay and speculation...

Posted by: Quaid at June 29, 2004 07:33 PM

Oh, deletings, yay!

Anyway, on topic, those pictures made my day, I gotta come here more often.

Posted by: Quaid at June 29, 2004 07:35 PM

I work in DC, and this just makes me PROUD to be an American, and proud to have this man as our President. Just PROUD!

Posted by: Jay at June 29, 2004 09:58 PM

Ummm, isn't it supposed to be "let freedeom ring?"

Yeah, pretty sure it is.

Posted by: eric at June 29, 2004 10:22 PM

Actually I would prefer to see freedeom reign than ring. Although the song refers to freedeom ringing. Oh, yeah Wht exactky is freedEom?

PS: ch.speicher,

NO, you do not want to live in a real democracy. B/c if you do God help you if you are a minority. Instead you are looking for some type of constitutional republic or something of that nature. And no this is not just semantics, words have meanings, so sayeth the rabbit in the hat.

Posted by: cy at June 29, 2004 11:53 PM

First time I've ever seen this site but thanks for putting up those pics, they are awesome!!

Posted by: 10lees at June 30, 2004 02:41 AM

Mr. President:
12,000 dead, still no weapons, $200 billion wasted, managed to hand off this quagmire two days early. Our job is done - Yay!

Posted by: GetaClue at June 30, 2004 09:14 AM

GetaClue: Perhaps you should follow your own advice and take the time to research before vomiting out your mouth.

Let's look at your so-called hit-and-run "points": 12,000 dead? Let's say that figure could be true (I doubt it, but I'll play along). As opposed to Saddam's hundreds of thousands dead, and millions more brutalized? I take it you'd like seeing that hundreds of thousands figure also creep into the millions column.

"Still no weapons?" The military has collected enough sarin gas from arsenals in Iraq to kill more than three million people. Add to that the buried jets and missiles found in the desert, and I'd call that a pretty solid set of weapons. What are you looking for, a nuclear warhead?

"$200 billion wasted?" Sorry - I don't count that as a waste. A brutal dictator was deposed, a subjugated people given the opportunity to embrace freedom, and a major skirmish in the war on terror has been dealt with to a measure.

"hand off this quagmire?" More than a decade of Vietnam with no end in sight was a quagmire. Iraq, top to bottom, has happened in the last 18 months. That don't sound like no stinkin' quagmire to me. And now you're upset over handing control back to the locals two days ahead of schedule? Which do you want? Us to stick around or us to get out? Can't have it both ways.

Bottom line, you're pissed at Bush. Fine. Deal with it. Quit making up excuses though.

Posted by: mhking at June 30, 2004 10:09 AM

MHking, you might want to lay off the dope for a while :)

Lets talk about the weapons discovered ... where the heck did you get that information?

If you check your fair and balanced media *cough cough* you might find out that what they have found so far is a few old outdated shells ... pre first gulf war ...

(just so you cant blame the sources, fox news: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0%2C2933%2C120137%2C00.html)

About the hundreds of thousands killed by saddam, hey nobody is saying he was a good guy, but lets check facts .. Saddam killed alot of people after the uprising post gulfwar 1 ... these people were killed because the US didnt want to remove Saddam ... however I have not seen the kind of numbers you are suggesting ... what I have seen, read and heard is above 500.000 Iraqi children killed because of the sanctions imposed (which Secretary Albright seemed to think was a price worth paying) and many thousand Iraqis dying because of lack of medicines again because of the sanctions ... not to mention that before the gulfwar in 1991, Saddam was actually on the goodlist of the US (who can forget the pic of him and his bossom buddy rumsfeld ... *puke* )

12.000 is a very good estimate actually ... check out:


ABout handing control to the locals ... well seems like its not really that:


Prisoner 27075 learns limits of sovereignty
By Nicolas Pelham in Baghdad
Published: June 28 2004 19:57 | Last Updated: June 28 2004 19:57

Iyad Akmush Kanum, 23, learnt the limits of sovereignty on Monday when US prosecutors refused to uphold an Iraqi judges' order acquitting him of attempted murder of coalition troops.

US prosecutors said that he was being returned to the controversial Abu Ghraib prison because under the Geneva Conventions they were not bound by Iraqi law.

A few hundred metres from where outgoing administrator Paul Bremer formally ended the US occupation of Iraq on Monday, Mr Kanum - prisoner number 27075 - cowered handcuffed on a backroom floor in the Central Criminal Court, where Iraqis are tried for attacks against coalition forces.

"Iraqis who have been detained as a security threat can still be detained until firstly the coalition leaves or secondly they are considered to be no longer a threat," said Michael Frank, deputy special prosecutor for Multinational Force-Iraq (MNFI), who oversaw the case dressed in military fatigues.

The prosecution alleges Mr Kanum was in the car from which a gunman was firing an AK-47 rifle at Iraqi and coalition troops on the outskirts of Baghdad. Mr Kanum denies the charges, saying it was a case of mistaken identity.

The Central Criminal Court is a hybrid legal institution, created by the American-led occupation, in which US lawyers prepare cases for Iraqi prosecutors to present to Iraqi judges, who were in turn chosen by the coalition.

It tries cases based on Iraqi law and coalition decrees.

Despite the end of the US occupation on Monday, US prosecutors said the Court would continue unchanged after the handover.

It was created by Mr Bremer last June to hear "significant security trials" and enable occupation troops to testify without leaving the Green Zone. Saddam Hussein is among the detainees intended to enter its dock.

Many Iraqis see the Central Criminal Court as a creature of the occupation which must be abolished now the US has handed sovereignty back to Iraqis.

Faisal Estrabadi, an Iraqi lawyer, said yesterday after the refusal to release Mr Kanum: "If the Iraqi courts have acquitted an individual he must be released. Anything else is a violation of sovereignty."

"Iraq cannot be one large Guantánamo Bay."

He added: "The Geneva Conventions no longer apply as of 10.26 this morning. Under UN Resolution the occupation has ended and the laws of war no longer apply."

However Mr Frank said the measures were necessary because judges and prosecutors were reluctant to sentence Iraqis for attacking coalition forces.

Another prosecutor, Maher Soliman, an Egyptian-born US attorney, also expressed frustration.

"We could have established our own military court and sentenced them the way we see fit," he said. "We didn't want to do that. We wanted Iraqis to run the court." Mr Soliman was initially contracted as an interrogator at Abu Ghraib jail.

Under laws introduced by the coalition, possessing illegal weapons carries a minimum sentence of 30 years and maximum of life imprisonment, but Iraqi judges routinely sentenced detainees to only six months, they said. "We have the feeling they're not putting their heart into it," said Mr Frank.

The court also sparked recent controversy after it was used to issue arrest warrants for rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and 15 members of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraq National Congress, on charges including fraud and kidnapping. Last week the court issued an arrest warrant for another member of the Governing Council, Karim Mohammedawi, after he expressed support for Mr Sadr.


and about the great service done to Iraqis .. well lets see what the war has brought Iraqis of miseries:


Iraq is worse off than before the war began, GAO reports

By Seth Borenstein

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - In a few key areas - electricity, the judicial system and overall security - the Iraq that America handed back to its residents Monday is worse off than before the war began last year, according to calculations in a new General Accounting Office report released Tuesday.

The 105-page report by Congress' investigative arm offers a bleak assessment of Iraq after 14 months of U.S. military occupation. Among its findings:

-In 13 of Iraq's 18 provinces, electricity was available fewer hours per day on average last month than before the war. Nearly 20 million of Iraq's 26 million people live in those provinces.

-Only $13.7 billion of the $58 billion pledged and allocated worldwide to rebuild Iraq has been spent, with another $10 billion about to be spent. The biggest chunk of that money has been used to run Iraq's ministry operations.

-The country's court system is more clogged than before the war, and judges are frequent targets of assassination attempts.

-The new Iraqi civil defense, police and overall security units are suffering from mass desertions, are poorly trained and ill-equipped.

-The number of what the now-disbanded Coalition Provisional Authority called significant insurgent attacks skyrocketed from 411 in February to 1,169 in May.

The report was released on the same day that the CPA's inspector general issued three reports that highlighted serious management difficulties at the CPA. The reports found that the CPA wasted millions of dollars at a Hilton resort hotel in Kuwait because it didn't have guidelines for who could stay there, lost track of how many employees it had in Iraq and didn't track reconstruction projects funded by international donors to ensure they didn't duplicate U.S. projects.

Both the GAO report and the CPA report said that the CPA was seriously understaffed for the gargantuan task of rebuilding Iraq. The GAO report suggested the agency needed three times more employees than what it had. The CPA report said the agency believed it had 1,196 employees, when it was authorized to have 2,117. But the inspector general said CPA's records were so disorganized that it couldn't verify its actual number of employees.

GAO Comptroller General David Walker blamed insurgent attacks for many of the problems in Iraq. "The unstable security environment has served to slow down our rebuilding and reconstruction efforts and it's going to be of critical importance to provide more stable security," Walker told Knight Ridder Newspapers in a telephone interview Tuesday.

"There are a number of significant questions that need to be asked and answered dealing with the transition (to self-sovereignty)," Walker said. "A lot has been accomplished and a lot remains to be done."

The GAO report is the first government assessment of conditions in Iraq at the end of the U.S. occupation. It outlined what it called "key challenges that will affect the political transition" in 10 specific areas.

The GAO gave a draft of the report to several different government agencies, but only the CPA offered a major comment: It said the report "was not sufficiently critical of the judicial reconstruction effort."

"The picture it paints of the facts on the ground is one that neither the CPA nor the Bush administration should be all that proud of," said Peter W. Singer, a national security scholar at the centrist Brookings Institution. "It finds a lot of problems and raises a lot of questions."

One of the biggest problems, Singer said, is that while money has been pledged and allocated, not much has been spent. The GAO report shows that very little of the promised international funds - most of which are in loans - has been spent or can't be tracked. The CPA's inspector general found the same thing.

"When we ask why are things not going the way we hoped for," Singer said, "the answer in part of this is that we haven't actually spent what we have in pocket."

He said the figures on electricity "make me want to cry."

Steven Susens, a spokesman for the Program Management Office, which oversees contractors rebuilding Iraq, conceded that many areas of Iraq have fewer hours of electricity now than they did before the war. But he said the report, based on data that's now more than a month old, understates current electrical production. He said some areas may have reduced electricity availability because antiquated distribution systems had been taken out of service so they could be rebuilt.

"It's a slow pace, but it's certainly growing as far as we're concerned," Susens said.

Danielle Pletka, the vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said other issues are more important than the provision of services such as electricity. She noted that Iraqis no longer live in fear of Saddam Hussein.

"It's far better to live in the dark than it is to run the risk that your mother, father, brother, sister, husband or wife would be taken away never to be seen again," Pletka said.

Pletka pointed to a Pentagon slide presentation that detailed increases and improvement in telephone subscribers, water service, food, health care and schools in Iraq.

But Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that asked for the GAO report, said the report showed major problems.

"So while we've handed over political sovereignty, we haven't handed over practical capacity - that is, the ability for the Iraqis themselves to provide security, defend their borders, defeat the insurgency, deliver basic services, run a government and set the foundation for economic progress," Biden said in a written statement. "Until Iraqis can do all of that, it will be impossible for us to responsibly disengage from Iraq."


And I have not even mentioend the money that was looted and plundered by the CPA .. Lets save that for some other time ...

Posted by: mss at June 30, 2004 10:55 AM
Duelfer said his inspection team has uncovered bombs filled with blistering mustard gas or the nerve agent sarin.

"We're not sure how many more are out there that haven't been found, but we've found 10 or 12 sarin and mustard rounds," he said. "I'm reluctant to judge what that means at this point, but there's other aspects of the program which we still have to flush out."


Fact is, they've been found, and when they were manufactured is immaterial.

And in terms of misery, it's obvious you prefer that they remain under tyrannical rule. [shrug]

Anything to justify your hatred of Bush.

Posted by: mhking at June 30, 2004 11:16 AM

Whoever said it was like the "Mission Accomplished" banner is right on -- and we all know what followed after that.

Deeming Iraq "sovereign" is like calling Wal Mart a great democratic institution.

Stay tuned...

Posted by: tp at June 30, 2004 12:07 PM

Notice how GWB shares the info with TB and doesn't even look in Colin Powell's direction. I'll bet 100 to 1 that there will be a NEW Secretary of State in Bush's second term!!!!!

Posted by: gsv at June 30, 2004 04:15 PM

re: mss

I didn't really bother to read your entire post for a simple reason. When somebody starts off a post, saying, for example "Jews were better off under Hitler" at that point I cease to have interest in what they have to say. Admitedly, that was to the end of your strange and bizzare posting, but I also like to skim through first then re-read.

That's probably why not too many people are going to respond in depth to what you wrote, because most people are going to glance, then move on.

I'm not exactly sure why you wrote that nonsensical piece of garbage. Perhaps it was a form of mental masturbation?

Have you considered psychiatric help? I'm being completely serious by the way.


Posted by: ballantrae at June 30, 2004 04:19 PM

Nobody said Iraqis were 'better off' under Saddam ... I posted as I did because I figured the ramblings of mhking and the likes of him (you amongst others) needed to be answered.

When you cannot even read through a posting, your critisism kind of isnt all that important really :)

About considering psychiatric help, yes I have seriously considered that, but I belive you and other people like you are beyond help.

Go play on the interstate please :)

Posted by: mss at July 1, 2004 03:29 AM

By the way, I figured that you reffered to this particular sentence:

"Iraq is worse off than before the war began, GAO reports" ... its not my words but a report from the link I provided .. and if you did read through it you would find out that it is true ...

Posted by: mss at July 1, 2004 03:33 AM

And the above came from a report by the GAO, General Accounting Office ... even you would trust them, wouldnt you?

happy reading:


Posted by: mss at July 1, 2004 03:38 AM

mss: There's a certain point when foreign ass-clowns (you're from Norway) like you keep insisting that he can find bullshit to support his anti-Americanism, that I get tired.

If you're so damn interested in using fabricated or manipulated data to "prove" your point, get your own damn blog and leave mine alone!

Posted by: mhking at July 1, 2004 07:29 AM

What mhking means by that is:

Don't rain on my US of Can-Do-No-Wrong-A fantasy parade. Facts don't work on me.

"Foreign ass-clowns" - very nice. Where were YOUR great grandparents born?

Posted by: GetAClue at July 1, 2004 07:57 AM

Thanks for putting words in my mouth. Go find your own damn blog.

As for my great-grandparents, Louisiana, Louisiana, Alabama, Alabama, Maryland, Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia, respectively.

How about yours?

Posted by: mhking at July 1, 2004 08:26 AM


Charged up blog to say the least. Ok, try these on...

mss; damn so much to say to you, but I'll try to keep it simple. Your "facts", just as so many have in the past, will mostly end up wrong, as "facts" brewed from opinions, hearsay, and biased reporting generally do. Don’t get me wrong here, there are plenty of counter-argument facts that will also, ultimately prove wrong as well, and that's my point. They're not really facts.

You obviously spent a lot of time pulling all that together. Keep in mind though that pulling together a similarly sized list of counter-arguments could be done the same. You wouldn't agree they were the same, but neither would the person with enough angst to produce the counter-argument list.

Besides, history will tell us (if we're honest with it) what Bush's leadership will ultimately effect. Of course, it won't be clear then either. So why do you think it is clear now?

I suspect, the War in Iraq will effect a much greater impact on our world than what can be said of it right now, by anyone. For instance, I suspect Iraq will ultimately end up much better off than under Saddam, regardless of what conclusion any of us comes to right now. I also believe any attempt to stabilize that area of our world is a step in the right direction, regardless of its current instability.

History won't be clear; others will take credit, assess blame, etc. But Bush did something; something he believed in with conviction was the right thing to do. He didn't sit by and pander to the polls.

Review the pictures again. Notice Bush is shaking Blair's hand with vigor after getting the news. He's not sighing with relief as your opinions would suggest he'd be doing at such a time. He's proud of his efforts, not relieved to be rid of something. He's a true leader because he acts with conviction and courage.

The big picture is worth a thousand words. The little pictures cost a thousand words each and produce only noise.

Posted by: PilotMelch at July 1, 2004 10:07 AM

QUOTE>: "mss: There's a certain point when foreign ass-clowns (you're from Norway) like you keep insisting that he can find bullshit to support his anti-Americanism, that I get tired."

mhking, your actions encapsulate the attitude of the typical angry conservative upset at and "tired" of people attempting to expound logical thought about an international issue.

That's right, I said "international." As in, d'you ever consider that America isn't king?

Your ignorant tirade points out exactly what is wrong with the mindset of some of you conservative Americans today: outright arrogance, intolerance, and a certain Messiah complex.

I think the "anti-Americanism" you speak of is a response against the pompousness and maverick, go-at-it-alone, damn-the-world attitude that, in particular, this administration has undertaken. That's not just "anti-Americanism." It's "anti-assholism." Assholism pretty much describe our heavy-handed approach to foreign policy. I love how anyone critical of American foreign policy is easily written off as unpatriotic or anti-American, as if the American way is immediately synonymous with "correct."

Political points aside, get off your high horse. This is about courtesy, sans political agenda or rhetoric. Evidently, you cannot find anything better to do or anything more intelligent to say than to insult people within the international community. Show some respect and stop acting like an American "ass-clown" would.

And yes, whether you like to think of this way or not, your great-grandparents were "foreigners" and "immigrants" once, in some shape, way, or form. Chances are they probably came from Europe... chances are, maybe somewhere high up your family tree you've got a dash of Scandinavian blood. Get with it; maybe a little History 101 is in order.

Posted by: thedevious at July 1, 2004 09:36 PM

First off, I like my high horse; it's my blog, I can sit up here if I damn well please.

Secondly, it seems that the most vocal opponents from other countries are upset because we won't follow the rules as they say they should be followed. I'm sorry. I didn't get the rulebook in the mail. And while it's being mentioned, I have no desire to RTFM.

Thirdly, my historic ancestry? American Indian,as well as ancestry from England, Scotland, France, Spain & Morocco. I'm sure there's other aspects to my "muttdom" in there as well.

And that being said, you want to talk about courtesy? Fine. You don't waltz into someone else's home and insult the host. This blog is my fucking home, idiot. You're a goddamned guest! And you damn well better not shit on the rug while you're here! You don't like it, get the fuck out and go write on your own godddamned blog!

And to everyone else, excuse the foul language, but some people don't seem to understand rational conversation.

Posted by: mhking at July 1, 2004 10:09 PM


You are a derelict, a bum, a vagrant.

You are trespassing.

How would you like it if someone came onto your property, defecated on the lawn, and refused to leave?

Find whatever tiny shred of decency you possess, and get out and stay out.

Posted by: movinghand at July 2, 2004 07:26 AM

I am visiting this blog for the first time. I recently got a copy of Salam Pax The Baghdad Blog and found a link that took me here.

As this is very obviously an american blog with a reasonably evident pro dubya slant i will try to tone down my own general views.

mhking, since i and many other people i know (I am British by the way) hold strong feelings of dislike towards the United States in general and the Dubya Administration and make no bones about it, i have no personal problem with americans disliking europeans. however please perhaps bear this in mind.

While America is undoubtedly both the worlds military and economic superpower and as a result it's foremost state internationally it may perhaps be pertinent to point out that America in its current form is merely a former european colony. Europeans who emigrated built the country up to what it is today. George Washington was i believe British by ancestry and i have heard half the FBI is or was Irish. Your NASA space program was succesful initially because of the technology and knowledge that the nazi rocket scientists of The European Civil War part 227 brought over. The man who delivered you the atom bomb was German, as was the designer of the P-51 Mustang.

Idiocy is not merely an american trait. God knows there are enough morons in britain -mostly in the cabinet and 10 downing street- but it seems to me and many others British, French, German, Canadian, Italian etc that Americans seem to show a wilful need to accept everything they are told by the govt. Over here many of us would check teletext before believing an announcement by Blair that Manchester United had won a match against the local pensioners representative side.

The thing however that pisses Europeans off more than anything else is the "we can do everything by ourselves so the rest of you can F off" attitude. You go around with your guns blazing, ignore advice from those who have been there, seen it and done it all before and then act hurt and surprised when what we said would occur comes to pass.

Lastly is your blog meant to be a place of sensible discussion where opposing views are welcomed and considered rationally, or a place of deluded self indulgence where any contrary view is to be stamped out. Much like a theocracy such as Iran or dictatorship such Saddam.

Posted by: Nick Saunders at July 2, 2004 11:03 AM

Nick, you are certainly far more polite than the last bit of rabble that came through here.

Please don't misunderstand me - I hold no grudge against Europeans or people from other countries around the globe.

And while I certainly understand a measure of the hatred felt by people for the Bush Administration and those who support it (see my other entries regarding my appearance on Fox News Channel this week to discuss that very issue among black Americans), I am a staunch supporter of the war on terror.

I'll be the first one to say that there are some miscues here; everyone involved is human, and certainly there are a share of mistakes that can be pointed to after the fact all the way around.

The US government is not "all knowing" and certainly not necessarily one that can be completely trusted, but given the intel that they have been able to accumulate on the terrorist threat to this nation, I feel comfortable acceeding to them on that note.

I don't completely agree with all the steps that the Bush Administration has taken overall; I think there are domestic issues that the Administration has ignored. Certainly the terrorist threat has taken precedence, but better addressing fiscal management of the home front is important as well. The Patriot Act, while well intentioned, is heavy-handed at best; and it is certainly cast a pall on civil liberties here. Safeguarding the sovereign border to the south is an issue, as is dealing with the sheer size of governmental bureacracy. It ain't a perfect ballpark by any means.

All that being said, one of the major issues that I (and many other conservatives) have with folks from overseas looking down at us is that rather than offering constructive criticism, they step up with a "holier than thou" attitude that implies that we are a lesser group of people merely because as a people we are arrogant (admittedly so), boorish & loud (sometimes overly so), nationalistic (very), and at times stand-offish (especially when told that we CAN'T do something).

You mention "advice" from those who "have been there" -- but when it is given politely, please note that it is taken in the spirit with which it is given. When it is tossed down like a challenging gauntlet (i.e., France's attitude), it is also taken with the spirit with which it is given. We don't take well to being "told" what to do -- especially when we know that we can do things ourselves.

Though many people would like to say that we have "gone it alone," there is a concerted coalition of many nations who feel that we are on the right path. The United Nations, on the other hand, feels otherwise, though their resolutions are the very ones that started this mess! Apparently they feel that while they can lord over a problem, they feel that they are the only ones who can resolve said problem.

Add to that people both in this country as well as outside it, who have no problem with folks who support the Bush Administration being shot, blown up or otherwise maimed physically, and brutally excoriated verbally -- simply for disagreeing with their point of view to begin with.

9/11 was the catalyst that started this current global battle, and while Saddam's regime was not directly involved with the events of that day, there is no way that it can be denied that the Iraqi regime of Saddam was involved with terrorist states across the globe.

Many folks who despise this President (for whatever reason) feel that they can declare open season here. And while I welcome all views, both those who agree with me as well as those who dissent, I won't stand still and allow someone to verbally beat on me in my own home.

I get enough of that elsewhere.

All of that being said, welcome to my humble blog. I appreciate your polite discourse. And while we obviously disagree with some points, you're more than welcome to do so. I'm glad you're here.

Posted by: mhking at July 2, 2004 11:40 AM

mhking, I've tried to access your site since my last entry and I've been getting "404 Forbidden" messages. Hmmm, a bit odd, is it not? I'm intelligent enough to take a hint. Banning someone (myself) from your site for expressing my fair opinion and to have my voice heard is laughable. Is this the Conservative Club, No Intelligent Opposition Permitted? Apparently it is. I thought, out of my own sheer ignorance, that since this is a blog with a space for the public to comment, I would be able to put in my two cents without being barred and viciously lashed out at with a string of barbaric expletives. How do I feel about people who agree with your standpoint? Fine, just fine, more power to them. I just take offense at disparaging statements made against "foreigners," which all Americans at one point in their ancestry were. (Myself included.) My problem is that if there are dissenters in the crowd(myself being one of them) why shut our voice out completely? If I'm not being reasonably, please, by all means, tell me so. YOU are entitled to your opinion; but I have problems with insulting foreigners -- that's like the pot calling the kettle black. A petty point, maybe, but a point that needs to be clarified.

Posted by: devious at July 2, 2004 01:33 PM

And mhking, no bad blood meant... I'm just sticking up for others. So if I had intentionally offended you along the way, I apologize. I continue to stand by my points. But because you specifically requested it, I'll leave your site alone.

Posted by: devious at July 2, 2004 01:39 PM

When you comment on someone's blog you are a guest. People with intellectual class, when they are guests, remain on their best behavior and do not insult their host. Jerks take the opposite track. Jerks are not invited back for return visits.

If you think you're being treated unkindly, go somewhere else or start your own blog. For five bucks a month, you can be a web publisher too.

If reading this blog so upsets you, don't read it.

Posted by: Ted at July 2, 2004 09:39 PM

can't argue with that mhking. i'd agree with the vast majority of your post actually. Nice to be able to talk to some more sensible Americans online. Most of the ones i have come across are the idiots who post such discourse As "kill the dirty arabs" etc. To be fair i guess most people in europe are only exposed to media interpretations fornm one source or another, the internet and american tourists although i find the americans i know personally to be lovely people. I just don't like it when the mormon ones try to convert me i like my caffeine and alcohol and weed.

Posted by: Nick Saunders at July 3, 2004 01:05 PM

Michael, just for giggles do a Yahoo search for "let freedom reign". Some guy called "Carpetbagger" (oh, the irony!) thinks Bush is a Nazi (suprise, suprise - and why I say search and don't bother to link). Meanwhile the #1 hit is to a rabbi's column (irony #2!).

Posted by: The Black Republican at July 5, 2004 01:10 PM

I linked directly to this page and read through the thread. I then went to the front page and caught a glimpse of your photo. I can't believe you're an adult!!!!

From the way you we're arguing I could have sworn you were a teenager. I guess blogging is the easiest way to eternal youth... at least mentally.

On this whole subject, I would imagine that until we start to see pieces of the Iraqi Department of Health or Education on eBay, we will not believe that ALL of this is really about making money.

As for the start of all of this, once again please do not kid yourself to think that this only began on September the 11th, 2001. Perhaps that is when most people started paying attention to what is going on outside our borders, much like myself, but with the slightest effort, one can see that this goes back a long way and is extremely complicated. As for who started it, its impossible to say, but perhaps this little analogy will help.

What if China parked it's ass in south western texas and started pumping oil. Even if the american government had invited them in, do you honestly think that Joe and Bubbba would sit by and watch this happen. They would be pissed! Just look at what the reaction to job outsourcing is. Americans dont like foreigners messing with their shit. Neither does bin Laden.

The only real threat to our freedom and democracy is comming from legislation put in place by our own fearless leaders.

As for THE WAR ON TERROR (sorry for the caps, its just such a grandios title is deserves the caps)... its unwinable and will disapear from the comon lexicon much as THE WAR ON DRUGS and THE WAR ON COMMUNISM that were of such importance a decade back.

bleh... to each their own but by dropping daisy cutters on Baghdad, the US has stirred up a hornets nest that wont be soon forgoten.

C'est domage.

Posted by: cire at July 6, 2004 03:35 PM

I am not very impressed with a majority of comments I read about this historic event. I think it is sad that a number of you left wing liberal thinker only contribution to history is making smartass comments on the internet hoping to get some attention. Most of you will discredit my statement because I am a Soldier who is trained to just agree with the bush policy.....but with that said I have seen the Berlin Wall before it fell walked thru both East and West Berlin. I have seen how politics affects the everyday lives of people......I drove over the euphrates and tigris river along with the 101st Airborne Division. I have seen a country in a sad condition and lived among the people and talked with them and tried to understand their perspective......I am thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of history rather than sit back on the sidelines and seeing others distorted viewpoints and thinking that they understand something that most really don't......step away from the computer....put the mouse down.......get involved!

"ask not what your country can do for you.... ask what you can do for your country" JFK

Posted by: John at February 24, 2005 02:18 PM

Forget WMD's, forget the need for their oil, forget removing a brutal dicator... this is about the beginning of a bringing of a "New World Order" and soon to be an Antichrist. We are in a quest for global dominance and this is the first step. Years down the road you will have a world economic system, a world police, and a world religion that your kids and grandkids will suffer through. Was 9/11 configured and constructed by "illuminist" to bring about this change? I wouldn't put anything past it. We are all having are rights slowly and methodically taken from us step by step. The bible speaks of famine, wars, nation against nation, increased magnitude of earthquakes, tsunamis/floods, disease, increased crime, terror, hatred among ethnicities, hatred. You might say, hasn't all these things been happening in the past? The answer is yes, but not to this degree and as extreme as we are seeing today. You see and hear about sick and unsual things these days... pedophiles, the killing of pregnant woman, beheadings of men, racial violence re-escalating, etc... the list goes on. Honestly why wouldn't Iraqi people fight back? they are not as ignorant as we think they are... They know about how we raped and enslaved Indians to recieve this beautiful country. They know how we enslaved africans, humiliated them, and left them oppressed in are American ghettos for them result in violence and poverty only to be dealt down in their family cycle. They know how we raped and ravaged Africa for their resources. They know how we covertly coup governments who dont favor in are policies. They just think they are the next in line. I know most wont believe this "New World Order" is coming about and if they do, they might think its a good thing. Well my friends, remember when you are growing old or when your soul is watching your kids and grandkids going through a living hell brought by this "New World Order" and the Antichrist himself.

Posted by: be aware at October 4, 2005 07:11 AM
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