Saturday, September 18

We're winning we really are. They like us they really do

Iraq is like a new frontier, go east young man, embrace opportunity, everything is fine, hell even the presnident had been there (beware of american gifts of plastic turkeys). Like any new frontier there are still pesky natives afoot, and armed with the finest weapons that money can buy, lets just say that you should be careful, and quick witted, a quick draw will serve you well. So let's take a look shall we at some of the recent news from the gold fields of California Iraq. It is unfortunate (actually it's a fucking tragedy, but humor is the the only way to keep the gorge down), that two good Americans, or murkins if you choose to embrace the mangled lexicon of dear leader, and one ferner (but a good one 'cause him with us) are some of the latest hostages that we choose to care about. In this case however, the Indians kidnappers have a made a bow to nobility. "Let our women free" is the request.
The Arab satellite television channel al-Jazeera has shown footage of what it says are three Westerners who were kidnapped in Baghdad this week.

The two Americans and one Briton were abducted from their house in Baghdad on Thursday.

The video shows blindfolded men who, the station said, were being held by followers of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

In the video, the group says the US has 48 hours to release Iraqi women prisoners or it will kill the hostages.

The three men - Briton Kenneth Bigley, and his US colleagues Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong - were shown blindfolded and kneeling, sitting in front of a masked gunman.

The hostages appear to be giving details of who they are while their abductors' demands are made

The group said to be holding the hostages, Tawheed Wal-Jihad (Unification and Holy War), wants Iraqi women in prisons at Abu Ghraib, near Baghdad, and Umm Qasr, in the south of the country, to be released.

The US government has said it holds only two women in Iraq - high level detainees who are understood to have been part of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The video broadcast on Saturday is the first indication of who might have abducted the three men.

Tawheed Wal-Jihad is led by Abu Musab Zarqawi, an ally of al-Qaeda who the Americans say is behind much of the violence in Iraq.

The US has offered a $25m reward for his capture.
Only two women? You expect them to believe that. Hell do you expect us to believe that. Am I the only one in the midst of the catastrophy in mesopotamia, that believes in the existance a Camp Concubine for the Conqueror's?. And how about that fine job that the division of headless chickens at the Justice of Terror Department are doing with the "enemy comatant" detention program activities down at Gitmo. Can Asscraft get anything right, other than using chartered rather than commercial planes to satisfy his travel needs in the late Summer of 2001, how about, "not much".

After keeping him locked up in a Navy brig for almost three years, the U.S. government seems to want Yaser Esam Hamdi to just go away. Hamdi, a Louisiana native, was captured in Afghanistan in Novermber 2001. His father says Hamdi, 22, who moved to Saudi Arabia with his family as a child, was doing relief work. U.S. authorities say he was fighting for the Taliban.

It looks like we'll never know exactly what Hamdi was doing there. The U.S. has been reluctant to try Hamdi in either civil or military courts and, for over two years of his confinement, refused him access to a lawyer. The Supreme Court in June said the U.S. citizen couldn't continue to be held without charges. Now, rather than trying him, it appears the administration just wants Hamdi to disappear as quietly as possible. The terms of his release, currently being negotiated, are reported to include demands that he give up his U.S. citizenship and promise not to sue the U.S. government over his detention.

After his capture, Hamdi was brought to Guantanamo Bay. When U.S. officials discovered he was a U.S. citizen, they ended up declaring him an enemy combatant and moving him to a military brig in Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia, where he was held without legal counsel or charges filed against him. For most of the time he was held in solitary confinement, despite a lack of evidence that he presented any special security risk or danger.

We don't need no stinkin' evidence, not in the Wild West dreamland that George 'Ya gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet' Bush lives in. In that fertile imagination fueled by stories of the lawless frontier, we live in a "shoot em first ask questions later and maybe after ahm dead, god and the historians will sort it out" kind of world, where words speak louder than action, appearance trumps reality, and shame, honor, and dignity, are locked up underground in a bunker at area 51. Finally lets take a look at the security picture in Iraq.

Nearly two-and-a-half months after the handover of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government, Iraqi and multi-national troops are not in control of several major cities in Iraq. Even in the capital, Baghdad, parts of the city are no-go areas for these forces.

Click on the map to read about the military and security picture around the country.

Northern IraqSunni TriangleBaghdadNajafSouthern Iraq

Just click on one of them links to find out what is happening in the North, the Sunni triangle, Baghdad, Najaf, and in the south. Or you can take my word for it F.U.B.A.R. walking.