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Hey guys guess what I'm going to say about Iraq!!!!
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Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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Location: Alba Nuadh

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Australia, that darwinian arms race? Safe?! I see a common brown snake, I'll shit my pants.
bi-chromaticism is the extraordinary belief that there exists only two options
each polar opposite to each other
where one is completely superior to the other.
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Joined: 26 Aug 2006
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Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, because it's much easier to dodge a nuclear warhead than an angry brown snake!
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

feh, i'm just going to hand out around the great barrier reef.

...and i'll get a kevlar vest so i can go swimming.
aka: neverscared!
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't you guys ever read On the Beach? Aussie territory is the last place I'd want to be!
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're literally losing control of Iraq.

I'm not highlighting the juicy bits, just read it :(

RAMADI, Sep 5 (IPS) - The U.S. military has lost control over the volatile al-Anbar province, Iraqi police and residents say.

The area to the west of Baghdad includes Fallujah, Ramadi and other towns that have seen the worst of military occupation, and the strongest resistance.

Despite massive military operations which destroyed most of Fallujah and much of cities like Haditha and al-Qa'im in Ramadi, real control of the city now seems to be in the hands of local resistance.

In losing control of this province, the U.S. would have lost control over much of Iraq.

"We are talking about nearly a third of the area of Iraq," Ahmed Salman, a historian from Fallujah told IPS. "Al-Anbar borders Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia, and the resistance there will never stop as long as there are American soldiers on the ground."

Salman said the U.S. military is working against itself. "Their actions ruin their goal because they use these huge, violent military operations which kill so many civilians, and make it impossible to calm down the people of al-Anbar."

The resistance seems in control of the province now. "No government official can do anything without contacting the resistance first," government official in Ramadi Abu Ghalib told IPS.

"Even the governor used to take their approval for everything. When he stopped doing so, they issued a death sentence against him, and now he cannot move without American protection."

Recent weeks have brought countless attacks on U.S. troops in Haditha, Ramadi, Fallujah and on the Baghdad-Amman highway. Several armoured vehicles have been destroyed, and dozens of U.S. soldiers killed in the al-Anbar province, according to both Iraqi witnesses and the U.S. Department of Defence.

Long stretches of the 550km Baghdad-Amman highway which crosses al-Anbar are now controlled by resistance groups. Other parts are targeted by highway looters.

"If we import any supplies for the U.S. Army or Iraqi government, the fighters will take it from us and sell it in the local market," trader Hayder al-Mussawi said. "And if we import for the local market, the robbers will take it."

Eyewitnesses in Ramadi say many of the attacks are taking place within their city. They say that the U.S. military recently asked citizens in al-Anbar to stop targeting them, and promised to withdraw to their bases in Haditha and Habaniyah (near Fallujah) soon, leaving the cities for Iraqi security forces to patrol.

"I do not think that is possible," retired Iraqi police Brigadier-General Kahtan al-Dulaimi from Ramadi told IPS. "I believe no local unit could stand the severe resistance of al-Anbar, and it will be the last province to be handed over to Iraqi security forces."

According to the group Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, 964 coalition soldiers have been killed in al-Anbar, more than in any other Iraqi province.. Baghdad is second, with 665 coalition deaths.

Residents of Ramadi told IPS that the U.S. military has knocked down several buildings near the government centre in the city, the capital of the province.

In an apparent move to secure their offices, U.S. Army and Marine engineers have started to level a half-kilometre stretch of low-rise buildings opposite the centre. Abandoned buildings in this area have been used repeatedly to launch attacks on the government complex.

"They are trying to create a separation area between the offices of the puppet government and the buildings the resistance are using to attack them," a Ramadi resident said. "But now the Americans are making us all angry because they are destroying our city."

U.S. troops have acknowledged their own difficulties in doing this. "We're used to taking down walls, doors and windows, but eight city blocks is something new to us," Marine 1st Lt. Ben Klay, 24, said in the U.S. Department of Defence newspaper Stars and Stripes.

In nearby Fallujah, residents are reporting daily clashes between Iraqi-U.S. security forces and the resistance.

"The local police force which used to be out of the conflict are now being attacked," said a resident who gave his name as Abu Mohammed. "Hundreds of local policemen have quit the force after seeing that they are considered a legitimate target by fighters.."

The U.S. forces seem to have no clear policy in the face of the sustained resistance.

"The U.S. Army seems so confused in handling the security situation in Anbar," said historian Salman. "Attacks are conducted from al-Qa'im on the Syrian border to Abu Ghraib west of Baghdad, all the way through Haditha, Hit, Ramadi and Fallujah on a daily basis."

He added: "A contributing factor to the instability of the province is the endless misery of the civilians who live with no services, no infrastructure, random shootings and so many wrongful detentions."

According to the new Pentagon quarterly report on Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq, Iraqi casualties rose 51 percent in recent months. The report says Sunni-based insurgency is "potent and viable."

The report says that in a period since the establishment of the new Iraqi government, between May 20 and Aug. 11 this year, the average number of weekly attacks rose to nearly 800, almost double the number of the attacks in early 2004.

Casualties among Iraqi civilians and security forces averaged nearly 120 a day during the period, up from 80 a day reported in the previous quarterly report. Two years ago they were averaging roughly 30 a day.

On Aug. 31 the Pentagon announced that it is increasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 140,000, which is 13,000 more than the number five weeks ago.

At least 65 U.S. soldiers were killed in August, with 36 of the deaths reported in al-Anbar. That brought the total number killed to at least 2,642. (END/2006)

A Third of Lawmakers in Iraq Skip Session
Those present chastise their absent colleagues. Among the public, resentment grows over what some see as greed amid the bloodshed.
By Louise Roug, Times Staff Writer
September 6, 2006

BAGHDAD Iraqi lawmakers returned to work Tuesday, some traveling from the Kurdish north, others from the Sunni Arab west or the Shiite south.

About one-third didn't show up.

After a monthlong vacation, the large number of no-shows at a short parliamentary session prompted dismay among colleagues and created confusion about voting rules.

"No more orphans, no more widows," Mahmoud Mashadani, speaker of parliament and a Sunni Arab, declared in his opening statement, in front of rows of empty chairs.

During the brief session, legislators passed a one-month extension of a state of emergency amid the nation's unrelenting violence.

"The elected leaders of Iraq are certain that terrorists and murderers will not succeed, no matter how arrogant and insolent they are," Mashadani said.

But the grand rhetoric rang hollow to many Iraqis, who in December proudly held up purple ink-stained fingers after risking their lives to vote. Some feel betrayed by their elected leaders and express little confidence in the government's ability to secure the country or improve basic services.

"During the Jihad massacre, they had closed sessions discussing their salaries and bargaining on how many cars they can get," said Ali Abdullah, a 31-year-old Sunni engineer in west Baghdad, referring to recent sectarian bloodshed in the capital. "People were being slaughtered and they were worrying about themselves."

At Tuesday's session, which had been postponed once because so many legislators had not returned from their summer holiday, 180 of 275 representatives were present.

Safiya Suhail, a secular Shiite lawmaker wearing a white pantsuit and white spiky boots, was one of the lawmakers who attended the session. Suhail, with the Iraqiya slate, described the turnout as "shameful."

Her colleague Haider Abadi of the Islamic Dawa Party said he was disappointed with his colleagues. "It shows a lack of responsibility, and we have to address it," said the Shiite lawmaker, who wore a pinstriped suit. He said he and others have discussed financial penalties for parliament members who are often absent.

Legislators have a three-day workweek and are paid $5,000 per month plus $7,000 in allowances for drivers, guards and other staff members. By comparison, the average monthly salary for a civil servant in Iraq is about $200.

After the December elections, Sumaya Ali, a 31-year-old Shiite accountant in Baghdad, was optimistic. But the lawlessness of the capital is eroding her faith.

"My hope is dying," she said. "The parliament members only think about their salaries while the situation is very critical in the country."

Iraq's most revered and influential religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, and his representatives have become increasingly critical of what they see as fat cats and corruption.

"Citizens expect, and they are right to do so, that parliament members and high-ranking officials share their agony and hardship," Sistani said in a recent statement.

But many lawmakers live in government-sponsored villas and apartments in the heavily guarded Green Zone, enjoying a world of security and privilege where the streets are clean and the electricity is constant.

On the other side of concrete barriers, checkpoints and concertina wire, sectarian warfare threatens to pull the country apart. Fear and violence keep many people at home, unable to work or attend school.

Millions of Iraqis live in poverty. Malnutrition afflicts a quarter of the country's children. Unemployment remains at a record high. Fuel shortages are chronic. Electricity is scarce.

Alyaa Ahmed, a 38-year-old Shiite mother of four, said she feared sending her children back to school. Killers regularly dump bodies in the streets of her west Baghdad neighborhood. She had little time for politicians, and had not seen the televised session Tuesday.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....but hey. the president says he's keeping rummy on.

that'll fix everything, right?
aka: neverscared!
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:07 pm    Post subject: TEH AL KAEDAS Reply with quote

I will be lazy and make my cheap, sleazy point with a political cartoon!

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