Wednesday, April 14, 2004

There finally will be a count! 

Well, for a little while today it had appeared that the opposition hide finally agreed to go to the "repair" process to see if the 800,000 plus signatures done in the same handwriting were authentic, in which case people could show up and say they did indeed sign for the recall, or they are, as many suspect, fakes. But no sooner than I write this then the opposition takes everything back to the courts (again) in order to avoid the "repair" process.

The opposition still can't seem to come to grips with the fact that if it wants a recall referendum against president Chavez it needs to clearly show that it has the requited 2.4 million LEGITIMATE signatures and not hundreds of thousands of signatures that it forged after the fact.

If they really did get these signatures in a legitimate way then why are they so unwilling to demonstrate it by having people come foward and attest to the authenticity of their signatures? It makes it seem that they know something that they are not admitting to publically (like the signatures being forged).


Bring back the Ba'athists 

Ok, for months now the government and military establishment have been telling us that we are fighting diehard former Ba'athists in Iraq. I never believed there was much truth to that (after all, if that were the case the fighting should have died down after the killing of Saddam's sons and Saddams capture but it didn't). But now we have very clear evidence that even the U.S. is clear that they Ba'athists are not what is behind this insurgency.

In an article in yesterday's New York Times the U.S. stated that it was intending to bring back former officers from the Iraqi army and other Ba'athists. Appearently their technical skills and leadership abilities are sorely needed by the U.S. puppet regime in Iraq.


Monday, April 12, 2004

"Iraqis Increasingly Sympathize With Rebels" 

Here are some exerpts from a Wall Street Journal article written today by Farnaz Fassihi with the above headline:

Salman Daoud has done a godd business since the Americans arrived in Iraq, importing foods such as turkey and cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. But on Saturday, the 43-year-old owner of a Baghdad gourmet supermarket closed his shop in response to a call by a Sunni Cleric for a three-day general strike in solidarity with insurgents fighting U.S. troops in several cities.

Reflecting a growing sentiment among ordinary Iraqis, Mr. Daoud, a moderate Sunni Muslim who caters mostly to foreign clients, has found himself increasingly sympathizing with Sunni insurgents battling the U.S. in the north and the firebrand leading a Shiite Muslim rebellion in the south.

"The past few weeks have proved to me that Americans are occupiers and liars" says Mr. Daoud.... The are killing innocent Iraqis, women and children. I am 100% with the resistence group now, both Sunni and Shiites. They are giving their lives to free our country."

Signs that the new fighting is convincing some Iraqis to reasses their view of the insurgency are increasingly easy to find. Long lines have formed for blood drives and charity drop offs to aid the besieged city of Fallujah. Residents in many Baghdad neighborhoods signed up to host displaced families from Fallujah and banners and signs are posted at every corner declaring that the armed Sunni and Shiite forces are now unified. A cigarette seller in Baghdad said yesterday he has decided to collect a new tax from customers and contribute the money toward any militia that is fighting the Americans.

Despite U.S. officials claims that the uprisings have no grass-roots support, the publics adherence to a cleric's call for a general strike demonstrates just how much the relationship between the Americans and Iraqi's has deteriorated in the past few weeks. The streets of Baghdad were largely empty over the weekend, with the majority of businesses closed. Schools, universitites, and government buildings also shut down.

Not that most of this is surprising. It isn't. But one thing stuck out. Nowhere do I recall any mainstream TV media (CNN, FOX, CBS, NBC) mentioning this strike. It makes me wonder what else they are not reporting.


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