Friday, April 11, 2003

In case you were wondering, (or not, as the case may be), I am alive. Barely. Mr. Alisa is back, and he brought Grandpa with him - 83 years young. We are all very happy to have him with us, but it is quite a bit of extra work. He will be here for another 2 weeks, and we want to make his stay as pleasant as we can. So blogging will be taking a back seat for a while. I am just really tired - have been going to bed very late for a week or so. (This shopuld be evident from some of the comments I have left lately on SR. Lucky for me, there are people there who are at least as weird as I am). Hope to be back to some kind of sane routine after Passover. Let me know if they find Saddam. I'll settle for OBL, too.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Go look at this.
Imshin is celebrating, and this is your chance to see her dancing! (No permalink - scroll down).

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

So, how about that information minister? A funny guy, isn't he? One of the talking heads on MSNBC today was absolutely baffled by him, and was trying to get an explanation to this strange (to a Western observer) behavior. And he was not the only one. Obviously, spending time in the ME is not a prerequisite for becoming a talking head on American cable channel. Lucky people. On the other hand, some people from the ME who spent some time in the West, and are taking a fresh look at their culture, are offering some explanations. All this reminds me of this story my dear husband uses as an explanation for the uninitiated:

Juha, (who is the proverbial hero of the Arabic folklore), was taking an afternoon nap. It was a warm day, and so his window was opened to let the breeze in. Some neighborhood kids were playing under Juha's window, and were becoming noisier by the minute. After yelling at the kids a couple of times to no avail, our hero thought he might trick them. "Hey, kids, I just remembered: they are giving away oranges for free at the market today!" Some of the kids bought the story and started running towards the market, yelling to others the good news. People on the street stopped to ask what all the commotion was about, were told the good news, and ran to the market.

Meanwhile, our hero Juha still could not sleep, as the street got noisier and noisier. He looked out, and saw the street full with people all running in one direction, screaming at the top of their lungs, and others joining them along the way. "What's going on?" asked Juha a man who was just passing under his window. "They are giving away free oranges at the market!" was the answer. "Hey", said Juha to himself, "I better run, too, before there will be no oranges left for me...".

Update: I was just told that the BBC called the Minister of Information "The public face of Iraqi resistance".

Sunday, April 06, 2003

On "60 Minutes: Mike Wallace asked Richard Armitage if the Bush administartion would not stand in the way of Chirac if he offered French money and troops for the reconstruction effort in Iraq. Answer: "I think we would welcome his money".
BBC:

The US military says it has captured and killed a number of foreign fighters during clashes in Iraq, and that it destroyed a camp at Salman Pak believed to have been used by the Iraqi regime to train foreign volunteers in terrorist tactics.

US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says it will take more than six months for an Iraqi government to be created to run the country after the defeat of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Senior US military commander says the Iraqi army defending Baghdad is now struggling to assemble 1,000 soldiers for each battle.
Americans shot at Russian diplomats. (Russian) This is the headline. The report itself says that the pepetrators could have been American Special OPs, and that Americans denied the report, saying that the incident happened in an area under Iraqi control.

Note: the site has an English version, with content different from the Russian one.
French missiles were found at Saddam Baghdad Int. Airport. Walla quotes AP as saying that those were anti-tank missiles, and were supllied to Iraq within the last 5 years. This kind of missiles was banned under the UN sanctions on Iarq.

Update: Wind Rider sends this. Troops of the 101st fortified their position at the sprawling airport Sunday, digging trenches and bulldozing sand berms. Two weapons caches -- including one with 12 crates of shoulder-fired missiles -- were found just outside the airport grounds. Troops also found 35 French-made Roland surface-to-air missiles in the airport complex. Also, apparently Walla got it wrong: the missiles are not anti-tank.
This Iranian news site makes quite a big deal out of the Iranian FM current visit to Turkey. I find the visit and it's coverage interesting in itself. Most (not all) of the statements by the FM and his host are not as interesting, although this one is somewhat humorous: Kharrazi said adding that Iraqi people should determine their own destiny instead of resorting to middle ages methods, war and bloodshed.
Walla: a 55kg bomb was found in a car near McDonalds in Beirut, where just shortly before a small bomb went off, injuring 5.
The only democracy in the ME, also known as "our (former?) ally".
US spots missile launcher in W. Iraq. Says Middle East News. (Via Back In Iraq 2.0, via Warblogs:cc)
BBC: Leading cleric blames Saddam. The chief Islamic cleric in Egypt has criticised the Iraqi president for not going into exile and sparing his country the trauma of invasion
Russia says it's ambassador is leaving Iraq in view of "security situation in Baghdad", following the beginning of the capture of the city by the coalition forces. (IBA radio)
Reuters qouting al-Jazeera: The Arab television news channel al-Jazeera quoted an unnamed Iraqi official in Basra as saying the remains were those of Iraqi soldiers killed in the 1980-88 war with Iran and recently repatriated by Tehran.