Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

John Kerry Meets With Syrian President: to help prevent militants from moving into Iraq.
Las Vegas Sun / AP ^ | January 08, 2005 at 9:08:58 PST | ALBERT AJI

Posted on 01/08/2005 9:19:18 AM PST by rface

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-150151-154 next last
To: BenLurkin; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
BTW Kerrry sold America out to an enemy once --

Wasn't it twice?

Sorry I can't stick around for the answer. I'll check back later.

101 posted on 01/08/2005 10:58:19 AM PST by BykrBayb (5 minutes of prayer for Terri, every day at 11 am EDT, until she's safe. http://www.terrisfight.org)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: BIGLOOK
Do not underestimate the degree to which the Senate is a self-contained club. The members protect one another from censure except in the most extraordinary circumstances. The "logic" is, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

Is a Motion of Censure of Kerry thoroughly in order for this stupid Syrian stunt? You bet your bippy. Is it going to happen? Not in a million years. Alas.

Congressman Billybob

Click for latest, "Lessons from Waves of Disaster"

102 posted on 01/08/2005 10:59:32 AM PST by Congressman Billybob (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 93 | View Replies]

To: daybreakcoming

My guess would be no. He's an idiot.


103 posted on 01/08/2005 11:02:04 AM PST by WVNan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 100 | View Replies]

To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

BTTT!!!!!!


104 posted on 01/08/2005 11:02:26 AM PST by E.G.C.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 86 | View Replies]

To: E.G.C.

Thanks!


105 posted on 01/08/2005 11:04:16 AM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Have you said Thank You to a service man or woman today?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 104 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob
I would liken Kerry's trip more to a foreign policy fantasy camp experience. Just like his combat veteran fantasy camp experience he had in Vietnam. ROTFL
106 posted on 01/08/2005 11:04:25 AM PST by Always Independent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 102 | View Replies]

To: 7.62 x 51mm

""You have made me much more important than I was, though. You made me a general," Kerry said."

I know what I would like to make him.....a JAILBIRD!!


107 posted on 01/08/2005 11:08:24 AM PST by international american ((Pray for the millions of lives disrupted by tsunami.))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob

At the very least, I'd like to see Kerry draw criticism from Senators and Congressmen.


108 posted on 01/08/2005 11:11:57 AM PST by demlosers
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 102 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom
A 13 year old budding suicide bomber wishes Kerry were president. Isn't that touching?

The 13-year-old Syrian Mustafa al-Nabulsi approaches the U.S. former presidential candidate Senator John Kerry (news - web sites), a democrat from Massachusetts, to give him a drawing in which al-Nabulsi portrayed Kerry in his military uniform when he was a soldier in Vietnam on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2004 in Damascus following his talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa on Iraq (news - web sites), the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the U.S.-Syria strained bilateral relations. Kerry, who arrived in Damascus on Friday, met earlier in the day with Syrian President Bashar Assad. (AP Photo/ Bassem Tellawi).

109 posted on 01/08/2005 11:13:44 AM PST by daisyscarlett
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: daybreakcoming
Keep in mind that this man is a ruthless opportunist. He proved beyond all doubt that money doesn't buy class.

Notice the prominent yellow band around his wrist carefully positioned for the camera. He is advertising that he is a man of the people. The man is pompous. A billionaire running around with a $1 rubber band to show he feels the pain of the sick and suffering.

Fortunately the DNC doesn't recycle its trash. Kerry is tainted with the mark of the "L" for looser.

What we are seeing here is the last involuntary twitches of a dying carcass. Remember the last gasps of Al Gore in 2000?
110 posted on 01/08/2005 11:15:44 AM PST by filly (Anti-americanism: an irrational hatred of America.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 100 | View Replies]

To: rface

Have I forgot some moments?

Is John Kerry the President?


111 posted on 01/08/2005 11:16:33 AM PST by an italian (We are proud B countries: Bush, Berlusconi and Blair!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob
"Stunt". My word for Kerry's actions in the last couple of days. Visiting the Jordanian king, visiting troops in Iraq and later condemning the President's policy (three weeks prior to Iraqi elections), attending the court of the King of Syria. "Stunts" all.

Kerry was conspicuously absent for the ratification of the electoral votes. Kerry paid no attention to our ally Israel.

I know the Senate is an elitist club. Kerry could be interviewed by State, the intelligence agencies and Defense. Granted those fall under the executive but I argue that "checks and balances" is a two way street. Politically dangerous but worth it if Kerry is marginalized.

Thanks for letting me bend your ear.

112 posted on 01/08/2005 11:35:19 AM PST by BIGLOOK (I once opposed keelhauling but have recently come to my senses.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 102 | View Replies]

To: rface

Anyone wanna bet he's secretly meeting with the Bathists in exile there?


113 posted on 01/08/2005 11:36:44 AM PST by No Longer Free State (question one way or the other.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rface
John Kerry meets with N. Vietnamese leader Le Doc Tou...oops, sorry, wrong decade and enemy. Darn flashbacks.

5.56mm

114 posted on 01/08/2005 11:38:46 AM PST by M Kehoe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rface

If Kerry is doing anything he is arranging for Tides Foundation money to be transferred to the terrorists.

Waxman has already done it.


115 posted on 01/08/2005 11:40:18 AM PST by TASMANIANRED (Black Dogs are my life.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rface

Lifelong traitor BTTT


116 posted on 01/08/2005 11:43:06 AM PST by spodefly (This message packaged with desiccant. Do not open until ready for use or inspection.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

The prick is consorting with the enemy again. *sigh*


117 posted on 01/08/2005 11:43:26 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 86 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
"my fear is that he will continue to behave like the President in exile"

When I read that, the hair on the back of my neck stood up.Never thought of it that way but appears to be quite correct.
I fear he will spend the next four years undermining this country at every turn.Either still futilely campaigning for an office he will never get, or like Algore become more and more unhinged by bitterness or revenge.

118 posted on 01/08/2005 11:44:43 AM PST by carlr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 78 | View Replies]

To: rface

Insurgents from Syria will no longer be a problem then, will they?

Looks like Kerry has become a field representative for the Jesse Jackson fixit empire.


119 posted on 01/08/2005 11:51:55 AM PST by F.J. Mitchell (We flushed the Johns and Kerry surfaces in the Middle east.. Very interesting.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KoRn
I wonder what's in those little cups foreign visitors always drink over there while meeting with leaders in front of the camera.

Isn't Turkish Coffee served in those small cups, it is bitter stuff complete with grounds....

120 posted on 01/08/2005 12:06:42 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 94 | View Replies]

To: rface

Well this SOB has been proven to be a traitor...I'm sure he's there NOT to ask Assad to stop terrorist going across border....geezzz...he's most likely trying to figure out how to totally destroy our military....sKerry hates America and all it stands for....he should be in a fed pen!!! for his acts against his "Band of Brothers."


121 posted on 01/08/2005 12:10:04 PM PST by shield (The Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God!!!! by Dr. H. Ross, Astrophysicist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rface

I was wondering what was the deal with all of John Kerry's recent visits to known terrorist rat-holes like the Palestinian territories and now Syria...and then it hit me:

Maybe he's just thanking all those 'unnamed foreign leaders' that supported his campaign.

Where to next John, North Korea?


122 posted on 01/08/2005 12:14:30 PM PST by MDspinboyredux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rface

So lurch has his own freelance foreign policy now? WTF?


Someone needs to go up there and tell this fool he WASN'T ELECTED. Is he genuinely subversive in this effort, or just Syria's patsy?


123 posted on 01/08/2005 12:17:49 PM PST by Petronski (I'm *not* always cranky.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rface
John Kerry met Saturday with Syria's president and said he was hopeful that strained U.S.-Syrian relations could be improved, provided Washington seized "a moment of opportunity" currently available in the Middle East.

Vintage Kerry. Why should it be incumbent upon the U.S. to "seize the moment"?

Seems to me that it should be incumbent upon Assad to "seize the moment" -- before we lay waste to his pissant country and throw him into a cell next to Saddam.

Why do I have the feeling we somehow lost ground in Syria, by virtue of Kerry's very presence there?

124 posted on 01/08/2005 12:27:34 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rface

I knew this POS would meet with the enemy sooner or later.

You can't teach an old traitor new tricks.


125 posted on 01/08/2005 12:29:07 PM PST by Beckwith (John, you said I was going to be the First Lady. As of now, you're on the couch.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KoRn
Turkish coffee originated in the Middle East in the Middle Ages. The coffee is very finely ground (finer than espresso), and is brewed in little pots called ibriks or cezves.

Served in A simple demitasse cup for a very simple cup of Turkish coffee.


126 posted on 01/08/2005 12:30:58 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 94 | View Replies]

To: rface
"I think we found a great deal of areas of mutual interest, some common concerns and some possibilities for initiatives that could be taken in the future to strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Syria," Kerry told reporters...."

Apparently he can't speak English correctly without a script, besides being a traitor.

127 posted on 01/08/2005 12:35:24 PM PST by Bahbah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bahbah

Oh, I forgot to say PUKE.


128 posted on 01/08/2005 12:37:43 PM PST by Bahbah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 127 | View Replies]

To: KoRn
Turkish Proverb
"Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and as sweet as love."

Traditional Turkish Coffee
by Sabahattin TURKOGLU
(source: )



Most people in the world have heard of Turkish coffee, but far fewer have ever tasted it. Europe acquired the coffee habit from the Turks, and adapted it to their own tastes over subsequent centuries, Then the Turks borrowed percolated and instant coffee, so that two very different coffee drinking concepts now exist side by side in Turkey. Traditional Turkish coffee is a culture apart, with its own methods of preparation and serving.

Although the Turks brought coffee drinking to a fine art, the beans were known earlier in Arabia, Egypt and India. The word coffee derives from the Turkish kahve, which in turn comes from the Arabic kahwa, thought to be based on Kaffa, the region in Ethiopia where the coffee plant was originally discovered. In those early day the beans were pounded to a paste and eaten with bread.

Two different stories attribute the introduction of coffee into Turkey either to two Syrians named Hukm and Sems in 1555, or to Ozdemir Pasa, Ottoman governor of Ethiopia during the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566).

The first coffee house in Istanbul, which was situated in the district known as Tahtakale behind the Spice Market, was soon attracting not only enthusiastic customers, but the unwelcome attention of theologians and clerics, who considered this strange new substance to be a harmful narcotic. To stem the tide of the new craze they forbade it on the grounds that consuming substances made black
by roasting was sinful. Ships carrying loads of coffee are said to have been sunk in Istanbul harbour.

Yet despite all these measures coffee drinking spread like wildfire, and by the reign of Murat III (1574-1595) there were over six hundred coffee houses in Istanbul alone.

Coffee houses were generally constructed in the form of pavilions commanding an attractive view, and most had verandas and sometimes an ornamental pool in the centre. Low platforms for customers to sit upon surrounded the interior walls. Water pipes or the long slender pipes known as cubuk were also provided. Fashionable Turkish coffee houses served as gentlemen's clubs, whose members discussed literature and listened to music and as such are regarded as the forerunners of the Paris cafs.

The wide variety of often beautifully decorated equipment used for roasting, grinding, preparing and serving Turkish coffee could fill a museum on their own. The coffee is boiled in long handled coffee pots known as cevze, which have their own distinctive shape, as do the tiny coffee cups. In the past Turkish coffee cups had no handles, and were put in beautiful filigree or jewelled holders. Even the
coffee trays are specially designed for the purpose, having an arched handle by which the tray is suspended. Porcelain coffee cups were produced at the iznik or Kutahya potteries, for the Turkish market. Sets of Turkish coffee cups were subsequently produced for local European markets and known as "a la turque" coffee sets. Carved wooden containers for cooling the roasted coffee beans and others for storing them were once part of the equipment in every household, as were the decorated wooden coffee grinders made in Istanbul.

Connoisseurs expected their coffee to be heated slowly over charcoal embers for 15 to 20 minutes, the copper coffee pot being frequently taken away from the fire to prevent overheating. One strict condition still observed is that a layer of froth should cover the cup. A heaping coffee spoon plus sugar to taste is allowed for each cup as a general rule today, although in the past most Turks drank their coffee without any sugar. Instead, it was customary to eat or drink something sweet either before or after the coffee, perhaps sweetened fruit juices known as sherbet, fruit conserves, Turkish delight or other confectionery. Another custom which has died out today is the addition of some fragrant substance such as jasmine, ambergris, cloves or coriander.

The entire process of coffee making was ceremonial, from the roasting to the protocol of serving guests. For centuries coffee epitomised hospitality and respect for visitors. Even today, when a boy's family visits the home of a girl to ask for her hand in marriage, the girl prepares and serves the coffee, as an indication to her prospective in-laws of her domestic skills. Reading the coffee grinds is a favourite pastime particularly amongst women. The empty cup is turned upside down in the saucer, and left for a while. Then the expert at fortune-telling in the group examines the patterns formed inside the cup and on the saucer. This custom still survives in all the countries of the former Ottoman Empire including Bulgaria, Greece, Egypt, Macedonia and Bosnia.

So long as it is drunk in moderation, Turkish coffee is not harmful to the health, but on the contrary, has a calming and restful effect. There is 50 mg of caffein per cup, and this is expelled immediately without accumulating in the body, so in this respect the Turkish coffee cup is ideally proportioned. In larger quantities Turkish coffee is a stimulant. It also aids in digestion, and this is a factor in
preventing excessive weight gain.

The flavour and aroma of well prepared Turkish coffee is an experience not to be missed in the land where coffee was never cultivated, but first became a specialised endeavour.

 

129 posted on 01/08/2005 12:37:44 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 126 | View Replies]

To: hflynn

I guess Kerry wanted a New Years in Syria to go with his Christmas in Cambodia. What a great American those dems have as their leader--he's out of the country the day the results of the election he was running in are made official!


130 posted on 01/08/2005 12:40:01 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (...drowning someone ...I certainly wouldn't have had a part of that... --Capt. Teddy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Darkwolf377
After Kerry left the Foreign Ministry on Saturday, 13-year-old Mustafa al-Nabulsi approached him with a drawing of the senator as a soldier in his Vietnam days.
"You have made me much more important than I was, though. You made me a general," Kerry said.
"I wish you were the president," al-Nabulsi said.
"Thank you very much. So do I," Kerry said.


Wonder who's job it was to arrange that.
131 posted on 01/08/2005 12:44:04 PM PST by visualops (It's easier to build a child than repair an adult.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Hehe Thanks for the info! Only on FR can one learn such things. :-)
132 posted on 01/08/2005 12:51:49 PM PST by KoRn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 129 | View Replies]

To: rface

Did I miss the headline where Bush made Kerry an Ambassador? He's doing just what he did in Nicaragua in the 1980's. Meanwhile, when will the poor people of Massachusettes have full time, sensient representation in the US Senate?

What a scumbag.


133 posted on 01/08/2005 1:23:01 PM PST by gogipper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rface

Terrorists and commies are to Kerry what 12 year old boys are to Michael Jackson. I guess Kerry's a thugophile, then.


134 posted on 01/08/2005 2:01:35 PM PST by roamincadillac (Alcohol, Tobacco, And Firearms. I don't see a problem here.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shield

I guess I shouldn't have had lunch. These developments are making me sick to my stomach.

President Bush needs to bring this to an immediate halt. Kerry doesn't give a damn about our Country and he needs to stay the hell out of foreign affairs.

I love President Bush, but if he doesn't bring this to an immediate halt, I would not hesitate to support a Recall of the president. Allowing Kerry to do any of this places us all in jeopardy, and in my view, no less jepardy than the terrorists already present. I sure don't want to offend any Freepers, but I am so hot over this I can't see straight!

Kerry should be in prison, not screwing around and undermining the President of this Nation. I am going to pray that the jerks prostrate cancer starts up again.

Rant over....for now.


135 posted on 01/08/2005 2:09:35 PM PST by Gator113
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 121 | View Replies]

To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Bump!


136 posted on 01/08/2005 2:34:31 PM PST by JLO
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 86 | View Replies]

To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

I think we found a great deal of areas of mutual interest, some common concerns

I'll just bet they did.


137 posted on 01/08/2005 2:50:25 PM PST by Valin (Sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes you're the windshield)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 86 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

But the Democrats completely ignore that rule, with the complicity of the MSM.

RULES? We don't need no stinking rules. Rules are only for the little people not for the elites in the democrat party.


138 posted on 01/08/2005 2:54:56 PM PST by Valin (Sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes you're the windshield)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: BookaT
"Presiden Bush. Please declare war on Syria now. "

He already has. The media doesn't mention it much though because they take a while to catch on to what the words a "terrorist state" actually means. Syria is in big trouble with us, and only their leaders, the liberal media, and John Kerry do not seem to realize it.

139 posted on 01/08/2005 3:01:59 PM PST by Radix (Post Tag Lines: the breakfast of FReepers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

If this story isn't a joke, the boy and his drawing was a setup.


140 posted on 01/08/2005 3:08:47 PM PST by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: loveliberty2
John Kerry Meets With Syrian President: to help prevent militants from moving into Iraq.

Sounds like John F-ing Kerry might have stolen a march on Jesse "knock 'em up" Jackson.

The Syrians are about the same level as Kerry and Jackson in believability and about as trustworthy.

141 posted on 01/08/2005 3:09:02 PM PST by VOYAGER
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: rface

<< John Kerry Meets With Syrian President .... >>

Arrest the Soviet-agent Alger Hiss-descended red-doper diapered sleeper bastard.

Try him for mindless, meaningless symbolism -- and for treason.

Take his many previous treasons and crimes of giving aid and comfort to our nation's enemies in time of war into account.

Sentence him accordingly.

Call for volunteers for the firing squad and limit its numbers to only the first thousand whose applications are received in, say, the first millisecond after applications are called.

Execute the sentence.


142 posted on 01/08/2005 3:34:09 PM PST by Brian Allen (Who is Bob Wallace?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rface

Why not send Jesse Jackson?


143 posted on 01/08/2005 3:50:10 PM PST by mowkeka
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

144 posted on 01/08/2005 4:04:19 PM PST by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY to 2008 Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 86 | View Replies]

To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

The 13-year-old Syrian Mustafa al-Nabulsi approaches the U.S. former presidential candidate Senator John Kerry, a democrat from Massachusetts, to give him a drawing in which al-Nabulsi portrayed Kerry in his military uniform when he was a soldier in Vietnam on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2004 in Damascus following his talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa on Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the U.S.-Syria strained bilateral relations. Kerry, who arrived in Damascus on Friday, met earlier in the day with Syrian President Bashar Assad. (AP Photo/ Bassem Tellawi).

Former U.S. presidential candidate Sen.John Kerry, D-Mass., changes his socks in the ancient Omayyad Mosque in old Damascus on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2004. Kerry toured old Damascus following his talks in the Syrian capital regarding Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the strained U.S.-Syria bilateral relations. (AP Photo/ Bassem Tellawi).

145 posted on 01/08/2005 4:35:56 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 86 | View Replies]

To: maggiefluffs

Yep, still looks stupid and ......"stupid is as stupid does!" Thank God above that this idiot wasn't elected president!


146 posted on 01/08/2005 4:37:21 PM PST by LUV W (Notice the DUM's don't talk about 3rd-term presidencies since November 2nd--hmmmm??!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 85 | View Replies]

To: daybreakcoming
Maybe he'll get abducted!!!!
147 posted on 01/08/2005 4:40:24 PM PST by LUV W (Notice the DUM's don't talk about 3rd-term presidencies since November 2nd--hmmmm??!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 100 | View Replies]

To: Gator113
I am going to pray that the jerks prostrate cancer starts up again.

OH MY....how funny. ;o) I'm with you...wonder if that scripture would work on somethin' like this...the one that says 'when two or more are gathered in my name....'

148 posted on 01/08/2005 5:19:13 PM PST by shield (The Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God!!!! by Dr. H. Ross, Astrophysicist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 135 | View Replies]

To: TexKat
Listen to the Iraqis

By Michael Rubin, January 8, 2005 Home Search Forum Terms

National Review Online*
January 7, 2005

Baghdad, Iraq — Half past ten in the morning on Monday, January 3, an Iraqi National Guard unit, escorted by a dozen uniformed U.S. military, pulled up to Abdul Karim Muhammadawi's headquarters in the Hay al-Jamiah section of Baghdad. Muhammadawi, known to the Iraqis as Abu Hatem, is renowned among Iraqi Shia as "the Robin Hood of the marshes." Hailing from al-Amarah, during Saddam's rule, he led a persistent Shia resistance which harried local Baathist commanders and protected political opposition. A member of the now-defunct governing council, he has since joined the Iraqi National Alliance (al-Ittilaf al-Watani al-Iraqi), the so-called united Shia list endorsed by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

As the heavily armed Iraqi national guardsmen rushed toward Muhammadawi's house, his guard stopped the national-guard captain commanding the small unit. "Don't you know Abu Hatem?" he asked. "Of course I know him," the captain responded, "He gave me a hell of a time when I was an officer in the 4th Corps." The 4th Corps was the Iraqi unit sent by Saddam to liquidate the Shia resistance in the southern marshlands. The Iraqi national guardsmen, who had no warrant, proceeded to ransack and vandalize Abu Hatem's house before leaving. The violence wrought by former Baathists in American-provided uniforms was gratuitous. Not all Iraqi national guardsmen are corrupt. Many fought in Fallujah and are committed to eradicating the Baathists and terrorists who target them and their families. But some former regime elements spoil the reputation of the entire corps. The presence of Americans in the Muhammadawi raid served only to drive a further wedge between Washington and the people who at first welcomed their American liberators before occupation policy went awry.

Both Americans and Iraqis agree that lack of security is now Iraq's major problem, but they disagree about how to resolve the situation. Many Iraqis complain about incomplete de-Baathification. In April 2004, in an effort to appease the nascent insurgency, the Coalition Provisional Authority reversed de-Baathification. In Fallujah, they empowered a special brigade largely composed of former Baathists; monthly car bombings throughout the country increased almost 800 percent upon the lifting of the siege and the creation of the Fallujah Brigades.

Upon the advice of United Nations Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, Coalition Provisional Authority administrator L. Paul Bremer appointed Falah Hasan Naqib as interior minister in the interim Iraqi government. Falah was the son of the chief of staff of the Iraqi army under Saddam and, according to several different Iraqis, a major Central Intelligence Agency asset. Less than a month before elections, Naqib refuses to issue weapons permits to Shia politicians and their guards. Traveling without weapons is a dangerous prospect, especially for those targeted for assassination.

Iraq's Shia feel slighted in other ways. While Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, himself a former Baathist, trumpets his intelligence service as the key to security in the new Iraq, the sad fact is that only three percent of the new service is Shia. By comparison, during Saddam's rule, Shia composed five percent of the intelligence ministry. General Muhammad Abdullah al-Shahwani, an ex-Baathist himself and a former CIA asset, has instructed that he personally must approve the hiring of any Shia. Not only does such a policy antagonize the chief victims of Saddam's tyranny, but it also makes for bad intelligence.

Political snubs also continue. John Negroponte, the United States ambassador to Iraq, has refused to meet with Ahmad Chalabi. Chalabi may not have survived the interagency battles in Washington, but he has excelled in the Iraqi political arena and has emerged as a leading figure on Sistani's list of Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish candidates. Professional American diplomats and intelligence analysts may approve the snub, but Iraqis say it strikes them as petulant and unprofessional.

Senior American diplomats and National Security Council staff may describe Allawi as Iraq's Hamid Karzai, but he has proven himself anything but. Allawi promised security, but delivered corruption. He ingratiated himself to Bremer, former CIA chief George Tenet, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice by telling them what they wanted to hear rather than telling them what they needed to hear.

Every day, Iraqis feel the insecurity: While restaurants are open and commerce continues, Iraqis are tense. Iraqi police stop cars; sometimes to check for insurgents and other times to assist them. Craters pock major Baghdad roads, the result of car bombings and improvised explosive devices. American convoys threaten to shoot at any vehicle which comes within 100 yards, snarling traffic as they drive through Baghdad at 30 miles per hour.

Working in Dushanbe at the close of the Tajikistan civil war, I learned to ignore gunfire, but take precautions when I heard return fire. In the once posh Mansur district of Baghdad, not only can residents hear nightly gun battles, but mortar fire and occasional explosions as well. An Iraqi who recently escaped Mosul described seeing a boy no more than 15-years-old waving a severed head in the main street as a warning that the Baathists were back.

Private security contractors contribute to the atmosphere of lawlessness. They have become infamous for threatening on and firing upon locals on the road. One private security contractor recently shot three rounds at a middle-aged Shia professional whom I had met a year ago at the Khadimiya shrine, one of Shia Islam's holiest. He is now a director-general in one of Iraq's ministries. He does not know why they fired, but considers himself lucky that the rounds which shattered his windshield missed him. The security contractors did not stop nor does he have anyone to which to complain.

Anonymous American and British diplomats increasingly suggest that elections cannot be held in the deteriorating security situation, but it is the worsening atmosphere that is driving the Iraqi desire to vote. Iraqis look forward to the January 30 poll, the first free elections Iraq has seen in 50 years. Not only those in the Shia south, but also many Baghdadis talk about voting 169, the position of the Iraqi National Alliance on the ballot. Many others say they plan to vote for President Ghazi al-Yawar's list. Most Kurds will support Masud Barzani and Jalal Talabani's Kurdish list. Few if any Iraqis say they will support Allawi. He has failed them. Re-Baathification may win King Abdullah of Jordan's approval and Syrian President Bashar al-Asad's consent, but the policy will not improve Iraq's security. Insurgents and terrorists may kill Iraqis lining up to vote. They may assassinate winning candidates. But only through voting, can Iraqis choose their own government, one that will have the moral authority to undertake remedies forbidden by professional diplomats and intelligence operatives who have had trouble letting go of the old order. It is time to listen to the Iraqis.

149 posted on 01/08/2005 5:27:14 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 145 | View Replies]

To: coconutt2000
Everything Kerry does is a setup. In Iraq, he met with 20 soldiers from his homestate. That they were Dems goes without saying.

My favorite setup photo remains the blue bunny suit.

My favorite story: "The Resucitation of the Hamster who was never quite right after".

150 posted on 01/08/2005 7:49:09 PM PST by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 140 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-150151-154 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson