"What's up, Chief."
"A jugboat, captain. We'll gonna take a routine check."
"Let's forget it now... Let it go."
"These boats are running supplies on the delta, captain.
I'm gonna take a look."
"Chief, my mission got priority here. Hell, you wouldn't
be on this part of the river if it wasn't for me."
"Until we reach your destination you're just
along for the ride."
"Throw the rope asshole."
"Let's bring it over ...
Look at that bow, bring the people over here."
"Come on, hurry up motherfucker, move it !
"Keep your eyes open Clean."
"I got you Chief."
"OK, they're OK."
"Board it and search it."
"Baskets and ducks... fucking bananas... ain't
nothin on it."
"What's wrong with you ? Board it and search it."
"There's the goat... some fish..."
"Chef, get on that boat !"
"There's nothing on it."
"Get on it !"
"All right ! Move it asshole.. mangoes..."
"Check on the rice bags."
"Fish, coconuts... rice... here's rice."
"What's in that vegetable basket ? Chef, check
that vegetable basket."
"All right... ain't nothing in here."
"What's in the boxes ? Look in that tin can,
that rusty can..."
"Just fucking rice, that's all."
"Check the yellow can, she was sitting on it."
Suddenly the Vietnamese girl makes a move towards the basket.
The boat crew starts firing wildly :
"Let's kill 'em all !"
"Hold it ! Hold it !"
"Let's kill them all... why not ?"
"You OK Lance ?"
"Look what she was hiding. See what she was running for.
A fucking puppy."
"Give me that dog !"
"Fucking mango too, you want that ?"
"Chef, she's moving behind you. She's alive.
Check her out, she's moving behind you.
Check her out."
"Goddamn... Clean give me a hand."
"Take it easy. Slow down and take it easy. Is
she breathing Chef ?"
"She's hurt, she's bleeding."
"Bring her onboard."
"What are you talking about ?"
"We're taking here to some frendlies, captain.
She's wounded, she's not dead."
"Get off there Chef."
Willard shoots the wounded girl :
"I told you not to stop. Now let's go."
" It was the way we had over here of living with ourselves.
We'd cut them in half with a machine gun and give them a
bandaid. It was a lie, and the more I saw of them, the more
I hated lies."
You will be driven from Afghanistan just as we were, Russian generals warn
By Helen Womack in Moscow The Telegraph (UK) September 24, 2006
British troops will be forced to flee Afghanistan, say former Soviet commanders who oversaw Moscow's disastrous campaign against the mujahedeen in the 1980s.
In a withering assessment of the "hopeless" campaign being waged there, they have told The Sunday Telegraph that mounting casualties will drive out Britain and its Nato allies. Chillingly, Gen Ruslan Aushev, who was injured during fighting with mujahedeen rebels, predicted: "You will flee from there."
He added: "Many have fought in Afghanistan; first and foremost, the British fought there in the 19th century. The astonishing thing today is that Nato and the coalition seem to have learnt nothing, neither from their own experience nor from our experience."
The bleak analysis comes only days after Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, admitted that "the Taliban's tenacity has been a surprise", an acknowledgement of recent disclosures in this newspaper that troops are on the point of "exhaustion" because of the lack of numbers and equipment.
It will add to mounting concern over the deployment of 3,600 - British troops to Afghanistan' s troubled southern provinces this summer, which has led to the deaths of 15 servicemen at the hands of a rejuvenated Taliban.
Yesterday, Gen Sir Richard Dannatt, the chief of the General Staff, was forced to deny claims by a senior officer that the RAF's performance in Afghanistan had been "utterly, utterly useless".
Responding to emails written by Major James Loden of 3 Para, he said: "This is difficult and dangerous work but we are doing it successfully because we are doing it as a team."
Numbers of wounded are far higher than has been made public, according to a major in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers last week, a concern first revealed in The Sunday Telegraph. Gen Dannatt denied there was any deliberate cover-up.
It is a far cry from John Reid's declaration on a visit to Afghanistan as defence secretary in April that he would "be perfectly happy to leave in three years and without firing one shot".
Veterans of the former Soviet forces know all too well the risks and dangers facing British troops and their Nato counterparts.
Having invaded to support Kabul's pro-communist government in 1979, they soon found themselves fighting American-backed tribal mujahedeen at a cost of 15,000 Russian lives, despite brutal efforts to suppress the uprising.
The Soviet Union pulled out its 100,000-strong force a decade later, a demoralising defeat that was a factor in the eventual collapse of the communist regime.
Gen Boris Gromov, overall commander of Soviet forces in Afghanistan who supervised their withdrawal in 1989, said in written correspondence with The Sunday Telegraph that Britain, America and their Nato allies appeared to be suffering the same backlash.
Whatever their disagreements with Taliban militants or warlords in their midst, said Gen Gromov, Afghans tended to unite against outsiders when they deemed them no longer welcome. He said there had been a "large number of victims" on both sides, a possible reference to American airstrikes against suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in which civilians are also reported to have died.
"The Afghan resistance is, in my opinion, growing," he wrote. "Such behaviour on the part of the intractable Afghans is to my mind understandable. It is conditioned by centuries of tradition… geography, climate and religion.
"We saw over a period of many years how the country was torn apart by civil war… But in the face of outside aggression, Afghans have always put aside their differences and united. Evidently, the coalition forces have also been seen as a threat to the nation."
The former Soviet commanders point out that they had enjoyed the advantages of a functioning and politically sympathetic domestic government in Kabul, and a 100,000 strong Afghan army on their side. Its equivalent today is a quarter of the size and still being trained by coalition forces.
"It was a 100,000 strong army with aviation, armoured vehicles and artillery," said Gen Aushev. "Their officers were trained in Moscow and they were more or less battle-ready. Now I just don't see the Afghan army."
Opium was a local crop, instead of the export industry that it has become. "Now opium is a major business and no one is going to get rid of that," added Col Oleg Kulakov, who served as a military translator during the Afghan war and is now Professor of Geopolitics at the Moscow Defence University. "Each warlord has his own stake in it; sometime his power is completely based on drugs."
He added: "The only thing in the West's favour is that you have allies, while we were isolated."
Gen Aushev believed that the Americans, who have 18,000 troops in Afghanistan, were attempting to pave the way for a quiet exit by asking for more soldiers from allies such as Britain and Poland.
"The Americans can't have another Vietnam, so they are saving face. They will say, 'We did not withdraw; it was the Australians, the British who withdrew'."
How many freelance militias are there in Baghdad?
The answer is "23" according to a "senior [U.S.] military official" in Baghdad -- so write Richard A. Oppel, Jr. and Hosham Hussein in the New York Times; but, according to National Public Radio, the answer is "at least 23." Antonio Castaneda of the Associated Press says that there are 23 "known" militias. However you figure it, that's a staggering number of militias, mainly Shiite but some Sunni, for one large city.
How many civilians are dying in the Iraqi capital, due to those militias, numerous (often government-linked death squads), the Sunni insurgency, and al-Qaeda-in-Mesopotamia-style terrorism?
5,106 people in July and August, according to a recently released United Nations report. The previous, still staggering but significantly lower figure of 3,391 offered for those months relied on body counts only from the city morgue. The UN report also includes deaths at the city's overtaxed hospitals. With the Bush administration bringing thousands of extra U.S. and Iraqi soldiers into the capital in August, death tolls went down somewhat for a few weeks, but began rising again towards month's end. August figures on civilian wounded -- 4,309 -- rose 14% over July's figures and, by late September, suicide bombings were at their highest level since the invasion.
How many Iraqis are being tortured in Baghdad at present?
Precise numbers are obviously in short supply on this one, but large numbers of bodies are found in and around the capital every single day, a result of the roiling civil war already underway there. These bodies, as Oppel of the Times describes them, commonly display a variety of signs of torture including: "gouged-out eyeballs… wounds… in the head and genitals, broken bones of legs and hands, electric and cigarette burns… acid-induced injuries and burns caused by chemical substances, missing skin… missing teeth and wounds caused by power drills or nails." The UN's chief anti-torture expert, Manfred Nowak, believes that torture in Iraq is now not only "totally out of hand," but "worse" than under Saddam Hussein.
How many Iraqi civilians are being killed countrywide?
The UN Report offers figures on this: 1,493 dead, over and above the dead of Baghdad. However, these figures are surely undercounts. Oppel points out, for instance, that officials in al-Anbar Province, the heartland of the Sunni insurgency "and one of the deadliest regions in Iraq, reported no deaths in July." Meanwhile, in Diyala Province, northeast of Baghdad, deaths not only seem to be on the rise, but higher than previously estimated. The intrepid British journalist Patrick Cockburn recently visited the province. It's not a place, he comments parenthetically, "to make a mistake in map reading." (Enter the wrong area or neighborhood and you're dead.) Diyala, he reports, is now largely under the control of Sunni insurgents who are "close to establishing a ‘Taliban republic' in the region." On casualties, he writes: "Going by the accounts of police and government officials in the province, the death toll outside Baghdad may be far higher than previously reported." The head of Diyala's Provincial Council (who has so far escaped two assassination attempts) told Cockburn that he believed "on average, 100 people are being killed in Diyala every week." ("Many of those who die disappear forever, thrown into the Diyala River or buried in date palm groves and fruit orchards.") Even at the death counts in the UN report, we're talking about close to 40,000 Iraqi deaths a year. We have no way of knowing how much higher the real figure is.
How many American and Iraqi troops and police are now trying to regain control of the capital and suppress the raging violence there?
15,000 U.S. troops, 9,000 Iraqi army soldiers, 12,000 Iraqi national police and 22,000 local police, according to the commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, Maj. Gen. James Thurman -- and yet the mayhem in that city has barely been checked at all.
How many Iraqi soldiers are missing from the American campaign in Baghdad?
Six Iraqi battalions or 3,000 troops, again according to General Thurman, who requested them from the Iraqi government. These turn out to be Shiite troops from other provinces who have refused orders to be transferred from their home areas to Baghdad. In the capital itself, American troops are reported to be deeply dissatisfied with their Iraqi allies. ("Some U.S. soldiers say the Iraqis serving alongside them are among the worst they've ever seen -- seeming more loyal to militias than the government.")
How many Sunni Arabs support the insurgency?
75% of them, according to a Pentagon survey. In 2003, when the Pentagon first began surveying Iraqi public opinion, 14% of Sunnis supported the insurgency (then just beginning) against American occupation.
How many Iraqis want the United States to withdraw its forces from their country?
Except in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq, strong majorities of Iraqis across the country, Shiite and Sunni, want an immediate U.S. withdrawal, according to a U.S. State Department survey "based on 1,870 face-to-face interviews conducted from late June to early July." In Baghdad, nearly 75% of residents polled claimed that they would "feel safer" after a U.S. withdrawal, and 65% favored an immediate withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign forces. A recent Program on International Policy Attitudes or PIPA poll found 71% of all Iraqis favor the withdrawal of all foreign troops on a year's timetable. (Polling for Americans is a dangerous business in Iraq. As one anonymous pollster put it to the Washington Post, "If someone out there believes the client is the U.S. government, the persons doing the polling could get killed.")
How many Iraqis think the Bush administration will withdraw at some point?
According to the PIPA poll, 77% of Iraqis are convinced that the United States is intent on keeping permanent bases in their country. As if confirming such fears, this week Jalal Talabani, the Kurdish president of the U.S.-backed Iraqi government ensconced in the capital's well-fortified Green Zone, called for Iraqis to keep two such permanent bases, possibly in the Kurdish areas of the country. He was roundly criticized by other politicians for this.
How many terrorists are being killed in Iraq (and elsewhere) in the President's Global War on Terror?
Less than are being generated by the war in Iraq, according to the just leaked National Intelligence Estimate. As Karen De Young of the Washington Post has written: "The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded." It's worth remembering, as retired Lt. Gen. William Odom, former director of the National Security Agency, told a group of House Democrats this week, that Al Qaeda recruiting efforts actually declined in 2002, only spiking after the invasion of Iraq. Carl Conetta of the Project for Defense Alternatives sums the situation up this way: "The rate of terrorism fatalities for the 59 month period following 11 September 2001 is 250% that of the 44.5 month period preceding and including the 9/11 attacks."
How many Islamic extremist websites have sprung up on the Internet to aid such acts of terror?
5,000, according to the same NIE.
How many Iraqis are estimated to have fled their homes this year, due to the low-level civil war and the ethnic cleansing of neighborhoods?
300,000, according to journalist Patrick Cockburn.
How much of Bush's Iraq can now be covered by Western journalists?
Approximately 2%, according to New York Times journalist Dexter Filkins, now back from Baghdad on a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. Filkins claims that "98 percent of Iraq, and even most of Baghdad, has now become ‘off-limits' for Western journalists." There are, he says, many situations in Iraq "even too dangerous for Iraqi reporters to report on." (Such journalists, working for Western news outlets, "live in constant fear of their association with the newspaper being exposed, which could cost them their lives. ‘Most of the Iraqis who work for us don't even tell their families that they work for us,' said Filkins.")
How many journalists and "media support workers" have died in Iraq this year?
20 journalists and 6 media support workers. The first to die in 2006 was Mahmoud Za'al, a thirty-five year old correspondent for Baghdad TV, covering an assault by Sunni insurgents on two U.S.-held buildings in Ramadi, capital of al-Anbar Province on January 25. He was reportedly first wounded in both legs and then, according to eyewitnesses, killed in a U.S. air strike. (The U.S. denied launching an air strike in Ramadi that day.) The most recent death was Ahmed Riyadh al-Karbouli, also of Baghdad TV, also in Ramadi, who was assassinated by insurgents on September 18. The latest death of a "media support worker" occurred on August 27: "A guard employed by the state-run daily newspaper Al-Sabah was killed when an explosive-packed car detonated in the building's garage." In all 80, journalists and 28 media support workers have died since the invasion of 2003. Compare these figures to journalistic deaths in other American wars: World War II (68), Korea (17), Vietnam (71).
How many U.S. troops are in Iraq today?
Approximately 147,000, according to General John Abizaid, head of U.S. Central Command, significantly more than were in-country just after Baghdad was taken in April 2003 when the occupation began. Abizaid does not expect these figures to fall before "next spring" (which is the equivalent of "forever" in Bush administration parlance). He does not rule out sending in even more troops. "If it's necessary to do that because the military situation on the ground requires that, we'll do it." Finding those troops is another matter entirely.
How is the Pentagon keeping troop strength up in Iraq?
4,000 troops from the 1st Brigade of the 1st Armored Division, operating near Ramadi and nearing the end of their year-long tours of duty, have just been informed that they will be held in Iraq at least 6 more weeks. This is not an isolated incident, according to Robert Burns of the Associated Press. Units are also being sent to Iraq ahead of schedule. Army policy has been to give soldiers two years at home between combat tours. This year alone, the time between tours has shrunk from 18 to 14 months. "In the case of the 3rd Infantry," writes Burns, "it appears at least one brigade will get only about 12 months because it is heading for Iraq to replace the extended brigade of the 1st Armored." And this may increasingly prove the norm. According to Senior Rand Corporation analyst Lynn Davis, main author of "Stretched Thin," a report on Army deployments, "soldiers in today's armored, mechanized and Stryker brigades, which are most in demand, can expect to be away from home for ‘a little over 45 percent of their career.'"
The Army has also maintained its strength in through a heavy reliance on the Army Reserves and the National Guard as well as on involuntary deployments of the Individual Ready Reserve. Thom Shanker and Michael R. Gordon of the New York Times recently reported that the Pentagon was once again considering activating substantial numbers of Reserves and the National Guard for duty in Iraq. This, despite, as reporter Jim Lobe has written, "previous Bush administration pledges to limit overseas deployments for the Guard." (Such an unpopular decision will surely not be announced before the mid-term elections.)
As of now, write Shanker and Gordon, "so many [U.S. troops] are deployed or only recently returned from combat duty that only two or three combat brigades -- perhaps 7,000 to 10,000 troops -- are fully ready to respond in case of unexpected crises, according to a senior Army general."
How many active duty Army troops have been deployed in Iraq?
Approximately 400,000 troops out of an active-duty force of 504,000 have already served one tour of duty in Iraq, according to Peter Spiegel of the Los Angeles Times. More than one-third of them have already been deployed twice.
How is Iraq affecting the Army's equipment?
By the spring of 2005, the Army had already "rotated 40% of its equipment through Iraq and Afghanistan." Marine Corps mid-2005 estimates were that 40% percent of its ground equipment and 20% of its air assets were being used to support current operations," according to analyst Carl Conetta in "Fighting on Borrowed Time." In the harsh climate of Iraq, the wear and tear on equipment has been enormous. Conetta estimates that whenever the Iraq and Afghan wars end, the post-war repair bill for Army and Marine equipment will be in the range of $25-40 billion.
How many extra dollars does a desperately overstretched Army claim to need in the coming Defense budget, mainly because of wear and tear in Iraq?
$25 billion above budget limits set by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld this year; over $40 billion above last year's budget. The amount the Army claims it now needs simply to tread water represents a 41% increase over its current share of the Pentagon budget. As a "protest," Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker chose not even to submit a required budget to Rumsfeld in August. The general, according to the LA Times' Spiegel, "has told congressional appropriators that he will need $17.1 billion next year for repairs, nearly double this year's appropriation -- and more than quadruple the cost two years ago." This is vivid evidence of the literal wear-and-tear the ongoing war (and civil war) in Iraq is causing.
How is Iraqi reconstruction going?
Over three years after the invasion, the national electricity grid can only deliver electricity to the capital, on average, one out of every four hours (and that's evidently on a good day). At the beginning of September, Iraq's oil minister spoke hopefully of raising the country's oil output to 3 million barrels a day by year's end. That optimistic goal would just bring oil production back to where it was more or less at the moment the Bush administration, planning to pay for the occupation of Iraq with that country's "sea" of oil, invaded. According to a Pentagon study, "Measuring security and stability in Iraq," released in August, inflation in that country now stands at 52.5%. (Damien Cave of the New York Times suggests that it's closer to 70%, with fuel and electricity up 270% from the previous year); the same Pentagon study estimates that "about 25.9% of Iraqi children examined were stunted in their physical growth" due to chronic malnutrition which is on the rise across Iraq.
How many speeches has George W. Bush made in the last month extolling his War on Terror and its Iraqi "central front"?
6 so far, not including press conferences, comments made while greeting foreign leaders, and the like: to the American Legion National Convention on August 31, in a radio address to the American people on September 2, in a speech on his Global War on Terror to the Military Officers Association on September 5, in a speech on "progress" in the Global War on Terror before the Georgia Public Policy Foundation on September 7, in a TV address to the nation memorializing September 11, and in a speech to the UN on September 19.
Peut-être a-t-on oublié que Bill Wong, le père de Jan, restaurateur de son métier, est présentement en prison pour avoir....arnaqué des personnes qui voulaient s'établir au Canada, en toute complicité avec Yves Bourbonnais, le juge disgracié d'Immigration Canada.
Qui n'est pas gentil avec les immigrants?
Immigration board judge gets six years for accepting bribes
Brenda Branswell, CanWest News Service; Montreal Gazette
Published: Thursday, June 29, 2006 Article
MONTREAL - For his leading role in a bribery scheme that targeted cases he was slated to hear, former Immigration and Refugee Board judge Yves Bourbonnais was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison.
''You have dishonoured yourself acting that way,'' said Quebec Superior Court Justice James L. Brunton.
Bourbonnais, a lawyer, had also dishonoured his profession, his position as IRB commissioner and ''the immigration system in this country,'' Brunton said.
Arrested in 2004 after a 31/2-year RCMP investigation, the 64-year-old faced nearly 100 charges including defrauding the government and breach of trust.
Wednesday, his steady voice became softer as he uttered ''guilty'' over and over again 30 times in all. He pleaded guilty to 15 counts of obstruction of justice and 15 counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice in the influence-peddling scandal.
The charges involved 15 people who were in a ''desperate situation'' Crown prosecutor Lucio Garcia said. They were either facing deportation for criminal activity or had been turned down over their attempt to sponsor a relative to come to Canada.
Garcia told the court how the kickback scheme operated: Bourbonnais, who was appointed to the IRB in 1996, passed on information to two accomplices Bill Wong and his tailor Franco Macaluso about upcoming cases coming before him.
They, in turn, contacted other accomplices who approached the people to offer them a favourable decision at their appeal in exchange for money.
Garcia called Bourbonnais ''the most important player.''
''The only person who could change those decisions E was Mr. Yves Bourbonnais.''
Six of the 15 people approached forked over $33,600 in total. It wasn't possible to calculate how much Bourbonnais received although he assuredly got a cut each time someone paid money, Garcia said.
In some cases they asked for $10,000 or $15,000, Garcia told reporters afterwards. Some people paid $6,000 and even $2,000. ''But that was the range asked of these people.''
Two or three people faced deportation because of serious crimes or a criminal record, Garcia said outside court. In those instances, others had already deemed they posed a danger to Canadian society, he said. And in certain cases Bourbonnais intervened to stay the deportation orders and they were able to remain in Canada, Garcia added. (Two men with criminal records who received a reprieve on their deportation orders insisted they never forked over money.)
He said he didn't know whether the people in these cases are still in Canada.
The facts presented in court showed one man, who had received a 66-month sentence for drug trafficking in 1999, was approached by Nirmal Singh after appealing a deportation order. The man, whose lawyer had contacted the RCMP, gave Singh $12,000 supplied by the Mounties.
In March 2001 Bourbonnais ordered a stay of his deportation for a five-year period.
''In light of (Wednesday's) developments the IRB will review the information that is now available to determine what actions, if any, are required,'' said Serge Arsenault, an IRB spokesman in Montreal.
While serious, the court proceedings involve one individual and should not overshadow the excellent work of their dedicated staff, he said.
Garcia called Bourbonnais' crime very serious because ''it's an immigration system that is called into question a national and international reputation.''
People have a right to expect the system to work properly and for the judges, who rule on important questions, to conduct themselves in sterling fashion, Garcia said.
This wasn't Bourbonnais' first run-in with the law. In 1988 he was convicted of breach of trust for selling government office furniture from a prosecutor's office and two courthouses. He received a pardon before his IRB appointment.
The Crown and defence lawyer had asked Wednesday for a six-year sentence. ''It's hard to explain the inexplicable,'' defence lawyer Marco Labrie conceded to Brunton.
Although he said Bourbonnais preferred to stay silent, Labrie told reporters his client feels regret and remorse. Labrie said the strength of the evidence and the effect of court proceedings on his client's health prompted the guilty plea. Bourbonnais takes many medications and suffers from heart problems and diabetes, he said.
''I wasn't sure that the trial could have ended with my client still standing,'' Labrie said.
Eleven people were charged in the case although three people were involved in a different scheme, Garcia said. One case is still pending, he said.
Singh received a 36-month sentence in Sept. 2004 while Wong received a three-year prison term last year. Macaluso was sent to jail for 22 months in April for his role.
© CanWest News Service 2006
Un autre lien.
When I discuss the possibility of an American military strike on Iran with my European friends, they invariably point out that an armed confrontation does not make sense -- that it would be unlikely to yield any of the results that American policymakers do want, and that it would be highly likely to yield results that they do not. I tell them they cannot understand U.S. policy if they insist on passing options through that filter. The "making sense" filter was not applied over the past four years for Iraq, and it is unlikely to be applied in evaluating whether to attack Iran.
Colonel Sam Gardner
The End of the "Summer of Diplomacy": Assessing U.S. Military Options in Iraq
2007 Dodge Ram SRT10: Overpriced, Overpowered and Proud of It
this truck doesn’t care about mileage, or about refinement, or about not scaring children. This truck could be more politically incorrect only if it ran on whale oil and panda tears. And that’s why I like it, sort of. The SRT10 is not a truck of half-measures — it’s gleefully over-the-top in just about every way. Its 510-horsepower engine, borrowed from the Dodge Viper, is a callous brute, rocking the truck on its suspension even at idle.
At full throttle, the four-speed automatic shifts so hard that you expect to see it in the rearview mirror, scattered about the pavement. Twin tailpipes emit a guttural roar pretty much constantly, but you can drown them out with the 508-watt Infinity stereo. There’s a deep air dam in the front, a hood scoop that wears a “Viper Powered” badge and a spoiler perched atop the tailgate. The tailgate spoiler gets my vote as the new reference to complete the phrase “As American as ...”
We are a people who create downforce-producing aerodynamic devices for pickup trucks, because our pickup trucks go so fast that they’d otherwise fly right into the air like the magic car in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” You listening, Al Qaeda? You may as well just give up right now.
From a practical standpoint, this thing is a tough proposition. On one hand, it has four practical doors, and it can tow up to 8,150 pounds. Wonderfully unburdened by a speed limiter, the two-door version does 150 miles an hour, and this one probably also approaches that distinctly untrucklike velocity. So it’s potentially useful if you like to tow boats down the autobahn.
On the other hand, the sticker on my test truck totaled $57,460, which included a $1,595 navigation system and a $1,200 rear-seat DVD entertainment system, among other niceties. For that stack of cash, you could have a Hemi-powered regular-cab Ram 1500 and a Mercedes-Benz C230 sedan.
Or — I just looked this up — you could buy 20 acres of ranch land in Montalba, Tex. But I have a feeling that if you’re really interested in buying a $57,000 pickup truck, you might already own Montalba, Tex.
The SRT10’s ride-handling balance is tilted in favor of comfort, probably in deference to the fact that an object this immense is never going to give a Lotus a run for its money in the twisties, no matter how stiff the suspension, and like a classic muscle car it gets confused by corners.
I’ll wager that if the truck had merely gargantuan wheels (say, 20-inchers), it would keep its tires in better contact with the pavement. As it is, the springs and dampers struggle to control the weight of the huge 22-inch wheels at each corner. Trying to make a suspension work properly with 22-inch wheels is like fashioning a yo-yo out of a bowling ball and some string. They do look nice, though.
Now, I know that thrifty fuel economy isn’t a priority here. I also know that your garden-variety 4x4 pickup will probably never see 20 m.p.g. But the Ram SRT10 rivals a torched oil well for sheer profligacy — and, oh yes, it demands premium.
I managed mileage in the double digits only because I made a highway-heavy road trip. Around town, I was getting 7 or 8 m.p.g. With more than a quarter-tank of fuel remaining, I gassed up to the tune of $74.28. If I’d come close to running the 34-gallon tank dry, the big red truck would have had the dubious distinction of being my first $100 fill-up.
One advantage of the Ram’s pavement-crushing weight and cinder-block aerodynamics is that those are two identifying characteristics of a truck, and trucks are not subject to the federal gas-guzzler tax. So while the Viper and its 20 m.p.g. highway rating get hit with the guzzler label, a Ram SRT10 with the same engine but much worse fuel economy does not. But nobody ever said life was fair for Viper owners.
The Ram SRT10 Quad Cab may not make fiscal or ecological sense, but I appreciate the chutzpah it represents. Nobody else was making a four-door truck with 510 horsepower, so the Dodge people took it upon themselves to fill the void.
Mission accomplished, it seems: after a three-year run, 2006 is the last year for the Viper-powered pickup. The SRT10 Quad Cab is the truck to end all trucks, including itself.
Un tuyau: si vous êtes né dans un pays à prédominance musulmane, faites attention de ne pas passer plus de 20 minutes sous la pluie. Ça pourrait vous valoir un an de torture en Syrie.
C'est ça, la "guerre au terrorisme". Félicitations.
In addition to these bills, our new Government tabled legislative amendments to end the long-gun registry, and focus enforcement on criminals who use guns.
Ordinateurs = avenir, compter les votes manuellement = passé.
Allez voir là et regardez le petit bout de film en bas (ou ici, tout simplement).
Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.
The object is basically public relations. Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others about possible safety considerations, said Secretary Michael Wynne.
"If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation," said Wynne. "(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."
The Air Force has paid for research into nonlethal weapons, but he said the service is unlikely to spend more money on development until injury problems are reviewed by medical experts and resolved.
Nonlethal weapons generally can weaken people if they are hit with the beam. Some of the weapons can emit short, intense energy pulses that also can be effective in disabling some electronic devices.
Le temps est probablement venu pour un autre Watts , un autre Rodney King ou un autre assassinat bien senti (Barack Obama anyone?).
Osama's on the move again
By Syed Saleem Shahzad
"Osama bin Laden and other terrorists are still in hiding. Our message to them is clear: no matter how long it takes, America will find you, and we will bring you to justice."
- President George W Bush, September 11, 2006
"On the anniversary of 9/11, the trail [of bin Laden] is stone-cold."- US intelligence official
KARACHI - Osama bin Laden is on the move, and Tuesday's terror attack on the US Embassy in the Syrian capital, Damascus, could be a tangible result of this.
Exclusive information obtained by Asia Times Online shows that the al-Qaeda leader recently traveled from the South Waziristan tribal area in Pakistan to somewhere in the eastern Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nooristan, or possibly Bajour, a s mall tribal agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan in North-West Frontier Province.
According to a witness, bin Laden traveled in a double-cabin truck with a few armed guards - not in a convoy. Apparently, this is how he now prefers to move around.
Bin Laden, with a US$25 million bounty on his head, has not been sighted for some time, and he has not been seen on any new videotape since late 2004, although audio tapes purporting to be him speaking surfaced this year.
At the same time, a close aide responsible for bin Laden's logistics and media relations told Asia Times Online that bin Laden had recovered from serious kidney-related ailments.
C'est drôle qu'un journaliste puisse savoir où il se trouve, mais pas les services secrets des USA.
À l’occasion du cinquième anniversaire du 11 septembre, l’un des deux porte-parole de Québec Solidaire, Amir Khadir, y est allé d’une nouvelle charge contre les politiques américaine et canadienne au Proche-Orient.
M. Khadir peut bien penser et dire ce qu’il veut; son point de vue bêtement anti-américain sur les questions internationales est malheureusement partagé par bon nombre de Québécois.
Bien sûr, la démonstration de l'"anti-américanisme" de Khadir ne suit pas. Si Pratte voulait dénoncer le manque de substance des attaques de Khadir contre la politique extérieure de Bush et de Bush lite, un ad hominem de cour d'école n'est peut-être pas la voie à suivre.
THE RULES OF PERCEPTION
John Kerry went to Vietnam, saved a man's life and was wounded. Somehow, the voters perceived of John Kerry as a coward who never served his country and would not be tough enough as our commander-in-chief. George W. Bush avoided Vietnam and failed to fulfill his National Guard obligation. Somehow, the people of this country perceived of George W. Bush as a heroic military man and a courageous commander-in-chief.
This is called MANAGING PERCEPTION. Not just managing the perception people have of YOUR guy, but more importantly, managing the perception people have of the OTHER guy! In 2004, more people perceived that Kerry was bad and Bush was good. Just enough people for Bush to win the election.
Which brings us to a cold hard fact: if the Democrats want to take back Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, they must become as good as Karl Rove at managing perception. The good news is, it's not some trick only Karl Rove knows the secret to. Managing perception is not even all that difficult once you know the rules.
Pick ONE INDIVIDUAL to head up your election team and give this person TOTAL AUTHORITY to manage all advertising messages and perception issues. Whatever he or she says -- goes! And no more discussion.
There were 29 people in charge of Kerry, including Kerry himself. The public heard 29 different viewpoints. The Republicans had one person in charge: Rove. The public heard one viewpoint: Rove's. Americans are used to single-minded powerful selling messages, and they like a single-minded powerful point-of-view.
Choose the roughest, toughest person who has ever created wildly successful advertising and PR campaigns. Make damned sure this person is a real marketer, doesn't take any guff from anybody and is NOT a political stooge. Make sure ALL money flows to this one person and all spending is coordinated through this person. (Strong hint: if the DNC drafted Donnie Deutsch, they'd take it all.)
Learn how to disseminate simple catchphrases the mainstream media can use. Like Rove when he invented "cut and run" -- which Fox and the mainstream media lapped up like a thirsty dog. You need to do this with the same dexterity and speed. You will never exceed Rove in this, but you can do AS WELL as he does, which would basically neutralize his effectiveness in the media.
Just watch Fox News (Official News Channel of the successful invasion of Iraq and media/PR representative for the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth). You may hate them, but they're incredibly effective at spreading the Rovian catchphrase of the day and using it to rally the faithful, while keeping GOP politicians in lockstep and on message!
You do not have a media outlet like Fox, so you must work twice as hard to get the mainstream media to carry your message to ALL voters. Importantly, do not believe the mainstream media is for you and against Republicans. They're not. If you somehow think they'll help you win an election, you've already lost.
When the other side hands you a bone, do not bury the bone! USE IT! The best way to negatively affect the perception of the other side is to use their own bone against them!
"I voted for it before I voted against it" was a bone Karl Rove shook in our face the entire campaign. It perfectly defined Kerry as a "flip-flopper". When Bush said, "I don't think much about Bin Laden," Kerry should have said, "Bin Laden murdered three thousand Americans and you promised you'd kill him! Why didn't you, you flip-flopping coward?"
Cheer up. You missed your chance, but there'll be more. Rudy blamed the grunts for missing that weapons cache. Ask the Mayor why he's not supporting the troops!
Understand that you are dealing with a target audience that doesn't care enough, or simply refuses to devote the time to learn the real facts regarding the real issues. Instead, their perception has BECOME the facts!
The target audience fervently believed Saddam Hussein WAS behind the 9/11 attacks and there WERE weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Just as they believe today that the second in command of Al Qaeda has been killed or captured at least a dozen times -- AND they've conveniently forgotten that Osama Bin Laden is not only still alive, but happily and calmly planning future attacks against our country.
Do not try to change this reality. Work with it. The perception you create IS the reality! Take heart! If they perceive something despite obvious evidence to the contrary, you will be able to make them perceive any number of things! Including your point of view! Rove knows this and uses it -- you must too!
Stop playing by "Marquess of Queensberry" rules. Before you get punched, you punch. Hard. Whenever possible, you punch below the belt. And most importantly, even after they are down, you keep punching.
George Bush. Cocaine. Alcohol. The National Guard. Deserter. With 40 days to go before the election, there should have been 40 awful revelations about George Bush -- one each day, each worse than the one before it.
Stop being a candy-ass. If you start lamenting, "I'm becoming just like THEM", you have just guaranteed their victory. They currently OWN the playing field. You either play by their rules or YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE. Your job is to punch hard and neutralize their negative attacks by being just as nasty. IF you make it back into office, THEN you can start working to reform how people get elected. For now, you must get mean!
NO MORE NUANCE. The target not only fails to understand even the most obvious nuance, they actually HATE the idea there should be nuance at all (it even sounds French!). Nuance = bad. Black and white = good!
"A marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman" -- George Bush.
"I'm personally against gay marriage, but I feel the states should decide." -- John Kerry (too nuanced by half!)
Come off your high horse and forget that issues really DO demand nuance, at least until the election is over. Until November, pick a side on each issue and make sure your target audience understands CLEARLY what that side is. And relax! The only people you'll sound like a simpleton to are already voting for you anyway.
Choose ONE VERY CLEAR LABEL for your candidate and NEVER let go of it. Keep hitting it hard until everyone in America knows it is EXACTLY what your candidate stands for.
George Bush was the "unwavering commander-in-chief who won the war on terror." John Kerry was ____. Whatever he was wasn't as bad as you think, but we're still not able to fill in that blank.
Think of a one-word label that your target can quickly grasp. "America, I am the Jobs President!" Don't worry about which label is best. Just choose one and let that be the centerpiece. All other things the candidate talks about should grow out of this one strong position. And remember -- no matter how Rove tries to re-define you (and he will, constantly) -- make sure this one label sticks to you like glue!
Devote a tremendous amount of time and spend a huge portion of your campaign money finding, recruiting, training and firing up VOLUNTEERS. As odd as it may sound, if you spend $100 million on TV, you MUST spend $200 million creating a massive, incredibly well-coordinated volunteer effort.
Karl Rove used pinpoint research to find and motivate volunteers who went where no campaign had gone before -- into parts of Florida where alligators were more likely to vote than people. In Ohio, Rove's volunteers dragged Republicans out of their corporate meetings to make sure they voted! It's why he won and you lost.
Your volunteers MUST BE A MEMBER OF YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE. You need to find volunteers who attend the same church, go to the same stores and like and dislike the same things your target audience does! Remember, you cannot spend TOO MUCH money or do TOO MUCH demographic homework and research making this happen! Just so you know, Republicans do NOT own a patent on this type of research!
Do not give Karl Rove any help whatsoever. In other words, do not start with a candidate who puts you in a twenty-foot ditch that Rove will never let you fight your way out of. Make damned sure your candidate has the gumption to come out swinging and immediately counter-punch every Swift Boat move Rove tries.
This is no walk in the park, but it is not impossible. Remember, George W. Bush did not have to defeat John Kerry. With Rove calling all the shots, John Kerry defeated John Kerry.
Work hard against the nomination of anybody who cannot remain strong and stay firm on base issues while tacking to the center in a convincing, spirited way.
Bill Richardson. Mark Warner. And yeah, Al Gore!
Stop trying to be ATTAP, or "All Things To All People". You will fail. There is no way in this great country of ours that you will ever be more than 65% of things to 55% of the people. That's your goal, by the way. You reach it and you own Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008.
Karl Rove didn't bother with liberals or most Democrats. He went after his base and the squishy center and didn't waste any time or money on anybody else. He also didn't care what anybody else thought of him or his candidate.
By all means, rally your base. Then go figure out what you can actually say to the squishy center and spend MOST of your time and money winning them over. And for heaven's sake, don't worry about what dyed-in-the-wool Republicans think about what you're saying. They're not voting for you anyway.
Start today. Not later today. NOW! Start figuring out now where you're going to find your own Karl Rove and then get this person started. Any time you waste is going to make it tougher for you to win in 2006 and 2008.
By the time the Democrats got around to throwing a few punches in 2004, they were defensive punches, and way too late. Today, right now, Karl Rove has already picked his candidate and crafted a strategy he is confident will whomp your stupid Democratic butt. And make no mistake about it: he has ALREADY dug up tons of dirt on the 20 people YOU are most likely to nominate.
Don't put off your homework for tomorrow morning. Collect data on whoever they might nominate. Spend some time NOW figuring out how to effectively deal with anybody and everybody they might nominate.
Keep a copy of these rules by your pillow and read them every night. When you wake up, make damned sure you follow them every day. If you adhere to these rules, you are going to NEUTRALIZE Rove by making this Rove Versus Rove. That might sound horrible and off-putting, but what it actually means is that the race will NOT come down to perception, but instead, level the playing field, so you might actually have a chance to win!
La traduction automatique via google translate (pas limpide, mais assez clair).
At the request of Saudi America. News of Yemeni mediation country for the return of the former Iraqi regime's rule
Hoopoe Solomon / Hoopoe Solomon
By : admin In Friday, 08 September 2006 3:40 - 3:40 p.m.
London-homeland-A political observers and analysts revealed the movements and activities of political intensive diplomacy carried out by Saudi Arabia at the Arab, regional and international levels to prevent the domination of the Persian state to the region after the defeat by Israel in the recent war on Lebanon and Hezbollah, which is more than win the battle is considered by all a Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, politically and intellectually victory strategy for Iran and Syria threaten security and stability through the masses and gain Arab and Islamic peoples that have expressed their solidarity and support and support for Hezbollah and its Secretary General / Hassan Nasrallah, which entered the battle is and his men alone and left victorious along with the Arab people, despite all security measures sought by the repressive regimes mired States decreased the number of supporters of Hezbollah.
Saudi Arabia and also finds many political analysts fear the only state that the scope of the Shiite Al »Iran, which threatens the present and future of the ruling family as it recently intensified their activities and movements of the diplomatic and political allies with the Americans and Europeans to find a solution and precautionary measures to face the M. a tide considers fears Revolutionary Iranian Shiite », it concluded a deal with the British military and is buying hundreds of aircraft and missile bases cost of over Al» 40 billion, according to various media and the information from the meetings and consultations between Saudi officials with their American counterparts Vahua Ha by the Department of the White House to negotiate indirectly with the leaders and symbols of the Baath Party and the former Iraqi regime to persuade them to return to the top of government and headed by President / Saddam Hussein as the only one capable of re-Iraqi situation to what it was before the invasion, in an attempt aims of the Saudi regime during the detriment b tide Iranian Shiite deep into Iraq and to prevent the risks and arrested at the Iran-Iraq border before the invasion and occupation.
This article by Al Watan Arab American National Newspaper
En Afghanistan: n'importe quoi entre 3485 (en date de juillet 2004) et 50000.
En Iraq, n'importe quoi entre 46307 et 222232, ou même 285000 (en septembre 2004!).
Versons une (autre) larme pour les victimes du WTC.
Et une autre.
N'oublions pas ces larmes, car elles justifient le reste.
Si Stephen Harper cherchait une raison pour demeurer en Afghanistan, il risque d'en recevoir une subito presto. Vous les aimez en pièces détachées, vos soldats canadiens?
"The Pashtuns always win in the end"
-William S. Lind