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    18 June 2004
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    It has been reported that US hostage, Paul Johnson has been beheaded in Saudi Arabia. I hope that this a false report, and my thoughts go out to his family and friends. I feel that the Sauds need to take some real steps in our fight against terrorist.

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    In a strange turn of events, it is surfacing that Russian Intelligence had warnings of planned attacks on the US and US interests by "official organs of the Saddam regime" the AFP is reporting on Friday. Even stranger, it was handed over to the bush administration, but was never cited as a reason for invasion, strange indeed. We will have to see what comes of this as time passes.

    16 June 2004
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    This piece from the Washpost (subscription required so I'll quote the stuff I'm speaking of) provides one of the best looks into the 51st state of Iraq that I have scene from the mainstream print media or TV media in a while. That is, if you can even put them in the same group. Note the Historical context provided, if you don't know Iraqi history this occupation/resistance cycle is a common one in the past couple of centuries even before the black gold:

    Although no bloodier, Monday's blast in the capital carried significantly more political meaning than its predecessors. It erupted from the point where Saadoun Street flows into Liberation Square, a central Baghdad traffic circle laden with the history of modern Iraq, from heroic sculptures commissioned by the country's former dictator, Gen. Abdul Karim Qassem, after he overthrew the British-imposed monarchy in 1958 to the spot where, one decade and several coups later, Saddam Hussein had 14 Iraqi Jews hanged on espionage charges.

    U.S. soldiers, backed by Bradley Fighting Vehicles, had returned and closed off the area by midday, while forensics specialists combed through the charred wreckage. The cordon caused a giant traffic jam as cars spilled off Jumhuriyah Bridge into the square. And it presented passing Iraqis with the spectacle of four U.S. soldiers -- kneeling in the unforgiving sun, their M-16s ready, concertina wire coiled in front of them -- just under the looming panel of carvings that Qassem ordered up to depict Iraq's emergence from foreign domination.

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    Members of the 26-strong group of Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change:

    Avis T Bohlen, President Bush's former assistant secretary of state for arms control
    Adm William J Crowe, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff under President Reagan and ambassador to UK under President Clinton; has endorsed John Kerry
    Jeffrey S Davidow, President Bush's former ambassador to Mexico
    William A DePree, ex-ambassador to Bangladesh
    Donald B Easum, ex-ambassador to Nigeria
    Charles W Freeman, ex-ambassador to Saudi Arabia
    "I think we will in time come to be very ashamed of this period in history"

    William C Harrop, President Bush Senior's ambassador to Israel
    Arthur A Hartman, ex-ambassador to Soviet Union and France
    Gen Joseph P Hoar, commander in chief of US Central Command under Bush Sr; supports John Kerry
    H Allen Holmes, ex-special operations chief
    Robert V Keeley, ex-ambassador to Greece and Zimbabwe
    Samuel W Lewis, ex-ambassador to Israel
    Princeton N Lyman, ex-ambassador to South Africa
    Jack F Matlock, ambassador to the USSR under President Reagan and President Bush Senior
    Donald F McHenry, ex-ambassador to the UN
    Gen Merrill A McPeak, former Air Force chief of staff; supports John Kerry
    George E Moose, ex-African affairs chief
    David D Newsom, former acting secretary of state
    Phyllis E Oakley, ex-intelligence and research chief
    "Today we see that structure crumbling under an administration blinded by ideology and a callous indifference to the realities of the world around it"(. . .)"Never before have so many of us felt the need for a major change in the direction of our foreign policy."

    James Daniel Phillips, ex-ambassador to Africa
    John E Reinhardt, ex-ambassador to Nigeria
    Gen William Y Smith, ex-deputy commander in chief, US European Command
    Ronald I Spiers, ex-senior UN official and ambassador to Pakistan
    Michael Sterner, ex-ambassador in Middle East
    Adm Stansfield Turner, CIA director under Carter; has endorsed John Kerry
    Alexander F Watson, ex-assistant secretary of state for Inter-American affairs

    15 June 2004
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    French fries are now fresh vegetables according to the Agriculture Department

    14 June 2004
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    In January of 2003 Sean Baker of Lexington, KY was ordered by a lieutenant at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, Camp Delta, to wear an orange jump suite an act like an unruly detainee. While playing this unsupervised role he was beaten by four fellow soldiers to the point of brain damage. After initial resistance from the military, an appeal by Kentucky Congressman Ben Chandler and Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy was recently submitted, and just recently an inquiry was announced my the military

    This is just an addition to the recent uproar about alleged abuse in our detention facilities, and could be scene as obvious incompetence of the DoD and others in this administration.

    Now some OK news:

    Poll / Date / John Kerry vs. george bush
    Fox = (6/9) 45 to 41
    LA Times = (6/9) 51 to 44
    Gallup = (6/8) 50 to 44
    Zogby = (6/7) 44 to 42
    ARG = (6/3) 48 to 46

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    Mr. Ashcroft announced Monday that a Columbus Mall was a target of an al-Qaida bombing plot. Just in, more to come I'm sure. . .

    Also this Wednesday, a new anti-bush group will have its first news conference. I say anti-bush because they do not endorse Democrat John Kerry. This group is called Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change it consistis of 26 retired U.S. diplomats and military officers who urge American to vote bush out in November.

    "Prominent members include retired Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East during the administration of Bush's father; retired Adm. William J. Crowe Jr., ambassador to Britain under President Clinton and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Reagan; and Jack F. Matlock Jr., a member of the National Security Council under Reagan and ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991."

    A quote from William Harrop, former ambassador to Israel under President George Bush Senior:
    "A lot of people felt the work they had done over their lifetime in trying to build a situation in which the United States was respected and could lead the rest of the world was now undermined by this administration - by the arrogance, by the refusal to listen to others, the scorn for multilateral organizations."


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