Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/classes.php on line 594

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/classes.php on line 594

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/classes.php on line 594

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/classes.php on line 594

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/classes.php on line 611

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/classes.php on line 705

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/classes.php on line 705

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/classes.php on line 705

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/classes.php on line 705

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/classes.php on line 728

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/cache.php on line 425

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Dependencies in /home/tanya/public_html/dizzyingintellect/wp-includes/class.wp-dependencies.php on line 15
Dizzying Intellect » Middle East

Category: Middle East

Basics

Ok, this blog is turning into all bad news all the time.

I’m not sorry for sharing my crap days with you (it’s my blog and I’ll vent if I want to). But I am sorry for not showing up when things are going well, or at least neutral — it’s been a bad year — and letting you in on the good stuff too.

I saw this on the way home last night, and remembered to stop and get a picture today. It’s one of those digital billboards that have like ten different ads in rotation, so I had to park and wait for it.

How insanely cool is that?! Many thanks to whoever paid for that, or to the billboard company, if they did it themselves. Awesome.

Mixed Emotions

Baghdad zoo welcomes pair of US-donated tiger cubs

The Baghdad Zoo on Friday welcomed a pair of rare Bengal tiger cubs that were donated by a North Carolina animal sanctuary despite protests by animal rights activists.

The tigers — a male and a female named Riley and Hope — frolicked with red and blue balls in a wading pool and playfully wrestled with each other in their cage, while U.S. soldiers and journalists snapped pictures and delighted Iraqis strolled by.

The animals, which were donated by the North Carolina-based Conservators’ Center, arrived Monday after being flown to Baghdad from the United States in a $66,000 trip funded by the U.S. Embassy and transported to the zoo by the U.S. military.

I have such mixed feelings about this. As I’ve mentioned a billion times, I used to live in Moscow, and I saw the zoo there. Countries that haven’t worked out good solutions for things like electricity and food, don’t necessarily need critically endangered (and dangerous) animals in their zoos.

On the other hand, my father has worked for CCI for almost ten years. It means so much to him that he moved out there, and that place is in serious BFE, y’all. I donate to them regularly, and their wolves like me (the tigers could honestly not care less about me, but they like my father a lot).

I know Doug and Mindy, and I trust their judgment. The Iraqi vets have been trained, and the vet center at NCSU has a live video link with them, to help out when necessary.

They’re probably being spoiled rotten, but it still makes me uneasy. I understand that our government needs to make olive branch gestures to Iraq, but I’m not sure this was the appropriate branch. I sure hope they have an exit strategy/addendum for these babies, should the proverbial shit hit the fan.

On the other hand, I guess this means the surge is definitely working, right? *sigh*

reilley-hope.bmp

Incoming Calls, Incoming Shells

Holy crap.

A bump to this soldier’s cell phone redialed his parents’ number and left a voicemail. During a firefight in Afghanistan.

Phillips was on patrol when his unit engaged the Taliban. Not only did a firefight ensue, but his cell phone automatically called the Petee home, leaving a three-minute frightening message laced with the sounds of gunfire and panicked soldiers yelling for “more ammo.”

To make matters worse, at the end of the heart-wrenching message, “you could hear a guy saying ‘Incoming! RPG!’ And then it cut off,” Phillip’s brother John Petee said.

Luckily they were able to contact him later, and he’s fine (or as fine as one can be in a combat zone), but I can’t even imagine how terrifying that message must have been. My heart would have exploded.

Schadenfreude for $1000, Alex

I’m not proud.

Five Dead After Sewage Floods Gaza Town

An earth embankment around a sewage reservoir collapsed Tuesday, spewing a river of waste and mud that killed five people and forced residents to flee from a village in the northern Gaza Strip, officials said.

A 2004 U.N. report warned that the sewage facility was at maximum capacity and flooding was inevitable unless a new waste treatment plant was constructed. It said the effluent lake was a breeding ground for mosquitoes and waterborne diseases, posing a serious health hazard.

But why didn’t they fix the facility, since they knew for over two years that it was going to overflow?

Umm Naser is about 300 yards from the border with Israel in an area where Palestinians have frequently launched rockets into Israel, and Israeli artillery and aircraft have fired back.

Oh, right. Palestinians can’t stop attacking Israel, even when their lives depend on it.

Darwinism at its finest.

The Israeli army offered humanitarian assistance to help clean up the spill. There was no word on whether the offer had been accepted.

Any wagers on what their response to this undeservedly kind offer will be? Anyone?

The Religion of Peace

FoxNews: Saudi Kidnap, Rape Victim Faces Lashing for ‘Crime’ of Being Alone With Man Not Related to Her

I’m one of the apparently-dwindling number of conservative that insist, we can’t blame all of Islam for the misdeeds of terrorist radicals. I keep an open mind, never judge or treat differently the Muslims with whom I work, try to be fair.

But this? This is mainstream Islam. More than that. This is not one misguided bomber or psychotic cell. This is the government of Saudi Arabia.

This is a 19 year old girl who was kidnapped and gang-raped by seven men. And she’s being lashed for it. For her “crime.” They have to split the lashings over multiple days because they’ve condemned her to so many, they can’t do it all in one day.

This, Islam? Bad seeds notwithstanding, this kind of madness is why the West hates you.

More of the same

Biking militants die when bomb explodes prematurely

CHEECHA WATNI, Pakistan (AP) — Three Islamic militants died in eastern Pakistan when a powerful bomb they were transporting by bicycle accidentally exploded Saturday near a bustling cattle market, police said.

Local police chief Mohammed Bashir said the cattle market with hundreds of customers may have been the target, or police who had gathered for a funeral service at the home of an officer recently killed in a gunbattle with militants.

Three young men killed by their own anger and senseless violence, and hundreds of prospective victims safe? Now this is a terrible shame. (That they didn’t tell us if any cattle were hurt. Go Darwin!)

Cool!

Check it out! Chief Wiggles is on the front page of FOXNews.com! (I missed him on tv last night)

wiggles.jpg

That ought to help. : )