The War on Terror Now Includes Iraq
Contributed by Alex Shrugged
It is not clear whether bombing Afghanistan into the Stone Age has resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, so that issue is set aside. The debate now turns to world terrorism and what to do about it. The "low hanging fruit" as William Bennett calls it, is Iraq. The US has been trading shots with Iraq for years now. President Clinton's missile attacks on Iraq's military installations did little to stop Saddam Hussein, and his reign of terror over the Kurds. People escaping Iraq speak of weapons of mass destruction, yellow cake uranium, and a nascent nuclear bomb program. In fact, Saddam Hussein has admitted he has been building a nuclear weapon, but who would ever listen to a liar like him? Well... that would be the United Nations. General Colin Powell presents the evidence. The vote of the UN Security Council is unanimous. (Note: When everyone is thinking the same way, that means someone isn't thinking.) The US Congress votes too. (Oh, good.) They authorize the use of force if the final diplomatic negotiations break down. (Let's not kid ourselves... WHEN they break down.) By next year there will be a "coalition of the willing", "shock and awe" and a mad search for weapons of mass destruction. Gulf War 2 is on.      
Contributed by Southpaw Ben
The Beltway Sniper Terrorizes the Nation from his Chevy Caprice
Contributed by Alex Shrugged
A bullet crashes through a storefront window missing the cashier. No one is hurt, but an hour later, a 55 year old government employee is shot dead in the parking lot of a grocery store. The next morning a man is shot dead while mowing his lawn, then a taxi driver filling up with gas, another guy visiting the post office, a woman vacuuming out her car, and many more that day. Some wounded. Most dead. A few days later, a 13-year-old boy is shot as his mother drops him off at school. It looks bad, but he lives. The victims are random. Anyone from Richmond, Virginia to Baltimore, Maryland might be a next. Fear grips the nation. The Congress has authorized the use of force in Iraq. Is this an al Qaeda operative, or Iraqi foreign agent trying to disrupt the coming war? A white van is spotted, so white vans are stopped left and right. The police are also looking for a dark-colored Chevy Caprice. The police pull over a man named John Allen Muhammad, but he doesn't act guilty, so they let him go. More people die. Then a call comes in. A truck driver thinks two guys at the rest stop are the snipers. He uses his WHITE VAN to block their escape, and waits for the police. Two men are found sleeping in a Chevy Caprice. In the back seat is a Bushmaster XM-15 and enough ammunition to start a war. John Allen Muhammad is a convert to the Nation of Islam, and Gulf War veteran. With him is 17-year-old John Lee Malvo, a Jamaican citizen. The Beltway Sniper and his "spotter" have been caught.   
No notable births as yet, but many will grow into their roles.
- Ted Williams (age 83, cardiac arrest): Major League baseball player. 
- "Bullet Bob" Hayes (age 59, kidney failure while battling cancer): "The fastest man in the world", and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver. 
- John Gotti (age 61, throat cancer): Italian-American gangster. His daughter will star in a TV reality show, "Growing Up Gotti" two years later. 
- Linda Lovelace (age 53, injuries from a car crash): Pornography queen turned Christian. (She said that her films were coerced, and a public rape.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in Film
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Part 2 of this epic fantasy adventure. (It is split into 3 parts because it is a frickin' LONG STORY. Not because they are dragging out the story like they will do in The Hobbit.--alexshrugged) 
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: A monster stalks the students at Hogwarts. (I shuddered when saw little children lined up to watch this film. Hadn't their parents read the book?--alexshrugged) 
- Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones: Anakin Skywalker is in love... with himself. 
- Star Trek: Nemesis: This turkey kills the Next Generation series. Up next: the Star Trek reboot. 
- And the horror trio...: Minority Report, Resident Evil, and Sweet Home Alabama. 
This Year in TV
- The Bachelor: (Proof positive that the Apocalypse is nigh.--alexshrugged). 
- American Idol: Contestants sing their hearts out. The TV audience phones in its votes. 
This Year in Music
- Michael Jackson dangles his nine-month-old son over the balcony of his hotel room: He was showing the infant to his adoring fans, but later says that it was a mistake. (He had the boy firmly in hand, but yeah. That was heart-stopping.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in Video Games
- Madden NFL 2003: John Madden is part of the game, finally. 
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: One character shouts "Kill all the Haitians!" (Uh... yeah. It's F-ed up, but remember, it's only a video game. Just like in the movie Hook, no one takes it seriously when a character shouts "Kill the lawyers" unless that someone is already insane.--alexshrugged)  
- Kingdom Hearts: A role-playing action game where Disney characters interact with Final Fantasy characters. (An amazingly successful game.--alexshrugged) 
- Final Fantasy XI Online: This massively multi-player online game will remain online until 2016. 
In Other News
- Sarbanes–Oxley is passed to prevent another Enron or Worldcom: (Given the financial collapse of the US economy later on, this law didn't help at all.--alexshrugged) 
- No Child Left Behind Act is now the law: (Now it will put teachers behind as they "teach to the test".--alexshrugged) 
- The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) is ruled unconstitutional: (Frankly, it was so broadly defined that Christina Aguilera's music videos would put her in prison immediately.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in Wikipedia
Year 2002, Wikipedia.
- William Bennett - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 11 May 2017.
- International Law - War in Iraq - United Nations - Iraq. worldpress.org (2003). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “After asserting that Iraq still maintained a banned weapons program and had not complied with inspectors as required, Powell noted: 'Iraq has now placed itself in danger of the serious consequences called for in U.N. Resolution 1441. And this body places itself in danger of irrelevance if it allows Iraq to continue to defy its will without responding effectively and immediately.' Powell's second argument concerned the risk Saddam Hussein's government posed to the United States and its allies. Alleging that Iraq's 'weapons can be connected to terrorist organizations that have no compunction about using such devices against innocent people around the world,' Powell asserted that Al-Qaeda 'could turn to Iraq for help in acquiring expertise on weapons of mass destruction.'”
- President Discusses Iraq, Domestic Agenda with Congressional Leaders (OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT SITE) (2017). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “And one of the jobs the United States has is to remind people about not only the threat, but the fact that his defiance has weakened the United Nations. And the United Nations, in order for the world to be a more peaceful place, must rise up and deal with this threat and hold him to account. And that's what we expect out of the Security Council.”
- President, House Leadership Agree on Iraq Resolution (OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT SITE) (October 2, 2002). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “I want to thank in particular Speaker Hastert, and Leader Gephardt, Leader Lott, for the tremendous work in building bipartisan support on this vital issue. I also want to thank Senators Warner, Lieberman, McCain, and Bayh for introducing this resolution which we've agreed to on the floor of the Senate this morning. The text of our bipartisan resolution is clear and it is strong. The statement of support from the Congress will show to friend and enemy alike the resolve of the United States. In Baghdad, the regime will know that full compliance with all U.N. Security demands is the only choice, and that time remaining for that choice is limited.”
- - National Review - Why Did We Invade Iraq? (March 26, 2013). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “The Bush administration made the argument that in the post-9/11 climate there should be a belated reckoning with Saddam Hussein. He had continued to sponsor terrorism, had over the years invaded or attacked four of his neighbors, and had killed tens of thousands of his own people. He was surely more a threat to the region and to his own people than either Bashar Assad or Moammar Qaddafi was eight years later.”
- Why Did the United States Invade Iraq in 2003? (October 25, 2012). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “On the other hand, if it was made clear that Saddam had no chemical or biological weapons, then he would lose one of his key instruments of inflicting fear both among his own population and Iraq’s neighbours. This could diminish Iraq’s position as a major force in the region. Saddam’s rational choice would then be to create uncertainty or ambiguity as to whether or not he actually had these weapons. Without proof of Iraq having WMD, it seemed unlikely that the West would intervene, and without proof of Iraq not having WMD, it would keep insurgents andIraq’s neighbours at bay.”
- Alex Shrugged notes: As I've said before, I am not providing as many references as before because I remember most of the events that occurred. I remember what I thought. I remember what other people said, such as William Bennett speaking of "low hanging fruit". I cannot cite the exact moment when he said it, but I still remember it.
- 2002 - Wikipedia (2002). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
- "Lee Boyd Malvo, 10 years after D.C. area sniper shootings: 'I was a monster’ - The Washington Post", September 29, 2012. Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “He said there is no explanation for why he and Muhammad killed so many people, only that he learned of Muhammad’s plans piecemeal. He knows that Muhammad snapped when he lost custody of his children and wanted to get back at his ex-wife, Mildred Muhammad, who lived in Prince George’s County, so he could get the children back. And there was talk of taking the children away and starting a new society with the money they were trying to extract from the government, but Malvo said he can’t be sure of Muhammad’s real motives.”
- John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo - Criminal Minds Wiki - Fandom powered by Wikia. criminalminds.wikia.com (2017). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “October 2: Aspen Hill, Maryland: A victimless shooting at a Michaels craft store Wheaton, Maryland: James Martin, 55”
- Beltway snipers exposed as Muslim terrorists. canadafreepress.com (September 17, 2009). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper railed against conservative commentators such as Mark Steyn, who had taken note of Muhammad’s Islamic faith and his anti-American sentiments. Roeper also ridiculed National Review columnist James Robbins for observing that the sniper was acting like 'a jihadist warrior' by concluding: ' . . . an awful lot of conservatives really, really wanted the snipers to be terrorists. But they were wrong. I’ll say that because they never will.' The Chicago reporter, as it turns out, was the one who was wrong and failed to admit it. This became clear when John Allen Muhammad persisted in making such statements as, 'America got what it deserved on 9/11.'”
- The Beltway Snipers' Motives :: Daniel Pipes (Aug 19, 2003). Retrieved on 11 May 2017.
- 2002 Deaths - Wikipedia (2002).
- 2002 in film - Wikipedia (2002). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
- 2002 in television - Wikipedia (2002).
- Nipped, Tucked and Talking. people.com (February 18, 2002). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “Faced with a month off between jobs, TV newswoman Greta Van Susteren was lounging in her three-bedroom stone house in Washington, D.C. Suddenly she looked up from her Sunday paper and asked John Coale, her husband of 14 years, 'Do you think I should get rid of these bags under my eyes?' Coale, an attorney, was startled. 'We had never talked about it,' he says. 'Greta always looks like she’s 25 to me.' Like a good lawyer, he ducked the question—and like a good husband, 'he said he loves me anyway,' recalls Greta. 'Right answer!'”
- The best TV show of all time - Salon.com. salon.com (September 15, 2017). Retrieved on 11 May 2017.
- "The Wire: arguably the greatest television programme ever made - Telegraph", 2 April 2009. Retrieved on 11 May 2017.
- 2002 in music - Wikipedia (2002). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
- 2002 in video gaming - Wikipedia (2002).
- Take-Two self-censoring Vice City - GameSpot. gamespot.com (December 10, 2003). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “At issue was the part of the game where Tommy Vercetti, its criminal protagonist, is hired by the Cuban gang to take out their rivals, the Haitians. At the beginning of the level, a title card appears that urges Vercetti to 'Kill all the Haitians!'”
- CNN: Who really killed Daniel Pearl? - YouTube. Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “CNN's Brian Todd looks at a new report with details on the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.”
- Right of Reply: Daniel Pearl's last words - Opinion - Jerusalem Post (May 14, 2008). Retrieved on 11 May 2017.
- ynet התקפת יריות על דלפק אל-על בלוס אנג'לס - חדשות (July 6, 2002). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “ה-FBI: לא בטוח שזה פיגוע בישראל הסיקו מייד שמדובר בפיגוע נגד מטרה ישראלית על אדמת ארה"ב, אולם האמריקנים היו זהירים ולא מיהרו לקבוע שמדובר בפיגוע. גורם בממשל בוש וגורמים באף.בי.איי אמרו הלילה כי עדיין לא ידוע בוודאות אם מדובר בפיגוע טרור. שר החוץ, שמעון פרס, אמר בתגובה: "מדובר באירוע קשה. המחבלים בחרו בכוונה תחילה את ה-4 ביולי לביצוע הפשע על אדמת ארה"ב". הוא ציין את התגובה המהירה של אנשי הביטחון הישראלים ואת אומץ לבם, והוסיף כי הוא בטוח ששירותי הביטחון הישראלים והאמריקנים יצליחו בכוחות משותפים לעלות על עקבותיהם של המתכננים והשולחים וללכוד אותם. (Google translation: FBI: Not sure it's an attack Israeli officials immediately concluded that the attack was an attack on an Israeli target on US soil, but the Americans were careful not to say it was a terrorist attack. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said in response: "This is a serious incident, and the terrorists deliberately chose July 4 to commit the crime on US soil." He noted the rapid response of the Israeli security personnel and their courage, adding that he was certain that the services Israeli and American security will succeed together to track the planners and senders And capture them.)”
- LAX Assailant Died of Abdominal Gunshot Wound - LA Times (2017). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “Meantime, the FBI continued its investigation into Hadayet's background and what may have motivated him to open fire in a crowded terminal building before a deadly shootout with undercover security guards.”