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The Taking of Iraq, 1, 2, 3

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

We are going to war, and nothing is going to stop us. If you get in the way you are called a "cheese-eating surrender monkey". (That's a line from the Simpsons.) French fries are renamed "Freedom Fries". It is easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm. Then there are the "Human Shields". Volunteers have traveled to Iraq to stand in front of hospitals, daring President Bush to kill them. (FYI, this is considered a war crime under the Geneva Convention.) But the precision "shock and awe" air campaign works around them. No problem. [1] [2]

Most people watch the war in real time after work. Reporters have to be careful though. Geraldo Rivera gets the boot when he draws a map in the dirt explaining their next move. That is giving information to the enemy. (Well... locally it could be a problem.) I stay up late and watch the troops driving and driving. I want to see it all. [3]

I laugh as the Iraqi Information Minister "Baghdad Bob" says that Hussein is winning while US tanks roll along just outside of camera shot. It is a terrible shock to Arab-speaking viewers when US tanks are seen rolling down the streets of Baghdad. They realize that their trusted leaders have lied... and so have their reporters. [4]

There is looting, and my mother-in-law asks me why US troops standing nearby don't do something. I reply, "What do you want them to do, Mom? Shoot them for stealing a potted plant?" I watch the same guy (on a video loop) running out of a building carrying a potted plant. If the looting is so overwhelming, why do they need to loop this one guy? Perhaps it is because most of the looting is of government buildings, stealing desks and office supplies. The museum is empty, but the curators have hidden the most important works. [5]

President Bush lands on that aircraft carrier. The banner reads: "Mission Accomplished". Certainly the carrier's mission is accomplished, but there is still much to do. If we had stopped right there and walked away, I would have called it good. Instead, President Bush tries his hand at nation-building. Apparently it's not as easy as nation-crushing, but we'll see that as the years progress. For now, he has missed his chance. I'm sorry. I wanted him to succeed.... I wanted the US to succeed without a Middle East Marshall Plan. It is not to be. [6] [7]

Dewey the deer, and Prometea the horse

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

Dewey was born on May 23 at Texas A&M, and was the first deer ever successfully cloned. He was cloned from a dead whitetail buck that had scored a 232 on the Boone and Crockett scale. He is still residing under the care of Texas A&M's Veterinart Medicine and Biomedical Sciences college to have his horn growth studied and compared to his donors. Prometea was the first horse to be successfully cloned. Born on May 28 in Cremona, Italy, her birth had no complications and she grew normally. As a result of horse cloning success, the Jockey Club of North America decided to forbid the use of cloned horses in any of their races, however, cloning can still be used as a means to continue to bloodlines of successful geldings, as geldings are castrated horses, and can't continue their bloodline naturally.[8][9]

My Take by Southpaw Ben
With advances in biomedical technology, clones have become increasingly common and are starting to see uses in the real world outside the lab for bragging rights. In South Korea, for the low low cost of $100,000, you can have your dog cloned, though clones don't always act like their DNA donors do, as seen in Texas A&M's 2001 experiment where they cloned a cat, and the Clone is shy and timid, while the donor is playful and curious. A lot of research is criticized as simply being for the pride and bragging rights of having done something, and have no use in the real world, and often times this is true. However, despite its novelty, cloning could prove to be an exception to this sentiment. [10]

Rush Limbaugh is Addicted to Prescription Drugs and so is My Friend

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

Yeah. Let's go through this. Several years ago radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh had back surgery. He was prescribed pain pills in conjunction with his back problem, but when the prescription ran out, he found himself needing more. Apparently his maid had a way to get prescription drugs on the black market, so she purchased more for him. This is considered a crime. (Certainly the State of Texas takes a dim view of this, and I assume Florida does as well.) After pursuing an investigation for three years, Florida believes it has a case against him, but Limbaugh's lawyers make a deal. Rush will take a month off and go to rehab. If he manages to stay on the straight and narrow for 18 months all charges will be dropped. He will pay $30,000 for the investigation's costs. This is called a slap on the hand, and perhaps it is for someone with a lot of money. He returns from rehab, and he seems better. If he really is an addict, it might not be enough, but if he is like most people, rehab ought to do it. I wish him well. [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
One evening I receive a phone call from a friend.. a prominent member of the community. He is having a problem, and he knows that I am a chaplain down at the jail working with drug addicts and alcoholics... and I keep my mouth shut. He has a problem. A mutual friend of ours, a doctor, has been prescribing pain pills to him for a severe back problem. It's real, and the dose the doctor is prescribing is not out of line. Yet, he can feel it... a craving... a need for more. He's hooked. Crap! I've seen this happen again and again. People have real pain. Doctors, in their compassion, try to solve it with pain pills. Most of the time (actually a lot of the time) it works just fine. But every body is different. My friend's body has reacted differently. He is a normal human being of good character... exemplary, actually. Better than I am. Yet, I must tell him that he can never use these pills again... ever. He has only been nipped by the ringer, so he has a good chance to beat this. (And he has.) But some people need more help. It is not a weakness of character. It is a symptom of the body that rewards one behavior while punishing another. If you realize it early on then you can fix it (mostly). If not, things get harder. Maybe impossible. You'll only know when you try, and that is what I recommend. Try. Try hard. If you need help, seek help. Call a friend. My friend called me, but I'm not the only one. There are a lot people out there who have beaten this. All you have to do is find them. [17]

Notable Births

None that I can find.

Notable Deaths

  • Idi Amin (age 78, disconnected from life-support): President of Uganda and killer of an estimated 300,000 people. [18] [19]
  • Maurice Gibb (age 53, complications from a twisted intestine): Singer/songwriter and member of the Bee-Gees. [18]
  • Barry White (age 58, complications from diabetes): Bass-baritone romantic singer. (The national birth rate takes a dip over the next two years. It's not much, but its there.--alexshrugged) [18] [20]
  • Johnny Cash (age 71, complications from diabetes): Singer-songwriter. His wife, June, died 4 months earlier. [18]

This Year in Film

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Part 3 and the last. (The Scouring of the Shire is left out, but otherwise a good ending.--alexshrugged) [21]
  • Disney's Finding Nemo: A fish is missing. [21]
  • And...: Matrix Reloaded, Matrix Revolutions, and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. [21]

This Year in TV

  • MythBusters: Demystifies myths, old sayings, and movie special effects. (Excellent program.--alexshrugged) [22]
  • Penn & Teller: Bullshit!: Debunks pseudoscientific ideas, fads and misconceptions. [22]
  • Two and a Half Men: Sit-com. (It sounds like The Odd Couple with a kid involved, but I've never seen the show.--alexshrugged) [22]

This Year in Music

  • Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks is ashamed of President Bush: She is in London. It is 6 days before the invasion of Iraq. (She is an excellent singer, but I stopped listening.--alexshrugged) [23]
  • Madonna kisses Brittney Spears and Christina Aguilera: It's the MTV Video Music Awards! (Uh... yeah.--alexshrugged) [23]
  • Pete Townshend is arrested for, but not found guilty of, accessing child pornography: He said he was doing research for his campaign against child pornography. Given his prior history this is plausible. Nevertheless, he is placed on a sex offenders list for 5 years. [23] [24] [25]
  • Michael Jackson is arrested for child molestation.: He tends to make friends with children, but he was found NOT GUILTY. (Yeah. I don't know. These sort of allegations hinge on the testimony of children who are notoriously easy to mislead into saying what they think you want to hear.--alexshrugged) [23] [26]
  • And I think some people actually sang this year.

This Year in Video Games

  • Madden NFL 2004: The 15th version of the game, and still growing. (Amazing.--alexshrugged) [27]
  • Two teenagers blame Grand Theft Auto III for inspiring them to kill: One man was killed and a woman was wounded as the teens shot at highway traffic. A lawsuit against Wal-Mart, Sony Computer Entertainment, and Rockstar Games is pending. (I couldn't find out how the lawsuit turned out, but I doubt it would be successful.--alexshrugged) [27] [28] [29]

In Other News

  • California Governor Gray Davis is recalled. Hello Arnold Schwarzenegger: The California energy crisis has caused brown-outs across the state. (Gray Davis is not fully to blame. It is the entire Democrat leadership, but he is at the top so he is the one to get the chop.--alexshrugged) [30][31]
  • Martha Stewart is indicted for using privileged information to make stock deals: (FYI, she is on the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange. She has a duty to be scrupulous in her dealings and she has failed. She is going to prison.--alexshrugged)[30]
  • Columnist Robert Novak mentions the real name of a CIA operative in his column: Shhh... it's Valerie Plame. (This is the beginning of a witch hunt.--alexshrugged) [30]
  • New Hampshire's "The Old Man of the Mountain" collapses: It is a famous rock formation that looks like the head of an old man. [30]
  • A pizza delivery man with a bomb chained around his neck is forced to rob a bank.: He says he is being coerced. Then he is blown up by remote control. Later it is revealed that he had planned the robbery with cohorts, but thought the bomb was fake. When he found out it was real, then it was coercion. [30] [32]
  • Mad cow disease comes to Washington State: Brazil, Australia and Taiwan ban the import of US beef. (If they had called it "Drunken Cow Disease", half the scare would have been taken out of it. Nevertheless, it is a serious problem that cannot be fixed by simply cooking the meat a little longer.--alexshrugged) [30]

Gulf War 2 Timeline

The Pre-War Prerequisites

  • (January 1) The US Sky Marshall program is reintroduced: (Golly. I wonder why.--alexshrugged) [30]
  • (January 25) Volunteer "human shields" leave for Baghdad: They want stop the US invasion of Iraq with their own bodies. (Not a chance.--alexshrugged [30] [33] [34]
  • (February 19) French Fries are renamed "Freedom Fries" because France opposes the invasion of Iraq: "Hot dogs" used to be called frankfurters until the war with Germany, so this is not unusual. [35]
  • (March 17) President Bush gives his ultimatum: Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq, or it is war: . [30]
  • (March 18) Saddam Hussein withdraws a billion dollars from Iraq's Central Bank: More than half of that will be found in the palace after the war. [36] [30]

It's War

  • (March 19) The first bombs drop on Baghdad: (As I recall, they thought they had a location for Saddam Hussein, so they tried to nail him early, and end this war before it started. Fat chance.) [30]
  • (March 22) The massive "shock and awe" air campaign begins: . [30]
  • (April 3) US forces seize Saddam International Airport: It is renamed Baghdad International Airport. [30]

The Battle of Baghdad

  • (April 5) Testing their defenses: US forces hit and run, testing the defenses of the Republican Guard. (It is disorganized.) [30]
  • (April 5) Taking the Green Zone: US forces hit a different section of Baghdad taking control of what will later be called "The Green Zone." [30]
  • (April 7) Objectives Moe, Larry, and Curly: US forces battle the Republican Guard in order to take three objectives, named after "The Three Stooges". The fighting is intense and lasts for 18 hours. One group almost runs out of ammunition, but it is finally resupplied. (I know it sounds silly to name battles after The Three Stooges, but Iraqi TV reporting has been bordering on the ridiculous. US tanks are rolling past as Iraqi reporters are saying that the US forces have been repelled.--alexshrugged) [30]
  • (April 9) US tanks roll into Baghdad unopposed.: (It is a real shock to the Arab-language TV viewers outside of Iraq when suddenly Baghdad streets are filled with US tanks. The Arab-language reporters had lied, and the viewers now knew it.--alexshrugged) [30]
  • (April 9) The statue of Saddam Hussein is pulled down.: (I watched it live. The Iraqi people were trying to pull it down with a rope, but the statue was attached solidly to its base. A tank commander offered to help, and attached a chain to the statue. While he was up there, he draped the head of Hussein with the American flag, and then removed it. It was a glorious site, but the flag would have been ruined once the statue was pulled down. The tank pulls, and the statue comes down.--alexshrugged) [30] [37]
  • (April 21) US Army General (retired) Jay Garner is named Interim Civil Administrator of Iraq: . [30]

The Aftermath

  • (May 1) President Bush lands on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln where a banner reads, "Mission Accomplished": With all that is left to be done, he is criticized for claiming victory early. (Technically, the war is won, and aside from some clean up work, this should have been our exit point, but no such luck.--alexshrugged) [30]
  • (July 22) Uday and Qusay Hussein are killed in a shootout with US forces: They are Saddam Hussein's adult sons. [30]
  • (December 13) Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit: (Reporters are amazed when President Bush admits that the decision to pull Hussein out of his spider hole, or to simply throw a grenade in there rested in the hands of the Delta force operator on the scene. (Which is where is should have rested.--alexshrugged) [38] [39][40]
  • (December 19) Libya agrees to eliminate all of its weapons of mass destruction: (They saw what happened to Iraq and know they are next in line.--alexshrugged) [41] [39]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 2003, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Human shield action to Iraq - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “Human shield action to Iraq was a group of people who travelled to Iraq to act as human shields with the aim of preventing the U.S.-led coalition troops from bombing certain locations during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.”
  2. Human Shield Action to Iraq. humanshields.org (2009). Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “Two water plants, two power plants, a food silo, a communications facility and an oil refinery were chosen. Along with others the U.S. and UK governments were notified of these positions. It is a war crime to harm infrastructure critical to civilian well-being. This did not stop the U.S. from targeting and bombing these sites in the 1991 Gulf War, causing untold sufferering for millions of Iraqis (of whom just under half were children). Of these sites only one was bombed in 2003; the communications facility, a day after the human shields pulled out of it.”
  3. CNN.com - Military kicks Geraldo out of Iraq - Mar. 31, 2003 (March 31, 2003). Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “Fox News Channel correspondent Geraldo Rivera is being expelled from Iraq for broadcasting details about future U.S. troop movements in the country, according to the Pentagon.”
  4. Iraq's Comical Ali - YouTube. Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “you don't know who former Iraqi Information Minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf is, he was the face of the Iraqi regime during the beginning of the Iraq war. Saddam Hussein was nowhere to be found but al-Sahaf, dubbed 'Baghdad Bob' by the American press, was on the television spinning fantastic lies about how the war was going for Iraq. It was of course going badly but you had to respect the man for doing his duty until the end. known for his daily press briefings in Baghdad during the 2003 Iraq War. His colorful appearances caused him to be nicknamed Baghdad Bob On April 7, 2003, al-Sahhaf claimed that there were no American troops in Baghdad, and that the Americans were committing suicide by the hundreds at the city's gates. At that time, American tanks were patrolling the streets only a few hundred meters from the location where the press conference was held, and were clearly visible behind him.[6] His last public appearance as Information Minister was on April 8, 2003, when he said that the Americans 'are going to surrender or be burned in their tanks. They will surrender, it is they who will surrender'. Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf”
  5. IRAQ BAGHDAD LOOTING - YouTube. Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “Shot 04/09/2003. IRAQ WAR ANNIVERSARY Men, women and children looting. One man says Thank you to camera. Mural of Saddam with black paint splattered over it.”
  6. Video rewind: Bush's 'Mission Accomplished' - YouTube. Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “On May 1, 2003, then-President George W. Bush landed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on a Navy S-3B Viking.Bush, the first sitting president to arrive on an aircraft carrier by plane, gave a speech announcing the end of major combat in the Iraq War. But what got people most fired up was the banner that was above him, which read: Mission Accomplished.”
  7. Bush: 'Mission Accomplished' -- REAL Speech - YouTube. Retrieved on 12 May 2017.
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey_(deer)
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometea
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_that_have_been_cloned#Dog
  11. Rush Limbaugh Talks About Addiction On FNS - YouTube. Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “Rush on Foxnews Sunday with Chris Wallace”
  12. Limbaugh Deal Avoids Drug Prosecution, Defense Says - latimes. articles.latimes.com (April 29, 2006). Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh was booked on drug charges in Florida on Friday, and his lawyer said that Limbaugh had agreed to a deal enabling him to avoid prosecution in the prescription abuse case if he continued treatment for addiction problems and avoided any other run-ins with the law.”
  13. Rush Limbaugh Opening Radio Address Following Drug Addiction Treatment Part 1 - YouTube. Retrieved on 12 May 2017.
  14. King of rightwing radio addicted to 'hillbilly heroin' - World news - The Guardian (10 October 2003). Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “'You know I have always tried to be honest with you and open about my life. So I need to tell you today that part of what you have heard and read is correct. I am addicted to prescription pain medication,' Mr Limbaugh, said on his radio show yesterday, explaining that he became addicted after he was prescribed painkillers after back surgery several years ago.”
  15. Oxycodone - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 12 May 2017.
  16. Hydrocodone - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 12 May 2017.
  17. Alex Shrugged notes: Please remember that Alex Shrugged may be lying about this whole episode. His friend may not exist. In fact, Alex Shrugged may not have any friends whatsoever. You just don't know. Have a nice day.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 2003 Deaths - Wikipedia (2003).
  19. Obituary: Idi Amin - News - The Guardian. theguardian.com (August 17, 2003). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “The death toll during the Amin regime will never be accurately known. The best estimate, from the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, is that it was not less than 80,000 and more likely around 300,000. Another estimate, compiled by exile organisations with the help of Amnesty International, put the number killed at 500,000.”
  20. United States - Birth rate - Historical Data Graphs per Year (2017). Retrieved on 12 May 2017.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 2003 in film - Wikipedia (2003). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 2003 in television - Wikipedia (2003).
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 2003 in music - Wikipedia (2003). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  24. Pete Townshend put on sex offenders register - UK news - The Guardian. theguardian.com (8 May 2003). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “n a statement released by an aide outside his mansion in Richmond, south-west London, Townshend insisted that police had 'unconditionally accepted' that he was looking at the site as research for his 'campaign' against child pornography.”
  25. Pete Townshend says court 'would have destroyed me' - BBC News (9 October 2012). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “The Who guitarist, 67, accepted a police caution in 2003 but was cleared of possessing indecent pictures downloaded from the internet. Townshend admitted using his credit card to look at the site for research into child abuse.”
  26. Michael Jackson Attorney: FBI Files Are 'Almost Vindication' - ABC News (December 23, 2009). Retrieved on 11 May 2017. “A lawyer for the Michael Jackson family said that the now public but heavily redacted FBI file on the late pop superstar shows that 'there's not one scrap of evidence' that Michael Jackson ever harmed a child.”
  27. 27.0 27.1 2003 in video gaming - Wikipedia (2003).
  28. Grand Theft Auto in the dock over US highway killings - GamesIndustry.biz (September 10, 2003). Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “They told the police who arrested them that they were bored, and decided to mimick their favourite videogame - Grand Theft Auto. The family of the victim, 45 year old nurse Aaron Hamel, have now filed suit against Take-Two Interactive, claiming that the company should take responsibility for his death.”
  29. Video game makers sued in murder case - theage.com.au (October 23, 2003). Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “The boys have been sentenced to indefinite terms in custody after pleading guilty, and the families of their victims are now demanding $US246 million ($A352.18 million) from Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Take-Two Interactive Software and Rockstar Games, which created and marketed the game, and retailer Wal-Mart.”
  30. 30.00 30.01 30.02 30.03 30.04 30.05 30.06 30.07 30.08 30.09 30.10 30.11 30.12 30.13 30.14 30.15 30.16 30.17 30.18 30.19 30.20 2003 in the United States - Wikipedia (2003).
  31. 2003 California recall
  32. Brian Douglas Wells
  33. Human shield action to Iraq - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “Human shield action to Iraq was a group of people who travelled to Iraq to act as human shields with the aim of preventing the U.S.-led coalition troops from bombing certain locations during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.”
  34. Human Shield Action to Iraq. humanshields.org (2009). Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “Two water plants, two power plants, a food silo, a communications facility and an oil refinery were chosen. Along with others the U.S. and UK governments were notified of these positions. It is a war crime to harm infrastructure critical to civilian well-being. This did not stop the U.S. from targeting and bombing these sites in the 1991 Gulf War, causing untold sufferering for millions of Iraqis (of whom just under half were children). Of these sites only one was bombed in 2003; the communications facility, a day after the human shields pulled out of it.”
  35. Americans Just Say 'Non' to French Products - Fox News (February 19, 2003). Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “Rowland cooked up the freedom fry idea last week after a conversation with a customer about World War I days, when anti-German sentiment prompted Americans to rename familiar German foods. Sauerkraut and frankfurters became liberty cabbage and hot dogs.”
  36. CNN.com - U.S.: $1 billion taken by Saddam - May. 6, 2003. cnn.com (May 6, 2003). Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “About $1 billion was taken from Iraq's Central Bank by Saddam Hussein and his family, just hours before the United States began bombing Iraq, the U.S. State Department said Tuesday.”
  37. Saddam Hussein statue and pictures destroyed 2003 - YouTube. Retrieved on 12 May 2017. “Wide shot of Iraqi man climbing up statue base to Saddam Hussein statue Iraqi man throws rope over statue shoulder”
  38. Kreitner, Richard (December 13, 2015). December 13, 2003: Saddam Hussein Is Captured.
  39. 39.0 39.1 2003 - Wikipedia.
  40. Operation Red Dawn
  41. Libya: Nuclear Program Overview.

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