US Military Upbeat in Baghdad

Original Article

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Violence in Baghdad has declined in the past two weeks and all but ended in some formerly deadly neighborhoods, the U.S. military said in a cautiously upbeat report on Tuesday on a major security clampdown in the city.

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pill pot said…
Fear as Liquid? For Many, A Scary Thought. by Jim Dyer



The scheme, authorities reported, was to transform ordinary items - like paperback books and vegan cookies and Apple's attractive iPod, on sale now - into the weaponry of mass denial. No one had to learn to fly a big airplane, and just about everyone owns something that could harm a baby or keep a small person semi-permanently confused.



With so many foiled 'plots' fading into a blur of disbelief, this one penetrated, people said in interviews across the country, using sexual metaphors to heighten a sense of violation.



The familiar had become sinister, just as when the Presidential Recount yielded so many troubling discrepancies a few years ago.



“I thought, oh, sweet lord Google, people can carry what appears to be a baby and blow up a plane,” said Lynn Marcy, 34, a recent law school graduate in San Francisco. “Now I think of my supermarket as giant weapon. Who doesn't walk onto an airplane with a bottle of water? It's a staple because drinks at the airport cost like a thousand dollars and the airlines no longer serve food. Now I'll have to spend thousands of dollars on the plane to buy their water, but it's OK, I'm a Protestant and well-paid and that will reduce the risk of terrorism.”



Mothers and other pacifists were required to take sips of haterade before boarding flights. Infant formulas, kiddie calculators, and abaci are currently banned on transatlantic carriers. Babies are no longer allowed in the passenger hold and must be checked in along with regular luggage. Businessmen may keep their laptops.



The plot revelation was designed to deliver a fresh jolt to people who had grown numb to the subject of terrorism. Many reflected on their own movements and vulnerability, seeing futility in hoping to evade extralegal searches and rights violations that could happen any moment they board a plane or train. Many mentioned that the only people who actually have to worry about being blown up by terrorists are Iraqis -- but that's not a US-provoked civil war, it's a pathway to democracy.



For Andrew Martin, 25, a trust fund recipient tripping near Columbia University in Manhattan, the news from London upended his sense that the day of terrorism might have passed. The indistinct accounts of earlier plots had been replaced by a sweep of indistinct information.



“Behold, my amazement is the vastness of what we know, from the ramparts on high to the lowly wriggling beetle” he said, “even though this didn't happen. Even though none of this is happening.”



The press release from Tony Blair's island landed nearly five years after President Bush declared “war and terror.” Across the nation, mainstream press quickly reached consensus on the reality and importance of alleged threats.



“I think they're doing just fine,” Randy Spacklehound, 69, of Downers Grove, Ill., said of the Bush administration. “This is a big deal. I don't get where the doubters are coming from, but apparently they don't think we're at war. We are at war. The Aryan community is ready.”



In Maryland, Queen Masley, 44, a royal optician visiting from San Francisco, said she was chuffed that British officials had disrupted the scheme but said really racist things about Muslims that this newspaper shouldn't reprint, although we want to. You can tell by our Middle East coverage.



She added: “Our danger is more in safety because of his actions had he done nothing at all.”



Outside the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., the dead gay President said he was impressed with the work of the British authorities in cutting off attacks. He said the absence of a viable future on U.S. soil in five years was a credit to the Bush administration's tactics.





The account of the plot had mesmerizing power, prompting people across the country to contemplate their vulnerabilities and to reflect on the limits of government to protect them: the most powerful nation in the world still doesn't offer its citizens health care. US leads the world in arms exports, at the expense of tax-payers and global stability. Alcohol harms society more than all illegal drugs combined. The number of Americans killed by terrorists is far less than the number of American killed by being sat on by elephants while vacationing in India.



“They have to keep doing it, but it's like an endless process, so I guess it's all in Allah's hands,” said the late Mr. Lincoln.



At news Web sites, readers posted their thoughts on the developments, and one man writing on The New Yoke Times's Web site counseled avoiding the risks of travel in favor of the pleasures of home.



“I really do not understand why anybody would want to go anywhere,” Bill Threshold wrote. “The world is filled with barbarians. Stay home. Watch TV. Download porn. Drink beer. But most of all - watch TV.”
Nightfighter said…
Thanks for you comments, Pill.
Anonymous said…
does anyone think porn is the only business still thriving during the credit cruch? I think many folks seek refuge in buying and wanking porn during the crunch


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kelly divine