Brain graze


PM may send fresh troops says the headline on the Sydney Morning Herald's web site. Click to the story and what does it say?

Mr Howard said there were no plans at present to increase the overall size of Australia's troop commitment.

Ah, but there are sources to counter him, aren't there? Er, not that I can see.

However, it is expected that pressure will mount on Australia to send more troops if the war runs to several months, as widely predicted.

Old "it is'', the threadbare journalist's go-to phrase. As in: "It is believed'', ''it is suspected'' and the rarely seen ''it is a load of cobblers but the facts don't suit the story I want to write.''
The piece continues:
Mr Howard suggested "a reality check" for anyone expecting a quick war in Iraq, and said an "unprecedented level of concern to avoid civilian casualties" would necessarily lengthen the war.
But he was eager to head off suggestions that coalition forces would become bogged down, saying a war timetable of several months "sounds stretched to me".

So, there you are. The PM gave no indication whatsoever that he was even considering sending fresh troops. Even if he was, what's the big deal? The troops there have to be relieved eventually, so the matter of "fresh troops'' is a serious issue only if you are trying to run the "war bogged down'' line. Which is a plainly ridiculous summation when you consider what has been achieved in nine days. Still, as the cliche-spouting media gloomsters keep telling us: Truth is the first casualty of war.


As a Tigers supporter, our gifted gallopologist, Mick Manley, is in need of spiritual relief after Richmond (and Richo's) lamentable performance last night. His specials at Sandown today could just do the trick. He suggests: Back CONVERGE (Race 3, No.4) each-way and also his stablemate GALLIC (Race 4, No.10) in the following race. Take GALLIC WITH GUSSY GODIVA IN an exacta that race...Then TSINGTAO (Race 6, No.13 each-way.



We won't criticise The Age and other publications all over the world for getting the caption wrong in this wonderful photo from the front. After all the battlefield is the natural habitat of the SNAFU. We should just be grateful The Air Force Times got hold of the correct GI.
He is not Private Joseph DeWitt, as initially captioned, but Pfc Joseph P. Dwyer, 26, and he is still in the field, about 80 miles outside Baghdad with his outfit in the 3rd Infantry Division. [He was misidentified by a superior in the field and in the original caption.] Go learn the rest of the delightful story. Be warned. It's moving.

“You know, for (the father) to trust us to take his child over and know that we’d take care of him, maybe it’s just me being optimistic, but I think it was a good feeling knowing he trusted us to take care of his child.
“It was a little kid. I have little nieces and nephews back home. … It was just a kid, it wasn’t an enemy. This is what I signed up to do, to help people.”
That day was the first time Dwyer treated any wounded. The little boy had a broken left leg, but Dwyer says he’ll make a quick recovery.


Funny Frank at IMAO reckons the coalition should get the Nobel Peace Prize for its praiseworthy but dangerous policy of avoiding ''collateral damage''. Obese opportunity, however.

Instead, they just give those awards to people like Jimmy Carter and Arafat and, if I recall correctly, Hitler was the first winner of the Nobel Peace prize.
Anyway, I understand this war will take time and I'm not going to jump to conclusion or rush anybody. Still, I have some ideas to help out. You may have seen the leaflets they've been dropping on Iraq, and, a good while back, I had some ideas for those. Now I have some new ones that take into account recent events:
FRONT: (picture of happy Iraqis) "We're here to liberate the people of Iraq."
BACK: (picture of Iraqi home burning) "But even look at us funny and we'll murder you and your family."
FRONT: (picture of Iraqi flag flying proudly) "We're not here to occupy Iraq or takes its resources."
BACK: (picture of American flag over Baghdad) "But piss us off and we may change our mind."
FRONT: (picture of Iraqis with hands up) "If you want to live, surrender to our troops."
BACK: (picture of mushroom cloud) "But try any of that phony surrender crap again and we'll nuke your whole country."
FRONT: (sinister picture of Saddam) "We're only here to remove Saddam and his regime."
BACK: (picture of American shooting indiscriminately at enemies) “But when we're tired and cranky from constant ambushes, everyone starts to look like Saddam."
FRONT: (picture of Iraqis firing their weapons) "On second thought, go ahead and fight us."
BACK: (picture of a Marine with a broad smile) "Our Marines sure love kill'n."



Now here's a blog worth perusing: Live from the Sandbox of Iraq, L.T. Smash.

Is That It?
Saddam fired a couple of those Scuds that he doesn't have at me this afternoon.
He missed.


A goose on Melbourne ABC radio has just referred to "the public relations disaster'' for the coalition that sprung from a missile hitting a Baghdad market and killing 14 civilians. Fergawdsakes this is war, not a marketing exercise. These plonkers are so shallow they're convex. Ah well, back to 3AW.



Oh, the sheer delight of seeing a vitriolic arsehole confronting a major humiliation all over again. A mental picture emerges that disgusts so fully it almost stinks. A correspondent has contacted THE PROFESSOR with a schoolyard recollection of a fat kid called Atom Bum "because he crapped his pants one day, took off his shoe laces and tied them around his legs to stop the muck running down his legs.'' Who was the kid? Well, the correspondent is pretty sure he's now known as Phatty and he's still spilling shit. Cept nowdays it's from a national broadcaster and a major daily newspaper. Spread the story far and wide.



FRANK at IMAO is seriously funny. If my blogroll worked, I'd add him. Just have to put him on the favourites list. Thanks to Blair for the link. Here's Frank on religion:

Me, myself, I’m pretty damn Catholic. I believe in all that unbelievable crap and I don’t like people saying bad things about the pope. I think the pope kicks ass. I know a lot of people can’t help themselves but spout off about how the pope is behind all that’s wrong in the world and what not, but I don’t want to hear it. I don’t care if he just broke into your house yesterday and stole all your DVD’s; you somehow deserved it. If the pope is currently robbing a liquor store, you can be sure I’m outside keeping the engine running in the getaway car. Hey, I have a religion I ain’t going to half-ass it. Now, I bet you have some great argument about why the pope is bad and why the Church is horrible, and my response to that, as always, is, “La la la la! Not listening!”
Even if you don’t want to go all the way and be Catholic, I think a belief in God is a cool thing. Me, it helps me be humble. Yeah, I know, I’m not that humble; but I’d be completely intolerable without religion. I might have even ended up as some loudmouth idiotarian. Plus, it’s nice to have God as that ace up your sleeve for the time you find yourself having to jump out of a plane without a parachute. On the other hand, I would like to say I know a number of atheists who are good, moral people even without a belief in God and I don’t think they’re going to hell or anything. God thinks they’re going to hell, though, and His opinion counts more.
So on religion, I’m fer it.


Crikey's subscriber's post is compiling a list of Oz correspondents on duty in the Mideast. I like this contribution from "Greg'':
One member of the Australian media in the Middle East you haven't mentioned is H G Nelson.
He is stationed in Doha in Qatar but may be a little hard to spot, as he has been wearing an American General's uniform and has been calling himself Tommy Franks.



Interesting snippet fromJAMES TARANTO'S Best of the Web today regarding the fragging incident by an alleged black Muslim:
In November the Seattle Times reported on a similar incident, which occurred in the 84h Engineering Company during the Gulf War in 1991:
In the first months of that year, the unit was in the Middle East preparing for the ground-attack phase of the Gulf War.
The story, according to [retired sergeant Kip] Berentson and at least two other former members of the 84th, was that [John Allen] Muhammad threw a thermite grenade into a tent housing 16 of his fellow soldiers. . . .
Berentson was in the tent. He says the grenade went off near him and near a staff sergeant with whom Muhammad had fought earlier that day. The Army's Criminal Investigation Division, Berentson says, concluded Muhammad (then named Williams) was the lead suspect.
Muhammad was led away in handcuffs and eventually transferred to another company pending charges. He had been court-martialed twice before for lesser incidents while serving in the Louisiana National Guard. But an indictment over the grenade incident never materialized, and Muhammad's Army file has no record of it.
John Allen Muhammad, in case you've forgotten, is the elder of the two Washington sniper suspects. Lest we perpetuate stereotypes, we won't mention his religion either.


ANGELA BELL refers to a bigoted, foolish endorsement of a certain stupid fat documentary maker: "As expected, Moore was booed by the predominantly Jewish Hollywood assemblage of cinema celebrities."

Dinger opines:
It seems there must be something in the sound of a boo that identifies a booer's religion. I'll have to listen carefully in future and try to learn the difference. Perhaps someone could invent a boo meter, along the lines of a speech analyser.

Indeed, and while you're at it, get him an editor. These awards are supposed to be for excellence in story telling. And to tell stories, you should have a grasp of basic language. So here's lardarse in his Oscars tanty, using a word -- twice -- that's thus far not troubled the lexicographists: ''FICTITION''



Just heard on BBC world news that lardarse Moore couldn't help himself and delivered a 30 second anti-Bush tirade. He was booed from the stage. Take that stupid fat klutz!
And skanky old Sarandon gave the crowd the peace sign, ferchrissakes! Must have thought she was back in the 60s when she was in her 30s.


Come on down . . . CHARLIE DANIELS!
The devil's good ole buddy has delivered a full-bore spray to cliche-spouting mummers from the Left Coast. Shouldda booked him for the awards.

Barbra Streisand’s fanatical and hateful rantings about George Bush
make about as much sense as Michael Jackson hanging a baby over a


You people are some of the most disgusting examples of a waste of
protoplasm I’ve ever had the displeasure to hear about.
Sean Penn, you’re a traitor to the United States of America. You gave
aid and comfort to the enemy. How many American lives will your
little, ”fact finding trip“ to Iraq cost? You encouraged Saddam to
think that we didn’t have the stomach for war.


Manley the Magnificent: that's our turf doctor. Our joint selection in the Australian Stakes, Bel Esprit, missed the kick and didn't give a yelp so we dropped $10 there. Got $17 back for a $10 each way outlay on White Mist -- not too much damage. But our $10 quinella on Ribe and Lashed returned us $55 and we're again in the loot. Doubters, I tell you, like the boys on the Baghdad track, we're going places.