Lucky to be Alive! (Amazing Pics)

Filed under:Photography, Cool Stuff — posted by Tyler on January 23, 2007 @ 9:59 am

A friend at work passed an email along to me with these pictures. He said it happened at the top of Hurricane Hill on the way to Kanab, Utah.

Look at the first picture below and you can see where this guy broke through the guard rail and left the road, traveling from right to left. He flipped across the end of the culvert and landed on the left side of it.

Look at the second picture and you can see how lucky he was.

You can see where this guy broke through the guard rail and left the road traveling from right to left.  He flipped across the end of the culvert and landed on the left side of it.

See how lucky he was not to have fallen down so far.

Click on the pics to see larger versions.

Print This Post   E-Mail This Post/Page

Thoughts on Saddam Hussein's Execution (Part 2)

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Media, Guest, Web Log (Blog), Politics, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on January 11, 2007 @ 10:41 am

“They’re very effective if people don’t wear masks.”

“You mean they will kill thousands?”

“Yes, they will kill thousands,”

No, this is not Michael Moore bragging to Al Franken about his flatulence.

“If you arrest any of them, cut off their heads. Show no mercy. They only joined the security to avoid having to join the army and fight Iran.”

The voice is Saddam Hussein’s. It’s an excerpt from several recently revealed recordings of the former dictator in conversation with his subordinates, in this case telling them to execute internal security officials for “incompetance.”

Oh, there’s more.

“Some commanders who abandoned their positions when they found themselves in an awkward situation, who deserved to have their necks cut, and did.”

The most disturbing dialogue discusses the effectiveness of chemical weapons (from Tuesday’s NY Times):

On one recording, Mr. Hussein presses the merits of chemical weapons on Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, his vice-president, and now, the Americans believe, the fugitive leader of the Sunni insurgency that has tied down thousands of American troops. Mr. Douri, a notorious hard-liner, asks whether chemical attacks will be effective against civilian populations, and suggests that they might stir an international outcry.

“Yes, they’re very effective if people don’t wear masks,” Mr. Hussein replies.

“You mean they will kill thousands?” Mr. Douri asks.

“Yes, they will kill thousands,” Mr. Hussein says.

Mr. Hussein sounds matter of fact as he describes what chemical weapons will do. “They will prevent people eating and drinking the local water, and they won’t be able to sleep in their beds,” he says. “They will force people to leave their homes and make them uninhabitable until they have been decontaminated.”

As for the concern about international reaction, he assures Mr. Douri that only he will order the attacks. “I don’t know if you know this, Comrade Izzat, but chemical weapons are not used unless I personally give the orders,” he says.

The tapes, made a decade ago and played at the continuing trials of his cohorts, reveal Saddam as the calculating, evil incarnate rat bastard that we knew he was.

Well, not all of us, I guess. CNN censored their own reporting of Saddam’s terrors in order to retain access in Baghdad. Leading up to the coalition’s 2003 invasion, foreign media painted Saddam as an enlightened moderate. The UN (including Kofi Anon’s own son) privately sucked millions from the Oil For Food program while publicly turning a blind eye to Saddam’s tyranny. Russia and France were dead set against taking any action against Saddam’s regime that amounted to anything more than empty rhetoric. The Angry Left defended Saddam and and sent human shields to Baghdad to protect him. Jaded politicos still bark that Iraq was better off under Saddam’s rule.

The New York Times, until Tuesday’s article, seemed convinced of Saddam’s innocence, accusing Iran of gassing the Kurds.

In reality, Saddam was a devil that murdered millions of his own people. There were the Kurds (the victims of Saddam’s “very effective” gas), the mass executions following the Shi’ite uprising, the revenge killings, and the random beheadings of his own security forces. I could go on and on.

Say what you want about the Bush. Say what you want about the war. But I admire a country and an administration with the juevos to actually look evil in the eye and send it to hell.

Print This Post   E-Mail This Post/Page

Thoughts on Saddam Hussein's Execution (Part 1)

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Media, Guest, Web Log (Blog), Politics, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on January 10, 2007 @ 11:18 am

I had mixed feelings about the execution of Saddam Hussein last month, and I wanted to wait to post about it until the dust had settled and I could refine my view of this event.

I wanted Saddam dead, of course. I lamented his escape from that first April bomb. When he was captured I knew his trial would become a spectacle. Indeed, for 15 months Saddam used the trial to spew his fascist propoganda, which the media gleefully echoed around the globe. His execution, in my opinion, couldn’t come soon enough.

But then it came and, much to my surprise, I was bothered by it. Not bothered by his death. Not bothered by the fact that the rope nearly decapitated him with an audible “crack.” Not bothered by the cheering in the streets.

No, I was bothered by the way it went down (or fell through, if you will).

The key to “winning the peace” is to prove to Iraqis (specifically the Sunni minority), the war-weary American public and the world that the invasion of Iraq was justified, that the new Iraqi leadership is legitimate, and that it is dedicated to building a stable democracy.

Much of the sectarian violence stems from the perception that Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki’s government is either unable or unwilling to bring order to his country. An orderly, official-like execution of Saddam by uniformed government officers would have gone far to demonstrate this legitimacy.

Instead, the execution looked more like a mob hit. Street-clothes thugs taunted Saddam as they put the noose around his neck, then danced a jig around his hanging body. Security failed to confiscate cameras and cell phones, resulting in a video leak that crushes any notion of the government’s credibility.

But what bothered me most was the confirmation of a fear I’ve had for a long time- al-Maliki’s ties to Shi’ite radical Moqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr is one of the most influential Shi’ite clerics in the region. He commands the largest independant militia in Iraq and is adamantly anti-American. He and his henchmen are responsible for most of the sectarian violence in Iraq. In short, al-Sadr is a huge thorn in our backside.

Since al-Maliki took office, both he and the Bush Administration have desperately attempted to convince the world that he is not beholden to al-Sadr, and that he’s doing everything he can to stop the flow of blood through Baghdad’s streets. The edited video of Saddam’s execution, provided to news outlets by Maliki’s government, is silent and cuts off just before the money shot. Yeah, it looked a little bit 7th century, but it had an aire of legitimacy.

But then the cell phone video popped up on the Internet. It was the whole deal, audio and all. Soon after came translations of the dialogue- specifically the exchanges between Saddam and his executioners:

The room was quiet as everyone began to pray, including Mr. Hussein. “Prayers be upon Mohammed and his holy family.”

Two guards added, “Supporting his son Moktada, Moktada, Moktada.”

Mr. Hussein seemed a bit stunned, swinging his head in their direction.

They were talking about Moktada al-Sadr, the firebrand cleric whose militia is now committing some of the worst violence in the sectarian fighting; he is the son of a revered Shiite cleric, Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, who many believe Mr. Hussein had murdered.

“Moktada?” he spat out, a mix between sarcasm and disbelief.

Yes, Saddam, Moqtada.

Al-Maliki’s government had to realize the importance of a credible trial and execution for Hussein. They have to realize the importance of pacifying the Sunni minority. Yet somehow the most critical event in this government’s young history was carried out by al-Sadr foot soldiers. And that should bother all of us.

Saddam Hussein was not executed by the democratically elected Iraqi government. He was murdered by the Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. And that, dear reader, does not bode well for Iraq or the U.S.

Print This Post   E-Mail This Post/Page

Blog contents copyright © 2006 Tyler Slack