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DEFEATING MOOKIE THE MEDIA HERO

Few foreign leaders have received as favorable news coverage in the United States as has the Moqtada al Sadr, with less factual basis for it. Mookie, as our troops call him, is the nominal head of the Mahdi Army, a radical Shia militia, and of the Sadrist political movement, which holds 30 seats (of 275) in the Iraqi parliament.   His patron is Iran, which provides him with money, arms and military training. The last couple of months have been dreadful for Mookie everywhere except on the pages of American newspapers and magazines.

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THE MEDIA’S LIES ABOUT IRAQ

Media reports that the "insurgency" is gaining ground are no more genuine than Dan Rather's memos on President Bush's National Guard service. Contrary to vague news reports of a "widening conflict," an analysis of where casualties are being inflicted indicates the conflict is still restricted largely to the Sunni triangle areas where it has always been. Two thirds of the country and three quarters of the population are relatively peaceful."You may hear analysts and prognosticators on CNN, ABC and the like talking about how bleak the situation is here in Iraq, but from where I sit, it's looking significantly better now than when I got here," says a US Marine. "It is very demoralizing for us here in uniform to read and hear such negativity in our press. It is fodder for our enemies to use against us and against the vast majority of Iraqis who want their new government to succeed."Are you listening, Senator Kerry?

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REPUBLICANS DESERVE TO LOSE

A message from Mississippi has interrupted the leisurely cruise Republicans in Congress have been taking up the river De Nile.  Democrat Travis Childers soundly defeated Republican Greg Davis in a special election in a House district that President Bush carried by 25 percentage points in 2004.   Mr. Childers' victory completes a trifecta for Democrats in once heavily Republican districts. You don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing.  The Republican brand today is as popular as Tylenol's was during the cyanide poison scare. The bitter wind from Mississippi has replaced complacency with panic, but many Republicans don't know what to do about it.  Many blame President Bush, with good reason.  But the larger reason for the troubles of congressional Republicans is that they are viewed (alas, correctly) as being motivated by little else than self enrichment.

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TO CONGRESS ON CHINA

The following letter to all members of the United States Congress was written by legendary Chinese freedom advocate and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Harry Wu. Information on the struggle for human rights in China and how to help free political prisoners being held in China’s Gulag can be found at the website of Harry’s Laogai Research Foundation. ---JW ...Business expansion and economic reforms in China have caused many people around the world to hail China as a glittering land of golden opportunity and ignore the continuing brutality perpetrated by the Communist government of China. It is often said that today’s China is not the same China that existed during the 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square, and is no longer even a Communist society. Meanwhile, however, innumerable people are languishing in China’s vast Laogai system, where many have been sent without any trial taking place or any official documents being issued. Internet dissidents and religious believers are being rounded up and thrown into jail in increasing numbers in order to prevent dissent among the masses. Women and their families are being persecuted for violating the national one-child policy, and are subject to forced abortions and sterilization, detention and other punishments.

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Has the Major Media Become Republican?

No, it hasn't.  Yet when both TIME and Newsweek feature George Bush's dream opponent -- Howie "Dizzy" Dean -- on their covers in the same week, when Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings gush over him and the editors of The New York Times do all they can to promote his candidacy, you've got to wonder.

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BARACK “DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY” OBAMA

In his victory speech after the North Carolina primary, Sen. Barack Hussein Obama said something that is all the more remarkable for how little it has been remarked upon.  In defending his stated intent to meet with America's enemies without preconditions, Sen. Obama said: "I trust the American people to understand that it is not weakness, but wisdom to talk not just to our friends, but to our enemies, like Roosevelt did, and Kennedy did, and Truman did." That he made this statement, and that it passed without comment by the journalists covering his speech, indicates either breathtaking ignorance of history on the part of both, or deceit on the part of both.

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CAPITALISM IN IRAQ

Gaylan King is Director of Security & Business Development for Gulfconsultec, Ltd., a business consulting firm based in Kuwait. I think you’ll his description of doing business in Iraq fascinating -JW...We drove on to reach Baghdad by dusk. In late afternoon we stopped at a regular truck stop to eat a late lunch; our Iraqi passengers recommended it. The single room was large, clean and filled with 100-150 young Iraqi truck drivers. I was the only obvious Western in the room (I doubt they see many of us at this place). The room quieted and then someone gave me the, "thumbs up", signal, which I returned. Then everyone started smiling and saying, "Welcome!" and so on. That is really a gratifying experience; no one was frowning in the corner and whispering. The food was delicious. Iraq has the best-tasting vegetables and fruit and meat; this is an accepted fact. The waiters immediately cover the whole table with every kind of salad, pasta, vegetable and fruit imaginable, plus several kinds of Arab bread, which is simply delicious! After enough time this is removed and the main course is served. Mine happened to be a large chicken leg on a bowl of really delicious rice. It was the perfect size for a perfect meal. Just then, our waiter, a good-looking 25 year-old man with crew cut hair, no beard or mustache, and a great smile, leaned down to me, gave the "thumbs up" sign and said, "George Bush good!" He then flipped the thumb to the down position and said, "Kerry bad!" We both laughed hysterically! All of his buddies were watching and agreeing it was a great moment. I shook every one of their hands before we left; it was great fun and this kind of humor is one of the reasons I enjoy the Iraqis so much; they are educated, intelligent people and their land is the probable location for the very beginning of everything human. They were never wandering nomadic herdsmen as were the Gulf Arabs.

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Traitors to Themselves: The Civil War Inside Mexico’s Soul

I am currently engaged in writing a screen treatment for a motion picture to be made by a Hollywood producer friend of mine. The movie's working title is La Malinche (lah-mah-lin'-chay), and is the true story about one of history's most remarkable and heroic women. Her name was Malinali. She was born a Princess. When her father, the King, died, her mother remarried and had a son. Now a threat to her step-brother's inheriting the throne, her mother sold her into slavery.Beautiful and smart, Malinali became the favorite slave girl of a local chieftain. When powerful strangers came from an unknown land, the chief made a present of the slave girl to their leader. The year was 1519, and the strangers' leader was named Hernando Cortez.

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THE STUPIDITY OF $4 A GALLON

The average retail price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. this week is $3.61, according to the Energy Information Administration.  That's up 55 cents a gallon from this time last year.  Many analysts expect the price to approach $4 a gallon this summer. Anticipating this, last month Sen. John McCain proposed suspending the 18.4 cent a gallon federal gasoline tax between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has endorsed the idea.  Sen. Barack Hussein Obama has denounced it. Sen. Obama wasn't always hostile to such "gimmicks."  As an Illinois state senator, he voted three times temporarily to suspend that state's gasoline tax.  Gasoline prices then were about $2 a gallon. The 5% Illinois state sales tax on gasoline was suspended, despite Mr. Obama's objection, in June of 2000 for the remainder of the year.  The suspension led to a price decline of three percent compared to neighboring states.

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