November 18, 2007

Fallujah is Lovely This Time of Year

Really, the weather in Fallujah is lovely in November. Internet access, not so much.

I am still alive, breathing, and vertical, though, and should have something for you to read shortly.

Those of you who like to comment, consider this an open thread. Be nice and obey the moderator.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 18, 2007 07:34 AM
Comments

MJT: I am still alive, breathing, and vertical

Vertical? Do you mean most people in Fallujah are in the prone position?

Posted by: Edgar at November 18, 2007 07:53 AM

Tell those Troops Happy Thanksgiving ... and Thanks!

Posted by: JJ at November 18, 2007 08:05 AM

Michael, congratulations to you. Post whenever you can; I'll be following closely.

Oh, and greetings from downtown San Francisco. We just had a drive-by shooting a couple of blocks from my apartment this morning.

Posted by: Asher Abrams at November 18, 2007 08:17 AM

Greetings from Austin, TX. Hope you manage to have a happy Fallujah Thanksgiving, bud. Lots of people here enjoy reading your work and wish you the best. -Ed.

Posted by: Edward Christie at November 18, 2007 09:52 AM

Michael,

Glad you're well, please maintain that.

Asher,

http://www.bulletproofme.com/Body_Armor_Complete_Products_LIST.shtml

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at November 18, 2007 10:00 AM

Michael,

The Army unit now in Fallujah was in Baqubah in OIF III (though, due to reorganization, many were also in Samarra). Please ask them to compare Samarra and/or Baqubah in 2005 with Fallujah now. This would be interesting to hear.

Posted by: Joseph S. Pack at November 18, 2007 11:18 AM

There's a moderator?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 18, 2007 12:55 PM

Michael,
How much violence do you see on a daily basis there today and who do you think is causing that violence? How much rebuilding of the city has been done since 2004 battles in the city?

We'd be interested in a detailed report on the city when you get time.

Posted by: Mark Eichenlaub at November 18, 2007 01:53 PM

Good luck to you Michael - and wishing you, the troops, and everyone else a happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by: markytom at November 18, 2007 02:53 PM

Happy Thanksgiving! Looking forward to another great post!

Posted by: James at November 18, 2007 03:37 PM

How about some posts soon that say you haven't heard gun fire for months...the fighting is ending....al Qaeda is being crushed and the war is being won.....

Happy Thanksgiving to you and our troops, Michael.

Posted by: Webutante at November 18, 2007 03:41 PM

Be careful up there, glad to hear you are getting settled in OK.

Looking forward to whatever you have for us. Hope it stays quiet for you and you get some good material.

Posted by: jvon at November 18, 2007 05:15 PM

Good news, thanks for keeping us posted!

It's also nice to know that Iraqis get a break between the baking-hot summers and the muddy winters.

Posted by: mary at November 18, 2007 07:51 PM

Great to meet you at Blogworld Mike. I've just come in to look for the tip jar...

Be safe...

Shane

Posted by: Shane Borgess at November 18, 2007 08:21 PM

Stay safe and keep up the good work. You're a beacon of excellence in journalism, a rarity these days.

Posted by: Jeremy at November 18, 2007 09:54 PM

Hope it stays quiet for you and you get some good material.

Posted by: wow gold at November 18, 2007 10:14 PM

How much rebuilding of the city has been done since 2004 battles in the city?

Posted by: runescape money at November 18, 2007 10:21 PM

Thanks for your great reporting, Michael. The Weekly Standard 11/19/07 had a detailed article "How They Did it" by Kimberly Kagan on the overall war strategy that you may want to see and even give your perspective on, in a future post.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/346ydlgo.asp
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and tell the troops we love them. Rusty

Posted by: Rusty at November 19, 2007 08:29 AM

If you ever meet a LCPL Murphy (he's in Fallujah), tell him I say hi!

Posted by: Melissa at November 19, 2007 09:04 AM

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 11/19/2007 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Posted by: David M at November 19, 2007 09:17 AM

Thanks MJT, and thanks to those of you who chose to conduct yourselves civilly. I am not taking sides, I am simply trying to maintain the high standards that we have become accustomed to. I am very familiar with who is who around here, and am not going to snap-label anyone a troll.

However, I wouldn't let anyone brawl in MJT's living room if I were house sitting, and I am not about to let it happen here.

So, Open thread! Anything interesting in the world?

Posted by: Moderator at November 19, 2007 09:21 AM

Mr Totten,

Thanks again for all you do in getting the real story wether it be good or bad news from the front. I look forward to your next dispatch. Please convey my best wishes to all the troops and hope they have a safe and happy thanksgiving holiday. (Even though it is anything but a holiday in the sand box.) Stay safe!

God Bless,
CJ.

Posted by: CJ at November 19, 2007 09:56 AM

Even Newsweek has noticed the difference in Iraq.

Best wishes. Can't wait to read and link your latest!

Posted by: TallDave at November 19, 2007 10:11 AM

Happy Thanksgiving, Michael! Best regards to the troops. Thanks for telling it like you see it.

Last night, I watched a free political debate in my free country - where most of the debaters didn't seem to have a clue where their freedom came from or what price was paid for it.

Posted by: Will S at November 19, 2007 10:36 AM

Saw something interesting on the news this morning. Apparently a group of atheists is suing the state of Utah because crosses bearing the department, name, badge number, and year of death are being erected in memory of fallen law enforcement officers.
The arguments I have heard are the it violates the separation of church and state, and the opposing view that no one thinks of religion when they see these crosses but rather the fallen officers they commemorate. Any thoughts?

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 19, 2007 11:15 AM

It sounds to me like some people have way too much free time on their hands, and have used very little of it in contemplation of that 'separation of church and state' actually means. Or the first amendment for that matter.
If the families of the fallen officers are OK with the crosses, what is the problem? The markers in Arlington Nat'l Cemetery bear Crosses or Stars (or whatever) to reflect the religion of the fallen individuals, and I am pretty sure the government pays for them.

If people really can't handle it, I have always been a big fan of the obelisk. Who can get offended by an obelisk?

Posted by: lindsey at November 19, 2007 11:32 AM

Bill Ardolino was embedded in Fallujah twice in 2007 and has interesting reports on the Fallujah Police here and here. We'll see how this compares to Michael's reports.

Posted by: markytom at November 19, 2007 12:05 PM

mt;
Bill's report (Oct 5) concluded that in a month it would be evident whether the logistics and communications lines to higher were improving and functional for the IP. It would be an interesting point to follow up on.

Posted by: Brian H at November 19, 2007 02:35 PM

The arguments I have heard are the it violates the separation of church and state, and the opposing view that no one thinks of religion when they see these crosses but rather the fallen officers they commemorate. Any thoughts?

Will they put up a big crescent if a Muslim officer is killed? And what do they put up if the officer was an atheist?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 19, 2007 08:54 PM

of course, dog-faced soldiers are going to soldier on. That's what they do.

But do any of those Sad Sacks ever express regret for being part of a brutal occupation when you are within earshot ?

Posted by: Brian at November 19, 2007 09:42 PM

Brian,

That is in really bad taste at the best of times. If you are trying to be ironic, your phrasing is entirely too loaded to be considered amusing. There is room for consideration of our actions, but the terms you used are far too volatile to do so with any honesty.

Of course, if you're just trolling, please ignore the above paragraph. A lot of people have risked their lives and far too many of our troops have died making Operation Iraqi Freedom as decent as they could. If you want to decry brutality, start with Al Qaeda. Once you're done with that, move on to the Mahdi Militia, the criminal gangs, the Baath remnants, and then feel free to start in on our troops. Otherwise people will think you're an idiot with no sense of perspective, because you will be.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at November 19, 2007 11:46 PM

Lassy,

But didn't you know, this is an occupation to steal oil. 3 billion dollars spent on a war to steal a few barrels of oil. It's the new economic approach, spend 10x on an unpopular war than what you would have spent just buying the actual commodity. (clearly that was sarcasm)

Anyway, I don't give people like Brian the time of day. If they can't bring themselves to denounce stoning executions of raped women, mass hangings using crains, punishment by hacking off lims, then their moral equivalence equations are those of the caveman. I like to think we're more advanced than cavemen.

Posted by: JohnDakota at November 20, 2007 05:09 AM

dpu:

Will they put up a big crescent if a Muslim officer is killed? And what do they put up if the officer was an atheist?

Don't know that that situation has come up. What I have learned is that the Mormons don't use the cross as a symbol of faith as the other Christian religions do. So it comes back to as to why the cross is being used for, religion or as an obvious marker.

lindsey:
If people really can't handle it, I have always been a big fan of the obelisk. Who can get offended by an obelisk?

Unfortunately in this country at this time people are too easily offended. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if someone would be offended by and obelisk.

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 20, 2007 06:05 AM

Kevin,

I couldn't agree more. That is why I suggest we start a drive to define a non offensive, aesthetically pleasing, supple icon. My suggestion is a Beaver. They're hard working creatures, co-exist well with nature, and don't hurt anyone! Except for fish. But I'm pretty sure there are no fish on this board, or who we'd be making this icon for anyway. So screw the fish.

Posted by: JohnDakota at November 20, 2007 06:31 AM

JohnDakota:

I see where you are coming from but I think we spend too much time worrying about being non-offensive. If people are offended at the use of the cross to mark the tragedies, tough, get over it and move on.
A beaver??? There must be a better symbol than a potential coat or hat.lol

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 20, 2007 06:42 AM

They're hard working creatures, co-exist well with nature, and don't hurt anyone! Except for fish.

Uh, what? In which way do beavers hurt fish?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 20, 2007 06:44 AM

In beaver parlance:
Fish, it's what's for breakfast, lunch and dinner.lol

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 20, 2007 06:51 AM

Kevin Schurig,

http://www.beaversww.org/beaver.html

Once weaned, their favorite foods include water lily tubers, clover, apples and the leaves and green bark (cambium) from aspen and other fast-growing trees.

Beavers are large herbivores, not predators. It is more accurate to say that they help fish because they provide habitat.

You are mistaken about beavers' diet. Look at their teeth and compare them with otters and other predators, you can see that beavers are not equipped to survive on fish.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at November 20, 2007 07:03 AM

Thanks for the correction Patrick. I still think it was funny though.lol

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 20, 2007 07:08 AM

Kevin Schurig,

Even though I'm a Pilot, I still feel it is only right to stand up for the Beavers, if only because they are usually too slow to recognize when they are being insulted. (Maybe I just feel safe in saying this because the site owner is a Duck.)

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at November 20, 2007 07:11 AM

Being a "Farmer", the only use I have for Beaver's and Duck's is in stew.lol

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 20, 2007 07:13 AM

"Who can get offended by an obelisk?"

Certain feminists, for starters...

Posted by: maor at November 20, 2007 07:18 AM

For DPU:

"On March 24, 1975, the beaver received the highest honour ever bestowed on a rodent. On that day it became an official emblem of Canada when an 'act to provide for the recognition of the beaver (castor canadensis) as a symbol of the sovereignty of Canada' received Royal assent."

Posted by: markytom at November 20, 2007 07:24 AM

At least beavers aren't evil, like squirrels.

Posted by: mary at November 20, 2007 07:42 AM

DPU,

Beavers eat fish. Clearly you're not Canadian =P Your beaver knowledge is lacking.

Posted by: JohnDakota at November 20, 2007 08:37 AM

Lassy,

You're referencing the vegan, enviro-beaver breed. The only beaver's I'll respect and vote for as an icon are ones that eat fish.

Posted by: JohnDaktoa at November 20, 2007 08:41 AM

Beavers are excellent hosts for spreading Giardia aka Beaver Fever.

Posted by: Craig at November 20, 2007 09:03 AM

I thought beavers ate trees?

Posted by: Edgar at November 20, 2007 09:05 AM

Squirrels aren't evil, just ADHD. Now raccoons and possums, they're evil.:)

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 20, 2007 09:35 AM

I'm not sure how the muslims will like a Squirrel as a choice. They appear to feed on fermented pumpkins, and like to get drunk off the alcohol. =( Other than that aspect I think Squirrels would have also been a solid second choice behind my fish eating Beaver.

Posted by: JohnDakota at November 20, 2007 09:58 AM

'Certain feminists' are pretty easily offended.
Getting offended by geometric symbols that have been used for millennia by a variety of cultures as monumental architecture says more about the offendee than the offender. I bet Queen Hatshepsut (Pharaoh of Egypt c1460-1482BCE and BIG obelisk fan) would disagree.
http://members.aol.com/Sokamoto31/hatshepsut.htm
But, you know, whatever.
It is interesting that the cross seems to have become the go-to symbol for a memorial. But still, if the families of the fallen officers have no problem with it, then why the big fuss? And I say this as a non-religious person with no particular affinity for crosses.

Beavers eat fish huh? As rodents I wouldn't put the odd fish nibble past them, but I didn't think they would go out if their way to hunt fish. Hmmm. More research is clearly needed. They don't eat trees though, they just fell them to create their dams, which any fly-fisher can tell you makes excellent fishing, and any rancher can tell you is a huge pain. I plan to be about 20' from some beaver activity later this afternoon. If I see any beavers (real beavers, not OSU alum.)
I will ask them about the fish thing. :)
Ditto on Squirrels Mary. They are rats with good PR. Take away the cute hair-do and what do you have? A tree-rat.

Posted by: lindsey at November 20, 2007 10:15 AM

Ditto on Squirrels Mary. They are rats with good PR. Take away the cute hair-do and what do you have? A tree-rat

Rats (oops, Great Pointed Archers) are getting better PC PR lately..

Posted by: mary at November 20, 2007 10:25 AM

At least beavers aren't evil, like squirrels.
Posted by mary at November 20, 2007 07:42 AM

HEY!!! NOW I'M Offended! I thought you were my friend. :(

When we die, people just throw us over the fence, drop us in the trash, ignore us or, some bastards even turn us into a stew! We demand equal rights, and markers under the trees (that we occasionally fall out of and break our necks). If the hairless monkeys get markers and the dogs and cats that live with the hairless monkeys get markers... we should to.

Ohhh, shiny object!!!!

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 20, 2007 11:03 AM

Focus Ratatosk, focus.;-)

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 20, 2007 11:05 AM

Great to hear from you, Mike, and I'm looking forward to your next dispatch. Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by: colagirl at November 20, 2007 11:07 AM

Well I wouldn’t' want to be accused of being PC. I might get offended (clutches pearls). :)
Funny rat site though.

Posted by: lindsey at November 20, 2007 11:14 AM

Also, we are not rats. We consider ourselves better than those thieving rodents in Washington....

Thanks, Kevin I was almost distracte...

Ohhhh walnuts!

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 20, 2007 11:41 AM

Hopeless.lol

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 20, 2007 11:45 AM

Beavers rarely spy but apparently squirrels do.

Posted by: markytom at November 20, 2007 02:03 PM

Talk about spying on the cheap. Just peanuts.

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 20, 2007 02:37 PM

markytom,

The Beavers beat Washington State 52-17 this weekend. Are you sure you want to stick with that "no spying" contention? You really want to tell us that they got a bowl game without spying?

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at November 20, 2007 02:41 PM

The Beavers beat Washington State 52-17 this weekend. Are you sure you want to stick with that "no spying" contention? You really want to tell us that they got a bowl game without spying?
Posted by Patrick S Lasswell at November 20, 2007 02:41 PM

Patrick, the real question should be was Belichick there with a camera?lol

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 20, 2007 03:07 PM

...and markers under the trees (that we occasionally fall out of and break our necks).

Another fallacy. It practically rains squirrels in my backyard, some from fifty feet or more, and I have yet to see one seriously hurt by it.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 20, 2007 03:28 PM

DPU: Another fallacy. It practically rains squirrels in my backyard, some from fifty feet or more, and I have yet to see one seriously hurt by it.

Yeah, but they have access to pure American epinephrine.

Posted by: Edgar at November 20, 2007 03:56 PM

At least beavers aren't evil, like squirrels.
Posted by mary at November 20, 2007 07:42 AM
HEY!!! NOW I'M Offended! I thought you were my friend. :(

Sorry, Tosk. If you guys will just stop chewing on electrical wires and destroying the power grid, we'll all get along fine.

It practically rains squirrels in my backyard..

what a peculiar image. I guess the urban version are the rats who occasionally rain down in the 33rd and 6th subway station. Squirrels would be better.

Posted by: mary at November 20, 2007 04:05 PM

Another fallacy. It practically rains squirrels in my backyard, some from fifty feet or more, and I have yet to see one seriously hurt by it.

dpu:
It's squirrel machismo. No way are they going to let anyone, not even another squirrel, know that they are hurtin'. What we don't see is the squirrel in question checking with his HMO to make sure he's covered, or in the case of Canadian squirrels praying they can even get in to see the doctors.;-) Of course there's always that super macho squirrel who tells his wife that there's nothing wrong, even though his leg is bent 90 degrees the wrong direction.lol

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 20, 2007 07:29 PM

"I couldn't agree more. That is why I suggest we start a drive to define a non offensive, aesthetically pleasing, supple icon. My suggestion is a Beaver. They're hard working creatures, co-exist well with nature, and don't hurt anyone! Except for fish. But I'm pretty sure there are no fish on this board, or who we'd be making this icon for anyway. So screw the fish."

But don'cha know, fish are the animal symbol of Christianity! You'll be offending all the Christians by promoting an animal that hurts fish. Then again, I guess that'd make it a good symbol for the atheist nuts...

And even if they don't eat fish, they make dams. People are always complaining about the effect of human dams on the local ecosystem, so I'd assume beaver dams have some detrimental impact.

Posted by: Math_Mage at November 20, 2007 08:06 PM

Won't feminists be offended by beavers?

Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 21, 2007 12:33 AM

Gary,

No, Beavers are the opposite of phalic images that feminists despise so much. I'd be inclined to suggests that the Beaver would get the feminist vote for sure.

Posted by: JohnDakota at November 21, 2007 04:51 AM

Michael,

Rudyard Kipling can be thought of as an early “embedded correspondent”. It may be presumptuous, but this poem brings your work to mind.

Keep up the good work. We depend on you and your fellow correspondents for accurate assessment of what is happening in that part of the world.

Best Regards,

Steamboat Jack

Prelude to Departmental Ditties

I have eaten your bread and salt.
I have drunk your water and wine.
In deaths ye died I have watched beside,
And the lives ye led were mine.

Was there aught that I did not share
In vigil or toil or ease, --
One joy or woe that I did not know,
Dear hearts across the seas?

I have written the tale of our life
For a sheltered people's mirth,
In jesting guise -- but ye are wise,
And ye know what the jest is worth.

Posted by: Steamboat Jack at November 21, 2007 07:05 AM

"phalic images that feminists despise so much"

Are you sure? Then how come Washington Monument is still standing?

Posted by: leo at November 21, 2007 08:12 AM

Just because you dont like something doesn't mean you go blow it up. Well at least rational people think that way. I don't like Twister, but I don't play Tiwster with TNT. And I might add, I'm a damn good Tister player. Geeze man, if blowing things up is the way you approach your problems you need some anger management.

Posted by: JohnDakota at November 21, 2007 08:32 AM

Apparently the key order for "Twister" gives me a hard time =( It's got me all bent out of shape! Get it.. bent out of shape! Twister! ha ha. Ok i'm done.

Posted by: JohnDakota at November 21, 2007 09:20 AM

I've been watching the Beaver, Squirrel and now Twister wars in here and, holy cow, I’m amazed that this is what dialogue reverts to while MJT's out getting a scoop...! :)

Posted by: Scott Moshen at November 21, 2007 09:33 AM

People are always complaining about the effect of human dams on the local ecosystem, so I'd assume beaver dams have some detrimental impact.

City folk...

Beaver dams are fairly porous structures, and fish have little trouble with them. Keep in mind that co-evolution has been going on for a very long time in the beaver and fish habitat. In areas in which beavers are not bothered, every stream that can be dammed is dammed by beavers. They're an important part of the ecosystem.

Now, if they were using concrete...

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 21, 2007 09:36 AM

...phalic images that feminists despise so much...

Every feminist that I've dated (and that's quite a few) has had no problem at all with phallic images, at least that I've noticed.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 21, 2007 09:38 AM

I've been watching the Beaver, Squirrel and now Twister wars in here and, holy cow, I’m amazed that this is what dialogue reverts to while MJT's out getting a scoop...! :)

Scott,
After the last thread, better talking about Beaver, Squirrel and Twister than forcing Michael to not only "stop the car" but cancel the trip while he's gone.:)

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 21, 2007 10:15 AM

DPU,

Don't want to be anal, but beavers and fish didn't co-evolve. A perfect example of coevolution is insects and plants. I could explain further, but I find better understanding comes when people figure most of it out for themselves :) Yes I'm a douchebag scientist.

And I do agree. Feminists at times do not have problems with phalic objects. But that's usually when they can subjugate the object to do it's bidding. Now I wont ask how that was acomplished in your case DPU =P

Posted by: JohnDakota at November 21, 2007 10:22 AM

Feminists (and women in general) don't care about symbols. That's a myth.

Having the right to get naked in strip bars is more important. Posted by: Edgar at November 21, 2007 10:42 AM

Well, there’s feminists, and then there's 'Certain' FEMINISTS.
It seems a tad oversensitive to read phallic intent into every construction that happens to be perpendicualr to the ground.
If I die, give me an Obelisk. It will evidently piss off all the right people. I think I would have wanted it that way.

We took the horses and dogs down to the river to check on the beavers yesterday. When asked about the great fish debate, they said "No Comment." They were decidedly pro-dam.
And anti-dog as it turns out.

Posted by: lindsey at November 21, 2007 10:43 AM

damn html

http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001511.html

Posted by: Edgar at November 21, 2007 10:44 AM

Don't want to be anal, but beavers and fish didn't co-evolve.

Ah. I meant that freshwater fish in the same habitat as the beaver likely evolved to take advantage of conditions that beavers created. You're right, that isn't co-evolution.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 21, 2007 11:28 AM

When asked about the great fish debate, they said "No Comment."

Geez, even the beavers are afraid to state the truth.lol

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 21, 2007 11:53 AM

Edgar,

heh.. that comment by Lassy will never get old. I have never seen a more "I am MAN!" comment in all my life. Well aside from men that scream "I AM MAN!"

Posted by: JohnDakota at November 21, 2007 01:58 PM

Come on Kevin, haven't you ever heard of Plausible Deniability?
For all the beavers knew, the dogs were there as heavies for the fish lobby, which is pretty powerful around here. The horses remained neutral, as they are wont to do.

Posted by: lindsey at November 21, 2007 01:59 PM

lindey,

You speak as if the Beavers were worried about your dogs. Pfft.. Beavers fear nothing! That's why the eat fish (NOT VEGETATION!), and slap their tails in an oh so scary way. Just when you think you have them intimidated and in a corner, that's exactly where you're furthest from. Fear and respect the Beaver. It's your only chance.

Posted by: JohnDakota at November 21, 2007 02:15 PM

Well the horses are more interested in the latest Bud football game. Plausible Deniability is all good and well when asking about their "secret" exit in case of a fish uprising, but sometimes you need to call dinner, dinner. Besides, the dogs lack underwater detection gear and the beaver is adept at underwater ops.

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 21, 2007 02:23 PM

Hey, that tail slapping thing IS scary! And the teeth man, have you seen the teeth!

And BTW, Edgar was right, Beavers do eat trees, not just fell them as I stated yesterday. They were adamant on that point. I feel like a dope.

Posted by: lindsey at November 21, 2007 03:27 PM

Fallujah may not be so lovely to a great many Fallujahs.

"The city that was routed in November 2004 is still suffering the worst humanitarian conditions under a siege that continues. Although military actions are down to the minimum inside the city, local and US authorities do not seem to be thinking of ending
the agonies of the over 400,000 residents of Fallujah."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IK21Ak01.html

Posted by: Russ at November 21, 2007 03:48 PM

Beavers do eat trees...

That sounds a bit weird. They actually sometimes only eat a small part of the tree, the inner bark. Not the whole tree, and certainly not the wood.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 21, 2007 04:53 PM

You are right DPU, they eat the inner bark.

http://www.nhptv.org/Natureworks/beaver.htm

"Most of the beaver's diet is made up of tree bark and cambium, the soft tissue that grow under the bark of a tree. They especially like the bark of willow, maple, birch, aspen, cottonwood, beech, poplar, and alder trees. Beavers also eat other vegetation like roots and buds and other water plants. The beaver has a specialized digestive system that helps it digest tree bark."

Beavers eat trees the same way I eat chicken. I eat the parts I can digest (muscle) and not others (bones, guts, feathers, etc.) I was just admitting I was wrong yesterday when I stated that they just fell trees. I should research first and bloviate later.
However, according to what I read they do not eat fish at all. It has been fun tossing it around though! And for the record, my horse doesn't like football or Budweiser! She is northern european. Maybe soccer and Heinekin? :)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Posted by: lindsey at November 21, 2007 05:12 PM

lindsey,

Were you in the forests of Algonquin park (ontario, canada), during the summer of 1996, at the location I was at? Sorry I couldn't be more specific, I was 18, and it's been a while. Well I saw a Beaver eating fish. And THATS the beaver I'll be voting for as the Icon.

Posted by: JohnDakota at November 21, 2007 05:20 PM

Michael, Happy Thanksgiving and good luck in Fallujah or where ever you are. Hope you can make a trip to Kurdistan this time and meet may colleagues in Arbil ( Hawler). Take care.
Zagros, Washington DC

Posted by: Zagros at November 21, 2007 05:38 PM

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11522136/

More evidence that beavers very likely eat fish.

Posted by: Edgar at November 21, 2007 05:41 PM

Hinterland Who's Who - The Beaver

And a followup - Spiders on Drugs.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 22, 2007 06:57 AM

thanks dpu. That was hilarious.

Posted by: Kevin Schurig at November 22, 2007 08:53 AM

Mr. Totten -

Forgive me if I am incorrect, but I thought you had a lot of friends in Lebanon. CNN is reporting that the president of Lebanon has declared a state of emergency and asked the army to take over. I hope that your friends are ok.

Posted by: Nora at November 23, 2007 10:43 AM

Nora,

You are correct. The degree to which everyone's face is in the breeze now that the fan has been struck remains to be seen. The quantity and quality of aggregate that hit is being discovered the old fashioned way.

Here are some links:
http://www.openlebanon.com/
http://yalibnan.com/site/archives/2007/11/tanks_deployed.php
http://blacksmithsoflebanon.blogspot.com/

“There are more army soldiers and tanks than people and cars on the streets this morning," said Salim Kantar, a bank employee.

It looks like Iran's bought dogs finally brought about a measure of collapse. My guess is that this will either bring about the end of Hezbollah or the beginning of another civil war. If Israel hadn't put an IDIOT in charge of the military last year, this would be a foregone conclusion. As it stands, Hezbollah has enough standing to provide hell, even if they can't provide a government.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at November 23, 2007 11:12 AM

Re http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IK21Ak01.html

You can find more articles by the same author at

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=listByAuthor&authorFirst=Ali%20&authorName=Al-Fadhily

and

http://www.alternet.org/authors/8033

I am particularly interested in how Michael's take on Fallujah compares to this-

http://www.alternet.org/story/61740/

Posted by: rosignol at November 23, 2007 01:23 PM
Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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