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Showing posts from December, 2003

This Christmas, I Smoked A Cigar

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Christmas 2003 I got a double-fistful of Cuban cigars from my aunt. It was the most amazingly 'out of left field' gift that season! What a hoot! That alone was worth it.

So now I'm thinking..."today's a slow day, New Year's Eve is tomorrow...what would it be like?" I haven't smoked anything in 24 years. Last week I'd followed a guy smoking a joint on the street. But that was it.

Erring on the side of caution, I saw off an inch from the tip of one of these beauties [fake or real Cohibas, they have a very sweet aroma], and put it in a pipe. I'm sitting out on the balcony, and light up. Blue smoke! euphoria! This is great! I'm in love!

This eternal state lasts 15 minutes. Then I feel my chest constrict. My head is lightened considerably. I sink backwards. I feel an ominous rumbling in my lower depths. I stand up with effort. I am off-plumb by 10 degrees. Stumbling in to the can, I drop trou and unsteadily release the Chocolate Hostage. I sit the…

Evolution of Leadership In Iraq

Saddam is in the bag. The insurrection continues with no let up. The Bush Administration is deluded in this process. Iraqis hated Saddam. And now that he’s gone, they hate the Americans more. This is not what Bush & Co had in mind, and it certainly riles Paul Bremer, the erstwhile caretaker. All this was not “supposed to happen” Why?

Leadership is undergoing rapid evolutionary change. For the first time in thirty years Iraqis have decentralized decision-making opportunities. Sunni, Shia, nationalist, Baathist—everybody is on the move. People are making direct decisions without oversight, or approval from a distant centralized source. Motive and weaponry intersect neatly in a wide-open gun-culture that would make the NRA proud. Some will be caught and killed, no doubt for their own good, if the Coalition is to be believed. Along the way they are sharpening their game. The knowledge-base will increase.

Coalition appointees like Chalabi have been sidelined, and they are uneasy. They k…