Saturday, January 29, 2005

Just Observing

Just Observing

Now here's a blogger I enjoy no end. Can't imagine missing one of his posts: Today he's talking about table manners vs the fast food ads on TV. He has a wide-ranging mind, and now that he's retired, he's having his say on a whole raft of subjects. Just pleases me no end to read him.

A gentleman overseas, whose name and position will remain unknown for good reasons, and I have been emailing back and forth about torture. He gave me a scenario: Our people have captured a suspect. They believe he is one of a group who are giving Iraqi kids candy and such and poisoning them, then saying that the Americans are doing it. Now we have him in our hands. What methods do we use to get him to turn over info on the rest of his group? It seems the info must be gotten quickly because that group is still out there passing out the poisoned treats and killing kids.

I'd be interested in anyone's ideas in the comments. Will put my thoughts on that in tomorrow's post.

Chaos in the hotel this morn. C and I went down to breakfast on the patio. The tole arts people are there again for another three days, painting away in the conference room off the patio. Nice folks. Never bother anyone. But C and I were told it was a good thing we arrived late this morning. Also staying at the hotel were a tour group of 125 or so people. And that 125 arrived in the dining room before 7AM. I suspect that the dining room holds perhaps 50 people, if that. So both dining room and patio were jam-crammed. Now it's one thing to have a couple of families and friends...say 15 or so arrive. No problem. It's another to take care of 125 all at once. The staff and cooks about killed themselves trying to get that crew fed and watered.

And they did. Boy, were they proud of themselves. Not one complaint. Apparently the people on the tour realized the staff was badly outnumbered and were the souls of patience, and because they were, everything proceeded in an orderly fashion.

This is good. Nothing makes me madder faster than to see diners abusing a good staff. Take the writers' conference for instance. Very protective of the staffs at the hotels, the conf organizers are. Whether workshop leader, speaker or conferee, if they're caught abusing any of the hotel's staff by word or behavior, they will never be allowed to attend the conf again...and may be thrown out on the spot, as far as that goes. Just will not tolerate it.

C and I had planned to breakfast on Marie's patio as usual on Sat and Sun, but Marie's staff closed it because of the rain last night, until lunch. That patio has a canvas roof, and exterior walls rise just a touch over halfway to the roof. More, the sun has caused the stitching in the canvas to rot to the point that a seam or seams will open under the weight of the water. This causes huge puddles of water on the patio floor...which has no outlet, since the patio floor is just a bit lower than the ground outside. No drainage. And so the patio was closed and we headed down to the hotel in Old Town. Full sun and blue skies now, so we'll try Marie's again in the morning. Not a problem, it being closed today, but we were late getting to the hotel. Good thing, as it turned out.

Okay. Since Iraqi time is about 11 hours sooner than ours, it's about 3 in the morning there. A few hours more and they vote. That is, those who are ready to risk their lives to do it, vote. What a mess. The polls are mostly at schools. The schools have been getting blown up. We and the Iraqis have just finished repairing a mess of those schools. But where else they could have the polls is anybody's guess. I just wish them all a safe passage. And this election had better have been worth it.

Time after time the Iraqis have been told this will improve and that will improve and it's not. We have not been able to keep anything unharmed if the insurgents decide to do harm...and the Iraqis are once again disappointed or dead. It's not for lack of trying to fix things. It's just that there's such a resistance against us being there at all by so many Iraqis. Between a rock and a hard place is where we are. Thank you BushCo for that "Bring it on" remark for one thing. They did and they have and they will continue to do just that.

Slowly, but surely, the world is now moving to cast its shadow on us, rather than us casting our "Superpower" shadow on the world. Without BushCo, this would not be the case.
Wrapped up.


Gary said...

Keep an eye out for a man named Kassim Daoud (sometimes spelt Qasim Doud/Douwd), current Iraqi National Security Minister (I think). He's one person I'll be very interested to see where he shakes out on it all, as we've been doing a bit of digging on him in the last few weeks (there's a Cardiff connection in there). Seems the CIA like him a lot as well...

Watch 'n Wait said...

Oh yeah? Ok, Gary. Will do. That's interesting....