***WAR NEWS*** The bombing has intensified (as if thats possible) and Iraq has fired a missile over the border into Iran, hitting an Iranian oil refinery, which is now in flames.
Salam Pax's blog is still online, but it's not been updated for a while. It's hosted here at blogspot, but if his internet connection has gone, then he won't be able to keep it up to date.
***WAR NEWS*** The Blitzkrieg (lets call it what it is) is in full swing now. 500 cruise missiles have been launched. Waves of F117s, B2s and B52s are in the air. Baghdad, Kirkuk, and Mosul are burning. Basra and the oil fields have been taken by the coalition forces and the H2 and H3 airbases have been secured. A coalition column of military vehicles said to be 20 miles long and stretched 10 miles across the desert is already 100 miles inland, now that Iraq's only port has been secured. The 7th missile to be fired at Kuwait was reportedly neutralised by a Patriot battery. Coalition injuries and deaths are on the rise. 12 british troops and 4 marines killed in a helicopter crash. Other marines dead in ground attacks. Speculation is growing that Saddam has been injured after reports of him being stretchered out of a military bunker, seemingly unconcious and wearing an oxygen mask. There are sporadic reports and photos of Iraqi troops deserting and surrendering. Whether it's propaganda or not, I hope the Yanks do the right thing and don't walk all over the Geneva Convention like they circumvented the UN.
Meanwhile, North Korea has accused the US of trying to prove that it can fight two wars at once, and claims that the military war games in South Korea are on the verge of bringing about nuclear war on the Korean peninsula.
I've found a fascinating site that cuts right through the propaganda - Salam Pax's blog (http://dear_raed.blogspot.com/). He's in Baghdad and as long as his internet connection is up, he keeps typing. He knew about today's airstrike 6 hours before CNN knew anything about it.
I just got a call from the BMW dealership - that silver R1150GS I want has come back on the market. Their buyer backed out! We're off to ride it on saturday. Also, I finally found an MP3 I've been looking for for ages. It's an old Italo track that I've not been able to get out of my head for over a week now. Finally I got the MP3...
WAR! We're at War. The allies are exchanging artillery barrages across the Iraq-Kuwait border. Basra oil fields have been torched. Over 40 cruise missiles unleashed so far, and the bombing campaign is beginning. They think that Saddam's message on TV last night might have been previously taped, or might even have been a body-double for him. The oil wells are on fire - the "huge scattered flame" of Nostradamus Quatrain is oil field fires.
There's something quietly appropriate about listening to Frankie Goes To Hollywood right now - Two Tribes, and War......
Future posts will be preceded by ***WAR NEWS*** if they're war info, and not just general blogging.
Well this is it, I guess. In a little over 8 hours time, we'll be at war with Iraq. I hope for everyone's sake that it's quick and that there's no retaliation. Sadly, I suspect America is about to learn just what terrorism and islamic fundamentalism is all about. I wouldn't put it past some fringe group to do something that will make 9-11 look like childs play in comparison :-(
Just to re-iterate a post I made a few weeks back, with some modifications.
I remember the original Nostradamus Quatrain that was floated after 9/11 which seems curiously apt now :
Century 6, Quatrain 97
Cinq & quarante degrés ciel bruslera
Feu approcher de la grand cité neuue [neufue]
Instant grand flamme esparse sautera
Quand on voudra des Normans faire preuue.
Century 6, Quatrain 97
At five and forty degrees, the sky will burn,
Fire approaches the great new city,
Immediately a huge, scattered flame leaps up,
When they want to have verification from the Normans.
This does not reference New York (it's at 40 degrees latitude). However, the 45 degree line runs almost right through the centre of Banja Luka, Belgrade, Turin and Milan. And everyone assumes the 40 degrees is latitude. If you make it longitude, it runs pretty close to Baghdad. Check it out for yourself....44.44 degrees east. Scary eh?
The great "new" city could refer to the Baghdad which has been rebuilt since the end of the original Gulf War, thus making it new.
The huge scattered flame could be a nuke, or the MOAB bomb - 21,000 pounds of regular explosive that generates a mushroom cloud.
In Nostradamus time, the Normans were the French, and they're currently against war. Bush has been trying to get their approval (verification?) for a war with Iraq.
I tried looking for somewhere at combinations of 5 degrees and 40 degrees (eg. 5E 40N etc) but could only come up with Philadelphia (almost exactly 40 degrees north but nowhere near a '5').
I also looked for cities at 40 degrees and 5 degrees. The quatrain could refer to two different places if you read it again.....
North Korea has piped up again, as has the India vs. Pakistan debate. With Bush about to wage war on Iraq, there's concern amongst people in the know that we're actually truly on the verge of WWIII. France, Russia and Germany with their allies. America, England and Spain, with their allies. The middle east nations against each other. North Korea vs. South Korea, China and Japan. And India vs. Pakistan. It's horrible to think Bush is about to light the touchpaper on all these conflicts in the name of antiterrorism, whilst still actively funding groups like the IRA.
It's going downhill fast. The UN have just issued an emergency evacuation order for their staff to leave Iraq. Robin Cook, the leader of the house of commons just resigned too. Two more of Blair's government are threatening to resign by tonight too. Also it turns out that yet another of the pieces of "evidence" that Bush & Blair are using to justify a war, was faked. The "evidence" about Iraq trying to buy nuclear materials from Africa and other nations was an outright lie. This is worse than Monica Lewinski in terms of grounds for impeachment. Bush has flat lied to the world to justify a war that doesn't need to happen. The first pre-emptive war in America's history. And maybe the last.
Meanwhile it seems we're at war. Well - not quite, but by the end of the week. They've got a plane in Baghdad ready to evacuate the UN inspectors and Bush is giving a national address on TV tonight. I'm not sure he even knows why he's waging war any more. What will be the signal that the war is over? When Saddam leaves? When they find the WMD that have been planted by covert ops guys? When the whole planet is a smouldering mess?
So we rode the R1150GS this weekend. Sweet motorbike. Paula found it comfortable on the back and it's a real pussycat in the handling department. Problem is that the silver one I had my eye on has been sold :-( I'll have to wait for another one to come in.
We also picked up some ex-rental ski equipment from Wasatch Touring, for Paula. She's all kitted out now. Of course I had to buy a Yakima rack system for the car too so we had somewhere to carry the skis, but that will get used for other things - like the frequent trips to Home Depot once we've got the house :-)