Keep Your Helmet On!

Be A Part of a Tribute to Fallen Heroes - Help Build the Fallen Soldiers' Bike
Help support the families of our deployed Heroes - Visit Soldiers' Angels' Operation Outreach
Help Our Heroes Help Others - Click Here to visit SOS: KIDS
Nominate your Hero for IWT's "Hero of the Month" - click here for details!
Search Iraq War Today only

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

U.S. report names BW offenders
08/30/05 08:30 PM, EDT
A U.S. State Department report says evidence indicates that Russia, Iran, North Korea and Syria continue to maintain biological weapons programs.

Images of Katrina

NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 29, 2005) - Flooded roadways can be seen as the Coast Guard conducts initial Hurricane Katrina damage assessment overflights here today. U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Niemi

NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 29, 2005) - Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Huerta hoists two children into a Coast Guard rescue helicopter here today. Others watch from below as the children are among many New Orleans citizens to be rescued from their rooftops due to flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina. The Coast Guard has begun damage assessment overflights as well as search and rescue operations following the hurricane. Huerta, 34, of Tampa, Fla., is an aviation maintenance technician stationed at Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala. U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Niemi

Our hearts go out to the families affected by this massive storm - and our thanks go out to all the Heroes - both military and civilian - who are responding.

Getting it Done - How Long Does it Take to Write a Constitution?

Judging by a lot of the headlines lately, you'd think that writing a Constitution was an easy thing to do; that the fact that Iraq's taken a little while to get it done is a sign of significant trouble, even a sign that we're losing.

I wonder if any of these critics ever read a history book. If you know anything about American history, you'll recall that it took our founding fathers quite a while to write the document that guides this country. It wasn't done in a civil afternoon of tea and quiet conversation. The differences that divided the northern and southern states, which very nearly killed the idea of American independence, raised their heads again when it came time to discuss a constitution, and the small and large states ended up at each other's throats. (Kind of reminds you of that Sunni and Shi'ite rift, doesn't it?)

Here's some info on exactly how the process of writing our Constitution went:

The Articles of Confederation came out first - they were ratified in 1781. But there were some MAJOR issues there - Congress couldn't enforce its own legislation. The new government didn't have any means of getting any money - it could make requisitions on the States, but couldn't enforce compliance. The States could - and did - completely ignore requests for funds. Congress had no authority to enforce any control over interstate or international commerce. It had no ability to compel States to honor national commitments - like treaties, for instance. And the Articles really had no impact on individual citizens - they only affected "the States."

The economy was in complete disarray, and radical political movements, like Shays' Rebellion, sprang up. States had their own money, their own tax systems, and nobody was having any luck making stable trade agreements. Even navigation on the Potomac was a major snafu - Virginia found that it couldn't make any deals without getting Delaware and Pennsylvania to agree. A general conference on commercial issues was called to address some of these problems, but only five states sent delegates.

In short, things were a complete mess.

Finally, everybody figured out that the Articles just weren't going to work without one serious rewrite. They needed a strong federal government, and they needed it in writing. A general convention to revise the Articles was called for May, 1787, in Philadelphia. Congress didn't give it the official nod until five states had already selected their delegates.

Rhode Island was the only state who didn't send a delegate to the Convention...eventually. When things first opened on May 14, only two states were represented. The Convention had to keep adjourning until they finally got a quorum almost two weeks later. Washington presided, elected unanimously. Immediately, conflict flared up. Everyone agreed that Congress should have the ability to be effective, but how that was to happen was a matter of intense debate. By the middle of June, it was pretty clear that no amount of amending was going to do it - they needed to scrap the Articles entirely, and draw up a whole new document.

The process was daunting - from the beginning, no one could agree on exactly how that newly defined government should look. Smaller states wanted to retain equal power. Larger states wanted population to dictate power. And neither side was going to budge. Edmund Randolph of Virginia came up with a solution - two houses. One, the lower house, with delegates according to population, and the other, the upper house, elected by the lower house. William Patterson of New Jersey offered a plan that called for equal representation. Neither side of the argument would yield, and the small states threatened to walk out altogether. Finally, Oliver Ellsworth and Roger Sherman (CT), put forth a compromise measure that resulted in our present system.

Other issues were how taxes would be allotted (Congress would be able to levy direct, but not indirect, taxes), and the abolition of importing slaves (a hot issue in the independence discussion, too - they finally agreed that importation would not be forbidden before 1808)

But the feuding didn't end there - some delegates finally did walk out, leading the fight to stop ratification of the document. In the end, only thirty-nine delegates signed. Fourteen had gone home. Three delegates flat-out refused to sign. And one who did sign, did so by proxy.

All told, it took a little over three months to draft the 4,543 words that comprise the Constitution (including signatures, but not interlineations certificate). Really, though, it took 12 years from the point of declaring we were our own country to get to the point of having a signed document with which to run it.

It wasn't until June of 1788 that the darned thing was finally ratified (after 124 changes) - and only after North Carolina and Rhode Island, who'd rejected it, were forced to sign on after everyone else accepted. Even then, not everybody was happy with it. In the first two years after the signatures, the Bill of Rights was added. And the sucker's been amended twenty-seven times - the last occurring in 1992 (by the way, that one - establishing procedures for Congressional pay raises, was first proposed in 1789).

Iraq held elections at the end of January, 2005. So why is it that we're so completely stunned that they haven't got a perfect constitution in seven months? It took us seven years of war and five years of arguing to come up with a completely useless document that in the end had to be scrapped anyway. It's taken us over two hundred years to get it the way it looks now, and there's no guarantee we won't change it some more. In comparison, the way I see it, the Iraqis are way ahead of us on Constitution drafting. And the arguing is just part of the process of defining who they will be as a country.

For more information:
The National Archives - The Constitution of the United States
The National Archives - A More Perfect Union:The Creation of the U.S. Constitution
Yahoo! - The Constitution of the United States
Maj. Roger Alsup, a Missouri National Guardsman from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and principal of T.S. Hill Middle School in Dexter, Mo., distributes school supplies to Iraqi children in Fallujah. The supplies were donated by students and faculty at Alsup's middle school. Photo by Norris Jones.

From the "Foundation for the Defense of Democracies" Newsletter

Film-maker Don North has produced two films about some of the most despicable abuses to take place at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. But PBS and other MSM (mainstream media) outlets refuse to air them.

Why? Perhaps because the abuses he has focused on -- the amputations of the right hands of Iraqi merchants -- were carried out while Saddam Hussein was still in power. Such barbarity evidently fills the MSM with ennui.

Want to bet that if Don had made films about abuses at Abu Ghraib while U.S. forces were running the place -- even such lesser abuses as scaring prisoners with barking dogs -- there'd be plenty of film at 11? Christopher Hitchens makes a similar point: "Prison conditions at Abu Ghraib have improved markedly and dramatically since the arrival of Coalition troops in Baghdad," he writes. "Before March 2003, Abu Ghraib was an abattoir, a torture chamber, and a concentration camp. Now, and not without reason, it is an international byword for Yankee imperialism and sadism. Yet the improvement is still, unarguably, the difference between night and day." The rest of Christopher's insightful piece -- entitled "A War to Be Proud Of" -- is here.
KEEPING WATCH – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Vallenavedo scans the landing zone for possible hostile forces in Baghdad, Iraq, on Aug. 26, 2005. Vallenavedo and his squad are part of the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Russell E. Cooley IV

LANDING ZONE — The rotor wash of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter kicks up clouds of dust as U.S. Army soldiers scan the perimeter of a landing zone for possible hostile forces near Baghdad, Iraq, on Aug. 26, 2005. The soldiers are with the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Russell E. Cooley IV

In Today's News - Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Quote of the Day
"Eternal Vigilance is the price of freedom."
-- Author Unknown

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
U.S. Jets Strike Militants as Iraq Tribal Clashes Kill 45
Suspected Terrorists Detained in Mosul
Iraqi Soldiers Demonstrate Quick Responses
Draft Iraqi Constitution Can Change, Adapt

Operation Enduring Freedom
Marines, Afghans Secure Areas for Elections
Afghan Army Leads Demining Operation

Hurricane Katrina
Facts: Katrina
Facts: Deadliest Hurricanes
Superdome Lockdown Eased
Photos: Katrina's Wake
Photos: South Submerged
Insurance Cost May Hit $25B
Tornadoes in Georgia
Oil Touches $70, Falls Back
Airlines Hit Hard
Bush May Tap Oil Reserve
FEMA, Others Respond

Base-Closing Panel Wraps Up Work
Final Decisions and Deliberations
Base Closing List
Rumsfeld Critical of Some BRAC Decisions

Other News of Note
Rumsfeld: Military-Ecology Balance Needed

Fox News
Chavez Meets Jesse Jackson
Roberts Faces Torture Quiz
Three Nabbed in Hariri Probe
Report: Brazil Sought A-Bomb

Reuters: Top News
Netanyahu to seek Sharon's ouster after Gaza exit
Iran says has made new atomic breakthrough
Iraq Sunni leader says to work against draft charter
China wants to buy U.S. goods, eyes energy cooperation
Defense wraps up in Hong Kong milkshake murder trial
Protesters on both sides of Iraq war follow Bush
Gaza militants renew truce pledge to Egypt envoy
Venezuela softens stance on U.S. ties, drugs
U.S. Treasury's Adams sees more flexible yuan

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
More changes said likely to Iraq charter
Netanyahu unveils candidacy to lead party
Security personnel held in Hariri slaying
Egypt envoy seeks state for Palestinians
Heavy fighting erupts in western Iraq
3 ex-pro-Syrian security chiefs detained
How Iraq's constitution vote will be done
Chief of Iran's nuclear program reinstated
U.S. copter under fire in Iraq; GI killed
Iraq leaders spar over attending summit
Fear keeps Sudan refugees from going home
Some objections to Iraq draft constitution
Newsview: New Mideast violence may wane
Lebanese brace for U.N. Hariri results
Jordan to improve security at Iraq border
Egypt police ordered to show restraint
Cemetery moves Gaza graves to Jerusalem
Gaza villagers move to area outside Israel
Iraq commission extends voter registration
Shiite forces blamed for Sunnis' deaths Associated Press
More changes said likely to Iraq charter
Indonesia tries again to wipe out polio
Britain wants to ban violent Internet porn
Swaziland princess' bash upstages father

Washington Post: World News
Rumsfeld: U.S. Won't Loose
Sunnis Won't Defeat Charter
Egypt Vote: System Is Alleged To Favor Mubarak
U.S. to Aid Ukraine in Countering Bioweapons: Pact Focuses on Security at Labs; Russia Apologizes for Delay of Senate Delegation
Sharon: Not All Settlements in Final Deal
North Korea Delays Return to Nuke Talks

Yahoo! News: War with Iraq
Iraq Sunnis, Shi'ites unite to mortify the flesh
In Iraq, Varied Views on New Draft
Senator Will Ask Rumsfeld to Testify to Panel on Iraq
Kosovo Drive-By Shooting Kills Two Serbs
Concerns of al-Qaida Balkan Link Renewed
Kosovo Serbs reject plan for self-rule

CENTCOM: News Release

Department of Defense
Rice Congratulates Iraqis on Constitution
Efforts in Iraq Require Time, Sacrifice

Iraqi, U.S. Army Units Partner for Success
Soldiers Celebrate Women's Equality Day — Story

Combat Engineers Keep U.N. Compound Safe

Air Force Father and Son Stationed Together — Story

Surged Ships Get Welcomed Home — Story

Detainee Escapes from Abu Ghraib
Officials Outline Successes in Iraq
Election Security Plans in Place
Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Eye on Iraq Update (pdf)
Iraq Progress Fact Sheet (pdf)

IED Strike Kills American
Afghanistan Daily Update

Troops' Morale Remains High
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

DoD Takes Conservation Seriously
BRAC Commission Wraps Up
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Army Casualty — Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


Today in History
1850 - Honolulu, HI becomes a city.
1862 - CSA General Robert E. Lee defeats Union General John Pope at the 2nd Battle of Bull Run (Manassas).
1862 - In Tennessee, Confederates defeat Union forces at the Battle of Altamont.
1885 - 13,000 meteors are seen in one hour near Andromeda.
1905 - Ty Cobb's has his first major league at bat.
1916 - In Germany Paul Von Hindenburg becomes Chief-of-General-Staff.
1941 - Nazi forces begin their Siege of Leningrad.
1944 - Soviet troops enter Bucharest, Romania.
1945 - Hong Kong is liberated from Japan.
1963 - The Hot Line communications link between Washigton, DC & Moscow begins.
1967 - The U.S. Senate confirms Thurgood Marshall as the first African-American Justice.
1976 - Tom Brokaw becomes news anchor of the Today Show.
1979 - While on a canoe trip in Plains, GA, President Carter is attacked by a rabbit.
1983 - The 8th Space Shuttle Mission (Challenger-3) is launched.
1984 - The 12th Space Shuttle Mission (41-D, Discovery-1) is launched.
1986 - Soviet authorities arrest Nicholas Daniloff (U.S. News & World Report)

- Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author ("Frankenstein")
1837 - Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur, wife of President Chester A. Arthur.
1852 - Jacobus Henricus van't Hoff Neth, physical chemist, Nobel Prize winner (1901)
1871 - Ernest Lord Rutherford, physicist; discovered atomic nucleus
1884 - Theodor Svedberg, chemist (worked with colloids), Nobel Prize winner (1926)
1893 - Huey P. Long, (Gov/Sen- LA)
1901 - Roy Wilkins, civil rights director (NAACP)
1931 - John L. Swigert, Jr., astronaut (Apollo 13)

30 BC
- Cleopatra, seventh and most famous Queen of Egypt, suicide
1483 - King Louis XI of France (1461-83)
1879 - CSA General John B. Hood (lost Atlanta)
1930 - William H. Taft, 27th US President
1981 - Mohammad Ali Rajai, president of Iran, and Mohammad Javad Bahonar, prime minister of Iran, both assassinated by a bomb

Reported Missing in Action
Hoff, Sammie D., USAF (TX); F4C shot down (B/N, w/Robinson), remains returned December, 1988

Robinson, Kenneth D., USAF (IN); F4C shot down (pilot, w/Hoff), remains returned December, 1988

Allard, Michael John, USN (WI); A4E shot down, KIA, body not recovered

Peralta, Benjamin R., US Army; AWOL