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Re: [ujeni] Whoops!!!

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  • John Patten
    Hey Don and Kathy, Nice to hear you will be back here. I m taking Eriko s parents who are on holiday to Kruger this coming week, but if you need anything or
    Message 1 of 8 , May 23, 2004
      Hey Don and Kathy,

      Nice to hear you will be back here. I'm taking Eriko's
      parents who are on holiday to Kruger this coming week,
      but if you need anything or are passing through
      Pretoria/Joburg, my cell number is 072-729-6756
      locally. We have extra rooms, a car, and Castle in the
      fridge. It would be great to see you guys.

      Also, Christine, still love the news postings with
      stuff you cannot get elsewhere. My wife will not let
      me watch CNN anymore because it "angries up the
      blood."

      JP

      --- Weber <weber@...> wrote:
      > You have received a double dose of Christine
      > Chumbler news today courtesy of me. It's a long
      > story (not really but it sounds better). By the way,
      > Cathy & I take off in 3 weeks with our 2 grandsons
      > and will be in South Africa (Kruger Park) and then
      > Blantyre where we will stay with our host family and
      > show the kids the sights of the city and then some.
      > We'll let you know some impressions when we return.
      Don





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    • Paul DEVER
      John, Why does CNN angry up your blood????? _________________________________________________________________ FREE pop-up blocking with the new MSN Toolbar –
      Message 2 of 8 , May 23, 2004
        John, Why does CNN angry up your blood?????

        _________________________________________________________________
        FREE pop-up blocking with the new MSN Toolbar � get it now!
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      • Luz Huntington
        Hey John, I read your message to Don and Cathy just now. I just wanted to comment that its nice to know that the Peace Corps hospitality continues to live on.
        Message 3 of 8 , May 24, 2004
          Hey John,
          I read your message to Don and Cathy just now. I just wanted to comment that
          its nice to know that the Peace Corps hospitality continues to live on.

          Hopefully when Rob and I have completed the renovating of our house I will
          let the ujeni know and share the same hospitality.

          Have Fun at Kruger!!!

          Luz


          >From: John Patten <jppatten98@...>
          >Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
          >To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: Re: [ujeni] Whoops!!!
          >Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 05:56:51 -0700 (PDT)
          >
          >Hey Don and Kathy,
          >
          >Nice to hear you will be back here. I'm taking Eriko's
          >parents who are on holiday to Kruger this coming week,
          >but if you need anything or are passing through
          >Pretoria/Joburg, my cell number is 072-729-6756
          >locally. We have extra rooms, a car, and Castle in the
          >fridge. It would be great to see you guys.
          >
          >Also, Christine, still love the news postings with
          >stuff you cannot get elsewhere. My wife will not let
          >me watch CNN anymore because it "angries up the
          >blood."
          >
          >JP
          >
          >--- Weber <weber@...> wrote:
          > > You have received a double dose of Christine
          > > Chumbler news today courtesy of me. It's a long
          > > story (not really but it sounds better). By the way,
          > > Cathy & I take off in 3 weeks with our 2 grandsons
          > > and will be in South Africa (Kruger Park) and then
          > > Blantyre where we will stay with our host family and
          > > show the kids the sights of the city and then some.
          > > We'll let you know some impressions when we return.
          >Don
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >__________________________________
          >Do you Yahoo!?
          >Yahoo! Domains � Claim yours for only $14.70/year
          >http://smallbusiness.promotions.yahoo.com/offer
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >

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        • John Patten
          Hi folks, I have been receiving more unsolicited papers, letters, snippets from various friends of friends of cousin’s workmates, regarding how we should be
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 2, 2004
            Hi folks,

            I have been receiving more unsolicited papers,
            letters, snippets from various friends of friends of
            cousin�s workmates, regarding how we should be
            cheerleading Bush and his decisions in Iraq. I guess
            we�re all on email lists and addressbooks in one form
            or another. So of course I had to respond and write to
            many sitting on the fence. If I don�t, the pressure in
            my head gets above 40 p.s.i and may explode, and I
            just had the tan carpets cleaned. So please delete if
            your tired of it, I get tired of myself, but I�m back
            down to a normal 28 p.s.i., so that�s something.

            It�s no secret I�m not a big fan of Bush, I really
            think he needs to go, but also know a lot of good work
            goes on by talented people within the current
            government, armed forces, embassies and consulates,
            etc. I do think he has compromised that though and was
            the point of my letter and response. While German
            protestor marches comparing Bush to Hitler are a bit
            disingenuous, My Uncle wrote back with a quote from
            said madman, �What luck for rulers that men do not
            think.� It may be preaching to the choir here, but
            there was no �sitting on the fence lobby� with their
            own web-blog to write to, so I had to send it
            somewhere due to previous said p.s.i. issue. Feel free
            to circulate it if you also get adverts from the
            rah-rah lobby.

            These missives should die off soon, as I just got a
            good job back in Afghanistan and should be leaving in
            a couple of months as soon as (or if) security
            clearances go through. I will try not to get shot in
            the spleen or appear on CBS as an underfed hostage,
            but I can�t promise anything as I will probably be in
            Kandahar.

            Cathy and Don, just back from Kruger, will give
            details soon. Additionally, I saw a monkey.

            Cheers,
            JP

            �The difference between me and the Surrealists is that
            I am a Surrealist.� Salvatore Dali

            �Don�t call me, I�ll call you.� Nelson Mandela,
            announcing his retirement from public life, June 1,
            2004.

            31/5/04

            Dear Friends,

            As I was forwarded the unsolicited email below
            regarding the Iraq situation I feel compelled and
            within my right to respond to it. Especially since it
            tries to influence your political thought. For me it
            illustrates part of the problem with our involvement
            in Iraq and the disturbing American tendency to rally
            around cheerleading for our country and leaders
            without critical thought or having a grasp of the real
            context of such situations, ironically lobbied for by
            the writer of the letter. While I do applaud her
            commitment to service, and friends would probably say
            she is a special person, I have to argue on the
            points. If we want to talk about facts, then let�s do
            it and be thoughtful about it.

            I am an American and have lived, worked or traveled in
            25 countries now, so I feel I can speak to the poor
            perception of us around the world, and the poor
            decisions which put us there. If it does not concern
            you, it should, because it is affecting you now
            already. I also spent a year and a half in
            post-Taliban Afghanistan. I will be returning shortly
            with the U.S. Govt. to advise on appropriate actions
            needed to be taken there on the humanitarian side. I
            was going to Iraq until the security situation became
            untenable for humanitarian agencies, especially for
            Americans. My former American housemates from
            Afghanistan have been in Basra and Baghdad for the
            past year (since evacuated), so while I would respect
            the writer for pointing out that she is living in the
            situation, I am privy to information and have been in
            contact with numerous individuals in the field there,
            who have a much different take on the situation. A
            civilian stationed on a military air base and working
            for the Department of Defense is by definition living
            in an insular security environment. Access to host
            country nationals in these situations is also mostly
            contact with the elites and educated of the
            population, with a financial stake in dealing with the
            foreigners. That is hardly a big picture view of the
            overall context.

            I commiserate with the writer on news reporting and
            that was certainly my experience and that of my
            colleagues in Afghanistan. Journalists love to stand
            in front of burning tanks and screaming mothers, but
            never seem to get out into the villages to access the
            real situation, as my experience was they were more
            concerned with their own standing within their
            organizations, and where they could smell awards (a
            cold dawn rises over the war-torn city!). As I live in
            South Africa now I mostly have access to other world
            news agencies that do a better job or reporting world
            issues. When I do see American news stations on the
            satellite I am appalled at their sheer simplistic
            approach and the absence of other vital stories that
            have context broadcast on the non-American stations.
            Your news there is formulaic to the point of �6:30-
            one minute sound-bite treatments of major world
            issues, 6:40- local domestic American stories, human
            interest story scheduled for 6:50 pm, usually about
            healthcare, drug prices or obesity, use anecdotal one
            man on the street interview, wrap up with brief,
            non-contextual inflammatory story to get your anger
            up, or cute animal story for the closing. Intersperse
            with commercials longer than the actual stories
            regarding every over-the-counter stomach gas or
            allergy remedy.� How is any American supposed to have
            an informed opinion anymore? The ability of American
            voter opinion and polls to be manipulated by short
            news clips, a speech, USA Today, or nods to patriotism
            is extremely disturbing to me.

            That is where I diverge from the writer. I felt in no
            sense does her letter �set the record straight.� These
            are complex political issues that can be diverted over
            talk of how many structures are built or increasing
            numbers of children in school, especially when it is
            solely from a perspective of what our military are
            doing, and the camaraderie created in such
            environments. While I am sure that good work is being
            done, including that which the writer stated,
            statistics do not really tell much of the story.

            THERE ARE NO TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS TO WHAT ARE
            ESSENTIALLY POLITICAL PROBLEMS!

            I challenge the figure of �95%� of Iraqis wanting us
            there. Based on what measure? Maybe they would have
            had the situation been handled correctly from the
            start. But it wasn�t, and that is not the experience
            of my friends working there or by any reasonable means
            of polling the Iraqis themselves. They did not ask for
            this nor want the present situation, as they are more
            insecure now. All the talk now is of future
            �potential,� years down the road, something you were
            not sold. The administration had different rhetoric
            before the war if anyone even remembers that now.
            There has been massive impact on humanitarian agencies
            there, which were doing good work and have since had
            to evacuate their staffs from the country. That means
            that many meaningful and necessary projects cannot go
            forward, by agencies that were more involved with and
            had better understanding of the local context than the
            military actors, in addition to helping more people.
            Simple donations often do more harm than good, for
            complex reasons beyond the scope of this letter,
            which, brace yourself, I can see is already going to
            be way too long. But I�m rolling now. Previously
            peaceful areas like Basra, which are no longer, saw a
            cleric largely discredited by the local people, but
            who is now gaining supporters through U.S. actions.
            Many of the decisions taken by us have been tailor
            made for recruitment of people sitting on the fence.

            Long before the war in Iraq started last year, many of
            us in the humanitarian community in Afghanistan
            discussed and already knew there was no way they were
            not going in with military force. We could have
            written the calendar exactly as it has transpired to
            this point. With six months to go you see what
            milestones will need to be taken care of to reach your
            objective and push forward your agenda at all costs,
            i.e. how will you position yourself and manipulate
            information to insure you can overcome the UN, world
            opinion, domestic pressure, and sort out Congress. See
            how to amplify your points and minimize, divert, or
            outright ignore weak points. I�m surprised anybody
            found it surprising or thought there would be a last
            minute reprieve. We do not mobilize hundreds of
            thousands of troops and military hardware without
            using them. The pressure, financial, and political
            stake is too great. We knew the war would be over
            quickly. We also knew however why a year later we are
            faced with the current problems. The fact that it
            caught the Bush administration by surprise is
            dumbfounding. It means that he did not understand the
            context of the situation or the people there, which
            seemed to be apparent to many others in that context
            and around the world, or have a coherent plan to win
            the peace. It is patently obvious this was for a
            political agenda. Iraqi �freedom� is a secondary
            smokescreen. As long as it fit into our larger
            objectives, then fine. When they got caught out, they
            arrogantly derided dissenting opinion, thinking all
            the while that �now that we�re into it, people should
            come on board.� That I�m sure was actually said. There
            never was any real discourse on the issue, just
            manipulation. They think we�re stupid. Many are, or
            just do not care enough to challenge anything.

            I think the two most important jobs of a President are
            to keep your country out of war and address and follow
            sound economic policy. Bush has failed on both counts,
            and unnecessarily so. We are now more than 500 billion
            dollars in debt, with that debt rising rapidly. That
            will effect you in one form or another. The same
            manipulation occurred with the funding issue. First
            you say there will be sacrifice necessary, but we
            should be able to complete the task with 82 billion of
            YOUR tax dollars. When congress approves, wait a bit,
            then state, �Circumstances have changed, we need to
            approve additional funding.� The fact that this is so
            transparent is almost less of an issue than how
            Americans repeatedly buy it. As an aside, if you think
            your gas bill, double what it was before Bush, is not
            a result of the climate of fear and distrust he has
            created, then you really are not in tune with the
            issues. The industry is able to play on this,
            justified or not, and it is currently threatening the
            larger world economy.

            Words mean something. Every action by our country has
            a consequence, and almost universally, unintended
            consequences will occur. In this case they have more
            often been negative, with the possibilities not fully
            evaluated by our current administration beforehand.
            George Bush said he doesn�t do �nuance.� IT�S ALL
            NUANCE! Real leaders know this. His position means he
            can�t be bothered with trivial things like thinking.
            There is good reason more than 50 high level U.S.
            diplomats (i.e. Ambassadors and career diplomats that
            understand implications of foreign policy) have sent
            an open letter to Bush critical of his misguided and
            ad hoc policies. It has the feeling of making it up as
            they go to react to crises, not implement long-term
            strategic plans (he has also used the ad hoc approach
            to domestic economics such as the steel tariffs which
            had to be quickly repealed. It illustrates his
            inability to make appropriate decisions, which are
            more often based on political expediency. Did you know
            the dollar has lost 40% to most world currencies in
            the past year? Does that not disturb you? It should.
            By the way, are we still going to Mars?). There is
            also discord between agencies and Bush�s own staff. I
            have had discussions with a friend and colleague
            formerly in the Reagan administration regarding the
            approach taken by high level officials currently,
            people he is also highly critical of. Especially
            Rumsfeld, a big mistake on many levels. Please do not
            confuse necessary decisive leadership with making
            reactionary decisions in the absence of real and
            critical evaluation, with no regard for consequences.
            Bush has demonstrated that he was not prepared for
            decisions that arose due to his original policy.

            What prompted me to really write this letter is the
            disturbing final passage below, along with the
            previous necessary American emotive line thrown in
            about the tear-filled man shaking her hand. I�m sure
            he does not cry for the same reasons of the other 42
            million people:

            �I've met some wonderful soldiers serving in Iraq. As
            a nation, we should all be proud and supportive of the
            mission Operation Iraqi Freedom. I believe President
            Bush is doing a fantastic job because I know he's
            acting on information briefed him. If this is
            sometimes incorrect or omissions are committed, that
            is not his fault. I believe in my job, my country, and
            I want my grandchildren to always be able to enjoy
            their freedoms. That's why I'm going back.�

            This briefly sums up everything wrong with our foreign
            policy, and the ease to which American public opinion
            can be manipulated. I will address the points:

            1. Yes there are some very good soldiers doing a good
            job with the context and orders presented them. I have
            often defended them to the European NGOs and people
            that do not see as well what our embassies and
            diplomatic efforts do in a positive sense for people
            around the world. But soldiers are not the issue and
            we have to make a distinction between supporting
            people just trying to do their best given the
            situation, within the context and political leadership
            (there are also many vocal soldiers there that do not
            think they should be there, something overlooked by
            the writer). They are not the decision makers and
            should stay in the role of soldiering, and only when
            absolutely necessary. They do a lot that unfortunately
            is overshadowed by the stupid way this arrogant
            administration has squandered political capital and
            goodwill from other countries around the world,
            actually INCREASED our insecurity, cultivated more
            terrorism, encouraged hostility towards Americans that
            I deal with every day overseas, encouraged a lack of
            diplomacy, decreased adherence to and respect for the
            law on the part of other nations, harmed the economy,
            decreased our travel, security, investment and work
            options, and decreased our long-term economic and
            political aspirations, something that will take years
            to rectify, and ironically, have decreased our ability
            to enjoy our freedom. The issue IS the political
            context and our leadership. We spent two years on
            Clinton for lying, for what? That he didn�t want his
            wife to find out he was getting some on the side. And
            we impeached him for that, despite the fact we had a
            surplus since long gone, economic prosperity, and
            goodwill and standing in the world, even if I could
            argue with some of his decisions. Yet you were lied to
            about why we are at a major war, our guys are dying,
            our economy has gone down, the world hates us, it has
            effected our options, and there is less questioning on
            this? Are you serious? Are you not concerned the world
            hates us or even question why? Where are the
            priorities? A South African diplomat was recently
            kidnapped in Malaysia because they �thought he was
            American.� Other world travelers have been stopped in
            places by militants �looking for Americans.� That
            should concern you. Fighting terrorism cannot be done
            by emotional rhetoric and force alone.
            What the writer also does not realize is that use of
            military for humanitarian interventions can be very
            destructive to the climate of alleviating human
            suffering, the primary goal of any such intervention.
            It should be done in a neutral way, without political
            consideration, to those who are most needy. However,
            it has become politicized, and local people on the
            ground in any context are now confusing humanitarian
            and military agencies, a dangerous development that
            has led to increased targeting of humanitarians and
            less people receiving aid as a result of evacuations.
            It has become a very big issue, the protecting of
            humanitarian space. Soldiers doing a specific military
            duty, with limited knowledge of larger context due to
            the nature of their positions, should not be passing
            out books at elementary schools! When militants see
            this it is not a far stretch to start throwing
            grenades over the wall at the ICRC compound, which
            does happen. To illustrate my point, in emergency
            contexts the military often drops yellow food packages
            (that previously looked the same as cluster bombs)
            that are a useless untargeted aid strategy that is
            strictly for PR. Aid like this does not go to the most
            needy, or last past one day. That was not a strategy
            at all and it should be left to agencies that have the
            knowledge and experience. Also, another incident
            occurred today in Afghanistan with the targeting and
            killing of MSF workers. "We did it," said Haji Latif
            Hakimi, who claims to represent the Taliban. "We
            killed them because they worked for the Americans
            against us using the cover of aid work. We will kill
            more foreign aid workers," he told Reuters in Herat,
            the western city located some 75 miles west of Qadis.
            Military can contribute a lot to the security
            situation and logistically, but have taken over
            primary roles in aid, an enterprise that they are not
            really suited. There is currently no room in Iraq for
            the appropriate humanitarian agencies to operate.
            I am an American, and my opinion is just as valid as
            any of you and any military personnel. Like half of
            the U.S. population I do not have to support the
            administration, its actions, or the ongoing state of
            affairs simply because we were manipulated enough to
            the point where they are there now, we should support
            them. The administration counted on you to do that. I
            state categorically I did not support the Iraq action.
            It was wrong, based on lies, manipulative, illegal,
            diminished our world standing, and has absolutely ZERO
            to do with our freedom. It is shameful it has been
            manipulated as such. This is not similar to WWII. And
            don�t talk to me about the removal of Saddam Hussein.
            I would have put a bullet in his head myself. Iraq had
            no bearing whatsoever on our security previously, but
            it unfortunately does now. This elective action may
            endanger us from going into a situation where it
            genuinely is in the interest of our national security.

            If the standard simplistic American response is for
            someone to write to me and say well move to another
            country if you don�t like it, as often happens with
            someone that has a differing opinion, I can say I have
            little patience or tolerance for that. I�ve done a lot
            of work for my country, hopefully for the original and
            true values of what it used to stand for, not the
            lies, and do not tolerate anyone questioning my love
            of my country, or that I unquestioningly support our
            govt. because they know best, right? We are the
            government. Or at least are supposed to be in this
            democracy, er, I mean republic. I love it enough to
            say we are going down the wrong road. I have been held
            against my will at gunpoint in the mountains of
            northern Afghanistan. I actually supported our
            intervention there. However, the �my country right or
            wrong� argument and blind faith in misguided leaders
            is dangerous and has denigrated what our country
            stands for. This kind of disingenuous, unquestioning
            and misguided nationalism needs to die this century
            (the world over really) if we are to regain our place
            in a genuine leadership role in the eyes of other
            countries. We got strong through many appropriate
            decisions and values to get us there, but run the risk
            of moving backward now. Argue with me on the facts,
            but be assured I do not scare easily living in
            Johannesburg. I am here to chew bubblegum and kick
            ass. And I�m all out of bubblegum! 

            Other countries cannot fight us militarily. But what
            they can do is have a policy of non-cooperation. Many
            are currently looking for better economic prospects
            elsewhere, especially in regards to currency and stock
            markets, and are starting to employ emotional
            avoidance. i.e. �we can�t stand your arrogance and
            lack of diplomacy, so we will deal with someone else
            now.� The Roman Empire died out, as did the Ottomans,
            the British, and many others. We do not live in a
            vacuum and do not have carte blanche to do whatever we
            want in the world simply because we are currently
            strong. The arrogance and short-sightedness of this
            kind of thinking seemed the cycle of other empires,
            even if ours does not fit the definition, or has more
            an economic base. Can you imagine where we will be in
            2050? It�s not so far away. There are well over
            three-hundred other countries in the world that also
            influence our place in the world, but most Americans
            pay passing lip service to that or really just do not
            care, we�re just trained to say we�re the best without
            thinking very much about it. What other countries are
            actually starting to say now is that they cannot
            believe much of what we say, even when it is benign or
            actually true. We cannot talk of human rights without
            following our own standards. Nobody is going to
            believe us or take us seriously. There cannot be
            different standards for different people in the world.
            We have lost our credibility. That is dangerous for
            us.

            I do not agree with the liberal doomsayers either, but
            I think what can happen over time if we let people
            like these run our country is a gradual erosion of our
            influence in the world, our economic prospects, our
            opportunities, our civility, our quality of life, and
            our real values. If I lived in Europe I probably
            wouldn�t want to deal with us either. We will even
            reap blame that really was not even our fault, as it
            will be more convenient to scapegoat the U.S. It may
            be so gradual that you do not even see the tangible
            change. Then the people always screaming �We�re number
            one!� will be talking to themselves. Our grandchildren
            may not enjoy the same freedoms we currently enjoy, as
            there will be increased pressure (as is happening now)
            for more security measures and restrictions, caused by
            current policy, to further �protect� our freedom.
            Pretty warped. We have a great country, but we need to
            take our country back.

            2. President Bush is not doing a �fantastic job�. I
            believe he will go down in history as doing more
            overall harm to our country politically and
            economically than any president in the past half
            century. He is certainly the most polarizing and
            short-sighted, but my own belief is that he is the
            worst President we have had in my lifetime, on many
            levels. Even conservatives in his own party are
            concerned about his conduct. The confusion and climate
            of fear and manipulation he has created along with his
            cronies can be illustrated by a crowd of protesting
            Iraqis, who were entirely within their right, being
            pushed back by a young, confused, American soldier who
            was towing the party line he is told to, screaming at
            them, �We�re here for your fucking freedom!� which
            kind of sums up the whole fiasco and our
            misunderstanding of the people there. Of course it�s a
            long road for that country to get a grip in the next
            decade on its direction. But don�t allow that to be
            the pat response from this administration as to why
            they never really had a coherent long-term policy or
            strategy. It was not our decision to make in the first
            place.

            Less than half of Americans support Bush and his
            decisions, but he may be able to just manipulate
            enough emotion and public opinion to get re-elected,
            helped by an ineffectual Democratic party. We get what
            we deserve. I strongly challenge the statement that it
            is not his fault if he makes decisions on faulty
            information. That�s incredibly naive on behalf of
            people that are supposedly representing us. It�s his
            job to know! I guess the buck stops somewhere short of
            D.C. He was the one that put the structures and
            actions in place that created the climate for the
            present situation, yet he so easily and conveniently
            scapegoats and passes blame onto the security agencies
            that have a very tough job. He himself used only the
            intelligence that suited his needs, often inflating
            its importance, ignoring information that did not
            support his position, according to those that provided
            it. Then he blames them for his decisions! That is the
            kind of mickey-mouse leader some are defending. He
            only appears decisive because he has the minuteman
            approach to major policy decisions. He starts with the
            endgame in mind, and his inflated egocentric view,
            hoping to fit the puzzle pieces together against
            expert advice, eyeing his benign place in history as
            the savior of the Middle East. That is not real
            leadership and it is not going to happen that way. I
            implore you to give your vote to someone other than
            Bush. And please do not vote on single issues. It�s a
            big world of issues to address and we need some
            balance for the larger good. If you want me to
            cheerlead, I will do it for my America. Not for those
            determined to bring us all down with them, because
            they and their ilk cannot last.

            Solutions? Well, this is what they expected now isn�t
            it? We�re supposed to say we have to finish now what
            we started, it�s a long road, what else can we do?,
            etc. Perfectly played. I like many others could write
            thoughtfully on this topic, but it was clear the
            writer had little time for outside opinions of this
            nature or nuance. I�m at the point where I even think
            the bloated and ineffectual UN organizations need to
            be involved primarily. What we should not be doing at
            this point is handover on June 30th. Even the generals
            have voiced concern. You have to develop along
            measured milestones along the way, not pick an
            arbitrary date that people there see as having no
            legitimacy, along with the government we will impose
            there. The council and people are already grumbling.
            It is na�ve to think we will not have a heavy hand in
            the �newly sovereign� Iraq. Please. Mark my words from
            the speechwriters. Listen to the news and see how long
            it will take or how many times for Bush to be saying
            �We need to do better.� Pretty standard, along with
            �redoubling our efforts.� I�m sorry, but this way of
            conducting ourselves, along with a patchy coverage of
            projects, is just not good enough anymore.

            Wake up people. You are asleep and your TV is lying to
            you. Or stay asleep and go back to watching Buffy.
            Your grandchildren will not thank you.

            And yes, feel free to write to me. I will argue on the
            factual points, not emotional ones, with anyone.

            Cheers,

            John P. Patten

            ps- If you would like more context on the Afghan
            situation my website is at:
            http://mysite.mweb.co.za/residents/ekawasa/JohnPattenGraphics/index.html


            -----Original Message-----
            From: JandKPatten@... [mailto:JandKPatten@...]

            Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2004 2:58 AM
            To: bandmmayer@...; jbarley@...;
            timcasey5@...; 2caseys@...;
            Deborahark@...; kaycox62@...;
            C0rd0n@...; SHAWDOW2@...; EmmePal@...;
            redclay@...; LLakesSaca@...;
            fannynsparky@...; floah@...;
            jpatten@...; MLegg34184@...;
            puccianom@...; Misskathy617@...;
            emtilton@...; Zicks1@...
            Subject: Thought this interesting

            We have friend stationed in Iraq in the same camp as
            this person. Our friend's wife forwarded it to me,
            enjoy.
            Ann Schneider
            ----------------------------------------
            So many people, so many opinions, so few facts!

            I am a Dept. of Defense civilian, home on leave in FL
            for my daughters
            graduation from BCC. My job as an environmentalist is
            primarily the
            protection of the environment and the disposal of DoD
            generated
            hazardous wastes. I volunteered to go to Iraq and
            last Dec. I was
            selected to set up the first disposal operations in
            the forward deployed
            area. I have been stationed at Balad Air Base, LSA
            Anaconda since 28 Dec
            03. On several occasions, my work has taken me to
            Baghdad. I extended
            by initial tour from 120 days to 155
            days, and on June 7th I'll go back
            to Baghdad for six more months.

            Being home in FL has been wonderful and sad at the
            same time. I'm
            appalled at the "news" as it's reported from Iraq. And
            just as
            disturbing is the lack of knowledge a lot of people
            have about what's
            really going on, why we're there and what it's really
            like. I'd like to
            set the record
            straight.

            Ninety five percent of the Iraqi people want us there,
            and it's only a
            handful of insurgents with weapons, who are attacking
            our bases,
            convoys, and troops. The older generations say that
            although they may
            never see the freedoms we're trying to bring to their
            country, they know
            their children will enjoy the rights that we take for
            granted in this
            country. I've had the
            opportunity to meet and speak with day laborers
            coming on Anaconda, who are grateful for the work and
            pay they receive.
            Men have taken my hand w/tearfilled eyes and thanked
            me because they can
            now provide for their families which they couldn't do
            when Saddam was in
            power. I've met engineers, pilots and well educated
            men who, for the
            first time since Saddam took office, are returning
            from self imposed
            exile to their homeland and are able to find work on
            our many US
            bases.

            Before I left Balad, I was able to donate $3500 worth
            of hospital
            disinfectant and dental amalgam to the local hospital.
            Our Balad team of
            doctors and medics make regular scheduled visits to
            the surrounding
            communities to provide medical care and assistance to
            the people, and
            teach new technologies to Iraqi medical personnel.
            People are being
            taught field sanitation and
            hand washing techniques to prevent the spread
            of germs.
            400,000 children have now received up to date
            immunizations.
            100% of the existing hospitals are now open and
            staffed, compared to 35%
            before the war.

            On behalf of my organization, the Defense Logistics
            Agency and
            partnering with Army Materiel Command, we're
            sponsoring a local
            secondary school. We've received $65,500.00 dollars of
            Saddam's money to
            completely rebuild the school. Our school is only one
            of eleven schools
            being sponsored by different units on LSA Anaconda.
            School attendance is
            up 80% and for the first times girls are allowed to
            attend classes.

            Our facility engineers and Seabees are rebuilding
            outdated sewer lines
            and constructing a new water treatment plant which
            will serve not
            only
            our area, but this is being done in every major city.
            Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for
            the first time.

            We're updating and constructing new power plants
            throughout the country
            and now the entire populace receives 2 times the
            electric power it did
            before the war. Over 400,000 people have telephone
            service for the first
            time.

            The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be
            off-loaded from
            ships faster. Farmers are being educated on better
            methods and new
            technologies are being introduced.
            Local contractors working on our bases are for the
            first time able to
            receive lube oils, hydraulic and brake fluids for
            their equipment.

            The newly formed
            Iraqi Civil Defense Force trains on LSA Anaconda. The
            teams work and learn side by side with our soldiers
            and they are proud
            to be learning from us and eager to help in the battle
            against the
            handful of insurgents making life miserable in Iraq.
            Every day our
            troops are finding buried weapons and chemicals which
            must be disposed
            of. The dangerous chemicals pose a threat to the
            environment, health and
            safety of not only the Iraqi people but the world if
            they were to
            come
            into the wrong hands.

            I've met some wonderful soldiers serving in Iraq. As a
            nation, we should
            all be proud and supportive of the mission Operation
            Iraqi Freedom. I
            believe President Bush is doing a fantastic job
            because I know he's
            acting on information briefed him. If this is
            sometimes incorrect or
            omissions are committed, that is not his
            fault.

            I believe in my job, my country, and I want my
            grandchildren to always
            be able to enjoy their freedoms. That's why I'm going
            back.

            Bonnie Murphy
            DRMS Staff Officer
            Disposal Operations Iraq, Baghdad
            Thank you to Denise Caraballo for sharing this with
            all of us.








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          • Paul DEVER
            John... Name the 300 countries in the world...Last count there were about 187, depending on who was winning various insurgencies... Nice plug for your
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 2, 2004
              John...

              Name the 300 countries in the world...Last count there were about 187,
              depending on who was winning various insurgencies...

              Nice plug for your website....Can I order pictures off that website?

              Where can I send money for your Congressional seat? What district are you
              running for?

              GOod points....

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            • John Patten
              Dude, I may be mistaken, but I thought the 187 was those part of the UN system? I thought it was about 330 countries if you count Brunei and such. Anyone got a
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 3, 2004
                Dude,

                I may be mistaken, but I thought the 187 was those
                part of the UN system? I thought it was about 330
                countries if you count Brunei and such. Anyone got a
                Farmer's almanac?

                Yes you can order pictures.

                No, can't run for congress. Too many skeletons and the
                tabloids would have a field day and I don't sound
                truthful when I say, "I categorically deny these
                wicked allegations."

                I shouldn't be so hard on Bush for those that like
                him. It's not like he's the anti-Christ or anything
                like that purple Barney, he's just misguided in
                decisions I think, even if he does passionately
                believe his view. I bet he would be fun to have a beer
                and game of pool with.

                Oddly enough, I've gotten responses from family
                members both conservative and liberal (even though
                those designations are narrow) and both said the same
                things regarding the media- "Bush has the media in his
                pocket," and conversely, "the liberal bias means they
                just write their opinions almost universally against
                Bush." Kind of funny thing perspective. None of us is
                standing high enough to see the whole picture.

                --- Paul DEVER <pcpaul@...> wrote:
                > John...
                >
                > Name the 300 countries in the world...Last count
                > there were about 187,
                > depending on who was winning various insurgencies...
                >
                > Nice plug for your website....Can I order pictures
                > off that website?
                >
                > Where can I send money for your Congressional seat?
                > What district are you
                > running for?
                >
                > GOod points....
                >
                >
                _________________________________________________________________
                > MSN Toolbar provides one-click access to Hotmail
                > from any Web page � FREE
                > download!
                >
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                >
                >
                >
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                >





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              • John Patten
                Hi y all, Sorry to bug ya. I was wondering, as I am deep in forms to fill out for that US Govt job, if anyone might help. I have to go through rigorous
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 13, 2004
                  Hi y'all,

                  Sorry to bug ya. I was wondering, as I am deep in
                  forms to fill out for that US Govt job, if anyone
                  might help. I have to go through rigorous
                  investigation for security clearances and such, and
                  they need a lot of names of people who knew me that
                  they might be able to contact to ask about my time in
                  Malawi, etc. The people have to be currently in the
                  States though and a lot of colleagues simply live
                  overseas with sporadic email contact. The Foreign
                  Residence Form is really weird and confusing.

                  Anyhoo, if you knew me fairly well or if we bonded at
                  the beach party, please drop me your address and phone
                  # so they could call you. I don't think the men in
                  black will show up at your doorstep.

                  I don't know if they ask, but for the record I never
                  did drugs, and think I remember having one or two
                  tokes back when Kajagoogoo was in fashion. And I did
                  inhale. Although Rumsfeld never exhaled. At least I
                  haven't done it in the past ten years of the
                  investigation period. :)

                  If you do not mind helping, send to my personal email
                  instead of the whole group. It's jppatten98yahoo.com

                  Thanks you guys,

                  JP






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