The Naked Emperor

28 April 2004

Diet and Exercise

28 April 2004

It's a beautiful day here. I've spent all the daylight hours this week working on the farm, and I'm tired. So I'm taking the afternoon off to write drivel, then maybe a nap.

On our recent trip to Tennessee, my in-laws gave us a "Fitness Chair" by NordicTrak. When I heard about it, the first impression was "a piece of equipment so you can exercise without getting off your butt". I can't make up stuff this good. Anyway, that got me thinking about healthy things like diet and exercise. So here goes.

There are currently lots of "informed" diets out there like Atkins, South Beach, Sugar Busters, and LA something or other. One will say eating fats causes you to get, oh gee, fat. Others say carbohydrates are the problem. Remember that food is made up of four or five things. The first four are carbs, fats, proteins, and trace nutrients. Here in Louisiana, we have a fifth item, taste. But carbs and fats are out.

I'm reminded of a song from World War I. To help with the war effort, citizens were encouraged to give up certain items on one day a week. Meatless Mondays, wheatless Wednesdays, you get the picture. "My Mondays are meatless, my Wednesdays are wheatless, I'm getting more eatless each day....."

If we follow these "experts", we're getting pretty eatless. We're down to just proteins. But too much protein is bad for your kidneys, so thats out too. Also, protein generally comes from animals, and that is against animal rights.

Also, studies find most foods either cause cancer or heart disease or other problems. One advert suggests their product is "good for colo-rectal health". Personally, I find that there is an overabundance of disgustingly healthy rectums walking around day to day.

In the bad old days, convicts were fed bread and water. But bread is loaded with carbs, so we're left with just water. Other studies find that tap water and bottled water have pollutants and additives, so that's out too.

To sum up. To be healthy, we must give up all food and drink. We can be healthy for a month until starvation gets us, or a week until dehydration kills us. Peachy.

In reviewing the above, I've realized an omission of something that's actually good for you. Wine. So we can give up all other food and drink, and subsist solely on wine. The ratty overcoat and tin cup are optional. We'll live a bit longer that way, and at least be very happy as long as the wine lasts.

The experts apparently believe that the road to good health is to become a wino. I guess researchers don't ride in busses too often. But it does bring a whole new meaning to "Here's to your health".

One reason I write this stuff is boredom. My career won't pay to cure that boredom. I mean, if I was sitting on a beach or a yacht with some cute scantily clad woman serving me drinks, when would I have time to write? But in my next life, I'll fix that. I'll go into the exercise equipment business.

That's the best business. Remember "The Graduate"? When Dustin Hoffman's character graduated, some one gave him good advice for 1969. "Plastics". Today it's exercise equipment.

Your products don't actually have to work, no one will use them anyway. They just have to look cool, be expensive, and have a celebrity endorsement. After all, the product will just end up in a bedroom somewhere covered in the owner's clothes. Our Fitness Chair was actually at my in-laws neighbor's, also covered in clothes. That's the important thing for home exercise gear, it must hold a LOT of clothes. Everything else is optional.

I guess old fashioned sit-ups or push-ups or running aren't good for you anymore. You need a $500 to $1000 AbdominoChrunchTrak-o-Matic. Personally autographed by Rube Goldberg.

All kidding aside, there actually is some good stuff out there. Our Fitness Chair actually works pretty well. But don't blow a lot of money. Just go to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. They have loads of exercise gear that's just about new, donated by people who had an overabundance of cash as well as body mass.

But will I actually use it? Probably not. My exercise gear is a bit more simple. A shovel. A hoe. If I do my exercises now, I get to eat the results. Now that's motivation. And if that doesn't work, I'll introduce my best exercise routine to the public.

Jump to Conclusion. Fly off Handle. Repeat. Feel the burn?

Until later,

Dr. Peter Grout

27 April 2004


27 April 2004

Last Friday, I happened to see a brief blurb on ABC's Good Morning America. They reported that American forces had gotten a tip that led to the discovery of 24 Iraqi Mig 25 fighters buried in the sand.

Cool, I thought. I even called my brother, "guess what I heard?" I only saw the story for a few seconds, but my curiosity was fully engaged. When I got home, I went to ABC's web site. No story. So I googled.

Apparently the story broke a bit before ABC reported it. Say about eight and a half months earlier. The pictures ABC showed were from another source that published to the web on August 6. Using my handy dandy digital counter on the end of my wrist gave me a figure of nearly nine months.

Also, they mentioned 24 fighters which the other story contradicted. So ABC wasn't only late but not quite accurate either. Oh Mr. Murrow, are you listening?

This story seemed important to me. After all the "there are no WMD's" we've heard, this seemed troubling. There are still 10,000 gallons or so of anthrax missing. That quantity would fit in two tanker trailers each measuring about 48 by 8 by 12 feet. A single Mig 25 fighter is about 70 feet long and 20 feet high. If they could hide numerous aircraft buried in the desert, what else could they be hiding?

Apparently it was only important to me since I'd never heard of it. All the major news outlets had access to this info. But it seems evidence of Saddam's regime hiding weapons wasn't fit to air. Maybe I'm not the biggest news junkie, but I do manage to keep up on the big things. Given the implications of hidden weapons caches, shouldn't there be a larger alarm?

After the 1991 war, we looked at Saddam's WMD capabilities. If we found evidence that he had acquired or made X amount of a WMD, but either he or the UN had destroyed (or used!!) Y amount, we assumed that he still had the remainder. Not just the US, but the UN, France, Germany and everyone else. But when we opened the second front by invading Iraq, the world and much of the US changed their minds. Now, if something isn't in plain sight, and Saddam says he doesn't have anymore, we should just believe him. After all why would he lie? Someone as nice as Saddam hiding weapons? Pshaw! I hope the State Department has forwarded Saddam's invitation to my next candlelight supper.

But the buried aircraft ruin that theory. We still can't account for the missing WMD's. The thought of a terrorist getting their hands on a WMD is chilling. Just the other day, the Jordanians broke up a terror cell that was going to do a WMD attack there hoping to kill 80,000. That's 80,000 islamics they wanted to murder. And the fact that Saddam was less than honest about his weapons doesn't make the cut over the latest Jackson fiasco (just pick which Jackson) is appalling. The same morning I heard about the planes, I heard NBC's Today show on my car radio. "Next, we'll have the hottest spring colors". I swear. My, how newsworthy.

While Richard Clark's fifteen minutes were ebbing thankfully away, Fox news took him to task. Jim Angle remembered the briefing that Clark had done on background. He also remembered that what was said totally contradicted Clark's printed and "60 Minutes" version. I don't think that briefing was an exclusive. Where were the reporters from ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC? Didn't they remember Clark? Didn't they remember what he said? Playing "Gotcha" and catching bureaucrats and politicians changing stories is a big part of the news game. Are those other reporters so inept and incompetent? If so, why weren't they fired? There is only one other possible explanation.

Some nameless faceless network editors decided that these stories weren't worthy of air time. We didn't really need to know. These facts didn't fit into their agenda of what is good for us to hear. "Really, we're not biased". What a load of poop. They claim to be non-biased because they get guests and interviews from different sides. They pick the best advocate they can for their position, and the most ravenous, salivating near mental patient on the other.

A non-biased visual media just doesn't exist. We now have a multiple biased media. We can just tune to whichever channel most closely shares our bias and enjoy.

Silly me, I thought reporters were supposed to report facts. Not opine or describe the feelings. Just the facts. But they can't do that well. For example, they miss the fact that most news viewers aren't airheads only interested in spring colors. We are , in fact, relatively smart. We don't need or want someone to "interpret" the facts for us. That's why we have brains. We can figure these things out pretty well.

Hey, we've had reporters figured out for a long time without you telling us.

Until later

Dr. Peter M. Grout


Look, I know what you're going to say. I do opine quite a bit. But I don't claim to be non-biased. I'm not trying to tell you the basic facts. These are just what dribbles out of my head. If you don't like them, just send a check for $10,000 to me and I'll be sure you don't get them anymore. If you do like them, Please send the same check for ten grand to renew your subscription

21 April 2004

We're Hated

21 April 2004

I saw in a news article yesterday that Egyptian President Mubarak was talking to the French. First, ain't that a combination. But more important was what he said. He said that we are hated in the mideast ( golly gee whillikers!) and that the hatred was growing due to the war in Iraq and our continuing support of Israel.

At first, I was a bit annoyed, but I'm now rather pleased.

We've known we were hated, but now it's worse. It's grown since we took out Saddam.

Saddam was such a pinnacle of virtue. Systematic rape, torture, and murder. Mass graves. He invaded his islamic neighbor to the east, thus launching a war that cost over a million lives. He used poison gas in that war. Later he invaded another islamic neighbor, this time to the south. He threatened to invade another southern islamic nation. That was only averted because that nation asked us for help. Not long after he again used poison gas, but this time to kill thousands who desired freedom from his tyranny.

There must be a simple, one word description of such a man and regime. Let's ponder a moment. Could it be, oh.......


And they're pissed because we took him out.

They're also angry because we won't roll over while they destroy Israel.

In the Holocaust eleven million were murdered. Six million of them were jews. Today there are about forty million Israelis.

Our enemies want to wipe out a mere forty million people.


Ethnic cleansing is too sterile a word. It sounds like you want to dust a bookcase. "Dear, we've got to do the ethnic cleansing before your mother arrives." Genocide is also too timid. "To get rid of streaks, use Fred's Window Cleaner, now stronger with Genocide."

What they want to do is murder, with premeditation, forty million souls. To give you a taste of what I'm talking about, please write the word murder forty million times. Each time you write the word, put a unique face on a person. Give them hopes, dreams, and families. Then imagine that person's charred, bullet riddled corpse. Forty million times. Call me when you're done.

They want to perpetrate the holocaust all over again, just four times worse.


Our enemies hate us because we stand up to evil. I have a black hat in my truck. But I may have to go buy a white one. If we stand up to evil, I think that makes us the good guys. So I'm rather pleased.

And our enemies support evil. Wouldn't that make them the bad guys?

Okay, so here we have it. We're the good guys. Our enemies are the evil bad guys. Clear cut.

But what about our own people who want us to back down, or those around the world who protest so vigorously anytime America acts? There I'm not so clear cut. Are they misguided or evil too? Their behavior confuses poor old me.

They don't like war. Ok, neither do I. Nor any sane person. But war is the chosen recourse of our enemy. Murder, kidnapping, bombs. They didn't ask to negotiate or send a strongly worded letter.

But where were the anti-war activists when Iraq invaded Iran? Or Kuwait? Or when Saddam was gassing the Kurds? Were there thousands marching in Paris and Prague to denounce the bombing of Khobar? Or the Marine barracks in Beiruit?

Apparently, they dislike war only when America stands firm. For anyone else it's OK. Maybe I'm too simple, but those people's actions seem more anti-American then anti-war. Seriously, look at their actions. Their level of hatred for the president is frightful. Where is that level of emotion against Osama or the terrorists who murdered three thousand of our neighbors and friends? When civilian contractors in Iraq are murdered and their bodies set on fire and dragged through the streets, they are silent. But mention, shh ,(Florida) just one time and watch the reaction.

In case you are one of those, you must make a decision. Sixty years ago we did nothing. Europe did nothing. All while a tremendous threat gathered. It cost eleven million just in the holocaust. That doesn't count the Chinese, Koreans, Russians, and countless others who were murdered. Or the millions who died to stop the evil.

Today doing nothing will cost far more. Will you just sit idly by singing Peter, Paul and Mary while millions die? Do you care so little for your fellow man?

And if you choose this course, is it because you are anti-war? Or anti American. Or just evil?

Until later,

Dr. Peter Grout

16 April 2004


16 April 2004

Recently I've written about the war, rising casualties, and the 9/11 commission. All heady and serious topics. A bit too serious for my poor soul. And perhaps my views could be characterized as too simplistic. Mea Culpa. And why is this? Maybe I can explain.

You see, I'm a redneck. Proudly. And by choice.

In my formative years, I had choices to make, just like anyone else. It's not that being a redneck was all I knew, but It's the path I've chosen. My choice has gotten stronger with middle age. Why? I guess that tiredness has something to do with it.

I define redneck as someone who has chosen to simplify their life. Jeff Foxworthy's defines redneck as "a glorious absence of sophistication" That applies to some extent but not totally.

Self help types recommend that everyone have a "personal mission statement" Fair enough. Mine just happens to be "You can never own too many books, tools, or guns." Nothing highbrow, just simple. I like simple.

As an example, let's take transportation. As I said, I'm a redneck. And I'm male. I let those two criteria simplify my choices. I have to have a vehicle, but what will I buy? Hmmm... A pickup perhaps? Of course. I'm redneck living in the country. I NEED a truck. But I still have further choices to make.

Let's see, what brand of truck should I buy? Being a redneck pretty much eliminates Toyota, Nissan, etc. We buy American made trucks. Chevy, Ford, Dodge. The nearest Dodge dealer is 20 miles, so they're out. I've always had good luck with Fords and thought it rode better than the Chevy. (Chevy fans, that's only my personal opinion!!) So I got an F150.

Engine? Proper trucks have eight cylinders in a vee. Those with four, six, or even five cylinders now aren't only un-American, but may be a sign of demonic possession.

I keep a lot of useful things in my vehicle, and I think it's wise to lock it when I'm in town. So a standard cab won't do. Don't give me that stuff about locking bed covers, with one of those you can't haul a decent load. I don't normally tote more than one other person with me, so a double cab isn't needed. Therefore, if a standard cab is too small and a double is too big, you now know that I drive an extended cab truck. It's just right.

Actually, the big debate in redneck vehicle choices is two or four wheel drive. I've had friends with four by's that would go deep in the woods and always get stuck. Other friends with two by's actually try to avoid such locales and never get stuck. I'm too old to think that spending the day trying to dig out the truck is fun, so mine is just two wheel drive.

Color doesn't matter much to a redneck, since Detroit has yet to make the color we need. No matter what color you buy, it's not going to look good with all the dust and mud on it. When Detroit manages to invent mud colored trucks that can be matched to your particular road, I'll be happy.

See how simple that was? I didn't spend months looking over the latest Road and Track reviews for European vs. Japanese luxury and performance sedans. Three days after deciding on something new, it was parked in the yard.

While we're on vehicle choices, we come to SUV's. I think they're very useful. They can carry some cargo, a bunch of people, look good and still handle rougher terrain. But the city folk driving them to look macho is hysterical to a redneck. While we see a lot of them around home, it's our women folk that drive the SUV's. They do most of the kid toting, but have to handle the country roads.

"OK you're a redneck. Doesn't that also make you a racist?" I guess so, but not as much as before. I mean Nascar just ain't the same since Dale got killed. But it keeps getting more popular.

Nascar proves that redneck isn't only country, it's getting mainstream. It used to be that no one north of the Mason Dixon line had ever heard about places like Talledega. Now I see hats and car numbers on motorhomes from around the country. It's not only known but popular.

Since you're getting used to hearing me rant, here comes another one. Nascar. It's gotten too far from it's roots.

You see, during prohibition, people wanted to drink. But to have a still requires firewood, clean water and above all, privacy. Therefore the stills were located in the back country, and up in the hills. Problem. Not many customers there. So how do you get moonshine from the hills down to the towns and cities? By car of course. But not any car. Modified to conceal a hundred gallons or so of moonshine, and hopped up so they could outrun the cops and Feds.

Eventually, some of these drivers would get together, and compare notes. And brag on who had the fastest car. Boasts like that can hardly go unchallenged. So they would race. People started to want to watch. Prize money was offered. And the biggest sport in America was born.

But now, each driver runs in a totally custom built, cutting edge engineered race car. Computer controlled, video cam monitored. It boggles the mind.

I personally think Nascar should backtrack a bit. The cars, safety equipment excepted, should have to look like any other car you might see on the street. And they should be required to haul a hundred gallons of liquid in a concealed fashion. In the interests of safety, we'll let them tote water instead of highly flammable moonshine.

Currently Nascar races have some cute little Tonka toy car with amusing yellow lights as a "pace" car. Who thought this up? It runs around at the front of the pack. What??

Instead, they need to have a similar car. But not cute. It needs to be a Crown Vic Police Interceptor. Black and White. It's lights need to be red and blue.

Here's my new rules. Everyone starts the same, carrying a hundred gallons of water. The "Pace" car starts at the back of the field, lights blazing. If the pace car passes you, you're out. Busted. And can't race for two weeks. Anyone finishing ahead of the pace car gets some prize money for "delivering the load" The fastest gets the most.

I know it seem crazy, but don't you think Ricky Rudd and pals wouldn't push just a bit harder when they see those lights coming up in the rear view mirror?

I hear a lot of talk about Hip Hop becoming mainstream culture. Frankly I see no sign of it. Redneck is mainstream and growing. We have taken our criminal activities and turned them into the biggest spectator sport on America. Bigger than the NFL or NBA. I guess I'll believe it when someone manages to make some "gangsta" activity like drive-by shooting into a sport.

Don't laugh, it may be closer than you think. Maybe if they only used paint balls, with politicians for targets? "Coming next Tuesday on ESPN, Celebrity Drive-By with Al Franken and Bill O'Reilly as guest targets."

Maybe not. Until then, let's tailgate next Daytona.

Peter M. Grout

15 April 2004

9/11 Commission

15 April 2004

Lately I have been recalling something called the "Golden Fleece" awards. They were given out, I believe, by the late Sen. William Proxmire for the most outrageous waste of government spending. My personal favorite was $90,000 spent on a government funded study of why children fall off tricycles. Answer: "they lose their balance". It cost 90K to learn this. Hell, I could have told them that for 60 K. Or ever 30K. Maybe for a Hershey bar and a Coke. But the Hershey bar would have to have almonds, I do have standards to uphold.

All of the above dribblings from my brain bring us to the point. The 9/11 Commission. It seems they are tasked with finding out who's to blame for the terrorist attacks on that date. Before I detail how horrific, wasteful, and counterproductive I think said "august" body is, let me save the government a lot of my money.

Who's to blame for the terrorist attacks? Maybe I'm simple, but how about oh, the terrorists? I mean, weren't they the ones who chose the targets, manner of attack, and actually subdued the passengers and flew the planes into the buildings? Did Bill Clinton or anyone in his administration do that? How about Bush or his people? No, it seems to me that the terrorists caused 9/11.

Since I've now provided the answer already, we needn't continue with this farce. Please remit the unspent balance of the commission's budget ASAP, email for my address to send the check. Or small bills would be nice. And hurry, I've got my eye on a new truck and a new tractor.

As to how the terrorists succeeded, it's simple. We got whooped. They were more clever and determined than we were, and more than we thought they could be.

They turned our training against us. For a quarter century we believed that if hijacked, just stay calm and let the authorities handle it. You'd be OK. The hijackers would make some demands, and would eventually end up escaping, in jail, or dead. They rarely killed.

On 9/11 there were no demands. Just death to thousands. On three planes, the passengers responded according to the way we were all taught. They did as they were told, with one exception. Cell phones. They called, and let outsiders know what was happening before they were murdered.

On the fourth plane, they did the same. Except the cell phones brought news of the fate of the other three planes. It seems we learn VERY quickly. Those passengers realized that the paradigm had shifted and the training was hosed. They instantly knew that the authorities were not going to save them. Those passengers realized that their fate was in their own hands. They acted. Their heroic act, and subsequent sacrifice saved hundreds if not thousands of lives. How is it that the passengers of the fourth plane knew in such a short time what was happening and yet the 9/11 commission has yet to figure it out?

I was at work, discharging a patient that morning. My tech had the TV on. We looked over to see NBC showing the first tower burning. Fascinated and horrified we watched. Then we saw the second plane approaching. That instant I knew we were under attack and that we were at war. I tried to figure where suicide bombers would have gotten aircraft to commit such an atrocity. It never occurred to me that those planes were full of paying passengers out of American airports, destined for mass murder. But I knew that the world had just changed forever.

In the aftermath, I saw numerous signs and stickers saying "we will never forget". Yet here we are, two and a half years later, quibbling about useless minutia. We have forgotten. The simple fact is that only the terrorists who would be in the cockpits knew of their intentions. Eight people. And they used good security. They didn't say in any message "when we hijack flights X, Y, and Z on 11 Sept 2001." Therefore, we couldn't have intercepted that information. Unless one of those eight people had talked, or been a double agent, there was no way to prevent the attack.

We knew something was happening, but there was no way of knowing the details. Given the pattern of al Qaida attacks, the safest assumption was an attack somewhere abroad.

I remember that there were signs and shirts in the sixties with the slogan "what if there was a war and no one came?". It seems we've been having one since 1993 where we didn't show up. They have been at war with us for over a decade, but we weren't at war with them. Cost: 3000 dead on 9/11. So much for sixties feel good slogans.

For us to have prevented that attack, we would have had to go to war sooner. Yet how could we? When we opened the Iraqi theater with much greater evidence, the political firestorm has been fierce. Can you imagine either Clinton or Bush going on the air and saying "We have noticed an increase in chatter within al Qaida, and we think they may be planning something. While they usually attack outside the US, we can't rule out the possibility of an attack here. Therefore we're invading Afghanistan" Be real. If we were to go war whenever there is a possibility of someone attacking us somehow someday, we would be at war with every nation on Earth.

When someone demonstrates profound hostility to us, we go to war. Deadly hostility, not just unkind words. Unless you are a psychic mind-reader, we couldn't know how deadly al Qaida would be. If you are a psychic mind-reader please prove your credentials by providing Osama Bin Laden's current and future addresses, lunch menu and shoe size. Upon recovery of his dead, mangled body, you will receive your certificate.

Now that I've done the 9/11 Commissions job (in one night and while on vacation, too!), let's see what they've been doing. As any good politician does, they've been talking. A lot. Silly me, I thought that to get answers, you asked oh, maybe, possibly, QUESTIONS. But again, I'm too simple for DC. Apparently to get answers, you talk. And talk. And talk.

Commissioner Ben-Veniste is one of the best. He really likes the sound of his own voice. REALLY likes it. I think I saw him fondling his voice a few times. He asks questions, then when the witness attempts to respond, he cuts them off and bitches about how little time he has. Maybe, Sir, if you'd shut up once in a while and listen, you might find your time more productive.

I saw another one, I can't remember who, questioning Janet Reno the other day. He asked a very leading question to her about how high level meetings had stopped the Millenium Bomber plot. She said no, it was just good police work by the agent who thought the bomber was suspicious. No special alerts were involved. Apparently Ms. Reno also disputes Dick Clark's account. But that didn't satisfy the questioner. He merely responded by stating "so you're saying" and answering his own question opposite to what Ms. Reno had done, then cut off her testimony by saying, perfunctorily "thank you".

If they were interested in answers, they would listen, not try to get political blame points in. Maybe they'd look at what facts say about Dick Clark's self aggrandizement, not just the 60 Minutes puff piece. This Commission isn't about answers. It's about November, 2004. It's about how can we pin the blame on Bush? Common sense has already provided the answers of who's to blame. But no, we need to spend millions and millions, and give hours and hours of free air time to bash the current president.

I wasn't a fan of the former president. Many people point out that he had eight years to deal with al-Qaida and failed to do so successfully. The current president had only eight months. Bill Clinton did not attack the US. No one in his administration did. The terrorists did. Osama Bin Laden did. Clinton did the best that could be done short of going to all out war. So did Bush. To Monday morning quarterback when there are 3000 bodies and thousands of grieving families is abusive, and treads on their graves.

The terrorists managed to kill a lot of people. Yet they failed. At first. The goal of terror is to intimidate it's victims into doing whatever the terrorist want. They do not seek to win with free elections, or in the arena of ideas. It's a small group who wish to dominate a larger group with fear. When we place blame for the murder of 300 people on who put which memo in which inbox and not on the terrorists, they are winning. When we shirk our duty to defend freedom, they win. When we begin to think that maybe just easing one deadline or running from their atrocities, wherever they may be, the terrorists win.

And when we let a bunch of out of work politicos use the terrorists acts to try to sabotage the actions of a president during time of war, they win.

How's your Farsi? For future reference, Mecca is east when you kneel.

Dr. Peter M. Grout

14 April 2004


14 April 2004

Due to work and travel, I'm a bit behind, I beg forgiveness.

Recently we've been seeing increased American casualties in Iraq. Casualties? In a war? PANIC!!! Oh my GOD, they're trying to kill Americans!!! PANIC!!!

To listen to the pundits, this is the worst thing to happen to the Coalition since the sand storm during the invasion, the last time they could all cry "we're losing!". Quite proudly I might add. Not a one of them sees any historical parallels that are good. This is all doom and gloom. This is Bush's "Vietnam".

This is proof to me that pundits are a life form that each contain a single brain cell and can only amplify bad news. Apparently they don't have enough brain power to think independently. Nature limits them to collectively cry "alas" whenever anyone does anything right.

As I've said before, this is a war. And in war, people die. Including good guys.

I've always found that it's wise to look fully at an issue, both sides, before panicking.

Let's look at the war in the Iraqi theater from our enemies point of view.

In the initial invasion, the enemies tried to meet our forces with military might. They lost, badly. The only significant delay in the offensive was the sandstorm, an act of nature not man. We didn't quit.

Then the enemy tried acts of terror against our forces. Roadside bombs, snipers, RPG, and mortar attacks. We kept our resolve.

Frustrated, they went after the smaller Coalition nations with terror in Iraq and at home. Only the Spanish caved. We still didn't quit.

Now they are attacking civilian workers. They kidnap the civi's and threaten to kill and immolate. Sweet kind people, our enemies. (Liberals, remember that when you say you want to put Rumsfeld "against the wall" and "pull the trigger", I and many others lose the distinction between "loyal opposition" and terrorist murderers.) These are desperate acts. We still won't quit.

We now also face al Sadr and his Mahdi army. Why? It seems Sadr had another shiite cleric, a rival, executed. Murdered. The Iraqi courts issued an arrest warrant for him, for murder. Under Shariya (islamic) law, the punishment is death for murder. He had secretly built an army, awaiting handover so he could control the shiites, thereby controlling Iraq. The murderer is now desperate, too. If he must die, he figures he'll take as many others with him as possible. Not just Americans, but civilians and his own forces as well. Also he wants to divert attention from his murderous past and claim he's carrying our the will of the people. I just can't see George Washington claiming he had to murder Thomas Jefferson for American independence.

So we now have increased opposition in Iraq. Desperate opposition, making desperate moves.

There is a historical analogy in American history's 20th century. And no, gentle reader, it's not Vietnam. It's Germany, December 16, 1944. Other murderous enemies, desperately fighting to survive, launched a surprise offensive. Our casualties dramatically rose. Many people, including military leaders had been caught up in the "war is over" fever. The offensive caused panic. Only a few, including Supreme Commander Eisenhower, saw the real situation. It was a desperate move, just like now. The enemies, rather than hiding behind defenses were out in the open and could be targeted and killed. History records the Battle of the Bulge as the greatest American victory in Europe during WWII.

Now we fight shadowy forces, who don't wear uniforms. They hide among civilians and in cities and towns. Now, they have chosen to fight it out in the open. Good. They tried it before, and got pasted. Now we can see them. If we can see them, we can target them, and what we target we kill. The American military currently is the best trained, equipped, and led in the world. If these yahoos choose to openly fight us, GREAT!!!! They can, and have been dying by the numbers. The more we kill now, the quicker we will win, and the quicker our boys and girls can come home safe.

This is not a panic situation, it is a golden opportunity.

This is a situation where we can not be beaten militarily. Our enemies know this. They can not win a straight fight, force on force. Their objectives are different. They fight us here, at home. They use the media and images to isolate us and divide us. The only way we can lose is if we quit. Our enemies want us to delay or delete the June 30 handover deadline so they can say "See!! The Americans lie!!!" And Mr. Kerry's desire to push back the handover plays into this. I once saw a movie with the lines "To win all you need to do is stand and fire three rounds a minute. We know you can fire three rounds a minute. But can you stand?"

Ah, that's the rub. Can we stand? To win we must ignore the critics and pundits, and have clarity of thought and purpose. We must be steadfast and resolute. Let's see, the critics and pundits have gone from "no western winners in Afghanistan, ever" (We won), to "but the French and Germans aren't with us" (who cares?), to WMD's, to "PANIC They're fighting back." Apparently clarity and resolution lie with other parties. I wonder who?

Remember, dear reader, that we are in the fight for our lives. For the world. The islamic extremists seek to impose their will on us and the rest of the world. To achieve their aims, they use terror. "If you don't (whatever current demand is), we'll (kill/bomb/set on fire) (whatever innocent civilians are handy) This is the standard line of our enemies. If your child said "Mom, if we don't have pizza tonight, I'll hit my sister", you might be a tad angry. And would not tolerate such behavior. (Yes, VIrginia, there IS a woodshed to go behind at my house!)

And all you have to do to stop the bad guys is to let others go about their work. We return to the central question. Can YOU stand?

I have a few other thoughts on the conduct and coverage of the Iraqi theater.

Civilians. Innocent victims. Sorry people, but we are the most conscientious military in the history of man. We do all that is possible to avoid innocent deaths. Our enemies revel in the death of civilians. Remember Saddam's mass graves and torture cells? According to the media, any civilian deaths were caused by us. Apparently the terrorists and Baathists have never hurt anyone. Why they just love bunnies and kittens. If you ignore the media's characterizations and look at the facts, which side works to avoid civilian deaths and which side targets civilians like oh, truck drivers and Japanese peace activists? Also remember that our enemies do not wear uniforms. Apparently the body of the masked man with the ammo pouch on his belt and a Kalashnikov next to his remains is an "innocent civilian" to the media.

Recently Mr. Andy Rooney had a column stating that American servicemen and women in Iraq are not heros. He thinks they are mere victims. I vehemently disagree. Yes, they pay a much higher price than you, me and columnists. But remember that they are all volunteers. They willingly bear this enormous burden for you and me. A famous quote, by who I can't recall, is "no greater love hath a man than to place his mortal body between his homeland and war's desolation". That willingness to do a very difficult job under extreme circumstances IS heroic.

We have many heros amongst us. The cop who risks his life every time he makes a traffic stop. The firefighter rushing into a burning home. Coast Guardsmen braving dangerous seas to rescue innocents. And yes, Virginia, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who brave enemy fire and loneliness to bring freedom to the oppressed and safeguard columnist's rights to be critical of their defenders. They are all heros. Many people eulogize heros in tearful manner. Perhaps we should notice the heros around us and say "Thanks for what you do for me" while they are still alive. All of our heros are underpaid. A simple thank you from a friend or stranger van help make up for this inequity.

Until later,

Dr. Peter M. Grout

03 April 2004

A Rant/World War III/Reality Check

2 April 2004

Recently, I've heard many people whining about gas prices. And have yet not heard the appropriate reply. "Don't you know there is a war on?". Gas may be a bit pricey, but it's plentiful. There is no rationing.

And yes, Virginia, we are at war. All out. The declaration was hand delivered by airliner on September 11th. There are many people who want to kill us. Not negotiate. Kill. And not just soldiers or politicians. Us. You. Me. This is no joke. They've killed our soldiers in Somalia, Saudi, Kuwait, sailors in Yemen, diplomats in Tanzania and Kenya, along with lots of innocent victims, many of whom were muslim. All BEFORE 9/11. (also on Dick Clark's watch) Now they target stockbrokers and secretaries. Apparently Allah hates typing 70 wpm or Word Perfect skills. Their motto apparently is "death to all who oppose us". They do not seek a political settlement. They seek blood. Our blood. They have declared Jihad on us and the Israelis, since we, a 228 year old country and a 56 year old country are apparently responsible for every evil that has befallen Islam in it's 1200 year history. Jihad means they are sworn to wipe us off the face of the earth. They want to kill you, your children and your dog if he doesn't bark in Farsi. Either we fight them or we die. There are no other options. It's called war. Don't even try saying "But why me? I've never done anything to them. I didn't even vote for (insert politicians name here)." They don't care. You are an American. You must die.

Our enemies are global. This IS World War III.

And just who are these who seek your death? They are primarily young, relatively well educated, and immensely dissatisfied people. They primarily come from Arab nations ruled by sultans, princes and many dictators. Maybe we should look at Arabia in general.

What do the Arabs do? What are they known for? Oil, terrorists I guess that's about it. America is known for agriculture, movies, technology, etc. French food, German cars, Japanese electronics, Chinese consumer goods, and so on. Arab oil and terrorists. that's it. These capable people have oil and no real economy, opportunity or freedom. Therefor we get terrorists.

But oil does bring in a LOT of money. So what happens to it? Primarily palaces, gold plated Kalashnikovs, etc. Some is spent on education. Primarily Madrases, religious schools that only teach the Koran from whatever Imam's point of view. No math, science, literature, just the Koran. Someone with only a biblical education, from whatever religious view, would be very limited. But some people manage to get a better education. This prepares them With no real economy, democracy, or freedoms, they have no real prospects.

Also remember that the tiny nation of Israel has thoroughly defeated the combined forces of Arabia three times. 1948, 1967, and 1973. And the arabs started them.

An educated and thoroughly dissatisfied populace, with humiliating defeats is ripe for any hate monger. Remember Munich?

Apparently the Arab leaders and mullahs do. They blame the US and Israel for everything wrong in the lives of the populace. With no free press to contradict such assertions with historical fact, such lies are readily believed. These same leaders have misused the trillions in foreign aid over the last century, denied basic freedoms to the people, chained them, tortured them, starved them, and generally acted like little tin horn bastards. If the people thought about this, the leaders would die unpleasant deaths. So they misdirect the people. "The US and Israel are keeping you down", ad nauseum. See Al-Jazeera for full details. They don't understand that we're not free because we are rich and powerful. We are rich and powerful because we are free.

So history repeats itself. Once again we are at war with some bastards who seek to dominate the world. Let's look at that history.

Arabia was oppressed from Roman times until they were freed from the Ottoman empire, the Roman's political descendants, in 1918. The Ottoman-Turks were fellow muslims, by the way. And who freed them? Those evil lackeys of America, the British. And the Brits granted independence to most of Arabia by the end of the last World War. There was no Palestine, or Palestinians until 1918. Until then it was the Trans-Jordan region, not a country. Also remember that the disputed areas near Israel were lost by the Arab forces in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The Arabs started a war and got their clock cleaned. And lost ground. (note to Arabs - you started it - you lost - get over it).

Lately, there has been a lot of flak about "going to war" in Iraq. Just in case you missed the above, we've been at war for two and a half years. A World War. The enemy is fighting in America, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Spain, and Iraq. We didn't go to war in Iraq, war already existed. Therefore any dispute is with troop deployments. We opened a second front. The thought that we must go to the UN, and get French approval before we act is ludicrous. Normally it's the French surrendering to someone, I don't think America should be the first to reverse that trend

Whether or not there are WMD's in Iraq, it was a good strategic decision to invade.

First, we have eased the logistic problems of our enemies. It's much easier to move and fight in Iraq for them than to be in a western country. Our troops in Iraq are also a tempting target. Sounds bad on it's face, doesn't it. Again, this is war. We have a choice of where to fight our enemies. While I realize the danger to our boys and girls in uniform, I would rather that the enemy try to attack trained troops with assault weapons and tanks than secretaries and brokers here at home. If they choose to fight quality troops, they die. War is won by killing the enemy, and that is best done in their home instead of ours.

Second, we have pre-empted a sure threat. Saddam Hussein had been shooting at our pilots for years, day after day. That is an act of war. Our pilots were enforcing the UN mandated No-Fly Zone. He had tried to assassinate a President. If he could have found a way to deploy a WMD to the US, he would have done so. Many people are saying that the US should have done something to pre-empt 9/11. Invariably, these are the same loud-mouths who say we had no reason to go to Iraq. SURPRISE!! We did pre-empt a threat. We did just what you complained we didn't do before, you're still pissed.

Lastly is the most important strategic reason. If we succeed in leaving a free, democratic, and prosperous Iraq, it removes the basic cause for WW III. The people can hope for a better future, and achieve it. Our enemies know this, that is one of the reasons they are fighting so hard in Iraq. When this Iraq is achieved, Arabs will notice. Our enemies and the Arab leaders and Mullahs can no longer blame the America for their problems. And the Arabs will begin to wonder why they don't have such freedoms and prosperity in their own countries. Their leaders are very afraid of this and want us to fail. Including some of our "allies". No wonder they opposed the invasion.

This war has been started by islamics, not Islam. Islam is an ancient and honorable religion. We in America have fought and died for religious freedom. But when some evil men pervert a religion for their own megalomaniacal purposes, and start killing, you shouldn't be surprised if we kill them back. These bastards use children as human bombs. That is not in
Islam. They also routinely torture and kill other islamics. Sounds a bit like Japan's "Asia for the asians" propoganda they used while enslaving millions. Whatever they call themselves, they are a danger to ALL peaceful people and must be stopped.

We have fought for muslim freedoms in Bosnia, and to stop the brutal conquest of Kuwait recently. American blood was shed for islamics. We don't care about your religion, that's your business. We do try to stop great wrongs.

It's time for Americans to do a reality check. We are at war. A world war. We must be victorious or die. To win, all unnecessary things must wait. If we win, we'll have lots of time to play politics and be divided along political/racial/gender/height/shoe-size lines. If not, it won't matter anyway. Is your criticism really necessary?

Dr. Peter M. Grout