Former Iraq Envoy L. Paul Bremer Encounters Shoe Hurling Tradition in London

Two shoes went flying targeting L. Paul “Jerry” Bremer, former ambassador and Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq following the 2003 invasion.  Mr. Bremer who was previously Ambassador to the Netherlands in 1983 and Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism in 1986 still had good reflexes.

After the second shoe flew across the room and he failed to catch it, Mr. Bremer said,  “You should improve your aim if you want to do something like that.”

The shoe hurling incident happened at a meeting organized by a think tank at the British Parliament.  As the shoe hurler was removed from the room, the man could be heard shouting profanity addressed to Bremer, who he said is responsible for destroying his country.

Peace restored, Mr. Bremer who very quickly regained his composure told the attendees, “If he had done that while Saddam Hussein was alive, he would be a dead man by now.”

Well, actually, that would only be true if Saddam Hussein was the target of the shoe attack.

Press reports identified the shoe hurler as Iraqi national Yasser al-Samarani. He was later released on condition of not attending any future meetings or activities held at the House of Commons, according to British media.

Shoe hurling is a traditional Arab gesture of disrespect. This man made an effort to attend the meeting, and waited for his turn to speak to Mr. Bremer and publicly register his disrespect. Mission accomplished. The Iraq war may have been over for the rest of the world, but it will not be over for a long while for people like Yasser al-Samarani.
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US Mission Afghanistan: To 2024 and Beyond – That’s A-OK ‘Cuz Our Soldiers for 2024 Entered Kindergarten Last Fall

According to news report, the United States is promising to help defend Afghanistan militarily for at least the next decade after Afghan forces formally take full control of the their country’s security in 2014.

Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta said that under the proposed deal, both sides could agree to extend U.S. military assistance past 2024.  The draft agreement was reportedly signed over the weekend by Spanta and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker during a ceremony in Kabul.

Oddly enough, US Embassy Kabul’s website and social media arms are pretty quiet about this new and important development.  No photos of the ceremony were posted, no draft agreement of the US-Afghan Strategeric Pact posted, not even a Twitter whisper. Just absolutely nothing! Everything and everyone sewed up as quietly as a stuffed mouse.  Although not on the area of condemnation, of which there’s a lot like —

Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker Condemns Actions Depicted in Photos
U.S. Embassy Kabul Condemns Attacks
U.S. Embassy Condemns Attacks in Herat and Helmand Provinces

A related VOA News quotes U.S. Embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall praising  the draft agreement, saying it supports “an enduring partnership with Afghanistan that strengthens Afghan sovereignty, stability and prosperity” and that contributes to the shared goal of defeating al-Qaida and its extremist affiliates.

Wait, wait a minute – didn’t Leon said something about those Al-Qaida dudes in Afghanistan?

In June 2010, CIA Director Leon Panetta told Jake Tapper on teevee that there were “at most” only 50-100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Remember that?

“I think the estimate on the number of Al Qaeda is actually relatively small,” Panetta said. “At most, we’re looking at 50 to 100, maybe less. It’s in that vicinity. There’s no question that the main location of Al Qaeda is in the tribal areas of Pakistan.”

Well, so what? That’s just the CIA, what do they know?

The same report repeated that news item about President Karzai wanting a written commitment of $2 billion a year from the United States after the withdrawal.

Apparently, our government is happy to give him more.  U.S. officials said they could pay up to about $4 billion a year to fund Afghan forces.

*Ching-wah TSAO duh liou mahng!!!

This is absolutely freakin great news!

There are less that 100 Al Qaida “nationals” in Afghanistan and we’re staying there for ten more years until 2024, and maybe beyond. You know, in case they make a mess of our nation-building project mess over there. But it’s all right because our soldiers for 2024 entered kindergarten last fall.

Also, President Karzai whose control spans Kabul and beyond the city limits (as we all know) wanted $2 billion on paper. And we’re giving him $4 billion and change because we are generous people, never mind that our houses are falling down. Or that many of our kids, who will be fighting this war beyond 2024 go to sleep hungry every night in the United States of America.

As an aside – please, somebody, please tell us which International School of Negotiation did you all go to, because we are definitely going to enroll there for our Ph.D.

Um – about being hungry in America? You think, no way, Jose – not in America. Yes, way – Hunger in America 2010, the  largest study of domestic hunger, providing comprehensive and statistically-valid data on the emergency food distribution system and the people Feeding America serves indicates that: 1) Feeding America is annually providing food to 37 million Americans, including 14 million children (an increase of 46 percent over 2006), 2) Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks is feeding 1 million more Americans each week than the organization did in 2006; 3) The number of children the Feeding America network serves has increased by 50 percent since 2006.

So, I was eating lunch today and all I could think about is Hamid Karzai’s $4 freakin billion every year for the next ten years for starters.  And I hate to admit that I lost my lunch, all over the place.

After I’ve cleaned up my mess, I heard that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) was barred by Hamid Karzai from entering Afghanistan.  And while I am not/not a fan of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), U.S. taxpayers elected that man. And since U.S. taxpayer money is funding Hamid Karzai and the Government of Afghanistan, and will continue to do so until 2024 and on to perpetuity, I say, we should send Congressman Rohrabacher as Pro-Consul to Afghanistan, and make sure our investment is well spent. As our dear, Jerry Bremmer did in Iraq.

Oops! And here is where I’ll make a confession — I’ve just lost all my marbles! It’s that kind of sucky day.

What else is there to say except perhaps remind our government  to better not slash funds for Feeding America, so we’ll have soldiers for Afghanistan for 2024 and beyond.

Domani Spero

*Excuse me for saying – Frog-Humping Son of a Bitch!