Sunday, July 30, 2006


Part 7

The Mideast: A Century of ConflictPart 7:

The Second Intifada and the Death of Oslo

BOB EDWARDS: Two years ago, the Middle East peace process collapsed. A second Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, erupted. It's been far more deadly than the first Intifada, which came during the late 1980s. Some 1,500 Palestinians and 500 Israelis have lost their lives in what has, in effect, become Israel's longest war. It wasn't supposed to turn out this way. The Oslo agreement of 1993 was meant to bring peace. NPR's Mike Shuster has the final part of the series, "The Mideast: A Century of Conflict."

MIKE SHUSTER: On September 28, 2000, Ariel Sharon visited the most disputed piece of real estate in the world: the Temple Mount as the Jews call it, the Haram As-Sharif in Arab eyes. Inside the Old City of Jerusalem, it is the location of the Western Wall, what is left of the ancient Jewish temples, built by Solomon and Herod. It is also where the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosques stand.

ARIEL SHARON: "...(speaking in Hebrew)..."

SHUSTER: The Likud is here with a message of peace, Sharon said that day, surrounded by Israeli police. The Palestinians didn't see it that way; they viewed the visit as a calculated provocation. Moments after Sharon left, several hundred Palestinian men started throwing stones at Israeli police. The violence hasn't ended yet. Sharon's visit came two months after peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians had broken down at Camp David. Palestinian-American writer Edward Said says the Palestinians had become disillusioned with a peace process whose benefits many failed to see.

EDWARD SAID: By the time the latest Intifada broke out, the Palestinians had gained only 18 percent of the West Bank -- 18 percent. The balance was held by Israel in a series of, through settlements and through military areas. Eighteen percent which were completely surrounded by Israeli settlements and forces.

SHUSTER: The latest phase of the peace process had started on September 13, 1993, when Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn. President Bill Clinton spoke of the difficult work ahead.

BILL CLINTON: What these leaders have done now must be done by others. Their achievement must be a catalyst for progress in all aspects of the peace process. And those of us who support them must be there to help in all aspects. For the peace must render the people who make it more secure.

SHUSTER: The first blow, and many consider it fatal, came just two years later. On November 4, 1995, a young right-wing Israeli zealot shot Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to death after a peace rally in Tel Aviv. The lone Israeli politician of his generation who seemed capable of making peace had been gunned down. New elections were held the next year, pitting Labor's Shimon Peres against Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu. It was then that the bombings began. Hamas suicide bombers detonated themselves in the center of Jerusalem and other cities. Netanyahu was elected. The bombs were meant to kill the Oslo process, and they did, says William Quandt, author of Peace Process.

WILLIAM QUANDT: When Likud came into power in 1996 Oslo was essentially over. We didn't declare its demise at that point because people remained hopeful. But the whole dynamic of Oslo turned around. You had a prime minister in Israel who didn't believe in it.

SHUSTER: Netanyahu paid lip service to the Oslo process, but he suspended the phased Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank. And he sped up the construction of Israeli settlements there. University of Chicago historian Rashid Khalidi argues the Oslo Agreement should have included a freeze on Israeli settlements. It did not.

RASHID KHALIDI: It was necessary, is necessary, and will be necessary for somebody to get the Israelis to sit down and decide, do they want to end the occupation and do they want to remove settlements or not. Oslo gave them the luxury of another decade during which they not only didn't have to do that but the people who were paving the West Bank and turning it into an extension of Israel have gotten another 100,000 Israelis settled there, have paved hundreds of miles of roads, and are even less likely to give up these territories than they might have been a decade or more ago.

SHUSTER: Yasser Arafat returned from exile in 1994. He set up the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and in those portions of the West Bank that the Israelis abandoned. But his method and style of governing also contributed to the failure of the process, says historian Avi Shlaim, author of The Iron Wall.

AVI SHLAIM: The Palestinian leadership, Yasser Arafat in particular, bear a share of the responsibility for the breakdown. In particular for violating some of the terms of the Oslo agreement by importing arms, by having much bigger security forces than they were entitled to, and by not laying the foundations for a democratic regime that respects human rights.

SHUSTER: President Clinton concluded new pressure was needed. In October 1998, he brought Netanyahu and Arafat together for negotiations at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland. For two weeks they went round and round, and eventually put their signatures on an agreement meant to give new life to Oslo. When he returned to Israel, Netanyahu again dug in his heels, blaming the Palestinians for failing to fulfill the bargain. But the mood in Israel was in favor of peace. When Netanyahu's coalition fell apart, he set new elections for the following May. Ehud Barak won handily. President Clinton believed that with Barak as prime minister, he could bring the Oslo process to completion, and in July 2000, he invited Barak and Arafat to Camp David. For the first time, the negotiations addressed the big issues -- Jerusalem, settlers, security. Barak made an offer that many consider Israel's best ever, but when he unfolded a map that showed a Palestinian state made up of several unconnected cantons, surrounded by Israeli troops, Arafat walked away. For Edward Said the deal Barak offered was a bad one, but in his view, both leaders failed at Camp David.

EDWARD SAID: He meant this as a final offer, leaving out questions of what happened in 1948, Israel's responsibility, the return of the refugees or compensation for them. Or even acknowledging that they exist. And Arafat should have returned, not just by refusing but by saying, look here's what we will accept. He neither had the courage, nor the foresight, nor the intelligence to do that.

SHUSTER: Historian Anita Shapira believes that the roots of the failure reach back in history, to what happened in 1948 when Israel became independent, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lost their homes.

ANITA SHAPIRA: The only problem that was not tackled at all was the right of return because Israelis though that there was a tacit understanding that the Palestinians do not really mean it. And the Palestinians thought that the Israelis do not tackle the real problem. That's what this Intifada is all about.

SHUSTER: For historian Benny Morris, the problem goes even further back.

BENNY MORRIS: I think that the Arabs of Palestine regard all of Palestine as their birthright, their patrimony. They can't understand why Jews suddenly appeared in Palestine and started to take it over. They can't understand why they must agree to the Jews' continuing to possess 80 percent of Palestine and they will agree to only receive 20 percent. These things, I think, underlie both this Intifada and the Palestinian political stance today.

SHUSTER: The second Intifada turned more violent. Rioting gave way to guerrilla attacks and then to the apparently endless series of suicide bombings. Escalation on the Israeli side made use of tanks, helicopter gunships, and jet fighters, leaving many Palestinian civilians and gunmen dead. Ehud Barak's government collapsed, and Ariel Sharon, possibly the Israeli politician most hated by the Palestinians, was elected prime minister. In late March, Sharon launched a full-scale invasion of Palestinian territories. Much of that territory remains occupied. A great opportunity had been lost, laments Cambridge University's Yezid Sayigh.

YEZID SAYIGH: Every time I look at what's happened in the last two years between Palestinians and Israelis, I look at the total unwillingness to understand each other, to start changing stereotypical images of each other. I think back to the assassination of Rabin, who started out where all these other people started, as someone somewhat arrogant. You know, a military man who felt that the Palestinians had to be dealt with by force but ultimately I think went through a genuine transformation in which he I think was able by the time he died to understand that the other side were human beings and had to be dealt with in a fundamentally different way.

SHUSTER: Over the past century of conflict, it has always been hard for the two sides to perceive a path to peace. The great irony of the past decade is that almost like equal poles of a magnet, the closer the Israelis and Palestinians came to each other, the more violently they pulled away. Mike Shuster, NPR News, Los Angeles. and information about the 2000 Camp David talks are at the Web site

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Part 6

The Mideast: A Century of ConflictPart 6:

From the First Intifada to the Oslo Peace Agreement

Oct. 7, 2002 -- Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza had been living under Israeli occupation for 20 years when their frustration and anger broke out into open rebellion in December 1987.

In Part Six of Morning Edition's series on the Middle East conflict, NPR Diplomatic Correspondent Mike Shuster reports on that Palestinian uprising, now known as the first Intifada, and the Oslo peace agreement that followed in 1993.

The Palestinians "were stateless, living under the humiliation of identity checks, body searches and verbal abuse that were the rule of the Israeli army, watching helplessly as Israel expanded Jewish settlements on what had been their land," Shuster reports.

The Intifada "galvanized Palestinians everywhere, and it created an enormous amount of sympathy for the Palestinian cause," says historian Philip Mattar, executive director of the Institute for Palestine Studies

The Israeli army would seize Palestinian stone-throwers and literally break their arms. As these scenes were broadcast to the world, they were seen as "a Palestinian David against the Israeli Goliath," Shuster says

And, Mattar says, the Intifada sent a message to the Israeli public that "this could be very costly to you financially and morally. And it swayed many politicians and many generals and military people in Israel to accepting the concept of a Palestinian entity at that point."

Israel's government was divided between the right-wing Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin of the Labor Party. Israeli historian Benny Morris says the Intifada led to the breakdown of Israel's unity government in 1990.

Labor reached the conclusion that one cannot suppress the Intifada and must give the Palestinians some form of statehood because the Intifada cannot be beaten just militarily," Morris says. "Whereas the Likud preferred basically a military solution to the Intifada

Yasser Arafat's exile in Tunisia caused a vacuum in the Palestinian political leadership, giving rise to Islamic fundamentalism -- in the form of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad -- in the West Bank and Gaza.

As the Intifada stretched into two and three years, more and more Israelis concluded it was time to settle with the Palestinians. In 1992, Rabin was elected prime minister, and he authorized secret negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization in Oslo.

The Israelis and the Palestinians signed the Oslo peace agreement Sept. 13, 1993, at the White House. The agreement envisioned creating a Palestinian state and an end to the conflict, "but it provided no road map," Shuster says.

All the hardest issues were postponed: what to do about Jewish settlements on the West Bank, the status of Jerusalem, final borders of the two countries, and whether the Palestinian refugees could return to their original homes.

Both sides were close to agreeing on an outline for dealing with many of those issues when Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by a Jewish right-wing zealot.

Had Rabin survived, had that outline been given flesh and bones, it's not inconceivable that by 1998, '99, you would have had two states living side-by-side," says historian William Quandt, author of Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1967

Friday, July 28, 2006

Part 5

The Mideast: A Century of ConflictPart 5:

From the 1973 Yom Kippur War to Peace with Egypt

MADELINE BRAND: This is Morning Edition from NPR News. I'm Madeleine Brand. Twenty-nine years ago this week, Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria in what would become known as the Yom Kippur War, the fourth war between Israel and the Arab states since Israel declared its independence in 1948. This time though, Israel's attackers were not trying to destroy the country; they were fighting to regain territory they had lost in the 1967 Six Day War. Israel was shaken by the Yom Kippur War, and six years later it would sign a peace treaty with Egypt. In the fifth of our seven-part series, "The Mideast: A Century of Conflict," NPR's Mike Shuster reports.

MIKE SHUSTER: Israeli leaders understood that Egypt and Syria might attack in 1973 to regain their lost territories. Israeli leaders were even aware of preparations for war in Egypt and Syria. And yet Israel was taken by surprise when the attacks came, says Benny Morris, author of Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist Arab Conflict.

BENNY MORRIS: This was one of the great surprises in history, the same as Pearl Harbor. This was a major strategic surprise, due to self-confidence basically, over-confidence, a certain type of intelligence blindness which stems from self-confidence. Israel was caught with its pants down on the 6th of October, 1973.

SHUSTER: Egypt was now led by Anwar Sadat, Syria by Hafez Al Assad. Sadat, eager to regain the Sinai Peninsula and the control of Suez Canal, had launched a peace feeler to Israel's Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1971. But Meir rebuffed him; she wanted a full-blown peace treaty. The Arabs struck on the afternoon of October 6th, the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Syria attacked Israeli positions on the Golan Heights. Egypt launched 200 combat aircraft to hit Israeli forces on the eastern side of the Suez Canal. By the end of the first day of fighting, the Egyptian army was able to cross the canal and seize positions on the Israeli side, something the Israeli army did not believe the Egyptians could do. Reporter Michael Elkins described the military balance in the early stage of the war.

MICHAEL ELKINS: Fighting is going on along the entire length of the canal but for the most part the action is said to be very close to the bank of the waterway. This suggests that although the Egyptians have increased their numbers on the Israeli side of the canal, they have not been able to deepen or widen their bridgeheads. As the Israelis move more armor into position, it is to be expected that the canal line battle may be moving into a decisive stage.

SHUSTER: The Yom Kippur War lasted only 19 days. Israel was at first shaken, but then fought back aggressively. Neither Egypt nor Syria regained the territories each had sought. But the armies of both states performed far better than Israeli intelligence expected. Egypt inflicted heavy losses on the Israelis in the Sinai; Syria's thrust into the Golan Heights in the first days looked unstoppable. Israel recovered, but for the first time, its army did not appear to be invincible. In the last days of the war, tensions peaked between Washington and Moscow, the chief backer of Egypt and Syria, which brought the U.S. to a nuclear alert. The war ended with Israel still in control of the Golan and most of the Sinai, but the military balance had shifted. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger realized it was a diplomatic opportunity for the United States, says William Quandt, who worked in the White House at the time.

WILLIAM QUANDT: It put the United States in the central negotiating role, and that's what Kissinger wanted. I remember in the situation room as the war came to an end, Kissinger felt that we were in a strong strategic position. We had a close relationship with Israel. President Sadat was making it clear he wanted to work with us, and I heard Kissinger say at one point, this is just where we want to be. We're in the catbird's seat.

SHUSTER: This was the beginning of the peace process, which would go through many stages, be shepherded by seven American presidents, and turn the United States into the key peacemaker in the Middle East to this day. Kissinger embarked on his journeys of shuttle diplomacy after the 1973 war. His efforts would lay the groundwork for more dramatic diplomatic gains later in the decade. Big political changes would also unfold in Israel, with the election in 1977 of the Israeli right wing in the form of the Likud Party and its leader Menachem Begin. Historian Anita Shapira attributes Begin's triumph to the outcome of the 1973 War.

ANITA SHAPIRA: The shock of the '73 war brought about a completely new elite to rule the country for better and for worse. This war made people realize that power is not theirs forever, and that compromise is something that is necessary in order to survive in the long run.

SHUSTER: The Palestinians were not involved in the Yom Kippur War, but the war had a profound impact on them, says Rashid Khalidi, professor of Middle East history at the University of Chicago.

RASHID KHALIDI: The Palestinians had very little to do with it. The effect of the '73 war on the Palestinians was very important however, because it signified that the Arab states had given up opposing the existence of the state of Israel by accepting Security Council Resolution 242, which calls for all states in the region to live in peace and to accept them and to recognize them. Syria and Egypt had in effect decided that they would come to terms with Israel. The terms on which they would do so had not yet been agreed. The handwriting was on the wall for the Palestinians. The Arab countries no longer would support them in trying to oppose the existence of the state of Israel.

SHUSTER: And so the Palestinian movement, with Yasser Arafat at its head, adapted as well. The Palestine Liberation Organization shifted its goals, laying the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state in the occupied territories, implicitly abandoning the goal of destroying the state of Israel, says Yezid Sayigh, professor of Middle East history at Cambridge University.

YEZID SAYIGH: They couched it in certain language that was acceptable to militant ears. They talked about their right to set up a fighting national authority on any part of land evacuated of the Israeli occupation. This simply meant that they were willing to set up a governing authority in the West Bank and Gaza as long as Israel withdrew from them. And it was understood by everyone that this meant negotiating with Israel and living side-by-side with Israel.

SHUSTER: But the Israelis still would not acknowledge the Palestinians as a political force. Begin, under pressure from President Jimmy Carter, did agree to negotiate with Egypt's Sadat. Only months after Begin's election, Sadat made his groundbreaking trip to Jerusalem and addressed the Israeli parliament. In 1978, Carter brought both Sadat and Begin to Camp David for an intense two weeks of negotiations. It would take several more months, but on March 26, 1979, Begin and Sadat signed a historic peace treaty at the White House with Carter looking on. Egypt got back the Sinai; Israel received formal recognition from Egypt. Both Sadat and Begin hailed their achievement.

ANWAR SADAT: Let there be no more wars or bloodshed between Arabs and Israelis. Let there be no more suffering or denial of rights. Let there be no more despair or loss of faith. Let no mother lament the loss of her child. Let no young man waste his life on a conflict from which no one benefits.

MENACHEM BEGIN: Now it is time for all of us to show civil courage in order to proclaim to our peoples and to others: No more war, no more bloodshed, no more bereavement. Peace unto you. Shalom! Salaam! Forever. (applause...)

SHUSTER: Anwar Sadat did attempt to negotiate for the Palestinians. Sadat and Carter pressed Begin to accept an autonomy plan for the West Bank and Gaza to be implemented five years later. Begin never carried it out; Sadat himself was assassinated in Egypt in 1981 by Muslim fundamentalists at a parade marking the eighth anniversary of the 1973 war. The Palestinians themselves were not yet part of the process, says Rashid Khalidi.

KHALIDI: Most of them were very bitter that Sadat had made a separate deal, had not tried to negotiate with and on behalf of the Palestinians, and in so far as he did so, simply agreed to autonomy with Begin. The Palestinians believed that they had the right to independence, and that the Egyptians had in effect had betrayed them.

SHUSTER: Israel continued its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza through the 1980s, while making war on the PLO in Lebanon in 1982. But the Palestinian population on the West Bank and in Gaza never accepted the Israeli occupation, and in 1987, violence would erupt in a wholly new and unexpected form. Its aim was to oust Israel from the occupied territories. The Palestinians called it Intifada, the uprising.

Mike Shuster, NPR News, Los Angeles. BRAND: For background on Anwar Sadat and other key figures, visit the Web site

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Part 4

The Mideast: A Century of ConflictPart 4:

The 1967 Six Day War

BOB EDWARDS: The 1967 June Six Day War was a major watershed in the history of the Middle East. It changed the borders of the Middle East, it changed military and political perceptions, and it brought the United States into the mix as a permanent factor in the region. A seven-part series, "The Mideast: A Century of Conflict," focuses today on the territory that Israel seized in that war. NPR's Mike Shuster reports.

MIKE SHUSTER: In 1967, the mood in the Middle East was ugly. Israel, independent since 1948, was surrounded by Arab states dedicated to its eradication. Egypt was ruled by Gamal Abdel Nasser, a firebrand nationalist whose army was the strongest in the Arab Middle East. Syria was governed by the radical Baathist Party, constantly issuing threats to push Israel into the sea. And the crowded and angry Palestinian refugee camps dating back to the 1948 war had spawned groups in the shadows, including Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, which had launched guerrilla attacks on Israel from Lebanon and Jordan. It was all connected, says Rashid Khalidi, a historian of the Middle East at the University of Chicago.

RASHID KHALIDI: In a sense the Palestinian tail wagged the Syrian dog which wagged the Egyptian dog which dragged the region into a conflict, which Israel initiated but which had several triggers.

SHUSTER: Most historians now agree that although Israel struck first, this pre-emptive strike was defensive in nature. In the spring of 1967, the Soviet Union misinformed the radical government in Damascus that Israel was planning an invasion of Syria. Syria shared this misinformation with Nasser, who responded with several threatening actions. He closed the Gulf of Aqaba to shipping, cutting off Israel from its primary oil supplies. He told U.N. peacekeepers in the Sinai Peninsula to leave. He then sent scores of tanks and hundreds of troops into the Sinai closer to Israel. The Arab world was delirious with support, says Michael Oren, author of Six Days of War.

MICHAEL OREN: This immediately ameliorated Nasser's stature in the Arab world. He was elevated to almost a god-like status overnight and politically it seemed like a good bargain. The bad news was he wasn't counting on Israel striking back militarily.

SHUSTER: It was not easy for Israel to make the decision to strike at Egypt. For three weeks in May and early June 1967, Israel's leaders argued fiercely over what to do. The military wanted to attack. The chief of staff of the Israeli army then was a young Yitzhak Rabin, who suffered a short nervous breakdown under the stress. Michael Oren says Prime Minister Levi Eshkol held the generals back.

OREN: He urged restraint. He told these generals that Israel first had to prove to the world in general, and specifically to the United States leadership -- to President Lyndon Johnson -- that Israel had exhausted all diplomatic options. That it had done its utmost to prevent war, and only as a last resort did Israel turn to this pre-emptive strike. This was vital, Eshkol said, in order to ensure American diplomatic support both during and after the war.

SHUSTER: The strike finally came at 7:10 in the morning of June 5th. Israel put 200 fighter jets and bombers in the air. They flew from Israel into the Mediterranean and attacked Egypt's airfields and installations from the west. That morning, Israel destroyed 286 of Egypt's 420 combat aircraft, killing a third of Egypt's pilots. Later that morning, the ground war began. Columns of tanks and artillery blasted into the Sinai. Egypt's army crumbled. Reporter Michael Elkins described the results of the fighting at the end of the first day.

MICHAEL ELKINS: Less than 15 hours after the fighting began at dawn this morning, there was every evidence that Israel has already won the war though fighting will continue. Israeli armor has sliced through the Gaza strip to the Mediterranean coast, and the Arab forces in the strip are no longer a fighting factor. Israel has today created the nearest thing to instant victory the modern world has ever seen.

SHUSTER: In Egypt, state-controlled radio told the people a different story, that the Israelis had been defeated. Winston Burdette reported for CBS from Cairo.

WINSTON BURDETTE: There was no sign of panic. On the contrary there was jubilation in the streets. Wild cheers and chanting when the radio claimed: a first indication of victory, 23 Israeli planes shot down. Later a second alert and a second official claim. The total of Israeli planes destroyed had jumped to 70.

SHUSTER: It was all lies. On the second day, in response to shelling from Jordan, Israeli troops surrounded the Old City of Jerusalem, which had been part of Jordanian territory since the end of the war for independence in 1948. And Israel made its first gains on the West Bank. SOUNDS OF TRUMPET (SHOFAR), VOICES, SINGING

SHUSTER: And on the third day, June 7th, Israel seized the Old City and the rest of Jerusalem. Troops took positions at the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, to the delight of the Israeli people. Historian Benny Morris says the seizure of these holy sites resonated with all Israelis, religious or not.

BENNY MORRIS: Since 1948, the Jordanians -- contrary to the armistice agreements -- had not allowed Jews to go there or worship there. So when the army took these places in '67, there was not just a sigh of relief that the threat of Arab attack had been dispelled, but there was also this outbreak of joy that at last the Israeli army had conquered the sites holiest to Judaism. This even appeared in places like Ha'aretz, which is a liberal, secular daily, but its editorial there spoke in sort of biblical, messianic terms of a return to what was ours.

SHUSTER: Midway through the war, Egypt's Nasser, reeling under the magnitude of his defeat, sought to excuse the disaster by claiming that the United States had entered the war on the side of Israel. This was a dangerous step, risking as it did the deeper involvement of the Soviet Union, strong backer of both Egypt and Syria.

WILLIAM QUANDT: Now when he said that, he knew it wasn't true. William Quandt is author of Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1967.

QUANDT: Least I'm 99 percent confident he knew it wasn't true, although some of his generals may have fed him false information. And Nasser did make the accusation, and it led many Arab countries to break diplomatic relations with the United States. So President Johnson was very annoyed with what he considered a very reckless position adopted by Nasser.

SHUSTER: On day four, the Israeli air force mistakenly attacked a U.S. intelligence ship near its coast, the Liberty, killing 34 Americans, and wounding 171. The next day hostilities broke out with Syria. On the last day, June 10th, the Israeli army captured the Golan Heights. The Middle East was in shock, and the conflict would never be the same. The territories that Israel had seized, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Sinai, Gaza, and the Golan Heights would be at the center of all peace negotiations thereafter. The war profoundly changed Israel itself, says historian Anita Shapira, of the Chaim Weizmann Center for the Study of Zionism in Tel Aviv. It led to the emergence of a strong mythic movement that claimed the West Bank as part of greater Israel.

ANITA SHAPIRA: The change of heart after the Six Day War brought into Zionism elements that potentially were there from the beginning but were never predominant and were never part of the leading elite of the movement. And this brought a change in the nature of the state of Israel and also brought a element in the relation between us and the Arabs.

SHUSTER: The Palestinians were both occupied and emboldened. In the months that followed the war, Yasser Arafat organized an insurrection in the West Bank. It failed, but says Yezid Sayigh, author of a monumental study of the Palestinian national movement, it brought about a shift in the outlook of the Palestinians themselves.

YEZID SAYIGH: And this in a sense catapulted the general Palestinian public into the arms of the guerrillas because they'd seen that the people they'd hinged their hopes on -- the Arab leaders and the armies they'd believed in -- had been swept aside in a matter of days. And here came along a bunch of young men who jumped into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, said: 'We're going to take matters into our own hands. The Palestinians will stand up and fight for themselves. We're going to transform ourselves from being destitute refugees waiting for charity handouts from the U.N. and turn ourselves into freedom-fighters, people with dignity.'

SHUSTER: After the Six Day War the Arab states could never again seek the eradication of Israel from the map. Thereafter the central conflict would be waged between the Israelis and the stateless Palestinians for the land they both claimed as their own. Mike Shuster, NPR News, Los Angeles.

EDWARDS: Maps of Israel's changing borders and background on the experts cited in this series are at Tomorrow in this continuing series, conflict returns to the Middle East in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. But the decade ends with a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Copyright ©2002 National Public Radio®. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to National Public Radio. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. For further information, please contact NPR's Permissions Coordinator at (202) 513-2000.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Mideast: A Century of Conflict

I have been having a lot of trouble understanding the history and conflict of the establishment of Israel. When I try to research it on-line the explanations are biased with the interpretation of the writer. The following is a six part series done by NPR, of which I am going to post the 3rd transcript and then daily through the 6th. This has given me a much greater understanding of the events as they happened along with the motivations therein.

I have yet to figure out how to use hyperlinks - so here is it:

Part 3: Partition, War and Independence:

BOB EDWARDS: As World War II ended, the struggle for Palestine intensified. The Zionists, who wanted a Jewish homeland, and who had supported the British during the World War, prepared for a new conflict. Leaders of both Arabs and Jews could see they would soon have to fight each other for the territory. The British turned the whole problem over to the newly created United Nations. In the third part of the series, "The Mideast: A Century of Conflict," NPR's Mike Shuster reports.

MIKE SHUSTER: In 1939, Great Britain had become disillusioned with its support for a Jewish state in Palestine. It was unable to fashion a political solution that would satisfy both Jews and Arabs, and it could not stop the growing strife between the two communities. The British placed a strict ceiling on Jewish immigration to Palestine. At the end of World War II, hundreds of thousands of desperate Jews populated Europe's concentration camps, but the British were still unwilling to allow them to leave for Palestine. Once it was certain that Hitler's Germany was defeated, the Zionists turned on their erstwhile allies, says historian Howard Sachar.

HOWARD SACHAR: There seemed therefore no alternative to the Jews but to launch a full-fledged campaign against the British, and it took several forms. One was diplomatic. And secondly there would be an appeal to the compassion of the world by launching a kind of illegal immigration effort, bringing over tens and tens of thousands of refugees from Europe in these leaking little refugee boats.

SHUSTER: The campaign against the British also used violence, with the first shots fired on British military and government facilities by underground Jewish armed groups: the Stern Gang and the Irgun. Zionist leaders like David Ben-Gurion called them misguided terrorists and at times even helped the British fight them. But their operations intensified. In 1946, the Irgun blew up a wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem housing the British administration. Ninety were killed: roughly 30 Jews, 30 Arabs and 30 British.

NEWSREEL: As the toll of dead mounts daily in the bitter war of reprisals, tight security measures are imposed by the British. Scores of Jewish leaders are jailed and rigid searches are conducted for terrorists' weapons. These measures follow the hanging of two British sergeants by extremists. Palestine becomes an armed camp... .

SHUSTER: The armed Jewish gangs were commanded by men who would lead the Israeli state many years later.

SACHAR: Menachem Begin of course, ultimately to become a long-governing prime minister, was a member of the Irgun Z'vai Leumi, which was the largest element among the right-wing underground forces. But there were others who were even more extreme than he. One of them was a later prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir.

SHUSTER: Eventually the larger Zionist military organization, the Haganah, led by Ben-Gurion, joined the fight against the British. By the end of 1946, an exhausted Britain decided to withdraw from Palestine, and turned the whole problem over to the United Nations, which had just been born that same year. The U.N. immediately resurrected the idea of partitioning the territory, first proposed by the British in 1937. In the U.S., President Truman favored it for political reasons, but also according to William Quandt, author of Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, because of the terrible toll of the Holocaust.

WILLIAM QUANDT: We did understand there was a tremendous human need after World War II for some kind of a political solution for the survivors of the Holocaust, who could not rebuild their lives in Germany and who were in need of some sort of restitution.

SHUSTER: The Arab majority in Palestine was poorly organized to respond to the U.N. Palestinian leaders refused to discuss partition, says Philip Mattar, editor of The Encyclopedia of the Palestinians.

PHILIP MATTAR: The Jews were being offered 55 percent of Palestine when in fact they had owned only seven percent of the country. Four-hundred-fifty thousand Palestinians were going to end up within the Jewish state, and they did not see any reason why they should go along with that kind of inequality, that kind of injustice.

SHUSTER: The vote on partition in the General Assembly occurred on November 29, 1947 -- one of the critical dates of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Thirty-three states said yes, including the United States and the Soviet Union; 13 no, mostly Arab and Muslim states; 10 abstained, among them Britain. The Zionists rejoiced. The Arabs rejected the vote, and skirmishing broke out in Palestine the next day. Then on May 14th, 1948, Ben-Gurion, on the basis of the U.N.'s support for partition, announced the establishment of the independent state of Israel, the day after Britain formally ended its rule. In response, the Arab states surrounding Israel -- Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq -- attacked.

NEWSREEL: The city of Haifa and its harbor become the center of bitter conflict as the new Jewish state is born in the tense atmosphere of civil war. Arab strong points are taken after being blasted to rubble. During the mopping-up operations, Haganah forces seek out every Arab, and barricades are set up to screen those who had not already fled the city. Everyone is searched. With the relinquishing of the British Mandate, Palestine is rocked by full scale war, and both sides mobilize... .

SHUSTER: The new Israeli state fought for its very existence on four fronts, but the Arab armies were disorganized and weak. By November it was clear they could not defeat Israel; in fact, Israel had occupied more of Palestine than had been given to it in the partition plan, says Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, of Haifa University.

BENJAMIN BEIT-HALLAHMI: Israel ended up with 78 percent of Palestine. The Palestinian community in Palestine just disintegrated. The majority of Palestinians became refugees, and Palestine -- the geographical term Palestine -- disappeared from the map.

SHUSTER: Three-quarters of a million Palestinians fled their homes during the war, initiating one of the most contentious debates between Jews and Palestinians. The Zionists and their supporters claimed -- and some still claim -- that the Arab governments ordered the Palestinians to leave. Historian Howard Sachar says that is not true.

SACHAR: No Arab government was ordering these people to flee. On the contrary, they were ordering them to stay put, under no circumstances to give over their territory to the Jews. It is a myth to assume that these people left voluntarily.

SHUSTER: Over the past two decades younger historians in Israel have argued, using declassified government papers, that in fact Zionist military operations caused the Palestinians to flee. There is now some agreement on this greatest of controversies, between traditional Zionist historians and the so-called revisionists.

SACHAR: There was a good deal of intimidation and even terrorization here and there, particularly along the coastal plain area that was coveted by the Jews. They were terrified by the shooting, by the bombardment.

BENNY MORRIS: In addition to that, Israeli troops in various areas carried out expulsions.

SHUSTER: Benny Morris did the groundbreaking original research on the roots of the Palestinian refugee exodus. He teaches at Ben-Gurion University in Israel.

MORRIS: For good military reasons they wanted clear lines of communication behind the lines. They didn't want snipers. They didn't want guerrillas operating behind the lines. So they wanted to get rid of Arab communities. So there were expulsions in various areas.

SHUSTER: The Palestinians call the war An Naqba, the catastrophe, and point to massacres at villages such as Deir Yassin as evidence that the Jews forced them to leave. University of Chicago historian Rashid Khalidi argues that the Jews did not want nearly half the population of their new state to be Arab, which would have been the result had both sides accepted the U.N. partition plan.

RASHID KHALIDI: To establish a Jewish state in such circumstances required one of these three options. You either had to boot them out, or they had to become Jews, or you had to accept the possibility that you would one day have an Arab majority in the so-called Jewish state. I'm not suggesting that that in and of itself explains what happened. In each village, locality, city, town, a different outcome obtained for different reasons. In some cases there were massacres. In some cases people were put on trucks and sent away. In some cases they fled on their own. That most Palestinians fled, either because they were driven out or were afraid, I don't think is really disputable.

SHUSTER: The Palestinians fled to refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza, and what is now called the West Bank. Thousands with their children and grandchildren live in those camps until now. And from those camps would spring the Palestinian movement -- the guerrilla fighters and bombmakers and political leaders -- who would continue to fight Israel and challenge its right to exist, down to this day. Mike Shuster, NPR News, Los Angeles.

EDWARDS: Tomorrow, the 1967 Six Day War. It begins with Israel striking its Arab neighbors to defend its very existence, and ends with Israeli occupation of territories, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, that are disputed to this day. Copyright ©2002 National Public Radio®. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to National Public Radio. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. For further information, please contact NPR's Permissions Coordinator at (202) 513-2000.

I did not get prior written permission

The big blob is coming

I can still see a face ! A slightly different one - but it is definately there.

Still paranoid in new orleans...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Paranoid in New Orleans

Does that thing look like it has a face?

just asking...

10:17 pm nola time.

48 hours

I have been stuck in the longest 48 hours ever. It all started 2 weeks ago when I called an un-named company trying to get a private phone number. This un-named company charged me to do this and told me it would be done in 48 hours. Very well, I wasn’t worried about a charge just do it. Well 48 hours went by and my number was still out there. So I called them back only to hear them tell me, “we’ll put the order in and it will be 48 hours to complete the request.” So of course I asked why it wasn’t done the first time and was told she didn’t know. Okay, so I take that answer and wait… wait… wait… another 48 hours. Well 48 hours later and my number was still out there. So what do I do? I call them back only to hear them tell me again, “we’ll put the order in and it will be 48 hours to complete the request.”

So I wait again….

Guess what? Yep it wasn’t done again. This time I call back and ask for the supervisor. I don’t know what I though the supervisor would do because they didn’t do anything but tell me, “I’ll put the order in and someone will call you by the end of the day to confirm.” Do you think anyone called me? Yeah, didn’t think so. Oh and it still doesn’t work. I called back the next day and complained so much they gave me a credit. This did not really make me happy so I told them I’m outta there if they don’t get it right. The supervisor this time told me she didn’t know what was going on because she was in a different building. What do I care what building she is in, it’s still customer service for the SAME company and yet the customer service person I spoke to right before I asked for the supervisor could see all the calls I made in the previous days but the supervisor couldn’t. Hmmmm…. Very convenient. Oh well needless to say I canceled all my service because after the 7th call and 2 weeks later it still wasn’t right and we’ll I was just tired of dealing with stupid people. Oh and just note, they don’t know how to transfer you to a different department so you have to hang up and call back and hold for another 30 minutes.

I won’t be recommending them to anyone I know any time soon!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Final Result

I know that everyone has been holding their breath to see the final result of "Operation Transformation" -

What you are looking at is Bella after and the Bella who is still rather anxious about the whole proceedure.

Its just hair Bella - it will grow back!

Actually, Bella seemed quite happy, so all ends well in this story.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Last night my friend Bella asked me to do her hair. Now let me be very clear: I am a CPA not a hair stylist. She has (had) long brown hair and wanted to go RED RED and about 6 inches shorter.

So we sat down at my kitchen table and looked at the box of dye and discussed the strategic plan for “Operation Transformation.” The first directive was a glass of wine. She thought I should wait and she should drink. I know that I would have wanted to drink if I was letting an accountant dye and cut my hair, but as the accountant dying thinking about everything that could go wrong I decided that a little sip would calm my nerves.

So after a glass of wine I went for it. I would like to share the results with you!

What you are looking at is the "Before" and the "anxious" moment before the color went on...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Priorities Please

I wish that I could show you a picture of the ticket that my friend Michael just got. I would like to show it to you because it he had not shown it to me, I would have thought he was making the entire incident up. I asked him to scan it, but apparently he is as challenged with the office equipment as I am with attempting to manage this site. At least I can now delete my comments.

We live in post Katrina New Orleans. Pre Katrina New Orleans was not exactly the Utopia of cleanliness; however compared to New Orleans today we are talking Nirvana.

There is garbage everywhere. There are thousands of gutted homes with the contents sitting in the middle of the street. We have gangs of looters stealing from the homes that actually do have contents but no residents. We have a soaring crime rate. We have the National Guard because the Police are simply too swamped to handle the felony crimes.

Yet, it is very interesting to me that when the National Guard came in, the police did have the time to then start their revenue generation for the city by setting up DUI blocks, lingering behind stop signs to see if you make a full stop, slinking around the French Quarter to apprehend the unfortunate person who could not “hold it” and took a fresh air leak, enforcement of J- walking, tickets for every petty shit thing a person can do.

So, now I have digressed from my original thought I will get back to the point. New Orleans is filthy. Ah yes and my friend Michael just got a ticket. He received a $100.00 ticket for dropping 1 cigarette butt on the ground. Not dumping the entire contents of an ash tray, not for dumping the entire rotting contents of a refrigerator but for one butt.

I would like to think our police force has better issues to occupy them. I am sure that they are encouraged to meet certain quotas each month, but in our current situation I would like those quotas restricted to the apprehension of the hardened criminal/ the people who murdering and looting not to those of us who drop a cigarette butt or have a call of nature.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dorothy and the wizards window

Subject: View from my window today

Raspootin said:

was it over land or water - pretty cool!

The Wizard said:

over water, but it still looked like it was coming for us

Wishin says:
where is that

Raspootin says:
looking out The Wizard’s window at work

Wishin says:
i would be under my desk

Raspooitn says:
me too

Wishin says:

Raspootin says:
but then I would want to take a
look, go up to the roof and hold a metal stick or something

wishin says:
dud, it says where it is center right there. yeah i can read

Raspootin says:

Thank god The wizard had something interesting happen today or we would still have to be lookin at the Slayer Saga

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The rabbit slayer saga

I always would want to know what people were saying :

so it is all about you RS:

"What's the deal with that robert dude. His blog is weird. I still read it for some reason though"

"An irresistable magnetic pull. The inner workings of his mind are an enigma..."

and raspootin said:

I am giving you a Robert update,

I too was concerned about his posts and his metal stability today. I had 2 phone calls regarding his interaction with people in and around the gallery, about the NSA and thank you to whoever introduced the CIA into the mix.

Robert in my opinion is an idealist who really does want to save the world. As his creativity and intelligence is backed my – “Robert you might not just be hypo manic: But Bi Polar” I think that he understands that he sometimes can cross towards the edge.

I wish I still had the –“naivety” probably sounds rude, but meant as a compliment that I could change the world and make it a better place.

Robert is a really good person. Who I care about a lot!

back to me

I must say OMAR and WOOZIE, I am very amused by your sites!

OMAR, I have worked with a lot of guys out of the Shaw Group and find your insight interesting as a perspective on politics I never got from them

WOOZIE – thank you for always making me see the humor; I even looked at your computer thought process site: Think I can make EXCELL sound better for teacher!

see the links to these sites on my page: Tome of Communism and - sorry dont have omar's.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Where was the vacation??

I went on vacation and needless to say it was in no way a vacation. Now lets just say that it was a bunch of people who went and someone we'll call "Jane" also went. Jane was a pain in my ass. Jane is a grown adult and needed a lot of attention and instruction. Jane drove me insane! Jane drove someone else who was with me nuts and she has a lot of patience. Jane would describe in detail what her morning routine was every morning. I think that telling us one time was enough but every morning for a week straight I and everyone else with us had to hear the disgusting details of this routine. Now for the routine.. If you know your thing takes you 1 hour and I say we're leaving at 7am, wouldn't you get up at 6am to ensure your routine is done and you're ready to head out the door??? Well Jane did not. Jane waited til the last minute to get ready and then complained that she did not have enough time for her ritual. Then Jane would ask every morning what to wear and when should she put it on or should she change or what shoes to wear. Jane even forgot that she brought a whole hanging bag of clothes that I had to make sure fit in the car b/c she needed everything in it. Yes, she stuck it in the hotel closet and it was never seen again until we got home and unloaded the car. Can you tell I have issues with "Jane". Don't get me wrong she is a nice person but dingy beyond ditzy. Another example, when we stopped at the gas station and everyone got out she waited until everyone was back in the cars to decide she wanted to go in the store. Yes, waited til the last minute. Towards the end of the trip I began to tune out every word she said. I could hear talking but it sounded like the teacher on Charlie Brown. You know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I'm back home and getting back to normal. Overall my vacation was nice and I learned patience is a virtue and that I need to sit back and relax more or I need to vacation alone. Must I mention that I really didn't invite her to begin with. So when's my next trip???

Friday, July 07, 2006

Shared Cookies

"At an airport one night with several long hours before her flight:

She hunted for a book In an airport shop, Bought a bag of cookies And found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book But happened to see, That the man sitting beside her, As bold as could be, Grabbed a cookie or two From the bag in between, Which she tried to ignore To avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies And watched the clock, As the gutsy cookie thief Diminished her stock.

She was getting more irritated As the minutes ticked by, Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I would blacken his eye."

With each cookie she took, He took one too, When only one was left, She wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, And a nervous laugh, He took the last cookie And broke it in half.

He offered her half, As he ate the other, She snatched it from him And thought....oh, brother! This guy had some nerve And he's also rude, Why he didn't even show Any gratitude!

She had never known When she been so galled, And sighed with relief When her flight was called. She gathered her belongings And headed to the gate, Refusing to look back At the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, And sank in her seat, Then she sought her book, Which was almost complete. As she reached in her baggage, She gasped w ith surprise, There was her bag of cookies, In front of her eyes.

If mine are here, She moaned in despair, The others were his, And he tried to share. Too late to apologize, She realized with grief, That she was the rude one, The ingrate, the thief!

How many times have we absolutely known that something was a certain way, only to discover later that what we believed to be true....was not? "Always Keep An Open Mind And An Open Heart, Because............... You Just Never Know...."You might be eating someone else's cookies"

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.

Be the living ___expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile."

~Mother Teresa

Thursday, July 06, 2006

just a bit about Raspootin...

When I was a child – I thought as a child. I am now an Adult.

Biblical in thought? Yes of course it is. This is how I was raised. When I was a child we went to church 3 times a week. Does not sound like much to Americans raised with cars – but let me tell you – it was a lot. We would walk 2 miles to the tube station then take the Wembley – or now I think it would be called the Central line to Wembley Park. We then would hike across tenement buildings, about 10 high rises, to get to the church and take the same hike back –around trip of 4 miles.

Why does this mean anything? Good question. When my parents left me off to go to Tulane in the drinking, drug and sex capital of the South when I was 18, I had no idea. Their religious teachings or perhaps their lack of experience with life was a great hazard to me/ I truly believed because MY Parents and MY church said “when you fall in love and make love to a man it is because it is of God and because that Man loves you”

Ok – I do not even have to go into that misery. What a lie? What a naive dumb, dumb am I? My lack of knowledge certaintly led me to make mistakes that I look back on now and slap my head with wonder that I could have ever been such a true soul, believer in goodness.

I am now older, wiser and very hardened by the emotional knocks in my life. I understand that people have nooks and Cranny’s – but I have always had the Ultimate lessons given by God, Man or who ever is in charge of what can go or will be wrong.

I remember going to the hospital when by brother in law killed himself. My husband was in LA – visiting his family. They are JW’s and do not believe in getting blood. By the time I go to the emergencey room – it was far past the time to repsepect the religious beliefs of John, as they had been working on him with only the knowledge of his not informed girlfeind for 4 hours. When I asked the doctor what was going to happen after entering the emergency room and seeing them massage his heart ( yes inside his chest which was open) I called my ex husband’s father and asked what I should do. I was instructed by him to make a call. My brother in law had committed suicide and was brain dead. The doctors indicated that they could probably get him to a state of brain dead “VEGGY” – So I made the call I thought appropriate – “let him go”.

John’s girlfriend and her friend Heather screamed at me in the Chapel saying that John’s death was my fault. How could I have told the emergency room staff and doctors to stop? They accused me of his death because 6 weeks earlier I delivered to the girl friend a large box full of medication from John’s parents. John was bi-polar and had to take his meds – His girlfriend being even dumber than me thought she should not give the medication to him. She did not believe that he was psychotic – thought she new best,thought his Jehovah Witness Family was making it all up.

I guess she finally gave them to John as he overdosed on the meds that I gave his girl friend. I will never forgive myself for not giving them to him myself.

So you could ask, what has me in the mood to discuss things like this? Well, I am currently feeling a great deal like I did the night John died, and feel like maybe this time I can get some help with decisions that should not be mine to make, but fall on me none the less.

My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 4 years ago. I have forgiven her for not telling me about sex and drugs as on retrospect I probably would have found that extremely embarrassing at 18. She has also become a huge leftist liberal – friend in need an alley in deed. She had her first Seizure in Macys – she passed out down for the count. I shouted out for 911. She would have nothing to do with 911, making a speedy recovery. I had to argue with her about driving the car home and of course promise that I would not say anything about the incident to my Father, brother or Sister

I spent the “Katrina” in New Orleans which I guess as a retrospective was traumatic. I spent “Rita” stuck in traffic with my Mother and Father – 24 hours to Dallas from Houston which I need no retrospective to say was horrific.

I am going to jump to the point. The only thing that has kept my mother out of assisted living or really to be more honest is a nursing home is my Fathers’ good health. Up to 3 years ago he had a plane and a hanger in north Houston – and this was his hobby and thing to do. He has always been in good health.

I went to visit over July 4th weekend. My mother is maintaining but not able to walk. She also has other problems that well – in case she ever reads this I will not disclose.

On Sunday I was eating lunch with Mom and Dad. Dad was sitting directly across from me with my mother to the side. We were eating very dry BBQ Sandwiches. All of a sudden I see my Dad turn white then a bit red. I asked him – what’s up are you okay” He grunted out “NO”. He clutched at the table then fell to the floor.

I immediately called 911 and then went over to him. My mother had inadvertently fallen on him in her anxious worry. I worked around her – and my Dad’s pulse and color returned. He sat up. I lifted my mother back up. He yelled me to saying cancel 911. Why did you do that? I am fine.

Later that evening I confronted him and my mother. I wanted my dad to go to the emergency room. As selfish as it may sound I did not want another John on my conscience.
I also thought that the episode was more than my Dad explained: Dyvictalitist of the throat caused by dry food. Hell, I thought he had a stroke or heart attack! Needless to say, he made me pinky swear that I would not tell my brother or sister what happened. I hate to be in the position, but did not want to upset him further.

Today I called my Dad – (I have everyday) but today he answered not my mom. He said he felt funny and achy and that he knew something was wrong. I told him to go to the emergencey room. “On no I will get with the doctor tomorrow”

I immediately called my Brother and his wife who live in Houston and left a message. I had broken the pinky swear the evening before – telling my brother what happened. I have promised myself that I will never allow what happened to John to happen to someone else I love because I am trying to keep confidence. My Brother never called me back. My parents have not called. I guess no news is good?

My sister just called and was intuitively asking about my parents. I know that she was not contacted by my brother, his wife or my parents. I lied out right to her – well just said I thought my parents were not feeling well. I now feel a huge sense of guilt and one of forbearance for the worst.


My latest trip to NY included this exhibition

Amazing to say the least and one couldn't help but stand in awe of God's creation. He Defines Genius.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What Women Talk about In case you ever wondered

From: Raspootin
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 11:34 AM
To: The Wizard
Subject: Emailing: ECI5
What are those 2 red blobs coming at Florida?

From: The Wizard
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 10:36 AM
To: Raspootin
Subject: RE: Emailing: ECI5

I think they're just blobs. If not, we get a mini vacation in Savannah!

From: Raspootin
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 11:49 AM
To: The WizardSubject:
RE: Emailing: ECI5

That’s looking at the bright side!
I am wearing a new pair of pants and I think they are a bit too tight so I had to undo the button – I guess that no one will see. Maybe one of these days I will actually start doing situps and lose some of my bourbon belly…

From: The Wizard

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 12:49 PM

To: Raspootin

Subject:RE: Emailing: ECI5

I'm wearing new clothes too! A size up so everthing is very comfy

From: Raspootin

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 1:59 PM

To: The WizardSubject:

RE: Emailing: ECI5

My pants became even more uncomfy after I ate lunch –
I guess that I will not wear them until I lose a bit more weight – I am quite miserable

From: The Wizard

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 1:01 PM

To: Raspootin

Subject: RE: Emailing: ECI5

that's prob. a good idea. I am very happy with my new bigger clothes. I have broken an all time record with my weight & am now even having trouble fitting into clothes from earlier this year.......

From: Raspootin

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 2:14 PM

To: The Wizard

Subject: RE: Emailing: ECI5

What I find interesting is that they (my pants) fit this morning or I would not have worn them. It would now cause me serious bodily injury to button them. Hmm guess I all full of steam or I gained 2lbs around my middle in a 4 hour period of time Im a Medical misfit?

From: The Wizard
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 1:16 PM

To: Raspootin

Subject: RE: Emailing: ECI5

Maybe you're bloating. I usually expand during the day too! You're not alone

From: Raspootin

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 2:22 PM

To: The Wizard

Subject: RE: Emailing: ECI5

I think I am going to copy our conversation (change the names of course) and post on my blog
Blog I feel like a bloaty blog

From: The Wizard

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 1:23 PM

To: RaspootinSubject:

RE: Emailing: ECI5

I think everyone will know it's us. (put that remark in there too.)

From: Raspootin

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 2:42 PM

To: The Wizard

Subject: RE: Emailing: ECI5

Yeah – this is the ultimate example of multi tasking under extreme pressure -
Please excuse my little pun

From: The Wizard

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 1:43 PM

To: Raspootin
Subject: RE: Emailing: ECI5

That's for sure. This day is going tooooo slow

From: Raspootin

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 2:51 PM

To: The Wizard

Subject: RE: Emailing: ECI5

Did you watch the space shuttle take off?
Yup – now they will really know who I am emailing with.
Funny thing is that no one ever looks at my blog anyway so It does not really matter!

From: The Wizard

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 1:52 PM

To: Raspootin
Subject: RE: Emailing: ECI5

I couldn't believe they did it! It was a really beautiful launch. We were all standing out there staring up at it, and then I thought, should have brought the camera!

From: Raspootin

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 2:12 PM

To: 'The Wizard

Subject: RE: Emailing: ECI5
Yeah I still am kicking myself for not having a camera during and after Katrina -

Original Message-----From: The Wizard

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 2:41 PM

To: Raspootin

Subject: What do you think
About Keanu Reeves?

From: Raspootin

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 3:48 PM

To: The Wizard

Subject: keanu

What about him????
I am confused?

From: The Wizard

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 2:49 PM

To: Raspootin
Subject: RE: kenau

Don't you think he's really attractive?

From: Raspootin

Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 3:26 PM

To: The Wizard

Subject: RE: kenau

Trick question?
Definitely HOT

BW if you read this I swear that I actually do work most of the time!