March 26th, 2003 ~ Former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan died today at the age of 76 after battling a severe infection following an emergency appendectomy.  Born March 16th, 1927 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he and his mother and siblings had a rough time after their father abandoned them when Daniel was 10.  Growing up on the mean streets of New York after his mother moved them from Tulsa, young Daniel worked as a shoeshine boy and even a dock worker to help his family make ends meet.
      Despite these tough beginnings, Moynihan attended City College New York in 1943, before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1944 and serving as a gunnery officer until 1947.  When he returned home, he went immediately back to school, receiving an M.A. from Tufts University in 1948, and on a Fulbright scholarship, studied at the London School of Economics.  He received his Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1949.
      Moynihan held many noteworthy academic and government positions from 1955 to 1970, was appointed ambassador to India in 1973, and was elected by his fellow New Yorkers as U.S. Senator in 1976, where he served with passion and distinction until 2001.
      During Senator Moynihan's long and illustrious career, he expressed his deep concern for his fellow citizens, not only through the many policymaking posts he held, but also through his writing.  Author and Co-author of 19 books and numerous articles, Moynihan leaves us with a prodigious body of work, including such groundbreaking books as "Beyond the Melting Pot", co-authored with Nathan Glazer, and "On the Law of Nations", especially relevant in light of world events unfolding this very moment.
      Senator Moynihan is survived by wife, Elizabeth and children, Timothy, Maura, and John, as well as a grateful nation and state of New York.

      March 24th , 2003 ~ I have been watching how the Arab world lately seems to see Saddam Hussein as a Big Kahuna, standing up to the "Great Satan", America; that the Saddam Fedayeen and Republican Guard are holding their own against superior forces.  The reality is that the coalition forces care greatly for the lives of the civilian population of Iraq while the Saddam Fedayeen and Republican Guard are a bunch of COWARDS hiding behind the skirts of women and the cribs of children.  If these BRAVE WARRIORS wish to truly show their courage, why don't they come out from behind their women and children and face their enemies on the desert like MEN?
      Then there's Michael Moore's pointless polemic at the Oscar ceremonies.  I can appreciate Mr. Moore's outrage at the way the entire Iraq matter has been handled by the President, but like it or not, we're now committed.  There's no turning back; not with a sociopath like Saddam.  All we can do now is work to minimize the suffering of innocents in this conflict and let our troops know we appreciate their restraint and professionalism under the most demanding and dangerous circumstances.

      March 23rd , 2003 ~ Many developments in today's news regarding the conflict in Iraq.  We have learned that an Islamic zealot fifth-columnist who infiltrated the 101st Airborne Division, Asan Akbar, is responsible for the death of Capt. Christopher Scott Seifert, 27, and the wounding of 15 other fellow soldiers.  I pray this snake in the grass is tried and executed for the traitor he is.
      We have also learned of the accidental downing of a U.K. Tornado fighter by a patriot missile fired from Kuwait.  Apparently the jet's "friend or foe" transponder failed as it approached the border.  Then there are the ghastly video images from Iraqi TV, re-broadcast by Al Jazeera, of the American troops killed and captured in fighting around An Nasiriyah.  The disturbing video shows up to five bodies who have apparently been shot in the head and four very terrified live captives who were told to give their first names and home towns to the camera.
      It is obvious that the dead were murdered because they would say only their names, ranks, and serial numbers as required by the Geneva Conventions and that the living were terrorized and tortured.  The prisoners and the executed are believed to be members of the 507th Maintence Co. who took a wrong turn and drove right into an Iraqi ambush.  I pray that their captors are eventually themselves captured, tried as War Criminals, and euthanized as the rabid dogs they are.
      Finally, it seems Turkey is trying to take advantage of this conflict as a way to solve their "Kurdish Problem" by massing troops along the Iraqi border as a prelude to moving into Kurdish-held territories.  The President has clearly stated this is not acceptable and that he expects Turkey NOT to enter Iraq.  I doubt seriously that our President's warning will have much weight in Ankara.  However, I also expect Turkish P.M. Erdogan has not considered that Greece might take his lead and use Turkey's involvement with the Kurds to make their own move on the long-contested island of Cyprus.  We shall just have to wait and see how things develop.

      March 22nd , 2003 ~ The news channel feeding frenzy is in full froth at this hour and if I hear the phrase "Shock and Awe Campaign" one more time on TV, I fear I will puke all over the living room.  I certainly consider the images being broadcast live from Baghdad "shocking" and "awful", but only as harbingers of the toll in innocent lives which will be lost before this shockingly awful campaign is concluded.
      Equally shocking and awful are the pitiless interviews by the likes of Paula Zahn of the families of fallen American soldiers.  This video voyeurism into these families' most personal and intimate anguish is truly disgusting.  I'm not sure what Paula and the rest expect to hear or see when they ask "...can you tell us what you're feeling about your dead son/daughter/father/brother/sister? ". Do they want some tearful reminiscences from people still in shock from their awful loss?  Perhaps that makes a good lead-in to a commercial about estate planning.

      March 19th , 2003, 8:00 p.m. ~ Zero hour.  As my wife and I sit here watching CNN and other news channels covering this live, I am eerily reminded of the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas 10 years ago and the shock of horror we all felt as the compound went up in flames.  I am reminded, too, of the rationale for the FBI and ATF going in when they did:  They said they were concerned for the safety of the children.  We all know what happened to those children.
      And now, we're going in after another sociopath, Saddam Hussein.  Like David Koresh, he is a control freak.  Like David Koresh, he holds his people in thrall.  And like David Koresh, when cornered, I fear he will exit this world in an orgy of death unleashed against his own people, so that America can be blamed for the carnage.
      I pray that in all the battle planning, SOMEONE in our government has "profiled" this sick puppy and thought of ways to protect his people - his hostages, really - from his final acts of narcissistic rage.  I'm sick of seeing dead children on live TV.

      March 17th , 2003, 8:00 p.m. ~ Saddam and his henchmen have been given 48 hours to get out of Dodge (Baghdad) tonight by President Bush.  As a simple citizen and not one of the Washington power-elite, all I can do is pray for the mothers on both sides whose children will be endangered by this coming conflict.

      March 1st, 2003 ~ CAPTURED!  After eighteen months on the run, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the twisted mind behind the 9-11 attack, has been captured in Pakistan!  Officials are not saying much about the circumstances of the arrest; nor should they.  It is enough for us to know that this bloodthirsty butcher has been apprehended and will hopefully be convinced to divulge the whereabouts of other Al Qaeda minions; hopefully even the arch demon Usama itself.