Okay using the New York Daily News 'high' 'standards' for coming to conclusions, let's declare all NYC reporters "100% stupid."
Switching coasts, Tony Perry offers "When new commander in chief mentions sacrifice, military families know what he means" (Los Angeles Times' Babylon & Beyond) which reports on the return from Iraq of 250 Marines:
Take the family of Navy corpsman Edward Dikitanan, who was finishing his fourth deployment. His wife, mother-in-law, and four children, ages 1 to 11, were holding a large banner and waving small American flags.
"The older the children get, the harder it gets," said Dikitanan's wife, Lanie.
When the first embraces were over, 8-year-old Nalani had a request; "Daddy, can we go to the zoo now?"
It's like that for military families: their lives are often on hold while loved ones are away for six months to a year.
Randy and Tracy Vanderwende of Rancho Cucamonga have kept their Christmas tree up and the presents unopened as they waited for their daughter Cpl. Kylie Vanderwende, 22, to return from her second deployment.
"We're going to take her home, let her sleep for a couple of days, and then we'll have our Christmas," said Tracy Vanderwende.
Perry notes that Barack Obama's calling for American sacrifice. The reality is that Americans have sacrificed. Average Americans across the country. If there's any sacrifice to be made, Barack needs to ask his Corporate funders to fork over the sacrifice. They're the ones who coasted through the last eight years. He can give his Hopey Hokum a rest. Besides, it's not as if he made ANY sacrifice. He was more than happy to spend millions on the 'festivities' at a time when the country is involved in two wars and in the midst of an economic meltdown.
Gina Chon's "Stuck at Home, Iraqis Complain About Neighbors' Treatment" (Wall St. Journal's Baghdad Life) reports on Iraqis desire to have the freedom to travel and the realization that, even if they could, they are looked down upon by many neighboring countries:
Security has improved but the neighbors have been slow to return. Last August, Jordan's King Abdullah was the first leader of an Arab country to visit Iraq since 2003. A month later, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Iraq presented his credentials to the Iraqi government, marking the first Arab diplomat stationed in Iraq for two years. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and other Arab nations say they will also soon establish embassies in Baghdad.
My friends say they hope that will improve their chances of visiting Arab countries but for now, they've realized an Iraqi passport is essentially worthless and makes foreigners look down on them. That's why many Iraqis have been trying to figure out ways to get another passport, with some considering moving to another country to live there long enough to get a foreign passport, and then return back to Iraq. My friends say the struggles of rebuilding their lives in another country will be worth it if they can get another passport that gives them dignity and respect in other countries.
Maybe Barack can ask the Iraqi civilians to sacrifice too? That makes about as much sense as his asking the American citizenry -- stretched to the max and emerging from eight years of non-stop attacks on their rights, liberties and economic well being -- to sacrifice. The wrong people are always the ones urged to sacrifice.
Neftegaz reports Japan's Nippon, Italy's Eni and Spain's Repsol are, according to an unnamed person in Iraq's Oil Ministry, are placing bids for an oil field.
Iraq's Foreign Ministry notes:
20 January, 2009
Undersecretary for Policy Planning and Bilateral Relations Receives Spanish Ambassador in Baghdad
Foreign Minister Undersecretary for policy planning and bilateral relations Mr. Labeed Abbawi received the Spanish Ambassador Mr. Francisco Elias de Tehada Lothano on Tuesday 20.Jan.2009 and discussed with him prospects for developing bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Spanish ambassador expressed his thanks to the fruitful cooperation with the Iraqi authorities by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and overcome the difficulties that objects the diplomatic missions' work in Baghdad. Mr. Abbawi gave full explanation about the progress in the political and security situation in Iraq and the facilities that provided by the Iraqi authorities to facilitate the diplomatic missions' work in Iraq, Mr. Labeed Abbawi expressed Iraq's desire to develop and strengthen the relations with Spain in different aspects.
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