Friday, December 22, 2006


Taking a few days off for the holidays. Have safe and joy-filled celebrations.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

CBS Arrogance - Insult to troops

I happened to be awake in the middle of the night so turned on CBS news "Up to the Minute". Ret. Major Mike Lyon who is now a CBS Military Analyst was on giving his review of the war, where we go from here, etc.

Although he was somewhat fair in his analysis of what the situation is and the future will be when we defeat the enemy, his John Kerryesk arrogance (seems to be widely evident at CBS news) unfortunately had to come out when about 2/3 of the way through the video, he reports that our military will not look the same. Rather than recruit large numbers of boots on the ground, tankers, etc we will recruit "intelligent" people.

To see the video, click here. Text link is below

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Thank God Robert Grenier is a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency’s counterintelligence center. In his tortured, twisted and seemingly ill-informed New York Times Op Ed Piece today (you may need to create an account to access it) he suggests “the only way of making the Lebanese government accountable is to encourage the progressive, moderating integration of Hezbollah into the political, social and military fabric of the state”.

When has a terrorist group ever had a “moderating” influence on anything they infiltrate or are integrated into? The only time/place that I can think of is the moderating (actually paralyzing) influence on media outlets worldwide. It is widely known among journalists that reporting the truth about what Hezbollah, Hamas and every other Islamo-fascist terror group is all about is a fatal error.

Recall that CNN admitted they didn’t tell the truth about the brutality of Sadam Hussein.

At the Restoration Weekend (you can access video and text of most of the sessions), Bernie Goldberg* pointed out that when the New York Times (and other print media) refused to publish the cartoon caricatures of Muhammad they wrote that they did so “out of respect for the religion” of Islam. The very next day they published pictures of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung. To have printed the cartoonish Muhammad would have resulted in actualization of the treats the Islamo-fascists made and likely the New York Times Building would no longer exist on the New York City landscape. Certainly no Christian made such a threat; we protested, we didn’t kill or destroy. Did the New York Times have less respect for the Christian religious image of the Virgin Mary? Yes, and they also knew we posed no threat.

This is the moderating influence the Islamo-fascists have. By tempering their image in western media they create a sympathetic populous that view them as the victim. This is how they are winning. This is partly why they are so dangerous. Fear and intimidation is their most powerful weapon. I implore our media to stand up to them!

Again I suggest my readers buy and read carefully Brigitte Gabriel's book "Because the Hate". You will have a metanoia of the mind after reading just a few pages.

* From the Restoration Weekend Bio: Bernard Goldberg winner of seven Emmys, reports for the critically acclaimed HBO program Real Sports, and has authored three books Bias, Arrogance, and 100 People who Are Screwing Up America -- And Al Franken is # 37.

Goldberg has reported extensively, both at HBO and CBS News, on the transformation of American Culture...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Who and How we Fight

Are we fighting factions that will continue to fight even if the inevitable happens… that some day we will not be in Iraq?
Why haven’t the Iraqi civilians provided us with more “on the ground” intelligence?

These are questions I am thoughtfully pondering. I don’t necessarily have the answer…many thoughts, some answers. The warring Sunni and Shi’a factions of Islam are largely not peace-thinking people; they kill each other and they will kill anyone who threatens their ideology. They join together to fight the “west”, but similarly fight each other with the same vigor and brutality. {Begs the question, what is the ideology of each of these factions?}.

Followers of either sect might not be willing to blow themselves up or pick up an M-16, but they sure as hell aren’t ratting out the ones who do…the ones that are shooting at us; our enemy. Why aren’t these people; Iraqi civilians who say they want to live in peace providing us with the “on the ground” intelligence we need to kill the insurgents and win this war?

Certainly policing the area as we are currently executing this “war” is not working. The CSI-Baghdad method is an egregious war on our troops as we place them in the cross hairs of warring factions who wish to destroy each other; and us. Searching for perpetrators after the fact of an “insurgent” attack is an abomination of military and criminal justice; and belies the trust of the very people we are HOPING trust us. If we have the might and the will to fight, then for crying out loud we have the responsibility to use it – let’s get this done.

Any aggression toward our troops must be met with an overwhelming response up to and including leveling any town where we know the enemy is firing from or hiding. The rules of engagement for our side are paralyzing. It is absolutely imperative that the rules of engagement change and allow our troops to respond appropriately to the enemy on the ground... “If you feel threatened, shoot to kill”. With this approach, I believe we would soon begin to get solid intelligence from Iraqis who want to live (in peace?).

Scenario 1: An Iraqi mom with five children (or any “peaceful Iraqi) is living in a village and worshipping at the same mosque as a group of radical Islamic insurgents preparing to launch an attack on a passing US & Iraqi military group in two days. The Iraqi mom also knows that a similar attack occurred in an adjoining village two weeks prior. The response of our military was to send in troops to look for the perpetrators, collect crime scene evidence and file a report. What would this Iraqi mother do with the knowledge of an impending attack?

Scenario 2: Same scenario only the response of our military to the attack two weeks prior was an immediate bombing of the village until there was no life left. Given this scenario, what do you think the Iraqi mother would do with the information she had regarding the impending attack? It may not be that she would come forward, but she and several others would flee that village…fleeing civilians would be noticed; thus providing us with useful intelligence information.

The key to winning the war against Radical Islam is not necessarily always total military action, but intelligence followed by surgical strikes. We must insist by military force that moderate and peaceful Muslims (Shi’a or Sunni) come forward and take as much responsibility for their fate as our troops have; friendly persuasion has not worked.

The argument that innocent lives will be lost if we ramp up our military operations is simply not reasonable. To be sure there has been and will be some civilian life loss from our military operations. However, the longer we drag this on, the more innocents will be sacrificed. It isn’t our side that blows up restaurants, markets, cars, etc. It’s their own kind; the religious zealots who kill them.

In order for that to stop, the Iraqi civilians must take the responsibility and have a duty to provide us and subsequently the Iraqi troups and police with the Intel we need to win; or we all lose.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Jimmie and the Geriatrics

Jimmie and the Geriatrics
It’s My Turn to Respond to the Iraq Study Group

Ayup, we’ve come of age. Used to be retired folk would sit in their rockers and reminisce ‘bout the yonder-years. Put a log on the fire and pet the cat. Sip their brandy, toke on a cigar (or not) and fill their kinfolk and whoever else was there with history, folklore and drama. Well, not much has happened ‘cept now the history, folklore and drama is gone global; and dangerous.

We cannot base our foreign policy or our war strategy on a bunch of ole folks who seemingly want one last word; one last chance to change their epitaph. Good grief. The Iraq Survey Geriatric Group is proof positive of why there are mandatory retirement ages in certain professions. With the exception of Thomas Jefferson, it should be true with all policy perpetrators in the US. You can’t pull the ole Victrola out of the attic and expect the waltzes to sound good enough to dance to. We live in a different time.

This is not an assault on the elderly (I fight daily for the rights of elderly and disabled citizens), most folk know when it’s time to give it up…and do. This is a realization that there is a time for everything. The time for war with radical Islam is now and it MUST be carried out as a modern/new age war by those who not only understand it, but are willing to execute it. We have been talking and rocking in our chairs too long. We are not dealing with an enemy the geriatrics faced in their time (unless you count the thousands of Muslims that joined Hitler’s army to annihilate the Jews and us). We are dealing with a sleeping; now awakening giant.

My mother describes the horrors WWII when the enemy would fill the belly of a soldier with water and then jumping on him; thus exploding his stomach and causing an excruciating death. Or pulling his fingernails off with pliers – ugh … as being the worst form of punishment/torture inflicted on us in WWII and she would be correct in those statements – dreadful (of course how bout the gas chambers?). There are now new methods of torture and terror. How about tying a child’s limb to one parent and another limb to the other parent then pulling the parent’s away thus splitting and killing the child – an innocent child, not a soldier – not to mention the parents who are forced to watch this evil act? Of course the beheading of Nicolas Berg and others wasn’t very “nice” either. It is a different enemy we face.

Actually we don’t face them. They won’t face us. They hide behind innocent women and children. They are evil scum. They know if they fought us (the Jews and all of western society) in hand to hand or battlefield combat, they would lose. They rely on western propagandists like Jimmie Baker and the Geriatrics, their periodic acts of terror and our sympathetic media to win.

Who in the hell found the geriatrics to instruct us…we, who have to digest their world view? Who is responsible for this? Why were the most talented thinkers and doers of our time not the ones to study the situation? Why are we even looking?...this is WAR.


Saturday, December 9, 2006

Response to a comment

A recent comment about my first post deserves a response. I can’t recall the entire quote, but during the ’04 campaign season Hillary Clinton screamed at a rally that she was sick and tired of every time someone questions this (Bush) administration they are accused of being unpatriotic. Well, I’m sick and tired of being accused of fear mongering and spewing hate speech when I point out a real threat to America and the world. The anonymous person who commented was concerned that I relied of some (note - not all) of Dr. Paul Williams work; totally ignoring that I referred to several others experts in that post.

Since that post, I have researched even further (to correct an erroneous statement regarding the power of suitcase nukes), and am now more convinced of the peril we face.

What is most concerning to me is the willingness of the anonymous commentator to ignore the issue, void of any intelligent counter debate and attack me. This is a trend I see all too frequently. If we can’t debate issue(s) intelligently, we will never know who are enemies are, we will never know how they operate and we will not be able to defeat them; whether it’s radical Islam or someone else.

In the end, I hope the anonymous person reads this because I want to thank him/her. It proves that we must come together to protect our right to not only free speech, but the many other freedoms we enjoy, here in the greatest country in the world. I also would like to thank him/her because it is so rewarding to be challenged.

Friday, December 8, 2006

halp me jon carry

I have tried to make my settings so that "anyone" can comment - my blog site insists that commentors sign in, what an irritating glich - does anyone know how to reset it?

Life in Stowe, Vermont

View from front porch 12/7/06

Life in Stowe, Vermont

Deck Chairs - October 2006


I Stand Corrected

In my first posting in stated that a suitcase nuke would yield up to 2 kilotons of power and that it would be about ½ the power of the bombs we dropped on Japan. I received that information from what I thought were very good sources. I was challenged in a chat room yesterday and inspired to do a bit more research. After searching for hours, I learned there is a lot of variability in thought on the size and power of a suitcase nuclear weapon.

What I concluded was that a suitcase nuke, likely due to its weight, would only pack a punch of up to 1 kiloton and would certainly not be ½ the power of the WWII nukes we dropped on Japan. Those yielded around 13-15 kilotons.

According to these would still yield a very powerful blast. They (and others) claim that the bomb that destroyed the Alfred R. Murrah building in Oklahoma City was a 0.002 kiloton bomb. A 1 kiloton bomb would inflict dreadful damage and kill thousands more than were killed on 9/11.

The power and destruction of a suitcase nuke is certainly a major concern. We must not let this happen in our cities. I implore every American to take notice and become informed; the media are not helping us…we must help our selves.

I visited website in my search for information. I didn’t find what I was looking for but I clicked on a link – a wealth of information about terrorists groups. In my naivety I expected to find about 15 or 20 groups. There are 43 pages of world-wide terror group names; most pages hold 20 names…only one person, from one group has to be successful to harm us.

United we must stand…

Thursday, December 7, 2006

RADICAL ISLAM: Weapons We Know They Have

RADICAL ISLAM: Weapons We Know They Have – What We Need to Do About It

The most powerful weapon RADICAL ISLAM has is terror and fear; they are masters at it. Their willingness to use any means available to eradicate the Jews and “the west” demonstrates their greatest weapon. Forcing parents (in Lebanon) to kill their infant child by securing one limb to one parent and another limb to the other parent and then pulling the parents apart as the child is torn in two (read Brigitte Gabriel’s “Because They Hate” for more telling information);who could ever inflict this evil? RADICAL ISLAM.

RADICAL ISLAM wants to dominate the world. RADICAL ISLAM insists we either convert to their “religion”, submit to Islamic law (I will never wear a burka-help me not have to do that), or be killed. I believe moderate and secular Muslims are more afraid of them than we are; because they know who they are.

We are not afraid and actively engaged in fighting to RADICAL ISLAM because our media is seemingly sympathetic to their cause and in agreement with the liberal left that if we only talk to them, we can all get along.

We can’t and we won’t talk. I don’t know any woman; liberal, moderate or conservative who would be willing to submit to wearing a burka, appearing in public only in the company of a man, never speaking unless spoken to, periodic and often routine rapes, etc. etc. etc. Talking will not change the practice of RADICAL ISLAM; they believe all these practices to be true, and sanctioned by Allah/God. Remember they want to dominate the world, and if we refuse to submit to their laws, they will kill us – they have already done it. Terror and fear is their most powerful weapon. I have two regrets in our stirring up the hornet’s nest of RADICAL ISLAM so they are fighting us on Iraqi soil. First, the innocent Iraqis who are slaughtered; caught in the crossfire and subjected to the evil acts and tactics of RADICAL ISLAM; they suffer greatly. You do not see our military sending suicide bombers, car bombers, improvised explosive devices etc. into civilian populations. That is what RADICAL ISLAM does. Second is since our media is increasingly sympathetic to the enemy and we hear only the tragedies that occur in Iraq, Americans are largely ignorant to the threat of RADICAL ISLAM. We have not experienced a direct attack on US soil since 9/11. Our leaders are to be commended for this, but we have become comfortable and complacent; even considerate to the enemy.

Second among their weaponry are their covert operations.

In the most insidious manner RADICAL ISLAM has infiltrated western government(s) world wide. I cannot believe the complacency of our own government as they (CIA/FBI) align themselves with CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations) which is largely believed to be a front group for Hamas; the RADICAL ISLAMic group in Palestine. When we read about statements from Islamic groups following a horrific event somewhere in the world, the mainstream media often interviews someone from CAIR who purports a pseudo-peaceful message at the televised podium – but a very opposite message when addressing their “followers”. Rarely do we hear from a moderate or secular Cleric who has the voice of Islam that is real, and peaceful: a Cleric who would effectively condemn the motives and methods of RADICAL ISLAM. Certainly not because there aren’t any who would speak, some do; the media does not cover their statements.

RADICAL ISLAM has also succeeded in gaining the sympathy/complacency of many moderate and secular Muslim brethren who Stephen Emerson* refers to as cultural Muslims. Cultural Muslims would never carry out a suicide bomb or any other operation but wouldn’t necessarily stop someone who would. Certainly, there are Muslims who do not tolerate the Radical Arm of Islam, would never tolerate their behavior, would certainly rat them out, but for some reason we are not hearing from them. Why aren’t our opinion pages full of letters from these people?

The third weapon they have are the tangible explosive devices, internet hacking abilities, and yes…weapons of mass destruction that could be introduced to our food, water and air supplies. Most of these (suitcase nuclear weapons, dirty bombs, suicide bombs, various biological and chemical agents, etc) require intensive planning and coordination to deploy. The network of offenders both stateside and abroad, their financial transactions and communications are a significant area where we can effectively fight them. That is why this author was angered by the most recent egregious leaks of classified information-UGH. If we cannot effectively survey, observe and intercept their activities, we lose…we die. Where are the treason charges against these perpetrators?

The good news in all of this is we now have a growing albeit fledgling government intelligence gathering network of our own. It was cut off at the knees in recent years (lack of congressional appropriation), but fortunately our leaders have seen fit since 9/11 to get human intel on the ground, infiltrate known RADICAL ISLAMic groups and finally have federal government agencies talk to each other.

In this war against RADICAL ISLAM, we can’t afford to expend time/energy pointing fingers or assigning blame. We have to all be on the same page, reading the same paragraph, same line and not proofreading the politically incorrect language if we want to survive as a free world. I will be sadly disappointed if the newly elected Democrat congress does nothing but fight President Bush with incessant hearings, subpoenas, misguided allegations, etc. instead of fight the real enemy: RADICAL ISLAM


*Stephen Emerson is an internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security. He has authored many books (read them all –available on Amazon, etc) and is the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism which is reported to be the nation’s largest archival data and intelligence on Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorist groups.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

A site to visit

Short & sweet today...I urge everyone to visit the website below for more information about what Radical Islam has in store for us. It is the site of the author Brigette Gabriel who I reference in the first line of my first blog entry at the bottom of this page.


Sunday, December 3, 2006

Why we love children

This has been around alot...thanks to the original author who ever that may be


1. A kindergarten pupil told his teacher he'd found a cat, but it was dead:
"How do you know that the cat was dead?" she asked her pupil.
"Because I pissed in its ear and it didn't move," answered the child
"You did WHAT ?" the teacher exclaimed in surprise.
"You know,"explained the boy, "I leaned over and went 'Pssst!' and it didn't

2. A small boy is sent to bed by his father:
Five minutes later....."Da-ad...."
"I'm thirsty. Can you bring drink of water?"
"No, You had your chance. Lights out."
Five minutes later: "Da-aaaad..! .."
"I'm THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water??"
I told you NO! If you ask again, I'll have to spank you!!"
Five minutes later......"Daaaa-aaaad...."
"When you come in to spank me, can you bring a drink of water?"

3. An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief finally
asked him:
"How do you expect to get into Heaven?"
The boy thought it over and said, "Well, I'll run in and out and in and out
and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, 'For Heaven's sake, Dylan,
come in or stay out!'"

4 One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her
son into bed:
She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his
voice, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?"
The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can't dear," she said.
"I have to sleep in Daddy's room."
A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice:
"The big sissy."

5. It was that time, during the Sunday morning service, for the children's
All the children were invited to come forward.
One little girl was wearing a particularly pretty dress and, as she sat
down, the pastor leaned over and said, "That is a very pretty dress. Is i
your Easter Dress?"
The little girl replied, directly into the pastor's clip-on microphone,
"Yes, and my Mom says it's a bitch to iron."

6. When I was six months pregnant with my third child, my three year old
came into the room: I was just getting ready to get into the shower. She
said, "Mommy, you are getting fat!" I replied, "Yes, honey, remember Mommy
has a baby growing in her tummy."
"I know," she replied, but what's growing in your butt?"

7. A little boy was doing his math homework:
He said to himself, "Two plus five, that son of a bitch is seven.
Three plus six, that son of a bitch is nine...."
His mother heard what he was saying and gasped, "What are you doing?"
The little boy answered, "I'm doing my math homework, Mom."
"And this is how your teacher taught you to do it?" the mother asked.
"Yes," he answered.
Infuriated, the mother asked the teacher the next day, "What are you
teaching my son in math?"
The teacher replied, "Right now, we are learning addition."
The mother asked, "And are you teaching them to say two plus two, that son
of a bitch is four?"
After the teacher stopped laughing, she answered, "What I taught them was,
two plus two, THE SUM OF WHICH, is four."

8. One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little
to her class:
She came to the part of the story where Chicken Little tried to warn the
farmer. She read, ".... and so Chicken Little went up to the farmer and
said, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"
The teacher paused then asked the class, "And what do you think that farmer
One little girl raised her hand and said, "I think he said: 'Holy Shit! A
talking chicken!'"
The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.

9. A certain little girl, when asked her name, would reply,
"I'm Mr. Sugarbrown's daughter."
Her mother told her this was wrong, she must say, "I'm Jane Sugarbrown."
The Vicar spoke to her in Sunday School, and said, Aren't you Mr
Sugarbrown's daughter?"
She replied, "I thought I was, but mother says I'm not."

10. A little girl asked her mother, "Can I go outside and play with the
Her mother replied, "No, you can't play with the boys, they're too rough."
The little girl thought about it for a few moments and asked, "If I can find
a smooth one, can I play with him?"

11. A little girl goes to the barber shop with her father:
She stands next to the barber chair, while her dad gets his hair cut, eating
a snack cake.
The barber says to her, "Sweetheart, you're gonna get hair on your Twinkie."
She says, "Yes, I know, and I'm gonna get boobs too."

Now keep that smile on your face and Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

Why we Fight

Follow the link below to see a terrific movie titled "Why we fight". It lasts 1hr 39min, but is worth the time.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Why the Radical Islamic Threat, Threatens Moderate and/or Secular Muslims; and Us All

Lebanese born Brigitte Gabriel in her new book “Because They Hate – A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America” describes perfectly how Islamic radicals take over a tolerant populace. Osama Bin Laden, Mugtada al-Sadr, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and many others profess death to America, death to the Zionist. We are at war with radical Islam.

One need only recall the eagerness of Muslim Jihadists to join Adolf Hitler’s army in WWII to recognize their historical hate of the Jews and the west. After a rather quiet period in the 50’s and 60’s, the radical terrorists are now fully engaged and at war with us and the Jews. Their skillful resolve to infiltrate tolerant western countries and governments is staggering. Unconfirmed statements by terrorist experts note that there are 200 cities in France where the police will not enter because they know they will be killed by the Muslim extremists. Recently Russian leaders expressed concern about the growing Muslim presence in their country (Russian women on average give birth to 1.3 children, Russian Muslim women give birth to 6-10 children) and have enacted measures to control Muslims

Moderate Muslims are largely silent when addressing the egregiously horrific activities of their radial brethren. It begs the question, are they in fear of retaliation, are they as perplexed as many of us are or are they simply not as moderate as we have been led to believe? And it brings the fear that perhaps they are speaking up but being silenced by the media, which tends to be sympathetic to Radical Islam.

I recently attended a 3-day conference on a multitude of national issues in Palm Beach Florida. There were national leaders, terrorism experts, legislators, media, political pundits, military personnel and many of us who are simply eager to learn more about the growing threat. During the panel discussion “The Homeland Imperiled” one of the audience members suggested there were 10 suitcase nuclear weapons that have been smuggled into this country for use in Osama Bin Laden’s “American Hiroshima”. He asked the panel for verification of this. Ret. General Paul Vallely, the moderator nodded with ascension that it was true. General Vallely in addition to his distinguished military career has served on US security assistance missions on civilian-military relations to Europe, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and Central America.

At lunch, I sat with Ret. General Bob Patterson. I asked the General whether he believed there were suitcase nukes in the country intended to harm us. He said it was highly likely and went on to describe what he did in active duty. He was charged with a program called “Special Services” which was a military group dedicated to look for nuclear weapons coming into this country. He admitted they intercepted a couple coming in through Louisiana. He shuttered to think of those they missed.

Paul Williams a terrorism expert and consultant to the FBI in a recent discussion described how al Qaeda obtained the nuclear weapons. They were sold to them by the Chechen Mafia, Russian Mafia and other black market dealers. He added that these sales had been verified by numerous weapons inspectors including Hans Blix.

According to Williams, in 1995 Dzokhar Dudayev, the leader of the Chechen Mafia offered to sell his collection of nuclear weapons to the United States in exchange for US recognition of Chechnya’s independence. The Clinton administration declined to purchase them; so they were sold to al Qaeda.

Although Osama bin Laden is incredibly patient and will not allow an attack to occur unless success is guaranteed, many experts believe he cannot keep these weapons forever. They require significant maintenance to ensure their potency. Mr. Williams suggests he had worked regularly with 20 nuclear scientists from the lab of Dr. A. Q. Kahn of Pakistan to maintain and modify the weapons. Dr. Kahn was hired by Pakistan to develop their nuclear weapon program.

Non-Muslims have cause to fear the carnage from a suitcase nuclear weapon. The ones we know about can yield about half the amount of power of the bombs we dropped on Japan. One or two detonated in any American city would be devastating; ten would be horrific.

The “moderate” Muslim community not only has to fear this carnage, but the wrath and ire of the non-Muslim Americans. When contemplating the response to the moderate and peaceful Muslim communities after 911, I quote Ret. General Thomas G. McInerney “if the American Hiroshima occurs, to be sure we will respond and there will not be a Mosque standing anywhere in the US and there will be no Muslim, radical or not who will not be in fear for their life from the peaceful and usually tolerant citizens in the United States”.

It is not if there is a planned “American Hiroshima”, but when. Why is this so under reported in America?

We Americans have must learn more about this growing threat and the press has a duty to inform us, not leak our secrets in this war.

(Suggested reading: recent publications by Stephen Emerson, Paul Williams, David Dastych and Hamid Mir to begin with)