Olive Branch Optimism
what a wonderful world...
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Another Jill Caroll video released.
JILL CAROLL VIDEO #2 [a response to the strong global support for Jill???]


The video they again call for the release of all female prisoners in Iraq just two days after the release of 5 women (and 414 men).


The question is, with these video's and the huge response from across the globe- will the US release the prisoners or is George Bush going to step in and say "We don't negotiate with terrorists"?

I still find it scary that out of a detainee population of 10's of thousands only 11 (or was it 9) were women.

I pray again Jill Caroll survives tonight and is released tommorow or soon after. Whoever is holding her knows it would be the wrong thing to execute her and from what I understand there was no threat of execution on the table this time.

This was an aired plea by Jill asking the US to release these female prisoners, and truthfully I would think she is not the only victim this group is holding. The words "hope for the families" can be heard at one stage in the tape (Jill's voice), and I think it is possible she is concerned for others who are not being aired on TV. (media wouldn't respond to threats on the life of an Iraqi)

Her release would be a step in the right direction for anyone this previously unknown group holds, from what I understand she would be the kind likely to seek their safe return to their families- not just run straight back to hers and never return.

Jill loves Iraq and Iraqi's - I'm sure this experience will change things a little but she will remain the same. She won't give up if someone else was being held with her- she will want to help them. So I pray for the sake of Jill and anyone else being held captive in Iraq right now the US military//Iraqi administration does the best it can to have these female prisoners checked and released as soon as possible.

Those it refuses to release should have their crimes exposed through the media and the proof published for all kidnappers (and would-be kidnappers)to see. Then we need to find out what these kidnappers want and why they went to such extreme measures.

Please read this prayer I wrote previously,
you have my permission to reproduce it if it strikes a chord with you..

A Prayer for Jill Caroll

I know that you are captive
and your veins are full of fear.
Let us make sure you know,
you will be safe; you will survive .

Prayers fill up your mind and heart,
with the strength of millions in you.
The world awaiting your now famous face,
and those who love you pray.

Please lord, god, allah and buddah,
Who ever can truely hear me:

Help Jill Caroll survive tonight; survive tommorow,
and return home to her family.

Written 23/1/06 edited 31/1/06
By Luke(y) Skinner
Peace+Prayers for Jill & her family/friends my heart goes out to you.
I finally got the second post finished for the Olivebranch Network, and have so far had some great successes in regard to recruiting educated and motivated people.

Two new members were recruited yesterday.

John will be writing about issues//opinions//thoughts and feelings of the Coalition soldiers and the struggles faced by the developing Iraqi Security forces.

Shahram will hopefully help decide what topics & sub-topics need covering regarding Iran, and help recruit the appropriate people to write for such topics..

In the mean time go check out the post at http://olivebranchoptimism.net
(here's the list of topics & sub-topic chosen for Iraq so-far):

Iraqi Politics
- Important developments (past & present)
- Physical changes as a result of the political process in Iraq
- fraud/corruption/abuse of power (present & past if related to a current individual/group/etc)
- the players (who they are, what is their past, ideologies, alliances)

- Who are they? (who are the “terrorists” as opposed to the “resistance”; who are the militias?)
- Differences (history, activities, loyalties, support bases)
- Ideological goals and motivations (particularly the differences)
- Changes & Events (Terrorism chased out of Anbar by resistance, Badr joining political process)

The fate of Iraqi women
- The role of women in Iraqi society (past & present)
- Womens constitutional rights in Iraq (past & present + changes)
- Islamic Law//Tribal Law in regard to women

Iraqi Hospitals//Health Care issues
- Cancer in Iraq (past & present, causes)
- Availability of supplies//medical equiptment for Iraqi hospitals//doctor’s surgeries
- Assasinations//Targetting of doctors and medical professionals
- How you can help

Iraqi Universities
- Quality of education and availability of resources
- Security conditions at Iraq’s universities
- Assasinations//Targetting of Iraq’s educated population
- Activism // Islamification // Women
- How you can help

Security forces // Coalition forces
- development of Iraqi police force (past & present)
- development of Iraqi “National Guard” (past & present)
- conditions & attitudes of US//coalition soldiers in Iraq.
- important events//dates (past & present)

- Contracts
- Actual development
- Deconstruction
- WAR damages & possible reperations

Iraqi Blogosphere
- Importance of the Iraqi blogosphere inside Iraq
- Global importance of the Iraqi blogosphere
- Development of the Iraqi blogosphere (past & present)

Islam in Iraq
- Role of Islam in Iraqi society (past & present)
- Important figures (past & present, who they are, what is their significance, who supports them)
- Traditions//Celebration//Mourning periods

Iraqi Food
- sub-topics yet to be defined.
Harassment of French blogger Christophe Grébert continues:

I recently began doing volunteer work for the Committee to Protect Bloggers and my First POST is completed and should be up on the site very soon, here's a copy!:

On May 15, 2004 French blogger Christophe Grébert (MONPUTEAUX.COM) from the wealthy city of Puteaux was arrested by local police under direct order of the Puteaux Mayor; but National Police intervened and released Christophe as soon as they found out.

The Committee to Protect Bloggers recently contacted Christophe for an update on his situation.

Since his arrest in 2004 Christophe says he has been victim to "real harassment" by the local government (Town Hall). The Mayor admits to using special powers ( droit de préemption ) to place "toilsome" people in a flat near Christophe's, and has spent in excess of 40,000 Euros on judicial action against Christophe.

Christophe Grébert is taking donations on his blog through Paypal to cover his defence costs, receiving over 3500 euros so far. “I could keep blogging, because of the solidarity of the Puteolians and of the net surfers.” Christophe said of his supporters.

Monputeaux.com was created on May 1st 2002. Now the Monputeaux gets more than 2000 comments, 45000 visitors and 90.000 hits each month. Last year Monputeaux.com selected by Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders) for the “Freedom Blog Award 2005”. [/snip]

Christophe pointed us to this article:


[snip] French press Thursday January 12-06
MONPUTEAUX.COM ON TRIAL ON February 03-2006 <>

The blogger owner of monputeaux.com, Christophe Grébert, has to go on trial at the Paris Court on 02-03-2006 at 13h30( 1.30 p.m.), because of an accusation of defamation from the mayor of Puteaux.

[snip]The author of monputeau.com will appear at the same time with the newspaper “Le parisien”. In fact, this blogger is sued for having reproduced an fragment of an article of this national dailynewspaper. This article called into question the town hall about alottment of contracts. <>

Christophe Grébert says he never wanted to vilify “his” town : “ I have quoted some lines of an inquiry from Le parisien and I have added one comment. Following to this, I’m put in trial! Do all the bloggers who quote and comment articles risk the same thing?

“The Puteolian blogger feels he is a victim of a “real harassment”. [/snip]

More about Christophe’s situation will be coming very soon. In the mean time send him your support and donate to help him pay the expenses of defending the blogosphere and its right to exist as is.

(Committee to Protect Bloggers volunteer)
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
A long term project of mine has just had its first kick-in-the-ass to get it going, the first post.

I am looking for someone with CSS experience to help me administer the site and play with the template to make it fit what we require, I have very little experience with CSS myself.

- here's the first post, no point me re-typing what it says.

The Olivebranch Network stems from the desire to help our friends in the Middle East and to educate those ignorant about Middle Eastern culture. All though I [olivebranch] have big hopes for this network the initial scope must be limited in order to set reasonable goals for keeping it alive and recruiting the right members.

The plan so far is to deal with two umbrella groups (Iran, Iraq) with important sub-topics being covered by writers/bloggers who have experience or expertise in the particular sub-topics. The topics will cover a wide range of issues from the economical & political, to the cultural and the social.

Middle Eastern culture is vastly different to the kind we are familiar with in the West, and knowledge of these differences (sometimes ever so small) is what allows people to grow closer. It is in this spirit we hope to provide a valuable resource for those seeking to understand the current situation in wich the we find the Middle East at the centre of global economics & politics, yet so socially, religiously and culturally isolated from the West.


go check it out at http://olivebranchoptimism.net/

more on this later :)

[olivebranch out]
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Saudi oil sales to China & India look set to rise.
The Saudi king today became the first OPEC leader, and first Saudi leader ever to travel to Beijing. Last year Saudi oil sales to Beijing rocketed 59% higher than in previous years and with growing Chinese demand for oil are set to continue to rise.

China has been agressively seeking oil-contracts to feed its ever-increasing energy demand, a situation which could cause further strain on US-Chinese relations as the competition for access to Mid Eastern oil increases dramatically.

China is the #2 oil consumer in the world after the USA, but have much more substantial economic growth and a strong budget surplus in recent years. With US debt increasing and the US government having to "tighten the belt" on expenditure it looks like China will soon be the #1 consumer of oil, and India is quickly on its way to overtaking the USA for position #2.

Any lull in availability of oil could cause these two economic powerhouses to sign oil-deals at prices most nations would consider outrageous; in order to gaurantee sustainable amounts of energy for their massive populations and growing economies.

here's an article: Saudi king to sign on China oil deal

[olivebranch out]
Monday, January 23, 2006
A Prayer for Jill Caroll
Now I know that you are captive
and that your veins are full of fear-
but let me make sure you know,
you will get out my dear.

This prayer fills up your mind and heart,
the strength of the millions enters you.
As the world watches your face become famous,
those who truely love you pray.

Please dear lord, dear god, dear allah- buddah
whom ever you may truely be,
Help Jill Caroll survive tonight; survive tommorow,
and return home to her friends and family.

Peace+Prayers for Jill & her family/friends my heart goes out to you.

Written by [olivebranch] 23/1/06
French Nuclear Doctrine & Iran

French Nuclear Doctrine & Iran

Recent changes to French nuclear doctrine and the timing of Jacquez Chirac's comments- despite the carefully chosen language which according to the media was “directed at Iran”- suggests a realistic French view on international relations. (Oh and by the way Chirac did not mention ANY countries in his speech: http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/01/20/news/france.php .

The crisis in Iran has little to do with their Nuclear ambitions, and more to do with their potential to become a major global economic//political & military contender(which nuclear power would allow them to do), important enough to compete with the USA, Europe & Russia politically after the inevitable descent of US "superpower" status.

If you look at Iran’s recent diversification of energy deals and military arrangements with Russia, China and India you will come to understand the truly overbearing level of importance Iran plays in modern global politics. (Russia&Iran military deal, China & Iran sign $70bn gas deal, India signs mega gas deal with Iran)

Foremost Iran is currently the main player in the future of the Middle Eastern oil market. This is due to two main factors obviously one of these is the problem of stability in Iraq which is as always unpredictable.

The second question is how long the current Saudi friendship with the West can truly last.

Saudi royals are set for internal conflict with Salafi extremists particularly the Bin-Laden family; the only Saudi family with religious prestige, sufficient arms and economical importance to question the Royal family over their US-leanings.

Iran, in order to ensure its own future has recently begun striking out long-term sale contracts with competitors in the oil market other than the USA. By reaching deals of huge economic importance with China the Irani regime has quite effectively backed the USA against a wall in regard to any invasion attempt.

If the USA were to undertake an invasion of Iran or endanger vital oil infrastructure at time of such a huge growth in Chinese oil-demand and consumption this could prompt a Chinese military intervention to protect the availability of oil to their market.

This would also anger oil-rich Latin American nations who recently signed self-preservation treaties with Iran, most notably Venezuela and Cuba, whose combined military might poses a huge threat to US interests in South America. Not to mention the threat of an “turning off the tap” supplying oil to the US from Venezuela (25% of all US oil consumption comes from directly from Venezuela, despite their ideological differences). So a US-lead invasion (independent of the UN) is out of the question.

On the other hand there is the possibility of a unilateral Israeli air-strike, which is inline with long-defined Israeli defence policy of preventative strikes against potential nuclear facilities.

It is probable that by the time any Security Council (UN)sanctions were implemented and actually began to have the desired effect on Iran’s economy (given the huge underground oil grids between Iran, Russia and other previously Soviet nations) they would have completed the required research to produce a nuclear weapon. (and that’s assuming they haven’t already).

Thus it is safe to assume any Israeli strike would come amidst or prior to United Nations sanctions, against UN policy. This would very quickly isolate Israel from its traditionally sympathetic western supporters and in particular its European neighbours.

Any Israeli attempt to bomb Iran could not easily be done under-the-nose of the USA, or without Washington’s moral (if not public) support for such an action.


Firstly to get to Iran from Israel you need a clear flight-path, and if the US air force is not game to fly through Turkish airspace without explicit permission I assume any Israeli fly over of Turkish air-space is out of the question.

Turkey has recently shared (relatively) good relations with Iran and would not allow such an Israeli strike, so the options for a unilateral Israeli air-strike are extremely limited. There is no chance of legal Israeli flight through Jordanian or Syrian air-space and any illegal over-flight would spark serious retaliation from Arab nations and possibly another Israeli//Arab war.

Then there is Saudi Arabia a huge military power just south and east of Israel, but close enough to intercept any attempt to fly directly from Israel to Iran- and Saudi doctrine in regard to Israel is very blunt; they are infidels. Get the picture?

So what are Israel’s options for striking Iran with US support? This opens things up a little. Since the USA is Israel’s main supplier of military aircraft a large Israeli purchase could be arranged to take place in Iraq, and Israeli pilots snuck into Iraq in civilian aircraft to pilot said aircraft.

The pilots could then man freshly purchased US air force planes leaving from an Iraqi or Persian Gulf air-base for their strike in Iran without having to fly over hostile territory. Reminiscent of when Egyptian pilots manned Soviet aircraft on revenge campaigns during the cold-war.

Any strike against Iran is likely to have serious repercussions particularly one against the will of the United Nations. An Israeli unilateral surgical strike would throw the region into all out war and hugely disrupt oil supplies to western nations until the state of Israel was completely obliterated. If Iran has truly been developing a nuclear bomb then we must also consider the chance they already have one, so retaliation could be swift and catastrophic for Israel.

Under redefined French nuclear doctrine the first serious sign of an imminent Israeli attempt at surgical strikes inside Iran could prompt a French nuclear response.

This would bring France back into play as an international political power for the first time since their defeat in WWII.

This is why I believe Jacquez Chirac’s recent announcements were not solely aimed at Iran or any other “rogue nation” like the media has been suggesting. French nuclear doctrine since the 1994 Defense White Paper has always called for a nuclear deterrent incase of threat against France’s “vital interests”. (Nuclear Policy: France stands alone, A French Nuclear exception, Defense White Paper)

Just recently the definition of “vital interests” in regard to French nuclear doctrine has been expanded to include oil supply. Anyone threatening French oil supply will be attacked with sufficient nuclear force targeting the adversary's "vital centers" causing damage equal to or greater than the potential damage to French vital interests as a deterrent. If the offender in question does not desist French nuclear doctrine then allows for the total destruction of their adversaries economic, political and military centres.

In other words if Israel threatens nuclear action against Iran or undertakes a surgical strike that turns to war, in-line with French nuclear doctrine the Israeli military would be immediately maimed by French strategic nuclear strikes, possibly preventing or possibly accelerating any breakout of another Arab/Israeli conflict.

So who were Chirac’s words really aimed at? The USA? Iran? China? Russia? Israel?

Personally I don’t think there was one particular target, I think it was a general warning. Chirac is telling the world he will not allow another World War Three to be started by any arrogant nation with WMD pushing around other nations. That includes Israel, it includes Russia, China, Iran and the U.S.A

[olivebranch out]

Sunday, January 22, 2006
Terrorism stamped out in Iraq- by Iraqi's.
I posted a few days ago that the Resistance and citizens of Anbar province had risen up against the oppressive Salafi Terrorists using their lands as a base of operation for Al-Qaeda in Iraq and others similar.

Now there is an official decleration from the militia's themselves, a virtual decleration of war and the Al-Qaeda men are on their toes sprinting as far and wide as possible. This time the enemy chasing down Al-Qaeda actually knows where they are who they are and what their capacity for retaliation is.

By Bye Al-Qaeda, Iraqi's again do what the US army couldn't manage. (see Iraq The Model's post: http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/2006/01/iraq-needs-months-to-form-new.html

Oh and speaking of Iraqi's doing exactly what the US couldn't manage, go read this post from Riverbend, it is a good lesson in Iraqi pride & culture: " A Tribute to Iraqi Ingenuity..."


According to reports and statistics made by the “Iraqi Reconstruction Bureau” and the ministries involved in reconstruction, prior to the 2003 war/occupation, the following damage was done through 42 days of continuous bombing, and various acts of vandalism:

Schools and scholastic facilities – 3960
Universities, labs, dormitories – 40
Health facilities (including hospitals, clinics, medical warehouses) – 421
Telephone operators, communication towers, etc. – 475
Bridges, buildings, housing complexes – 260
Warehouses, shopping centers, grain silos – 251
Churches and mosques – 159
Dams, water pumping stations, agricultural facilities – 200
Petroleum facilities (including refineries) – 145
General services (shelters, sewage treatment plants, municipalities) - 830
Factories, mines, industrial facilities - 120
Immediately after the war, various ministries were brought together to do the reconstruction work. The focus was on the infrastructure- to bring back the refineries, electricity, water, bridges, and telecommunications.

The task was a daunting one because so many of Iraq’s major infrastructure projects and buildings had been designed and built by foreign contractors from all over the world including French, German, Chinese and Japanese companies. The foreign expertise was unavailable after 1991 due to the war and embargo and Iraqi engineers and technicians found themselves facing the devastation of the Gulf War all alone with limited supplies.

Two years and approximately 8 billion Iraqi dinars later, nearly 90% of the damage had been repaired. It took an estimated 6,000 engineers (all Iraqi), 42,000 technicians, and 12,000 administrators, but bridges were soon up again, telephones were more or less functioning in most areas, refineries were working, water was running and electricity wasn’t back 100%, but it was certainly better than it is today. Within the first two years over 100 small and large bridges had been reconstructed, 16 refineries, over 50 factories and industrial compounds, etc.

Now, nearly three years after this war, the buildings are still piles of debris. Electricity is terrible. Water is cut off for days at a time. Telephone lines come and go. Oil production isn’t even at pre-war levels… and Iraqis hear about the billions upon billions that come and go. A billion here for security… Five hundred million there for the infrastructure… Millions for voting… Iraq falling into deeper debt… Engineers without jobs simply because they are not a part of this political party or that religious group… And the country still in shambles.


Iraqi's really know how to get the job done. They want you to dissapear, you disappear, they want you dead, you die- they want you looked after, your waited on hand and foot. They want something fixed, they make it better than before.
Iraq is a place full of questions.
Iraq is a place full of questions.

There is a recovery of Iraqi nationalism amongst its civilian population, and by that I mean the pride of the Iraqi people is returning. The new Iraqi Government is in the process of being formed and it seems (as I had hinted may happen) the UIA having won the majority of votes, but not enough to take government has met some internal strife. (How long can this alliance between SCIRI//Sadr really last??)

It seems some elements (but most particularly the Sadrists) have disagreements with SCIRI's desire for federalism (ie, the probable creation of a Shiite religious state based out of Southern Iraq, maybe including parts of Iran [pending on military conflict]). I assume this is due to the fact that Sadr's main support base outside of Najaf is found in Sadr City, a slum area in Baghdad where his father is revered for fighting for Shiite rights under Saddam.

Federation would effectively destroy the current economic climate of Iraq, which is (seemingly) based around 5 main locations:

Oil rich Kirkuk in the north (which the Kurdish Alliance wishes to become the economic heart of Greater Kurdistan if Iraqi federalism were to go ahead)

Mosul//Nineveh (for its highly educated population, religious sites and generally large population, another asset some in the Kurdish alliance consider part of Greater Kurdistan- and thus part of any Kurdish State were such a thing to exist. There would be a long bitter battle before this city were ever occupied by Kurdish Peshmerga if they were ever to attempt such a thing)

Najaf (for its holy Shiite tourist attractions, and as base of operations for Sadr supporters- which would probably become part of the discussed Shiite religious state were such an event to occur without al-Sadr dissenting)

Basra (in the Shiite south, its large population and relative closeness to the Gulf and some southern oil-fields, combined with increasingly stability and good relations with Iran make this another economic centre for SCIRI’s desired Shiite religious state)

This would leave only 1 major economic centre to fend for itself, cut off from oil-money and (once heavy) tourism; due to lack of security and the brain-drain occurring as a result of assassination campaigns against Iraq's educated population. Engineers would move to the safer zones & oil fields where they could make more money, thus reconstruction in Baghdad would become an even slower, more isolated process.

I think this would be of great concern to the estimated 2-3million people now occupying the slum-city formerly known as "Saddam City", now named after Al-Sadr's father. Thus before SCIRI can realize its dream of a Shiite State based from South Iraq, it must first defeat its dependency on Sadr's group.

I don't see this happening anytime soon and since the UIA barely gained any ground in this election, despite the addition of millions of Al-Sadr supporters to their voting support base, who had disenfranchised with SCIRI//Badr's brigade during the last election, it seems the strength of and support for SCIRI has begun to diminish.

Check this post over at Iraq The Model:  “Iraq needs months to form new gov’t” it’s quite informative and well planned.

Is Iraq on the road to recovery? In some ways yes, but no matter what you say when talking about Iraq, it's always speculation.

[olivebranch out]
Friday, January 20, 2006
So I was looking around the net for an old date from the Impeach Bush campaign when I accidentally stumbled across this recent article (posted at bottom). It is a "Zogby" Poll which finds that the majority of American's support impeaching Bush, in this case for "illegal wiretapping".

The continual abuse of the US constitution by this government has been an imbarressment to Washington, to the USA and especially to the congress who until now have not done much about it.

Anyway, have a read!

Zogby poll: Majority supports impeaching Bush for wiretapping

"WASHINGTON, D.C. — By a margin of 52 to 43 percent, citizens want Congress to impeach President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of Pres. Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

The poll was conducted by Zogby International.

The poll found that 52 percent of respondents agreed with the statement: "If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."

Of those contacted, 43 percent disagreed, and 6 percent said they didn't know or declined to answer. The poll has a margin of error of 2.9 percent."
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Jill Caroll's abductors threaten to execute her.
A few days ago I posted a story about Jill, an American freelance journalist who has been working in Iraq since 2003 and loves the country and its people dearly. Jill was well respected and much loved by some of my Iraqi blogger friends, including 24 Steps to Liberty and Treasure of Baghdad .

According to Al-Jazeera the thugs who abducted Jill identified themselves as members of an unknown armed group the "Brigades of Vengeance".

I appeal to every person who knows Jill Caroll, who reads this post or cares about Iraq & Iraqi's to say a little prayer for Jill's survival and health, groups like this do not lightly let someone go.

So here goes, Please god, please allah, budda and please my fellow humans world wide protect Jill Caroll from any harm and return her to her loving friends & family. She is too valuable to this world for her life to end now.

The "Brigades of Vengeance" gave the USA 72 hours to release some female prisoners in Iraq, otherwise they will execute her.

Many pleas have been put out through the mainstream media for Jill's safety, the Al-Jazeera network & the Jordan Times both put out releases stating Jill's dislike of American policy and her importance and relation to the Iraqi people, warning the captors they have "chosen the wrong journalist". (link: Al-Jazeera.net in english)

The Christian Science Monitor (who were publishing Jill's critique of the Iraq war) also released a plea from her family and fellow workers which can be found here: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0110/p01s04-woiq.html
Monday, January 16, 2006
For the last few years I have always hoped that one day Geoff Gallop would resign from state parliament and run for federal elections. Dr Gallop has been Western Australia's chosen premier since 2001, was re-elected last year but facing depression and trouble within the family after the death of his father recently has chosen to temporarily resign from politics.

He in no way eliminated the chance of returning to politics, but the wording he chose was seemed like he may never return to West Australian politics. I think some time in the future, once this depression passes and he can re-build his life again, Dr Gallop is going to become the next Labor Federal leader.

Watch out Kim Beazley. We all know there is no way you can beat John Howard in an election, people just don't like you and well basically, for the most part- all we see is a fat man on TV yelling.

Ever the optimist I truely hope Dr Gallop comes to save the day sometime before the next federal election (2 years should be plenty enough away from politics to get over the depression!). I don't think there is a politician in Australia with the support of Geoff Gallop, and besides W.A is the economic heart of Australia, and he has lead us well. So I am sure the rest of Australia would be keen to rally behind a strong, successfull leader like him.

in dissaray and a little hope, [olivebranch out]
First 3 months of Olive Branch Optimism (from blogography)
[April 2005]

[olivebranch] appears for the first time in his post “First Blog” on the 24th, nice and original hey? [olivebranch] introduces himself as an 18year old from Perth, Western Australia (the most isolated city in the entire world?), a writer, poet and lazy bastard who only expects to post to the blog once a week.

Inspired by Riverbend and the Jarrar family [olivebranch] is quickly sucked into the Iraqi blogosphere and finds himself spending increasingly large amounts of time finding and reading new Iraqi blogs.

It was only a matter of days after starting the blog that I was accepted into university, and Olive Branch Optimism almost immediately became well defined in the goals and issues it deals with.

Iraq was number 1 on the agenda despite interests in many subjects, the Iraqi blogosphere was captivating and stories from within Iraq dominate the agenda in the first month including this excellent post, an with an excerpt from Zeyad’s (whoops, don’t click that link!) “Healing Iraq” (ironically it was his last post before I huge break from this blog): “An OliveBranch university adventure”.

The post is about Mehdi militiamen bashing students to death for not wearing Hijab, this is an extreme case of abuse of power by al-Sadr’s minions, and is shockingly an accurate portrayal of the kind of daily events happening under SCIRI’s Badr Militia, leaders of Iraq’s current government.

The month ends with posts about Iraq’s Hospitals and some Noam Chomsky quotes/links.

[May 2005]

In the beginning of may I discovered Aunt Najma’s blog, “A Star From Mosul” and immediately got stuck right into reading the archives. I posted a current post from Najma at the time, a concerning post about car bomb explosion near her school, and deaths of others in her neighborhood.

I began to wonder how people my age cope in such situations. I began to feel a real sense of closeness to Najma and Riverbend almost immediately, for they both post with real emotion.. (ADD EXAMPLE POSTS HERE LATER)

I thought it suiting to post my email to John Howard (Aussie prime minister), written before the invasion in 2003 when I felt I had no way to reach the politicians. I received a robot reply to the email which was full of my heart, full enough in fact to extract a poem from and put it in here. (edited//improved version)

Dear PM//Hey Johnny

Your futures now your future is here,
our future is coming and for it we fear.
The war and death and children’s screams,
its not the future in our dreams…

You brought this war and the pain,
our lost dream future it's you I blame.

Had you spent just one day with me,
you'd have seen our choice, heard our plea.
And maybe then after you could see,
in your hands is our chance to be free.

Then the choice we could leave to thee,
in your hands is our lives war-free.
We had no choice we had no say,
but we're the ones the ones who’ll pay.

A future of war our lives now grey,
the pain and hurt is your fault today.

Excellent isn’t it? That’s how I felt as a 16year old who couldn’t say a fucking thing without getting a “You’re too young to understand” or “what great youthful optimism, you’ll understand one day”.

Isn’t that just patronizing?

Anyway, after this there is a great post inspired by many of Riverbend’s quotes, here is a sample poem from the post “A Little Bit of Inspiration”:

Shattered Lives
(Inspired by Riverbend)

A man sits in his office at home,
Then the front door gets blown away.
House windows shattered duct-tape and all,
glass still ricocheting from wall to wall.

He hears a scream and runs to see,
his son so barely standing.
His eyes so blank; barely there at all...

"I was watching T.V and.... and I saw a jeep and..""And so I run to find mother""when I left the room, and I turned around...and then.. then it.. It was blown away..."

The boy broke down and cried,
a real man though he was inside.
He was shattered to the basics;
he had just so nearly died.

The seat in which he had been sat,
now pressed against the wall.
Now ripped and torn enough to ensure,
to paranoia their brains will fall.

Imagine trying not to scream,
when you’re picking out the shards of glass,
and though thanking god he did not die;
the thought strays past and you break down,
what if the T.V had been turned on?

What if it happens again?

And, what if we're not so lucky this time, and well,I really don't want to say....

Thank you god, thank you mother; you saved the day.

By [olivebranch] edited 16/1/2006

Now you may understand why I love their writing, or at least what I say about feeling the emotions they had when writing these posts. I feel them. Do you?

Moving right along the next post is important, “Information about Iraq” has everything from population to economy etc, it is now out-dated of course because it is from before the war. However the information is mostly still relevant/important.

There is a post about my attempts to get Youth & Students Against War actively working together again; they were very successful for the period of time they lasted, getting together a meeting of 13 people for the first meeting.

The YSAW blog is also running, though I find it hard to keep all my blogs up-to-date as is, and until something changes the mood of activist groups in Perth (which will happen soon enough), I am sorry to say that blog will remain on lower-priority for updates.

The remaining posts for May are very important, and I would suggest if you have not read them or something related, then you should go read them now! Here are the links:

US Mishandled $96.6 million in reconstruction money. (i.e., it disappeared)

And one of the MOST important posts on my blog (my opinion of course), was this one: Bush clearly outlined desire to invade Iraq January 30, 2001. (Yes, that IS before September 11, 2001.)

This post was very well researched but not so well converted into words, one day when I have time I will edit this post. Here’s the link (with a changed, clearer title for the post): Saudi's Israeli's and Irani's investing in occupation.

[June 2005]

Straight into business after a little while of inactivity, the post “Bizarre Idea” was inspired by the intelligently chosen words of a friend. At this time I had been totally against the invasion on principal, and I will openly admit this was a selfish way of looking at the situation. It was time to accept the fact that it happened, and it would be even more irresponsible to cut-and-run, although it was necessary to leave as soon as possible. Read the post to see this realization in action. =)

There is a long interesting post called “The Rising Discontent” but unless you are enjoy ranting or are right into world-politics you probably don’t have enough time of the day for this post! (At least I’m honest..)

Najma’s blog becomes 1 year old, congratulations Najma. Here’s the post: “Happy Bday Najma’s blog

The introduction of John Conyers and the Downing Street Minutes to Olive Branch Optimism happened on the 17th of June, a glorious Friday which I will remember for ever. This day marks the beginning of the first congressional hearing/investigation into Bush’s misuse of presidential power and abuse of the constitution. Here is the post: “The Downing Street Minutes”.

The month ends without much exciting happening, so lets move on to July- that’s sure to be exciting! Oh, I haven’t introduce Khalid Jarrar from “Secrets in Baghdad” yet, his brother operates “Raed in the Middle”, and a lot of controversy was kicked up in the blogosphere as a result of these two and their involvement =) (Khalid was loved by everyone, Raed not so lucky).
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Petition to save Iraq's academics.
You may not know, or you may know depending on how interested you are; that one of the biggest and most concerning issues facing the average Iraqi citizens is the wave of assasinations taking out intellectuals across the whole of Iraq.

There are many blogposts to confirm this, I point to Khalid's blog Secrets In Baghdad (somewhere in the archives, or you can email him for more details) about proffessors in his university dissapearing.

Riverbend's blog Baghdad Burning has many many posts about individuals, mostly doctors, professors and lecturers for universities being targetted by kindappers and gangs of armed men; usually ending up in an unsolved mystery or a death.

It is an enormous tragedy to see Iraq's intellectuals being targettted for they are what has put Iraq apart from the rest of the Middle East in my opinion; a huge class of intelligent, well trained and well informed men and women alike. Even in the youths now it is obvious their level of intelligence, one only needs to read Najma's or Sunshine's blog posts to understand this.

The targets have been intentional, those with expertise in history, Politics, georgaphy and Arabic literature have been targetted at a higher ratel, suggesting relations to possible debaathification groups or Irani extremist groups.

I would be deeply suspicious of the depth of Tehran's intervention in Iraqi affairs in current times, and I believe the elimination of these particular groups is to try and whipe out the strong Iraqi identity which bonds the nation together. This would make it much easier for the implementation of Sharia laws and the gradual move towards islamic theocracy similar to the one in Iran.

I would believe this is the intention of more than just one group, but particularly the intentions of SCIRI and the related Badr militia and other Iran backed militia's. I can not see any other reason for wanting to remove Iraq's massive pool knowledge, skills and abilities.

Please get along and sign the below petition, and take heed of what it calls for. I am going to design some posters in the next few months to post up at my university in large numbers. To alert people of Iraq's intellectual crisis. Here's the link:


oh and don't forget to put your donation in at Najma's books-for-Mosul-university campaign: #1 project
Terrorist's hunted by citizens/resistance in Anbar province.
It looks like Al-Qaeda and other such international terror organisations operating in Iraq out of Ramadi & Sammara and other such hotbed areas have finally met their match.

Sunni participation in the political process and elections in spite of warnings by terror groups resulted in the targetting of prominant Sunni supporters//participants. In Anbar province it seems the citizens have had enough with terrorists being chased down and forced out of Ramadi & Sammara by local citizens and members of the legitimate resistance.

There has been isolated events like these occuring for months, one such example I posted about earlier where a farmer had been in conflict with an unnamed group, and had recieved death threats and warnings; so the farmer got a band of friends together and captured the terrorists, warning them to leave the area and never return.

Now it seems local Tribal Sheihk's have had enough, and spurred on by their own people have decided to give the terrorists the boot. Here's a snippet from Iraq The Model .

Meanwhile, there are some good news coming from Anbar.
Al-Qaeda is apparently being chased down and confronted by Iraqis in Anbar and Samarra according to a report from al-Sabah.
Mohammed al-Ubaidi is a citizen of Anbar who took part in a battle against al-Qaeda fighters said that people were enraged by the attacks that kill civilians in Anbar and other provinces and therefore have decided to form squads from the residents to rid Anbar from the foreign terrorists.

The reports mentions that several tribes’ sheikhs had a meeting in the home of a sheikh of the Dulaim tribe where they pledged to fight al-Qaeda and throw them out of the province. There are also news that some 120 al-Qaeda members have already fled outside Iraq after a series of battles between their cells and the residents of Ramadi and other towns and suburbs of Anbar.

According to the same report, similar measures are being taken by the residents in Samarra and have succeeded in forcing foreign terrorists out of their city


This is good news in its own way, despite all that has happened lately, regardless of these election results; much change is about to occur in Iraq, and only Iraqi's can determine in what direction that change leads them.

These people are smart, full of strength and much wisdom. You will make the right decisions, even when you must continue to suffer day-to-day.

PCE+PRAYERS for the future of our Iraqi friends, and a seperate prayer for the safety of Jill.. May she make it through these days safely.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Jill // 24steps

24 Steps To Liberty posts about his American friend who was kidnapped one week ago at http://twentyfourstepstoliberty.blogspot.com/

This is a very sad occurance, this woman who loves Iraqi's though is not one herself, a freelancer who does not work for a pro-occupation paper has been kidnapped. I pray that she (Jill) may be safe and return safely to her friends arms. Please my friends say a prayer for her aswell, and do what you may to get the media to reach out for her...

here is the posts, more as it arrives:

My Friend Is In Trouble!

Note: I have published this entry the day after she got in trouble and had to delete it for some security reasons. but now i know i should republish it with no editing.

Jan. 8, 2006
I couldn’t sleep last night. Every time my eyes close, I jump in my bed thinking “what is happening to her now?” All night long, I was this way.

One of the closest and best American friends of mine was kidnapped yesterday. I am not going to discuss any details, but I want to say some words about her, hoping that the kidnappers read this blog or someone tells them about it and help her.

She is working in Iraq for three years now. She is a freelancer. And because she has no newspaper to belong to, I always tried to convince her to leave the country. It is very dangerous for foreigners to travel in one soft car in this country now. She wouldn’t listen to me. “I am not afraid. I write about people and they read what I write. They wouldn’t hurt me,” she always replied when I asked her to leave.

She left several times to vacation outside Iraq and in emails she told me “It is homesick. That is how I feel now. People here are not like Iraqis, are not full of love, are not nice. I cant wait to come back and see you guys.” And when she arrives, she says “Hi guys. I am back home.”

She loved this country and its people. She sympathized with its sufferings and committed to tell the truth. When I talked to her about how the Iraqis live, she always cried. She cried for the sufferings of Iraq more than Iraqis. She has the nicest heart in this world. When I blamed Iraqis for what is happening in the country, she said “don’t blames the Iraqis. You should blame the governments for what they do.”

I remember once we were chatting and I asked her, “so where is home for you?” And without hesitation or a moment to think, she said “This is home. Iraq. Why? What’s wrong with that?” and as the chat goes on, at some point she smiled and said “I know my fate is in Iraq.”

I don’t know what kind of a room she is in now. I don’t know what kind of people are keeping her and how they treat her. All what I know is that she doesn’t deserve to be hurt. She deserves to be respected and her work and feelings to be appreciated.

Until she is released and comes back to her family and friends, please pray for her.

And as she liked to end every phone call with me, I say “Feeh.”


It’s been a week since my friends experienced a horrible accident. One was killed in the accident, and one was kidnapped. I couldn’t write anything about the Iraqi one, because I didn’t want to jeopardize his family’s safety. But now, as most of the news outlets gave his full name, I can say something about him.

I heard about Allan when I was in college a few years ago. He owned one of the most famous music shops in Baghdad. River Bend wrote about this, so I am not going to go into details. But I didn’t know him personally until he worked with Jill. Jill always told me that he is very cautious in his work and had to think twice before he does anything related to journalism. I always told her that we shouldn’t blame him for this because working for an American is not something easy to do.

Allan didn’t want to be a journalist. He was having fun working with Jill. I remember when she came once and told me that “Allan tells me that I don’t like him as much as I like you guys.” She was very serious. So I asked her why he said that. She said that because whenever she tells him about something she quotes me or Baghdad Treasure, or our friend N. So, we decided to invite her and Allan to our office two nights before the elections in Dec. And that was because he didn’t want to go to a certain neighborhood in the lection day to cover the story.

They came to our office. We sat in the backyard. We smoked Nargeela (Hooka with Tobacco of course!) We talked about how Jill tells him stories from our office and he gets angry (in a funny way) and he told us how much she likes us and that whenever she wants to ask a question about security, she would contact one of the “guys.” It was a great night. We hardly convinced him that he shouldn’t be afraid to go to that neighborhood to cover the elections, because it wasn’t more dangerous that other neighborhood in Baghdad.

Before that, she told me about their trip to Najaf. They both drove to Najaf to write some stories about the daily life of Iraqis. “he thought he is a tourist,” she told me after they came back to Baghdad. She told me stories about how he spent most of his time in Najaf buying souvenirs from the bazaar to take back to his family and friends.

He was full of life. The best he could do is to reject. Whatever I said, he said “No. you can do it the other way.” When he came that night to our office, he brought with him his own tobacco because “yours is not good quality. You know nothing about Nargeela,” he said repeatedly and loud to make Jill hear it. We laughed a lot.

We have no information about Jill yet. I hope she is doing ok. I hope the kidnappers heard about her from TV or read in the newspapers how a great person she is and how much she loves Iraq and how much she wants to stay in Iraq to help its people get thorough this difficult time.

And as she likes to end every phone call with me, I say “Feeh.”
Excellent Article
This article is in line with what I have previously said about the rise of the left in South America and inside the USA itself. The problem for the USA now is that it has lost its economic domination in the Americas, and particularly in the south- at a time where their economy is shaky, oil supply hanging on by a thread (Iran tensions could break this thread at any moment, hurting the global price..) and when they are at make-or-break point in Iraq.

I think Iran may be the next distraction, or excuse which will be used to hide the real hikes in global oil prices (trust me, they are going up SOON- they just need something to pawn off the blame on instead of admitting greed and consumerism has endangered the market). This is a currently dangerous time for the USA. If they enter into hostilities or even take Iran to the security council, there will be a fight for Iraq almost immediately.

This could bring the most immediate end to the new found democracy currently gripping the hearts of Iraqi's and ensure an Islamic Theocracy much like Tehran's is installed.

The other possibility is a civil war driven by two opposing interests, the desire for Islamic theocratic rule on one hand and the desire for a secular Iraq on the other, with the US stirring conflict between the two groups. This would work against Tehran's interests, for this kind of conflict could easily slip through the border, particularly when Irani and Turkish Kurds decide they want complete independance.

However how long can the US afford to keep these troops deployed?

If they don't change something about their foreign policy soon the USA will end up alone, isolated and falling rapidly into economic depression. While I want to see the people of the USA rise up and take back their freedoms, their history and their future- I don't want it to be the result of widespread famine, or worse for them to fall into a state of war with neighbouring countries.

anyway, read the story courtesy of AlterNet http://www.alternet.org/story/30681/
[olivebranch out]

Most people in the United States know that a transit strike crippled New York City. Fewer are aware that seven South American countries, representing over 80 percent of the continent's population, recently elected presidents with anti-American sentiments. The former has an immediate effect. The latter will impact our children for decades to come.

In December 2005, Evo Morales buried seven challengers -- taking 54 percent of the vote -- in what the New York Times referred to as "the most important election since Bolivia's transition from dictatorship to democracy a generation ago." His platform appealed to the poor, including farmers whose main source of income, coca plants, caused them to suffer brutal treatment at the hands of U.S. drug agents. Although U.S. politicians and the media have denounced coca because it is used to produce cocaine, the fact is that it is extremely important in the Andes as a legal remedy for altitude sickness, digestive problems and other illnesses.

Evo Morales is the latest in a long list of democratically elected Latin American presidents whose primary appeal is their opposition to U.S., IMF and World Bank policies that favor foreign corporations with reputations for exploiting natural resources and local labor. Bolivia joins the ranks of previously pro-American countries that have recently turned against Washington and Wall Street, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Argentina's President Kirchner recently announced what has been hailed as an "anti-IMF rebellion." He paid off nearly $10 billion in IMF debt in order to get out from under a burden that, he said, "caused poverty and pain among the Argentine people."

Venezuela's President Chavez has become a popular spokesman for anti-U.S. sentiments around the world.

Ecuador's President Gutierrez was thrown out of office by a popular grass-roots uprising when he capitulated to economic hitman threats and bribes, and went against his campaign promises to force U.S. oil companies to pay more to the Ecuadorian people for Ecuadorian oil. An Ecuadorian friend told me, "If a democratically elected official does not honor his campaign promises, democracy demands that we replace him."

In the past year, a rising tide of people throughout the world has been rebelling against policies they see as unjust. This has occurred in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, as well as in the United States, where New York transit workers fought to defend their economic well-being. As one transit worker told me, "We're sick of being told that our families must sacrifice while huge corporations and their executives receive tax breaks."

This rebellion is facilitated by the internet, cell phones and satellite dishes. People in places once considered remote are increasingly aware of statistics such as these:

* Transnational corporations have taken control of much of the production and trade in developing countries: For example, 40 percent of the world's coffee is traded by just four companies; the top 30 supermarket chains control almost one-third of worldwide grocery sales.

* A trade surplus of $1 billion for developing countries in the 1970s turned into an $11 billion deficit by 2001.

* The income ratio of the one-fifth of the world's population in the wealthiest countries to the one-fifth in the poorest went from 30 to 1 in 1960 to 74 to 1 in 1995.

* Of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporations; of those, 47 are U.S.-based.

* The overall share of federal taxes paid by U.S. corporations is now less than 10 percent, down from 21 percent in 2001 and over 50 percent during World War II; one-third of America's largest and most profitable corporations paid zero taxes -- or actually received credits -- in at least one of the last three years (according to Forbes magazine).

* Back in 1980 the average American chief executive earned 40 times as much as the average manufacturing employee. For the top tier of American CEOs, the ratio is now 475:1 and would be vastly greater if assets, in addition to income, were taken into account. By way of comparison, the ratio in Britain is 24:1, in France 15:1, in Sweden 13:1.

* Pre-Civil War slaves received room and board; wages paid by the sweatshops that today serve many U.S. industries will not cover the most basic needs.

Unrest in New York and Latin America, as well as in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East are harbingers of the difficulties that will haunt future generations -- unless we take heed. They serve notice that if we want a peaceful and prosperous future for our children, we must recognize basic human needs; we must insist that all people -- not just those at the top -- have the right to justice and dignity. Bolivian voters, NYC transit workers and democratically elected presidents of other countries are warning us that the bottom line of the corporate balance sheet is not the final statement upon which our society will ultimately be graded.

John Perkins is the author of "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." His website is johnperkins.org.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Wanting to know you.
Isn't it strange how sometimes you don't know anything about someone, except what they have said or what you have read, but you feel you should get to know them? That is what I truely love and truely hate about the blogosphere. I feel like I love some of these people.

And love is not a word I use lightly. Love is a word that means I would give my life for them. I would trade my existance for theirs. I would cross the globe if I had the chance just to see them.

I don't need to say who these are, if they read this blog & are one of these people they probably know.

One person I feel close to now, though I don't even know them I will name. For I want her exposed to your eyes, so you can feel her emotions too. She has memories that are troubling her and seemingly began blogging to try deal with those memories- whatever the beginnings of the blog it is excellent.

Her writing is full of emotion and wisdom learnt. She is living on given time since that day seemingly so central to her life- April 8 2003.

Still Alive has two blogs:
Letters To America and How To Deserve It .

Both blogs are excellent and I could not choose a favourite, but I want to know what the rest is about. I want to know this girl like a sister, though I don't know her at all. I felt the same with a few others who write in this fashion, with their emotions and memories.

It is not "that" kind of love, desire nor lust- nothing stupid like this. No this is wanting to help someone who needs my help, or at least someones help.

This is wanting to be that cross-continent shoulder to lean on in a bad time.

I surely say my prayers are with you tonight Still Alive, and I hope you are ok.


There are a few others I would like to speak with aswell, who I do not have this kind of emotion for. There are people who I do not agree with on many situations, but who have time and time again proven themselves decent, kind and caring beings.

I am sorry to those with whome I have had shared some bad words with, one day I will no longer be able to let my emotions control my fingers. Will I regret this day I do not know.

I want to say to Craig (Programmer Craig), I have found a new respect for you. Your name so frequently occurs on the blogs of people I care for, and recently so often with positivity despite your obvious conflicts of opinion and interest with some of these said bloggers.

Well done. The world needs more people like you.

-------- thats the end of this post, my hand is starting to hurt. More posts on the way soon so stay tuned :) [olivebranch out]
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Welcoming in the new year
Well by now everyone in the world is settled into the new year, some with optimism and others pessimism, still others don't really care what happens as long as they can cruise along through their lives.

Some peopele decide on new years resolutions before new years, this year I waited until long after before I finally decided on a reacheable goal for this year. Then I decided that it wasn't enough. So here are my 3, yes that right, THREE new years resolutions.

1) bring world peace
2) feed all the hungry/starving
3) sleep, eat and drink more

just joking :)
here's the real three, more reacheable

1) write less but get more said
2) consolidate my blogs (keep them going, make them more targetted and useful)
3) continually increase my knowledge of the world and its sub cultures

I am thinking of setting 10 goals as well, because those are 3 "resolutions", which are kind of hard to guage the level of "achievement" on...

anyway thats the end of this post.

Happy new year my dears, I hope this year treats you better than last.

Go download this fix an install it! NOW!


Here is the story courtesty of http://www.hexblog.com/ - thank god for independant coders *gets on his Knee's and says a prayer thanking Ilfak Guilfanov for his quick reaction.

Windows WMF Metafile Vulnerability HotFix

This week a new vulnerability was found in Windows:


Browsing the web was not safe anymore, regardless of the browser. Microsoft will certainly come up with a thouroughly tested fix for it in the future, but meanwhile I developed a temporary fix - I badly needed it.

The fix does not remove any functionality from the system, all pictures will continue to be visible. You can download it here:


It should work for Windows 2000, XP 32-bit, XP 64-bit, and Windows Server 2003.

Technical details: this is a DLL which gets injected to all processes loading user32.dll.
It patches the Escape() function in gdi32.dll. The result of the patch is that the SETABORT escape sequence is not accepted anymore.

I can imagine situations when this sequence is useful. My patch completely disables this escape sequence, so please be careful. However, with the fix installed, I can browse files, print them and do other things.

If for some reason the patch does not work for you, please uninstall it. It will be in the list of installed programs as "Windows WMF Metafile Vulnerability HotFix". I'd like to know what programs are crippled by the fix, please tell me.

I recommend you to uninstall this fix and use the official patch from Microsoft as soon as it is available.

The fix can be applied in the automatic mode using the following command line:


These switches do not suppress dialog boxes about installation errors.
The /LOG="file" switch can be added to the command line to create a log file.

The usual software disclaimer applies...

File: wmffix_hexblog14.exe (the source code is included)

UPD: more error checking
UPD: Version 1.1 with Win2000 support
UPD: Version 1.2: if the hotfix has already been applied to the system, inform the user at the second installation attempt.
UPD: Version 1.3: added support for Windows 2000 SP4
UPD: added information about silent mode
UPD: comments are turned off to save the bandwidth. if you know how to organize discussion, please contact me.
UPD: Version 1.4: completely silent mode, suitable for use in the scripts (see this entry for more details)

There is no need to reinstall anything!
Old hotfixes are perfectly ok.

Posted by Ilfak Guilfanov on December 31, 2005 06:53 AM