Operation Left Coast

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 15, 2003 | Go to article overview

Operation Left Coast


Byline: John McCaslin, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Operation Left Coast

"Since Iraq is the size of California," asks reader B.A. Rucker, "do you think regime change in California could be done in under four weeks?"

Human shields

Why are protesters planning to line up outside the National Press Club today for an appearance by antiwar activist and Hollywood actor Tim Robbins?

"We are human shields for reporters," says Kristinn Taylor of the D.C. chapter of FreeRepublic.com, "in case they ask a question of Tim Robbins he doesn't like."

Mr. Robbins has threatened reporters and columnists with bodily harm over coverage he deems insufficiently favorable.

As another example of Mr. Robbins' temper, Mr. Taylor cited the recent decision by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to cancel a celebration of the movie "Bull Durham" rather than give Mr. Robbins and fellow activist/actor Susan Sarandon a forum for their antiwar views.

In a letter to the Hall of Fame, Mr. Robbins called President Dale Petroskey one of the "cowards and ideologues" who disgrace the country and the military.

Democracy 101

Reading, writing, arithmetic and democracy.

Barring objections from fair-weather allies such as France, Germany and Russia, Uncle Sam is already ensuring that Iraqi schoolchildren and their parents and teachers are prepared for the new school year beginning in September.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded an initial $2 million, 12-month contract to Washington-based Creative Associates International (CAI) to address immediate educational needs and promote participation of the Iraqi people in a sustainable, decentralized educational system.

The CAI will oversee a USAID education-assistance program "Revitalization of Iraqi Schools and Stabilization of Education" a "rapid response" effort to increase enrollment and improve the quality of primary and secondary education through short-term-effect activities that will lay the foundation for more sustainable reform.

What that means is, apart from distributing essential school materials, equipment and supplies, teaching methods will be introduced to instruct students, parents and teachers on "democratic practices and attitudes."

About 25 percent of school-age children in Iraq are not currently attending school.

'Shooting' at Lithuania

The State Department has some eye-opening children's activities planned for its April 24 "2003 Take Your Child to Work Day."

The extensive list 47 in all includes "Things That Go Bomb Protecting Against the Landmine Threat," "Nairobi: The Rebuilding of an Embassy," "The Anatomy of a Fraud Case," "Find the Villain," and for those preferring to remain children as long as they can, "Shoot Hoops at the Embassy of Lithuania. …

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