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as seen on phillyBurbs.com

Lessons from the war
10 things I learned from watching Iraq War II on TV.

10. Sitting still for too long can kill you. It did in David Bloom by forming a blood clot in his leg that went to his heart (a pulmonary embolism). My death will likely be a lot slower, but I've been spending way too much time watching TV lately. Sir Isaac Newton was right. A body at rest tends to stay at rest. A body in motion...

9. It's time to invest in videophone stocks. They're not the size of Dick Tracy's wristwatch yet, but the technology is certainly getting there. So is the picture quality. There have been amazing shots from the field using stuff already available to the public. Can you see me now? Good.

8. There are few, if any, swimming pools in Iraq. I base that on the computerized flybys with satellite photos that nearly every channel used. Having flown over lush Pennsylvania quite a bit in small planes, I can tell you backyard pools look like puddles from a few hundred feet up and I didn't see any.

7. Shock and awe was only a psychological ploy. The five-minute barrage on Baghdad was less impressive and destructive than Hell night in Camden, N.J.  Maybe Donald Rumsfeld and Co. just wanted to mess with Saddam's head, but not a single M.O.A.B. (Massive Ordnance Aerial Blast or Mother Of All Bombs) was used or the city would have been wrecked.  It should have been renamed "Aww, shucks."

6. Scrolling marquees during the news are probably here to stay. Blame it on CNN, but the only time we used to see these things during local news was when it snowed and schools closed.

5. An Army once marched on its stomach, but now oil greases the wheels. For months, pundits talked of a long-term air bombardment plan that would soften up the enemy and weaken resolve prior to the invasion. That changed when Saddam started setting his country's oil fields on fire. Suddenly, our groundpounders were out racing their supply lines to get to the oil wells. Let's hope Haliburton, vice president Dick Cheney's former company, sends them at least a Christmas card for the contract its subsidiary won without bidding to put the fires out.

4. Voice of America should open up a TV station in the Middle East to contradict the heavy anti-U.S. bias being broadcast out by Abu Dabi TV and Al Jazeera. Conversely, Al Jazeera should start an English-language channel in the U.S. to contradict the heavily pro-U.S. cheerleading of CNN and Fox.

3. There's only one guy in Iraq who doesn't have a mustache or beard, so they made Mohammad Said Sahhaf the P.R. guy. It helped that he is totally oblivious to reality. He reminded me of Chip Diller, the ROTC freshman Kevin Bacon played in Animal House. As the chaos ensued, he stood there screaming, "Remain calm, all is well!" This guy has a future in infomercials.

2. First, Saddam plunders his country's treasury to have his likeness painted and sculpted everywhere in Iraq. Then, when he's finally overthrown and possibly killed, his people smash the statues and deface the portraits. Seems like a waste to us here at phillyBurbs.com. Our suggestion - round all the stuff up and sell each item on Ebay.

1. Finally, the looting, the overturning of cars and the setting of fires has to stop. The madness must end. Oh, I'm sorry that isn't Iraq. That's ESPN's coverage of the riot in East Lansing when Michigan State lost in the NCAA tournament.

Dave Ralis' Pave The Grass column appears on Mondays. You can send him an e-mail at . To read his previous columns, click here.

April 14, 2003