DUBUQUE, Iowa - A grandmother in eastern Iowa is getting one last call to duty.
Janet Grass, 52, had planned to retire from the military in about 10 months after spending 19 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Instead, she has been ordered to leave her job as a special-education teacher in Cascade to do security work in the Middle East.
"They're changing my career just as I'm retiring," she said. "I guess they wanted to try one more thing for me."
Grass boarded an airplane Thursday at the Dubuque Regional Airport amid emotional goodbyes from her family, which includes four children and six grandchildren.
Grass will train in California and Texas before deploying to Iraq for 12 to 18 months.
"Being over there is being in a different world," said her son Tim, who has also served in the military. "It's about being mentally strong to face things that will confront her. She's good. She'll do fine."
Grass, a petty officer first class, recalled how her son had also served in Iraq in 2003.
"I'm taking over for Tim," she said, smiling as she prepared to board the airplane. "I get to play in the big sandbox and teach them to play nice. That's the teacher in me."
Grass said the toughest part of shipping out was saying goodbye to 300 youngsters at Cascade Elementary School, where a send-off assembly was conducted in her honor. "It was a rough one," she said.
As Grass prepared to board the airplane, a grandson grabbed her leg in embrace. She smiled at the boy. "I'll be back," she said.
Her sisters Julie Small and Jolene Petesch stood nearby, sobbing and holding each other in support. Tim Grass, holding a small American flag, watched his mother pass through the terminal gate as other family members questioned the timing of the deployment.
"I think it's wrong," Jolene Petesch said, noting that her sister was about to retire from the military. "The military screwed up there, and I'm angry about it.
"It's another Vietnam. We don't belong there, but I still support our troops."
This is perhaps the most striking and underreported part of the hostage crisis: how angry the Americans became toward their jailers. Some of the Americans were treated very roughly indeed--periodic beatings, mock executions--and they lived with the constant fear that in the end they were going to die. But the Iranian actions led to ever more American defiance.
John Limbert, an academically trained, Persian-speaking diplomat--who probably has the softest heart for Iran among the hostages--is in solitary confinement in the city of Isfahan, 200 miles from Tehran, after the failed Desert One rescue mission. (President Carter, after long delay, had sent fuel-tanker planes, gunships and helicopters to recapture the embassy; in a night-vision-goggle debacle set into motion by a sandstorm, a helicopter and a plane collided in the desert; the aborted the mission left the burnt remains to be toyed with by revolutionary clerics.) Mr. Limbert has no idea regarding the whereabouts of his compatriots until an Iranian guard, whom he is tutoring in English, asks him the meaning of the words "raghead," "bozo," "m-----f---er" and "c---sucker." "Limbert laughed," Mr. Bowden writes. "It warmed his heart. Someplace nearby, his captors were still coping with the United States Marine Corps."
Some radical feminists and anti-war liberals have very short memories. It's just three years after Saddam Hussein's ouster and some would have us believe the tyrant was in fact a protector of women's rights in Iraq. That Iraq under Saddam actually had progressive, pro-women policies that are now being "rolled back" thanks to the Bush administration.Need I say read it all?
A recent report by "Global Exchange" and "Code Pink" entitled "Iraqi Women Under Siege" concluded that "the occupation of Iraq has not resulted in greater equality and freedom for women" than they had under Saddam Hussein. Published by two radical feminist anti-war groups whose primary activities include protesting military recruiting stations, organizing anti-WTO protests and sympathizing with the regimes in North Korea and Cuba, this report echoes a long line of blatant pronouncements. Hillary Clinton who once said that after liberation there were "pullbacks in the rights that [women] were given under Saddam Hussein" and Howard Dean's infamous remark that "Iraqi women were better off under Saddam Hussein."
Anti-war revisionist liberals and radical feminists alike are trying their best to come up with comparisons of the Saddamist and post-Saddamist eras in Iraq with the aim of discrediting the historic liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein in 2003. With Iraqi women they think they have found a seemingly incontrovertible argument since Saddam, according to his apologists, was a "secular" ruler who gave liberal rights to women.
In a complex society like Iraq's, with its labyrinthine political and social development over the past 40 years, it is foolhardy to make simplistic comparisons based on a mere three years of post-Saddam liberation. Still, it is worth setting the record straight on how women really fared under the rule of this allegedly "benign" dictatorship. Revisionist history-writing must not prevail.
BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- China is facing “a grim situation” in protecting its own intellectual property rights (IPR), despite remarkable achievements in the past few years, China’s Minister of Science and Technology Xu Guanhua said on Thursday.
Since China’s entry into the WTO in 2001, Chinese companies have lost more than 1 billion U.S. dollars in disputes over just who own IPR on certain products. There have been IPR disputes involving DVDs, televisions, digital cameras, cars, MP3 chips, and motorcycles, Xu said.
“Some disputes constitute a devastating blow to certain industrial sectors, and Chinese companies have paid a high price,”said Xu in a report to the National People’s Congress on government’s efforts on improving innovation and IPR protection on Thursday.
Ever since China’s entry into the WTO, multinational corporations have rushed patent applications of existing and new products, leaving their Chinese counterparts in an awkward situation as they see their core technologies being grabbed by foreign firms, Xu said.
In China, foreign firms hold the majority of invention patents, and mostly in the high-end sectors such as wireless communication, western medicine and computers.
About 99 percent of Chinese companies fail to apply for patents. As a result, Xu said, Chinese firms have to pay 20 to 40 percent of the price of every mobile phone or computer to an overseas patent holder.
Worldwide, the situation is not encouraging either, as 86 percent of the world‘s research investment and 90 percent of the patents are in the hands of developed countries, he added.
Government policies, management, and a lack of public awareness are all to be blamed, Xu said. “Right now Chinese companies are unable to play the leading role in the country’s innovation drive as required.”