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Friday, Jul. 27, 2006 1:22 AM

Israel, through its ambassador to the United Nations, has said, thanks, but no thanks to a United Nations peacekeeping force. Israel would prefer more professional and better-trained troops, according to Ambassador Daniel Gilleman.

Furthermore, Israel is refusing to allow the U.N. to investigate the deaths of four U.N. observers after an Israeli airstrike destroyed their post.

Gilleman apologized for the strike, but dismissed the incident as just one of those things that happens in a war.

He also stated objectives for any peacekeeping force, including the complete and total disarmament of Hezbollah and to make sure the group has lost all its capacity as a terror organization; and to monitor the border between Syria and Lebanon to prevent further illegal arms shipments.

The wording is precise, yet generous enough to encompass the destruction of Hezbollah, and to support broad, military exclusion zones in Lebanon.

And here's the latest strategic gem to come out of the Bush Administration:

Keep the troops there longer.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has directed that more than 2,500 troops extend their tour of duty by up to four months.

Quite a toss down the road from that three months you originally predicted, eh, Don?

Cindy Sheehan has bought a 5-acre lot in Crawford, Texas.

She used the insurance money from the death of her son, Casey, and plans to mount a two-week protest in Crawford next month. (President Bush is scheduled to leave his ranch before Sheehan's protest begins.)

"We decided to buy property in Crawford to use until George's resignation or impeachment, which we all hope is soon for the sake of the world," Sheehan stated in a newsletter to her supporters.

Yes, I'm sure President Bush will be duly impressed and frightened by the prospect of Cindy Sheehan as a neighbor. Mmmm-hmm.

I would think there are better, more productive ways to advance the cause of peace than buying a patch of dirt in Crawford. Has Sheehan thought about property taxes and municipal code (sanitation, etc.)?

Here's today's brain twister.

What's the difference between fanatical Muslims who believe killing infidels will earn them a place in paradise with a hundred virgins �

� and fanatical, evangelical Christians who denounce violent video games, but make one based on an apocalyptic fantasy where armies of the righteous take up arms to kill nonbelievers; and believe their salvation comes after they kick off Armageddon, hop on board the Rapture Bus, and trundle off to heaven, where they'll have 30-year old incorruptible bodies and nightclubs for the single folk?

Imagine the smiling, bland faces of the faithful, happily stepping onboard the Rapture Bus, their faces alight at the prospect of heaven and their just reward for turning Earth into a war-torn cesspool ...

... and a lone figure comes running down the street, waving a bible and screaming:

It's a cookbook!

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