Monday, November 07, 2005

Husaybah, Qaim and Chalabi

Good evening. We'll start by noting two things from Democracy Now!

Iraqi: "Americans Bombed Everything, Our Houses Are Destroyed"
Most communication to the Sunni towns of Husaybah and Qaim has been cut off. An Iraqi journalist in Husaybah told Al-Jazeera "The city is suffering a complete lack of all of life's basic necessities. There is no fuel and winter is upon us. There is no food and there are no services whatsoever, not even health services." The journalist said that ambulances have been unable to respond to emergencies because no movement is allowed in the city. "They destroyed Qaim, Americans bombed everything, our houses are destroyed, our children are victims and we want a solution," one resident told Reuters. "What do we have to do? We need a solution." Residents have been forced to flee the town on foot. The Associated Press reported that the U.S.-led forces warned over loudspeakers that anyone leaving the town in vehicles would be shot. The U.S. said Operation Steel Curtain was needed to stop foreign fighters from crossing the Syrian border. Meanwhile Sunni politicians criticized the U.S.-led attack. The head of the moderate Iraqi Islamic Party Mohsen Abdul-Hamid said "We reject all military operations directed against civilian targets because such acts lead to the killing of innocent people and the destruction of towns and cities."

Once Disgraced Iraqi Exile, Ahmed Chalabi, Returns to DC
The former head of the Iraqi National Congress Ahmed Chalabi is heading to Washington this week for his first official trip in over two years. He is planning on speaking at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday and will be meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary John Snow. Before the invasion of Iraq, Chalabi had close ties to the Pentagon as well as some reporters including Judith Miller of the New York Times. He has been accused of feeding fabricated information about Iraq's weapons capabilities to US intelligence agencies and to journalists ahead of the Iraq invasion. Questions have also arisen over his close ties to Iran. Over the weekend Chalabi was in Tehran for closed-door meetings with high-ranking Iranian officials including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Last year the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded Iranian intelligence had used aides of Chalabi to pass disinformation to the United States.

So we're seeing more slaughter and we're all supposed to be good and happy about it. We are "liberators" the Bully Boy told us. Iraqis want us out and when we attack their cities, it's not all that surprising.

In class today, my favorite prof said this sort of thing happens because we don't pay attention. I know he meant "we" as a country but I still think he's wrong. I think we could pay attention more but I think in the last year or so, you've seen more Americans start to pay attention.

The mainstream media doesn't pay attention and that hasn't changed. But the people have started paying attention and that's why you see people seeking out other ways to get their news like Democracy Now! or Indymedia or websites or reading The Progressive or whatever.

I can just speak for me and the changes I see around me and the e-mails I get from people coming here but there is an waking up period going on. You hear it in your conversations and I agree that we need more people waking up but it's like Dad always says, "Change doesn't just happen like a sun rise." So everyone getting the word out to people they know helps and if we could all turn on the people around us, we'd see huge changes. I think we're change and I think we're going to see a lot more.

But maybe I'm just feeling like that because I'm reading Margaret Cho's I Have Chosen To Stay And Fight. We're reading that as one of the books for our "Five Books, Five Minutes" feature at The Third Estate Sunday Review. We did one Sunday but we read stuff even when there's not time to do a feature. Even if we don't have time to write something, we're still discussing the books during the week, so that's pretty cool. We're reading two this week and hoping to pick up three we read already but haven't had time to do discuss.

Now on the Chalabi thing, I want to note C.I.'s "NYT has to promote the AP today because NYT has little news:"

A question I sometimes get from visitors is "Aren't you too hard on Dexter Filkins?" No. I'm obviously not hard enough on him judging by the stenography in today's paper: "Chalabi, in Tehran, Meets With Iranian President Before Traveling to U.S. Next Week."
He goes to great length to quote Chalibli and makes little effort to inform readers of certain realities. Such as the Times acting as a megaphone for Chalibli's point of view. Dexter's not unaware that a niece of Chalabli was working for the Times in Iraq. But that's left out as is any harsh reality that might intrued on, "I will be back!" and the talk of how he might, MIGHT, be doing a little mission in Iran for the US government. There's no indication made of any attempts to determine the veracity of Chalibli's claims, they're just quickly rushed into print.

Be sure and check out Elaine's Like Maria Said Paz.

Now here's the question from the e-mails for today. Rebbie e-mails to complain about her boyfriend. When they have sex, she has a problem. He's too wide for her. I read Rebbie's e-mail and honestly wondered why she was writing because everyone's heard the one about Cinderella and finding the right one by whether or not her foot fits in the shoe.

I mentioned Rebbie's e-mail to my youngest sister and she goes that the Cinderella story is meaningless because women always try to purchases shoes that their feet are too big for. She said she bets Rebbie is thinking that she will stretch out the way a shoe will.

I don't know about that but I won't pretend to know what I don't.

Here's what I know. She and her boyfriend are having sex. It causes her pain. It's been 3 weeks and she's still in pain. I think it's time for Rebbie to carry her shoe somewhere else to find a fit because nothing's changed and I doubt it will.

To put a fancy word to it, Rebbie and her boyfriend are "incompatible." I don't think that's going to change and as a guy I'll tell you that we're not real big on the "let's stay together but stop having sex" plan (which Rebbie wants to offer to him).