Good evening. Be sure to check out Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude tonight. Rebecca's on vacation but Betty's subbing for her and tonight Betty and I are blogging on the same headlines from Democracy Now!
Dozens Dead in Iraq Violence
Dozens of people are dead following a wave of attacks targeting Shiite and Sunni areas of Baghdad. On Sunday, at least forty-two people were killed when masked gunmen attacked a Sunni neighborhood. Within hours, at least nineteen people were killed and fifty-nine wounded when two car bombs hit a Shiite mosque in northern Baghdad.
Where's that turned corner? I'm looking for it, I keep hearing about it, but I can't find it. Seems like everywhere you turn, things just get worse. Now why do you suppose that? Could it be that the same liars who lied us into war, lie to keep us over there?
Notice I didn't say "administration." The administration isn't the only liar in this. The press lied too. Some of them just didn't do their job, others lied. If on a comparative shoe string budget, Amy Goodman could report the truth, the New York Times lied in their reporting. Amy Goodman sounded alarms. Amy Goodman questioned Colin Powell's speech.
It's not that "we all got it wrong," it's that fools and liars aided the administration.
They didn't "aid" democracy, they didn't "aid" us, the people. Bully Boy's got blood on his hand and so does the press. Thomas Friedman (I checked with Betty to make sure she wasn't going to make this point since at her own blog, she writes about Friedman) can't say he didn't know. He really doesn't try to. He tries to argue that he thought it was good to get rid of Saddam. Saddam was evil, so it was "good" to lie this nation into war. Thomas Friedman strikes me as evil. Would it be "good" for me to lie about him to take him out?
There's no morality there, it's just "I want what I want and I want it now." They wanted this war, big media, and the blood's on their hands as much as it is on the Bully Boy's.
Probe: Senior Officers Negligent Over Haditha Killings
Meanwhile, a high-ranking military probe has concluded senior Marine officers were negligent in investigating last year's massacre of twenty-four Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha. The investigator, Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, says the officers failed to question inaccurate and misleading information when it was first reported to them. Chiarelli has recommended unspecified disciplinary action. If charged, the Marine officers would be among the most senior US military officials to be brought to justice since the start of the Iraq war.
They don't care. They don't care and most people here don't care. You hear about a crime, a murder, and some blowhard, supposedly on the left, starts screaming online that if anyone says "killers" he's coming after them. And people link to that crap.
There is no real value placed on Iraqi lives in this country. We're too busy bending over backwards to give a benefit of the doubt and then another and then another. Awhile back, Amy Goodman interviewed a psychiatrist or psycholigist. (Elaine would know which. It was last month by the way.) Amy Goodman asked him specifically about the guilt. He pointed to the Bully Boy like our 'brave' online crowd, but he also said that those who committed the crimes were responsible, those who personally committed them.
That's really obvious. But C.I. made that point early on (one of the few to do so) and Jess said you wouldn't belive the hate mail that came in on that. C.I.'s C.I. "Translation" (as C.I. would say), it didn't make a difference. C.I. didn't back off from what a huge number of visitors ranted and raved about and threatened over. I only found out about that hate mail Saturday when Jess called me Saturday afternoon and we were just talking. The subject of Iraqis and the way most Americans see them came up (I mention that in my speech that I turned into the column that ran Sunday) and Jess starts telling me about the hate mail C.I. got over that and I couldn't believe it.
People want to blame the Bully Boy and only the Bully Boy. I didn't get any hate mail when I wrote about this but I think I followed C.I. on it by three or four days. Jess said the hate mail continued for three days or so and always from the same people. He said after the third day, they went away. He thinks that was partly because another scandal broke (where Iraqis were said to be killed by US forces) and because C.I. didn't back down and continued to mention it each day.
That's the only way to deal with baby bullies, you don't change the topic, you don't water it down, you just stand your ground and keep saying it. When they realize they can't do anything to scare you, they go find someone they can scare.
Some of that hate mail came from supposed 'lefties' or at least people who pose that way online.
You expect it from the ones on the right who are still drinking the Kool Aid but that it came from supposed 'lefties' is just disgusting.
Until we start placing some value on the lives of Iraqis, 'superiors' will continue to 'fail to investigate' because they know there's no outrage. They know no one will blame the individuals. That's why there were all those checkpoint killings. If people had been screaming their heads off in this country, there would have been pressure a long time ago. Now, last month, we hear that supposedly the checkpoint killings are down. Over 38 months after they started.
Until we can realize that Iraqi lives matter (the lives that the lie told us we went over there to 'liberate'), none of it matters. The occupation doesn't matter because who cares if the Iraqis are occupied -- if we don't value them, why should we care? The killings don't matter for the same reason.
We need to start realizing what's going on there and that the Iraqis have value. That they are people not whatever racist word someone wants to call. We need to realize that they have children, they have dreams and they want to live their lives -- not under the Bully Boy's thumb, not under an illegal occupation.
Be sure to check out Wally's "THIS JUST IN! ASSOCIATED PRESS BREAKS CHILD LABOR LAWS!" and Cedric's "ANOTHER BULLY BOY PRESS & BIG MIX (HUMOROUS) EXCLUSIVE" because it's a joint entry and it's funny! :D Also check out C.I.'s "And the war drags on . . ." which amazed me and amazed Nina. And check out "Troops Home Fast: Nationwide Hunger Strikes Protest Iraq War" from Democracy Now! because that's amazing too. Oh, Leigh Ann asked if C.I. went off the hunger strike after Friday? I don't know about today but C.I. was on it Saturday and Sunday. I forgot to ask Jess today. C.I. was planning on going off Saturday morning but there are three community members who are still on it and they said they could do a full week if C.I. would so it's ongoing. Since Jess didn't mention C.I. going off it, I'm guessing it's still ongoing. Check out Like Maria Said Paz for Sunni's latest tonight. Tomorrow I hope to tell you about my smart ass buddy Tony. :D
Thank you to everyone for the great e-mails about my column in Polly's Brew yesterday. (And thanks to Polly for running it.)
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Violence and chaos continue.
Bombings, shootings, corpses, kidnappings -- characteristics of daily life in Iraq -- continue while the miliary releases the name of the five US troops charged this weekend in the Mahmoudiya incident and Iraq attempts to overturn the immunity law that exempts suspects from being charged in and by Iraq (foreign troops and contractors).
The AFP notes that a car bomb in Baghdad killed at least ten and left at least fifty-one wounded. The Associated Press notes that this car bomb happened "near a repair shop on the edge of . . . Sadr City". Al Jazeera notes the second bombing which occurred "outside a restaurant near the central bank in central Baghdad" resulting in at least six dead and at least 28 wounded. A third bomb, roadside, resulted in the wounding of five police officers according to Reuters.
Also in Baghdad, CBS and AP note that a bus was "ambushed" with the seven people on it killed (six passengers and the driver) and the bus set on fire.
As Brian Edwards-Tiekert noted today on KPFA's The Morning Show, "violence came despite a security crackdown in the capital raising new questions about the effectiveness of the police and Iraqi army."
Outside of Baghdad, Al Jazeera notes a roadside bomb in Hillah killed one police officer and wounded four while, in Kirkuk, "a sucide truck bomb struck an office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan" leaving five dead and twelve wounded. Reuters reports a roadside bomb in Yusifya that took the life of one person and left two more wounded; and a car bomb in Baquba that left eleven wounded. CBS and the AP note a bomb in Mahmoudiya that left ten wounded and a car bomb in Ramadi that wounded four US troops.
The BBC notes that Adnan Iskandar al-Mahdawi ("member of the provincial council in Diyala province") is dead as a result of a drive-by. CBS and AP report that, in Baghdad, a doctor was "forced . . . out of his car . . . and killed in front of his family."
Reuters notes two attacks in Baghdad -- one which left three police officers dead and wounded another and a second where two "bodyguards of a judge" were killed and three were wounded.
Reuters reports five corpses were found in Suwayra, one in Kut ("shotgun wounds") and one near Dugail ("gunshot wounds . . . signs of torture") while CBS and AP note the discovery of "two bullet-riddled" corpses in Baghdad and notes five corpses, not one, discovered in Kut.
Reuters notes that "an agriculture official" was kidnapped in Dujail.
The Associated Press reports that the latest five charged in the incident involving the alleged rape of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim Hamza as well as her murder, and that of three members of her family, are Paul E. Cortez, Anthony W. Yribe, James P. Barker, Jesse V. Spielman, and Bryan L. Howard. Yribe is identified as the one who, as Amy Goodman noted on Democracy Now!, is "charged with dereliction of duty for failing to report the crime." The AP notes that "[t]he others face more serious charges as participants" as well as the fact that two of the five charged are sergeants (Cortez and Yribe). The five join Steven D. Green who was charged on June 30th.
The names of the five are released as Mariam Karouny (Reuters) reports that the US crafted laws for Iraq are facing a challenge according to Wigdan Michael (human rights minister in Iraq) who states "We're very serious about" requesting the "United Nations . . . end immunity from local law for U.S. troops". Michael tells Karouny: "One of the reasons for this is the U.N. resolution, which gives the multinational force soldiers immunity. Without punishment, you get violations. This happens when there is no punishment."
In peace news, Amy Goodman and Medea Benjamin discussed the Troops Home Fast today. Benjamin stated: ". . . we think this fast is one way that they can do it. We've had people who have read about the fast in the paper, and they're in West Palm Beach, for example, and just jumped on a plane and came and joined us. We have a woman from Vancouver, in Washington state, who heard about the fast and decided that she had to do something more, came and joined us for this week. People who thought they were going to fast for one day have ended up fasting for the entire week and are going into their second week. This can really be a catalyst if people join. Every day we have hundreds more signing up on the troopshomefast.org website and saying they want to participate."
In other peace news, Ehren Watada's mother Carolyn Ho has stated, of her son's refusal to deploy to Iraq for the illegal war, "He is sending that message to all the armed forces, the message that they need to examine carefully the war they are choosing to fight." Ehren's father, Bob Watada, is comparing the fight against the charges the military has brought against his son to a competition and tells Alyssa S. Navares (Honolulu Star Bulletin), "I have always been one of those dads at every game and practice . . . Although I whip him in a singles match, together we pravail on the court. And trust me, we're going to do it again when we fight these charges."
Finally, Reuters is reporting that 200 ex-police officers ("fired . . . for forgery and bribery") stormed the Muthanna governor's office "demanding they be reinstated in their jobs in the southern city of Samawa, the capital of Muthanna province."
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