Monday, December 24, 2007
Third, John V. Walsh
Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve. :D The painting is by Betty's oldest son and he's made Santa a snowman because Christmas, like snowmen, doesn't last forever. He's a smart kid (and talented).
This is me talking in The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Roundtable:"
Mike: I put down "vets" and this does flow because my point here was that there are a few I talk to because they're Elaine's patients and I'm usally at her office Thursday evenings so I'm talking to them before the group session and after. I also hear from vets who see something at my site. And there is just so much disbelief and anger at ALL media for their lack of coverage. One guy was telling me Thursday, after the group session, that he has to remind himself not to get angry at people he bumps into who are focused on whatever or talking about whatever because he reminds himself how easy it is, even if you're reading the paper every day, to forget that the illegal war is going on. He thinks it's intentional on big media's part, and I agree, but he listed off a lot of little media, and he included blogs in that which we don't consider little media but just to note his point, and just noted how disgusting it is to, basically have a voice or platform, and not use it. When he was in Iraq, if he had computer access, which was often because if you're out in Iraq and not just stationed on a base, you're computer access is a lot less. But he did two tours of Iraq and he remembers some of the big names early in the illegal war who were strong voices and just calling it out. He said he hopes they don't expect credit for that because they've done nothing in the last year. I told him I'd talk about that in a roundtable that was planned here and then after I'd copy and paste that section at my site because he is really angry about that. He said if I did to add one more thing. He knows the war is illegal, he observed it, took part in it. But now he's back here and the easiest thing to do right now would be to deny that and go along with the lie that it's "noble" and the reason for that is because the only people who really seem aware of the war are the right-wingers. I grabbed paper and wrote this part down, this is him speaking, "Do you know what it's like to take part in something you're wrong and come home and want to, need to talk about it but find out that no one gives a __ damn ___? One thing to do is to stop talking and just shove it all inside. But the easiest thing to do is just sort of talk about it to war supporters because they at least listen." That's included with his permission. And before anyone e-mails to say, because Elaine's not going to say a word about it, not even to me, Elaine doesn't talk about her patients. I'm talking about him in terms of what he spoke to me about and with the understanding that he wanted it shared. I tried to think about a way to give an example all weekend and the only thing, which is probably a bad comparison but in case anyone can relate to the illegal war, I could come up with is you're mugged on the street. You've got a lot of pain, anger and other things from that. You want to talk about it. When no one cares except the group going, "You da man! They pulled a gun on you and you're still alive!" after awhile it probably is tempting to turn around and go, "Yeah, I am da man!" just because you need to talk about your experiences and no other group gives a damn. He's considering signing up for IVAW's event by the way. He is going but he's considering signing up to talk.
Thank you to C.I. for noting it at The Common Ills Sunday. I promised the vet I would note it here after it went up at Third. I figured it would work better there and think it did. That way it got up at two sites (and, thanks to C.I., three -- four if you count the mirror site for The Common Ills) so hopefully some people will see it and maybe stop a minute to think about how damaging their actions are and how they hurt.
Let's jump right into Third:
Truest statement of the week -- Elaine and she earned it. I know the week's just starting but Ava's already got my vote for next Sunday. If you saw it, you know what I'm talking about. If not, wait until Sunday.
A Note to Our Readers -- Jess, Ava and C.I. break down the edition.
Editorial: Should we pray to Santa? -- The painting at the top of my post is used here, the one Betty's son did. I like this editorial. I know it was a problem in terms of figuring out how to use Santa (we wanted the painting up). C.I. figured it out after someone said something. I can't remember what it was, but C.I. (joking) said, "Should we now pray to Santa?" And we all go, "That's it! That's the editorial!" :D This covers IVAW, Jamie Leigh Jones, Tracy Barker and a lot more. We didn't think we could pull it together around that phrase or going with that phrase but it worked out pretty good.
TV: The Weak Get Weaker -- Let me be Jim here (who took this weekend off), Jess read this to us when Ava and C.I. finished it and I was the one to say, "It doesn't matter what else we do, that covers it." Jim usually says something like that about their writing because it's always one of the strongest things every edition. This one is amazing. And they didn't know what they were writing about before they left to go off alone and write it. We were asking them and they listed off several shows and said they'd have to look at their notes. This is just perfect and you will laugh your ass off! :D
The Nation featured 491 male bylines in 2007 -- how many female ones? -- This one should you make you angry because Katrina vanden Heuvel (a woman as far as anyone knows) is in charge of The Nation magazine and despite the magazine saying they know there's problem there was NO improvement in the number of women they published. Look at the full year statistics and be disgusted. Way to go, Katrina, way to help out other women. What a Queen Bee.
Roundtable -- I quoted myself in the rountable already. The big deal here was who would be moderator. Jess wanted Ava or C.I. to do it and they're the note takers -- nobody else can write down what we're all saying and get it down word for word. Jess agreed to do it and I think he really did a great job. We didn't have a hard time limit and Cedric and Betty are really doing some amazing comments in the first half. I think the whole thing is amazing. Kat's got a great wind up and it's just all amazing. That may be because we had less people. It is not because Jim wasn't doing it. He does a great job moderating. Betty's son did the painting.
"I Hate The War" -- This is about The Ballet's "I Hate The War" which is a great song. Go to their website and download it if you haven't already. (If you want to watch a video, there's a link to one in the article.)
Dems & Iraq -- I didn't work on this one. This is just Ava, Jess and C.I. and they did it to include Betty's son's painting of Obama. I really like this and it was nice to wake up, log in to see how everything turned out and read something I didn't even know was in there. :D
Iowa -- At last, we got around to this. That's been on the backburner forever. It's an important issue.
Cynthia McKinney announces run for president -- Cynthia McKinney is running for the Green Party nomination for president. If you're a Green or an independent or someone fed up with the Democratic Party (a lot of people), you really need to check into her campaign.
Things to watch, things to listen to -- Some things you can catch this week.
Highlights -- Betty, Wally, Kat, Elaine and I worked on this.
Here's who participated:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Ava and Jim,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Wally of The Daily Jot
and Ruth of Ruth's Report
Rebecca found something and just called me asking if I'd note it too? Yeah, no problem. John V. Walsh regularly speaks truth to power. This is from his "Clueless Crusaders:"
Tom Hayden has been given the cover article for The Nation's December 17 issue to instruct the peace movement for 2008. Not since the cover page endorsement of the prowar John Kerry in 2004 has there been such an embarrassing face to this journal. In essence Hayden's call is to vote Democraticocrat in 2008 - and keep your fingers crossed. That is about it. Confronted with prowar Democraticocrats and prowar Republicans, Hayden cries, "Stop the war. Vote prowar Democraticocrats." At the same time his co-counsellor for the official peace movement, Phyllis Bennis, has been lamenting that antiwar voters, in the depths of their benightedness, may fail to understand "intuitively" why they should vote for prowar Democraticocrats in 2008.
Hayden begins with what cannot be denied, conceding that the "leading" Democraticocrats, HRC, BO and JE do not pledge to end the war, always hedging their promises to remove troops by limiting the pledge to "combat troops," a recipe for "Vietnamization" which Hayden should be able to recognize; by speaking of keeping troops in Iraq at least until 2013; by failing to give dates for Democraticolishing the gargantuan bases still going up; and of course by labeling hapless Iran as a "danger." Hayden even quotes one anonymous voice within the Beltway Democratic establishment: "It's beginning to look a lot like 2004." But how does Hayden characterize 2004? In that year he says, the Democraticocrats "muted and muddled their antiwar position." "Mute and muddled"? "Antiwar position"? Wth a few hiccups, John Kerry ran an explicitly prowar campaign in 2004. In 2006 the Democrats ran what looked like an antiwar campaign until you read the fine print. Of course since they gained control of Congress, they have supported the war funding at every turn. "Mute and muddled" it's not; full-blown complicity in the war it is.
It's a great article. And you know what? I would pair it with "Who's killing the peace movement?" which covers some of the same terrain. I like Tom Hayden but when someone's wrong, they're wrong. When they're wrong with a cover story, silence isn't the way to handle it. I generally agree with Walsh (I think I always agree but I might be forgetting something in the years I've been reading him -- and it's fine if we disagree) and what I really like is he's not taking any crap. He's not saying, "Oh, we're not supposed to call out ___ so I'll be silent." But a lot of people are being silent.
You've got a whole 'left' platoon covering up for Katrina vanden Heuvel who is not left (leftist don't turn an issue over to a centrist organization). I'm sick of it. And I'll call out anyone I want to and I won't look back or freak out over it.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Monday, December 24, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, 'tis the season for . . . mass kidnappings, mercenaries are back in the news and, in honor of the gift giving season, a 'left' 'voice' telegraphs just how unimportant the illegal war is to him.
Starting with war resistance. And let's deal with why, unless your name is In These Times, left and 'left' print magazines don't have anything to point to with pride in 2007. They've been silent on war resisters (this also goes to a number of radio programs) and have refused to cover any war resisters (in the US, in Canada or Eli Israel, the first service member to publicly resist while serving in Iraq though you wouldn't know that fact if you counted on independent media to bring the news to you). Every year at this time The Nation's Katha Pollitt does a column on where you could donate your money. This year's column appears to address some of last year's criticism, so here's the link. That is Pollitt's trademark and has been for years -- that column. Paul Loeb apparently thinks he can be the male Katha. (In his dreams. And, yes, I'm aware he's one of those three named monstrosities but he's signing off his Free Press column with "Paul Loeb." It's entitled "Who I Give To" with the message that it's who you should give to.
And what do we have. In order: Working Assets, Better World Club, IPA, MoveOn, Sojourners, WellstoneAction, America Votes, Democracy for America, the DNC, John Edwards' presidential campain, Barack Obama's presidential campaign, Public Campaign, 1Sky coaltion, Focus the Nation, Climate Crisis Coalition, Sierra Club, Fight Back America, Jobs With Justice, NAACP, ACLU, Peace Action, True Majority, The War Resister's Leauge, The Backbone Campaign, Americans For Peace Now and Brit Tzedek. He notes the last two are "pro-Israel." Reading over the list, where is IVAW? Where is Courage To Resist? Where is the War Resisters Support League? Where is Veterans for Peace? Where is CODEPINK? Where is SDS? Where is United for Peace & Justice? Where is World Can't Wait? Where is A.N.S.W.E.R.? Where is the National Lawyers Guild? (NLG has a group for war resisters.)
No where. An overly praised, fawned over writer opens his empty head to reveal to you just how shallow 'voices' are. Anyone stupid (and you have to be stupid, there's no other word for it) to give to two presidential candidates and not grasp they are not 'helping' either and they are cancelling their donation out, already started out in the Dumb Zone. But could that money not have gone to IVAW, War Resisters Support Campaign or Courage To Resist?
"I'm not a pacifist," he feels the need to reassure (no one thought he was a pacifist, it would be surprising if anyone thought he had the skill or ability to think long enough to reach that position), "but The War Resister's League has carried the banner of peace activism for 85 years, and I always admire what they do." The American Friends Service Committee has 'carried the banner' for 90 years. But though Working Assets and True Majority (covering the same damn terrain) can get shout outs and it's non-stop election central (including donating to two candidates running for the same slot), American Friends Service Committee is not mentioned .Paul gives a true gift this holiday season: a glimpse into the heavily pimped shallow mind that makes up too much of the so-called left today. With his list, that he wrote himself, he has told you what is important and what isn't and he has told you that he can't even plug the War Resister's League without rushing to reassure any reader that he's not a pacifist. Running scared and running brain dead, one of the most heavily pimped 'lefties' of the decade makes it very clear that he's all about the Democratic Party and elections and he's not at all about ending the illegal war. What's surprising is that he left off a Hurricane Katrina charity -- how many bad articles did he bore America with on that topic after Katrina hit? Well, that's the 'left' you for, a tiny-minded mocking bird, flittering and fluttering from here to there but never landing.
An illegal war is going on and the answer in an overly long, bad column (men who try to copy Katha Pollitt will always come up short), he tells you where his priorities are. He supports Jewish organizations that are pro-Israel, he supports Sojourners with money though he doesn't agree with their 'evangical' measures. He supports anything and everything but those committed to ending the illegal war with one exception and, when noting that exception, it's important for him to rush to assure America he's no pacifist. No one ever thought a shallow thinker could wade to that conclusion, Loeb, no one ever did.
Apparently there's no show tune for him to stumble across ("the impossible will take a little while") about war resisters so they're not on his list of concerns. But, in that list, you see 2007 independent (or 'independent') media coverage in all its horror. Give money to candidates! Give it to two candidates running against each other! Give money to the Democratic Party! Give money to groups working on clean elections! Give money to groups working on getting people elected! Give, give, give till it hurts.
And the reality is, in 2007, independent media has hurt war resistance. This December 23rd published column also explains how useless independent media is. Is anyone really thinking, this late in the game, "I must get a gift! I know I'll donate!" If they were, links would be required for someone wanting to be 'helpful.' No links are provided. Typical independent media in 2007, advocating badly.
Does Loeb know that on November 15th, the Canadian Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey? Does he even care? Judging by his column, the answer is no. An over hyped voice of the 'left' gives the greatest gift of all in 2007: The reality of how little the alleged 'left' cares about ending the illegal war. (Give to the DNC! Give to two presidential candidates who refuse to promise, that if elected in 2008, they would pull out the troops by 2013!) That just about sums it all up. In the real world, the Canadian Parliament has the power to let war resisters stay in Canada. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (firstname.lastname@example.org -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use. Both War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist are calling for actions from January 24-26.
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:
In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan
March 13th through 16th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation.
On Sunday, Alissa J. Rubin and Damien Cave (New York Times) provided the lengthiest coverage of Iraq the paper's offered in some time as they explored the 'Awakening' Councils that US government has decided is the quick-fix to reducing the violence just enough to stop Americans from caring that an illegal war is going on. Not noted in the article is that the Sunni thugs want the US out. Noted in the article is that the they don't support al-Maliki's puppet government. This is why the Shi'ite thugs are furious. They were armed and backed by the US early on and were very effective at 'cleansing' areas through force, intimidation and death squads. Now the US is arming their enemies and they're worried. Arming but unable to control. In Ramadi, Cave and Rubin join Second Lt. Stephen Lind who discovers that, despite "a rule that bans the Iraqi Army from the city," the Iraqi army is at a sheik's and, when asked by Lind why, the response is: "The sheik told us to come." And that's that, time to roll out and rules (like laws) really don't matter but let's all pretend the US is somehow in 'control.' Rubin and Cave observe, "The standoff, though, underscored the Awakening's long-term challenge."
The US is not 'improving' things in Iraq, they are laying the groundwork for further tensions and anyone could tell them that but the government doesn't want to listen. Very similar to how they did not want to listen about the issue of mercenaries. Steve Rainaru (Washington Post) reports on how warnings were repeatedly ignored by the State Dept and the Pentagon
which addresses how warnings were ignored by the government (US) repeatedly regarding mercenaries, cites the lack of "substantive action to regulate" mercenaries -- lack of action from the State Dept. or the Pentagon and while "previous wars . . . had prohibited contractors from participating in combat . . . in Iraq, military planners rewrote the policy" via a September 20, 2005 order that granted mercenaries the power "to use deadly force". From the article:
Critics, including the American Bar Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, warned that the Pentagon had used an obscure defense acquisition rule to push through a fundamental shift in American war-fighting without fully considering the potential legal and strategic ramifications.The provision enabled the military to significantly raise troop levels with contractors whose "combat roles now closely parallel those of Constitutionally and Congressionally authorized forces," wrote Herbert L. Fenster, a partner with McKenna Long & Aldridge, a Washington-based international law firm that represents several major defense contractors. Fenster questioned the provision's legality in a lengthy comment he filed in opposition. The practice "smacks of a mercenary approach," he wrote in an e-mail.But neither the military nor the State Department set guidelines for regulating tens of thousands of hired guns on the battlefield. Oversight was left to overburdened government contracting officers or the companies themselves, which conducted their own investigations when a shooting incident occurred. Dozens of security companies operated under layers of subcontracts that often made their activities all but impossible to track. They were accountable to no one for violent incidents, according to U.S. officials and security company representatives familiar with the contracting arrangements.
In England, accountability is also an issue with regards to contractors. PA reports that the Parliament may be addressing "clains that a UK-based security company" ArmorGroup "deliberataly withheld intelligence from the British armed force in Iraq" with regards to "militia infiltration of the Iraqi police in Basra" Henry McDonald, Duncam Campbell and Richard Norton-Taylor (Guardian of London) report that Colin Williamson (who worked for ArmorGroup in Iraq) has made "[t]he most serious allegations" which include this, "My role was to go to certain Iraqi police stations daily in the Basra area. But we were told not to report back any intelligence we picked up there, not to hand it to the British military. Why? Because our bosses and probably, in turn, the FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] didn't want to expose how corrupt and infiltrated by the militia the police were." If true, his statements mean that ArmorGroup is just another contractor that's yet to face accountability.
Equally unaccountable are the US employees who gang-rape and sexually harass in Iraq. Yvonne Roberts (Guardian of London) addresses the crimes against Jamie Lee Jones and notes that there has been no accountability in the two years since the gang-rape was reported and that laws favorable to US corporations (Halliburton/KBR are who Jones' attackers worked for) may allow them to avoid prosecution. Roberts notes, "MoveOn, a democracy-in-action pressure group is organising a petition calling on Congress to investigate Jamie's case, hold those involved accountable, and bring US contractors under the jurisdiction of US law so this can't happen again. Sadly, the petition can only be signed by American voters. If you take a look at what happened to Jamie Leigh Jones and at least 11 other women now claiming they have been raped and sexually assaulted while working in Baghdad's Green Zone, then it's difficult to avoid the notion that if these contractors behave in such a sexually barbaric fashion to their working colleagues, what have they been inflicting on the female Iraqi population - apart from apparently randomly beating and shooting their men?"Meanwhile, Walter Pincus (Washington Post) reports today on a disgusting development for those who did not assume the United States resorted to tactics of totalitarian regimes: 'deprogramming.' Maj. Gen. Douglas Stone is identified as the one responsible for what's called "the battlefield of the mind" and just the fact that the US uses such languages and wants to 'militarize' the mind should be enough to frighten most. But reading on you realize that Iraqi prisoners are now experiment subjects -- against their will -- and may every anthropologist, sociologist, medical personal, et al be haunted eternally for what are they doing. Pincus tells you that who the military wants to assist with these attacks on a person's sanity, will and mind are "teachers, religious and behavioral science counselors" and that the goal is 'reintegration.' Here's a thought: How can Iraqis be reintegrated into their own occupied country? If the military's telling you this much, it's probably much worse; however, Stone doesn't have the common sense to grasp how offensive what he is peddling to the public is. I am unaware of an waiver that allows for brain-washing in a war (legal or illegal) but apparently that's one more thing being tossed aside.
Moving on, Leila Fadel (Baghdad Observer, McClatchy Newspapers) shares details of Eid al Adha celebration including the shopping ("a toy store where little boys crowded around toys, picking their holiday gifts. They all wanted the same thing, toy guns, just like the men they see on the streets.. . . The toys hear are a reflection of the reality they live, humvees, military helicopters and guns. All the little boys want sto emulate the violence on the street"), a McClathy correspondent's relative who has to to Iran for medical treatment ("Although a trickle of people are returning so many professionals are absent and simple medical procedures are only available outside Iraq") and a meal where inquiries about marital status were made with Iraqi woman explaining, "My fiancee was killed at the beginning of the war. I've never found anyone like him."
And the violence goes on . . .
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Bagdad mini-bus bombing that claimed 1 life and left five wounded, two Baghdad roadside bombings that wounded six people and a Diyala Province roadside bombing that claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and wounded three more. AP reports that the mini-bus bombing was "near the Baghdad governor's office" and "near the heavily guarded Green Zone" and that it's "unclear if it was detonated remotely or just went off."
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports an armed clash at a police station "north east of Sulaimaniyah."
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 14 people were kidnapped from a mini-bus north of Baquba, 7 truck drivers were kidnapped south of Kirkuk. Reuters reports that the 14 kidnapped off the bus today were all "members of one family". AFP reports on the 14 Shi'ites kidnapper that they were stopped at a fake check-point outside of Baquba and were taken off a bus at the checkpoint and kidnapped -- this was "all the passengers" on the bus "including some women and children" according to Iraqi police officer Hazim Yassin.
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad.
In addition, Al Jazeera reports on a Sunday train crash that claimed the lives of many members of the Hamid Hrat family -- two adults, five girls and six boys for a total of 13 -- who were apparently unable to move over the train crossing (stalled car? who knows?) and were plowed into by a train in Hilla. (AP and some other domestic sources report the train crash as happening today.)
Finally, despite PO'LICeandTICksOh providing a back channel to Nancy Pelosi's Blue Dog Congressional enemies last Friday, Dennis Camire (The Honolulu Advertiser) reports that US House Rep Neil Abercrombie states that Dems will "push on with the effort" to end the illegal war and that "Rep. Abercrombie said it's only a matter of time and American casualties before the public gets fed up enough and forces politicians to bring the troops home." Apparently, the writers' strike has also resulted in Congress airing re-runs. The 'strategy' is not 'new.' It's the one John Harris (PO'LIceandTICsOh) summed up as describing what Congress was hoping for in 2007 when speaking on PBS' Washington Weak over the weekend. (Here for the program's web site. Here for Ava and my review.)
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