DAILY WAR NEWS FOR SATURDAY, December 9, 2006
: Residents protest against an overnight U.S. raid and airstrike in Ishaqi, 90 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, December 9, 2006. REUTERS/Nuhad Hussin (IRAQ)
Al Jazeera has obtained exclusive footage that confirms children were among the victims of a US air raid northwest of Baghdad
. Local officials said that the bodies of 17 civilians, including six children and eight women, had been pulled from the debris of two houses in al-Ishaqi.
The US military had issued a statement on Friday saying that two women were among 20 suspected "al Qaeda terrorists" killed in the operation.
Al Jazeera's footage showed the bodies of men, women and children wrapped in blankets after they had been pulled from the rubble.
The Agence France Presse news agency said it passed its own photographs of the dead children to Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver, a US military spokesman, who said: "We've checked with the troops who conducted this operation - there were no children found among the terrorists killed.
"I see nothing in the photos that indicates those children were in the houses that our forces received fire from and subsequently destroyed with the air strike."
In Aljazeera's pictures angry villagers had gathered around the bodies, several of which were so badly charred that their faces were unrecognisable.
Local residents said that one entire family had been killed.
"The Americans have done this before but they always deny it," Amer Alwan, the mayor of al-Ishaqi, told Reuters news agency.
"I want the world to know what's happening here."
He also told the AFP news agency: "This is the third crime done by Americans in this area of Ishaqi. All the casualties were innocent women and children and everything they said about them being part of al-Qaeda is a lie."
He told Al Jazeera that he was calling for an international investigation into the attack.
Abdullah Hussain Jabbara, deputy governor of Salah al-Din governorate, told Al Jazeera: "Residents of the two houses [which were bombed] have nothing to do with al-Qaeda network. All the people killed are members of the same family."
Jabbara said an investigation into the incident would be carried out.
"But what is the use of opening an investigation?" he asked. "The occupation still exists and Iraqi citizens are the victims."
Angry residents of a village north of Baghdad fired into the air and chanted "God is greatest" as they buried the victims of a U.S. air strike that the country's Sunni leaders condemned as a massacre. (...)
In March, Ishaqi police and officials accused U.S. troops of tying up and shooting dead six adults and five children and then calling in an air strike to destroy the house. An investigation by the U.S. unit involved concluded there was no wrongdoing.
Hundreds of chanting residents of Jalameda, a predominantly Sunni village, marched through Ishaqi on Saturday firing shots and carrying banners that read: "The people of Ishaqi condemn the mass killing by the occupation forces".
The bodies, wrapped in white cloth, were laid out in rows on the ground as residents prayed over them. They were later buried.
"We ask the Americans to be merciful. They kill civilians alleging they are terrorists. Ishaki is a catastrophe," said Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the biggest Sunni political bloc in parliament.
The Sunni Muslim Scholars Association also "strongly condemned the massacre" and accused U.S. soldiers of planting explosives and weapons at the scene to justify the air strike.
On Saturday, about 1,000 residents of al-Ishaqi village in the volatile province of Salahuddin held a funeral for the 19 dead, shouting slogans such as "Down with the occupiers," "Long live the resistance," and "There is no God but Allah."
Roads to Iraq: ANOTHER US CRIME IN ASHAQI
Eyewitnesses say that the US occupation forces committed a crime against innocent people in Ishaqi.
The occupation forces besieged the homes of brothers Mohammed Hussein Jalmood and Mahmoud Hussein Jalmood, opened fire on members of the two families in the early hours today, to cover up the crime they air bombed the houses.
People of the area who rushed to the crime scene and removed the bodies from the rubble found that all victims had been shot at close range, which confirms that they were mass executed.
About 32 martyrs were targeted by the American forces intentionally among them 6 children and 8 women.
linkBring 'em on
: One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died today from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.
"The Islamic Army in Iraq" group released a videotape claiming responsibility for destroying a US "Humvee" in Ramadi city. The videotape showed a military vehicle being hit by an explosion in one of the city's streets. Al Jazeera could not verify the authenticity of the videotape from an independent source.Bring 'em on
: A British soldier was wounded as three British bases came under attack in the southern Iraqi province of Basra.
An Iraqi child was killed and another civilian was wounded when clashes erupted between the British forces and unknown gunmen in Basra.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
Primary school headmaster Yussif Faraj al-Shimari was shot dead in the southern neighbourhood of Dura.
Two people died in mortar attacks on the district of Adhamiyah.
Baghdad police found the bodies of 10 people
who had been trussed up and shot dead at close range, then dumped in the street.
Mortar rounds killed two people and wounded at least three when they landed on Baghdad's district of Kadhimiya.
Iraqi special forces arrested on Friday a suspected leader of an armed group during a raid in the capital Baghdad
, multinational forces said on Saturday.
A suicide car bomber killed at least seven people and wounded 44 in a busy market in the Shia holy city of Kerbala
today, hospital sources said. "People shouted at the driver of a pickup truck and told him to move the car, but he did not move. Seconds later it went off," a witness calling himself only Kefah said. He said the car had government registration plates. The blast in sight of the gold dome of the holy shrine of Abbas devastated shop frontages and set cars ablaze, sending clouds of black smoke into the sky as people tried to help the wounded. Police put the death toll at six killed, 44 wounded.
US and Iraqi forces arrested Shiite radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr's representative in the central city of Kut
and seven of his guards, a security official and a Sadr spokesman has said.
Sheikh Yahya Ahmed al-Khafaji, the head of Sadr's movement in Kut, 175 kilometres (110 miles) southeast of Baghdad, was seized in an early morning swoop on his office, an Iraqi security official said on condition of anonymity.
A Sadr spokesman in Baghdad confirmed the raid. (...)
He said the Sadr group was planning a protest in front of the provincial governor's office in Kut to demand their release.
"If occupation forces are so active and capable, they should target terrorist hideouts and not escalate violence in peaceful regions like Kut," said Hassan, who is also a member of the Iraqi parliament.
U.S. choppers attacked the Shaheed Sadr office in Kut while ground troops detained its head Sheikh Yahia al-Baghdadi, a source at Shaheed Sadr office said on Saturday.
Police said four people were killed, including a 10-year-old girl
, in separate and indiscrimate attacks by insurgent gunmen on crowds of civilians in Baquba, north of Baghdad.
US forces have killed three guards of Amer al-Khazraji, national guards commander, in al-Duluiya city
, north of Baghdad, Iraqi police sources said.
Insurgents blew up a school under construction in the Yarmouk district of Iraq's northern city of Mosul
late on Friday, police said. The source said no one was harmed in the bombing.
A car bomb in the central Yarmuk neighbourhood of Mosul killed three people and wounded another three.
A roadside bomb wounded a policeman when it exploded near his patrol in the town of Rashad
, 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Kirkuk.
Seventeen suspects were arrested on Saturday in a security crackdown in southwestern Kirkuk.
An Iraqi army officer was wounded when an explosive charge went off near his patrol vehicle on the Kirkuk-Tikrit highway.
British forces arrested the chief of al-Haritha district in northern Basra along with four others, prompting their clans to take to the streets with all their weapons demanding their release
, said a tribal chief in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
Unidentified gunmen fired three mortar shells on the U.S. consulate in Hilla town
, but there were no news on resulting damage.
Saddam Hussein's nephew escaped from prison Saturday in northern Iraq
, authorities said.
Ayman Sabawi, the son of Saddam's half brother Sabawi Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti, fled the prison some 70 kilometers (45 miles) west of Mosul in the afternoon with the help of another police officer, according to local police Brig. Abdul Karim al-Jubouri.
Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf confirmed the escape but declined to elaborate.
Sabawi was found guilty of illegally crossing the border from Syria and sentenced to 15 years in prison late last year by an Iraqi court.
Sabawi, who was apprehended last May by U.S. and Iraqi forces near Saddam's hometown of Tikrit, had been sentenced separately to six years in jail for possession of illegal weapons and manufacture of explosive devices but was serving the sentences consecutively.
Among the 1,000 people who work in the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, only 33 are Arabic speakers and only six speak the language fluently
, according to the Iraq Study Group report released on Wednesday.
"All of our efforts in Iraq, military and civilian, are handicapped by Americans' lack of knowledge of language and cultural understanding," the bipartisan panel said in its report. "In a conflict that demands effective and efficient communication with Iraqis, we are often at a disadvantage."
The report, written by five Republicans and five Democrats, recommended the U.S. government give "the highest possible priority to professional language proficiency and cultural training" for officials headed to Iraq.
Jane Arraf: IRAQ INSURGENTS’ BOMBMAKING GETS MORE LETHAL
Of the many dangers lying in wait for American soldiers in Iraq, the U.S. military increasingly fears one thing: the new, advanced roadside bombs planted by insurgents.
“There are very few things we fear,” says Col. Douglass Heckman. “When a simple roadside bomb goes off, it’s not going to kill us most of the time. A sniper can’t penetrate — we keep the gunners down — small arms can’t penetrate. ... In fact, a vehicle-borne suicide bomber typically isn’t going to hurt us. The thing that scares us is the advanced roadside bombs.”
Heckman’s teams of military trainers embedded with the 9th Iraqi Army Division have reason to be wary.
In their sector of Baghdad east of the Tigris River, at least five U.S. military advisors have been killed by roadside bombs in the last two weeks — among them the first full colonel killed in combat in the war and two lieutenant colonels who died in the same vehicle.
Gathering by their Humvees before they rolled out one morning this week, Lt. Col. Matthew Stanton briefed his men to be particularly vigilant in watching for hidden explosives.
“We need to continue to look for unusual objects, anything that doesn’t look right on a day-to-day basis,” he told them.
Just two days earlier, Capt. Shawn English, a trainer from Ohio beloved by the other team members and the Iraqis with whom he worked, was killed when the convoy he and Heckman were in was attacked.
“We were hit by an EFP — an advanced roadside bomb penetrated it and one of my captains was mortally wounded,” Heckman said, describing holding the dying man’s hand as they rushed him to a surgical hospital.
Unlike regular roadside bombs, EFP’s — explosive-formed penetrators — remain intact as they explode. The steel tubes with curved metal seals form a kind of super bullet that can go directly through a tank's armor.
The explosion turns the caps into molten jets of metal. An Iraqi translator with U.S. forces survived an attack recently that hit him in the chest with a lump of molten copper as the bomb ripped through the vehicle, officers said.
Three years into the war, the U.S. military has finally managed to supply soldiers and Marines with enough armored Humvees to provide some protection against the ordinary roadside bombs that are responsible for many of the nearly 3,000 U.S. military deaths and thousands of severe injuries.
But beyond keeping a low profile, U.S. servicemembers have little defense against the more sophisticated roadside bombs increasingly being used against them.
The new, more lethal shaped charges are behind most of the attacks that often kill several servicemembers with one blast. Eleven U.S. troops were killed on Wednesday, making it the deadliest day this year. Five of those servicemembers died in a single roadside bomb attack near Tikrit, the military said.
U.S. officials say they have found shaped charges they believe had been constructed in machine shops outside Iraq. They say evidence suggests some of the charges are being smuggled across the Iranian border.
Ronn Cantu: THE DEATH OF A PRO-WAR CONSERVATIVE, OR THE DAY I GOT AWAY WITH MURDER
Vividly I remember the 15th of May, 2004. It had been business as usual and we were heading home from FOB Warhorse in Baquba. By "home" I mean FOB Normandy in the small town of Muqdadiyah, and by "we" I mean Support Platoon, 2-2 Infantry. Ramrods!
We had gone to Warhorse to fill our fuel trucks and pick up a two-day supply of food. We did this every other day for almost the entire year we were in Iraq and so that day was nothing new. Improvised explosive devices (IED) were the norm, as was small-arms fire. It had been two months since we started our convoy operations and we had learned how to avoid, or at least minimize, the damage done to our vehicles by IED. (…)
I was driving the rearmost vehicle with the convoy commander, my platoon leader, and I was dozing off behind the wheel again (those of you who were drivers in Iraq can probably empathize) when
I looked up in time to see the largest fireball I had ever seen in my entire life engulf one of our fuel trucks just ahead of my vehicle. Our fuel trucks had been filled while we were at Warhorse and each truck was carrying 2,350 gallons of diesel fuel and it was my belief, at that moment in time, that one of our trucks had exploded.
I was in such a state of shock that I didn't realize that the driver of the 5-ton gun truck in front of me had slammed on the brakes. I hit mine too late to stop in time and had to swerve sharply to the right to avoid smashing into the gun truck, but my rearview mirror was ripped off by the 5-ton's bumper in the process and I ended up coming to a stop to the right of the truck and not in a position to pull the rear security that the rear vehicle is responsible for.
From here it starts to get hazy and I lose track of when exactly certain events took place. So much was happening at the same time and these events took place two-and-a-half years ago this month. But I do remember it was total chaos.
And I remember every weapon in the convoy coming to life. Bullets were flying at everything and nothing at the same time. I was firing my M16 at a house near where the IED had detonated. I didn't really have a target, I was just shooting at the house for the sake of shooting. I saw a white horse in a field and shot at it twice, but it didn't go down and I questioned whether I was actually hitting it. I shot at some clothes on a clothesline and at a satellite dish on one of the houses.
All for the sake of making a statement. (...)
At some point, another soldier and I started pulling rear security when a vehicle started coming up behind our disabled convoy at a high rate of speed. He wasn't that far away and I knew he could see an american military truck in flames or at least all the black smoke.
I raised my weapon and aimed at the vehicle hoping that he would see the gesture and get the idea to stop, but he didn't. I knew I had to fire a warning shot but if he couldn't see me aiming at him, how would he see (or hear) me firing into the air? I aimed at the windshield.
I knew better than to aim at the driver. I didn't want to kill him, just give him a warning. So I aimed at the center of the windshield about the time I heard someone behind me yell to shoot.
And so I fired my weapon.
The vehicle fishtailed a little bit and came to a stop. Good. But then a woman jumped out of the rear seat and started screaming. Not screaming in anger, but more like wailing.
"Oh no," I thought to myself. I turned to the other soldier pulling rear security.
"I think you got someone," he said to me.
In all, about four people piled out of the car and I realized that the vehicle was full and that my bullet must have hit someone.
Going over where the bullet went through the windshield, we figured the bullet hit the person in the neck or face. The woman kept screaming and even though she was between 150 and 200 meters away, she might as well have been in my head. They pulled the man out of the back seat by his legs and stared at him as he lay on the ground.
No one just stands around watching someone bleed like that unless they are certain nothing can be done.
My first instinct was to run out there and apologize profusely while trying to render first aid, but I knew I needed a team to wander that far off.
"Doc!" My voice was trembling as I called out for our medic and went to find him. "Doc, I think I hurt someone!"
But I was told that we were going to worry about us, and then worry about them. The medic was still patching up the passenger of the fuel truck, though not much can be done for burns in that type of environment.
I went back to the rear of the convoy in time to see the vehicle speed off. The other soldier who was pulling rear security said they put the man in the trunk and turned around. That's it.
And I remember seeing the horse lying lifelessly on its side.
Immediately afterwards, I remember thinking that I was going to go to jail, that I had just murdered someone who posed no particular threat to me and I was angry. Why didn't they stop?
Couldn't they see all the black smoke and the burning vehicle? Didn't they see American soldiers firing weapons at everything? They weren't that far away. Word of my shot had gotten around and one of my superiors even gave me the nickname "sniper."
At first the guilt was almost debilitating.
I told a few friends and a few family members about the incident. I wanted to confess but also wanted to be judged, but at the same time I was also glad to be alive. As time wore on, I was able to put the incident behind me. Even though my first thought was of myself and how I was going to go to jail, it turned out that I had done the right thing, given the circumstances.
So that left me with nothing to think about except the man I had shot.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I shouldn't, but I couldn't help it. Who was he? He was probably just someone who woke up that morning in his bed and assumed that he would end his day in the same place. When he ate lunch that day, I'm sure he thought he'd have dinner too. Isn't that what we all assume?
Instead, he got into a car (was he heading home?). He was alive, and then in the course of less than a second, he wasn't, and lives were destroyed.
And who was the screaming woman? Was it his wife? His sister? His mother? Was he old enough to have a daughter that age? I never got a good look at him. Who was the driver and the other people in the car? Friends? Relatives? I felt (and still feel) that I owed him a certain something so that his life would not be lost in vain.
Many times have I visualized myself in that vehicle when the bullet went through the windshield. I don't think it would have made much of a sound. Just a small hole would have appeared in the windshield, maybe there would have been a slight cracking sound... and then someone's head explodes.
And it made me think about life in general and how senseless something like war is.
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>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Joseph L. Galloway: THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY TO LEAVE IRAQ
This week, the American military death toll in Iraq crossed the 2,900 mark, with well over 20,000 wounded.
All the politicians paid the customary lip service in praising the troops and commending them for the terrible sacrifices they must continue to endure while the wrangling and dithering over a futile war goes on with no end in sight.
How can they look at themselves in the mirror every morning?
Some even suggest sending additional U.S. forces to Iraq - 20,000 to 30,000 more to try to clean up Baghdad, or as Sen. John McCain suggests, 100,000 more to achieve a victory of some kind.
What are they thinking?
The time to use overwhelming force, according to the Caspar Weinberger-Colin Powell doctrine, is when you launch an invasion. Ratcheting up later is just so 1965, and so hopeless a gesture when the situation has already gone to hell.
Let's get a few more things straight right now.
There's no victory waiting for President Bush in Iraq, and nothing that his father's friends say or do can save him from an ignominious end to his presidency in two years and two months, or from the judgment of history.
There will be no convenient and successful negotiation of a "decent interval" with our enemies Iran and Syria to cover our withdrawal from a war that we should never have started.
There can be no successful Vietnamization in Iraq - standing up more and better Iraqi army and police units and handing control over to them - when all we're doing is arming and training more recruits for the civil war that clogs the streets of Baghdad with the corpses of the victims of a Sunni-Shia bloodbath.
What we need to do is what none of the commissions and their reports dared to suggest: Begin withdrawing American forces from Iraq right now. Not in 2008. Not after the American death toll has crossed 5,000. Not just in time for a presidential election. (...)
There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there's only one way to leave Iraq: Load our people up on their trucks and tank transporters and Bradleys and Humvees and head for the border. Now.
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Arab Woman Blues: THE UNCENSORED ANGER MANIFESTO - PART II
Warning : This sequel to Part I may contain strong language that may offend some of the readers . To those, I say: Skip it.
To whom it may Concern
So, you are stuck in a quagmire huh?
No shit Sherlock . What did you expect then ?
Did you expect a cake walk or did you think you will be tanning your ass in Baghdad like you do when you go on your yearly Caribbean vacation?
Yeah I know, you managed to have a little fun raping "Eye Raqis " from little girls, to boys , to women and men .
And I also know that a good deal of you managed to pocket a few hefty bundles of dollars .
Some through dubious contracts and some through sheer theft. Stealing the palaces, the houses and even the huts . Don't ever think anything goes unreported.
Or maybe you thought that you can walk into our holy places with your filthy boots, spit and piss on our holy book and kill our preachers and worshippers when in prostration at dawn and we will just stand there and turn the other cheek?
Or maybe you thought we will give you candies and roses or better still make a statue in your honor , a statue dedicated to Freedom and Democracy?
Tell you what , I will show you my gratitude. I want to offer you a statue, a homage for your valiant acts. I want to edify it in your name and in the name of your founding fathers, and in the name of your Mafia ancestors. Yes I will dedicate this work to you. It will be made of skulls and bones, painted in blood and feces.
Yes you read me right. The skulls and bones that you left in every single street you visited, the blood of innocents that you spilled and the feces in which you drowned the faces of your "detainees". And I will crown that beautiful statue of your acts with the genitals you hacked off. Remember those? I do .
It will be an art work of phallic proportions dedicated to your virility and courage. A farewell token.
You don't like this language? I will try another.
I will not be like this poor illiterate peasant who screams when he sees his family killed by one of your smart missiles and his tiny house destroyed:
"I don't want democracy, I want to live, your democracy is killing me".
No I will not do that. I will be civilized, I promise you .
I will be the nice "Ayrab" girl now. I will bow down to you and be very graceful.
I will even put on my best show of tears and touch your heart with my pleas , so you can finally feel safe to look at me or hear me.
You like it when am so servile don't you?
I will wear my best pair of satin gloves and use your other dialect. The dialect of the oppressed begging. This will make you feel like the Master and I know, you just love that high. The high of your grandiose arrogance.
I will say to you : Please understand , we are a backward "12th century tribal people"*, who are not used to democracy.
"We don't dig it"*. We are a tribal insane religious lot that thrives on "blowing themselves up". Your presence is just exacerbating this horrible trait in us. "We don't understand ballot boxes and votes, these are disgusting words"* for us and as a woman I can't even address you but behind a veil because gender equality is not something I am used to. Please leave us in our backwardness and pack your bags and go.
Does this ring better for you? No? Ok . Let me use a simplified version.
If neither dialect is comprehensible to you: The dialect of violence which you are so proficient at nor the Dialect of slavery that you just relish, then let me use plain English maybe you will finally understand:
Fuck off - Right back to where you came from.
David Swanson: HONESTY IN IRAQ
But here's a fundamental question: Is aggressively attacking another nation in an illegal war something that can be done without catastrophic results if it's done right? Let's imagine that Bush told America and the world the truth about the reasons for the war, and that the reasons were not to control the Middle East and its oil while enriching cronies and winning votes, but rather to oust a dictator we regretted having installed and supported. Let's imagine that the American people insisted this be done, that the public knew Iraq was no threat to America or even its neighbors but wanted to act out of concern for Iraqis abused by a dictator. Further, let's suppose that the U.S. occupation of Iraq announced on day 1 that it would end the occupation in 6 months, built no permanent bases, threw no one out of work, protected museums and libraries - not just oil, hired Iraqis through honest bidding to rebuild their own country, got basic services restored within weeks, randomly arrested and imprisoned and tortured no one, laid claim to no oil or resources, invested a small fraction of what the war has actually cost in real reconstruction, began peace negotiations with UN assistance, kept its promises, got out in 6 months, and announced: "Saudi Arabia, you're next!"
Even in this fantasy, the actions of the United States would have effectively eliminated international law, established the right of any nation to attack any other nation aggressively, betrayed the men and women of the U.S. military who signed up to defend their own country and not to attack someone else's, sacrificed the lives of all those killed in the war, and by no means assured Iraq of developing a government better than Saddam Hussein's.
Back in reality, we should recognize that Nuremburg's condemnation of aggressive war was not a legal theory but a description of facts. Following the Holocaust, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg called the waging of aggressive war "essentially an evil thing . . . to initiate a war of aggression . . . is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."
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Once Upon a Time...: WE HAVE MURDERED AN ENTIRE COUNTRY
The myth of Western, and more particularly, of American "exceptionalism" is a fundamental part of our nation's view of itself. It is deeply embedded in our national psyche, and I strongly doubt it will be dislodged in the foreseeable future. I recently quoted from Hampton Sides' new book, on the subject of the U.S. war against Mexico. Recall this sentence especially:"To conquer Mexico, in other words, would be to do it a favor.
And that remains the American perspective, and it very accurately captures our colonialist, condescending, and racist national attitude toward Iraq and its peoples: we were doing them a favor
. If it turned into a genocidal murder spree, well, that's only because it was managed "incompetently." Most people still will not see the inescapable moral meaning of what we have done. And most people will never acknowledge that if we had implemented a murderous plan of conquest "competently," that would only make the results infinitely worse
, not "better."
We have murdered
an entire country, and an unconscionable and entirely unforgivably huge number of innocent Iraqis. We have murdered
them, without even the merest shadow of a justifiable reason.
Remember it for next time. And unless our entire perspective and worldview is challenged and rejected, there will be a next time. That is the single fact of which you can be absolutely certain.
Whatever It Is, I'm Against It: "I TALK TO FAMILIES WHO DIE"
Just like Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, who said a couple of days ago, "I talk to those who've lost their lives, and they have that sense of duty and mission," Bush had his own Ghost Whisperer moment [at the press conference with Tony Blair]: "Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die."
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Left I on the News: QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I for one am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. So either we clear and hold and build or let's go home."
- Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), speaking Thursday night on the Senate floor.
Smith, who had voted for the war and supported it ever since, "called for rapid pullouts of U.S. troops from Iraq and said he would have never voted for the conflict if he had known the intelligence that President Bush gave the American people was inaccurate."
Under the current "leadership," the chances of a "cut and run" from Iraq are small. However, the chances of a "cut and run" of support for the Administration on the part of former supporters is increasing exponentially. Rats cutting and running from a sinking ship.
Blah3: RUMMY SQUEAMISH AT SIGHT OF AMERICAN BLOOD
Via Salon's War Room (it's only a short bit and you need to watch an ad), we learn that at Rummy's last "town hall" style meeting , someone asked him what books he'd been reading while secretary of defense (or "sec def," as those fools at CNN call him when they want to show how hip they are to military lingo). He said he read a lot about the American Revolution and then moved on to the Civil War. But he suddenly stopped. When asked why, he explained:
"I found the struggle going on -- Gosh, those years, it's so many people killed, and they were all Americans, except for the foreign fighters ... So I've turned away from that."
That probably explains his failure in Iraq--he never could bring himself to read any of the reports from his generals. Dead Americans can get so depressing for a guy.
Gorilla's Guides: THEY'VE LOST AND THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO AND THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO BECAUSE THEY'RE LOSERS
The Americans in Iraq have lost. They're losers. And they're stupidly vicious losers. There are going to be more, there are going to be a lot more
"incidents" like this [the new Ishaqi massacre by U.S. forces; see above]. "Incidents" where the muscle minded tank brains that pass for the US military command in Iraq use air power or artillery strikes against civilians. The incidence of such disgraceful behaviour was already high and is now rising further. Why? Because the Americans have lost. They've lost and they don't know what to do. They don't know what to do because they're losers. The Americans have lost the only war that counts in Iraq and that's the ground war. They've lost the ground war because of the corrupt and savagely racist way in which they've behaved in Iraq from the moment they arrived.
But that's the American military way escalate escalate escalate and fuck the lives of civilians especially when those civilians are "ragheads" "ayrabs" or "sand niggers." Then investigate yourself and clear yourself of wrongdoing unless the disgustingly barbaric American war crime in question has been committed by your mercenary pals in which case of course you can claim that you don't have any jurisdiction. Always blame the victims.
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Philip Martin: A YOUNG MARINE SPEAKS OUT
The sad fact of the matter is that we are not fighting terrorists in Iraq. We are fighting the Iraqi people who feel like a conquered and occupied people. Personally I have a hard time believing that if I was an Iraqi that I wouldn't be doing everything in my power to kill and maim as many Americans as possible. [my emphasis -- zig]
I know that the vast majority of Americans would not be happy with the Canadian government, or any other foreign government, liberating us from the clutches of George W. Bush, even though a large number of us would like that, and forcing us to accept their system of government. Would not millions of Americans rise up and fight back? Would you not rise up to protect and defend your house and your neighborhood if someone invaded your country? But we send thousands of troops to a foreign country to do just that. How is it moral to fight a people who are just trying to defend their homes and families? I think next time I go to Iraq perhaps I should wear a bright red coat and carry a Brown Bess instead of my digitalized utilities and M16.
Notice I never once used the word homeland in any of this. I have a secondary point I want to bring up now. Never once was the term homeland ever used to describe the country of America until Mr. Bush began the department of homeland security after the 9/11 attacks. Taking a 20th century history class will teach us that the most notable countries in the last century that referred to their country in this way were Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Hitler used the term fatherland to drum up support, nationalistic support, for his growing war machine. He used the nationalism he created in the minds of the Germans to justify the sacrifice of their livelihood to build the war machine to get back their power from the oppressive restrictions the English and French had put on them at Versailles. This is the same feeling that has been virulently infecting the American psyche in the last hundred years. This is the same feeling that consoles a mother after her son is killed in an attempt to prosecute an aggressor's war 10,000 miles away. It's also known as Patriotism these days, but I say, "No more." No more nationalistic inanity, no more passing it off as patriotism. Patriotism is learning, and educating oneself to understand what their country really stands for.
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>> BEYOND IRAQ
Serfdom Times: QUITE A TALE
911 - A Modern Fairy Tale
By Douglas Herman
Once upon a time in America, the land of opportunity, a group of foreign guys at a Florida strip club said: "Let's get Korans and boxcutters and hijack airplanes and crash them into skyscrapers."
And so they did.
It is quite a tale at that.
Lee Rockwell: BORAT ON BUSH
One of the thousands of funny lines in the Borat movie is when Borat arrives in D.C. and says (paraphrasing): "Ah, we are now in Washington, D.C., home of the imperialist warlord Premier Bush." And he said it with a smirk and a big nod of approval. Unlike too many "unpatriotic conservatives," those Kazahkastanis know how to appreciate a good Fascist Strong Man.
There's an old saying that what makes successful comedy successful is that there's a lot of truth in it.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "The biggest problem with the ISG report is that it, like much of Washington, buys into the notion that because the consequences of defeat are so dire we should not accept the reality that we have lost." -- from "The ISG's False Hope" by Ivo Daalder at TPM Cafe