Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Democracy Now: OKC 10 years later, John Nichols, Steve Clemmons, Joshua Banno; Baghdad Burning, Iddybud, Why Are We Back In Iraq?, Big Brass Blog

Democracy Now! (Marcia: "always worth watching"):

Headlines for April 19, 2005
- Suicide Car Bombing Kills Six in Baghdad
- Iraqi Lawmaker Accuses U.S. Troops of Abusing Him
- Report: Zacarias Moussaoui Plans To Plead Guilty
- Catholic Feminists Launch "Open Conclave" Online
- 500 Citizen Nuclear Weapons 'Inspectors' Arrested in Belgium
- Israel Orders Vanunu to Stay in Country for Next Year
- California Student Sentenced to 8 Years For SUV Arson
- Teaching Assistants at Yale & Columbia Go On Strike

The Oklahoma City Bombing Ten Years Later
Bud Welch joins us from Oklahoma City to talk about the April 19, 1995 bombing that killed 168 including his 23-year-old daughter Julie. Welch made headlines for opposing the execution of Timothy McVeigh.

Colin Powell's Former Chief of Staff Calls John Bolton An "Abysmal" Pick To Be UN Ambassador
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote on Bolton's nomination as early as today. We talk to Steve Clemons of the TheWashingtonNote.com and John Nichols of The Nation about a series of allegations concerning Bolton abusing his authority at the State Department and Bolton's role in securing George W. Bush's victory during the 2000 Florida recount.

New York District Attorney Forced to Drop Charges in High-Profile Arrest Case from GOP Convention
The DA's office is expected to drop charges today against Joshua Banno -- an Arizona college student who was arrested seven months ago during the Republican National Convention. The DA is dropping the charges after photographs emerged showing Banno could not have been involved in the crime. He had been facing seven years in jail.

At Baghdad Burning, Riverbend (Girl Blogger) speaks of the press rumors and the smoothing over when they're revealed as false:

The whole concept of a large number of Sunni guerrillas raiding the town and taking 60 – 150 of its members (including women and children) was bizarre, frightening and by the second day of the rumor, a little bit suspicious.
People in Baghdad didn't believe it. Most of them waved a hand dismissing the report and said, "They just want to raid Medain." It's a town that has been giving the Americans quite a bit of trouble this last year, a part of the Sunni Triangle.
Many attacks were reported to have come from the area, but at the same time, it's not like Falloojeh, Samarra, or Mosul- it's half Shia. It wouldn't be as easy or politically correct to raid.
[. . .]
Now, Associated Press is claiming,"The confusion over Madain illustrated how quickly rumors spread in a country of deep ethnic and sectarian divides, where the threat of violence is all too real."
Uhm, no. Not really. See, this whole thing didn't start out as a rumor. Rumors come to you through actual people- the guy who brings you kerosene spreads rumors, that neighbor next door brings you rumors, the man you get your rations from spreads rumors. This came to us, very decidedly, from a news source. It first made its debut as breaking news and came from an "Iraqi Shia official who wished to remain unnamed". The official should have to answer to the rumor he handed over to the press.
[. . .]
To lie about something as serious as Sunni-Shia hostage taking is another story altogether. It's unacceptable and while Sunnis and Shia were hardly going to take up arms against each other over this latest debacle, but it was still extremely worrisome and for people who wish to fuel sectarian violence, it was a perfect opportunity.

Remember, BuzzFlash is offering Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog From Iraq (paperback book) as a premium.

Over at Iddybud, Jude's noting Howard Dean for the quote of the day. To find out the quote, visit her site. But don't miss this section that Maria wanted highlighted for the community:

Howard knows better than anyone. Iowa taught him (and us Democrats) an important lesson. All politics is local. My own neighbors will remember that I knocked on their doors when I was collecting signatures for Howard Dean in Onondaga County in 2004. It was a wonderful experience. Many invited me to their kitchen table to talk about the community, politics, and the candidate I was trying to help. This is the lifeblood of politics - your own back yard. Currently, DFA (along with GrassRoots for America) is training Democrats on Campaign Organization and Management, Recruiting and Developing Good Volunteers, Putting Volunteers to Work, Data and Data Mining for GOTV, Banking the Vote with GITV, Earned Media for Grassroots, Activating Your Base, and Maximizing Year-Round Visibility.

Dallas e-mails Ron's latest at Why Are We Back In Iraq? where's he's noting Nina Bernstein (NYT reporter) who has been covering the sorry tale of the two adolescent girls locked away:

Madeleine Brand: "How did they come to the attention to the FBI to begin with?"
Nina Bernstein: "Okay, this Bangladeshi girl who had become increasingly religious and had wore a full veil to her Manhattan high school decided at the beginning of her junior year that she did not want to continue in school. She couldn't deal with just the normal teenage banter of - through sexually latent I guess - between boys and girls at a co-ed high school. It offended her religious sensibilities according to the parent-teacher coordinator that I interviewed."
"And the parents confirmed this, that she would come home upset and she wanted - she insisted that she wanted - to do a home-schooling course instead - a correspondence course. But, in this case, these parents, these Bangaledeshi parents, were not at all happy with this. You know, this father really describes himself as someone who doesn't pray as a Muslim, and he believes firmly in secular education and he wanted his daughter to complete public high school. So there was tension over that."
"And then one day she tells him that she's met this young Muslim man who wants to marry her - now she's 16. And you know he says "you're much too young" and he refuses these overtures and the daughter seems to accept this. Then comes a day when she - she's perhaps run away. The father is worried, he's afraid she's eloped, and he goes to the local police precinct seeking help. And he told me he trusts the police - you know - he believes in the American system and this is what he now believes set off the whole investigation."
"While the Bangladeshi girl was turning more to her religion, the Guinean girl seemed to be opening to the world. And she was so popular in her school that she came in second when she ran for student body president."

Over at Big Brass Blog, Pam's addressing the "Major Headlines"

Smoke from Vatican is pink! Could Carson ("Queer Eye for the Straight Guy") be the new Pope!?
** Sadly, it appears the Vatican went the Hitler Youth route instead.
Ultimate judge, God, rules: "American zealots are not representative of any belief system of virtue."
Tom DeLay announces, "God better watch it because there could be repercussions!"
Senator Rick Santorum starts fetal, daycare center. Quits Senate. Promises cuddling sessions, games and snacks for all fetuses.
[. . .]
Scientific analysis concludes: Ann Coulter not human. Ann Coulter not of this planet. Not sure what the hell she is!
President lies about threat posed by country to U.S. interests, creates false associations to terrorist groups, manufactures fake evidence, ignores threats where they legitimately exist, dismisses need for a post-war plan and viable exit strategy, alienates all U.S. allies, inflames Islamic world, increases world-wide terrorism, turns blind eye to war crimes, and promotes all members of staff who perform incompetently in their jobs. No, wait, that really did happen.

E-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com