Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Other items

The major Palestinian factions, including the militant Hamas, have agreed to oversee how the Palestinian Authority uses land left behind as Israeli settlers and soldiers leave the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said Monday.
Palestinian security forces took up positions around the settlements on Monday to help safeguard them as the Israelis depart. But aside from celebratory banners and prayers, Palestinians showed few signs of excitement about the drama consuming Israelis. The withdrawal will not result in tangible change for Palestinians until the Israeli Army demolishes the settlements and its own posts, which may take weeks.

The above is from James Bennet's "Gazans to Monitor How Vacated Land Is Used" in this morning's New York Times.

You can round out the above with, from Democracy Now! yesterday, "Israeli Settlers Resist Gaza Pullout, Palestinians Call for Withdrawal from West Bank."

Trevor e-mails to note the Associated Press' "Executed Woman to Get Pardon in Georgia" which details the pardon, forty years after the woman was executed, that will be granted to Lena Baker:

In her one-day trial, Ms. Baker, who was black, testified that E. B. Knight, a white man she had been hired to care for, had held her against her will and threatened to shoot her. She said she grabbed a gun and shot him when he raised a metal bar to strike her. She was convicted by an all-white, all-male jury.

Cindy e-mails to note the Associated Press' "Marine Charged in Firing Shotgun Pleads Not Guilty:"

A Marine accused of firing a shotgun at a crowd of clubgoers pleaded not guilty on Monday to attempted murder and other charges and was ordered to be evaluated at a state psychiatric hospital.
The man, Daniel Cotnoir, was named Marine of the Year last month by Marine Corps Times for his service as a military mortician in Iraq. A mortician by trade, Mr. Cotnoir prepared the bodies of American soldiers for burial, and he said that the job took a heavy toll on him psychologically.
Police said he pointed a 12-gauge shotgun out the window of his second-floor apartment and fired a shot at people leaving nearby nightclubs early Saturday. Two people were treated at hospitals for leg wounds and released.

Yesterday, we noted Matthew Pascarella's "A CONVERSATION WITH SHEIK KHALESI" (www.gregpalast.com):

It was January 30th 2005. Images of Iraqis' bright purple fingers, dyed with ink from voting, were ubiquitous - appearing throughout American television and newspapers. The networks looped clips of English speaking Iraqis praising the United States, some thanking coalition troops, and some even expressing gratitude to President George W. Bush. Far from all of these happenings, far from the curfews and travel restrictions, far from the 15,000 American troops marching patrol in the dusty streets of Baghdad monitoring what had been praised as a "successful election," I sat next to Sheikh Jawad Al-Khalesi as our bus sped along the bumpy highway leading to Porto Alegre. 80 years ago while the British occupied Iraq, a Shia man, a respected Ayatollah, worked to organize Iraqis against the occupation. The man was Sheikh Khalesi's grandfather. After being in exile in Syria and Iran for 23 years, Khalesi returned to Iraq only two years ago - after the fall of Saddam. Beset but what appeared to be a distinct type of wisdom, the kind gained through years and maybe even decades of struggle, Sheikh Khalesi told me of the situation he was facing at home in Iraq. "The soldiers can not tell the difference between Iraqis and the resistance, they often kill people in the streets without any reason." Khalesi pointed left, and looked out the window of our bus toward the other side of the highway - he motioned for me to look with him. "There was a time when someone shot at soldiers across the highway - imagine the soldiers are over here." He pointed out the right window of the bus. "Now imagine the shooter was somewhere over here." He looked again out the left window. "There was a large group of people across the road from the soldiers - near where the shots were fired from. They were at the gas station waiting hours to get gasoline for their electric generators and cars ... the soldiers started firing their guns and then blew up the entire gas station, killing everyone."

We're noting it again because there's a font issue and the last time this happened (November) it was weeks before it fixed itself (and efforts on my part only seemed to postpone the fix). And Ben had e-mailed the above yesterday.

Scheduled topic for today on Democracy Now!:

Voices in the Wilderness is fined $20,000 for bringing humanitarian aid into Iraq. We'll speak with the group's founder, Kathy Kelly.

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