American forces have intensified their search for two soldiers missing and reportedly held captive by insurgents, widening their pursuit to areas beyond the restive town of Yusufiya, where the missing servicemen were attacked Friday night. Soldiers from at least three brigade combat teams are involved in the search.
The above is from Richard A. Oppel's "Search for G.I.'s Expands; Troops Surround Ramadi" in this morning's New York Times. We'll note that AP is reporting "more than 8,000" US and Iraqis are working on the search and jump to Martha's highlight but come back to Oppel's article in a moment. Martha notes "Missing GIs Likely Taken Captive, Iraqi Official Says" (Associated Press via Washington Post):
The two soldiers were the first to be missing in the Iraq war since Sgt. Keith M. Maupin of Batavia, Ohio, was captured on April 9, 2004, when insurgents ambushed his fuel convoy west of Baghdad.
A week later, al-Jazeera television aired a videotape showing Maupin, 20, sitting on a floor surrounded by five masked men holding automatic rifles.
Martha remembers a second videotape. There was a videotape that was said to show Maupin being killed; however, that was filmed from behind and there was thought to be no way to make an identification. Maupin is classified as captured/MIA.
Back to Oppel's article, which mentions Ramadi and notes, among other things, the following:
Some Sunni Arab leaders have said they fear American forces are preparing to begin an offensive in Ramadi in an effort to wipe out insurgent groups that have taken control of much of the city, similar to the November 2004 assault on Falluja by the Marines.
An American military official in Baghdad said on Sunday that no such offensive was planned. "We're trying to separate the insurgents from the rest of the people," the official said. "There are a lot of rumors flying around that people think it's another Falluja. It's not."
It's interesting that even the official spokespeople have to rush in to say it's not Falluja (I think it is). Falluja, many will remember, was something many news outlets (including the Times) pushed as a rah-rah uplifting story. (Dexy won an award for his rah-rah reporting.) What changed? Maybe awareness of what actually went on there and among the ones to thank for that are Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! which have never let up on that story and Dahr Jamail. ("Among." There are others as well.) So remember to listen, watch or read Democracy Now! today.
Re: Sunday, there are a number of questions. Re: The Third Estate Sunday Review, the "A note to our readers" will be written tonight and will answer some of the questions about why that was such a long process. Prior to that going up, there may be something at another community site. (I do have permission to note it but it's a health issue and not mine so I'll avoid noting it here until that person has noted it.) New content that made it up (some early, some late):
Truest statement of last week
Editorial: What's news?
TV Review: There's always a platform for some
Incident you should have heard of
When War Hawks Lied
RadioNation with Laura Flanders
"We Were All Wrong!" Not so fast Pt. II
Again, there were a number of issues and since I don't intend to write of all this morning, I'm not going to write of any except I'll note that Ava and I did delay the posting of our TV review because there wasn't time to rewrite it and we wanted permission to include the "Woops! . . ." sentences. We'd actually written that for our own amusement and intended to replace it with a thing on how Ann Coulter is now attempting to bill herself as a comedian (which would have worked with the review, the topic would have) but Jim and others felt that section especially needed to stay as is, so Ava and I wanted to wait until the person it is about could be called (and not woken up with the call) to make sure it was fine. (It was fine with her.) (I'll note that because that did cause a delay and I was part of that delay.)
Also questions about Sunday, which I will answer. Isaiah went up early and the thought was we'd be done with The Third Estate Sunday Review early. That didn't happen. Everyone was tired and when it was agreed we'd come back later in the evening for the editorial, Ty said only if we all agreed to get some sleep. When Jess advised that (as I'd guessed Saturday), Dexter Filkins grabbed the main story, I was fine with agreeing to that. I wasn't in the mood for Dexter for a number of reasons. I think any Iraq coverage was taken care of in "And the war drags on."
(On that entry, I wanted to note it as a joint entry but we were in disagreement on it and it needed to go up so I'll note it now. To do the Iraq snapshot at the top of it, I needed time. To get the time for that, Jess, Ava, Dona, Jim and Ty went through the e-mails and selected the highlights. Their feeling was that they didn't write anything in the entry so there shouldn't be credit. I was too tired to argue and it needed to go up. But they did work the accounts for this site to pull for the highlights, evaluate which ones they felt should be included, etc. That is a huge amount of work and they deserve credit for it and joint credit for the entry for doing that.)
Ruth's report wasn't completed. She sent in part of it and said it could be posted but she was still working on a section. I spoke with her this morning (we're in different time zones so it's not as early for her as it for me) and the problem is understanding a side issue from Law and Disorder (they're discussing a Court decision and a number of implications, Ruth needed more information about one of the implications). The plan is for us to talk later today when her grandson (Elijah) is down for his nap and she'll cover last week and today's (Law and Disorder airs on WBAI this morning at ten a.m. Eastern time, you can listen online) and it will be up either this evening or tomorrow morning.
Read Trina's "Potato Casserole in the Kitchen" and Betty's "The 'revolutionary' Thomas Friedman."
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