Thursday, July 20, 2006

NYT: Wong and Slackman play "smackdown" with al-Maliki

"The Israeli attacks and airstrikes are completely destroying Lebanon's infrastructure," Mr. Maliki said at an afternoon news conference inside the fortified Green Zone, which houses the American Embassy and the seat of the Iraqi government. "I condemn these aggressions and call on the Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo to take quick action to stop these aggressions. We call on the world to take quick stands to stop the Israeli aggression."

The above is from Edward Wong and Michael Slackman's "Iraqi Prime Minister Denounces Israel's Actions" in this morning's New York Times. Is the puppet forgetting who pulls the strings? Or maybe he missed Ewen MacAskill, Simon Tisdall and Patrick Wintour's "United States to Israel: You Have One More Week to Blast Hizbullah" (Guardian of London via of Common Dreams):

The US is giving Israel a window of a week to inflict maximum damage on Hizbullah before weighing in behind international calls for a ceasefire in Lebanon, according to British, European and Israeli sources.
[. . .]
"It's clear the Americans have given the Israelis the green light. They [the Israeli attacks] will be allowed to go on longer, perhaps for another week," a senior European official said yesterday. Diplomatic sources said there was a clear time limit, partly dictated by fears that a prolonged conflict could spin out of control.

Back to Wong and Slackman for one paragraph because it's rare that you read reality in the Times:

His stance is noteworthy because it is a significant split with American policy toward Israel. It has been the Americans' hope that Iraq would become President Bush's staunchest ally among Arab nations. The Americans arranged a series of elections that ended up putting Shiite parties in power, and the White House helped boost Mr. Maliki by pushing last spring for the ouster of the prime minister at the time, Ibrahim al-Jaafari. Mr. Maliki relies on the presence of 134,000 American troops in Iraq to stave off the insurgency led by Sunni Arabs, who ruled over the majority Shiite Arabs for decades.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that when al-Maliki comes out against US administrastion backed armed agression, the Times decides to give a very concise history (for them). Possibly when a puppet of the war predicted to surpass spending on Korea and Vietnam (second only to WWII) forgets his place as administration lacky and speaks out, the Times feels they can offer a "smackdown" (well when haven't they felt that way)?

Tom notes William Rivers Pitt's "Meanwhile, in Iraq ..." (Truth Out):

Every network television news program, every cable news station, every newspaper and every news web site has been covering, and will continue to cover, the horrific mayhem unfolding between Israel and Lebanon. Anyone seeking information on that situation will not struggle to find it. In fact, it has become something of a challenge to stay abreast of the continuing carnage in Iraq.
We still have tens of thousands of soldiers there. Nineteen of them have died since the beginning of July, and 2,553 have died since the whole thing started. 150 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the last three days, adding to the 6,000 civilians who have been killed in the last two months, adding to the tens of thousands who have been killed over the last three years.
A few days ago, the UK Times published an article titled "Baghdad Starts to Collapse as Its People Flee a Life of Death." The author, James Hider, offered a glimpse of life within a civil war. "I returned to Baghdad on Monday after a break of several months," wrote Hider, "during which I too was guilty of glazing over every time I read another story of Iraqi violence. But two nights on the telephone, listening to my lost and frightened Iraqi staff facing death at any moment, persuaded me that Baghdad is now verging on total collapse.
"Ali phoned me on Tuesday night, about 10:30 p.m.," continued Hider. "There were cars full of gunmen prowling his mixed neighbourhood, he said. He and his neighbours were frantically exchanging information, trying to identify the gunmen. Were they the Mahdi Army, the Shia militia blamed for drilling holes in their victims' eyes and limbs before executing them by the dozen? Or were they Sunni insurgents hunting down Shias to avenge last Sunday's massacre, when Shia gunmen rampaged through an area called Jihad, pulling people from their cars and homes and shooting them in the streets?"

And if you were only semi paying attention, the above is from Truth Out which is back up online.
Tom, Brenda, Cindy and Charlie all e-mailed to note that this morning. Phyllis Bennis ("The Gaza/Lebanon Crises: Escalating Occupation & Danger of New Border Fighting") and Robert Scheer will join Kris Welch today at KPFA's Living Room (noon Pacific Time) to address the armed agression in the Middle East.

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