Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Other Items

Carl Conetta (Project on Defense Alternatives) is discussing Iraq with Andrea Lewis and Philip Maldari on KPFA's The Morning Show. If you are missing it, you can access it later today via their archives. Issues of readyness, recruitment, retention were discussed.

Re: recruitment, meeting target numbers means lowering standards, Conetta maintained, noting, "At what cost and what quality do you get?"

The revolt of the generals was the theme and if you turned in for talk of the G.I. revolt, I clearly misunderstood Sandra Lupien's heads up (on The KPFA Evening News) yesterday and we'll pin it on a drug induced haze (legal -- from surgery). My apologies. If I noted there would be two guests, one wasn't able to make it. If you missed the broadcast this morning, it was a historical look at how, prior to the invasion, the generals were in opposition to Rumsfeld and that has only increased.

Iraq Coalition Casualty Counts list the US troops fatalites in Iraq at 2708 since the beginning of the illegal war with 66 for the month thus far. This includes today's announcement by the US military of a Monday death, marine, in Al Anbar Province and the announcement of a soldier who also died Monday, also in the same area.

Today? CBS is calling it a "blood soaked morning in Iraq" --"Gunmen assaulted two Sunni mosques and sprayed bullets into Sunni homes in a mixed neighborhood in sectarian violence that killed three people and wounded 15, many of them attackers suspected of being followers of a radical Shiite cleric." That was in Baghdad, the location of the so-called 'crackdown' began in June and still having showed no real effects. (William Caldwell IV, the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone, is mentioned at CNN, the next link, and he admits it's been tough recently. Recently?) CNN reports that 17 corpses were discovered in Baghdad and that, since Sunday, 77 corpses have been found in the capital.

Reuters reports: "A U.S. raid and air strike killed eight people, including seven members of one family, and wounded two others in the town of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military and police said. The U.S. said the four men in the family of seven were suspected militants with links to al Qaeda." Aileen Alfandary, KPFA's The Morning Show, noted that among those killed in the airstrike was a pregnant woman. Alfandary also noted that war resister Agustin Aguayo turned himself in at Fort Irwin last night. Adrienne Ziegler covers this in "'I'm not a deserter or a coward'" (Desert Dispatch):

His story goes back to his unit's first deployment to Iraq in 2004, when he served as a combat medic. Shortly after arriving in Iraq, he applied for conscientious objector status and release from the Army but was denied by Army officials. During his time in Iraq, he went on guard duty with an unloaded weapon because he felt it was wrong to kill, according to his defense Web site.
At the beginning of September, Aguayo's unit again deployed for Iraq, only this time, Aguayo had pledged not to go with them. Awaiting a pending appeal for conscientious objector status, he missed the deployment of his unit and turned himself in to military police the next day, expecting a court-martial and whatever consequences would go with it.

Ziegler also notes Helga Aguayo (Agustin's wife) and her take on the events:

She and her two 11-year-old daughters are proud of the decisions Aguayo has made, even though he faces jail time and a dishonorable discharge from the Army.
"The greatest lesson he could teach (our daughters) is to stand up for what you believe in, and if you don't, you hurt the people around you," she said.
She said that she hopes that their experience will strengthen others to speak out against the war as well.
"I've come to believe that there is purpose in our suffering," she said. "If my husband can inspire one person to become a conscientious objector, then all this hassle was worth it."

As Canoe Live notes, war resister Darrell Anderson is scheduled to return to the US from Canada on Saturday. They and Alfandry both note that the Lincoln Group has recieved another US government contract despite it's use of propaganda (Alfandary noted that the New York Times is one of the outlets the Lincoln Group is being paid to monitor).

Yesterday we noted Tom Hayden's "One Hundred Iraqi MPs Try to Force a US Withdrawal Plan" (The Huffington Post) and this morning Martha notes Amit R. Paley's
"Most Iraqis Favor Immediate U.S. Pullout, Polls Show: Leaders' Views Out of Step With Public" (Washington Post) on the same topic of Iraqi opinion:

A strong majority of Iraqis want U.S.-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers.
In Baghdad, for example, nearly three-quarters of residents polled said they would feel safer if U.S. and other foreign forces left Iraq, with 65 percent of those asked favoring an immediate pullout, according to State Department polling results obtained by The Washington Post.

Another new poll, scheduled to be released on Wednesday by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, found that 71 percent of Iraqis questioned want the Iraqi government to ask foreign forces to depart within a year. By large margins, though, Iraqis believed that the U.S. government would refuse the request, with 77 percent of those polled saying the United States intends keep permanent military bases in the country.

There is hope for a snapshot today (as noted in the gina & krista round-robin) but I'm about to crawl back into bed. The plan is still to resume the normal schedule tomorrow. And, please check out Betty's note at Kat's site.

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