Friday, November 10, 2006

Other Items (Danny Schechter on KPFA's Living Room today)

One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died Thursday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.

The above was noted today by the US military as was this:

Two 89th Military Police Brigade Soldiers were killed and one Soldier was wounded Thursday after their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device at 12:48 p.m. Thursday in west Baghdad.

Those giving the occasional lip service to being opposed to the war but unable to cover it, war resisters or the peace movement should note the above and grasp that they prolong the illegal war by their silence. (Before some blogger takes offense, I'm not speaking of blogs.)

Memorial services honoring fallen soldiers from the First Battalion, 22nd Infantry in Iraq used to require planning meetings of as long as 45 minutes. But at this point, they take barely five.
"We're here again," said Chaplain John Hill. A roadside bomb had killed yet another soldier from the battalion the day before. He began to recite the unit's "memorial ceremony execution matrix," a 40-item checklist of tasks that includes everything from collecting personal effects to finding a singer.

The above is from Michael Luo and Michael Wilson's "When Soldiers Fall, Grief Binds a Unit’s 2 Worlds" in this morning's New York Times. Martha notes Ann Scott Tyson's "Rumsfeld Speaks on Iraq and Legacy" (Washington Post) and we're zooming in on this section, read carefully:

But some inside the Pentagon -- including senior military officials -- had stronger opinions on Rumsfeld and his departure.
"Rumsfeld is a distraction," said one senior military officer. "What did he do to help the president? What did he do to help the Republican Party?" he asked, suggesting that the defense secretary should have left months ago.

Shouldn't the question be about the war? "What did he do to help the Republican Party?" That's a concern for a "senior military officer" or a GOP operative? Martha also notes that for a humorous look at Rumsfled, refer to Wally's "THIS JUST IN! RUMSFELD TALKS!" and Cedric's "Rumsfled sits for an exclusive (humor)" from yesterday. Let me plug Rebecca who will be addressing a gas bag on Democracy Now! determined to push his own agenda and facts be damned. Cokie Roberts is alive and well and inhabiting gas bags across the nation. (You're clue to gas baggery, when someone is supposed to be discussing facts but is too busy offering that Barak Obama is a "rock star.") I'm on the phone with Rebecca right now and let me just note that one of the most idiotic statements the gas bag makes (and he makes many) is something she won't address because we're addressing it (Harold Ford Jr.) at The Third Estate Sunday Review. There's something that wasn't noted by the mainstream this week. It was run, but they didn't note it. We'll be noting it at The Third Estate Sunday Review and gas bags would do well to stop propping Ford up as a brave voice for race. If I heard the gas bag correctly on a "pin" one candidate wore, he might want to try gathering some information before gas bagging. Rebecca's sitting on it because NO ONE has noted it. Possibly it didn't run online? But she'll have a great deal to say on the topic. Look for it to go up after the snapshot goes up here today. (I'm going to attempt to get it up earlier than usual so that she can get her post up. I did tell her she could do her post without it but she wants to include the snapshot.) (And that's been addressed at other sites but, for anyone who missed it, Keesha and others requested that. I didn't.) I'll also add that after the gas baggery (and not everyone participating is a gas bag, I heard one woman who stuck to data and what it said), Elizabeth Holtzman and Daniel Ellsberg are guests on Democracy Now! today.

Sabrina Tavernise looks at the puppet/ruling class in Iraq (and notes they meet in the heavily fortified, heavily protected Green Zone) in "American Political Shift Linked to the War Is Met With a Shrug by Baghdad's Elite:"

The Shiites, for their part, were angry that the Sunnis were insisting on a bigger role in government. The Sunnis chose to boycott politics in the early months of the occupation, they said, a decision that cost them their say in the early efforts to form a new Iraqi government.
The anger was not helped by the 10 lethal mortar attacks across Baghdad since Sunday that have killed 15 people and wounded 87. Mortars shot by militants of both sects are an ever-more-popular way to carry out sectarian killings here.
In an off-the-cuff estimate of Iraqi civilian casualties, Iraq's health minister, Ali al-Shimari, said on an official visit to Vienna that 150,000 Iraqis had been killed in violence since the American invasion, according to The Associated Press. He did not say whether the figure included the deaths of Iraqi Army soldiers and police officers. The figure assumes a monthly death toll of 3,300, about the national toll given by the United Nations for July.

While al-Shemari didn't note whether police officers were included, someone else did. The AP report that we noted yesterday states:

No official count has ever been available, and Health Minister Ali al-Shemari did not detail how he arrived at the new estimate of 150,000, which he provided to reporters during a visit to the Austrian capital.
But later Thursday, Hassan Salem, of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, said the 150,000 figure included civilians, police and the bodies of people who were abducted, later found dead and collected at morgues run by the Health Ministry. SCIRI is Iraq's largest Shiite political organization and holds the largest number of seats in parliament.

And today, Danny Schechter will be a guest on Kris Welch's Living Room on KPFA (noon Pacific, two Central, three p.m. Eastern -- you can listen online, no registration, no survey, no fee).

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