Friday, January 05, 2007

Other Items

The foot was balanced on a shopping bag after being scooped up off the dirty street by a man in a track suit. There was no person to go with the limb. Nearby a charred body was still smoldering, smoke coming off the black corpse 45 minutes after the attack.
For 50 yards, the dead were scattered about, some in pieces, some whole but badly burned.
This violence on Thursday involved two bombs timed to go off one after another in the formerly upscale neighborhood of Mansour, which continues to be ripped apart by sectarian violence. Thirteen people were killed and 22 wounded, just a small fraction of the civilians killed across the country this week.
The first device went off at 10:15 a.m., probably a roadside bomb set on a timer, officials said.
The attack was apparently aimed at a gasoline station. Cars were lined up around the block waiting for fuel, and dozens of people, grasping large plastic jugs, hoped to buy heating fuel.
Just moments after the first explosion, a second, larger, car bomb detonated.

The above is from Marc Santora and Johan Spanner's "Deadly Blasts in Baghdad Leave Gruesome Traces" in this morning's New York Times. The paper kind-of, sort-of leaves the show funeral to note a bit of the violence in Iraq. Not all, not even all reported (47 corpses discovered in Baghdad on Thursday, one US soldier killed in Baghdad on Thursday -- both fall through the cracks).

Already this morning, Reuters reports two Iraqi translators and one civilian contractor (US) have been kidnapped in Basra and at least six Iraqis have been killed and three corpses have been discovered in Iskandariya.

Several e-mails about yesterday's Democracy Now! (which I didn't listen to yesterday but just caught this morning.) and I think Marcia's the most vocal. Marc Sandalow was allowed to present theories as fact and no one questioned him. Sandalow can claim whatever he wants provided he presents it as a claim. There is no excuse for Democracy Now! to allow that nonsense to air without being challenged. The thrust of his theory (presented as fact) is that George McGovern's calling for an end to the war resulted in a massive electoral loss. He then goes on to say that Dems are scared of that happening again.


It never happened as presented. McGovern did campaign on the issue of Vietnam. So did Nixon. Nixon campaigned on a 'secrect peace plan.' Repeatedly. Those too young to remember it are not excused from allowing nonsense to air -- for example, that only McGovern/Democrats made peace noises in 1972.

Are Dems scared today? They may be if their own knowledge of history is as revisionist or ignorant as what was presented on Democracy Now! yesterday without challenge. But after Ford was presented (without question or clarification) as 'the one' who gave amnesty to war resisters during Vietnam, it's really not surprising that the lie (and that's what it is -- whether the person repeating it intends to lie or not) that McGovern lost because he presented himself as a "peace candidate" got aired as well.

And Lucy notes Rebecca Solnit's "Good News We're Not Hearing About" (OpEd News):

Another grassroots groundswell that mattered was the immigrants' rights marches of last spring, which were launched with the surprising turnout in Los Angeles -- not the easiest city for walking and marching -- of more than a million Latinos and others defiant of crackdowns against immigrants. Similarly huge and passionate demonstrations, many organized by text messaging, Spanish-language radio, and other means, swept the nation. They demonstrated that immigrants were not going to be so easy to bully; the force of their numbers and passion left Republican plans to repress and to demonize immigrants, undocumented and otherwise, in disarray. The marches were jubilant and powerful, one of those no-going-back moments when a group decides never to be a silent victim again. The culminating marches on May Day were the first time in many decades that the U.S. had adequately joined the rest of the world in commemorating this worker's holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the Chicago labor march and rally in 1886.
Mexicans rose up in 2006, and the country seems to be on the brink of revolution, if citizen discontent is any measure. The city of Oaxaca was seized by its citizens and for many months functioned as an autonomous zone akin to the Paris Commune of 1871, until violent repression in November. After the stolen presidential election in the summer, millions of Mexicans took up residence in the streets of the capital to protest the corruption and model an alternative -- the huge occupation of the central zocalo (or plaza) and surrounding area experimented with mass democracy meetings in the open air, while Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the Mexico-City mayor who probably actually won the election, set up a shadow government. The Zapatistas, a dozen years after their appearance on the world stage, continued to play a role in Mexican politics.
The Bush Administration continued its slide into ignominy as even the craven politicians who had waved flags and followed orders during the long patriotic nightmare after 9/11 found it safe and useful to attack the administration. Many Republican candidates declined to appear with the president, and Cheney made his mark this year largely by shooting a major campaign contributor in the face while attempting to shoot birds just released from cages for the purpose -- perhaps an allegory for the voting public. Though some good candidates won election and Congress and the Senate went to the Democrats, the Democrats as a whole will at best endorse victories won elsewhere, which is why the grassroots matter so much.
It was a lousy year to be a Republican president, though not nearly as bad as being a U.S. soldier or an Iraqi citizen. A number of highly visible defections from the war in Iraq made a difference in 2006, notably that of Lieutenant Ehren Watada, a Japanese-American officer from Hawaii who refused to serve in what he called "an illegal and immoral war." Recruiting kids to serve in the military became harder than ever, and recruiters fought back with ever-lowering standards, ballooning bonuses and, according to many sources, packs of lies.

Finally, remember that Dahr Jamail was the guest for the full hour on KPFA's Flashpoints yesterday. Rebecca's "nora barrows-friedman interviewed dahr jamail on flashpoints" offers an overview of the interview conducted by Nora Barrows-Friedman and the program is archived for those interested in listening to it (go to KPFA or Flashpoints).

The e-mail address for this site is