Monday, April 02, 2007

Reality while John goes a little crazy -- maybe not a little

In some months the military hospital in Balad sees more than 500 wounded soldiers from northern Iraq alone, said Staff Sgt. Tanisha Denton. Sergeant Denton offered Colonel Sutherland and his soldiers a familiar admonition: "Don't take offense, but I don't want to see any of you back here for a while." But five and a half hours later they were back. Five soldiers wounded as As Sadah arrived, as well as three from the Fifth Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment shot on patrol in Baquba.
Colonel Sutherland moved from patient to patient, seeing newly woundedsoldiers who now lie next to patients he visited just a few hours earlier.

The above is from Richard A. Oppel Jr.'s "A Salute for His Wounded, a Last Touch for His Dead" which runs on the front page of the New York Times. Did Crazy John McCain make a visit there? (No.) And does Crazy John McCain talk about the malnutrition in Iraq? No. In his 'safer' Baghdad (located slightly to the north of his shoulders, planted firmly in his otherwise empty head), things are just groovy. In the real world, IRIN reports "Fleeing relief workers leave gap in aid delivery:"

Iraq is the deadliest country in the world for aid workers, specialists say. Treated as Western collaborators by insurgents and assumed to have sectarian bias by militias, they face death on a daily basis in the course of meeting the needs of an increasingly desperate population.
"I cannot stay in Iraq anymore. The situation for aid workers has been getting very difficult over the past few months. We are being targeted so I started look for refuge in a European country or in the US," Samir Marouf, a 33-year-old aid worker, said.
Marouf has been working as volunteer for various aid agencies in Iraq since January 2005. When he began, he never imagined that he would one day receive death threats for helping a neutral organisation feed people in need. Now, he is desperate to get his wife and daughter out of the country.
"One of our colleagues was killed two months ago while trying to deliver aid to a neighbourhood in Sadr City [a Shia-dominated area of Baghdad]. Militants stopped his car and asked for his documents. When they saw from his surname that he was a Sunni Muslim, they took him away. His body was found two days later near the capital. He was going to help their [militants’] Shia relatives but they killed him."

In the real world the killing and the dying continues. Oliver notes Ali al-Fadhily's "Fallujah Fears a 'Genocidal Strategy'" (IPS):

Iraqis in the volatile al-Anbar province west of Baghdad are reporting regular killings carried out by U.S. forces that many believe are part of a 'genocidal' strategy.
Since the mysterious explosion at the Shia al-Askari shrine in Samara in February last year, more than 100 Iraqis have been killed daily on average, without any forceful action by the Iraqi government and the U.S. military to stop the killings.
U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces working with them are also executing people seized during home raids and other operations, residents say.
"Seventeen young men were found executed after they were arrested by U.S. troops and Fallujah police," 40-year-old Yassen of Fallujah told IPS. "My two sons have been detained by police, and I am terrified that they will have the same fate. They are only 17 and 18 years old."
Residents of Fallujah say the local police detention centre holds hundreds of men, who have had no legal representation.
Others are killed by random fire that has long become routine for U.S. and Iraqi soldiers. Sa'ad, a 25-year-old from the al-Thubbat area of western Fallujah was killed in such firing.

And we're not done yet. Reuters notes a truck bombing in Kirkuk has left 12 dead (150 injured), a Khalis bombing that killed 3 (20 injured), 21 corpses discovered near Baquba (including the corpses of 19 people kidnapped yesterday) and two bombings in Baghdad that have claimed at least 4 lives with 14 wounded.

And how that's puppet government doing about pushing through the bidding of the White House? From Alexandra Zavis' "U.S.-backed political goals elusive for Iraq" (Los Angeles Times):

Iraqi politicians have made little headway in months of backroom wrangling on the so-called benchmarks for continued U.S. support, and observers say it is unlikely they will ever agree on some of the most difficult problems.
Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has promised to ensure passage of two measures that the Bush administration considers critical to stabilizing Iraq: a deal on sharing the country's oil wealth and relaxation of rules barring members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from the government and military. Yet neither step has made it to the floor of parliament. Other measures also have languished, including discussion of a plan to disband militias, partial amnesty for insurgents, scheduling of local elections and action on constitutional amendments.

Zavis' article was noted yesterday but the link wasn't included. Dustin e-mailed today to note that. Illustration below from Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts.


In the face of all the above, Crazy John McCain pulls another from the Beatles songbook to sing:

I've got to admit it's getting better, better
A little better all the time, it can't get no worse
I have to admit it's getting better, better
It's getting better since you've been mine

McCain can't carry a tune. If this were American Idol, maybe he could be voted off? As it is, we're stuck with Crazy John pushing Operation Happy Talk.

Remember this airs today on WBAI (time given is EST, you can listen over the airwaves or online):

Monday, April 2, 2-3pm
Spiritual leader Agnes Baker Pilgrim, one of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, talks about a new book, "Grandmothers Counsel the World"; activist-artists Joan Wile and Vinie Burroughs, founders of Grandmothers Against the War, talk about their expanding movement, Grandmothers for Peace International; and jazz vocalist Sachal Vasandani talks about his new CD, "Eyes Wide Open." Hosted by Janet Coleman and David Dozer.

And, for those who only have computer access at work, "Ruth's Report" went up Saturday as did
Kat's "Kat's Korner: Holly Near Shows Up" which is her review of Holly Near's new CD Show Up. The e-mail address for this site is