In violence on Tuesday, militants shot at a minibus in Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad, killing 10 passengers, including a child, and wounding three, the police said. In Latifiya, another town south of Baghdad, insurgents opened fire on pedestrians and cars, killing three civilians and wounding five, according to an Iraqi police official.
Four mortar attacks around Baghdad killed seven people and wounded 20, an Interior Ministry official said. For the second day in a row, the Green Zone was hit by at least six mortar shells fired from a Shiite district of eastern Baghdad. No casualties were reported.
The above is from Kirk Semple's "Iraqi Officials Say Top Qaeda Leader May Have Been Killed" in this morning's New York Times. Remember Chris Kraul's "Iraq's civilian toll grows" (Los Angeles Times)? Well the above two paragraphs is all the Times of New York can give you on the violence. Kraul's article notes the violence, Semple's off on an "Ain't Nothing But a Maybe" streak about it may be an al Qaeda leader is dead, it may not be. (Diana Ross is the album the Ashford & Simpson song appears on to answer Susan's question from yesterday.)
There is no "maybe" as to whether or not the US military reported a death yesterday -- that happened. There is no "maybe" that 15 corpses were discovered in Baghdad yesterday -- that happened. Those and other events happened -- they just didn't get reported in the New York Times which was far more interested in speculation that can't be verified.
Speculation that can't be verified? Al Qaeda? Yes, you would think that the paper, of all outlets, would have so much shame on those combined topics that they'd know better. But apparently reality is less important than gossip and chit-chat. One Times offers reality, the other plays Ethel Mertz.
How bad are things in Iraq? Matthew Lee (AP) reports that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has added Iraq to it's watch list. The commission is not an independent body, which makes their decision something of a suprise.
This is from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom's press release announcing that move:
This year the Commission has added Iraq to its Watch List, due to the alarming and deteriorating situation for freedom of religion and belief. Despite ongoing efforts to stabilize the country, successive Iraqi governments have not adequately curbed the growing scope and severity of human rights abuses. Although non-state actors, particularly the Sunni-dominated insurgency, are responsible for a substantial proportion of the sectarian violence and associated human rights violations, the Iraqi government also bears responsibility. That responsibility takes two forms. First, the Iraqi government has engaged in human rights violations through its state security forces, including arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention without due process, extrajudicial executions, and torture. These violations affect suspected Sunni insurgents, but also ordinary Sunnis who are targeted on the basis of their religious identity. Second, the Iraqi government tolerates religiously based attacks and other religious freedom abuses carried out by armed Shi'a factions including the Jaysh al-Mehdi (Mahdi Army) and the Badr Organization. These abuses include abductions, beatings, extrajudicial executions, torture and rape. Relationships between these para-state militias and leading Shi'a factions within Iraq's ministries and governing coalition indicate that these groups operate with impunity and often, governmental complicity. Although many of these militia-related violations reveal the challenges evident in Iraq’s fragmented political system, they nonetheless reflect the Iraqi government's tolerance--and in some instances commission--of egregious violations of religious freedom. Finally, the Commission also notes the grave conditions for non-Muslims in Iraq, including ChaldoAssyrian Christians, Yazidis, and Sabean Mandaeans, who continue to suffer pervasive and severe violence and discrimination at the hands of both government and non-government actors. The Commission has added Iraq to its Watch List with the understanding that it may designate Iraq as a CPC next year if improvements are not made by the Iraqi government.
Now this group is not Amnesty. It's an arm of the government that largely provides cover for foreign policy aims so the fact that it's taken this (small) step is news. (And another sign of how the establishment continues to turn on Bully Boy's war.)
As Rebecca addressed last night, the tape of the Kent State Massacre is being whitewashed by some. You can hear the recording yourself:
Listen to the order to shoot given by the Ohio National Guard
In the Times (New York), Christopher Maag doesn't play the "I couldn't hear -- the auditorium was so crowded" nonsense. He does note that the recording still needs to be "confirmed as authentic." It's rather amazing that a massacre, one that's not been long enough for all who lived during the period to have died off, is getting so little attention (Maag's "Kent State Tape Is Said to Reveal Orders" is on A15). "Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!" is what you're supposed to be able to hear.
What else is missing in the paper? The rallies across the country yesterday aren't front page, they're a minor story buried on A16. Democracy Now! devotes a large portion of the today's show to covering the story.
Betty will be filling in for Rebecca tonight. (Yes, it is a Wednesday.) There are some things members wanted noted. For the record, Bully Boy's decision to veto isn't a surprise. We're not noting a bunch of junk to save a Democratic measure that accomplishes nothing. Life is too short to waste it on b.s. and it's much too short to take part in lying. Pretending that if Bully Boy hadn't vetoed the bill, the illegal war would be ending is for children, fools and liars. This site doesn't exist to provide cover for Dems because maybe (!!!!) if they get into power -- oops, they are -- if they get overwhelming power in DC (!) they'll do something! Time is too limited for all of us. We're not wasting it on pep rallies for timid Democrats.
Carter wanted this from PDA noted (Progressive Democrats of America):
Sparked by an insurgency among delegates, the California Democratic Party has taken
an historic step forward on the issue of impeachment. In a resolution affirmed by
the full state party convention Sunday, the Democrats called on the U.S. Congress to use
its subpoena power to investigate misdeeds of President Bush and Vice President Cheney --
and to hold the Administration accountable "with appropriate remedies and
punishment, including impeachment." The delegate insurgency was coordinated by PDA and our allies.
While Speaker Pelosi had declared impeachment "off the table," the Democratic Party rank-and-file has demonstrated its commitment to putting the issue "on" the table. And it's no longer just the rank-and-file: Even among the members of the convention's Resolutions Committee
(appointed by the California Party chair), the impeachment resolution was the top vote-
getter (tied with one other resolution).
Please continue to support our efforts nation-wide, by making a quick donation:
Coming on the heels of mass actions and resolutions across the country in support of
impeachment, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s introduction of Articles of Impeachment against Cheney, this action by the powerful California Democratic Party builds on the pro-impeachment momentum.
The resolution refers to Bush and Cheney having acted in a manner "subversive of the
Constitution" by. . .
1) using false information to justify the invasion of Iraq
2) authorizing "the torture of prisoners of war"
3) "authorizing wiretaps on U.S. citizens without obtaining a warrant"
4) "disclosing the name of an undercover CIA operative"
5) suspending "the historic Writ of Habeas Corpus by ordering the indefinite detention
of so-called enemy combatants"
6) "signing statements used to ignore or circumvent portions of over 750 Congressional statutes"
The resolution ends by calling for "vigorous investigation" and "appropriate remedies and punishment, including impeachment." (Read the resolution:
This was an example of the Party grassroots speaking its mind, and the Party officials
responding to the call. This action represents the successful culmination of PDA's one-month, eleven-city barnstorming tour across California -- aimed at putting impeachment and ending the occupation of Iraq at the top of the Party's agenda.
Thanks to all your help and support - we really are making a difference!
Julie got this in the mail from Sir! No Sir! We've been noting the broadcast (Sundance Channel) in the Iraq snapshots each day for a week or two but it's an amazing documentary and if you haven't seen it yet and do have access to Sundance, it will air Monday May 7th:
CHECK IT OUT AND PASS IT ON!!!
IT TAKES ALL OF US TO GET THE WORD OUT!!!
+LET EVERYONE YOU KNOW IN ON THESE EXTRAORDINARY FILMS+
On Monday May 7th 2007...there will be an historic night of GI resistance on national television as the Sundance Channel presents the U.S. broadcast premiere of both
Sir! No Sir! and The Ground Truth:
Sir! No Sir!Monday, May 7
The Sundance Channel
9 pm Pacific and Eastern
Check your local listings for Central and Mountain times.The Ground Truth
Monday, May 7
The Sundance Channel
10:30 pm Pacific and Eastern
Check your local listings for Central and Mountain times.
This is a wonderful chance for millions of people to see these films that, together, link the tremendous movement of American soldiers against the Vietnam war with the growing opposition
among soldiers to the Iraq war today.
MAKE MAY 7TH A DAY THAT SPARKS A SURGE IN OPPOSITION AMONG SOLDIERS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS TO THIS HIDEOUS WAR .
*After all, one good surge deserves another*
WE URGE YOU TO GRAB THIS OPPORTUNITY.
1. Not Everyone has the Sundance Channel...
2. So if you do, PLEASE organize a house party to watch the films
and spread their influence among soldiers and civilians alike.
3. If you don't, find someone who does and offer to bring the chips.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ALREADY EXTRAORDINARY EFFECTS SIR! NO SIR! HAS HAD ON ACTIVE DUTY SOLDIERS AND VETS!!!
In preparation, to help spread the films, WWW.SIRNOSIR.COM is offering these specials:The Director's Edition DVD of the film and 1 1/2 hours of additional stories will be on SALE through May 15th $19.95 (from $23.95)
The Limited Edition DVD, with the film and "Punk Ass Crusade" counter-recruitment video,
is now available in bulk at a DISCOUNTED RATE:
5 for $50
10 for $80
15 for $105
20 for $120
(All plus shipping and handling)
CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT HOW VETERANS FOR PEACE HAS USED SIR! NO SIR! FOR RESISTANCE
The Ground Truth is also available in bulk at http://groundtruthstore.seenon.com/
PLEASE DO ALL YOU CAN TO MAKE USE OF THIS NATIONAL BROADCAST.
SEND THIS EMAIL TO YOUR LIST AND MYSPACE FRIENDS,
AND MAKE SURE YOUR ORGANIZATIONS POST
AND SEND THIS E-BLAST OUT AS WELL . . .
ENCOURAGE THE RESISTANCE!
I'm pressed for time this morning (I'm sure the Betty announcement earlier has most already 'in the know'). So I don't have time to hunt down links. But we've all addressed this film at community sites. Sir! No Sir! is amazing documentary. (And the movie poster makes a very nice addition to your home -- whether you frame it or just pin it up. Soundtrack is also amazing.) Helga Aguayo, Agustin Aguayo's wife, has spoken of the impact the documentary had on him. It has an impact on anyone who sees it. It traces the resistance within the military during Vietnam. There are stories that will that will grab you by the heart, stories that will grab you by the throat. It's an amazing film -- you know that if you've seen it. We'll continue to note it in the snapshots through the airing.
That's it for this morning. The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
thomas friedman is a great man
sex and politics and screeds and attitude
the new york times
sir no sir