Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Other Items

Mr. Maliki, in a statement after the meeting, said Iraq's government was determined to persuade Parliament to approve several proposals that the Americans had identified as benchmarks, including an oil law that could more evenly distribute revenues to provinces and among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. He emphasized, however, that the country’s priority should be developing its security forces to fight insurgents.
[. . .]
Although sectarian violence continues in Iraq every day, he said, "We have eliminated the danger of sectarian war."

The above is from Damien Cave's "Second U.S. Official Presses Iraqi Premier for Action" in this morning's New York Times, about John Negroponte's 'visit'. Negroponte stormed in like a slum lord demanding rent for a rundown hovel -- a day after the threatening building manager, William Fallon, visited with his trampy girlfriend (War Pornographer Michael Gordon) in tow.

The puppet's feeling the pressure. Happy to strut and pose (and line his pockets) and now Gordo's heavy breathing in his ear ("It's crunch time!") and the puppet has to do the impossible, be a leader. He can't. He doesn't have the support of the Iraqis and that's only more true as the violence continues, as he goes after the offices of (Iraqi) president, vice president, etc. al-Maliki being in 'power' hasn't translated into an improvement in Iraqi lives and, the one time he tried to stand up for the people, how ineffectual and powerless he is was publicly exposed. That would be the walls going up in Baghdad. From out of the country, he stated that they would cease, that he did not approve of them. The Iraqi military didn't wait even 24 hours before making statements to the press about how they'd continue construction (with the US military -- let's be clear on that).

So as it all winds down for al-Maliki and he begins to scan his memory for past US' puppets over the decades and pin down which one he may go out like, he gets more and more rattled and Cave's quote really sums that up:

Although sectarian violence continues in Iraq every day, he said, "We have eliminated the danger of sectarian war."

The puppet never had power, only the illusion of it and a perfect example of the realities for Iraqis can be found in Tina Susman and Zeena Kareem's "Early cholera season adds to Iraq's woes" (Los Angeles Times):

Iraq has reported five cases of cholera among children in the last three weeks, a worrying sign as summer sets in and the war leaves sewage and sanitation systems a shambles.
All of the cases were among children younger than 12 in the southern city of Najaf and were reported by medical officials on alert for signs of the potentially lethal ailment, Claire Hajaj of the United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, said Tuesday. Cholera, which is caused by bacteria in contaminated water, is easily treatable, but if not treated it can cause rapid dehydration and death. Cholera pandemics have killed tens of thousands of people worldwide, most recently in South America in the early 1990s.
Although the number of cases so far is low, and none has been fatal, the emergence of cholera this early in the year is ominous, Hajaj said. Cholera outbreaks usually don't arise until July, when temperatures can soar above 120 degrees.
As the temperature rises, Iraq's chronic electricity shortages make it difficult to operate pumps at sewage and drinking-water treatment plants, creating a dangerous mix of desperate people and dirty water.

For all the hiding behind the puppet, the reality is the US administration that started this illegal war has never taken responsibility for securing basic services, has never made basic services a priority. And let's leave the Bully Boy for a moment to point out (again) that the the Democratically controlled Congress had plenty of 'benchmarks' in their original Pelosi-Reid measure but no interest in vaccinations, no interest in anything.

Oh, that was hilarious. I'm dictating around links I copied and pasted earlier. Jim and I are in a cab and NPR's playing. They're reading e-mails and one felt the need to weigh in that maybe "we" focus on celebrities because there are so many tragedies in the world which he goes on to list: Darfur, Iraq . . . I can't repeat Jim's comment but let's note again, the US has declared war on Iraq, an ongoing (illegal war) has killed approximately one million Iraqis and 3513 American service members. But let's note, again, what gets noted first. Well when you have $15 million to spend advertising in 2006, is it really a surprise?

Mike (apparently speaking for many to judge by the e-mails I was able to read this morning), noted the following and said, "If you're going to highlight something beyond MSM, make it something useful:"

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The e-mail address for this site is The issue everyone's talking about has been turned over to Beth. She'll be addressing it in her column Friday.