A suicide bomber penetrated layers of security Monday to launch a deadly attack at a hotel frequented by foreign officials and news organizations. Twelve people were reported killed, officials said, including at least one sheik who was meeting with other tribal leaders and working with the United States to oppose al-Qaeda.
The bombing of the Mansour hotel was one of at least four attacks in Iraq Monday that were reported to have killed 40 people, Iraqi police and wire services said. In the deadliest incident, a suicide truck bomber drove an loaded oil tanker into the side of the Baiji police station, triggering an explosion that killed 18 police officers and inmates.
The above is from John Ward Anderson's "Wave of Suicide Bombings Kills at Least 40 in Iraq" (Washington Post). Lloyd and a visitor have both highlighted it and note that this is an ongoing report -- not in print -- meaning that it will go through drafts today as the news changes and more information comes in. Turning from the day's violence to examine the effects of this illegal war, we'll note the opening from Barbara Barrett's "Marine begins fight of life" (McClatchy Newspapers):
Marine Sgt. David "D.J." Emery Jr.'s life snapped into focus on the morning of April 23, two days after his baby girl was born. He studied the lower half of his hospital bed, then turned to his mother and, still unable to speak, mouthed this question: "What the f--- happened to my legs?"
For weeks, the young warrior's mother, his young wife and the doctors in the intensive care unit of the Bethesda National Naval Medical Center outside Washington had kept him clinging to this side of death.
But when Emery discovered that morning that his legs were gone, the fight became his.
He hates it.
It hurts when the physical therapist pushes hard on his stumps. He seals his eyes shut and blows a long, slow curse through his lips, like air seeping from a punctured tire. He’s humiliated when he tries to lift his body into a sitting position, loses his balance and nearly tumbles onto the ground.
He utters more curses and throws whatever is lying nearby with his only good limb - the left-handed Emery's right arm.
"I hate having to depend on people," Emery said last week, his voice quiet and raspy. He was lying on his stomach and being attended to by a physical therapist, his mother, Connie, and his wife, Leslie Shivery.
Wally's mother notes (not by e-mail, he's out here for a few weeks and she was just on the phone) Joanne Ostrow's "Showtime details trials of living the lie of 'Don't ask, don't tell'" (The Denver Post via South Florida Sun-Sentinel):
Semper Fi: One Marine's Journey premieres tonight on Showtime. A veteran of the independent film festival circuit, Semper Fi is one leatherneck's story, a tale of faith, patriotism, duty, family and, incidentally, sexuality.
Using scenes from his one-man stage play, along with video shot in Iraq and at his boyhood home in Alabama, Jeff Key recounts how he volunteered for the Marines at age 34, completed boot camp with men young enough to be his sons, became a lance corporal and served in Iraq, and then returned home heartbroken on many levels.
What he endured in Iraq, the politics of the conflict, his realization concerning what he describes as the real causes of the war, is compounded by the way he was treated by his branch of the service once he revealed his sexual orientation.
In addition to being a tough, 6-foot-5 action hero, Key has "journaling" capabilities. His writing is touching when he keeps it simple, distracting when he tries to be writerly.
Again, that is supposed to air tonight. More information on Semper Fi can be found here (Showtime website) and in this press release. Jeff Key is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Bonnie reminds me to note that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Pace and Gates frolic in Operation Happy Talk" and Ruth's Report went up yesterday. Marcia e-mails asking that I make something very clear and it's as though she'd read the public e-mail account. Ruth's Report is written by Ruth. She had some questions/issues while writing the last report. All I did was act as a sounding board. That's Ruth's work and she deserves credit for it. Marcia was correct that it needed to made clear because it is an issue in the public account. Ruth deserves all credit for her work all I did was listen.
Returning to the bombing (see top of the entry), Reuters reports that the Baghdad hotel bombing is "one of four attacks that killed a total of 41 people" in Iraq today. The US military announced today: "A Task Force Marne Soldier died in a small arms fire attack today." This death raises the total number of US service members killed in the illegal war since it began to 3560 and brings the total for the month to 83.
Finally, Martin notes "Manchester marchers challenge Gordon Brown over the Iraq war" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):
Around 5,000 protestors braved the Manchester rain on Sunday to join the Stop the War demonstration outside the Labour Party special conference that anointed Gordon Brown as the new party leader.
A lively group of school students joined a group of military families at the front of the march. Trade unions branches and Stop the War groups from around Britain brought delegations and banners to the protest.
Representatives from the Stop the War Coalition and Military Families Against the War handed in a petition signed by thousands from across Britain, calling on Gordon Brown to get the troops out of Iraq and to oppose any attack on Iran.
Eddie Hancock, whose son was killed in Iraq, told the rally in Manchester's Albert Square, "Gordon Brown should know that as he congratulates himself, his fawning cronies do not dictate his future -- we do.
"Our young soldiers have been illegally used and politically abused," he added.
Lindsey German, the convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, said, "We will march in any weather until the troops are home. Tony Blair is going this week. But he shouldn't be sitting in luxury houses and going on the lecture circuit in the US.
"He should be facing a war crimes tribunal. Gordon Brown should stop these policies, withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and not attack Iran. This is an impressive demonstration. We are saying to Gordon Brown that if you don’t change policies your legacy will be the same as Tony Blair."
The following should be read alongside this article:
» Pictures of Manchester Stop the War demonstration, 24 June 2007
Join the Military Families protest outside 10 Downing Street to wave goodbye to Tony Blair.
Wednesday 27 June from 10am, Whitehall
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