I miss my son
I miss my home
I miss green grass and beautiful flowers in my garden
I miss my extended family, we can't visit any more
I miss our gatherings on Thursdays
I miss walking to the roundabout, with my kids, for exercise every evening
I miss Mutanebbi Street on Friday mornings, where I bought countless second-hand books -- the only kind there are.
The above is from Sahar's "Just a tale to tell" (Inside Iraq, McClatchy Newspapers) reflections on some of the things lost as the illegal war continues and continues and drags on. Kayla noted the above and Inside Iraq is the blog where Iraqis working for McClatchy Newspapers post observations from their experiences, it may be something that happened that day or recently or it may be a reflection. At a time when so much of the coverage at domestic outlets reads as if it's written by an American who went to France and spent the entire visit inside a McDonald's, Inside Iraq is a place where you can hear Iraqis speaking for themselves.
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 2 lives and left at least 16 wounded. Reuters notes that the toll has risen to 4 dead and 22 wounded while a roadside bombing outside Yousifiya claimed the life of an Iraqi soldier and left at least three more wounded.
While Barack Obama tries to play outraged that the Iraqi Parliament will take August off (when daily tempertaures will be over 100 degrees and while he prepares for his own month long break as Congress shuts down from August 3rd to September 4th -- which is actually over 30 days), Stephen Farrell's "In Baghdad, the search for ice becomes a deadly struggle" (New York Times owned International Herald Tribune) notes some of the realities that the inexperienced Barack Obama is unaware of:
Each day before the midsummer sun rises high enough to bake blood on concrete, Baghdad's underclass lines up outside Dickensian ice factories.
With electricity reaching most homes for just a couple of hours each day, the poor hand over soiled brown dinars for what has become a symbol of Iraq's steady descent into a more primitive era and its broken covenant with leaders, domestic and foreign. In a capital that was once the seat of the Islamic Caliphate and a center of Arab worldliness, ice is now a currency of last resort for the poor, subject to sectarian horrors and gangland rules.
In the New York Times, Stephen Farrell offers "Americans Call In Airstrike in Clash With Shiite Militia" and we'll highlight the attack on Iraqi civilians:
Mahdi Army officials said that American and Iraqi forces arrived by air and that the battle lasted from 1:30 a.m. until 4 a.m. Karbala’s governor and city council members immediately denounced the strike, saying it was carried out without advance consultation; they allege that the Americans have previously agreed to notify them before raids on the sacred city.
[. . .]
An American military statement said the airstrikes killed about a dozen insurgents. The statement disputed the allegation that civilians had been killed, saying, "No Iraqi civilians were present in the area while the strike was performed," without disclosing how the military confirmed that.
With more problems for the puppet, Martha highlights this from Megan Greenwell and Saad al-Izzi's "Maliki Aide Lashes Out Over Sunni Demands" (Washington Post):
The Shiite-led Iraqi government issued a sharp response Friday to a Sunni political bloc that is threatening to pull out of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's administration, saying the group's "threatening, pressuring and blackmail" will not impede Iraq's progress.
In a four-page statement, Maliki's spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, dismissed each of the 11 demands made by the Iraqi Accordance Front, the country's largest Sunni political group. Dabbagh accused the Accordance Front of working for its own political gains rather than for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
In the New York Times, James Glanz zooms in on the fact that the Iraqi government is refusing to take over projects abandoned by American contractors. He seems to miss or bury the point which is in this paragraph:
The United States often promotes the number of rebuilding projects, like power plants and hospitals, that have been completed in Iraq, citing them as signs of progress in a nation otherwise fraught with violence and political stalemate. But closer examination by the inspector general's office, headed by Stuart W. Bowen Jr., has found that a number of individual projects are crumbling, abandoned or otherwise inoperative only months after the United States declared that they had been successfully completed. The United States always intended to hand over projects to the Iraqi government when they were completed.
Expecting the US installed Iraqi government to be foolish enough to grab up the left overs (and take the blame that will follow) is a bit naive. It's like reading Dilbert and seeing everyone rush to grab a project failure that can't be fixed from a co-worker who has destroyed it. No one wants to get left holding the bag. Grabbing on to projects that US contractors refused to finish is grabbing onto all of the blame because that's how it will play out. It won't be, "Iraqis did the best they could after US contractors shorted projects and bailed." It will be, "American contractors had done much of the work, then Iraqis took over and now it's nowhere near completetion" (or nowhere near working).
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