Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More on the Green Zone attack

Insurgents unleashed their most intense mortar attack to date on the Green Zone on Tuesday, killing 3 people and wounding 18, according to a statement from the American Embassy.
The attack set off a succession of explosions that could be heard on both sides of the Tigris River about 5:30 p.m. Multiple rounds landed inside the Green Zone, seat of the embassy and the Iraqi government. The attack came from northeast of the Green Zone, a predominantly Shiite area.

The above is from Alissa J. Rubin and Stephen Farrell's "Insurgents Fire Shells Into Baghdad’s Green Zone, Killing 3" in this morning's New York Times. And, as noted yesterday, one of the three was a member of the US military. Lloyd notes Sudarsan Raghavan's "Green Zone Is Hit By Barrage of Shells: American Killed; Attacks Becoming Frequent, Accurate" (Washington Post) on the same story:

U.S. military and Iraqi government officials have accused the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, of sending mortar and rocket fire into the Green Zone, although Sunni insurgents also are believed to use mortars.
On Tuesday morning, before the main barrage, one projectile landed inside the U.S. Embassy compound, according to a Western diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make the information public.

Now, this is from Aaron Glantz' "Peace Activist's Son Discovers Pain of War" (OneWorld):

The U.S. military has expelled the son of a leading peace activist for going AWOL after returning from a year tour in Iraq.
Specialist Shaun Manuel, whose father Michael McPhearson directs the organization Veterans for Peace, was given a bad-conduct discharge last month after failing to report for training for a second tour.
[. . .]
His father, Veterans for Peace Director Michael McPhearson, is helping Manuel file an appeal to regain his medical benefits. In the meantime, McPhearson sees the glass as half full. "I feel relief," he told OneWorld. "I was so concerned about him going into the military in the first place. Then he goes to Iraq, so there was a year of me saying 'Oh my God, is my son going to come back? How guilty am I going to feel if something happens to him?' Now I'm through all that. The worst thing that could happen now is that he does what many young people do, which is not to follow a good path in life." "But he's not going to be killed in Iraq," McPhearson said. "I know that. So I've just got be a good father and help him as best I can."

What's not in the story? I'm not able to play dumb nor do I want to. May 28th's "Cindy Sheehan" noted this. This is the story that outaged students because the father was going around expressing his anger. This is the story anyone even slightly involved and slightly in the peace movement knew about in May. Now his anger, the father's, was over his son going AWOL and, as I noted in that entry, sometimes parents have a hard time dealing with something when it's their own child (in the entry, I use the example of Cher and Chastity). I'm not in the mood for crap this morning. There have been repeated computer problems (on repeated computers) and I'm not willing to get my happy stamp out and put smiley faces all over this entry.

McPhearson pissed a lot of people off and you have no idea to read Glantz's article that it ever even happened. Again, it can be different when it's your own child. No question. But this it is in terms of this story. We're not going to be highlighting it in the snapshot and I'm not going to play stupid and act like it's a heart warming tale of a father and son.

This story moved through the peace movement in whispers. Then it took on a life of its own on campus. I was surprised it had already gotten out to students when they brought it up. (I certainly wasn't going around speaking about it.) The son is not a war resister, there's no reason for us to note him in the snapshot. There may be other reasons to note him and, if so, we will. But remarks were made and if you don't know about them, consider yourself not in the know. We're not charting or following the father. If he chooses to explain those remarks, they may (or may not) be noted here.

When the "Cindy Sheehan" entry went up, there were about 30 visitors trying to guess who the father and son were. If you were a visitor who e-mailed and are reading now, there's your answer. And you won't find it in Glantz' story. He may not know about it. But I do and I'm not going to play stupid. The organization took a hit on campus as a result of this (the father's reaction which was far fro private). Michael Franti did a wonderful thing for the organization (it's at their site) and I wanted to note it and link to it. But the word is out on this (though not in Glantz' article) and people were bothered in May and they are still bothered now. We'll be noting the annual conference but that's probably all we'll be doing with regards to that organization for some time.

And if the story's going to be told, it needs to be told in full. It isn't in that article. (Glantz may not know about it. If he doesn't, he may be the only one in the country following the peace movement that doesn't know about it by now, all these months later.)

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