Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 6 lives (thirty wounded) and 10 corpses discovered the capital and drops back to yesterday to note an Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Kirkuk and Joseph Abed Ibrahemm was also shot dead in Kirkuk which was also the setting for the kidnapping of an Iraqi soldier. Reuters updates the number killed in the Baghdad car bombing to 7 (the number wounded remains the same) and notes a ban in the capital on motorcyles, carts and bicycles, while dropping back to yesterday to note an Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Baghdad yesterday and a civilian was shot dead in Najaf.
On the ban, CNN reports: "The Interior Ministry said that as of 6 p.m. (10 a.m. ET) and until further notice, Iraq's capital will be under the ban. The faithful are headed to Karbala to commemorate Sha'abaniya, the birthday of the Mehdi, the 12th imam revered by Shiites." They also note a 'foreign fighter' (not from the 'coalition') has been arrested in Iraq and, yet again, it's not an Iranian (he's Egyptian).
Carlos notes "Patience has limits" (Inside Iraq, McClatchy Newspapers' blog where Iraqi journalists blog)
Those people who were able to say no to Saddam they will be able too to say no to new tyrants.
Yes, the government must understand that Iraqi people can't be patient forever. The day will come when Iraqi people will say no again.
They can't watch daily tragedy in all of Iraq, or the sectarian fight in which governmental parties are involved and foreign influence from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Washington.
The day will come when the Iraqis will create their reality by themselves.
McClatchy Newspapers has another blog from Iraq, this one by Leila Fadel, and Lynda highlights from it writing that if Bully Boy's so concerned about vocab, he should learn the word "Enaalso." From Fadel's "The Changing Language of War" (Baghdad Observer):
Two days ago an entire Sunni family was killed. The next day the Mahdi Army came back to kill a Shiite witness, he said. His family was spared, they live outside Iraq.
"Enaalso," he said in Iraqi slang. It's a new Iraqi word, a phrase used to explain being turned in by an informant to a militia and then being killed. Literally it means he was "chewed up."
It's what Iraqis now repeatedly say to explain the killings of families by militias that control their neighborhoods with fear and weapons; a word to explain the corpses that show up in the streets.
From Tina Susman's "GIs' morale dips as Iraq war drags on" (Los Angeles Times), we'll note:
In the dining hall of a U.S. Army post south of Baghdad, President Bush was on the wide-screen TV, giving a speech about the war in Iraq.
The soldiers didn't look up from their chicken and mashed potatoes.
As military and political leaders prepare to deliver a progress report on the conflict to Congress next month, many soldiers are increasingly disdainful of the happy talk that they say commanders on the ground and White House officials are using in their discussions about the war.
Steven R. Hurst (AP) reports:
Baghdad, however, still accounts for slightly more than half of all war-related killings -- the same percentage as a year ago, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.
The tallies and trends offer a sobering snapshot after an additional 30,000 U.S. troops began campaigns in February to regain control of the Baghdad area. It also highlights one of the major themes expected in next month's Iraq progress report to Congress: some military headway, but extremist factions are far from broken.
In street-level terms, it means life for average Iraqis appears to be even more perilous and unpredictable.
The AP tracking includes Iraqi civilians, government officials, police and security forces killed in attacks such as gunfights and bombings, which are frequently blamed on Sunni suicide strikes. It also includes execution-style killings -- largely the work of Shiite death squads. The figures are considered a minimum based on AP reporting. The actual numbers are likely higher, as many killings go unreported or uncounted. Insurgent deaths are not a part of the Iraqi count.
And ". . . Brig. Gen. Richard Sherlock, deputy director for operational planning for the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said violence in Iraq "has continued to decline and is at the lowest level since June 2006." He offered no statistics to back his claim . . ."
Jeremy Pelofsky (Reuters) reports Bully Boy used his radio address today as a forum from which he "pleaded with Americans" to allow his illegal war to continue. Reuters also notes that Iraq's "1920 Revolution Brigade" will no longer be called "insurgents" but instead "concerned local nationals" according to US Col. David Sutherland. It's a rebranding! (For the record, 'insurgents' is only used in quotes here because the term is applied based on the US military's press releases and statements and not independently verified. For example, some reported 'insurgents' taking part in car bombings were unaware that their car had a bomb.) The New York Times? Not worth the paper it's printed on this morning. Whispers! Whispers! And more whispers! How about we all wait for the report to be delivered before we get excited about what may or may not be in it? A6 also contains the headline (on Afghanistan) "U.S. Bomb Dropped; 3 British Soldiers Die". From? The bomb the US dropped. But that's just too much information for the headline, apparently. "3 British Soldiers Die From U.S. Bomb Dropped" is reality.
Mia notes Alexander Cockburn's "Don't Carpool with Nouri al-Maliki" (CounterPunch) and, before we get to the excerpt, reminds we noted a defense of Cockburn's stand (it should also be said, I had no problem with it personally so that the defender -- whose name I'm blanking on, sorry -- isn't standing alone) from Dissident Voices a few week back. It was a reply to Phyllis Bennis' response to Cockburn. We don't link to the site Bennis was posted at but Cockburn includes her comments in the second half of the piece if you haven't read them (I haven't, I'll do so after I've finished this entry). The first section is addressing the potential realities awaiting al-Maliki:
The final grim news for al-Maliki came on Wednesday when President Bush affirmed confidence in the prime minister, declaring him to be a fine fellow.
Levin, Clinton and Bush all simultaneously declared that they believe the briefings of the United States military commanders in Iraq. They exult that the "surge", advocated and presided over by General David Petraeus last winter, is now working. Baghdad is more secure. Casualties are down. The sectarian groupings in Iraq have been checked. Nation-building can proceed.
None of these chirpy bulletins has anything to do with the actual situation on the ground in Iraq, where the extremely hot summer months have seen a regular annual drop in activities by Iraq's resistance groups. Even so, car bombings in Baghdad car bombings in Baghdad in July were 5 per cent higher than before the "surge" began and there has been a corresponding rise in civilian casualties from explosions. Meanwhile there are graphic reports of the extreme exhaustion of US troops, forced into multiple tours and extended time on active duty because of the overall shortage in manpower and equipment.
Nor can any silver lining be detected in the larger political military picture, in terms of erosion the Shi'a majority coalition, seriously reducing the power of Moqtada al-Sadr, or denting the Sunni resistance.
But here on the home front, Levin, Clinton and other leading Democrats are determined not to be wrong-footed by White House attacks accusing them of stabbing America's fighting men and women in the back by questioning the surge's supposed success. On an hourly basis, the right-wing radio demagogues are accusing them of just such treachery. Flag-wagging and drum-thumping are traditional at Veterans of Foreign Wars' conventions.
In a rhetorical counter-move, the Democrats emphasize the failure of Bush's man, al-Maliki, to resolve Iraq's political divisions at equal speed. Amid their rather hollow assertions of confidence in al-Maliki, Bush and the Republicans recognize that al-Maliki is expendable and can be forced out, just as his predecessor was ditched.
Mia also notes Norman Solomon's latest and we'll lead with that Sunday night. It was going to be noted Thursday night but we had to other things that had to be noted (PBS' NOW with David Brancaccio and Robert Parry's "Bush's Bogus Vietnam History Kills") and it got put on hold. The hope was to note it in yesterday's snapshot but we noted Grace Paley due to the fact that a lot of left outlets were either on vacation or playing dumb. On Paley, Stacey's working on a paper and asked about the page numbers, Paley's essay ran on pages 537-540 of Sisterhood Is Forever and the excerpt from "Why Peace Is (More Than Ever) a Feminist Issue" ran on page 539. In fact, let's quote her one more time:
Today's wars are about oil. But alternate energies exist now -- solar, wind -- for every important energy-using activity in our lives. The only human work that cannot be done without oil is war.
So men lead us to war for enough oil to continue to go to war for oil.
I'm now sure that these men can't stop themselves anymore -- even those who say they want to. There are too many interesting weapons. Besides, theirs is a habit of centuries, eons. They will not break that habit themselves.
For ourselves, for our girl and boy children, women will have to organize as we have done before -- and also as we have never done before -- to break that habit for them, once and for all.
Rachel notes these upcoming programs on WBAI:
Sunday, August 26, 11am-noon EST
THE NEXT HOUR
A panel of satirists discuss humorous impulses from inception to delivery. With Paul Krassner, Will Durst and David Dozer. Moderated by Janet Coleman.
Monday, August 27, 2-3pm EST
CAT RADIO CAFE
Actor/playwright/Fulbright scholar Dan Hoyle on "Tings Dey Happen," a one-man show on his investigations into oil politics in Nigeria; composer and jazz trombonist Craig S. Harris on the debut of "TriHarLenium: A Sound Portrait of Harlem 1976-2006" at Lincoln Center Out of Doors; and Catherine Cappelero and Andrew Rhone on their new musical "Walmart-opia," a futuristic look at a certain corporation running the world. Hosted by Janet Coleman and David Dozer.
The following community sites have updated since yesterday morning:
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Kat's Kat's Korner;
Betty's Thomas Friedman is a Great Man;
Mike's Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine's Like Maria Said Paz;
Wally's The Daily Jot;
and Trina's Trina's Kitchen
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