Monday, August 13, 2007

Other Items

*Sean Penn, for replying, when asked if he wants the United States to win the war in Iraq, "I think we’re past that point in human evolution where there’s such a thing as winning wars."

The above is from Paul Krassner's "Ass----- of the Week" (CounterPunch). On the title, we can say "ass" but the other word would cause problems for some members accessing at work computers. I'll note that right off because there's an e-mail about Rebecca's comment at The Third Estate Sunday Review that uses "*" instead of letters and says I've taken "your puritan ways" over to The Third Estate Sunday Review. I type "-" (dashes). So I clearly did not type up that piece. In terms of the language they use their, it can be whatever is wanted. But I have to be given time to do a mass e-mail to members who would get in trouble for using work computers to access sites with certain language so that they have a heads up. I'm not a puritan and my own language is far worse than even Rebecca's. The Common Ills is a work safe environment in terms of language. It's been that way since it started. There are a limited number of words we can use when it comes to foul language. Which is probably a good thing or most entries (and titles) here would repeatedly include the f-word (although, truth be told the word I use most often is the s-word).

Both the f-word and the s-word have popped up in the TV pieces Ava and I write for The Third Estate Sunday Review. When they have gone up in full, it's been because I was already going to have to do a mass e-mailing about another feature that would be going up so we figured, what the hell? While I certainly have input at that site, I have no input at Rebecca's site. The visitor thinks Rebecca's "cleaned up her act" for me. Were I to ever call Rebecca about her language, she would laugh in my face. She is now using "*" and so is Mike. I would assume that's because people have e-mailed them saying they enjoy the sites but can't read if the language is in there. Not because they are puritans but because they'll get written up at work. When that issue was first raised here, in the early days of this site, I understood completely because I had a friend who'd already been written up for going to a site with the f-word. The site? Washington Post. Their story on Dick Cheney's use of the word. I couldn't believe it (that it would happen, a write up for a news site) but it does happen. I have no idea what word I used here (that was so long ago -- it wasn't the f-word or the s-word) but it did raise concerns/worries for some members and as a result we worked on a policy based on various members work place guidelines.

It's a small number of words that are allowed (or, to someone with my cursing vocabulary, it is a small number) and we operate under it due to the fact that I don't want anyone to get written up for the 'crime' of reading. I didn't even realize Rebecca was doing that, I read it without noticing it, I did notice on Mike's because he was using "crap" all the time lately (he uses the s-word as much as I do in conversations -- and previously used it at his site freely). I may owe Rebecca an apology because I don't know how the long policy has been in place but right after she had her baby, I did a guest post at her site and may have used some foul language (I may not have, that was a last minute thing). (And I didn't promote it here or link to it or say, "Check out my post!")

But no one's trying to be a prude at any site. As to why something goes up there, if it's not The Common Ills, I'm not responsible. If it's not The Third Estate Sunday Review, I'm not responsible even in part.

Lyle noted Sean Penn's quote last night and e-mailed this morning to note where he'd seen it, Krassner is 'awarding' 'honors' to various people and at the end of the piece, note some people who really do deserve credit for last week, among them Penn. The quote is from the Esquire cover story on sale this month. Here's the magazine's website but they don't have the Penn article up currently (they've still got last month's issue up with the John Edwards cover).

Martha notes Megan Greenwell's "Maliki Aims To Reconcile With Cabinet" (Washington Post):

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday expressed optimism about the chances of reconciliation within Iraq's fractured government, even as a political rival accused him of protecting militias with ties to Iran.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military announced that five soldiers were killed Saturday when a sniper shot one, then lured the others to a house rigged to explode. It was the single deadliest attack against American forces this month.

[. . .]
Maliki announced Sunday that a meeting of Iraq's leaders would begin this week, possibly on Monday, in an attempt to resolve the growing political crisis. His primary goal will be to reconcile with nearly half of his cabinet members, who have stopped attending meetings in three separate protests against his leadership.

For those who are still waking up, al-Maliki most recently referred to those opponents as obstructionists. It's a sure sign of how shaky the ground he stands on is that now he wants to make public overtures after his repeated public snit-fits and talk of the conspiracies (within the Iraqi Parliament) to destroy him. Reuters reports that Adnan al-Dulaimi ("a senior figure in the main Sunni Arab political bloc in Baghdad") has declared (in an open statement to al-Maliki), "Your brothers in Baghdad are suffering in genocide carried out by militias and the death squads with Iranian planning, instructions and weapons. If you think what is happening to us will end at Baghdad then you are wrong. By God, this war that started in Baghdad will not stop here. It will extend to every Arab spot where the Arabic tongue is spoken. It is a war of history."

He is not the only Sunni sounding alarms. Suleiman al-Khalidi (Reuters) reports Sheikh Harith al-Dari ("the top Sunni cleric") stated, "If the Americans remain with this policy and rely on the same men who proved their failure again and again then they will leave Iraq in failure. . . . The U.S. administration should rectify its position in Iraq and stop depending on puppets . . . who have proven their failure."

Tim Reid (Times of London) reports the Bully Boy thinks he can continue the escalation "well into next year" and cites a "a string of positive reports" on Iraq that Reid maintains have "left Democrats increasinly powerless to end the war." String of reports? Congress receives no reports until next month (they're currently on vacation). Reid's referring to the waves of Operation Happy Talk. So if you're one of the ones who engaged in that ('from the left') and repeated lies at the start of this month instead of challenging them, Congratulation! Consider the blood on your hands as well. If you used your position (big or small) to repeat talking points that quickly imploded, you've earned the blood. Now maybe you conceeded the lies because you had a bigger point to get to. Well when you don't call out the lies, they spread and spread. So next time, hold your big point until after you address reality.

Or wallow in the blood of the dead because it's yours now, it's all yours.

It was never a surprise that they'd push the rollout to August. Bully Boy needs this month while Congress vacations to sell the illegal war. He can't do it in the midst of reports coming in (and the independent report is thought to be more damning than what Patreaus will deliver, although Joe Biden has stated he will be very clear in his questioning of Patreaus).

Also planned is stationing US troops in southern Iraq. Sean Rayment and Philip Sherwell (Telegraph of London) report: "America is preparing to pour thousands of extra troops into southern Iraq amid fears that Gordon Brown is committed to withdrawing British troops from the region early next year." And they note:

The Sunday Telegraph has also learnt that neither the British nor the Americans have a "Plan B" for sending troops back into Iraq if the country descends into chaos when the coalition finally withdraws. One senior source said: "Whether or not we go back in if it all goes horribly wrong is the strategic question to which neither the US nor the British government has an answer.

That "senior source" is apparently US and they go continue to quote him. Of interest, his first concern is the oil ("the world's second-largest oil reserve") before getting to the talking point of chaos! Chaos!

Chaos came knocking at Iraq's door in March of 2003 when the illegal war started.

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