Stephen Farrell gets the front page of the New York Times this morning with "Market Bomb Shatters Lull For Baghdad." It's a hysterical piece for the informed -- that probably leaves out a number of the paper's readers. At one point, referring to the pet market bombing, Farrell gets off the laughable claim that it punctured a "lull in violence [that] had extended from weeks into months". Months? Is Farrell unaware of the September 26th Baghdad twin car bombings? That's not "months" ago. There's a month between the car bombings and the pet market bombing. But with the paper working so hard to sell the lie of 'success' in Iraq, it probably would have shocked many readers had it been presented any other way this morning.
He tells readers that citizens were "reassured by . . . decreased car traffic". Did he just arrive in Baghdad? (No, he didn't.) What is Friday in Baghdad? (If, at this late date, you don't know consider yourself Stephen Farrell.)
If you're looking for an article about the bombing, don't bother reading Farrell. His earlier report dealt with the bombing. What makes it into the paper is repeated nonsense meant to sell yesterday's events as an aberration.
In the real world, Bully Boy's last friend among the war supporters is out (John Howard) and Poland's announced they're leaving Iraq. From Kim Murphy's "New Polish premier pledges Iraq pullout" (Los Angeles Times):
Signaling a rapid about-face after last month's parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Donald Tusk pledged Friday to end Poland's military deployment in Iraq in 2008 and said his nation would engage in more "dialogue" with its neighbors before accepting a U.S. missile defense system on Polish soil.
The three-hour speech before Parliament marked a significant departure from the politics of the last two years, when President Lech Kaczynski and his twin, former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, set Poland on a nationalist course. The government largely supported U.S. military objectives but antagonized neighboring nations in the European Union and was at times openly hostile to Russia.
In news that Peggy Noons will avoid, Philip Pullella (Reuters) reports:
Pope Benedict, elevating 23 prelates from around the world to the elite rank of cardinal, made a pressing appeal on Saturday for an end to the war in Iraq and decried the plight of the country's Christian minority.
One of the new cardinals is Emmanuel III Delly, the Baghdad-based Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, and the Pope used the solemn occasion, known as a consistory, to express his concern for Iraq.
As CNN notes yesterday's Mosul bombings death toll is actually 21 and not nine. So Kirkuk is under 'crackdown'? Maybe that's due to expected rage in northern Iraqi over the cancellation of their (KRG) oil contracts (cancelled by the central goverment)? AP quotes an Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesperson and then the KRG:
He said Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani has warned that companies that sign contracts with the Kurds without approval of the central government "will be blacklisted from any future deals with Iraq and that anything outside this framework is illegal, illegitimate and rejected by the central government."
Asked to respond to those comments, Jamal Abdullah, spokesman of the Kurdistan Regional Government, said Kurdish authorities would not be dissuaded from seeking deals with foreign oil companies.
"These statements will not hamper the contracts with the oil companies and nullifying them falls outside the ministry's authority," Abdullah said. "These statements are not constitutional and worthless and the work of the foreign oil companies in Kurdistan will be continued."
In Iraq today, Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports two Baghdad roadside bombings (two police officers and two civilians wounded) and that yesterday a Babil bombing wounded two people, Khamis Rodhan Saleem ("a member of the local council of Al Riyadh town") was shot dead outside of Kirkuk while Sameer Taha Youssef was kidnapped.
The following community sites have updated since yesterday morning:
Rebecca's Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Cedric's Cedric's Big Mix;
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;
Trina's Trina's Kitchen;
and Ruth's Ruth's Report
Carl was the first to note Margaret Kimberley's "Black America Left Behind" (Freedom Rider, Black Agenda Report):
If a group of people were enslaved, terrorized, and legally excluded from all routes to improvement and prosperity, how would they fare? If they somehow managed to better their lot but then lost jobs, and were incarcerated in high numbers would they succeed or would they fail? If those economic and social changes were accompanied by political and economic decisions that put more money in the hands of the wealthy, would it be possible for that group to emerge from its awful predicament? The answers are obvious. That group of people would move backwards economically, politically, culturally, and spiritually. The decline would be certain and it would be awful.
Of course the people in question are black Americans. The state of disarray and regression observed by anyone with common sense was proven recently by a Pew Charitable Trust study, Economic Mobility for Black and White Families. The study indicated that 45 % of black Americans whose parents were classified as "middle class" are now worse off than their parents. In other words, they are now poor.
The propaganda that America is always the land of opportunity is manifestly untrue and particularly damaging to black people. If America is good and perfect, then any who fail are themselves to blame for their plight. Black people are by these terrible definitions inherently more blameworthy than any other group. After all, they were grudgingly given a break or two in the Sixties and Seventies. Because America is great and good, the redress of centuries of injustice was seen as a favor, not as the righting of many great wrongs. If the undeserving group doesn't thrive, then obviously that group is populated by lazy, ungrateful, inferior beings, entirely responsible for their plight.
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