Friday, November 09, 2007

Other Items

Is it something legal that the US army issue IDs for Iraqi people? Its very normal and legal to issue work IDs fro the Iraqis who work for example with the US army but its not acceptable at all to issue IDs for the residents of any Iraq by the US army or even the US government because this is Iraq, its not California. What makes me really sad that the Iraqi politicians keep repeating "Iraqi is a united independent country". Is that true? Then why do the people of Falluja have two IDs, the Iraqi ID and the American issued ID?

That above, noted by Lucy, is from "Is it really an independent country?" Inside Iraq (McClatchy Newspapers). Is it an independent country? No. And like a king, Bully Boy and his puppet Nouri al-Maliki expects groveling over the most basic of tasks. Cara Buckley's "U.S. Detention Centers Free 500 Iraqis" pretends to be a report in this morning's New York Times. Camp Victory, a US military base, was the locale. And what else? 25-year-old Tariq Jabbar, one of the released, it was reported stating, "I was detained in March 2007 for no reason." Reporters naturally include what detail next?

Those who learned their profession would immediately note the length of stay. It might be something as simple as: "US military officials were unable to provide the average length of imprisonment for the 500 released yesterday." They, real reporters, certainly wouldn't lead with yammering (feel-good yammering) from al-Maliki because he has no control over a US military base. Camp Victory is in Iraq; however, no US base is under the control of any foreign country. al-Maliki can whistle in the wind all day long, it doesn't change the fact that he had nothing to do with the release and no reporter, no real reporter, would think the puppet was the way to open.

Camp Victory isn't really addressed in the report either. Not even the basics. Camp Victory is just outside Baghdad International Airport. (Even so, Bully Boy couldn't be guaranteed a safe landing on his most recent trip which is why he went to southern Iraq instead.) The US military grabbed the "prime real estate" because one of Saddam Hussein's old palaces. Al Faw Palace, shouldn't go to the Iraqi people, should it? No, it should be claimed in the name of France, er, the US. You've got all sorts of fast food places (Pizza Hut's right next to Subway and it is the home of Iraq's first Burger King) and living quarters and parking lots. Those are for Americans. Built largely by KBR. Excuse me, built largely by cheap labor from other countries that KBR brought in. Wheat fields were destroyed to expand the area. Good thing Iraq doesn't have a malnutrition problem, right? Oh wait, they do. And they commandeered the lake which is a prime fishing spot . . . for the US military. Tired of those Whoppers and turkey melts? Grab a rod and reel. While Iraqis live on rations.

To make it a little more 'inclusive' they gave it an Arabic name, Camp Al-Nasr, and even built some lodging for Iraqis -- Tent City where prisoners are held.

Whose country is it?

"Saddam Hussein had palaces while Iraqis lived in squalor!" quickly became, "Let's take 'em!"
Because what better way to convey that you're there to help and 'liberate' than to occupy the best quarters in the area?

Buckley wastes everyone's time with al-Maliki's musing about a general amnesty for all prisoners. al-Maliki has no control over or say on prisoners held by the US military. How stupid does Buckley think the average Times' reader is?

Five paragraphs in, you get some hard figures. In February, the US military had 16,000 prisoners. They now hold 25,800. 11 paragraphs in, Buckley offers that a US service member died yesterday. A minor detail, apparently, when there's a need to fluff for the puppet and present al-Maliki as a 'leader' and, in any way, responsible for the US military releasing 500 prisoners. Prisoners who never got a trial. But, as though we're back in the Dark Ages, this is cause for celebration and the Times duly wears their party hat.

In the real world, Edith M. Lederer (AP) reports on a new study by the United Nations and we'll focus on the Iraq portions:

In Iraq, [Brendan] O'Malley said, 280 academics were killed between the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and April this year "in a campaign of liquidation." In Afghanistan, he said, there were 190 bombing, arson and missile attacks on education targets in 2005 and 2006. In Colombia, 310 teachers have been murdered since 2000.
[. . .]
"In Iraq, for instance, the education system is virtually on the point of collapse. Thirty percent of pupils attended classes last year, compared to 75 percent the academic year before, and university attendances are down by up to 60 percent in many departments," he said.

Howard Zinn is a guest on today's Democracy Now! as is Dennis Kucinich and the Washington Post's Steve Fainaru.

The e-mail address for this site is