Picking up the news paper I saw the strangest headline of all.
"The Ministry of Electricity announces that the hours of lack of electricity will be increased as a result of scarcity of fuel and some technical issues."
This is something I cannot undestand. How less electricity?? How fuel scarcity??
We have one hour of electricity in every twelve - How can it be less? And how in any scenario could there be a scarcity of fuel in Iraq ? !
We have despaired of warm homes.
We have despaired of hot water.
We have forgotten how to sit relaxed in our homes. I walk into the living room looking for my son and couldn't find him. I looked for him in the other rooms, but he was nowhere to be seen.
The above is from an Iraqi reporter working for McClatchy Newspapers and is entitled "One Year Ago Today" (Inside Iraq). Somehow that fact didn't make it in to big write up the New York Times gave Davey Petraeus today, now did it? The illegal war hits the five year mark in March. And even the basics haven't been 'achieved.'
They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)
Last Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 3897. Tonight? 3902 announced. Last week this time, we noted "three away from the 3,900 mark." That mark was passed on Wednesday -- confusing since DoD was reporting the name of a service member killed -- a death never announced by M-NF. But the week passed by and Amy Goodman included it in headlines Friday. Did anyone else bother to note it?
What did Lenny sing? "Does anybody know how many lives we've lost, Can anybody ever pay the cost, What will it take for us to join in peace my friends, Does anybody out there even care?"
Magic 8 Ball says, "Damn little apparently."
The count tonight includes M-NF's announcement, "A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier died of non-combat related injuries Dec. 30. The incident is under investigation, and the name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense."
1,139,602 was the number of Iraqis killed in the illegal war last Sunday. Tonight? Just Foreign Policy lists the same number. They're on vacation.
But violence isn't and some of today's reported violence includes:
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports, "Basra police chief Abdul Jalil Khalaf survived two assassinations attempts in two hours today. The first was when two roadside bombs targeted his convoy as he was heading to a tribal conference in northern Basra. On the way back another two roadside bombs exploded causing damages to one of the convoy's cars and injuring one bodyguard." In addition, Al Dulaimy reports a Baghdad bombing of a fire fighter's car that left two Iraqis wounded. On the Basra bombing, Reuters notes that this was the seventh known attempt on Abdul-Jalil Khalaf's life and that it was the "first since the Dec. 18 handover of security in the city to Iraqi forces." Left unstated is the current issue in the UK Parliament, about a British based mercenary group who allegedly knew the Basra police force was being inflitrated but refused to turn that information over to the British military.
Reuters notes that "six gumen" were killed by the US military in Baghdad (Saturday & Sunday) and that 3 police officers were shot dead in Mosul Saturday.
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 13 people kidnapped at gun point in Kirkuk.
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad.
And that's going to be it because there's no highlight of some amazing op-ed (or even okay) on the Iraq War. There is an article in the Washington Post that no one noted (I only note the Post in non-snapshots if a member e-mails to highlight it) and it's describing a situation but failing to explain that what's being described is the objective of the Monty McFate-Sarah Sewer team. (And, no, that objective isn't peace, it's dependence upon US forces.)
But if you missed the memo, no one appears to give a damn about Iraq these days. No doubt when the fifth anniversary approaches, many will try to steal IVAW's thunder and grab the spotlight.
IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:
In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan
March 13th through 16th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation.
Pru notes this on Howard Zinn, from Great Britain's Socialist Worker, "Voices of A People’s History Of The United States CD:"
The radical historian Howard Zinn is best known for his book A People's History Of The United States.
This audio CD features Zinn and others reading 21 selections from his companion book, Voices Of A People's History Of The United States, which brings together source material used in the original volume.
It includes Danny Glover reading Frederick Douglass's 1852 essay "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro", Viggo Mortensen reading a 1542 account of "The Devastation of the Indies", Paul Robeson Jr reading Langston Hughes’s 1934 poem "Ballad of Roosevelt" and Marisa Tomei reading a 2005 piece by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan.
You can order the CD from Bookmarks bookshop, phone 020 7637 1848 » www.bookmarks.uk.com
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and the war drags on
iraq veterans against the war