Thursday, December 13, 2007

Other Items

Kathy Rumleski (London Free Press) reports that in Canada's London Monday night (nine o'clock showing), there will be a benefit screening of the Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep film Rendition at Hyland Cinema with the War Resisters Support Group of Lond recieving half the proceeds.

Meanwhile USA Today editorializes in support of the illegal war. Only a suprise to those who missed it in the 90s when the same rag called for Bill Clinton to step down over an affair -- on the front page. If you've missed it, lying the world into war, torture, the non-response to Hurricane Katrina, illegal spying on American citizens and a host of other crimes didn't result in the McNewspaper calling for Bully Boy to step down. They love to police personal 'morality' but when it comes to the big issues of the day, McNewspaper folds. US House Rep Maxine Waters gets to present the "opposing view" in "Bring the troops home:"

The fatal flaw in President Bush's "surge strategy" is that his militaristic policy in Iraq has minimized American influence and destabilized the entire region.
He has turned the Middle East into a ticking time bomb. Rather than defusing the situation with a diplomatic surge, Bush's answer, true to form, was a military surge in Iraq. Now, he defends his strategy with the same misleading rhetoric that got us into this mess in the first place.

I won't be fooled by the president's reports of progress in Iraq. The lower level of violence is a welcome change, but it serves as a distraction from the source of the chaos in Iraq: a complete lack of political reconciliation. As Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said, "Barring (national reconciliation and economic growth), no amount of troops in no amount of time will make much of a difference."
We are led to believe that resistance to our presence in Iraq stems from al-Qaeda, but insurgents don't carry membership cards with their rifles. In reality, the violence represents an age-old internal struggle for power among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. We could place a guard in every doorway in Iraq and reduce the violence to zero, but that would be little help in the long term.

Doyle McManus babbles online at the Baltimore Sun (maybe Gwen'll bring you back on!) like the fool that he is and one of biggest laugh getters has to be about how the "debate over the past week has focused, insted on domestic issues" as if the press didn't set the damn agenda, didn't decide what would be included and as if last week's laughable NPR 'debate' didn't go out of its way to avoid Iraq for two hours. It requires a lot of willful stupidity to claim 'success' in Iraq and Doyle's got it to flaunt. While he happy talks, Mark Lattimer offers "Freedom Lost" (Guardian of London):

They lie in the Sulaimaniyah hospital morgue in Iraqi Kurdistan, set out on white-tiled slabs. A few have been shot or strangled, some beaten to death, but most have been burned. One girl, a lock of hair falling across her half-closed eyes, could almost be on the point of falling asleep. Burns have stretched the skin on another young woman's face into a fixed look of surprise.
These women are not casualties of battle. In fact, the cause of death is generally recorded as "accidental", although their bodies often lie unclaimed by their families.
"It is getting worse, especially the burnings," says Khanim Rahim Latif, the manager of Asuda, an Iraqi organisation based in Kurdistan that works to combat violence against women. "Just here in Sulaimaniyah, there were 400 cases of the burning of women last year." Lack of electricity means that every house has a plentiful supply of oil, and she accepts that some cases may be accidents. But the nature and scale of the injuries suggest that most were deliberate, she says, handing me the morgue photographs of one young woman after another. Many of the bodies bear the unmistakable signs of having been subjected to intense heat.

And Reuters reports: "Sixteen dead bodies were found on Thursday in a ditch in a town north of Baghdad within Iraq's most violent province, police said." The twon is Muqdadiya.

In addition, among other violence reported by Reuters, is another educator targeted in Baghdad -- the University of Technology's dean was the victim of a drive-by shooting that wounded him and his daughter -- a corpse was discovered in Hawija, a contractor was shot dead in Baghdad, the corpses of a son and father were found in Dour (with a head of a police officer found yesterday) and, in the continued targeting of officials, 2 of the mayor of Hit's bodyguards were killed and six people injured in a car bombing yesterday. But let's all play stupid like Doyle and USA Today. Things aren't any better in Iraq, but pretending let's us focus on the shallow and isn't that all the press has to offer the American people at this late date in our history? All Things Media Big and Small.

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