"I wish this tragedy will end soon" that my wishes for the New Year. The shadows of what we saw will still live inside our minds for a long time. One of these shadows visited me at this a special night when a man try to open my car's door to give balloons to my nephews. These balloons terrified me especially when my sister asked me jokingly "is that poisoned gas inside the balloons?" she was laughing.
Then I suddenly turned to Dody to ask him give his balloons.
"No it is mine" Dody replied.
"I know it is yours darling, please . I will buy a new one for you immediately"
At last I took the balloons and threw out the car with wondering and disapproval looks from Dody's small eyes that he couldn't understand why I threw his lovely balloons from the window. I couldn't explain to him what we are passing through during the democracy regime that the terrorisrs invented creative way to kill. Really I felt sorry because my mistrusting of those people who tried to delight my nephew and I was suspicious with them. But this our reality as civilians we should protect ourselves with the only weapons that we have the suspicions.
The above is from "January 01, 2008" (Inside Iraq) by an Iraqi correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers. Or you can flip over to today's New York Times for Solomon Moore and Stephen Farrell's "Iraqi Revelers Embrace the New Year" to grasp how two outsiders who can leave at any time 'see' the evening. While some may find good news that "scores of perfumed and bare-headed Iraqi women" celebrated New Year's Eve -- the reality is that itwas at "two of Baghdad's largest hotels" and the party goers are likely the same ones who sun themselves, grab a facial or steam at the city's country clubs and bragged, over the summer, of how removed they are from the Iraq War.
And sadly, the writers maintain their willful ignorance throughout but move from the glitterati of Baghdad to the US military.
Paul von Zielbauer's "2 More Marine Trials in Killings of 17 Iraqis" appears on the same page (A8):
A Marine infantryman accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians during a combat maneuver in Haditha in late 2005 will be tried by court-martial on charges of voluntary manslaughter but will avoid more serious murder charges originally pressed against him, the Marine Corps announced Monday.
The infantryman, Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, a squad leader whose men killed 24 Iraqis during a house-to-house raid after insurgents attacked their convoy, will also be tried on charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice, the Marines said in a news release.
In a separate decision on Monday, a Marine first lieutenant was ordered to face court-martial for what Marine prosecutors said was the officer's role in covering up photographs of the aftermath of the killings, the Marines said.
In other reality based news, the US military announced today: "A U.S. Soldier died as a result of a non-combat related injury in the vicinity of Qayyarah Airfield West Dec. 31. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The incident is under investigation."
That, along with a DoD anouncement, brought the death toll for US service members to 3904 since the start of the illegal war.
Violence continued in Iraq today.
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing at "a funeral" that claimed 30 lives and left thrity-eight wounded. Peter Graff (Reuters) notes that the 30 dead is "confirmed" by not one, but "[t]wo police sources" while Baghdad's spokesperson insists twenty-four is the number dead. Reuters also notes an Al-Zab roadside bombing left three Iraqi soldiers injured.
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports the morning began with US forces conducting a raid in Diyala Province that claimed the life of 1 'Awakening' Council member and leaving two more wounded while later an Iraqi soldier was shot by unknwon assailants in the province. Reuters reports 2 Iraqis were shot dead by US forces on Monday at a checkpoint ("Police in the city had said U.S. forces killed an elderly couple in a car after a roadside bomb exploded near the military vehicles.") and an armed clash outside Balad resulted in 1 police officer dead and two more injured.
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 corpses discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes a corpse was discovered in Falluja.
Meanwhile, Andy Sullivan (Reuters) reports:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Tuesday the Bush administration mismanaged the Iraq war, distancing himself from his party's unpopular president two days before Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential contest.
That will be applauded by the press. It will also be allowed by some elements who should know better. It wasn't "mismanged," it was illegal. But Dems have run from the illegal war whose unpopularity has only grown and it's what will be pushed: It was "mismanged"! You've already heard Bambi make similar comments and, sadly, you've seen alleged elements of the peace movement push the revisionary crap on display in Charlie Ferguson's War -- a load of lies masking as a documentary by never-directed before Ferguson who cheerleaded the illegal war before it began and still supports it. Dems (and the peace movement) could have staked out a stronger position over the year, instead they helped create a platform where Romney's weak ass statements can be seen by some as 'brave.'
Martha and Shirley's look at 2007 in books went up this morning, and Kat addressed the year in music. One more year-in-review to go and it posts tonight.
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paul von zielbauer