Sunday, April 27, 2008

And the war drags on . . .

Authorities have picked up the second of three brothers from northern Minnesota who went AWOL from the Army after a Christmas break in 2006.
A sheriff's deputy arrested Leif Kamunen, 22, in Carlton on Friday. His girlfriend says Kamunen was planning to turn himself in to an Army office in Duluth after being AWOL for nearly 16 months, but he was arrested on a desertion warrant.
Kamunen was in the Carlton County Jail. It was unclear what will happen to him next.

The above is from AP's "Second AWOL brother arrested in Carlton" and it doesn't add a great deal to the story but it does cover it. Leif, Luke and Leo Kamunen are the three brothers who self-checked out. Leo is now the only one who hasn't yet been arrested. That's an excerpt from the longer AP report but you can find a more condensed version AP report here. The Kaumunen brothers are part of the Class of 2007 war resisters who were all ignored by that so-called 'independent' media.

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 hit the 4,039 mark. And tonight? 4052. Just Foreign Policy's counter estimates that 1,201,597 Iraqis have been killed due to the Iraq War, up from last Sunday's 1,199,782.

Turning this into a talking post. A few e-mails ask about the morning entry in terms of will it appear this evening? As a general rule the "morning" entry is done after we're finished at The Third Estate Sunday Review and it focuses on the New York Times' coverage of Iraq and other things. The paper ran nothing in the news section on Iraq today. We started writing Third Saturday night and finished around 3:00 this afternoon (that is counting illustrations and loading them to Flickr). With the paper ignoring Iraq, I decided to just post Isaiah's comic and leave it at that.

New content up at Third today:

Truest statement of the week
A note to our readers
Editorial: Panhandle Media earns an F
TV: Mission Impossible
The truth about Panhandle Media
Vanity, they name is Jess Jackson Jr.
Liar of the Week: David Corn

The Times may cover an event in tomorrow's paper but right now Hussein Kadhim and Raviya H. Ismail's "Iraqi political leaders protest U.S. siege of Sadr City" (McClatchy Newspapers) covers it:

About 50 leaders representing a variety of Iraqi political blocs took to Baghdad's Sadr City on Sunday, a stronghold of fiery religious leader Muqtada al Sadr, to protest the U.S.-led siege of that area.
The leaders promised to work together with Sadrists to remove insurgents and weapons in the area. But they also had six other demands of the government, including that it immediately suspend military activity in the city, supply basic services to residents and prioritize peaceful solutions over military conflicts.
"Whatever point the crisis reaches we will keep our efforts to put an end to it," said Ahmed Radhi, a member of the Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni Muslim bloc. Radhi said the leaders formed a committee to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to solve problems plaguing Sadr City.
"We have a delegation meeting with Maliki to let him know the real situation going on in the city," said Nassar al Rubaie, a Sadrist. "We have lawmakers from different blocs and parties to come and watch the situation on the ground."

CNN notes: "A female suicide car bomber attacked an Iraqi security forces checkpoint in eastern Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least three Iraqis and wounding 14, an Interior Ministry official said. . . . Suicide attacks by women are becoming more prevalent. Two female bombers struck in Diyala province on Monday and Tuesday. In March, a female suicide bomber, apparently targeting Shiite worshippers just before evening prayer services on a busy street, killed dozens in Karbala." Aseel Kami (The Scotscman) reports 50 corpses were discovered in Diyala Province Sunday. And Sahar Issa and Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) report in detail on Sunday's violence: Bomings and mortar attacks claimed 7 lives in Baghdad and left forty-six wounded, a Diyala Province bombing wounded three people, a Tikrit car bombing claimed 1 life with four people wounded, armed clashes throughout Iraq claimed 2 lives with seventeen wounded, 2 people were shot dead in Mosul while 6 corpses were discovered in Baghdad.

Gigi Stone (ABC News) reports on Matt Maupin's funeral in "Thousands Mourn a Soldier Fallen in Iraq:"

Today's goodbye was particularly difficult. Maupin's family held out hope for four years that their son would return home alive.
Maupin enlisted when he was 20 years old, over his parents' objections, not long after Sept. 11, 2001.
On April 9, 2004, he went on his final mission. He was captured after his fuel convoy was ambushed west of Baghdad.

Skip notes this from Austrlia's ABC (via BBC) on the 'success' of reconstruction in Iraq:

A review of US-funded reconstruction projects in Iraq has found that millions of dollars have been wasted because almost 900 separate projects have never been completed.
The reconstruction of Iraq has cost American taxpayers more than $107 billion.
An audit by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction shows that at least 855 contracts to help build schools, hospitals and transport systems have never been completed because of excessive cost or delays, poor performance or violent conditions.

Pru notes "UB40 and Steel Pulse at anti-'Rivers of Blood' press conference" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker) and there's a comment of Pru's I'm putting in after the highlight:

Birmingham bands UB40 and Steel Pulse joined Yaz Alexander at a Love Music Hate Racism press conference on Friday of last week.
The press conference was called to mark the 40th Anniversary of Enoch Powell's racist "Rivers of Blood" speech, which was delivered in Birmingham on the 20th April 1968.
Brian from UB40 said, "I haven't seen any rivers of blood, only good food and good music. We were part of Rock Against Racism, that turned it around. Thank god for LMHR, they need all the help they can get. Without immigration and integration UB40 and Steel Pulse wouldn’t exist, its the sharing of culture."
Dave from Steel Pulse said, "I remember the NF trying to march on the Soho Road. The Asian community joined us and we stopped them. It was a proud day for Handsworth."
Yaz Alexander said, "At the end of the day we're all human beings. Put your hands up and stand firm. You have to hate racism."
Robin from UB40 said, "When you're passive the BNP grows. We were in the Handsworth riots, fighting alongside our Black friends. Whenever the economy goes down fear and ignorance raise their heads. When Powell was making his speeches Black people in the USA were still trying to get the vote."
Selwyn from Steel Pulse said, "When Powell made his speech he fanned the flames of prejudice. The NF came out of what he said. When our parents came to this country they were invited to come and work. When people say go back I remind them our people’s suffering built this country. Today its is a multicultural society, black and white growing up together. It defies what Powell was saying."
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Pru notes Third's "The truth about Panhandle Media" and compares the "sell outs" for Obama (radicals, not Democrats) to those who, in England, hopped on board the Tony Blair Express ("and we all know how that turned out"). She's going to use her column Friday (the gina & krista round-robin) to explore some of the British Barack cheerleaders and explain how they sold out the people in a similar way during Blair's elevation to PM.

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