The military's call indicated the possibility of stepped-up military operations and came as Iraqi security forces raided a radio station run by backers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr. In the southern port city of Basra, militants launched rockets that struck a coalition base, killing two contractors and injuring four civilians and four coalition soldiers.
Sadr City has been a battleground since late March, enduring U.S. airstrikes, militia snipers and gunbattles between U.S. and Iraqi forces and the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to Sadr.
Already some 8,500 people have been displaced from the sprawling slum of some 2.5 million people, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent. For weeks, food, water and medical shortages have affected about 150,000 people, aid agencies said.
Two soccer fields in east and northeast Baghdad are expected to receive some 16,000 evacuees from the southeast portion of the city where the fighting has been most intense.
The above is from Leila Fadel's "Iraqi military orders Sadr City residents to evacuate" (McClatchy Newspapers)and probably the big question with the continued assault on Sadr City is does Panhandle Media intend to cover it, intend to editorialize on it? Or did they tire themselves out in November 2004 with their pathetic Falluja 'coverage'? Such 'strong' coverage, that they couldn't even Dexy Filkins out for the story that took how long to clear with the military brass before appearing in the paper? Couldn't call him out, wouldn't call him out. Then they started citing him in their bad -- VERY, VERY BAD -- books. In love with the ultimate embed, the sob-sister, while trying to call out Judith Miller. Repeating, if Miller (and her crowd) got the US into the illegal war, it is the people like Dexter Filkins with his rah-rah 'reporting' that kept the illegal war going. But adding to that, so has a Panhandle Media that can't focus on the illegal war in their ADD drunken stupor.
Anna Badkhen is doing dispatches for Salon from Iraq. This is from her "Guns and water coolers in Iraq:"
Guns at the ready (well, mostly, anyway), soldiers of the Iraqi army Muthana Brigade knocked on the door of a two-story house. "Iraqi army!" they shouted, in Arabic. A few moments later, a woman in a full-length dress and a tan scarf on her head opened the door, and the soldiers, on a routine patrol of the southwestern Baghdad neighborhood of Saidiyah, poured in and began searching the house.
Two of the soldiers walked up the tiled stairs to the second floor. Another asked the woman if she kept any weapons in the house. Another asked if he could have a drink of water. One soldier walked into the empty living room where the TV was on, slumped down on the couch, and stared at the screen, his mouth slightly open.
"They're clueless," spits out U.S. Army 1st Sgt. James Braet, who trained Iraqi troops in Baghdad during his previous deployment, in 2005, and who interacts with them during joint patrols here now almost daily. "They are worse than the ones we trained. They don't hold their weapons right, they don't have the discipline."
For three years, the White House has been repeating like a mantra that the ability of the American troops to cut their presence in Iraq depends on the readiness of the Iraqi forces to handle the Sunni and Shiite militias. As the Iraqi army stands up, American commanders and officials like to say, American forces will be able to stand down.
She'll be added to the links on the left if she's not up already when this goes up. (I've done links in the entries and saved to draft, everything else is dictated around the links.) And, yes, we are thinning the links. That will continue. We'll probably end up with about 20 to 30 links. War resisters and feminists will remain. Others? Call them The Big Question Mark. (Mainstream links will remain. Good or bad, they're in Iraq and covering it to some degree -- putting them far, far ahead of Panhandle Media.)
What's Panhandle Media up to today? On the phone, I'm told husband of Katrina decries the candidates for not focusing on . . . Moscow. Let it rip, Steve, let it rip! While Pig Spawn Of Feminist grabs the chance to attack Hillary again. Pig Spawn is one of those males feminists wrongly praised (due to his mother) and the failure of the feminist movement to call him out over his now lengthy record of sexism allows him to continue to get away with it. (He should have been called out loudly for the little smear/hit job he did on Janeane Garofalo.) Katrina is making a big fool of herself with "Young Voters Hold The Key." The key was the money, Katrina, and you dispatched it nefariously but wisely. Someday the story of you and Facebook, the Roosevelt Institute and so much more will be told. It won't be pretty. But for a laugh, check out The Nation's current postings. They are hilarious. Sadly, they aren't intended to and that includes a trying to be 'hip' writer referring to Paris Hilton's constant presence. What world is she living in? Oh, that's right, an out of touch one. Poor thing.
Isaiah notes Salman Abed cartoons in a post at Inside Iraq (McClatchy Newspapers).
Here's Howard Wolfson's "HUBdate: Strongest at the Top of the Ticket" (HillaryClinton.com):
Strongest at the Top of the Ticket: Several members of Congress released a letter today to other Democrats touting their support for Hillary, saying she is the strongest candidate to have at the top of the ticket in the fall: "[W]e are convinced that Hillary Clinton has the vision, skills and commitment to make the changes our country needs. As Democrats who have run and won in competitive Congressional districts and battleground states, we believe that Hillary is best positioned to successfully lead the Democratic ticket in districts and states like ours around the country." Read the letter.
Automatic Delegate Watch: Hillary received the endorsement of automatic delegate and Congressman Chris Carney (D-PA). Read more.
Honoring the Votes of Millions of People: In a letter written to Sen. Obama yesterday, Hillary urges him to "honor the votes of the millions of people who went to the polls in Florida and Michigan...One of the foremost principles of our party is that citizens be allowed to vote and that those votes be counted." Read the letter.
Previewing Today: "Hillary Clinton catches up with former Make-A-Wish winner Oregonian, still a big fan, now works for the former first lady's campaign." Read more.
WV Endorsement Watch: "Former West Virginia Governor Hulett Smith announced his endorsement of Hillary ...citing the Senator’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, veterans, and the economy." Read more.
"Hillary Clinton Would be the Stronger Candidate" The Charleston Daily Mail endorsed Hillary yesterday, saying: "She is by far the more experienced of the Democratic candidates, and the one who has had to learn the most about West Virginia." Read more.
West Virginia is a Test: At a rally in Charleston, WV yesterday, Hillary said: "I'm running to be president of all 50 states...I think we ought to keep this going so the people of West Virginia's voices are heard...West Virginia is a test...It's a test for me and a test for Sen. Obama." Read more.
South Dakota "Appearance Thrills Supporters" One South Dakota supporter at Hillary's Sioux Falls rally yesterday said: "'It feels good to be this close to hopefully the next president." Read more.
Support for the Farm Bill: Hillary released the following statement today: "Unfortunately, the Bush Administration is signaling that the President will veto the [farm] bill. Saying no to the farm bill would be saying no to rural America. I call on President Bush to get out of the way. When Congress sends President Bush the farm bill, he needs to sign it so we can start taking care of rural America." Read more.