Yesterday two US soldiers died and from Alexandra Zavis' "Baghdad bombing kills 2 U.S. soldiers, 3 U.S. government personnel" (Los Angeles Times):
The explosion occurred hours before a vote to replace Abdul Hassan Jbara as chairman of the Sadr City District Advisory Council.
Jbara, who is accused by colleagues of having ties to militias, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The bomb was planted outside the office of his deputy and would-be successor, Hassan Shamma, said Iraqi police and council members who were there. It detonated as U.S. soldiers and civilian advisors entered the room, they said.
Alissa J. Rubin and Mudhafer al-Husaini's "Baghdad Blast Kills Four Americans" (New York Times) notes:
As one of the soldiers unfurled photographs of the council members, an explosion ripped through the room, knocking one member, Qasim Abdul Zahra, to the floor. As he looked up, he could just make out the forms of bloodied Americans through the smoke, he said. Unwittingly, they had become human shields, he said.
"The explosion happened just outside the room, near the Americans," who were standing by the door, he said. "They were the ones that received the most shrapnel, and that's why we are still alive," he said of himself and the three other council members who were present.
The dead also included Stephen Farley of the US State Dept (Secretary of State Condi Rice's statement on Farley's death is noted in full in yesterday's snapshot). From Hannah Allem's "Blast kills 11, including 4 Americans, in Sadr City building" (McClatchy Newspapers):
An American and an Italian of Iraqi origin who was working with U.S. troops as an interpreter were the two Defense Department employees; their names were withheld pending notification of relatives.
The explosion was the third violent incident in two days involving members of Iraq's local councils, whom Iraqi militants deride as "collaborators" with the Americans.
Also on Tuesday, Iraqi police said they discovered the body of the council chairman for the Abu Disheer neighborhood in south Baghdad. He was a Shiite allied with Sadr's movement, police said.
Meanwhile I'm noting, Paul Farhi "Miles to Go" (Washington Post):
"It's the rational approach," he declares. "If you're locked out of the governmental system, if you can't get a hearing, and I can't, you go to the electoral system. What's my alternative? Should I go to Monterey and watch the whales?"
Not him. On a recent Friday evening, he's standing in a Unitarian church pulpit across the street from Harvard (his law school alma mater), addressing a Nader-for-president rally.
[. . .]
His basic themes, even some catchphrases, echo those of his four previous campaigns: Corporations have rigged the political system, thwarting the popular will (on universal health care, an Iraq pullout, a "living wage"). Democrats are as beholden to big business and their contributions as Republicans are. Washington is "corporate-occupied territory" administered by a "two-party elected dictatorship." Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama are but the major parties' latest "corporate candidates."
Several Nader bromides ("Where was the Democratic rebellion against the stolen election? Where was the rebellion against Bush's tax cuts, the war, the Patriot Act, against his Supreme Court nominees?") elicit polite applause in Cambridge. Nader's praise of Canada's public health system -- "We have so much to learn from Canada, before we take it over" -- draws rare laughter.
KeShawn notes the following video from the Ralph Nader campaign.
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