Sunday, August 17, 2008

And the war drags on . . .

Last Wednesday, US war resister Jeremy Hinzman was informed he had to leave Canada by September 32rd. Careful readers of Jay Price's "Deserter may fare worse because of flight" (News Observer) will grasp why we ignored the bulk of Price's Iraqi 'reporting' when he was there. Those not paying attention will think Price did his job. They'll probably the include the visitors who used whine over and over that we're not this or that by Price. He knows how to take dictation (especially from the US military -- check out the last section but it's true of the entire article) very well. He just doesn't care about the details. (Does the name Agustin Aguayo mean anything? Not to Price. Which is how you get such a useless article.) Courage to Resist alerts, "Supporters are calling on Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to intervene. Phone 613.996.4974 or email,"Iraq Veterans Against the War also encourages people to take action, "To support Jeremy, call or email Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and ask her to intervene in this case. Phone: 613.996.4974 email:" In addition to that, Canada's War Resisters Support Campaign is staging an emergency meeting this week (August 20th, Wednesday, 7:00 pm, Steelworkers Hall at 25 Cecil St.) and planning a day of action (September 13th) where "[a]ctions, demonstrations and pickets will take place in cities and towns all across Canada." Irwin Loy (24 Hours Vancouver) reports:

An outspoken university professor who hopes to flip years in academia into a career in politics says he will push to protect deserting U.S. soldiers in Canada if elected with the left-of-centre NDP.
“I believe in a Canada that grants asylum to principled young Americans that said no to an illegal war,” UBC political science professor Michael Byers said yesterday after being acclaimed as the federal NDP candidate in the Vancouver-Centre riding.
U.S. soldier Jeremy Hinzman is believed to be the first Iraq war deserter to have sought sanctuary in Canada. He was ordered to leave the country last week after three years of court battles appealing an unsuccessful refugee claim.

Michael Byers has created a blog, click here.

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 4,138 mark. And tonight? ICCC reads: "Site Under Maintenance." I'm seeing no announcements by M-NF at their site, there were no annoucments yesterday so we will assume the death toll is what it was after Friday's announcements, 4143 since the start of the illegal war (16 for the month). Just Foreign Policy's counter estimates the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the illegal war to be 1,252,595 . . . the same number they were using last week. No, they haven't updated. Yes, they are apparently off today as well.

Meanwhile today at Aging Socialite's Cat Litter Box, Greg Mitchell types, "When the U.S. military death toll in Iraq dropped to 13 last month it received wide attention. But now, midway through August, the toll this month has already topped the July rate." Thanks Greggy, welcome to the room, Sara. From Wednesday's "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, Miss Iraq calls out the sex trade, Jeremy Hinzman is told he's leaving, the US military announces another death leading August's death toll so far to surpass July's, and more.
[. . .]
Today the US military announced: "A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were killed when the vehicle they were riding in was struck by an improvised-explosive device in northwest Baghdad at approximately 10:10 a.m. Aug. 13." With that announced death, the month of August (not even half over) has already passed the month of July for most US fatalities. The monthly toll thus far is 14 with 4141 the number killed since the start of the illegal war.

From Thursday morning's "14 US service members dead in Iraq so far this month:"

As July wound down and August began, you couldn't get away from the waves of Operation Happy Talk: Only 13 US service members killed in Iraq! August isn't at the half-way point. It is now August 14th and, not only have 14 US service members been announced dead thus far, it has now surpassed July's death toll. But no one's got time to cover that or to notice it apparently. It's really embarrassing and pathetic. So is the absence of coverage on Iraq in today's papers.

Not everyone is on some unnannounced vacation. Turning to some of the reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McCatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad grenade attack on a TV crew that wounded "[a] reporter, cameraman and driver," a Baghdad bomber on bicylce that claimed his/her own life as well as 5 other people (thirteen wounded) and a Salahuddin Province roadside bombing that left six people wounded. Saturday Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy) reported a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 6 lives and left ten people wounded and a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded five people.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 man shot dead in Basra.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 corpse discovered in Baghdad.

A10 of today's New York Times is where Stephen Farrell's "6 Die in Bombing in Iraq, Third in 3 Days on Shiites" on Saturday. Farrell notes:

Three hours after the early-morning blast, shopkeepers, resident and survivors were still pulling charred goods and debris from damaged roadside stores, and sweeping ashes and wreckage into the gutter.
The attack followed a suicide bombing by a woman in Iskandariya on Thursday in which at least 18 were killed, and a car bombing that killed pilgrims at a bus garage in the northern city of Balad on Friday.

If you can find that online, great. I can't and I've looked around the site forever. It's 15 paragraphs long and Marko Georgiev's photo runs with it ("People tried to salvage goods from a store that was destroyed Saturday by a bombing in the Shaab neighborhood of Baghdad.") They do have an article by Erica Goode and Ali Hameed ("Suicide Bomber Kills 15 at a Sunni Mosque in Baghdad") on violence that's not covered elsewhere -- violence today unless the motor cyclist they describe is the bicyclist described by McClatchy. In which case the death count has risen from 6 to 15 (with 29 more wounded).

But the US military has good news! "Attacks down except roadside bombs, rigged houses"! So attacks are down . . . if you eliminate some of the attacks. The opening sentence: "The numbers of houses rigged with explosives and roadside bombs have increased since the beginning of the Iraqi offensive in Diyala, while other attack trends have been decreasing." Guess this wave of Operation Happy Talk should be dubbed "win some, lose some." M-NF also announces 37 women "attended the first day of a four-week course at the Kirkuk Police Academy outside of Kirkuk city" Saturday. Reuters reports the Turkish military says they bombed northern Iraq on Sunday ("no details of casualties"). Reuters also notes that six Blackwater mercenaries have been informed that their actions are under investigation. And that "police fired on demonstrators" today in Arbil killing one.

New content at Third:

Truest statement of the Week I
Truest statement of the Week II
A note to our readers
Editorial: Withdrawal can be done in 100 days
TV: Transformations
Jeremy Hinzman ordered to leave Canada
Open Up The Debates!
What If Feminists Were Swing Voters?
The race card, what's not feminism, and more
Catching on to the Peace Resister
Where it stands

Isaiah had today off and Kat hoped to finish her CD review (just needs editing, she finished writing it on the plane Saturday) but Third took forever. The e-mail address for this site is

jeremy hinzman
irwin loy
the new york timesstephen farrell
jay price
mcclatchy newspapers
the third estate sunday review