Sunday, September 28, 2008

And the war drags on . . .

Did you hear? The Iraq War is over. It apparently ended Thursday or that's what the New York Times thinks. Thursday was the last day they bothered to print an article filed from Iraq. None Friday, none Saturday and none Sunday. So the illegal war has appparently ended. Or, at least, their attention to it. War is over . . . if like the Times you pretend it is.

Which goes a long way towards explaining how two presidential candidates, both vying for their first term in the White House, can get away with saying that, if elected, they won't end the illegal war by 2013 but, if elected and if American then elects them to a second term, the illegal war MIGHT end.

At least John McCain's not passing himself off as the 'anti-war' choice. But both Barack Obam and John McCain refuse to pledge to end the illegal war, if elected, in their first term. And the peace movement takes it. Used to, the peace movement thought they were being generous with a year to end the illegal war. Now two heavily promoted candidates in the press both argue that if Americans give them their votes, if Americans elect one of them into the White House, for the next four years the illegal war will drag on. But, give them two terms and it might end.

And the most the peace movement can do is hiss at McCain while refusing to call out Barack. Iraqis are frequently quoted stating things in Iraq aren't going to change under McCain or Barack. Iraqis are apparently not only smarter than the US peace movement, they're also more honest.

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 4,168 was the number. And tonight? 4174. Saturday the US military announced: "A Multi-National Division – Center Soldier died of wounds at approximately 1 p.m. as a result of a vehicle rollover accident southeast of Baghdad at approximately 9:28 this morning. The name of the Soldier is being withheld pending next of kin notification and release by Department of Defense." Just Foreign Policy's counter estimates the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the illegal war to be 1,267,401 up from . . . the same as last week. Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing today which claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left two more wounded, a Baghdad car bombing claimed 12 lives (thirty-five more wounded) and two other Baghdad car bombings claimed 20 lives with seventy-three more people left wounded, and a Diyala Province roadside bombing left Al Saidiyah mayor Ahmed Samir Zargush and five other people wounded. Saturday McClatchy's Laith Hammoudi reported a Baghdad car bombing that wounded three people (including one police officer).


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Iraqi police say the US "shot randomlly" in Baghdad today wounded two Iraqi civilians and 1 Christian was shot dead in Nineveh Province while another man was shot dead in Mosul and his brother left wounded. Saturday McClatchy's Laith Hammoudi reported an armed clash in Jalawla that claimed the life of 1 police officer and 1 "member of Kurdistan Democratic Party."


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad. Saturday McClatchy's Laith Hammoudi reported 1 corpse discovered in Baghdad.

On today's violence, Tina Susman's "Iraq bombings kill 31" (Los Angeles Times) reports:

The violence and the protests showed the tensions that still exist in Iraq despite progress on security and political reconciliation. The blasts were particularly jarring because they came around sunset, when the markets are filled with people buying food for the evening meal that breaks their daylong fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
"We are innocent and peaceful people. Why are they targeting markets and shoppers?" asked Hidar Abdulhussein, who suffered a broken leg in a bombing at a market in west Baghdad.
"How were they able to get in? There are so many army and police checkpoints," he said, referring to security forces around most major Baghdad marketplaces.

How are they able to get in? One thing in many reports last week was "Awakening" Council members on strike at checkpoints, waiving anyone through, due to the fact that an arrest warrant was said to be out on the member or the member's leader. Susman also notes that Iraqi Christians staged a protest today over the provincial election legislation from last week which "does not guarantee minorities seats on provincial councils." AP notes that "hundreds of Christians staged protests" today in Iraq and those protests were probably most effective on the world stage. al-Maliki's shown no concern for the rights of any of the religious minorities in Iraq; however, the puppet knows that persecution of Christians won't play well with the Americans still supporting the Iraq War so he moved quickly to insist that he supports seats in Parliament being reserved for religious minorities. Sadly, some will play that development out as if it matters. It doesn't matter at all. Parliament voted on the bill, it is sent to the presidency council who will either sign off on it (making it law) or reject it. al-Maliki's way too late to impact anything unless the bill is rejected and the Parliament takes another shot at it.

New content at Third:

Truest statement of the week
Truest statement of the week II
Editorial: What a friend the left has in Barack
A note to our readers
TV: Do Not Disturb The Propaganda
TV: One ticket gets a pass, the other doesn't
The campaign with momentum
Sexism and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
TV: The 'debate'
The New Adventures of Old Christine
MyTV's Fascist House: Princess Tiny Meat Chronicles
Coming Up

Also, Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Boys Do Cry" went up this morning as did Kat's latest CD review, "Kat's Korner: Chris Martin's cold play." Pru e-mails to ask if she's greedy to request two highlights? Not at all. First up:

This article should be read after: » Thousands in Manchester to protest against the war
Voices of resistance call for troops to come home
Anti-war demonstrators in Manchester spoke to Sian Ruddick
"If you don't speak up, nothing's going to change," said Falak, a young woman from Liverpool.
"The threats to Iran and the trouble in Pakistan show that this war isn't over. And there's oil and gas pipelines near Georgia. We don't need another war for oil."
Katherine Moffat from Leeds was on her first demonstration. "You hear so much on the news, but I think the people here have a lot to teach people," she said.
Shin Sharma, also from Leeds, added, "We need the unconditional withdrawal of all British and American troops. The main enemy is here at home -- the British state."
Logan McGeary travelled up from north London to join the demo. "I came on the two million strong 15 February 2003 demonstration," she told Socialist Worker. "I didn't believe the lies they told us then – and we've just seen it getting even worse.
"I have nieces and nephews who are in their teens and I don't want them to grow up in a world where war is commonplace or for them to be recruited by the army.
“Regardless of who’s in power, we have to keep up the pressure. The troops are so demoralised. You can't talk about boosting morale in these circumstances. You have to bring them home."
Jesse Oldershaw is a member of the UCU lecturers' union at University College London. "Our success at kicking military recruitment off our campus last year showed me that if you organise you can have a real effect on the world.
"Demonstrations are a show of force -- but they are also a space for organising and discussion. They give people confidence to be together. On the coach here we were all organising the campaign for this academic year."
The following should be read alongside this article: »
Thousands in Manchester to protest against the war
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Pru's second highlight (also from Great Britain's Socialist Worker), is "John Pilger: This conflict is repeating the historical patterns of imperialism:"

Veteran investigative journalist John Pilger is warning that the extension of the Afghanistan war into Pakistan has grim echoes of the past.
"There are striking parallels between US actions in Afghanistan and Pakistan with spread of Vietnam war into Cambodia and Laos," he told Socialist Worker.
"Indeed, there is an historical pattern -- whenever an imperial power gets stuck in one region, it will try to attack another, often disastrously. Caesar and Napoleon did just that.
"The Americans in Vietnam, deeply frustrated by a resistance they never bargained on, sought an easy conquest in Cambodia on a flimsy pretext. That was in 1970.
"The US invasion and carpet bombing of Cambodia acted as a catalyst for the rise and rise of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge forces. Without US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and president Richard Nixon, Pol Pot would not have succeeded."
The Khmer Rouge emerged out of the chaos of the US war on Cambodia. Their rule was marked by brutality and mass murder. John Pilger warns that the US and its allies could do the same to Pakistan today.
"What George Bush and Dick Cheney are likely to achieve in Pakistan is the rise and rise of the Taliban and the rapid radicalising of 'mainstream' Islamic forces within the country."
Pilger says the impact of these new wars is "likely to favour tough guy John McCain". But he adds, "The longing for relief from war and insecurity in the US cannot be underestimated -- and Barack Obama is likely to be the beneficiary of that, however undeserved."
John Pilger will be presenting his film about Afghanistan, Breaking the Silence, in London on Friday of this week at a Socialist Worker Appeal event. He will be taking questions from the audience after the showing.
One reason why John made a film about Afghanistan was the difficulty of getting serious documentaries onto TV these days.
"In every survey of what the public wants from TV in Britain, the one constant is the demand for documentaries that make sense of the world," says John.
"But TV bosses inevitably perceive ‘public taste’ in relation to 'the market'. Big Brother may be mortally wounded in the ratings, but successors are being planned that are mutations of that form.
"That said, there are some marvellous documentary makers coming up, bypassing TV and heading straight for the cinema -- which is where documentary began."
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