Rubin notes of the rations, began under Saddam Hussein, that the quality of them has seriously declined:
The basket consisted of flour, rice, tea, sugar, salt, dried milk for adults and for children, cooking oils, lentils, chickpeas, soap for washing and laundry, and occasional extras, such as tomato paste or cake flour.
During the past three years, both the selection of products and their quality have diminished, many Iraqis say. Milk has been missing for much of the past three years, although it recently made a reappearance, and there have been cases of rice with bugs in it and stale tea.
Dana Hedgpeth's "$13 Billion in Iraq Aid Wasted Or Stolen, Ex-Investigator Says" (Washington Post) was published Tuesday and reports on the hearing held Senate Democratic Policy Committee on corruption in Iraq. That's the hearing noted in yesterday's snapshot. The corruption is far beyond the Ministry of Trade and it does appear some easy targets were ousted from their jobs and the corruption will remain in that ministry (as well as in others). We'll pull this section from yesterday's snapshot:
As noted in yesterday's snapshot, Private First Class Michael Barnes won CO status in a case he had to take to the federal courts. Today AP notes:
"I have been trying to justify being a soldier and finding a way to do so while still being a Christian, because that is what I wanted to do since I was a kid," Barnes wrote in his request for conscientious objector status in December 2006.
"But I can no longer justify spending my short time in this world participating in or supporting war. ... I must try to save souls, not help take them."
Barnes remained in Iraq through the duration of his unit's 15-month deployment. His brigade returned to Anchorage last November.
Turning to the US presidential race, Jonah notes this from Team Nader:
Did You See the McCain-Nader-Obama Debate?!
Friday is looming. The first presidential "debates." You know, the ones sponsored by the Democratic and Republican parties, along with their corporate sponsors.
Well, we have a preview for you -- of a different kind of debate. We think that you will demand more like it.
Please send the video around to your friends and family.
And take a moment to subscribe to http://www.youtube.com/user/votenader08.
Please visit votenader.org/debates now. Get involved. Now is when the debate about the debates happens!
Also, call John McCain at (703) 418-2008. Hit 2 or 3 to speak with a campaign volunteer, 6 to leave a message in the general campaign voice mailbox.
Politely deliver the following message:
Hi, my name is ...
I was wondering if Senator McCain, being a believer in equal opportunity and equal rights, could insist that Ralph Nader and other ballot-qualified third party candidates be included in the upcoming Presidential debates?
After all, Nader is on 45 state ballots.
And he's polling well nationwide. And he could help Senator McCain challenge the corporate Democrats.
True, Ralph would critique Senator McCain for his corporate ties also. But isn't that what democracy is about? Could you please leave this message for the campaign manager? Thank you.
Raise it high, say it loud and clear:
"We must have open debates!"
Onward to November.
The Nader Team
The e-mail address for this site is email@example.com.
the new york times
alissa j. rubin
the washington post