About 75 leaders and rank-and-file members from the western side of the neighborhood listened and murmured as Brig. Gen. Tarek Abdul Hameed explained what would happen when responsibility for paying and directing 54,000 Awakening patrol members in and around Baghdad was transferred from the Americans to the Iraqi government.
The meeting, the Iraqi and American officers said, was called in part to quash rumors that there would be mass arrests of Awakening members and that American forces would no longer be involved with the patrols.
The above is from Erica Goode and Muhafer al-Husaini's "U.S. and Iraqi Officials Try to Reassure Citizen Patrols About Transfer" (New York Times). Meanwhile Stephen Farrell ponders "Should U.S. Forces Withdraw From Iraq?" (apparently it's a safer topic than should the illegal war have been started but then the Times sold the illegal war and continues to do so):
For Iraqis, as for Americans, the answer is far more complex than a simple "stay" or "go." For both it is about blood, treasure, pride, dignity and a nation’s sense of itself and its place in the world.
But a lot more Iraqi blood than American has already been spilled, and stands to be spilled again, if the politicians get it wrong.
Ending the illegal war is "more complex than a simple 'stay' or 'go'"? Gee, didn't they argue something in the lead up to the illegal war? It was 'complex' but, golly, thank goodness Colin Powell made such a convincing case! (Before the blot, of course.)
Despite offering three articles today (the other one gets covered in the next entry), the New York Times isn't at all interested in the issue of civilians being harmed/terrorized yesterday. What they minimize, Tina Susman and Caesar Ahmed's "Iraq official's bodyguards involved in rush-hour shooting" (Los Angeles Times) explore:
Bodyguards of the minister of displacement and migration, who has been telling Iraqis it is safe to come home after five years of war, were involved in a rush-hour shooting Monday that police said killed a woman and injured six other people.
Circumstances surrounding the incident were unclear. The ministry said traffic police fired toward the minister's convoy and that the bodyguards only fired into the air. Police said the bodyguards were trying to clear traffic by shooting into the air and that one of them accidentally aimed his gun into nearby cars. Witnesses said the shooting was the result of a dispute between the ministry bodyguards and traffic police.
The head of the ministry's planning directorate, Ali Shaalan, called the incident "totally unacceptable" but said the ministry guards had done nothing wrong.
McClatchy Newspapers is also interested in news and they cover the above topic in Nicholas Spangler and Hussein Kadhim's "Iraq signs a natural-gas deal; Iraqi guards shoot pedestrian:"
"I saw guards carrying machine guns shooting randomly," said a police officer who was at the scene but asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to journalists.
"First, they killed a woman who was trying to cross the intersection. After that they opened fire on the traffic policeman who was doing his job. They shot him twice and he was injured. He fell down on the street. Then they left the cars and were walking with machine guns and pistols in their hands."
Husam Mazin, another witness, was selling sodas nearby when the shootings took place. "How can we blame Blackwater and the American soldiers for killing Iraqis in cold blood when today guards killed a woman and injured others for no reason but to have the street clear for them?" he asked.
Iraqi media reported that some of the guards had been arrested, but this could not be confirmed.
What topic isn't being covered? From yesterday's snapshot:
Cholera is back in the Iraq news. Sunday Reuters reported that cholera has claimed 1 life and that six more Iraqis have been diagnosed with it ("More than 4,000 cases of cholera . . . were diagnosed in Iraq last year.") Babylon & Beyond (Los Angeles Times) notes of cholera: "The problem raises the question: How can a country with two major rivers -- the Tigris and the Euphrates -- not have sufficient clean water for its people? The problem stems from Iraq's aging water treatment facilities, which were damaged or destroyed during the war and have yet to be replaced or repaired." Mike Sergeant (BBC) reports that the cholera outbreak had claimed 6 lives earlier today (the total continued to rise) and that "Cholera is mainly transmitted through contaminated water and untreated sewage. It can spread quickly in hot weather." And it spread quickly last year. There's no reason for the puppet government in Baghdad to pretend what's happened is shocking or surprising. After last year, it was to be expected. The World Health Organization noted October 3, 2007: "Since the cholera outbreak was first detected in Kirkuk, Northern Iraq, on 14 August 2007, it has spread to 9 out of 18 provinces across Iraq. It is estimated that more than 30 000 people have fallen ill with acute watery diarrhoea, among which 3 315 were identified as positive for Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium causing the disease. A total of 14 people are known to have died of the disease. The case-fatality rate has remained low throughout the outbreak indicating that those who have become sick have been able to access adequate treatment on time." Reuters reports that Babil province is now under a state of emergy due to the outbreak and that 8 people have died "in the past three days in Babil" with at least twenty diagnosed as infected. Gulf News adds that 500 more people are suspected of already being infected. IRIN spoke with Ihssan Jaafar (speaking on behalf of the puppet government) yesterday and he stated, "The health ministry is trying to stop the disease from spreading by early diagnosis of infection and distribution of water sterilisation tablets and also through a pbulic awareness campaign, but with the dearth of safe drinking water the disease will stay around." Again it was completely predictable.
Billie notes this from Team Nader:
Breaking News -- Nader/Gonzalez on in 45 States!
Drop $11 on Nader/Gonzalez.
At the beginning of this campaign, we made a promise:
Nader/Gonzalez on the ballot in 45 states by September 20.
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We have completed our ballot access efforts and we're set to be on in 45 states.
On in more states than in 2000 (43).
On in more states than in 2004 (34).
On in 45 states.
Now, the American people will have a choice.
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But, as you probably have figured out by now, we are not a campaign that rests on its laurels.
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We need to raise $80,000 by September 17.
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Need a living wage? Vote Nader/Gonzalez.
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Help us celebrate this historic opportunity the only way we know how.
With action for a change.
So, donate $11 now to the Nader/Gonzalez Get Out the Vote Fund.
(If you give $100 or more now, we will send to you In Pursuit of Justice, the 520-page book of essays by Ralph Nader -- essays on corporate power, the Constitution, and transforming our country. If you donate $100 now, we will send you this historic collection -- autographed by the man himself -- Ralph Nader. (This offer ends at 11:59 p.m. September 17, 2008))
So, let's start to spread the word.
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Time to crank it up.
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Onward to November.
The Nader Team
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