The above is part of Newsday's "WAR UPDATE" which is one of the few outlets with a focus in any way on Iraq.
eNews 2.0 offers "Iraq's unity threatened by lack of minority quota" which explains that the bill that passed the Iraqi Parliament on provincial elections last week continues to be a source of scorn -- specifically for failing to provide "a clause that defines the quota of minorities in provincial councils" and Ageel Abdel-Hussein of Moqtada al-Sadr's movement states, "Minorities should be given their rights in the provincial councils to contribute to the building of the Iraqi state." The write-up also informs that in Nineveh Province, Iraqi Christians protested Sunday in numbers exceeding 5,000.
The bill will be nixed or approved by the Iraqi presidency council made up of the president and Iraq's two vice presidents. Iraq's president is Jalal Talabani and The Jordan Times reports that he returned to Iraq Monday after spending "nearly two months in the United Sates for medical treatment" (not noted in the article was his wife, Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, visiting Los Angeles in attempt to find a distributor for her film Saturday) and that he is stating the treaty between the US and the puppet government (wrongly called a SOFA) must go through.
Meanwhile Hani Hazaimeh's "Iraq oil shipments start to arrive" (Jordan Times) reports:
The Kingdom has in the past 10 days received a total of 10,000 tonnes (74,000 barrels) of oil from Iraq at an average of 7,400 barrels a day.
The shipments came in implementation of the joint oil agreement the two sides renewed earlier this year, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Khaldoun Qteishat said on Monday.
"The ministry is cooperating with its Iraqi counterpart to overcome several challenges in order to meet the daily target of 10,000 barrels as stipulated in the agreement, to be increased gradually to 30,000 barrels," Qteishat told reporters at the monthly news conference held by Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Nasser Judeh.
Based on the deal, Iraq was to provide Jordan with 10,000 barrels per day, which is 10 per cent of the Kingdom's daily needs, to be increased gradually to 30,000 barrels of Kirkuk crude oil at preferential price, which is $22 a barrel lower than the international price.
As you absorb that, you should ask how much is human life worth because there's more news from Jordan and it's hard to believe the two aren't connected. Meaning? IRIN reports:
The Iraqi embassy in Amman is organising the repatriation by plane of dozens of Iraqi families who wish to return home, despite warnings from UN agencies about the security situation.
Iraqi diplomats in Amman said they had chartered a plane to repatriate the Iraqis later this week, during the Muslim holiday of Eid al Fitr.
Disabled people and the elderly will be among the Iraqis leaving in what, according to the Iraqi ambassador, will be the first official return by air to the homeland since the US-led invasion in 2003.
Iraq is not safer and the United Nations damn well knows that. Returning the disabled and elderly to Iraq is offensive. They are the ones who will be the most defenseless and, in fact, they are the ones most in need of aid in Jordan which is why they have agreed to return -- the aid has been pitiful and that includes what humanitarian organizations 'provided.' So the most preyed upon, the refugees struggling in Jordan, will be shipped back . . . just when Jordan gets a sweet oil deal from Iraq. And the refugees will travel by air, yes, but also by bus. China's Xinhua reports:
Two busloads of Iraqis have bidden farewell to their guesting country of Jordan after reports of improved security conditions in Iraq, daily newspaper The Jordan Times reported on Tuesday.
"This is the first official return to Iraq conducted by the embassy in cooperation with the ministry of immigration," Iraqi Ambassador in Amman Saad Hayani was quoted as saying.
He expressed his hope that this will be the first trickle in a flood of Iraqis seeking to return home.
Some Iraqis boarding the buses said they were encouraged by reports of improved security conditions in Iraq, while others said they were forced to return due to difficult economic conditions in Jordan.
Anna Fifield (Financial Times of London) reports that Ibril is the 'hot spot' in the Kurdistan region of Iraq where "prices have almost doubled in the past two years and are still climbing" in the "English village -- complete with cul-de-sacs lined with identical two-storey houses, garden gnomes on front lawns and Range Rovers in driveways". A British investor, Russell Jones, raves, "There is an enormous amount of free money here being kept under people's mattresses."
Jomana Karadsheh (CNN) reports the latest on doctors in Iraq which includes more than the Nouri al-Maliki's council deciding to allow doctors to carry fire arms:
The government also said doctors can't be detained by police without Ministry of Health approval, and security at doctors' offices and hospitals will be bolstered. The government also is developing advertising campaigns, setting standard rates for checkups at private clinics, working to establish residential compounds and coming up with attractive salaries to entice refugee physicians to return home. "Of the 34,000 registered doctors in 1990, at least 20,000 have left the country," the Red Cross report said.
We'll return to the above topic in today's snapshot. Staying with CNN for a non-Iraq moment, the cable news network announces a new addition, "Lt. Gen. Honoré Joins CNN as Emergency Preparedness Contributor:"
Retired Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, best known for his service as commander of Joint Task Force Katrina in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina three years ago, has joined CNN as the emergency preparedness contributor to CNN Worldwide, it was announced by Nancy Lane , senior vice president of newsgathering for CNN/U.S. He appeared on CNN most recently amid the network’s coverage of Hurricane Ike. In this role, Honoré lends his expertise and inside knowledge while assessing government efforts amid crises and recovery efforts. Through his reports and assistance, CNN will continue to keep government officials accountable in those situations. He also contributes his expertise on disaster preparedness, response and recovery activities to CNN's leading reports throughout the hurricane season and other potential crisis situations. His reports appear across CNN's numerous networks and services including CNN/U.S., CNN International, CNN.com, CNN.com Live, CNN Radio and CNN Newsource. They provide viewers with practical tips for preparing for and surviving disasters as well as keep government officials and agencies honest when it comes to dealing with large disasters and crisis's. "General Honoré brings to CNN's global audience an intimate knowledge of managing crises and executing emergency preparedness," Lane said. "After Katrina, the general was universally viewed as a hero, and our viewers will no doubt trust and connect with him as he contributes to our up-to-the-minute coverage." As commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, Honoré led the Department of Defense's response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita across Alabama , Louisiana and Mississippi , which included the operations of more than 22,000 military personnel, 200 aircraft and 20 ships. Additionally, as vice director for operations for the Joint Staff and as commander of the Standing Joint Force Headquarters-Homeland Security, U.S. Northern Command, Honoré's focused his work on defense support to civil authorities and homeland defense. For four of the past six hurricane seasons, he supported the Department of Defense's planning and response for hurricanes on domestic and international soil. "I'm delighted to be able to join CNN and take advantage of the network’s vast resources and services and be able to address the audience in those areas affected," Honoré said. "Everyone needs to be prepared for unexpected and uncontrollable events, and CNN is an ideal platform to inform and educate." In a previous role as commander of First Army – the command responsible for mobilizing and training National Guard and Reserve troops – Honoré oversaw the training and deployment of more than 500,000 military personnel across all services. This effort comprised the largest military deployment since World War II and focused on the Army's combat medical capability, as well as the overall medical readiness of all personnel mobilized in support of operations in Afghanistan , Bosnia , Egypt , Guantanamo Bay and Iraq . After retiring from the Army earlier this year with 37 years of active service, Honoré now speaks and consults nationally about emergency preparedness. A native of Lakeland , La. , Honoré was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry after earning his bachelor's degree in vocational agriculture from Southern University and A&M College . He also holds a master’s degree in human resources from Troy State University and honorary doctorates from Southern University and A&M College and Stillman College . CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.
Honore is a speaker with Keppler Speakers and their bio of him notes:
With a trademark swagger and commanding personality, Lt. General Honoré is a no-nonsense general with a take-charge attitude. The Washington Post has called the "Category 5" general "the man you want in the trenches with you, the man who'll cover your back." An inspiring motivational speaker, Ret. Lt. General Russel L. Honoré shows that by taking charge and creating a culture of preparedness, it will be easier for organizations and individuals to prepare for unexpected and uncontrollable crises. Using his experiences commanding Task Force Katrina and restoring New Orleans, he explains the leadership skills necessary to manage crises and prevent disaster.
You can find another profile of him at National Veterans Day. September 4, 2005, Stars and Stripes included this in a report on him:
In an interview with local WWL radio, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin was expressing dismay at the lack of federal help for his city, but said of Honoré: "I give the president some credit on this, he sent one John Wayne dude down here that can get some stuff done, and his name is Gen. Honoré, and he came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussin' and people started movin'! "And he's getting some stuff done," Nagin said. "They ought to give that guy -- if they don't want to give it to me, give him full authority to get the job done."
Click here for a video of him speaking to the Coca Cola corporation.
In January of 2008, US House Rep David Scott (Democrat from Georgia) introduced a resolution in honor of Honore that passed February 25th, the text of which reads:
Whereas Lieutenant General Russell L. Honore is a native of Lakeland, Louisiana; Whereas Lieutenant General Honore graduated from Southern University and A&M College in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in vocational agriculture and, upon graduation, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army; Whereas Lieutenant General Honore graduated from Troy State University with a master's degree in human resources and, received an honorary doctorate in public administration from Southern University and A&M College, and received an honorary doctorate in law from Stillman College; Whereas Lieutenant General Honore served in a number of infantry command positions in the Army, including overseas tours in Germany and as a commanding officer in the Second Infantry Division in Korea; Whereas Lieutenant General Honore saw action in Iraq and Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm; Whereas Lieutenant General Honore served as vice director for operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, District of Columbia;, deputy commanding general and assistant commandant of the United States Army Infantry Center and School at Fort Benning, Georgia;, and assistant division commander, maneuver/support for the First Calvary Division at Fort Hood, Texas; Whereas Lieutenant General Honore commanded Standing the Joint Force Headquarters-- for Homeland Security; Whereas Lieutenant General Honore commanded the First United States Army, which is responsible for the training and deployment of 500,000 National Guardsmen and reserve service members;Reserve members. Whereas the awards and decorations of Lieutenant General Honore include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Cclusters; Whereas Lieutenant General Honore led the Joint Task Force Katrina following the hurricane's destruction of the Gulf Coast in 2005, where he commanded all active-duty troops from all military branches dedicated to the storm recovery operations; and Whereas Lieutenant General Honore and his wife Beverly raised four children, Stephanie, Kimberly, Stephen, and Michael, and their son Michael has served in Iraq as an Army sergeant: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives-- (1) honors Lieutenant General Honore for his 37 years of service on behalf of the United States; (2) commends Lieutenant General Honore for his dedication and commitment to the Army and his leadership in the post-Katrina recovery effort; and (3) recognizes Lieutenant General Honore as a soldier, commander, and leader and for displaying throughout his distinguished military service the highest levels of leadership, professional competence, integrity, and courage.
US House Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (Democrat from the state of Texas) stated on the House floor during debate on the motion:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H. Res. 944, honoring the service and accomplishments of Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré United States Army, for his 37 years of service on behalf of the United States. I would like to thank my distinguished colleague Congressman DAVID SCOTT for introducing this important legislation, of which I am proud to be an original cosponsor. Mr. Speaker, Hurricane Katrina was one of the darkest hours of our Nation's recent history. Although the courage and generosity demonstrated by the American people was nothing short of heroic, the response of the federal government, especially FEMA, was nothing short of an embarrassment. I never imagined that my neighbors in New Orleans would be called and treated like refugees in war ravaged developed countries. The response of the Bush Administration was unacceptable. However, even in the midst of tragedy and mismanagement, many Americans throughout this country stepped up to help those affected by this disaster. This demonstrated that once again in our darkest hour that we united as a nation to help our brothers and sisters who sought to recover and rebuild their lives. In particular, a small number of extraordinary individuals became true heroes; one of the most remarkable was Lieutenant General Russel Honoré. Called by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin a man who can "get some stuff done," Lieutenant General Honoré's life is truly an American story. Born in Lakeland, Louisiana, General Honoré graduated from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After graduating with a baccalaureate degree in vocational agriculture, General Honoré was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. General Honoré eventually graduated from Troy State University with a master's degree in Human Resources and received an honorary doctorate in public administration from Southern University and A&M College. General Honoré began his distinguished military career serving in a number of infantry command positions for the Army, including overseas tours in Germany and as a commanding officer in the Second Infantry Division in Korea. He saw action in Iraq and Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. Honoré's experience and skill made him a logical candidate to serve as vice director for operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff; deputy commanding general and assistant commandant of the United States Army Infantry Center and School at Fort Benning, Georgia; and assistant division commander, maneuver/support for the First Calvary Division at Fort Hood, Texas. But more than his impressive record of military service, Lt. General Russel Honoré is perhaps best known for his strong leadership attributes. Lieutenant General Honoré commanded the First United States Army, responsible for the training and deployment of 500,000 National Guardsmen and reserve service members. Lieutenant General Honoré also led the Joint Task Force Katrina, following the hurricane's destruction of the Gulf Coast in 2005, where he commanded all active-duty troops from all military branches dedicated to the storm recovery operations. Mr. Speaker, my home district in Houston has been pleased to welcome with open arms well over 100,000 survivors fleeing the storm, including a reported 21,000 children. I spent countless hours after this immense tragedy with the men, women, and children who fell victim to this catastrophic storm; I witnessed first hand the terror and despair of children separated from their parents, men and women who had lost their entire livelihoods, and families who had seen homes full of memories and treasures destroyed in flood waters. I represent thousands of the Katrina evacuees who continue to reside in Houston, I consider their plight and hardship a personal one with which I am intimately familiar, and I am proud of my community's response to this tragedy. In the hours, days, weeks, and months after the Katrina struck the gulf coast, the actions of Lt. General Honoré and those like him were a lifeline for thousands of displaced, frightened, and imperiled residents. His bravery was so often the difference between life and death, or between hope and despair. Those of us who were on the ground in those days and weeks following the storm know just how valuable his actions were, just how vital his leadership was, and just how much the region needed many more leaders like him. I would like to commend Lieutenant General Honoré for his 37 years of service on behalf of the United States. Lieutenant General Honoré has proven his dedication and commitment to the Army and his leadership in post-Katrina recovery effort. I recognize his loyalty as a soldier, commander, and leader and for displaying throughout his distinguished military service the highest levels of leadership, professional competence, integrity, courage. Many of those who survived this storm did so only because of the bravery, selflessness, and immense leadership of Lt. General Honoré and other heroes like him. Over two years have passed since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, and we continue to mourn the at least 1,836 innocent victims of the storm. We also continue to address the difficult issues raised by the storm, including the rebuilding of affordable housing in the area, and the restoration of local education systems. As a proud Houstonian, a firsthand witness to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, and a believer in the power of the American people, as demonstrated by Lt. General Honoré, I strongly urge my colleagues to remember those who perished, honor those who found such bravery within themselves, and to continue to work to provide for the still-suffering victims of the storm. In a recent media interview, Lt. General Honoré spoke of what he hoped his legacy would be. He spoke of an effort to guide civilian America, encouraging a "culture of preparedness" in the spirit of his own cold-war upbringing. He stated that despite government investment in disaster response mechanisms, civic response remains weak, stating, "I'm sure you and your wife have a plan to meet at Uncle Joe's house, but does your plan include asking Mrs. Smith next door if she needs a ride?" This is a vital, and too often overlooked, component of disaster planning. Mr. Speaker, I would again like to voice my support for H.R. 944, and finally give back something to a man that has already given so much to his country.
So that's an overview of CNN's latest addition. Noted, as requested. And below is a DoD photo of Honore from August 31, 2005 on the USS Bataan.
Meanwhile, in the US a new state poll finds support for the continuation of the Iraq War. Joseph Gerth's "Most support forces in Iraq, Afghanistan" (Kentucky Courier-Journal) explains:
Even though most Kentuckians disapprove of the way President Bush has handled the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a majority still approve of the military's presence in both countries, according to a Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll.
And a majority of Kentuckians say the United States should keep the same number of troops in Afghanistan or increase them.
The statewide telephone survey of 800 Kentuckians was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. of Washington, D.C., and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
The poll found that 54 percent of Kentuckians support the U.S presence in Iraq, and 62 percent favor the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
And on the US presidential race, Lavonne notes this from Team Nader:
The American People 1, Wall Street 0
Wall Street said -- vote for the bailout.
Obama said -- vote for the bailout.
McCain said -- vote for the bailout.
Bush said -- vote for the bailout.
The House Democratic leadership said -- vote for the bailout.
The Republican Democratic leadership said -- vote the bailout.
But in overwhelming numbers and with outrage, the American people said -- if you vote for this bailout, we will vote against you in November.
And so, today the House voted 228 to 205 against the bailout.
Do we have a pulse yet?
And if we do have a pulse, we're going to have to transfer that energy and outrage from Capitol Hill into the Presidential electoral arena.
Today, the American people rose up and slapped down the two Wall Street controlled political parties.
In October, we must keep up the energy.
And support the one national candidate for President untouched by Wall Street.
His name is Ralph Nader.
And were he President, we would not be in this mess.
Wall Street would be properly regulated.
And the orgy of reckless greed would have been prohibited.
Today, you have kicked it in big time, driving us upward to our goal of $150,000 in our Three Way Race fundraising drive.
Now, we're in the home stretch.
Approaching $130,000 with one day to go.
Keep an eye on the widget, as we surge upward to our goal.
And after you have contributed, check out our new videos here starring Ralph Nader.
(Ralph is barnstorming across California denouncing the bailout and is holding a press conference right now that we will be putting on our YouTube page later tonight.)
Thank you for your support.
We're hoping for an October surprise.
And a breakthrough in November.
The Nader Team
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
the jordan times
russel l. honore