Today, Iraq's Parliament passed the treaty (without a two-thirds vote) and the White House finally released some version of the treaty in English. Meanwhile Matthew D. Laplante's "Military mum on dirty air in Iraq" (Salt Lake Tribune) reports the US government is using the "national security" classification to avoid releasing a 2006 Enivornmental Health Site Assessment regarding Balad Air Base where a burn pit was utilized and may have resulted in damage to the health of those who were stationed there: "Now that report has been classified. And Col. Thomas Logan, who commands the center, refuses to say why. Logan declined to be interviewed by The Salt Lake Tribune. A spokeswoman only repeated that information in the report could damage national security if it were made public."
Earlier this month, IRIN raised another health safey issue in "IRAQ: Nuclear contamination in northern province of Ninevah?" which noted:
According to two local officials, the plant - which was built in the early 1980s by a group of European and Russian companies for the government of former president Saddam Hussein - is suspected of causing a number of cancers and deformities among babies and adults.
"The province's health authorities have registered a number of deformities among newborns as well as a number of cancers among adults. The health authorities suspect that a radiation leak and contamination from a former nuclear plant is the cause of the deformities and cancers," Governor Duraid Kashmola said.
The toxic effects of Depleted Uranimum and other weapons used by the US in Iraq will, no doubt, be explored 'in the future.'
On the future, for this site, it has been addressed at Third and in newsletters but a number of non-members have e-mailed so the plan was for this site to go dark after the election (last week in fact). Ava and I were going to review a show a friend is working on but agreed to wait until mid-season. We agreed to that without even thinking that mid-season would be after that. Community member Stan wanted to start a site for some time and his big concern this month was he'd be starting just as everyone was stopping. He started Oh Boy It Never Ends this month and I told him I could probably make it to April. After April? I'm not making any plans.
What I would really like -- if I didn't have to write the entries between now and then -- would be to here December 31, 2011 so we could review every LIAR in the press who has made a point to schill for the administration. It would be wonderful to be here then and to say, "Are troops out? B-b-b-but, the press said . . ."
As appalling as Big Media has been (and there have been exceptions), it's been shameful that Little Media couldn't do a damn thing. How many useless hours do they have to fill at Pacifica and they couldn't cover the Congressional hearing on the treaty last week or delve into the realities of the treaty. What a waste of the broadcast spectrum. What a waste of print and 'internet highway' for The Nation, The Progressive and all the rest who avoided addressing the issue. They didn't have of value to offer on any other real topic but they had time to gas bag and lie and be the usual waste that they always are. They're disgusting and they're disgraceful and they can't real jobs so they have to beg people to donate so that their 'work' can continue. They're street beggars posing as journalists.
So it would be great if I woke up tomorrow and it was December 31, 2011. I honestly do not see going that long. (However, I did not see this site lasting as long as it has.) I don't know when it's ending. I have agree to continue through April of next year. After that, I don't know.
But I do know one and only one organization spoke out against the treaty. American Freedom Campaign offers an option for you to be heard by the US Congress:
Does this sound right to you? Next week, the Iraqi Parliament is expected to vote on whether to approve an agreement setting the terms of the ongoing military relationship between the United States and Iraq. So far, so good. A legislative body, representing the people of a nation, shall determine the extent to which that nation's future will be intertwined with that of another. Of course, one would expect that the United States Congress would be given the same opportunity. That, however, is not the case. Or at least it is not what the Bush administration is allowing to happen. Shockingly, the Bush administration is not even letting Congress read the full agreement before it is signed!
We need you to send a message immediately to U.S. House and Senate leaders, urging them to demand the constitutional input and approval to which they are entitled.
The administration has asserted that the agreement between the U.S. and Iraq is merely a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and therefore does not require congressional approval. Yet the agreement goes far beyond the traditional limits of a SOFA, which typically set the terms for bringing materials and equipment into a nation and outline the legal procedures that will apply to members of the military who are accused of crimes. Believe it or not, the current agreement contains terms that will actually give Iraq a measure of control over U.S. forces. No foreign nation or international entity has ever been given the authority to direct U.S. forces without prior congressional approval - either through a majority vote of both chambers or a two-thirds vote in the Senate in the case of treaties. If this agreement goes into effect without congressional approval, it will establish a precedent under which future presidents can exercise broad unilateral control over the U.S. military -- and even give foreign nations control over our troops. Congress must take immediate action.
Unfortunately, they are about to adjourn for at least a couple of weeks. But it is not too late for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make a statement, signaling their strong belief that Congress will not be bound by and need not fund an agreement that has not been approved by Congress. Please send an E-mail encouraging such action to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid immediately by clicking [here]
This is truly a dire situation and we hope that you will join us in calling for action.
American Freedom Campaign Action Fund
Will the treaty be pushed through and Bully Boy allowed to break the law, circumvent the Constitution? He's allegedly a lame-duck president, so why the hell can't anyone stand up to him?
If he's allowed to make a treaty without the Senate's approval, you better be prepared for everything coming down the path afterwards because that will say the Constitution does not matter and that there is no check on the Executive Branch of the federal government.
It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)
Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4201. Tonight? 4207. That's incorrect. The death noted in the snapshot today (announced by MNF) is not included in the tally. So it's actually at least 4202 currently. Just Foreign Policy lists 1,288,426 as the number of Iraqis killed isnce the start of the illegal war, same as last week.
The e-mail address for this site is email@example.com.
i hate the war
american freedom campaign