Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Other Items

A $722 million contract to rebuild Iraq's oil and gas production facilities was marked by multiple changes, cost overruns, failure to meet schedules and lack of oversight, according to a new inspector general's report.
The contract ran from 2004 to 2008 and, like many signed in the early years of the Iraq war, it had a general goal: to rebuild the oil infrastructure in southern Iraq, using U.S. funds ($562 million) and money generated by sale of Iraqi oil ($160 million). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Joint Contracting Command in Iraq managed the contract, which KBR won. When the contract went into effect, KBR was a subsidiary of Halliburton. KBR officially separated from Halliburton in April 2007 and is now an independent company.

The above is from Walter Pincus' "Report Details Iraq Contract Failures" (Washington Post) and what KBR and Halliburton did was one form of violence inflicted upon Iraq. Today's violence already includes multiple bombings. Reuters reports a Mosul car bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi solider and left three more people injured, a police officer was shot dead in Kirkuk and two Baghdad roadside bombings left seven people injured.

Meanwhile Iraq's Foreign Ministry has been busy and we'll note this release from them on the issue of the Palestinians:

13 January, 2009
Arrival of Aid Supplies from Iraqi Government to Palestinian People
Two Iraqi cargo carriers arrived at Marka airport in Jordan carrying Iraqi medical supplies and other equipment for the Gaza Strip. Iraqi Ambassador in Amman, Mr.Saad Jassem Hayani received the first plane in addition to General Mohamed Al-Abbadi head of the Hashemite Charity and a number of Staff, in addition to a group of Iraqi and Jordanian media. 23 tons of cargo is currently being unloaded. Aid convoys will be accompanied the embassy staff member in addition to a staff member of the Hashemite Charitable Society to the King Hussein Bridge crossing.

The assault on Gaza is a topic Rebecca covers. (And does so very well.) The following community sites have updated since yesterday morning:

Cedric's Big Mix
Barack dines with his buddies
9 hours ago

The Daily Jot
9 hours ago

Mikey Likes It!
Random musings and Phoebe Snow
10 hours ago

Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude
norman finkelstein on the continued slaughter
10 hours ago

10 hours ago

Ruth's Report
Phyllis Bennis plays America for a chump
10 hours ago

Oh Boy It Never Ends
Delay the digital switch
10 hours ago

Like Maria Said Paz
Phoebe Snow
10 hours ago

Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills)
Phoebe Snow's live album Live is out
10 hours ago

And from Tony Perry's "Deserter's cause taken up by activists at Miramar" (Los Angeles Times):

Two dozen members of Military Families Speak Out and San Diego Veterans for Peace protested Tuesday afternoon outside the base in support of Robin Long, a onetime Army private who was sentenced in August to 15 months behind bars and a dishonorable discharge.
The activists support Long's view that the Iraq war is illegal and say his sentence is particularly cruel because it could prevent him from returning to his sick girlfriend and their 2-year-old son in Canada. Canadian law makes it difficult for convicted felons to enter Canada.
"Here's a guy who did what his conscience told him to do," said Dave Patterson, who was in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.
"Why do we need to put him in prison? That's crazy."

It is crazy. So was the refusal to press Barack Obama to do anything about it. Gerald Ford (unelected) was pressured. George McGovern and Jimmy Carter were pressured during the presidential campaigns and their primary campaigns. (McGovern lost in the 1972 general election, Jimmy Carter won in the 1976 general election.) Democrat or Republican, real peace movements could bring real pressure on their presidents and would-be presidents. (Ford was a Republican, he was not elected -- he replaced Spiro Agnew as Tricky Dick Nixon's vice president after Nixon and Agnew were re-elected in 1972 and after Agnew's disgrace in a scandal forced him out of the vice presidency. When Watergate forced Nixon out of office, Ford became president.)

And when it was proposed that similar pressure be brought on Barack -- as far back as the primaries -- the same enablers (always the first to swear they'd hold Barack's feet to the fire some day!) were the first to tell you it couldn't happen. If Barack promises to pardon or grant amnesty, he'll never get elected! No one can get elected! Look what happened to . . . who? Carter? Carter got elected.

Well, the liars would say, when he's in office.

He's going into office next week. Exactly when are you useless liars going to start acting like his personal bodyguards and start serving the people you claim to? (I'm not talking about members of Congress, I'm referring to the pathetic 'leadership' of the left, those 'brave' voices who always try to speak the left even though no one asked them to and they more or less appointed themselves.)

Robin Long is not a leak in a boat. But that is how he's dealt with. Oh, let's plug up that hole! And another one springs up, and another, and another. What is needed is known: A blanket amnesty program. Then you wouldn't have to fight for Long or any individual's rights. You wouldn't have to fight and refight the same battle over and over. Robin Long is not an isolated individual. He is part of a movement. Sad that the greater part of the alleged 'left' has disowned their committment to ending the illegal war in order to be Barack Groupies. (Or is it love slaves? They're like David Hemmings in The Love Machine.) They wouldn't pressure him in the primaries and they'd lie and say it could hurt him in the general. Wouldn't pressure him in the general and that's because it might hurt his chances of getting elected. And now? Won't pressure him because he might not get re-elected. It's a bit like the excuse for the do-nothing Congress. 2006, they said, give us control of one house of Congress and we'll end the illegal war. They got control of both houses. No end to the war. Give us control of the White House! They just got it and, if you missed it, the new proposal being road-tested is, "Give us over sixty in the Senate and . . ." This is where America's historical ignorance really starts paying off: Those who don't know the history will actually believe all of that is needed in order for Democrats to accomplish something in Congress.

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tony perry

oh boy it never ends