Saturday, February 07, 2009

The US military announces another death

Today the US military announced: "TIKRIT, Iraq -- A U.S. Soldier died as a result of a non-combat related injury near Balad Ruz, Iraq, Feb. 6. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The incident is under investigation." This is the first announced death for the month of February and brings the total number of US service members killed in Iraq to 4238.

In today's New York Times, Stephen Farrell and Alissa J. Rubin serve up "Italian Sightseer's Iraq Tour: Take Your Photos and Leave" about Luca Marchio causing a commotion while visiting the Falluja police station . Marchio states, "I am a toursit. I want to see the most important cities in the country. That is the reason why I am here now. I want to see and understand the reality because I have never been here before, and I think every country in the world must be seen." He can't see Falluja overnight as he was advised to leave town. He ended up being 'detained' ("for his own safety") and note that one "American marine working with the police suggested taking him to the city limits and dropping him where Falluja met the main highway." Note that is not what Americans do in other countries, especially ones where allegedly democracy is emerging. When an American makes such an insulting and dumb ass statement is indicates to everyone that even those countries with democracy do not value it. Should Marchio have gone to Iraq? It's not illegal. There is no travel ban to Iraq. On top of that, he entered the country using his passport and crossing through the border checkpoints. Could he have gotten killed? Unless he's the luckiest person on the face of the earth, he most likely would have. But that doesn't excuse American representatives from making anti-democratic and dumb ass statements in a foreign country when surrounded by foreign officials attempting to figure out what to do with someone. That marine disgraced his or her self and disgraced the US. When an American spits on democracy in Iraq, it has a huge effect and indicates to Iraqi officials that democracy is nothing but a bunch of empty words. As a private citizen, the marine could have done whatever they wished. As someone sent to Iraq by the US government, he or she needs to always remember that they help set the tone, that they send the cues and that Iraqis are watching them.

Military Families Speak Out is in the midst of DC action that continues through Monday:

Come to Washington February 6-9 to demand "The Change WE Need"
President Elect Obama opposed the war in Iraq before it started, calling it a "dumb war." But he and his advisors have also said that they plan to spread the return of combat troops from that "dumb war" out over sixteen months and to keep
tens of thousands of other troops on the ground in Iraq indefinitely.
So from February 6-9, MFSO will be traveling to Washington to bring the new President and new Congress the message that it is long past time to bring all our troops home from Iraq. The four days of events will include:
* A
teach-in featuring the voices of military families, veterans, and Iraqis, explaining the need for an immediate and complete end to the war in Iraq -- and the human impacts of continuing the occupation. Friday, February 6 from Noon - 3:00 p.m. at Mott House, 122 Maryland Avenue.
* A solemn procession from Arlington National Cemetary to the White House beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 7. Meet at the front gate of the cemetery right outside the exit of the Arlington Metro stop. Please arrive early.
* A "Meet and Greet" and Legislative Briefing from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 8 at the Mariott Metro Center.
* Lobbying members of Congress to end the war in Iraq. Meet in the cafeteria of the Rayburn House Office Building at 9:00 a.m. Monday, February 9.

Vic notes Darrell Bellaart's "War deserter's mom worries about death penalty" (Nanaimo Daily News):

Annie Nichols imagines the worst for her adopted son, U.S. Army deserter Cliff Cornell, when he turns himself in to the American government on Tuesday.
"They will probably court-martial him. What happens from there I don't know," Nichols said by telephone from Mountain Home, Ark. "It can be anything from 'you can go home' to life in federal prison. In wartime, it can be a death sentence."
Cornell, a quiet, unassuming man, has fallen into the unlikely role of firebrand in the divisive issue of whether deserters fit into Canada's longstanding tradition of harbouring conscientious objectors. Because they willingly signed up, some critics say deserters who avoid the battlefield are cowards.

The following community sites updated last night:

Cedric's Big Mix
The fear card
11 hours ago

The Daily Jot
11 hours ago

Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude
green party news
12 hours ago

Mikey Likes It!
Dennis Loo and this week's Dumb Ass pick
12 hours ago

The Cuban Five
12 hours ago

Thomas Friedman is a Great Man
Washington Week
12 hours ago

Trina's Kitchen
Sauerkraut and weinies in the Kitchen
12 hours ago

Ruth's Report
12 hours ago

Oh Boy It Never Ends
The Cheap Detective
12 hours ago

Like Maria Said Paz
Striking in France, John Pilger
12 hours ago

Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills)
Kellogs, FDA, etc.
12 hours ago

Kat hopes to do two album reviews this month and ideally would like to have them completed this weekend (and posted here). She said to word it that way.

The e-mail address for this site is

the new york times
alissa j. rubin
stephen farrell
cliff cornell