Monday, March 16, 2009

Brits want investigation, another poll needs one

The survey, conducted by ComRes for the BBC, found 72% of those questioned believe there should be an official inquiry into the UK's role in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
This figure increases to 81% in the 18-24 age group.
Last year the government defeated Conservative attempts to force a public inquiry, saying it would be a a "diversion" for UK troops serving in Iraq.
And in February Justice Secretary Jack Straw vetoed the publication of minutes of cabinet meetings discussing the legality of the war in the run-up to the invasion.
There were fresh calls for an inquiry last week after documents showed that intelligence chiefs were urged to make a key dossier on the Iraqi threat as "firm" as possible.

The above is from BBC News and last Thursday the British government released e-mails from members of Tony Blair's government in the lead up to the illegal war. The e-mails added further proof to mounting evidence in public record that the Iraq War intel was fixed and was intentionally fixed -- not by spy agencies but by Blair and Bully Boy Bush who wanted war on Iraq. What the British want -- the "vast majority," as Reuters notes -- is an inquiry; however, "Prime Minister Gordon Brown has ruled out holding an inquiry until all British troops have left the country. The remaining 4,000 or so soldiers, based near the southern city of Basra, are due to start pulling out at the end of May."

There are big efforts to pimp another poll mentioned in the BBC article. Japan's NDK, the BBC and the US ABC commissioned it. The poll is hogwash. The spin is, "Things are better! Look, look things are better! Iraqis say so!" Do they? Do Iraqis say so? ABC includes this in the notes on methodology: "Interviews were conducted in person, in Arabic or Kurdish, among a random national sample of 2,228 Iraqis aged 18 and up from Feb. 17-25, 2009." Interviews were conducted in Kurdish? Really? In Kurdish? Meaning the person interviewed spoke Kurdish and only Kurdish. Meaning the polling includes the KRG which was the 'calm Iraq' as we've been told (by Newsweek, among others) since 2006 with polling in the KRG backing that up. All this poll did was take what most people see as Iraq proper and mix in the Kurdistan Region -- a region that's always had more optisim and far less violence (though it has always had violence). You've just mixed two different things to conduct that poll, in doing so you rendered it scientifically unsound. Go waste the time of someone who didn't take research methodology. In other words, go waste the time of the bulk of journalists. But anyone with a background in the social scientists will immediately recognize the problem and that's before you get to the margin of error which is rather high for allegedly face-to-face interviews.

And that's before you get to this point from ABC: "Four sampling points were substituted for security reasons." A journalist won't get that. They'll nod along and rush along. Anyone with a background in research methodology grasps the problem immediately. And that's before we discover that these interviews were not a pollster and a respondent but, in many cases, a pollster, a respondent and "supervisors and control team members." The results from an occupied people are always suspect in speaking to occupied powers (or their media reps) for a poll. Even more so when you send in a "team" of people. The poll is a joke. Anyone who cites it either has not looked into the methodology or they are ignorant on the subject.

Here's an example of AP playing the fool. If you bother to wade through their garbage you'll find out that Kurdish respondents were more optimistic than any other segment! Wow! How amazing. How surprising. We just explained why that was. We just explained how bringing them into the polling skewed the results. If you don't know polling you really need to carefully cite it or, better yet, don't cite it at all.

Last night
we noted Tony Perry (Los Angeles Times) reporting that Canadian MPs Oliva Chow and Borys Wrzesnewskj visited US war resister Robin Long. Long was extradited from Canada last year and court-martialed in the US where he was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment. AP reports this morning that although Chow and Wrzesnewskj were allowed to speak with him, they "were not allowed to take notes or record the interview". Chow is quoted stating, "My heart sank, it was very heavy. I was angry that Canada deported him."

From last Thursday's snapshot, we'll note this:

Camilo Mejia is the author of Road from Ar Ramadi. He is an Iraq War veteran. He is a conscientious objector. He stood up to the full power of the US military and he survived and then some. He is the chair of Iraq Veterans Against the war. All of that, before you even get into the adventures of his father and mother, is more than worth hearing about and those makes him someone worth hearing. Those in South Bend and Goshen Indiana have the opportunity to hear him next week. Monday, he will be speaking at 7:00 pm on the Indiana University South Bend's campus and Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. he will be speaking in Goshen at Iglesia Menonita Del Buen Pastor. Both events are free and open to the public and more information can be found here. Mejia is among the early resisters and his actions are noted by Michael J. Mooney (Broward Palm Beach) who explains the struggle war resister Aslan Lamarche is currently undergoing. He joined the military at the age of 18, he then self-checked out and went to Canada. His attempt to be granted refugee status in Canada was denied. His parents (from Trinidad and Cuba) remain in Flordia and Aslan states, "It's sad. My parents came to the U.S. for a better way of life. And now, their oldest son had to leave that same country for the same reason." He is taking classes in Toronto and hoping for some good news. He says, "It's hard to be 20 years old and be hated by two governments. And Canada is a very strange country in a lot of ways. They just have this blind trust that their government will do the right thing. The majority of Canadians want us to stay. They say, 'Don't worry. Everything will be fine.' But at the end of the day, none of them are willing to fight for us."

Camilo speaks today and tomorrow in Indiana.

The illegal war hits the six year mark this Thursday and World Can't Wait offers a list of other cities holding demonstrations. Saturday, those wanting to call out the illegal war can join with groups such as The National Assembly to End the Wars, the ANSWER coalition, World Can't Wait and Iraq Veterans Against the War -- all are taking part in a real action. Iraq Veterans Against the War explains:

IVAW's Afghanistan Resolution and National Mobilization March 21st
As an organization of service men and women who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, stateside, and around the world, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War have seen the impact that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on the people of these occupied countries and our fellow service members and veterans, as well as the cost of the wars at home and abroad. In recognition that our struggle to withdraw troops from Iraq and demand reparations for the Iraqi people is only part of the struggle to right the wrongs being committed in our name, Iraq Veterans Against the War has voted to adopt an official resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and reparations for the Afghan people. (To read the full resolution, click here.)
To that end, Iraq Veterans Against the War will be joining a national coalition which is being mobilized to march on the Pentagon, March 21st, to demand the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and further our mission and goals in solidarity with the national anti-war movement. This demonstration will be the first opportunity to show President Obama and the new administration that our struggle was not only against the Bush administration - and that we will not sit around and hope that troops are removed under his rule, but that we will demand they be removed immediately.
For more information on the March 21st March on the Pentagon, and additional events being organized in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orlando, to include transportation, meetings, and how you can get involved, please visit: or

Meanwhile, we'll waste our time commenting on this 'news' when the US military states it happened, not some little flack taking orders from them.

Friday, Iraq's Foreign Ministry noted:

13 March, 2009

Iraqi Embassies and Missions Celebrate Women's Day

On the occasion of the International Women's day on 8th of Mar.2009 , Iraqi embassies and missions held a celebration, during the celebration Minister Zebari's speech was given and his congratulations was conveyed on the occasion stressing the active role of women in the new Iraq .

Below are the Iraqi Missions that celebrated International Women's Day:

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Kiev

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Sofia

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Bucharest

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Manila

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Vienna

Iraqi Consulate in Istanbul

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Roma

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Athens

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq- Mexico

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- The Hauge

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Pretoria

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Moscow

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Copenhagen

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Hanoi

Iraq's Permanent Mission to UN in New York

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Dakar

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq -- Ankara

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Everything Bully Is Barack Again" and Kat's "Kat's Korner: Joshua Radin shares some simple beauty" went up last night. The e-mail address for this site is