Saturday, March 21, 2009

Protests against the Iraq War

DC protest 2

Today people protested across the US. Muhammad Qasim (Islam Online) notes the March on the Pentagon in DC and quotes Sarah Sloan (A.N.S.W.E.R.) stating, "We are marching on the Pentagon and several Corporate War Profiteers on Saturday, March 21, because the people must speak out for what is right. More than 1 million Iraqis have died and tens of thousands of US troops have been wounded or killed since 2003." Qasim also notes:

The majority of Muslim-American organizations are also taking part in the Pentagon march.
"The main purpose of the march is to continue to apply pressure on our government to embrace a policy that disengages from the flaw in foreign policy that was initiated by the Bush Administration that launched a pre-emptive war against the people of Iraq and facilitated through US tax dollars a foreign policy that maintains an occupation in Afghanistan and Palestine," said Imam Mahdi Bray, Executive Director MAS Freedom Foundation.
"In short, we're marching to remind the new Obama Administration who campaigned on a policy of change in the Muslim world that the people of the US really want that change will bring about peace and stability in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and other Muslim countries within the region."

Christina Hoag (AP) reports a large gathering in Los Angeles where Cindy Sheehan, Ron Kovice and Paul Haggis (Academdy Award winner of Best Screenplay for Crash). Sheehan was quoted stating, "We're pressing for a speedy end to the war."

Some of the violence reported today included . . .


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports an Amara roadside bombing on Friday which claimed the life of 1 police officer and left three others injured and, also Friday, a Salahuddin Province fountain bombing which left Brig Mohammed Nejeeb injured. Reuters notes 2 roadside bombing on Friday in Baghdad which resulted in three people being injured.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 people were shot dead in Mosul clash.


Reuters notes 1 corpse discovered in Mosul.

While others take the day off, today's Washington Post offers Sudarsan Raghavan's "Iraq's Kurds Find Prosperity Breeds Distrust:"

On a hilltop overlooking this small Kurdish town, a sleek $28 million hospital rises like a cutting-edge sculpture. Inside, builder Sabah Melhem admired a European medical scanner gleaming under white fluorescent light. Virtually every room contains state-of-the-art equipment, unlike anywhere else in Iraq. "I hope in every city I can build a hospital like this," Melhem declared. "This is my dream."
Two floors down, it is apparent who helps to turn such dreams into reality: a larger-than-life photo of Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani looms over the entrance, a reminder of how much patronage still prevails in one of Iraq's most stable and developed regions.
Melhem is part of a generation of entrepreneurs driving the economic transformation of Kurdistan, as northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region is known. Many Iraqis say that a strong economy that allows sects and ethnic groups to share in the country's wealth is a vital path to stability. But below the surface of Kurdistan's prosperity, tensions are churning over who is benefiting from economic growth. The two ruling Kurdish political parties, America's staunchest allies in Iraq, dominate virtually every aspect of the regional economy, spawning conflicts of interest and corruption, according to Kurdish and U.S. officials.

Warning or heads up, at Third tomorrow morning (hopefully morning), Ava and I will be doing three pieces -- two on TV, one a Katrina. That's because we have to make an appearance at a party tonight and can then ditch it and everyone else wants to blow off some steam. So, to try to make sure we're not behind schedule, Ava and I'll start writing later tonight and knock out three articles. In addition to those three, there will be a roundtable, an editorial and Dona's got two ideas on short pieces (and there will be "Highlights"). By the way, that group includes Isaiah and he may or may not be in the mood or have the time to do a comic tomorrow -- he'll most likely be off tomorrow (and will return next Sunday).

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