Sunday, May 31, 2009

And the war drags on . . .

Chelsea J. Carter (AP) reports Keith Walker, Army Brig Gen, declared at a press briefing today that US forces may miss the June 30th 'deadline' in the Status Of Forces Agreement to leave all Iraqi cities stating, "It remains to be seen what the numbers will be." The so-called Status Of Forces Agreement has been cited as meaning that all US forces will be out of Iraqi cities on June 30th (they will not be out of Baghdad or the Mosul base) and they will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011. June 30th looms and Walker is only the latest to indicate that 'deadline' will be missed. 2 US service members announced dead today, two attacks on Iraqi journalists, the illegal war's not ending . . .

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4300 and tonight? 4306. Today the US military announced: "TIKRIT, Iraq – A U.S. Soldier died as a result of a non-combat related injury in Tikrit, Iraq, May 31. 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." AP adds, "A second soldier, assigned to the 3rd Sustainment Command, died from injuries caused by a vehicle accident in Tallil, south of Baghdad, the statement said." This brings the May total to 24 thus far.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad sticky bombing attack on TV journalists resulted in two crew members being injured, a Baghdad mortar attack injured one police officer, a Tikrit grenade attack damaged a Humvee, a Mosul roadside bombing left five people injured, another Mosul roadside bombing injured an Iraiq soldier, and a Mosul sticky bombing also targeted the press and claimed the life of journalist Alaa Abdul Wahab and injured a second journalist. Reuters drops back to yesterday to note a Haswa roadside bombing which claimed 1 life and left three injured, a Samarra roadside bombing which claimed the lives of 2 police officers and left four more injured, a Mosul roadside bombing which left three people injured and an Iskandariya sticky bombing which claimed 1 life.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 woman's corpse was discovered in Kirkuk.

In today's New York Times, Marc Santora and Abeer Mohammed offer "Ex-Official Held in Iraq After Flight Is Sent Back" which reports on the arrest of Abed Falah al-Sudani whose resignation as Trade Minister was accepted Monday. The reporters note:

However, only hours after Mr. Sudani wasdetained, his defenders in Parliament were questioning the legality of his being taken into custody, saying the judge who issued the warrant did not have the jurisdiction to arrest a minister. They said they expected Mr. Sudani's release soon.

Also in today's New York Times, Sam Dagher's "Devotion And Money Tie Iranians To Iraqi City." Dagher argues that the religious pilgrimages of Iranians to Iraq represent an example of "soft power" Iran can excert over Iraq. Dagher writes:

Iraq singed an agreement with Iran in 2005 to allow up to 5,000 Iranian pilgrims in each day. Most come by land and stay for a week. There are also three daily flights now ferrying Iranian pilgrims to Iraq. Tehran wants to send many more and to improve the infrastructure in the shrine cities to allow it.

And it works both ways, al-Maliki's on a pilgrimage as well. Iran's Press TV reports Nouri al-Maliki flew to "Hakim's bedside in Tehran" this weekend because Abdul Aziz al-Hakim is receiving treatments for cancer. Meanwhile Ghassan Awad and Gao Shan (Xinhua) report on how the war zone is impacting Iraqi children:

Bursting into tears, Jasim came forward and embraced his six-year-old son Omer who was shivering and crying excessively with fear "they will take me and kill me," as he had already seen some heavily armed soldiers walking towards them in the volatile province of Diyala.
"My poor son is screaming, completely lost in hysteria as soon as he sees Americans or Iraqi troops," said Jasim who declined to give his full name for security reasons.
Jasim explained the cause of his son's psychological malady that appeared nearly two years ago when Omer saw an insurgent was killed and two others detained by a joint dismounted patrol of U.S. and Iraqi troops during clashes near their house in the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad.
"The bloody fighting had affected severely the psychology of my son who became so scared as soon as he sees armed soldiers," Jasim said with tears in his eyes.

New content at Third:

Truest statement of the week
A note to our readers
Editorial: In essence, we are terrorists
TV: The Goode Family's Bad Misfortune
Worst Dolls
Reaction to the denial of marriage equality
Winter Soldier Southwest
Worst Web Site (Ava and C.I.)
Worst scene stealer of the 20th century
The digital switch
Adam Kokesh
Racist in the White House
Flipper commits suicide

Molly e-mailed to explain that the truest was messed up. That happens, as she guessed, when there's a link that's got an 'open tag'. That means the link's not closed and runs in to the rest of the entry messing it up. It has been fixed and thank you to Molly for noting it but she had another question about that: If you see something like that it is better to e-mail here or Third? If Jim's note has gone up -- the full note where he's writing about the edition, not just the "Here's who worked" and "here's what we got" that he posts to get it up and then goes back into after "Truest" goes up, if that's been posted in full, no one's going back into the e-mail account for Third until Monday at the earliest. So if you see something like that, you can e-mail here and I may see it (I may not, I haven't read every e-mail that's come in this weekend, let alone today). But if you e-mail here, use the member accounts. I will spend more time in the member accounts than I will in the public account. Thank you to Molly for catching the problem and for bringing up the issue of where to notify on Sundays.

Okay, Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Fair Play For Old Men" went up this morning and Pru highlights the following from Great Britain's Socialist Worker:

This article should be read after: » BNP success would mean more violence and racism
Pete Doherty to play Stoke festival
The News that Pete Doherty is to join the headline acts at the Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) Festival in Stoke this Saturday is a major boost to the campaign.
Doherty will join a raft of other musical talent from around the world, including Kelly Rowland and Reverend & the Makers, to take the anti-fascist message to the heart of one the BNP’s target areas.
Coaches are bringing people from across Britain to the event—which will be a major rallying point for the anti-fascist movement just days before the European elections.
LMHR has held a number of successful events over the past week. More than 2,500 came to LMHR’s Fuse Festival in Derby, held across seven venues in the city.
One of the highlights was a packed out gig by Asian Dub Foundation, who have been playing a mini-tour to support LMHR.
The band got a rapturous welcome from a 200-strong crowd in Sheffield on Monday.
And a similar crowd greeted them in Manchester on Saturday.
Around 200 came to a gig in Bolton earlier in the week and another 300 came to an afternoon event with local bands in Wigan on bank holiday Monday.
The following should be read alongside this article: »
BNP success would mean more violence and racism» Fighting against the fascist threat across Britain
To buy tickets for the Stoke festival or to get involved with LMHR in your area go to »
© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.
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