Wednesday, May 06, 2009

At least 12 killed in Baghdad bombings

Sam Dagher's "Iraqi Report on Corruption Cities Prosecutors' Barriers" in this morning's New York Times really requires graphs. (That's not an insult of the report.)

We'll stick to figures.

The Integrity Commission recevied 5,031 complaints in 2008.

3,027 of the complaints went to court.

Of that, there were 97 convictions.

Check my math but that's 3.204%, a 3% conviction rate.

The article isn't clear as to whether the 1,552 complaints against 2,772 officials fall into the 5,031 complaints or the 3,027 that went to court. The 1,552 complaints were dismissed by a 1971 Iraqi law which allows supervisors of various ministries to grant immunity to underlings.

Among the ministries, the Times notes the following number of cases:

Interior Ministry had 735 cases against its employees
Municipalities and Public Works Ministry had 400
Justice Ministry had 249
Trade Ministry had 99

That is not a complete list. The paper notes the Trade Ministry would come in tenth so there are six ministries between Justice and Trade.

The take-away is that no one is being prosecuted and greed and graft continues to run wild in Iraq.

Also in this morning's Times, Katharine Q. Seelye makes the argument for legalizing pot. She does? For years, we heard various blowhards in the press bemoan the fact that the coffins could not be photographed -- the coffins of those who died in Iraq or Afghanistan -- as they were returned to the US. Now that the policy has changed (somewhat), what does Seelye discover?

The first arrival of cases after the meda ban was lifted, on April 5, drew 35 journalists; since then, the number has dwindled, sometimes to only a single photographer for The Associated Press.

The article is entitled "For Families of the War Dead, a Mournful Ritual of Homecoming." And the pot reference (made by me, Seeyle makes no reference to drugs) is to the argument that by making it (or anything else) the forbidden fruit, it is more attractive but if it were legalized some of the 'allure' would vanish. That appears to be what has happened with the photographing of coffins. Now that it is (somewhat) allowed, there's very little interest in it.

In Baghdad today, 12 people are dead from bombings. Ernesto Londono and Aziz Alwan (Washington Post) report there were 2 car bombings, one at "a crowded vegetable market". Of interest, the reporters note:

In recent days, top American military officials issued an order barring commanders and spokesmen from using the oft-repeated phrase "security continues to improve," because they deemed it "disingenuous" in light of the recent attacks, according to an American officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Jeremiah P. McCleery was killed in Iraq Saturday. We said we'd note some details when the press began covering him. Steve Timko (Reno Gazette-Journal) speaks with Josh Rogers who graduated with him in 2004 from Portola High School:

Josh Rogers, who graduated with McCleery, said he was best known as Miah.
"He was a very loyal friend," Rogers said. "If you broke down in Reno or far away, he'd come pick you up. He always had your back."
Rogers said McCleery liked camping, something he did frequently, and also enjoyed sport shooting, fishing and four-wheeling. He was a great fan of the sporting goods store Cabela's, Rogers said.
Asked when he was his happiest, Rogers said:
"Probably hanging out with his dad. Doing anything with his dad, probably."
McCleery joined the Army in 2007 and was deployed to Iraq in December,
Rogers said.
McCleery had several reasons to join the military, he said.
"He always wanted to when he was a kid," Rogers said. "He probably just wanted to out of patriotic duty and go serve.
"I think he wanted to go do his part."

The Reno Gazette Journal also notes this statement from Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons, "I want to extend the condolences of a grateful State and a grateful Nation to the family and friends of Specialist Jeremiah McCleery. His sacrifice for freedom will never be forgotten."

Regarding a story Amy Goodman will be doing later this morning on Democracy Now!, we're not interested. Proselytizing is really all Goodman can do but she's offended when it's religious and done by the military for Christianity. It's hilarious to discover that Queen Proselytizer would be offended by anyone else.

But I'm not interested in that garbage. I'm not interested in covering religion at all. But we do have to cover it here in regards to the ethnic and religious minorities targeted in Iraq. And the fact that we have to cover it because it is an actual news story but Amy Goodman avoids it and ignores it? And it's not just her. Go to The Nation, go to The Progressive, go anywhere on the left and find the story about the Iraqi Christians or the Iraqi Jews being targeted. Look in vain, they aren't there. But these non-believers are thrilled to do the same damn story about the US military and Christianity over and over.

We've heard that story. We know that story. It's not right, it shouldn't happen.

But there are people being killed in Iraq because of their religious beliefs and these supposed 'independent' outlets won't cover it. It's appalling and you have to wonder if the Holocaust took place today would these same 'independents' ignore it because that's what their coverage indicates.

I'm sick of it. I find it disgusting. And it reeks of their own personal motives.

For the record, I have not stood on any religion or attempted to cloak myself in any here. And I never will. I do not answer and will not answer religious questions. But if something's a news story, it's a news story. The Iraqi refugees is HUGELY a story of the attacks on Iraqi Christians. And that is ignored by these same people who want to whine about the US military and Christianity. Yeah, we covered that here I'm sure in 2004 and 2005. But since that is the only thing these openly hostile to religion types will cover, I'm not interested in the story. They really need to take a look at themselves and grasp that they do not come off as informing or bringing the news. They come off as sick little children working out grudges *against* Mommy and Daddy.

They're openly hostile to religion and that's become more and more obvious with what they chose to cover and what they chose to ignore. Repeatedly. I'm not taking part in that and I'm not amplifying what is increasingly playing out as hate speech.

And for the record, anyone saying everyone knows Eisenhower's famous warning better grasp that it was warnings -- plural. And I'm getting real damn tired of these monuments to Eisenhower from the left to begin with but that they want to whitewash what he was saying, to treat that speech as a buffet, goes to their lack of ethics.

We'll close with this from Mark Kukis' "Iraq: Does al-Maliki Have Room for Human Rights?" (Time magazine):

To start, al-Maliki's original alliance with al-Sadr raises questions about the Prime Minister's scruples. Al-Maliki and the Iraqi policymakers close to him did not necessarily see a problem working with a murderous militia that held considerable sway in the Iraqi army and national police. In fact, al-Maliki, who is Shi'ite, appeared more inclined to accept Shi'ite militia support than U.S. military help.
Since then, Iraq has done little to encourage accountability for alleged human-rights abuses by Iraqi security forces working with Shi'ite militias at the height of the sectarian killings. General David Petraeus, the former top U.S. commander in Iraq, and former Baghdad Ambassador Ryan Crocker repeatedly quarreled with al-Maliki on the matter throughout 2008, pressing the Prime Minister to clear the way for the trial of at least one senior Ministry of Interior official accused of orchestrating prison abuses and murders. Al-Maliki resisted the U.S. pressure and largely seemed unconcerned about investigating a myriad of cases in which Iraqi security forces, chiefly the national police, remain accused of rape, torture and murder in conjunction with sectarian death squads.

The e-mail address for this site is

the washington post
ernesto londono