Friday, May 22, 2009

At least 30 dead, 48 injured in Thursday's violence

Yesterday's violence in Iraq resulted in 27 reported deaths and thirty-two reported wounded. The 27 includes the 3 US soldiers killed. This morning Reuters adds the following on Thursday's violence: a Mosul roadside bombing which claimed the life of 1 police officer and injured six more, another Mosul roadside bombing injured a woman, 2 corpses discovered in Mosul ("man with bullet wounds" and "woman with bullet wounds"). So there are 30 reported deaths from Thursday's violence (at least thirty) and thirty-nine reported wounded plus nine US soldiers wounded for a total of forty-eight wounded. And the violence follows Wednesday's Baghdad bombing which resulted in at least 40 dead.

Nada Bakri (Washington Post) notes the nine wounded and, on the Baghdad bombing, quotes eye witnesses including these two:

"Blood was all over the ground," said Raed Nizar, a street vendor. "The wounded were pleading with motorists who happened to drive by to take them to the hospital."
[. . .]
"Everybody was here," said Ahmad Falah, 19, a blacksmith. "How did they not catch him before he blew himself up?"

Timothy Williams and Abeer Mohammed (New York Times) describe the Baghdad bomber:

As the soldiers stood outside chatting with Awakening members, a bearded man dressed in a woman's black floor-length cloak walked from an adjacent outdoor market and detonated explosives attached to his body, the witnesses said.
The force of the explosion tore the man's body apart, witnesses said, leaving his decapitated head on the pavement.

Alsumaria covers yesterday violence:

Whoever is targeting Iraq security stability knows well that this would lead to delaying US Forces withdrawal from Iraq and extend gory bombings targeting innocents.
Baghdad Streets were anew faced by a bloodshed that was believed to be over, yet, 12 people were killed in Al Dora District and 25 others were wounded when a gunman blew himself up in a crowded market. Three US soldiers were killed as well in the incident.
In Kirkuk, a suicide bomber camouflaged in a Sahwa uniform blew himself up among a crowd of Sahwas who were lined up to get paid their salaries killing seven and wounding eight others.
In Al Maamoun District, two policemen were killed and 20 others wounded when a bomb planted in a garbage can detonated near a police station.
In a separate incident, five citizens were killed including two policemen in a roadside bomb explosion.
In Al Zaafaraniya District, five citizens were wounded including two policemen in a bomb explosion while a Katyosha missile near a police patrol in Al Mussayeb wounded four members.
In Al Mussayeb as well, seven citizens were wounded including three policemen when they rushed to assist in rescuing a car accident victims among whom nine were killed and seven were wounded.
In Hilla, a gunman shot dead two citizens in a mourning council.
Meanwhile, Interior and Defense Ministries are preparing to start a comprehensive plan for Iraqi Forces redeployment preparing for the withdrawal of US Forces from cities at the end of June, Interior Ministry operations chief Brigadier Abdul Karim Khalaf said.

Brian Faler (Bloomberg) reports the US Senate voted 86 to 3 to approved the $91 billion war supplemental bill for Barack. Yesterday's snapshot noted the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Kat's "Senate Armed Services Committee" covers the hearing.

Turning to news of Barry O! Constant caving . . . has always been . . . In "Obama's promise to gays," the Los Angeles Times editorial board notes:

Some gay activists fear that, given the welter of other issues confronting the president, he may be unwilling to expend time or political capital on this or other gay-rights initiatives. Their anxiety was exacerbated by Obama's refusal to intervene in the expulsion from the National Guard of Dan Choi, an Arabic-speaking Iraq war veteran who disclosed he was gay in a TV interview. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Choi's case showed that "don't ask, don't tell" is a failure, adding that Obama would work with Congress and the Pentagon on a new policy. But changes, he said, "require more than the snapping of one's fingers."
That less-than-ringing reaffirmation of Obama's support for gays in the military sows doubt about whether the president will vigorously lobby Congress for two other items on his campaign's gay-rights agenda: enactment of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act protecting gays and lesbians against workplace discrimination, and a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman." Political reality and the press of other business may justify the postponement of some of Obama's campaign promises, but these aren't among them.

Event today in the Bay Area. Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian, authors of Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians, were guests on Tuesday's KPFA Flashpoints (show is archived at Flashpoints and at KPFA -- there are some excerpts in yesterday's snapshot). Friday, Hedges and Al-Arian will be speaking at MLK Auditorium (MLK Middle School) in Berkeley and ticket prices are twelve to fifteen dollars. The event starts at seven p.m.

Elizabeth Landau (CNN) has an important article on torture. Jeremy Scahill's "US Colonel Advocates US 'Military Attacks' on 'Partisan Media' in Essay for Neocon, Pro-Israel Group JINSA " is also a must read. On the previous entry this morning, note this from AP's Brett Barroquere's report:

Green's attorneys never denied his involvement in the attack, instead focusing on building a case that he didn't deserve the death penalty. Former Marines and other soldiers with whom Green served testified that he faced an unusually stressful combat tour in Iraq in a unit that suffered heavy casualties and didn't receive sufficient Army leadership while serving in the area labeled "Triangle of Death."

Alexander Cockburn (First Post via Information Clearing House) weighs in on Barry O!:

How long does it take a mild-mannered, anti-war, black professor of constitutional law, trained as a community organiser on the South Side of Chicago, to become an enthusiastic sponsor of targeted assassinations, 'decapitation' strategies and remote-control bombing of mud houses at the far end of the globe?
There's nothing surprising here. As far back as President Woodrow Wilson, in the early 20th century, American liberalism has been swift to flex its imperial muscle and whistle up the Marines. High-explosive has always been in the hormone shot.
The nearest parallel to Obama in eager deference to the bloodthirsty counsels of his counter-insurgency advisors is John F. Kennedy. It is not surprising that bright young presidents relish quick-fix, 'outside the box' scenarios for victory.
Obama's course is set and his presidency is already stained the familiar blood-red
Whether in Vietnam or Afghanistan the counsel of regular Army generals tends to be drear and unappetising: vast, costly deployments of troops by the hundreds of thousands, mounting casualties, uncertain prospects for any long-term success ­ all adding up to dismaying political costs on the home front.

TV notes. NOW on PBS begins airing on many PBS stations tonight (check local listings):

This week NOW on PBS partners with best-selling author and journalist Robert Lacey to investigate the surprising success of Saudi Arabia's approach to dealing with terrorists and extremists - without torture or water-boarding. Given extraordinary access to the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry and its practices, Lacey visits terrorist rehabilitation camps that use "soft policing" tactics to be nice to the bad guys.
In the program we see the Saudis providing a private jumbo jet to bring inmates home from Guantanamo Bay, giving them a hero's welcome, then sending them to a converted holiday resort for re-education. Then, the men are set free.
Is this rehab program working, and can we trust the Saudis to protect themselves - and us - against Islamic extremism in the future? Watch this NOW on PBS report for a perspective on terrorism you've never seen before.

Washington Week also begins airing tonight and Catty Girl Gwen invites three boys over for her sleep over and tosses Karen Tumulty (TIME) in for giggles (NYT's David Sanger, Wall St. Journal's Naftali Bendavid and National Journal's John Maggs compete to be Gwen's Dream Date). Golly, you know if PBS had been okay with this sort of 'representation' of the American public, Gwen would never have been a host of any PBS show. Don't worry though, she's off singing "I got mine." Four guests, one is a woman. No that's not reflective of the population. Yes, it does speak to Gwen's own sexism and her own vanity. As a fix you can watch (and starts airing tonight on many PBS stations, check local listings) as Bonnie Erbe sits down withCari Dominguez, Karen Czarnecki, Patricia Sosa and Avis Jones-DeWeever to discuss this week's news on To The Contrary. And turning to broadcast TV, Sunday CBS' 60 Minutes offers:

Buy American
The economic stimulus package includes a "buy American" clause that the steel and other U.S. industries lobbied hard for. However, American businesses that export overseas now fear foreign governments will retaliate and keep U.S. products out of their market, hurting their business. Lesley Stahl reports. | Watch Video
Sergeant Bill
Waving a badge he bought on the Internet and claiming to belong to the "Multi-jurisdictional Narcotics Task Force," Bill Jakob fooled a small town's officials into granting him the authority of a law enforcement officer. Katie Couric reports. | Watch Video
Wine Rx
Scientists have found a substance called resveratrol in red wine that slows down the aging process in mice. Will it someday lengthen the lives of humans, too? Morley Safer reports. | Watch Video
60 Minutes, Sunday, May 24, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

On NPR this morning, The Diane Rehm Show starts at 10:00 am (you can stream live online, archived broadcast is usually up 15 minutes after the second hour). The first hour features Karen Tumulty, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti and The Nation's Chris Hayes. The second hour features Boston Globe's Farah Stockman, Kevin Whitelaw and NYT's David Sanger.

Today NPR's live concert is St. Vincent:

May 22: St. Vincent Live In Concert

Hear Full Show Webcast On From Washington, D.C.

Remind Me With: Google Calendar, iCal, or Outlook., May 18, 2009 - Annie Clark, who writes and records under the name St. Vincent, has never been a fan of convention. Her 2007 debut, Marry Me, was filled with off-kilter rhythms, strangely melodic electronic arrangements and cryptic narratives. St. Vincent's latest release, a candidate for one of 2009's best albums, is even more surprising and inventive. St. Vincent will showcase the album, Actor, in a full concert, webcast live on May 22. The performance, from the Black Cat in Washington, D.C., will begin streaming online at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET.

Annie Clark got her start as a guitarist for The Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens' touring band. A gifted multi-instrumentalist, she played nearly every instrument on Marry Me. For Actor, Clark plays guitar, bass and keys, with woodwind contributions from Hideaki Aomori (Sufjan Stevens) and Alex Sopp (Bjork, Phillip Glass), and additional rhythm section work by McKenzie Smith and Paul Alexander of Midlake.

St. Vincent
also has a MySpace page.

The e-mail address for this site is

the washington post

the diane rehm show