E . . . entertaining elephants . . .
F. . . forever fooling . . .
G . . . getting gigles . . .
H . . . having headaches . . .
-- "Alligators All Around," lyrics by Maurice Sendak and music by Carole King, Really Rosie.
And when Dan Murphy's out of short pants (and pull ups), we'll work on the next series of letters. Grasp for a moment that Iran's Tehran Times opens with, "On Tuesday, Iraqi soldiers and riot police stormed Camp Ashraf, where Mojahedin Khalq Organization members had been based, triggering violent clashes that left at least 260 people injured." It's all too much for Murphy.
Grasp that AFP reports that while Iraq says everything is under 'control' and a police station is set up, Iraq's refusing to allow reporters to enter the camp. Not noted in the report, they're also rebuffing requests from human rights organizations and charities. Grasp that Iraq's Alsumaria treats the issue with more balance and more seriousness than the Christian Science Monitor. "Assertion of total military independence"? No, Nouri did at Camp Ashraf what he did throughout Baghdad to ethnically cleanse neighborhoods.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran released the following statement today:
NCRI - The Iranian Resistance’s Leader, Mr. Massoud Rajavi, released a statement broadcast yesterday by the Simaye Azadi (Iran National Television), with regards to the brutal assault of Iraqi forces against Camp Ashraf residents in Iraq. Mr. Rajavi said:
Through his agents in Iraq, the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, took revenge for the Iranian people’s uprising from Ashraf, which is the strategic nucleus of the struggle for freedom. He wishfully thinks that by targeting Ashraf the uprising would cease; But, the water that has already gone over the dam can't be forced back into the regime's channel and save the disintegrating religious regime.
Mr. Rajavi urged all Iranians across the world to rush to support the hunger strike and demands of Ashraf residents, which are:
1. The leaving of Iraqi forces from Ashraf;
2. Protection of Ashraf to be assumed by US forces, who have disarmed and signed agreements with every single one of Ashraf residents about protecting them until the determination of their final status;
3. Presence of lawyers and international human rights organizations in Ashraf, which has been banned for the past 7 months;
4. Presence of a representative of the UN Security Council or Secretary General in Ashraf for talks about the determination of the final status of Ashraf residents;
5. Compliance of the Iraqi government with the April 24, 2009 resolution of the European Parliament on the humanitarian situation of Ashraf residents;
6. Prosecution and punishment of parties who ordered or perpetrated the brutal attacks and massacre in Camp Ashraf by an international tribunal for crimes against humanity.
They also note that sit-ins took place yesterday "in the cities of Washington (US), Berlin (Germany), London (Britain), Dublin (Ireland), Brussels (Belgium), Copenhagen and Aarhus (Denmark), Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmo (Sweden), Geneva (Switzerland), Paris (France), Helsinki (Finland), Ottawa and Vancouver (Canada), Oslo (Norway), Amsterdam and The Hague (The Netherlands), and Sydney (Australia)" to protest the assault on Camp Ashraf.
"What happens when the US abandons some good friends?" asked anchor Katie Couric at the top of yesterday's evening news where Lara Logan reported on the assault last night on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric (link has text and video).
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Lara Logan: Since the US invasion, the camp's roughly 3,000 residents have been living under US protection. That ended in January when the Iraqis took control under the security agreement. Now the US appears to have washed their hands of the people of Ashraf.
Hillary Clinton (speaking at the State Dept): It is a matter now for the government of Iraq to resolve.
Lara Logan: Images captured by the inside Ashraf showed the dead and wounded. Residents told CBS News at least 11 people were killed, hundreds wounded and thirty arrested. The number's impossible to verify because the Iraqi government has sealed off the camp. The attack was seen as the latest sign American influence in Iraq is waning as Iranian influence rises. Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his government increasingly pro-Iranian.
Kenneth Katzman: The Iranians would have to cross the border to get at them directly because Camp Ashraf is clearly over the border. But they have an obviously willing ally in Prime Minister Malik, willing to do their bidding.
Charles Levinson and Peter Spiegel (Wall St. Journal) report on reaction to the assault:
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Wednesday praised the assault on the group, which was responsible for a number of attacks against Iranian officials in the 1980s, and which fought alongside Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war.
"Although this measure was taken late by Iraq, it is admirable that they have decided to clear Iraq from terrorists," Mr. Larijani said, according to Iran's state-run Fars news agency.
U.S. officials said they were unhappy about the way the raid was handled, though they stressed that it was a decision for the Iraqi government to make since the U.S. handed the area over to Iraqi control in February. Officials say the U.S. was upset that the Iraqi army was so heavy-handed.
The reporters note those involved in leading the raid report directly to Nouri al-Maliki. Liz Sly (Los Angeles Times) notes Nouri's spokespeople are denying "suggestions that Iranian pressure had prompted a raid on a camp belonging to an Iranian opposition group." However, as the Wall St. Journal points out, the raid started with US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' visit to Iraq.
Dan Murphy refers to the MEK issue as "one of the strangest sideshows of the entire Iraq war" -- if he's strange, someone pull him away from the mirror.
Waning influence observed Lara Logan and if you doubt it, grasp that Iraq's serving Iran on this issue, the same Iran that the US military forever attempts to blame for this and that. In fact, just this morning, a report by Gregg K. Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) was published and it includes:
In a telephone interview from his headquarters in Tikrit, Maj. Gen. Robert Caslen, who normally commands the 25th Infantry Division in Wahiawa, yesterday singled out Iran as a potential problem. Caslen did not elaborate, but it is known that Iran continues to seek influence within Iraq, with whom it fought an eight-year war in the 1980s.
The US military and government will still finger point but they're too weak and meek to call out Nouri and Iran for the assault on Camp Ashraf.
The following community sites updated yesterday:
We'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "A Case For Interrogating Dick Cheney" (AfterDowningStreet):
Upon becoming Vice President, his power led many observers to see Cheney as a “co-president.” Author Dean wrote, “Dick Cheney, effectively a co-president incognito, works behind closed doors and does not answer to Congress or the public.” Noam Chomsky wrote in 2006 in his book “Failed States”(Metropolitan/Owl), “The Cheney-Rumsfeld team for which Bush is the front man has shown repeatedly that it is obsessed with authority and discipline.” That Cheney did run the show is suggested by the fact that, “with the apparent exception of Rice, it was Cheney who did the appointing (of top personnel), not Bush,” James Carroll noted in his “House of War”(Houghton Mifflin).
After 9/11, the Bush regime scrapped due process rights for captured suspects. Cheney said his new legal approach “guarantees that we’ll have the kind of treatment of these individuals that we believe they deserve”---an incredible prejudgment as only a tiny handful of suspects ever saw the inside of a courtroom. Author Carroll asserts Cheney had no less ambitious scheme in mind than “world domination through overwhelming military superiority, with special emphasis on unfettered access to oil…” Carroll says, “Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest have on their hands the blood…of each young American killed, and the blood of many thousands of Iraqis----all those who have died and will die in that misbegotten war.” Prisoners were just pawns to Cheney, not human beings.
Given this pattern of criminality, a probe into Cheney’s alleged directive to the CIA to withhold information from Congress might appear comparatively trivial. But just as Al Capone was convicted and imprisoned for tax evasion rather than his killings, examining Cheney for deceiving Congress could open the dungeon door to other dark secrets. For example, it was Cheney after 9/11 who backed an alliance with Uzbekistan, even if it tied the U.S. to President Islam Karimov’s infamous torture regime. What took place there?
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