Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why was Baha Mousa killed?

In England today, the inquiry into the death of Iraqi Baha Mousa (while in British custody) resumed today. Sangita Myska (BBC News) reports that Daoud Mousa, Baha's father, declared today that "he had reported Queen's Lancashire Regiment members for breaking into a safe" and that he believed his son may have been killed in retaliation. Baha died September 16, 2003. An attorney for his family sketched out the events in his opening statements on Monday:

Rabinder Singh: Baha Mousa, whose name rightly appears in the title of this public inquiry, was a car trader and hotel receptionist, just 26 years old. He had, just months earlier, lost his young wife to illness. They had two young sons, now left as orphans. On September 14, 2003, Baha was taken into custody, a healthy young man, and subjected to beatings over 36 hours which left 93 separate injuries. He died the following day. His father, Colonel Mousa, still grieves for his son and will be here later this week to seek justice at this inquiry. Baha was a human being, yet to his guards, he was known as "Fat Boy" or "Fat Bastard."

Adam Gabbatt (Guardian) explains Baha's father was forced out of the police by Saddam Hussein and that he and his family saw the arrival of British troops in 2003 as a good thing, "We welcomed the troops; we gave them flowers. They were walking about everywhere in the markets, quite free of any concern. That was in light of the good relationship between the people of Basra and the British troops." The Telegraph of London emphasizes this from Daoud Mousa's testimony:

Mr Mousa Snr arrived at the hotel to collect his son after work just before 8am on September 14, 2003.
He found British military vehicles parked outside and a soldier standing guard.
Mr Mousa Snr said he saw three or four British soldiers breaking into a safe and taking out packets of money which they stuffed into the pockets of their uniform and inside their shirts.
"I thought that it was a violation of English dignity and honour, and the honour of English troops," he told the inquiry.

The London Evening Standard also emphasizes that aspect of the testimony and adds that Daoud lodged a complaint with a British officer whom he knew as "Lieutenant Mike," following that, Daoud saw the hotel employees on the floor face down, including his son, "I believe that my son may have been treated worse than other people because I had made a complaint to Lieutenant Mike that money was being stolen from the hotel safe."

Meanwhile Ned Parker's "U.S. closes door on a onetime Iraq ally" (Los Angeles Times) reports on Saad Oraibi Ghafoori, a Sunni who fought the insurgency and resistance for the American forces who paid him and those serving with him (Sahwa aka "Sons Of Iraq" aka "Awakening"). Ghafoori had done as asked and assumed he, his wife and his nine-year-old son and six-year-old daughter would easily be accepted into the United States. Instead his application was rejected. Parker notes:

But Ghafoori's case poses a policy challenge for the U.S. government. How should it handle the pool of 100,000 paramilitary fighters called the Sons of Iraq, many of them former insurgents, who have little in common with the Iraqi translators and civil servants that the refugee assistance program aims to help?
Does the United States have any obligation to men like Ghafoori, whom the U.S. military once funded and fought with against a common enemy?
Until now, accepting a man who may have at one time fought the U.S. military, a man who admits he killed his enemies, has been considered politically untenable in post- 9/11 America, where immigration policies have been guided by the fear of another attack on U.S. soil.

For those who have forgotten, Sahwa was put on the US payroll -- US tax payers paid them -- in order to stop them from attacking US forces -- as then-US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and then-top US commander in Iraq Gen David Petraeus made clear repeatedly while appearing before Congress in April of 2008.

This morning news of violence includes all categories.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports
a Mosul roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier with two more left injured. Reuters notes 3 Iraqi soldiers killed in a Mosul roadside bombing. (They also note 1 security force killed and another wounded in another Mosul roadside bombing which we'll assume for now is the one Issa's citing.)


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports two police officers shot in Nineveh Province with 1 dead and the other wounded.


Reuters notes 1 corpse was discovered in Mosul (apparently stabbed to death).

Noting quickly, a video and a concert.

No Longer a Monster from <

Episode Five: No Longer a Monster available now. Click here

"No one could hear our stories and still support this s***!" -- Geoff Millard

Dear friends,

I am pleased to tell you that the sixth and final episode of the series, This is Where We Take Our Stand, is now live. Episode 6--No Longer a Monster, presents some of the most damning testimony yet from both occupations, along with the inspiring closing concert by Tom Morello. Click here to watch No Longer a Monster.

The full series is now up and available for you to watch, share, spread, and act on. As we have said all along, there is nothing that more clearly and chillingly tells the real story of what this country is doing to Iraq and Afghanistan than the courageous testimony of these soldiers and veterans. They cannot be denied, no matter who is president.

This is Where We Take Our Stand
is here for you to use. Please do everything you can to get all of the episodes into the hands of students, veterans, soldiers,
anyone and everyone who wants to take a stand to end these endless wars.

The slaughter in Afghanistan has gone on for EIGHT YEARS. Are we really going to allow eight more? The choice is ours.

- David Zeiger

No Longer a Monster
"There are no more authoritative voices to speak out about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than the people who have been there under fire," declares singer Tom Morello (The Nightwatchman, Rage Against the Machine), as he leads a raucous celebration of three days of intense, painful, and liberating testimony. And while James Gilligan reveals the deep similarities between the "bad war" (Iraq) and the "good war" (Afghanistan), Jon Turner declares for all, "I am sorry for the things that I did, I am no longer the monster that I once was."

This is Where We Take Our Stand
, the series that tells the riveting and timely story of the hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who testified at last year's Winter Soldier investigation, continues
today. Watch episode five, tell friends, forward this email, spread the word and fan the debate. These stories must be heard.

Spread the word!


Where’s the debate?

Are we watching passively while Barack Obama carries out the same policies as George W. Bush?

When an American bombing raid this May killed over two hundred civilians in a village in Afghanistan, it was met with a deafening silence. When Obama’s promised “withdrawal” from Iraq leaves 130,000 troops there for at least two more years and 50,000 permanently, it’s hailed as an end to the occupation. And who is demanding to know just what the mission really is when 30,000 more troops are sent to Afghanistan?

Where’s the debate?

In March of 2008, two hundred and fifty veterans and active duty soldiers marked the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by gathering in Washington, DC, to testify from their own experience about the nature of the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. It was chilling, horrifying, and challenging for all who witnessed it. Against tremendous odds, they brought the voices of the veterans themselves into the debate. That was then.

This is now. Today, we present to you This is Where We Take Our Stand, the inside story of those three days and the courageous men and women who testified. And we present this story today, told in six episodes, because we believe it is as relevant now as it was one year ago. Maybe more.

Here is our challenge to you: Watch the series; spread it far and wide; and ask yourself is this about the past, or the present and future. Then add your voice.

If you are a veteran or active duty, present your own testimony. If you are not, but you are still a living, breathing member of the human race, then do whatever you can to join and fan the flames of debate.

David Zeiger, Director of Sir! No Sir!

Bestor Cram, Director of Unfinished Symphony

Repeating, but with links, David Zeiger, Director of Sir! No Sir! and Bestor Cram, Director of Unfinished Symphony.

And like Kat, I've been asked to note the following:

An Evening with Janis Ian

Thursday, October 22, 2009

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Click Graphic to Purchase Tickets

Back to Calendar
An Evening with Janis Ian
Thursday, October 22, 2009
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Click Graphic to Purchase Tickets

Janis Ian live is a great concert. This will be a small, intimate venue, the dream Janis concert. (She established scholarships in her mother's name -- her mother returned to college late in life -- and for the scholarship foundation, she does auction off a live concert in your living room. Other than that live concert, it would be difficult to see Janis in a more intimate setting. A record producer friend in LA asked me to note the concert and we will just because he's a great friend but the more I hear about the venue, the more I really want to get the word out. Whether you loved "At Seventeen" most or "Love Is Blind," or "Society's Child" best or "God & The FBI" or "Stars" or "Jesse" or "Fly Too High" or "When Angels Cry" or Mike's favorite "All Those Promises," if you're in the Dallas area, this venue is the perfect one to see Janis in.)

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