Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bombings rock Iraq

Fadhel al-Badrani, Khalid al-Ansary, Missy Ryan and Philippa Fletcher (Reuters) report "twin suicide bombs" in Anbar Province have claimed "at least 24" lives with over one hundred people left injured (that should really be 26 if there were two suicide bombers): "At the Ramadi hospital, doctors crowded around injured policemen lying on stretchers. One of the wounded was a tiny baby, its diaper and white sweater dotted with blood." Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports that among the injured is the province's governor, Qassim al-Fahdawi and that "[t]he bomber who targeted him was one of his bodyguards, said the Anbar Salvation Council." Anne Barker (Australia's ABC) notes that "conflicting reports" exist on the condition of al-Fahdawi and states that he was wounded in the second of the two bombings. Al Jazeera quotes police Capt Ahmed Mohammed al-Dulaimi stating, "A suicide bomber wearing an army uniform ran towards the governor. Some security people held him back, and he detonated himself." Bassim al-Anbari (AFP) offers, "The US military declined to confirm reports by Ramadi General Hospital that American troops took the provincial governor to a US-run hospital for treatment, when contacted by AFP."

In addition to those two bombings, Reuters notes a Khalis roadside bombing which claimed the lives of 7 pilgrims and left another twenty-five injured and, dropping back to Tuesday for all that follows, a hand grenade attack in Mosul which injured two police officers, "a judge and his wife" injured in a Kirkuk shooting and 1 person shot dead in Mosul.

David Muir and Judy Isikow (ABC World News with Diane Sawyer) take a look back at the decade's notable events including the Iraq War:

Soon, though, the White House turned up the heat on another man, Saddam Hussein, launching a controversial offensive in Iraq.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said to the U.N. Security Council, "Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option."
Powell was part of President Bush's war room, along with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, National Security advisor Condoleezza Rice, and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Forty-three days after the war began, we saw that famous sign, "Mission Accomplished." But the war was far from over.

On the above, a friend at ABC asked for that. On the phone yesterday and I didn't have time and explained that and asked to be reminded this morning. I was and it's included. That's a friend. If I don't know you, if you're e-mailing the public account, you're wasting your time and mine if you give a web address and tell me to read it because I'll want to highlight it and it's "on Iraq." I don't have time. If you want something highlighted and you're e-mailing me to ask for it, include it. If it is Iraq related (and not pro-war), it'll be considered. But, please note, I'm not interested in any 'poor Barack, the ___ are forcing him to do this.' I'm not interested. Not if '____' is generals or bankers or international spies or the great chefs of Europe. Barack Obama is a grown man and he does what he wants. Quit robbing him of his agenda. Related. If you're not Iraq, especially don't e-mail saying, "Check this out, I know you'll want to highlight it." Why do I want to highlight your site on Africa, for example? I don't know you. I don't know who you are. I do know there's a lot of propaganda which has allowed the war in the Congo to continue with so little attention from the international community. I don't know you, you're wasting my time if you're asking me to research you. And if you're not noted right away, wait a day or two to see if you do get noted. Again, a friend at ABC wanted the above yesterday but I (a) didn't have time and (b) couldn't fit it into what was being covered. And it's Iraq related. And a friend wanted it highlighted. So if I've never met you, quit thinking I owe you something or that I'm working for you and must follow your orders and do so immediately. Doesn't work that way.

Lastly, "It's the Iraq Inquiry!" There are two US articles I'm ignoring this week on the Iraq Inquiry. One's by a real reporter and is good until the half-way mark when suddenly Barack's being forced to do things he doesn't want to by these unseen powers. Ooooh. Can we get some spooky music for that? Ooooh. I'm not interested in that crap. Repeating, Barack Obama is an adult. He's many things but he's not stupid, he doesn't get tricked and he's never been forced into doing anything in his life that I'm aware of (and I'm aware of his childhood, his college days and his political life). Stop this nonsense. It turns a grown man into a little baby. Like what he's doing, don't like it, don't care, but don't take away the fact that he's in control of his life and doing what he wants. Judge his actions, absolutely, but don't rob him of that. Don't reduce him to an infant. That's sad.

So that's one. The other?

The 'article' is cobbled together from remarks the author made on a Pacifica show last week. I heard it (not on KPFA, it doesn't air on KPFA) and I didn't want to highlight it. I'm not interested in advancing the careers of sexist pigs. He started off with 'jokes' about Sarah Palin before moving on to 'jokes' about Hillary Clinton and, when his segment was over, it was clear to all that he found every woman in the world to be stupid. But of course all the men were saints and wonderful and blah blah blah. I'm not promoting pigs.

And, for the record, I tell friends no all the time. I was asked to quote from this Los Angeles Times editorial on refugees. I don't see anything worth quoting -- and we care about the refugee crisis. But I see a lot of sloppy in that editorial and I said that to my friend at the paper and told him I'd look at it again before I did the snapshot later today but, as it stands currently, I can't find one sentence I could quote.

Jesse Leavenworth (Hartford Courant) provides a look back and notes, "The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan haven't permeated Main Street as deeply, but the separation, camaraderie and loss common to all wars have marked thousands of Connecticut service members, their families and friends."

And Sabina e-mails wondering if Terry Gross knows that any women "other than herself" exist? No, of course not. Terry's all about Terry. I know what you mean Sabina. (Terry's in the midst of repeats -- 'encores' -- and it's Deanna Durbin time on 'Fresh' Air as Terry plays 100 Men and a Girl.) Jennifer Jones was not just a famous actress, she was an Academy Award winning one. She passed away earlier this month and Hiram Lee observes her passing for WSWS:

Veteran American actress Jennifer Jones died December 17 at the age of 90. A talented and sensitive performer, Jones was one of several dynamic young actors to emerge in the American cinema during the postwar period. She earned an Academy Award for her performance in The Song of Bernadette (1943) and was nominated three more times during her career. Jones appeared in her final film, The Towering Inferno, in 1974 and had remained largely out of the public eye ever since.
Jennifer Jones, whose given name was Phylis Isley, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on March 2, 1919. Her family ran the Isley Stock Company, a touring theater group that performed tent shows throughout the southern and midwestern United States. Jones began performing with the company while still a child.
Having developed a passion for acting at an early age, Jones would go on to attend New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts in the late 1930s. Here she met another young actor, Robert Walker (1918-1951), who is today best remembered for co-starring (along with Farley Granger) in Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951). Walker and Jones married in 1939. The two briefly moved to Hollywood and Jones landed small parts in a Western and a Dick Tracy serial. The two returned to New York after Jones failed an audition with Paramount Pictures.

In addition, the 11:00 a.m. (EST) hour of The Diane Rehm Show -- streaming online and airing on most NPR stations -- features Carole King for the hour (it's a rebroadcast). There's no RULE that all NPR guests must be men -- Terry Gross just thinks there is.

March 20th there's a DC action being called by A.N.S.W.E.R. and others.


The e-mail address for this site is