Gen. Raymond Odierno added that, since August, AQI had transformed itself from an organization dedicated to sustaining a long-term insurgency to one that was conducting clear-cut terrorist attacks aimed at destabilizing the government and weakening support for Iraqi security forces.
The above is from Jane Arraf's "Iraq bombings: Gen. Odierno blames a changing Al Qaeda" (Christian Science Monitor) about yesterday's Baghdad bombing which claimed at least 18 lives (eighty injured) and Monday's Baghdad bombings which claimed at least 41 lives. Odierno's floating theories. No one knows who is responsible for the bombings. As the New York Times' Anthony Shadid noted to Gwen Ifill at the blog for The NewsHour (PBS) on Monday (audio link), the US military has consistently blamed al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Violence continues in Iraq today. Reuters reports a Mosul suicide bomber has taken his own life and left five people injured (four were police officers) and 2 people have been shot dead in Mosul in separate incidents. In addition Aseel Kami, Michael Christie and Ralph Boulton (Reuters) report a Baghdad assault on two buses containing Iranians making a pilgrimage to the Imam Moussa al-Kadhim with at least 2 people dead (an Iraqi bus driver and an Iranian woman).
Nothing the high profile violence (violence has never ceased in Iraq), the Kansas City Star's editorial board offers: "The United States cannot simply withdraw; it must make a good exit. In recent months, Iraq has become a far less deadly place for American forces. But it is just as clear that Iraqi security forces need more development and will have to continue to rely on American backing and training for a while." Some will dispute various things about the above but the main thing to zero in on is: WHAT WITHDRAWAL?
Once upon a time journalists -- that would include editorial boards -- knew not to present something as having happened . . . until it happens. The editorial board frets about a withdrawal that we have no evidence will take place. (Words are not evidence. Assertions are claims, not facts.)
Tonight Barry O will offer more pretty words and will talk 'economy' and 'finance' and 'debt' but he will avoid noting the costs of the wars. Reuters notes, "The cost to U.S. taxpayers of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 has topped $1 trillion, and President Barack Obama is expected to request another $33 billion to fund more U.S. troops this year." Meanwhile John Curran (AP) notes that Vermont "has suffered more deaths per capita in the Iraq war than any other state."
All states have seen fatalities. 19-year-old Pfc Gifford Hurt died in Iraq January 20th. Last Thursday the US military announced: "CAMP VICTORY, Iraq -- A U.S. Soldier assigned to United States Forces - Iraq died of non-combat related injuries as a result of a vehicle accident, Jan. 20. The Soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website [. . .] The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin. The incident is under investigation." Joe Kemp (New York Daily News) spoke with Gifford Hurt's mother Lisa Davis who explains that a ceremony will take place Tuesday at Pope Air Force base and a funeral is planned for Friday ("in North Carolina") and that the day is also the anniversary of when her son enlisted in the military last year. She states, "He was going to do the max they would let him do. He would've been 65 years old, walking with a cane before they would have to get rid of him." Drew Brooks (Fayetteville Observer) speaks with Davis and with Hurt's brother Tarique Thompson:
The two [Hurt and Davis] would Skype for hours on a nightly basis. They would talk about his hopes and dreams and discuss life in general.
She said she was able to talk to him the day before he died. She said it was during that conversation that she realized her baby was now a man.
Davis said the family took the news of Hurt's death pretty hard.
Thompson took it particularly rough.
Friday's homage to his older brother was a nod of respect and admiration to the sibling that once sparred with him in the same sport on a regular basis, Davis said.
"It was just a shock to everybody," she said. "We don't believe it. It's just surreal."
In addition to his mother and brother, Hurt is survived by a wife, Rontanza Ray, and stepson, Draquan Ray.
He also has two sisters, Ashley Trapp and Alyssa Thompson, and one other brother, Malik Thompson.
A funeral for Hurt will be held at Wiseman Mortuary Chapel in Fayetteville on Friday at noon, followed by a burial at Sandhills Veterans Cemetery.
The Arab Times reports, "Meanwhile, American troops have started joint operations with Iraqi and Kurdish forces in Iraq’s disputed northern zones in an effort to dampen tensions between Kurds and Sunni Arabs, the US army said Tuesday." The New York Times offers a photo essay of Mosul here (Eros Hoagland is the photo journalist whose work makes up the essay). Meanwhile Steven Lee Myers reports for the paper on Mosul noting that US troops are working checkpoints in the area "with Arab and Kurdish troops" (this is the move Odierno has long promoted):
Guarding checkpoints -- a task the American military never relishes -- invites attacks by insurgents, who remain particularly active in northern Iraq. On three consecutive nights recently, rockets or mortars landed near three checkpoints in Diyala Province, though they caused no casualties, according to an American military spokesman and an Iraqi military official. "You stay static," said First Sgt. Tony DelSardo of the Army's Third Infantry Division, "you'll get hit."
The operation began this month after labored negotiations with Iraq's Arab and Kurdish leaders. The immediate goal is to bolster security ahead of bitterly contested elections in March along an ethnic patchwork of lands devastated by attacks.
The following community sites updated last night:
institutions in ruin, also exacerbated a much more common and lethal
emergency in Haiti: Dying during childbirth. Challenges in
transportation, education, and quality health care contribute to Haiti
having the highest in the Western Hemisphere, a
national crisis even before the earthquake struck.
While great strides are being made with global health issues like
HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality figures worldwide have seen virtually no
improvement in 20 years. Worldwide, over 500,000 women die each year
On Friday, January 29 at 8:30 pm (check local listings), a NOW team that
had been working in Haiti during the earthquake reports on this deadly
but correctable trend. They meet members of the Haitian Health
Foundation (HHF), which operates a network of health agents in more than
100 villages, engaging in pre-natal visits, education, and emergency
ambulance runs for pregnant women.
Declaring Victory and Leaving?
It May Be Time To Say Goodbye…
We believe in the mission of MediaChannel. We believe in its value and so does a growing audience that regularly reads and sends editorial input. Many of you have responded to our fundraising appeals and kept us alive, but just barely.
We officially launched this media network on February 1, 2000, the anniversary of the student sit-ins that sparked the civil rights movement. We believe in the work we post - the media news, our blogs and our daily features. They are substantive, global, and offer a service that is often unique. No one else is really doing what we are, going way beyond just bashing or ridiculing political enemies. ("Oh, did you see what is now saying?" Yuk!)
Over the years, we have upgraded our look, added videos, as well as interactive social media features. We have traveled the world to represent our work, in part because of invitations from colleagues, from to Qatar to , who respect what we do.
We have been on top of the issues, and often ahead of the curve, aggregating content and taking a stand on war and peace, media reform, and economic crises. We have sacrificed a lot to keep MediaChannel going -- and we are not sorry we did.
But that is apparently not enough. It's not just about content, but marketing, positioning, politics and funding. The media environment has changed. Highly partisan news and commentary gets funded; work like ours, alas, does not. Maybe the partisan stuff just fits the spirit of these polarized and combative times more than more reasoned and probing stories.
Journalism is not just disappearing in the mainstream or giving way to tabloid news and propaganda, it's missing in the blogosphere too. Perhaps its just unfashionable, perhaps its only the loudest voices, and only the celebrity writers who people want to read because they have more visibility or the capacity to piss us off even more.
We have been reduced to frequent appeals to readers who, understandably, tire of being solicited too often, and not just by us, but by every independent media site struggling to survive. We understand why folks turn away, especially in this economic climate.
NOTHING LASTS FOREVER
So we are being forced to conclude that it may be time to declare victory and phase MediaChannel out. If we do, we will do it with pride of what we have accomplished overt the last decade.
On the other hand, it's never over until it is.
There is a small hope that other media sites that share our values may agree to some kind of consolidation, or a merger. Perhaps we can save ourselves if we work together. We know that collaboration is one of those values everyone supports in principle, but it's hard to give up our competitive instincts.
Your ideas and financial support are welcome and needed.
We have been fighting for years to keep going and are now thinking about other options and initiatives if we cannot. Clearly, we are better hell raisers than fundraisers. Our costs are not that high, but there are costs, for a Webmaster, technology, distribution etc.. One deep pockets funder could write a check to keep us going, but we can't count on it. And it doesn't look like we can count solely on our readers either. Perhaps we have gone to "the well" one time too many times. We are sure those who never wished us well, the hackers and wreckers will celebrate. So what?
As we consider the options, we would like you to consider ideas, contacts, connections and interest you may have to help sustain our work or tell us that its time to move on.
We need help in reaching out for partners, a merger, or sale. [Email email@example.com for suggestions.]
A recent grant we received was earmarked for a youth oriented channel, not for general institutional support.
Back in 2000, we never thought we would still be online in 2010 or that you would be with us. We are grateful for the help we have had and will have more to say about that when and if we have to.
Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of MediaChannel.org
February is our anniversary. Its also a leap year month, So, in that spirit, we will leap into the future one way or another by offering the best of our work and providing some time to see what, if anything, can be done.
You can make a tax-deductible donation online here, or by sending a check made out to:
The Global Center
(Please write "For MediaChannel" on the memo line of your check.)
- Danny Schechter, Rory O'Connor, David DeGraw
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The e-mail address for this site is email@example.com.
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