There was a sense of fatalism to the attacks, one of dozens this week on pilgrims that the Shiite-led government had grimly predicted but was powerless to stop. The killings have underlined the very meaning of the pilgrimage: a religious ritual to commemorate Imam Hussein, the grandson of the prophet Mohammed whose death in the battlefield in Karbala in A.D. 680 gave Shiite Muslims an ethos of suffering, martyrdom and resistance.
Liz Sly and Caesar Ahmed (Los Angeles Times) observe, "Overall, there have been eight suicide bombings in Iraq the past 11 days, targeting hotels and government buildings as well as pilgrims, in a sign that the Sunni extremist insurgency appears to be regrouping in an attempt to destabilize the country ahead of the March 7 election." Issa also reports a Baghdad roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 pilgrim and left fifteen more wounded and that Brig Gen Ali Ghalib was kidnapped last night.
Staff Sgt Amy Seyboth Tirador died November 4th while serving in Iraq. Last night, Kat wrote about Amy's mother, Colleen Murphy's pursuit of the truth of how her daughter died. Jessica M. Pasko (Troy Record) reports that Colleen Murphy believes "the military is covering up the real cause" of her daughter's death and that the military is in the midst of 'creating' and 'amplifying' minor issues in order to make the death appear a suicide. Collen Murphy stated, "No one that knew Amy would believe that she'd ever commit suicide. In my opinion, it was a set-up. It was premeditated, and it was the perfect set-up."
Last Friday the US military announced: "A United States Division-South Soldier died Jan. 28 of noncombat related injuries. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. 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." Scott Barnett was the soldier who died. John Simerman (Contra Costa Times) reports "Barnett's body arrived by plane at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware over the weekend. Weather permitting, it will reach Buchanan Field in Concord on Friday. A memorial service is tentatively planned for 11 a.m. Monday at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord, with a private burial to follow at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon." And Simerman quotes Nikki Barnett, his wife, stating, "We loved each other so insanely much, we thought we were soul mates until the end of time. [. . .] There were days where he was really proud and days where he was really depressed. He had his ups and downs, but he was proud to be fighting for his country. We always told each other it was temporary. You'll be home soon. You'll be back." We'll note this release from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's office:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement regarding the death of Pfc. Scott G. Barnett of Concord:
"Maria and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Private First Class Scott Barnett. Scott was a brave soldier who dedicated his life to protecting his fellow citizens. He served our nation proudly and on behalf of all Californians, we honor his sacrifice. Our hearts are with Scott's family, friends and fellow soldiers during this difficult time."
Barnett, 24, died January 28 in Tallil, Iraq, of injuries sustained while supporting combat operations. Barnett was assigned to the 412th Aviation Support Battalion, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, U.S. Army, Katterbach, Germany.
In honor of Pfc. Barnett, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.
ABC's KGO-TV notes, "A viewing is scheduled Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Ouimet Brothers Concord Funeral Chapel at 4125 Clayton Road. A funeral will be held Monday at St. Bonaventure Church."
Mia notes Carl Herman's "Government Propagandists in Corporate Media" (Information Clearing House):
The US Senate Church Committee disclosed in 1975 that more than over 400 government propagandists had infiltrated American corporate media to manipulate public opinion on key policies, including war. CIA Director William Colby testified that Operation Mockingbird had been operational since the late 1940s to control what was reported through American television, newspapers, and magazines. President Ford fired Colby after his testimony and replaced him with George H. W. Bush. Bush Sr. ended the CIA’s testimony, stating that there were no other programs of concern to disclose and promised that the CIA would no longer influence the media (for Bush Sr.’s lies to initiate the first war with Iraq, click here).
We know in the present that government propagandists appeared over 4,500 times as “experts” in the PR run-up to the current war in Iraq, corporate media refuses to clearly communicate the essential news that ALL the claims for war were known to be false at the time they were told and US wars are “emperor has no clothes” obviously unlawful. The American public is recognizing the propaganda in corporate media by deserting them to embrace alternative sources.
Therefore, since we know that government-sponsored Operation Mockingbird propaganda is active today, and we know that people are abandoning corporate propaganda sources in favor of articles such as this one, put yourself in the shoes of Operation Mockingbird management and imagine your strategic responses to this type of article.
I imagine the first responses include paying propagandists to raid and pollute the comments sections with a full variety of their rhetorical fallacies. While I have no easy way to prove this is happening, I’d like to share with you a thread with one of the more sophisticated detractors from the factual topics of the article.
This is from my article: All 27 UK Foreign Affairs lawyers: Iraq war unlawful. Obama, politicians, US media: no response. Let's consider professional propagandist strategy. The article discloses stunning testimony that all the international law lawyers in the UK understood the Iraq war as unlawful.
To shill for continued war, propagandists would have to deflect this news by distraction or undermine the news' significance. One tactic is to obfuscate the meaning of the UN Charter law to prevent law; to essentially communicate that a law against war cannot actually stop a war because it's so vague to shift easily under interpretation. Another tactic is to argue that law has no meaning; that laws are not laws. Both Orwellian tactics are evident below. I invite you to see them for what they are: criminal complicity for unlawful war that has killed over a million, caused horrible suffering for multiples more, and done under our flag with trillions of our long-term tax dollars.
TV notes. NOW on PBS begins airing Friday on most PBS stations (check local listings):
Has the Democratic Party abandoned support of reproductive rights? Next on NOW.
To gain their historic control of Congress, Democrats fielded moderate candidates who didn't always follow the party line, especially when it came to abortion. Now that the Democratic Party has the legislative upper hand, are they willing to negotiate away reproductive rights for other political gains? On Friday, February 5 at 8:30 pm (check local listings), NOW goes to Allentown, Pennsylvania to ask: Are abortion rights now in jeopardy at the very hands of the party that has historically protected them? Among those interviewed are pro-life Democratic U.S. Representative Bart Stupak and former DNC Chairman Howard Dean.
"If there was a bill on the floor to reverse Roe vs Wade, and says 'life begins at conception,' I would vote for it." Congressman Stupak tells NOW.
Jen Boulanger, director of the often-protested Allentown Women's Center, says, "I would expect more from the Democratic Party, to stick to their ideals, not just throw us to the curb."
Has the Democratic Party traded principles for power? Next on NOW.
Staying with TV notes, Washington Week begins airing on many PBS stations tonight (and throughout the weekend, check local listings) and joining Gwen are Jackie Calmes (New York Times), Michael Duffy (Time magazine), Martha Raddatz (ABC News) and Pete Williams (NBC News) . Meanwhile Bonnie Erbe will sit down with Andrea Pennington, Tara Setmayer and Patricia Sosa to discuss the week's events on PBS' To The Contrary. Check local listings, on many stations, it begins airing tonight. And turning to broadcast TV, Sunday CBS' 60 Minutes doesn't air this Sunday but returns February 14th.
Radio notes, The Diane Rehm Show begins airing live at 10:00 a.m. EST on most NPR stations and streaming live online. For the first hour (domestic hour), Diane's guests include Chris Hayes (The Nation), Mattehw Continetti (The Weekly Standard) and Sheryl Gay Stolberg (New York Times). The second hour is the international news round up and Diane's panelists will be Bryan Bender (Boston Globe), Youchi Dreazen (Wall St. Journal) and Elise Labott (CNN). Remember that the show is archived online (you can listen for free) and you can also subscribe to the podcast.
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