After selling Sinbad's, my restaurant on "Eat Street" in Minneapolis, five years ago, I returned to Iraq. I founded the Muslim Peacemakers Team in Iraq to promote the principles of nonviolence and peace among the people of Iraq. Today I cannot forget the plight of Iraqis -- the women who are afraid to get pregnant because so many babies are born with severe deformities; the children who must drink dirty water contaminated with diseases; the thousands of people killed by violence; the 4 million refugees, and the country's spirit, torn by the trauma of war.
In recent months I have traveled around the Midwest, speaking to Americans about Iraq. I have been heartened by the many Minnesotans and Americans who have not forgotten Iraq. On July 31, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to become sister cities with Najaf, and it deserves to be commended for this noble action.
The above is the opening to Sami Rasouli's "Don't forget about Iraq" (Minneapolis Star-Tribune). Sami Rasouli was Matthew Rothschild's guest on The Progressive Radio Show for the week of January 4th -- you can use the link to hear the interview. (And Kevin Alexander Grey is Rothschild's guest this week, FYI.) You can also refer to the January 5th snapshot for a brief excerpt of the interview. Iraq may be a bit harder to forget this morning than usual for the media due to the violence yesterday. The NewsHour (PBS -- link has text, audio and video options) noted last night:
HARI SREENIVASAN: Fresh violence across Iraq killed at least 23 people today, less than two weeks before national elections. In one attack, Iraqi gunmen killed eight members of a Shiite family south of Baghdad. Some of the bodies were beheaded. Meanwhile, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Army General Ray Odierno, said he's prepared to slow the U.S. troop withdrawal if the election triggers chaos.
MAJ. GENERAL RAYMOND ODIERNO, commander, Multi-National Corps-Iraq: We think, so far, it will probably go fairly smoothly. But we will wait to see. I have contingency plans that I have briefed the chain of command this week that we can execute if we run into problems, if it goes the way we think, or if it just is a little bit different than the way we think.
We may cover Odierno in the snapshot today, his comments. We may not. We noted them yesterday but I am laughing this morning as alleged 'activists' (including the one Ava told to f**k off and then blackballed from US cable with a few calls to explain the realities on that jerk who lies a great deal including about who and what he is) who have maintained -- as they pimped for Barry O throughout 2008 and 2009 -- that Iraq withdrawal was a done deal. I'm laughing at all of them. We all should laugh at them. They're nothing but little whores who pretended to give a damn and then whored it out to the Obama campaign. Now, suddenly, 'Woah, what-what-what?' Yeah, waking up is hard to do -- especially when you're face down in the ethics you puked up last night.
But there's nothing shocking about Ray Odierno's comments. Anyone who's shocked (gas bag division) is either an idiot or a liar. And we're seeing a lot of strong performances this morning. Right now, I'll just sit back and laugh. See that's what always happens, it tells on you. The truth will tell on you. That's why there's never any reason to put aside your ethics. But they had a groovy kind of love with Barry O and just knew it was reciprocal!!!!! And Iraqi lives seemed so minor when compared to their hearts aching with love for Barry O. They're hypocrites and their lack of ethics is now on public display. I choose to laugh at them, they've earned our scorn.
We'll note Yochi J. Dreazen (not a gas bag) reporting on Odierno's press conference for the Wall St. Journal:
The top U.S. commander in Baghdad said some American combat forces could remain in Iraq after this summer's planned withdrawal date if the country's feuding leaders are unable to quickly form a new government.
The comment from Army Gen. Ray Odierno is one of the clearest indications yet of how closely senior U.S. officials will be watching Iraq's national elections next month for signs of whether the country will be capable of governing itself -- and maintaining its current level of security—once American forces head for the exits.
And for drive-bys, the ones I'm laughing at are 'activists.' The ones who did speaking gigs for money (I have never asked for a fee for speaking out against the Iraq War -- I pay for my own lodging and travel, before anyone e-mails regarding that), wrote books pretending to care about Iraq, did documentaries, etc. Anything to raise a buck off other people's miseries and they did it over and over while Bush occupied the White House but then they started caring. The same crew that just holler "OUT OF IRAQ NOW!" that suddenly added "Or whenever!" when Barack was sworn in are the unethical liars I'm laughing at this morning. (Clarification/qualifier: I pay for lodging if I'm staying in a hotel. Often times, I will stay at a friend's in order to visit with them because I wouldn't have time otherwise.)
Those people exposed themselves as frauds and carny hucksters generally will do that when given enough time. By their actions, you will know them.
The war has not ended for the Iraqi people, nor has it ended for the US service members deployed there or the families who see their loved ones sent there. Joshua S. Flesher (Ohio's Tribune Chronicle) reports that "20 members from the U.S. Air Force 910th Civil Engineer Squadron" are preparing for their six month tour of Iraq. Master Sgt Karen Satterfield tells Flesher, "This is my fifth time. When I get back, my husband leaves."
The following community sites updated last night:
We'll close with this on the Black Forum:
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BLACK FORUM, THE STATE OF BLACK AMERICA - A PRESENTATION
Bi-Partisan Coalition Formed to Discuss and Take Action on Issues in the Black Community
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Charles Payne CEO Wall Street Strategies, FOX Business Contributor www.wstreet.com
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