Monday, March 01, 2010

The never-ending Iraq War

With the prospect of the US delaying their withdrawal from Iraq already growing, Iraqi Defense Minister Abdel Qader Jassim added fuel to the fire today, warning that Iraq's military won't be nearly completed with the training designed to enable it to provide security by the 2012 date the pullout was supposed to be completed on.
"We cannot say that we have finished building the Iraqi army as a modern army," Jassim admitted, adding that the training of the army likely wouldn't be completed until at least 2020. Jassim warned that he was expecting violence to increase in the leadup to next week’s election, and officials have also warned that violence might actually get even worse after the vote, as post-election negotiations are expected to take quite some time.

The above is from Jason Ditz' "Iraq DM: Army Won't Be Ready to Provide Security Until 2020" ( and as one sign after another appears, you have to wonder what the little liars of the so-called left plan to do in a year or two? They never admit they're wrong, they've never admit they're mistaken. Amy Goodman just pretends like she never makes mistakes. Complain that she didn't cover Ehren Watada's Article 32 hearing and she shows up including it in a headline like it just happened (weeks after) and still can't get the facts right. And indy outlets assume their Panhandle God can't get it wrong so they (for example, Tennessee Independent Media) take her little news headline, treat it as gospel and as new and pretty soon people are confusing and Article 32 with a court-martial -- all because of Goody's sloppy presentation. So let's not pretend that her recent disinterest in Iraq is anything new for her. All our grandstanders on the left have moved on to other topics and it's really starting to look like the "Cassandras" (as Ava and I were recently called by a Pollyanna) spent 2009 warning for good reason. But don't expect the liars to tell you any of that. Justin Raimondo (Antiwar) likes to point out that they don't act any differently if it's a Republican or a Democrat in the White House and he's correct. Antiwar has called out the War Hawks regardless of party. And on the left, our representation? I'm remembering Pacifica's letter about how 'historic' and a 'moment for peace' Barack Obama's election was. I'm remembering the day after the election when the PATHETIC United for Peace & Justice posted their congrats message to Barack (how's that for non-partisan) and then closed up shop. Neither the Iraq War or the Afghanistan War was over but Leslie Cagan had done her part to elect Barack and wasn't that what all the posturing was really all about?

And are we not supposed to notice how IMC shut down after the election of Barack Obama? Are we really supposed to be that stupid that we don't notice that? That we don't notice ALL the Indymedia IMC sites that either went down (no current page anymore) or that display their most 'recent' article . . . from January 2009? We're not supposed to notice?

I was in the peace movement, Leslie Cagan, I wasn't in the anti-Bush movement. I don't care for Bush, I loathe the man, but I wouldn't have spent years of my life on that little nothing. I spent my time as part of the peace movement and we thank you, Leslie, and you, Amy, and Tom Hayden and all the rest for making it clear that you never gave a damn about Iraq, you only used it to hammer away at Bush. Thank you for exposing yourselves.

In the real world, Iraqis continue to die, US service members continue to die and those of us who give a damn about ending the Iraq War long ago learned not to listen to the hypocrites who really think they can distract us with Haiti. They really think over a month focused on an earthquake will make the left -- the real left, not the gas bag left -- forget that the US is still involved in two wars.

Two Sundays ago a US helicopter crashed in Iraq killing US service members Marcus Ray Alford Sr. and Billie Jean Grinder. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports, "Alford's body will be escorted to Unity Mortuary of Knoxville by law enforcement, family and the Patriot Guard Riders. The procession north on Alcoa Highway will be between 10 and 11 a.m., according to Capt. Jamie Blanton of the Tennessee National Guard."

Meanwhile the North Carolina Army National Guard's Lt. Alex Sigmon recounts a day in Iraq (the Greensboro News-Record):

After an extremely long day’s work last week, I made it back to my bunk and managed to get some sleep.
Or so I thought.
It seemed like I had only shut my eyes for a few seconds when I awoke to my alarm clock blaring in my ear like a siren. It had been almost six hours, but seemed like I had only shut my eyes for a few seconds.
The long workdays are beginning to catch up with me, and in Iraq, we don’t have the luxury of hitting the snooze button or calling in sick.

William Cole (Honolulu Advertiser) reports on Army Chief of Staff Gen George Casey's visit to the Schofield Barracks Friday where Casey noted the continued military suicides and declared, "The fact of the matter is, we just don't know why [the rate is increasing]. It's been very frustrating to me with the effort that we made over the last year, and we did not stem the tide."
Xinhua (link has text and audio) reports that the Iraqi death toll climbed last month according to the Defense, Health and Interior Ministries with 352 people killed and 684 injured.

Reporters Without Borders notes that al-'Ahad reporter Hossam Daoud Lazim, kidnapped February 17, was released Friday following the payment of a $20,000 ransom.


A.N.S.W.E.R. and other organizations are sponsoring March 20th marches in DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The march is to demand the withdrawal of all US and NATO troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among the audio links on our permalinks is The Bat Segundo Show and they announce a new series of interviews:

Greetings from The Bat Segundo Show! It's been a little while, but the cultural radio program, featuring unusual and insightful interviews with today's authors, filmmakers, and cultural voices, has released five new installments for your listening pleasure.

These new episodes (in no particular order) include a consideration of contradictory impulses (among other subjects) with mystery novelist Sue Grafton (#320), a thought-provking discussion of black power with Peniel Joseph (#318), an epic one-hour conversation recorded at a very late hour with memoirist Kevin Sampsell (#322), a smoky talk on atmosphere and film stock with Michael Haneke's collaborator on The White Ribbon -- the Oscar-nominated Christian Barger (#321), a rare interview with the novelist Gail Godwin (BSS #319), and a wide-ranging colloquy with Justin Taylor (#323), which attempts, at one point, to get to the bottom of literary hair.

Mr. Segundo has ceded some of the introductions to New Wave rejects audacious enough to remix literary titles into strange songs, narrators who have seen one too many John Carpenter films, and spooky charlatans snatched from the Bowery Poetry Club. But Mr. Sampsell's confessional writing has caused him to report a few of his own infelicities. We are doing our best to restrain him from his accustomed candor.

The main Segundo site can be found here:

To subscribe to the show with a podcatcher program (for later transfer to your iPod), copy and paste the following URL into your program:

On the main site, there is also a black box that is rather large but friendly, should you desire to subscribe to the show via iTunes.

Please note: You do not have to have an iPod to listen the show! If you go to the main Segundo site, you can save the MP3 to your lovely machine by clicking on the bat picture or, if you're the kind of person who prefers swinging a bat over clicking on one, we do have a user-friendly interface with many listening and streaming options below the capsules.

Here are links to the new shows:

SHOW #318 -- Peniel Joseph (44:43)

Direct Link to Show:

Five Second Excerpt: "Is it possible to have someone who can leave a legacy beyond the elected moment?"

* * *

SHOW #319 -- Gail Godwin (27:06)

Direct Link to Show:

Five Second Excerpt: "I should point out that here we have a situation in which a biological budding occurs."

* * *

SHOW #320 -- Sue Grafton (42:29)

Direct Link to Show:

Five Second Excerpt: "Not to get into Hannah Arendt’s banality of evil, but that’s essentially what you set up here."

* * *

SHOW #321 -- Christian Berger (23:45)

Direct Link to Show:

Five Second Excerpt: "Dark is usually a problem on the analog way."

* * *

SHOW #322 -- Kevin Sampsell (1:01:23)

Direct Link to Show:

Five Second Excerpt: "But how do you get from worn out to divorce?"

* * *

SHOW #323 -- Justin Taylor (48:31)

Direct Link to Show:

Five Second Excerpt: "There’s only so old you can be crying at a barbershop."

* * *

Thanks again for listening!

The Bat Segundo Crew

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Barack Renews The Patriot Act" went up last night and Kat's "Kat's Korner: The ultimate torch singer Sade" went up Saturday and her "Kat's Korner: Joanna Newsom's triumph" went up Sunday.

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