Monday, July 05, 2010

Violence, like Operation Happy Talk, never ends

Let's start with the violence because the violence didn't end and neither Iraq nor Sahar Issa is on 'holiday.' Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a rocket attack on the Green Zone, a Baghdad roadside bombing which claimed the life of 1 police officer and left another wounded, and two Baghdad roadside bombings (one right after the other) which injured three people. That was today. We're ignoring the female suicide bomber in Ramadi and any other weekend violence we've already noted but are including the following reported by Issa that was previously unreported: a mortar attack on the Green Zone yesterday, a Baghdad roadside bombing which wounded one person, 1 man shot dead in Mosul yesterday, a Mosul pavement bombing which wounded one "little girl," and, falling back to Saturday, Sheikh Abdulaleem Abudlrahman was assassinated at his Anbar Province home (shot dead) and a Basra roadside bombing wounded two US service members ("according to local police authorities). Meanwhile, in a further blow to efforts by the administration to launch a wave of Operation Happy Talk, Waleed Ibrahim, Suadad al-Salhy, Ahmed Rasheed, Michael Christie and Jon Hemming (Reuters) report that yesterday the Iraqi military and Kurdish pesmerga -- going on joint patrols to foster bonding -- got into fist fights and exchanged bullets: "The confrontation in Qarah Tappah in Diyala province came on Sunday as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden held talks with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad [. . .]" Officials stressed that "no one died." These joint-patrols (often faciliated or monitored by the US military) have been going on for over a year and that this is still happening indicates what a failure the 'vision quests' have been.

Leila Fadel (Washington Post via Seattle Times) reports from Iraq here. Chris Ames (Iraq Inquiry Digest) is combing through the documents and has much to offer at his site. (We'll cover Fadel and Ames in Tuesday or Wednesday's snapshot.) And Newsweek's Iraqi staff ponders whether or not the clergy might attempt to resolve the political stalemate going on in Iraq. (Late to the party? March 7th, Iraq held elections. Parliament has since met once and only once. For less than 20 minutes. No prime minister has yet to be selected. It's two days away from four months later.)

Now let's turn to Princess Tiny Meat. Barack went to Wisconsin last week and declared on Thursday that, WARL reports, "U.S. troops are carrying too much of the burden in Iraq and Afghanistan and doing too many things that are more appropriate for civilians, such as building schools and setting up justice systems." If US troops are over-burdened (I would agree they were) and Barack thinks so, then it's on him to stop it. In fact, two years in office and refusing to do so, it's dereliction of duty.

Princess Tiny Meat wants to sell some form of human bondage. So he's attempting to grandstand on the backs of US service members. I thought George W. Bush was awful and nothing could ever be as bad -- enter Princess Tiny Meat. No, we do not need mandatory civilian service. Those who suggest it appear to have confused the USA with the USSR. And we especially do not need mandatory civilian service to free up the US military so Barack can use them on ever more wars.

Princess Tiny Meat will have to find another way to sell his indentured servitude program beyond 'the military is stretched too thin' because, check the public record, he made those statements when running for the presidency and his failure to deal with that is dereliction of duty and, yes, it would qualify as high crimes and kick in an impeachment if Congress elected to pursue it.

Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan is in DC protesting the continued wars of the failing empire. This is from her "'We Pledge Resistance to the Empire' by Cindy Sheehan " (Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox) which went up last night:

About five hours after we arrived at the Park, a man on the street in front of the White House yelled that he "had a bomb." The cops had the man (who had no shirt on and clearly had no bomb) in rapid custody and then they cleared the park in a very harsh way -- even pushing a few people who had the nerve to ask why they had to move. I thought it was interesting that many of the families there from near and far, were shocked -- shocked, I say -- that they could be treated like common criminals, even though they hadn’t committed any crimes. We were barred from the park for over an hour, and many people who were angry at us for having a protest just minutes before, joined us -- and we blocked 15th Avenue by H with a few of our newcomers. Some of them even promised to return tomorrow for our protest called: "Don't Attack Iran you Effing Psychos." (9am to 3pm in Lafayette Park).

One of my bullhorn chants today was: "We pledge resistance to the Empire." I know I will be resisting, even if the crowds (that were as high as hundreds of thousands of people in 2005, to 24 today) dwindle down to just me.

If you are reading this and if you can make it to DC, please join us. We do live in a psychotic empire and the only thing that matters to the leaders and corporations is the bottom-line and the top dollar.

We need you all to help us make humanity the bottom-line.

One last observation before I close -- a highly fortified paddy wagon filled with heavily armed and armored robo-cops was parked across H St from our relocated protest.

One man went up to one of our comrades, pointed at the robo-cops and said: "those are REAL Americans."

Now, doesn't that just say a whole lot about our culture today? People who dissent from the status quo, like the "founders" of our country, are NOT real Americans, but those who are armed to the hilt and ready to crack some skulls open are Real Americans?

Yup -- unfortunately, that's true.

Cindy Sheehan and Peace Action have already kicked off "Sizzlin Summer: Independence from oil, Free Palestine, Anti-drone & Counter Recruitment Protests, July 4th through July 17th" in DC. For a breakdown of the activities, click here.

If you've e-mailed something and I haven't noted it, I will try tomorrow, I'm just too disgusted right now. (If you're not catching on, the man screaming he had a bomb? Most likely a police plant to clear the park.) In keeping with Cindy's post (and read the opening which is more powerful but I was trying to note that the DC protests were continuing and what she's up against with the excerpt), let's close with Joni Mitchell who said it years ago -- if you're old enough, were you listening or were you one of the ones attacking her?

Elusive dreams and vague desires
Fanned to fiery needs by deadly deeds
In falling empires
Fiction of the diplomat
Fiction of the critic
Fiction of the Pollyanna and the cynic
Fiction of the coward
Fiction of the hero
Fiction of the monuments reduced to zero . . .
-- "Fiction," words and music by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her Dog Eat Dog album

And I can't wait on A.N.S.W.E.R. because their mailing was time sensitive:

Tuesday, July 6:
End the siege of Gaza! End all U.S. aid to Israel!

Demonstrations to take place as Netanyahu meets with Pres. Obama

All out July 6th -- we need your support!

July 6 demonstrations
in support of Palestine

Washington, D.C.
Where: White House
When: 10 am
Phone: 202-265-1948

San Francisco, Calif.
Where: Israeli Consulate (456 Montgomery St.)
When: 4:30 p.m.
Phone: 415-821-6545

Los Angeles, Calif.
Where: Westwood Federal Building (11000 Wilshire Blvd.)
When: 5 p.m.
Phone: 213-251-1025

Syracuse, N.Y.
Where: Federal Building (Washington and Clinton)
When: 12 noon
Phone: 315-491-6987

Charlotte, NC
Where: Federal Building (401 W. Trade St)
When: 12 noon
Phone: 704-759-6529

The movement to end the siege of Gaza is growing. On July 6 there will be demonstrations at the White House, and in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Charlotte, and Syracuse, which are scheduled to coincide with the Israeli Prime Minister’s meeting with President Obama.

On the eve of his White House visit Netanyahu’s government just announced its latest Gaza-propaganda ploy to derail the growing global movement to end the criminal siege. On Monday, Israel dropped its restrictions on some consumer goods into the Gaza Strip but retained tight limits on desperately needed construction materials. Israel announced that they would bar steel, concrete and other construction materials and many other goods. This makes it impossible to rebuild from the massive destruction caused by Israel’s murderous bombing campaign in 2008-2009.

Netanyahu is responding to the growing chorus of international outrage but with the goal of allowing President Obama to pat him on the back and announce that the new Israeli policy is a "step forward." It is up to each and every one of us to keep the pressure on the White House! That is what is making the difference.

A truly historic victory was won on June 20, 2010 at the Port of Oakland. For the first time ever, an Israeli ship was prevented from loading/unloading cargo in a U.S. port. The full-day shut down of work on a Zim Navigations (the national shipping line of the Israel) ship was the result of powerful picket lines at all four gates at the SSA terminal.

Next step: On July 6, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will be in Washington meeting with President Obama
. The meeting was originally scheduled for June 1, the day after the deadly and piratical Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. That brutal assault has triggered a wave of international outrage and protest, of which the June 20 port shutdown was the latest manifestation.

Read the full statement here.

Your support is needed now to make the July 6 demonstrations and the other activities that will follow as successful as possible.

Please click here to send an urgently needed online donation or to send a check.

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
National Office in Washington DC: 202-265-1948
Boston: 857-334-5084
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 213-251-1025
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
Chicago: 773-463-0311

The e-mail address for this site is