Thursday, January 20, 2011

Iraq slammed with another suicide bombing

Once again this week, Iraq is slammed with suicide bombings. Reuters notes a suicide bomber attacked a police station in Baquba. Counting 3 dead (plus suicide bomber) and twenty-seven wounded, Xinhua reports, "A suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into the checkpoint of the main entrance of the provincial headquarters of Diyala police and blew it up, causing severe damages to the surrounding buildings at the scene, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity." Aseel Kami and Rania El Gamal (Reuters) add that "the attack took place in the centre of the city near government buildings, including police headquarters." Ali al-Tuwaijri (AFP) reports that 2 of the dead were police officers and the third was female Iraqi journalist "Wejdan Assad al-Juburi, [who] had been a reporter for the Iraq al-Mustaqal (Independent Iraq) newspaper.)" Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) explains the death toll is now at 4 and the number injured at thirty-three and reports another bombing: "Separately, a Shiite pilgrim was killed and nine others were wounded in southern Baghdad's al-Dora district Thursday when a roadside bomb struck a procession of Shiite pilgrims, who were making a three-day trek by foot to Karbala for Arbaeen, police said." In addition, Reuters notes a Kanaan roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 pilgrim and left two more injured while, overnight, Baghdad "celebratory gunfire" resulted in thirteen people being wounded and Kirkuk "celebratory gunfire" resulted in two people being wounded.

Yesterday, the UN's Ad Melkert issued the following statement on Tuesday's Tikrit attack:

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Iraq (SRSG), Ad Melkert, strongly condemns the terrorist attack that targeted yesterday police recruits in Tikrit and resulted in the killing of dozens of people and injuring many others.

SRSG Melkert expresses great concern that such acts of violence are targeting the Iraqi security forces who are striving to rebuild the country and protect all Iraqi citizens. He extends his sincere condolences to the bereaved families and his wishes for the full and speedy recovery for the wounded.

As violence yet again garners press attention in Iraq, some stories may fall by the wayside. Iraqi Christians, for example, have been targeted throughout the Iraq War and the latest wave of attacks began October 31st with the assault on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad. John Leland (New York Times) reports from Habbaniya Cece, "The last Christian man in town goes to church each morning to clean the building and to remember the past. Romel Hawal, 48, was born in this town in Anbar Province back when most of the population was Christian. Now, he said, his 11-year-old son knows no other Christians and has no memory of attending a church service."

In England on Friday, former prime minister, forever poodle and eternal War Hawk Tony Blair is set to reappear before the Iraq Inquiry to offer additional testimony after his testimony last year just didn't appear to add up.


Stop the War UK is organizing protests against War Criminal Tony Blair.

Reasons to protest when Tony Blair is recalled to give evidence to the Iraq Inquiry on 21 January:

QEII Conference Centre 8am-2pm
London SW1P 3EE

(Tube Westminster or St James's

Please publicise as widely as you can

Tim Shipman (Daily Mail) reports, "David Cameron yesterday called on the public to pressurise Tony Blair into disclosing his secret letters to George Bush from 2002 promising to go to war in Iraq. Downing Street insisted the former prime minister should drop his demands for secrecy when he testifies at the Iraq Inquiry tomorrow." From yesterday's snapshot:

Rosa Prince (Telegraph of London) notes today that the letters are quoted in recent books by Alastair Campbell (his published diary) and Jonathan Powell and she notes: "Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Liberal Democrat leader, criticised the ban. He said: 'It is a bit thick that Mr Blair and Mr Bush have been able to draw on these documents for their own memoirs and to be entirely selective in the use to which they have put them'." Rosa Prince goes on to demonstrate just how much Bush and Blair have quoted from the (private) letters in their books.

David Cameron is the current Prime Minister. With Gordon Brown (who was prime minister between Blair and Cameron) in the office, Blair might have hoped for some cover. Without him, Cameron is making very clear that this is not a "state's secrets" issue and that there is no reason the documents should be hidden from the public. Nigel Morris (Independent of London) reports:

The questions facing Tony Blair at tomorrow's Iraq inquiry hearing are piling up. It emerged last night that parts of Mr Blair's conversations with the United States President George Bush in the build-up to war were expunged from Whitehall records.
Sir John Chilcot's team also heard yesterday from a senior civil servant that Downing Street ignored Foreign Office warnings over publishing the infamously exaggerated dossiers on the threat from Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons arsenal.
Mr Blair's private secretary at No 10 routinely deleted any mention of his correspondence with Mr Bush from the Government minutes, the inquiry has found out. The disclosure will fuel anger over the failure to release the memos between the two leaders in the run-up to war, which could fill in gaps for when Mr Blair took key decisions over the war. David Cameron, challenged over the refusal to publish the memos, said that he was powerless to order their release.

And we'll close with this from Debra Sweet's "Stand Up for Women’s Right to Abortion Jan. 22-23" (World Can't Wait):

Anti-abortion groups from around the country will be converging on Washington, DC on January 24 for their annual “March for Life” in opposition to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Along with the larger mobilization, there are plans to directly target Dr. Carhart at the clinic he now works at in Germantown, MD. They must not go unopposed – people who respect the humanity of women and recognize their right to control their own reproduction must stand up to these bullies.

Contact us ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Come out for the weekend (schedule below).
Germantown Reproductive Health Services
13233 Executive Park Terrace
Germantown, Maryland 20874

This is the schedule of anti-abortion events we must mobilize against; it is taken from their website (names of events and link provided only for reference, not endorsement

“Rally Against Late-term Abortions”:
When: Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Where: Neelsville Presbyterian Church, 20701 Frederick Road, Germantown, MD 20876

“March At Carhart’s Late-term Abortion Clinic”:
When: Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 2 PM
Where: Outside Germantown Reproductive Health Services, 13233 Executive Park Terrace, Germantown, MD 20874

“Teen Defenders International Walk for Life”
When: Monday, January 24, 2011, at 10:00 AM
Where: Washington Monument, Washington, DC

“Prayer Vigil at Planned Parenthood”
When: Monday, January 24, 2011, at 10:30 AM
Where: Outside Planned Parenthood, 1108 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036

“March for Life”
When: Monday, January 24, 2011, at 12:00 PM
Where: National Mall at 4th Street NW, Washington, DC

Background info:
After Dr. Tiller was murdered, Dr. Carhart quickly became “Target #1″ of the anti-abortion movement. He is unapologetic and bold about the service to women he has devoted his life to, and has repeatedly challenged repressive laws restricting women’s rights, including two Supreme Court battles.

Most recently, however, his clinic in Omaha, Nebraska, has been restricted from providing abortions past 20 weeks, after a new law was passed there. In order to continue to meet the needs of women seeking abortions later in pregnancy, Dr. Carhart now works out of a clinic in Germantown, MD. 5% of all abortions in the U.S. are performed after 16 weeks, but Dr. Carhart is one of the only abortion providers who publicly provides later abortions, and often sees patients from around the country who have no place else to turn (see documentary film in progress: Trust Women).

The e-mail address for this site is