Saturday, February 05, 2011

Japan wants an investigation, US continues deploying

Yesterday's plane crash in Sulaimaniya claimed 7 lives. England's Sun newspaper reports that the 3 passengers included a British citizen, an American and a Spaniard. Sky News adds, "A company statement said the three Westerners were guests of an Iraqi businessman, an AsiaCell board member, who also died in Friday's tragedy. The other victims were the crew - two Jordanians and a Lebanese man." Meanwhile Adam Ashton (News Tribune) reports that members of Washington's National Guard are preparing to deploy to Kuwait and notes the battalion "flies and maintains Blackhawk helicopters." The Iraq War continues with no end in sight. Press TV reports:

American officials suggest that tens of thousands of US troops in Iraq may extend their stay in the country well beyond the 2011withdrawal deadline.
US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey said on Friday that more US military forces may be needed to counter what he called "threats to Iraq's stability, [and they] will remain in 2012."
The prospects of a longer US military stay in Iraq contradict the clauses of a 2008 agreement between Baghdad and Washington.
The agreement established that US combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and that all US forces would be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.

Press TV also notes that MPs in Japan's Parliament are calling for an investigation into the Iraq War and have formed an investigation committee. Over the objection of the Japanese people, then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi supported the Iraq War and quotes committee head Tsuvoshi Saito stating, "Japan did not just go in with force. It is a fact that Japan answered America's call, or rather, Bush's. Now with changes in the government, it is important to look at what went on and report (it) to the people (as to whether) the decision was right or wrong." There are calls for an investigation in Australia as well and, of course, England's done several inquiries including the ongoing Iraq Inquiry which just finished public testimony. In the US, there is no movement in Congress to explore the illegal war that current president, Barack Obama, has continued and made his own.

Turning to some of today's reported violence, Reuters notes a Samarra car bombing which left nine people injured, a Balad car bombing which injured two pople, a Tuz Khurmato roadside bombing which injured two people (guards of a council member who may have been targeted with the bombing), an attack on Abu Ghraib military checkpoint in which four Iraqi service members were injured and, dropping back to Friday, a Mosul roadside bombing which injured an Iraqi soldier.

The following community sites updated last night and today:

I'm in a hurry. Steven Lee Myers (New York Times) article is worth reading and so is this Al Sabaah report. Zed Books notes:

While millions of Egyptians continue to demonstrate day in day out on Cairo?s Tahrir square to claim freedom after 30 years of oppression and autocracy, Western commentators marvel about the timing and causes of what will soon be known as the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.

With remarkable foresight, Zed authors Rabab El-Mahdi and Philip Marfleet compiled a book in late 2009 explaining not only what political, economic and societal factors lead to the current uprising; but also why it is no coincidence that it happens now. Prophetically entitled Egypt: The Moment of Change, it meticulously describes the growing internal pressures the Mubarak regime has been facing over the last years, including chapters on the omnipresent torture, the role of Islamism in the society, and the budding social movements for democratic change in Egypt.

Now that the change is happening, Egypt: The Moment of Change is the only book on the market to accessibly examine contemporary Egyptian society. With many of the chapters written by Egyptian academics and activists who are now on the very first line of the barricades, this is the one book that has all the answers.

See more information about the book here

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends