Sunday, August 28, 2011

And the war drags on . . .

The former head of England's spy agency (MI5) Eliza Manningham-Buller is in the news cycle. BBC News reports she told Radio Times that it was known in 2003 that Iraq was not threat, that a war with Iraq would likely increase domestic threats and that an Iraq war would be "a distraction" from the then-pursuit of al Qaeda. The Daily Mirror observes, "Britain’s former spy boss has given her strongest condemnation yet of Tony Blair's ­decision to go to war in Iraq, saying he was told it posed no threat to the UK." Paddy McGuffin (Morning Star) adds:

Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said: "It may well be that, in advance of Chilcot, which is due to publish its findings in the autumn, various people are distancing themselves from the decision to go to war.
"I'm glad she has said what she has as it is a vindication of the anti-war campaign but the decision to go to war was a failure not just of Blair but the whole Establishment including the security services and Parliament itself.
"There was no serious attempt by any of them to stop Blair. The only attempt came from the streets."

Not surprisingly the Guardian is thus far ignoring this news item. They are a Labour Party organ and they allowed some columnists to speak against Tony Blair's war but only some. They are the paper, remember, that refused to cover the Downing Street Memos. Michael Kinsley was rightly mocked for his bitchy little column where he ridiculed the memos but that column was more than the Guardian ever served up. And yet even in the early days of the war, some 'left' outlets insisted we need the Guardian in this country -- as if we didn't already have enough outlets acting as megaphones for the administration.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4477. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4477.

Raheem Salman (Los Angeles Times) reports
a suicide bomber in took his own life while targeting "Baghdad's largest Sunni mosque" and killing 28 people. Sheik Abdul Ghafour Samaraie is quoted stating, "What hurts me is that the criminal came in as a beggar, he was putting the explosives under bandages. We were thinking that this poor man deserves our help, as he is sick." Michael S. Schmidt and Duraid Adnan (New York Times) add, "Security guards quickly became suspicious of the man, though, and threw him out, but he managed to re-enter and detonate his belt among a group of people, the imam said." Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports, "Police said the suicide bomber [. . .] tried to be as close as possible to the head of the Sunni endowment, Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samarrai, who was injured in the attack." Hammoudi also notes that lawmaker Khalid al-Fahdawi was killed in the attack. Lara Jakes (AP) addresses the death toll, "Two security officials and medics at two Baghdad hospitals put the casualty toll at 29 dead and 38 wounded. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information." Annie Gowen and Assad Majeed (Washington Post) quote teacher Omar Saad stating, "Everybody was in shock, pushing and trying to leave. I saw a child with a [wounded] arm crying over the body of his dead father." CNN covers the bombing and other violence including, "In Tarmiyah, about 40 kilometers north of Baghdad, two people were killed and five were wounded after a bomb exploded near a Sunni mosque as worshippers finished up a nightly prayer for the celebrations of Ramadan, an Interior Ministry spokesman said." Xinhua notes, "Two policemen were killed and seven wounded in separate gunfire and bomb attacks in Iraq on Sunday, the police said." Reuters adds that 2 Baghdad roadside bombings injured four people and 1 government official and his driver were shot dead in Jalawla.

New content at Third:

Kat's "Kat's Korner: It's not easy being assembly lined" went up earlier today and Isaiah's latest goes up after this.

The e-mail address for this site is