Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Iraq again slammed with violence

Iraq is yet again slammed with violence. Annie Gowen (Washington Post) notes the biggest cause of deaths today has been a car bombing in Babel Province. Among the dead are 3 children. Reuters notes the death toll is currently 15 with thirty-six injured. Haroon Siddique (Guardian) notes another bombing, at a Habaniya army base, has resulted in the deaths of 15 Iraqi soldiers with twenty more left injured. Yasir Ghazi (New York Times) adds that 3 corpses were discovered in Babil Province today, Shi'ites whose "hands were tired and they had multiple gunshot wounds". Ghazi notes Monday's assault on Shi'ite pilgrims. Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports of that Monday assault in which 22 Shi'ite pilgrims were killed:

The gunmen ordered the 15 women and children aboard the bus to get off, then drove away with the men, reports indicate.
The men's bodies, including that of the Syrian driver, were found 140 miles away, about 40 miles from the town of Nukhaib.
Each had been shot in the back of the head, said an Iraqi security officials who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the incident.

Dar Addustour notes the large reward being offered to find the culprits. And Nouri has sent the military in to find the killers. 22 deaths is very sad. But other non-Shia groups in Iraq can be forgiven for noting that attacks on their own communities never resulted in huge awards or Nouri's swift response. (And that topic popped up on Arab social media yesterday and continues to percolate.)

Phyllis Bennis (Register Citizen) notes:

No U.S. troops were killed in Iraq last month. So why aren't we celebrating? Because the war isn't over yet and it costs way too much -- in Iraqi lives and our money.
With so much attention and so many billions of our tax dollars shifting from Iraq to the devastating and ever more expensive war in Afghanistan, it's too easy to forget that there are still almost 50,000 U.S. troops occupying Iraq. We're still paying almost $50 billion just this year for the Iraq War. And while we don't hear about it very often, too many Iraqis are still being killed.

The following community sites -- plus, NPR, the Guardian and On The Wilder Side -- updated last night and this morning:

And Mike's "The gushing." There are others not listed above but all but Mike's are showing up at Stan's so I'm just copying and pasting again:

And we'll close with this from Michael Chesson's "Earliest New England Settlers Didn't All Dress In Black Clothes" (Scoop):

The image New England residents have of the early Puritans as a stern people who dressed all in black and were ruled by intolerant and authoritarian ministers appears to be inaccurate, new historical research suggests. While historians have long known that the Puritans had a fun-loving side, the textbook image of them as stern and serious persists in the minds of many Americans.

Clothing for both sexes was every color of the rainbow and by using vegetable dyes, rather than chemicals, the shades were soft and muted. Men might have a colored hatband as a decoration in their best hats.

Dress codes existed that were linked to status but as the colonies’ population grew they became impossible to enforce. Plymouth did not have such a formal, legal dress code, but social sanctions initially worked to the same effect. Overall, colorful clothing was often seen.

Social sanctions were also effective in holding down the crime rate. There was surprisingly little crime in 17th Century New England. Legal records show the total number of felonies and serious crimes don’t add up to much given the growing size of the population in the colonies. Family members and a town’s residents were constrained by a net of social sanctions, often personal and informal, but effective and real in their impact.

The Puritans knew how to have a good time , too, and often did. Drinking in moderation was allowed and the Puritans often indulged in physical love both before marriage and outside of marriage. Some young women in Concord, Mass., got pregnant to sway parents to allow them to marry. It was much the same in early Plymouth. Babies would come 6 to 7 months after the wedding to couples like the Delanoy’s, the ancestors of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

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