Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Staff Sgt James Leep Jr. lastest fatality in the Iraq War

Yesterday the Dept of Defense released the following statement: "The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation New Dawn. Staff Sgt. James R. Leep Jr., 44, of Richmond, Va., died Oct. 17 in Babil province, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment, 116th Brigade Combat Team, Portsmouth, Va. For more information the media may contact the Virginia National Guard public affairs office at 804-539-1451 or by e-mail at" The Richmond Times-Dispatch notes, "He is survived by his wife, two adult children and a sister. He was from Davenport, Va." WAVY - 10 notes that Leep joined the military in 1986 and features of photo of Leep. Lauren King (Virginian Pilot) adds, "His previous deployments include Bosnia from September 2001 to April 2002, Iraq from December 2003 to March 2005, the southwest U.S. border security mission from June to August 2006, and Afghanistan from November 2008 to January 2010."

Meanwhile Turkey continues attacking northern Iraq. Aswat al-Iraq reports, "Kurdish Workers Party announced today that the Turkish forces continued their military concentration on the northern Iraqi borders with Turkey. The source told Aswat al-Iraq that the Turkish forces have been gathering ranks since yesterday." Daniel Dombey and Funja Guler (Financial Times of London) notes, "Turkey has vowed to wreak 'great revenge' on Kurdish militants for the deaths of 26 policemen and soldiers on Wednesday as tension increases in both the south-east of the country and neighbouring northern Iraq." Citing Turkish military sources, Reuters reports that Turkish planes are bombing nothern Iraq and that Turkish helicopters are depositing "Turkish commandos" in Iraq. BBC News quotes Tukey's President Abdullah Gul swearing, "No-one should forget that those who make us suffer this pain will be made to suffer even stronger. They will see that the vengeance for these attacks will be great." I think the Kurds of Turkey are very familiar with what the government's vengeance looks like -- having lived under it for years.

The PKK most likely is responsible for the latest series of attacks -- though they may not be and I haven't seen them claiming credit in news reports -- due to the fact that the attacks are on the Turkish military and police -- two targets the PKK considered justifiable ones. A few weeks back, went out of their way to blame the PKK for attacks on civilians despite the fact that another group of Kurdish rebels had claimed credit for the attack. I'm reminded of that as Jason Ditz writes up what I took to be a news report on Camp Ashraf until I read it. I grasp that and the MEK are engaged in a war of words and I wouldn't be at all surprised to catch Ditz telling the story on Antiwar Radio to fellow MEK hater Scott Horton exactly as he wrote it up. That still wouldn't make it right but we could excuse it as opinion in an interview.

Nouri released a statement stating he and the UN had spoken about Camp Ashraf on Sunday. Jason presents as fact that such a conversation took place and took place as Nouri states it did.


That's journalism we should pay for? ( depends upon donations.) The UN doesn't contradict Nouri. They should. Many times he's lied. But they have made it their pattern not to contradict him. But we do know Nouri claimed to have discussed Camp Ashraf with the Red Cross and that they agreedw tih him and blah, blah, blah. The Red Cross isn't the UN. They immediately stated that no such conversation ever took place. Knowing that and that it was the Camp Ashraf claim immediately prior to his UN announcement should give people pause about presenting Nouri's claims as facts. But there's Jason insisting that Nouri told the UN this or that.

Equally stupid is Jason's taking Camp Ashaf and turning it into MEK. You can have no support for the MEK or support for both the MEK and Camp Ashraf or no opinion on the MEK or any number of positions. But for Jason Ditz, writing like Jason Dunce, support for Camp Ashraf residents to be treated fairly translates as support for the MEK.

Resorting to the right-wing tactics that Antiwar supposedly looks down upon, Jason repeatedly invokes "terrorism" and labels people supporters of terrorists.

I guess calling names trumps international law? Oh, wait, it doesn't. And the protected status of Camp Ashraf is never addressed or acknowedged in an article allegedly about Camp Ashraf.

If is not able to provide accurate reports on Camp Ashraf, they shouldn't try. It's embarrassing and it does a disservice to Considering that their own regular contributors are at odds over the issue of the MEK -- specifically Scott and Ivan -- you'd think Jason would feel an obligation to especially play it straight in news reports. Instead he embarrasses himself and And if that hurts somebody's feelings, get the f^^k over yourself. This about people who have been targeted, not about your hurt feelings. I've been very kind in the past, I may be less so in the future. (That's in reference to And I'm about to let it rip on another outlet in the next entry.)

The following community sites -- plus -- updated last night and this morning:

And Stan's "The Good Wife" and Betty's "The weakest." We'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "U.S. Can Demand Arbitration Over Alleged Iranian Plot" (Scoop):

“If the Obama administration truly believes it has credible evidence that Iran was behind this alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi diplomat on the streets of Washington D.C., then it must invoke the Protection of Diplomats Convention(PDC) and demand arbitration of this claim with Iran,” a distinguished American authority on international law says. The diplomat Iran is accused of plotting to kill is the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
“In the event Iran were to reject such arbitration, then the Obama administration could sue Iran at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the so-called World Court of the United Nations System,” says Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Boyle recalled that during the Iranian Hostages Crisis, “the International Court of Justice rendered an overwhelming victory on behalf of the United States against Iran that played an important role in the successful resolution of that crisis. So the World Court is an eminently fair institution to resolve this latest international dispute between Iran and the United States.”
On the other hand, Boyle continued, “If the Obama administration’s real motivation is to concoct and manufacture a pretext for a crisis resulting in provocations and hostilities, it will continue to argue its so-called case to the Western news media which is inherently biased against Iran, instead of resorting to this regularly established and already proven to be effective international judicial dispute settlement procedure.” The PDC was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1973.
Boyle has been involved in major international cases challenging U.S. defense policy on nuclear and biological warfare activities and against its preemptive wars. He is the author of numerous books on these issues, including, “Tackling America’s Toughest Questions,” (Clarity Press), and he was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Convention.

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