Saturday, October 08, 2011

The pretense of withdrawal

Chelsea J. Carter (CNN) reports US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was speaking to US sailors in Naples yesterday and was asked about the issue of whether or not US troops would stay in Iraq (as US troops under the US Defense Dept -- as opposed to under the State Dept umbrella or NATO) stating that they would not stay without a guarantee of immunity. He is quoted as responding, "If they want the benefits of what we can provide, if they want the assistance, if they want the training, if they want the operational skills that we can provide, then I think they have to understand that they've got to give us some protections in that process. [. . .] If you're going to play a large role in dealing with another country where it requires, as I said, a large group of troops to be on the ground and to be dealing with that country, I want to make damn sure that you're protected."

Immunity will have to be addressed or US troops won't be able to stay. It can be addressed via a memo of understanding between the White House and the prime minister of Iraq, it can be addressed via immunity being passed by the Parliament, it can be addressed by twisting the interpretations of several existing documents, it can be addressed by shoving all the US troops under the State Dept banner (if you've forgotten, the US State Dept will be handling 'training' as well), it can be addressed with a new agreement, it can be addressed by using NATO. And those are just some of the notions the White House is tossing around.

NATO, as noted in yesterday's snapshot, is one of many possibilities for keeping US troops in Iraq if (note the "if") Iraq can't provide immunity. Dan Zak (Washington Post) reports tonight, " A State Department official said Saturday that while Iraq is not likely to budge on its resistance to military immunity, there are other paths to continuing the U.S. training mission in the country." Iraqi MP Mahmoud Othman is quoted stating, "Americans misuse immunity. They've had it for eight years. They made a lot of violations . . . Sometimes they killed people, attacked people, captured people, and no one could tell them anything. Iraq doesn't want a repeat of that."

And while negotiations continue and other options are pursued, what else is going on?

Mary Beth Sheridan and Dan Zak (Washington Post) report, "The State Department is racing against an end-of-year deadline to take over Iraq operations from the U.S. military, throwing together buildings and marshaling contractors in its biggest overseas operation since the effort to rebuild Europe after World War II." As Jason Ditz ( observes, "Though much of the narrative of the past several months has been about the US military not leaving Iraq after December, the US State Department is still operating under the assumption that they are, and as such are throwing together an operation they say will be the largest since the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II."

Marissa Gallo (Baltimore Sun) reports, "Families and friends of Maryland Army National Guard soldiers gathered Saturday morning at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground to honor and say goodbye to their husbands, wives, brothers, sisters and all of the important people in their lives before they are deployed to Iraq Sunday." And be sure and read further into the article or you might miss this, "When the troops return in a year or so, Adkins says the MNG will do its best to find jobs for the soldiers and help them readjust to the 'real world'." When the troops return in a year . . .

In today's violence, Reuters notes a Mosul bombing injured six people, a Mosol home invasion resulted in the death of 1 woman and a second Mosul home invasion resulted in an ex-police officer being injured.

Two peace makers spoke this week: Cindy Sheehan and Cynthia McKinney. Click here to listen to the dialogue from Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox program and click here to read the transcript:

CM: Not in a bad way, that’s right. But now and I have honestly I have believed in the United Nations but not any more.

CS: Right.

CM: Not any more. I saw what the United Nations was supposed to do. Actually my first involvement with what the UN was supposed to do was Rwanda. But prior to Rwanda there was East Timor. So I have seen the failings of the United Nations of course now we can list amongst the failings, we can list Haiti as an abject failure and it was the UN that brought in the cholera and no reparations have ever been paid Haitian people for that. The United Nations peacekeepers go around the world and with them go all the vices known to human kind. So not anymore, not anymore. The United Nations has become a tool from the aspect of justice. So apparently as I have traveled I’ve noticed there is a kind of apartheid around the world. Now that apartheid even extends into the global economy, administration of justice, culture such that there was a time that the United Nations I really believed that the United Nations was there to protect people, protect cultures, to protect. But not anymore I don’t believe it. So I think that as we look for new structures to promote peace, to promote our values the United Nations is one of those structures whose time has come and gone.

CS: You know Cynthia when the UN first passed the resolution of the no fly zone in Libya I sent out an e-mail to my supporters and I said, "you all know that a no fly zone is just code for we are going to begin bombing soon." And it was just a few days. As a matter of fact it was the anniversary of the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 that the Obama administration starting bombing Libya and of course there was no congressional approval of that.

The e-mail address for this site is

A lot of lies, a little truth

Roy Gutman has a McClatchy story that we're not interested in. I'm not linking to it, I'm not citing and we will never, ever treat it as reliable. Stories that come out based upon it, we're not noting (we may note other aspects of the stories if they did not come from Gutman's article). That actually has nothing to do with Roy Gutman. It has to do with the two-bit liar he interviews. Liar can hide behind his collar all he wants. Reality is he gave testimony that was false and did so under oath and got confronted on it only to insist that no one could print his testimony to a commission because it was off the record.

Again, he can hide behind his collar all he wants. And he can pretend to be something noble and wonderful even though he can't leave the Green Zone because most Iraqis long ago learned that he was, in effect, a double agent, offering a 'religious' ear and then turning over information to the US and British officers of the occupation. We won't pretend that he is noble and wonderful. He is a War Hawk who whored for the war ahead of the war. And hides behind his collar.

He's used his spot in Baghdad to do covert actions and hid behind his collar.

He's a known liar.

We are not interested in Gutman's article due to the 'source.' And it's a shame because that topic is so under-reported on. But we don't treat Colin Powell as a trusted source because he's a known liar and we don't treat two-bit whores as trusted sources just because they hide behind a collar. Citing or depending upon an article built around the comments of a known liar is begging to be part of a disinformation campaign. (And, glancing at the article, it would appear the assignement collar's been given is to discredit WikiLeaks and inflame tensions against it.)

From Liar With A Collar, to Truth Teller. Steven Lee Myers (New York Times) files a Saturday profile on Peter Van Buren who is the author of the new book

What makes Mr. Van Buren's account so striking is its gleeful violation of the spirit -- and perhaps the letter -- of the written and unwritten code of America's diplomatic corps.
In anything but diplomatic language, he skewers the Army’s commanders and the Iraqis, the embassy, its staff, and even its ambassador at the time, Christopher R. Hill, though not by name. He takes sarcastic aim at the ambassador's Sisyphean effort to grow a lawn in the sprawling embassy compound beside the Tigris River.
"No matter what Iraq and nature wanted, the American Embassy spent whatever it took to have green grass in the desert," he writes. "Later full-grown palm trees were trucked in and planted to line the grassy square. We made things in Iraq look the way we wanted them to look, water shortages through the rest of the country be damned. The grass was the perfect allegory for the whole war."

Truth and lies battle out every day. Sometimes one is forced to speak truth. The editorial board of Pakistan's The Nation offers a blistering editorial against Barack that reads as though they feel they're responding to the White House:

Turning a blind eye to the reality on the ground in Afghanistan that almost every informed person is telling the world, he [Barack] claimed that his forces were closer than before to defeating Al-Qaeda and its network. His other view included: 'despite possessing the required might, the Americans are ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in a responsible manner'; and 'the US has proven the point that it is not fighting against Islam anywhere in the world'. Hardly have heads of state taken stands that reek of such outlandish untruths! But then, with Obama insisting that killer Raymond Davis had diplomatic status, the international community would not, perhaps, be so much surprised at the utter falsehood of his remarks. The world would rather go along the reading of the situation by German General Harald Kujat, the man who planned the Bundeswehr's mission in Afghanistan and oversaw it: the mission has been a failure, and the Taliban will regain power within months of US withdrawal. That is the reality that is making the US uneasy and that Obama wants to hide.

Events appear to have forced The Nation to face reality. But, as many US reporters have demonstrated when it comes to Iraq violence, reality can be 'managed.' Today AP wanted you to know that Iraqi cities set to be turned over from the Iraqi military to the police are not being turned over due to violence but, please understand, it's decreasing violence.

Decreasing violence? Really. For the last two years, violence has increased in Iraq. How can you pretend otherwise? By managing reality.

By forever using 2006 and 2007, years of ethnic cleansing as the US military largely stood on the sidelines (from time to time, they helped with the ethnic cleansing, having been told this political enemy was actually a 'terrorist' and what not).

That is insane and if there were publications that gave a damn about the Iraq War, by this point they'd be insisting that people stop this bulls**t. 2007 is four years ago. 2006 is five years ago. Is Iraq violence increasing? Yes, after a slight drop in 2008 and 2009, it has increased. And it's past time that people stopped being full of s**t and started telling the truth.

There is no reason in the world to use 2006 and 2007 as a baseline. They're in the past. A past the press is happy to let go as evidenced by the cute little terms they give the ethnic cleansing and their refusal to ever get honest about what went down. (Equally true, US press in 2006 and 2007 was insisting things were okay in Iraq.)

Wally and Cedric updated this evening as did World Can't Wait, NPR and

And we'll swipe from Wally & Cedric's joint post to note the following community posts from Thursday night and Friday:

Lastly Zed Books has a new slate of books and events. Click here for Zed on Facebook, here for Zed on Twitter and here for Zed on Blogspot.

The Global Minotaur
America, the True Origins of the Financial Crisis and the Future of the World Economy
Yanis Varoufakis

'Yanis is one of the best, brightest and most innovative economists on the planet' - Steve Keen, author of Debunking Economics

'In the most comprehensive guide to the contemporary economic crisis yet written, Yanis Varoufakis traces out the path from post-war US economic supremacy to the current predicament. This book's provocative thesis, written in lively and impassioned prose, is that which neither the US nor the EU nor any other nation can now restore robust global growth. Whether you agree or disagree, this book's lively and impassioned prose will engage you both heart and mind, and hold you in thrall to the last word. The Global Minotaur is a masterwork that registers for all time the challenge of our time.' - Prof. Gary Dymski, University of California, Riverside

Paperback ISBN: 9781780320144 £12.99

Debunking Economics - Revised and Expanded Edition
The Naked Emperor Dethroned?
Steve Keen

'Economics still awaits its Darwin. Keynes came close, but not close enough. Keen comes closer still. Economics, like biology used to be, remains mostly faith-based. No book poses a bigger threat to that faith than the second and expanded edition of Debunking Economics.' - Edward Fullbrook, Editor, Real World Economics Review

'It is notorious that only the most mediocre students have the stomach to stick with graduate economics degree. The assumptions become so narrow-minded and tunnel-visioned that reality-based minds drop out. But economics obviously is important ­ too much so to be left to economists. Fortunately, Steve Keen is an empirical mathematician who views the economy logically and systematically. Having made a pioneering explanatory statistical model, he looked through the literature to review the history of economic thought ­ and saw how little today's assumptions had to contribute to Reality Economics. So his book does two things. First, it explains some of the most wrong-headed logical paths that led today's 'free market' economics down its detour to rationalize the status quo. Second, it explains how to view the economy from a more realistic, cause-and-effect light.' - Michael Hudson, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics, University of Missouri

Paperback ISBN: 9781848139923 £18.99

Confronting Managerialism
How the Business Elite and Their Schools Threw Our Lives Out of Balance
Sven Harten

'Everyone should read this book to see what is so wrong with finance capitalism U.S.-style. The book's expose of bad "management philosophy from hell" carries one forward like an adventure story as it describes the academic and global diplomacy whose infighting has spread it. Most important is the authors' conclusion that it doesn't have to be this way!' - Michael Hudson, author of Super Imperialism

Paperback ISBN: 9781780320717 £12.99

Catastrophe: What Went Wrong in Zimbabwe?
Richard Bourne

'In the plethora of one-sided and ill-informed works on Zimbabwe, Richard Bourne's new book stands out as deeply-thought, highly-detailed, judicious and balanced. Bourne's capacity to weigh evidence and to arrive at sober and sobering judgements is superb. There will not be a better account of Zimbabwe for some time to come.' - Professor Stephen Chan, author of Robert Mugabe: A Life of Power and Violence

'Richard Bourne has written a clear, well-linked history of Zimbabwe from its earliest days as a territory invaded and seized by whites to its recent history under the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe. Perceptive and fair, Bourne offers no quick solutions or easy receiver plans but remains optimistic that Zimbabweans themselves will reconcile and rebuild.' - Richard Dowden, author of Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

Paperback ISBN: 9781848135215 £14.99

From Global Network to Local Franchise
Christina Hellmich

'If you think you know anything at all about al-Qaeda or simply want an accessible introduction to the subject, this book is a must-read. For the novice and expert alike, Al-Qaeda by Christina Hellmich is currently the best book in the very large field of al-Qaeda studies. An eloquent and incisive deconstruction of the mythology surrounding al-Qaeda and a trenchant critique of the contradictions at the heart of Western security policy, Christina Hellmich delivers an intelligent and balanced assessment of perhaps the most misunderstood group in the world.' - Richard Jackson, Aberystwyth University, UK

'A sensible, sharp, reasoned, comprehensive overview of analysis of modern Islamic militancy and discussion of the nature of the phenomenon of al-Qaeda.' - Jason Burke, author of al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam

Paperback ISBN: 9781848139084 £12.99

Who's Afraid of China?
The Challenge of Chinese Soft Power
Michael Barr

'One need not agree with every aspect of Michael Barr's 'Whose Afraid of China' to benefit from his exploration of China's use of 'soft power' and its attempt to exploit the global information space. China's challenge in this dimension, its attempt to mis-position the West, to diminish Western values and appeal, reflect a maturing 'battle of ideas' about governance. Michael Barr offers interesting perspective on these dynamic questions. A good read for anyone concerned about governance, values and the increasingly informational dimension in which China increasingly challenges the West.' - Dr Stefan Halper, University of Cambridge

''Who's Afraid of China?' by Michael Barr provides a very solid answer to the puzzle of why there is international fear of China's rise. Both those advocating and opposing the theory of Chinese threat will understand why neither of their arguments holds water after reading this book. It is especially worth reading for those who plan to shape a friendly environment for China's rise.' - Professor Yan Xuetong, Tsinghua University, Beijing.

Paperback ISBN: 9781848135901 £16.99

Congo Masquerade
The Political Culture of Aid Inefficiency and Reform Failure
Theodore Trefon

'The Trefon volume is indispensable reading for all those interested in post-conflict state-building. He provides a devastating critique of how the large international investment in this project in DR Congo has fallen far short, through the failings both of the external parties and the Congolese political elite.' - Professor Crawford Young, University of Wisconsin

'Trefon's sweeping survey of reconstruction efforts in Congo, from bridge repairs to security sector reform, delivers a stinging indictment of both the Congolese government and its international partners, leaving no one unscathed. Sure to create controversy, this book makes for a compelling read and calls for an understanding of Congo and the Congolese on their own terms.' - Professor Pierre Englebert, Pomona College

Paperback ISBN: 9781848138360 £12.99

The New Maids
Transnational Women and the Care Economy
Helma Lutz

'Through compelling ethnographic portraits and astute theory, The New Maids takes us beyond narratives of exploitation or empowerment to capture mutual dependences, transnational motherhood, and intimate labor under shifting gender, migration, and welfare regimes. It moves the scholarship on paid domestic work under globalization to new heights!' - Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and Chair, Department of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

'With insight and conviction, Helma Lutz takes us inside the world of the foreign domestic work. She shares poignant narratives that reveal the paradoxical lives of today's maids as one of simultaneous professionalism and personalism at work, distance and proximity in the family, and the unrecognized dependency on their labor by the state. This is an important book that should be read by policy makers and scholars alike.' - Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Professor of Sociology, University of Southern California

Paperback ISBN: 9781848132887 £18.99

Policing Sexuality
Sex, Society, and the State
Julian C. H. Lee

'Policing the body politic always entails sequestering the body sexual; the questions are only how and why, exactly where and when. This trans-regional examination of the different, and always self-contradictory, modalities of sexual state control and self-control is a treasure chest. Authors from Michel Foucault to Judith Butler would pawn one of their books to read this one: a combination of socio-cultural anatomies with humanist thinking. The anthropological wealth and comparative sociological imagination of this painstaking, yet amazingly easy-to-read book are scholarship at its best: accessible but never simplifying, liberating but never patronizing.' - Gerd Baumann, University of Amsterdam

Paperback ISBN: 9781848138971 £16.99

Women, Violence and Tradition
Taking FGM and other practices to a secular state
Edited by Tamsin Bradley

'Women, Violence and Tradition takes a unique approach to generating its content. It has involved women who are students and/or activists in collecting and writing up the stories of BME women who have been affected by the cultural traditions and practices that are the focus of the book - from FGM to dowry within Hindu communities. Many of the contributors to this volume also have first-hand experience of the traditions and practices that they are writing about and this lends a sense of authority and insight to their writing that is often absent in purely academic studies. The volume aims to highlight how women uphold, challenge and defend aspects of these traditions and practices, which often result in violence, in the context of the "secular" British state. It draws our attention the ways in which they are often underpinned by particular understandings of religion and culture that can make it difficult to challenge and negotiate them. The chapters are engaging and personal, and result in a volume that will appeal to the general public as well as an academic audience.' - Dr Emma Tomalin, University of Leeds

Paperback ISBN: 9781848139589 £19.99

Common Ground
The Sharing of Land and Landscapes for Sustainability
Mark Everard

'Common Ground is a must-read for anyone concerned about the sustainability of the landscapes that support us. The book is based on the many societal benefits provided by ecosystems, exploring shifting perceptions of people's rights, priorities for land management and economic flows across landscapes, and suggesting a range of pragmatic implications for achieving sustainable 'living landscapes'. Insightful, engaging and extremely well researched, Common Ground is an indispensible guide for academics, policy-makers and the concerned public.' - Professor Jim Longhurst, Assistant Vice Chancellor, University of the West of England

Paperback ISBN: 9781848139626 £16.99

Elections and the Media in Post-Conflict Africa
Votes and Voices for Peace?
Marie-Soleil Frère

'There is simply no equivalent volume and no other author with a similar in-depth knowledge of the minutiae of Africa?s media landscape. Frère provides the reader with a broad and clear exposé, in which she shines an uncompromising light on the theory and practice of the role of the media in democratic and post-conflict transitions. Building on years of participatory fieldwork in six Central African countries, she highlights with compassion the systemic consequences of the physical vulnerability and material precariousness of African journalists. A real eye-opener!' - Pierre Englebert, Pomona College

Paperback ISBN: 9781780320182 £21.99


Book Launch for
Africa's Odious Debt
How Foreign Loans and Capital Flight Bled a Continent
Léonce Ndikumana and James K. Boyce

10 October 2011 7-9 p.m.
Khalili Lecture Theatre
The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG
Speakers: James Boyce and Leonce Ndikumana
Respondent: John Christensen (Director, International Secretariat, Tax Justice Network)
Chair: Professor John Weeks (SOAS)
For more information see here
For more information on the book see here

Book Launch for
Congo Masquerade
The Political Culture of Aid Inefficiency and Reform Failure
Theodore Trefon

17th October 2011 7-9pm
Khalili Lecture Theatre
The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG
Speakers: Dr. Theodore Trefon (Author), Ben Shepherd (Associate fellow, Africa programme, Chatham House) and Christian Mukosa (Amnesty International).
For more information see here
For more information on the book see here

The New Maids
Transnational Women and the Care Economy
Helma Lutz

Thursday 20 October, 6.30pm, £2 (refreshments inc)
Bookmarks Bookshop,
1 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QE
Please contact us to reserve a place:
020 7637 1848 or email:
For more information on the event see here
For more information on the book see here

The Crises of Multiculturalism
Racism in a Neoliberal Age
Alana Lentin and Gavan Titley

Wednesday 26th October, 6.30pm, £2 (refreshments inc)
Bookmarks Bookshop,
1 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QE
Please contact us for more information about the event or to reserve a place:
020 7637 1848 or email:
For more information on the book see here

50% Discounts on all stock
Get a bargain direct from the publisher
Just come along to our office on Wednesday October 19th
for unbelievable bargains on ALL ZED STOCK!
We apologise that this sale is only available direct from the Zed Office and is not available to anyone unable to attend on the day in person.

The e-mail address for this site is

Friday, October 07, 2011

Iraq snapshot

Friday, October 7, 2011.  Chaos and violence continue, protests and teach-ins take place in the US, the New York Times picks up an acoustic guitar and decides to try a confessional song, Iraq has serious water problems, Political Stalemate II continues, and more.
What is life?
Did you read about it
In a magazine?
Silent lies
Never give you what you need
Is there hope
For a mother
And an elf on speed?
-- "To A Child," written by Laura Nyro, first appears on her Mother's Spiritual
Carlos Granda (KABC -- link has text and video) reports, "About 150 people gathered and prayed at La Placita Catholic Church, and then went on a march through downtown Los Angeles.  The group, called the Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, is calling for the withdrawal of all troops and private contractors from both Iraq and Afghanistan. Th group is also asking for an end to drone attacks and to redirect all funding for wars to jobs, education, health care and housing." AP notes 14 were arrested "for blocking taffic."  That was the plan as explained last week on KPFK's The Lawyer's Guild with Jim Lafferty (7:00 p.m. PST every Thursday; 52 days left in the KPFK archives), Jim spoke with Shakeel Syad about an upcoming action:
Jim Lafferty: And now we're going to turn our attention to activists around the question of the war.  We're coming up now to the 10th anniversary of course of the war in Afghanistan and there's a war in Iraq and a war in Pakistan and what have you. And there's a wonderful group in town, the Interfaith Clergy United for Justice and Peace. They've been active in the anti-war movement and social justice movement for some time now. And they are going to hold an action on the 10th anniversary of the war, that's next Friday October 7th, which will include both peaceful and legal protest and a parade and speeches and what have you.  But they're also putting into it a feature of civil disobedience and joining us on the air to explain all that my guest is Shakeel Syed.  He is the executive director of the Shura Council Mosques of Southern California, that's simply a coalition of the mosques here in southern California. Mr. Syed is one of this nation's really, really great true religious leaders and activists for for peace and social justice and especially I think for religious tolerance. Shakeel Syed, welcome back to the Lawyers Guild Show.
Shakeel Syed: Thanks for inviting me, Jim.
Jim Lafferty:  As always. No, no, it's my pleasure. So next Friday, you and as many as a dozen of other members of Clergy United for Justice and Peace and some others who may not be clergy members but are part of that religious community are prepared to get arrested in protest of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why?
Shakeel Syed: Gosh, I think this is an imperative for people of conscience to remind ourselves and our fellow citizens that for ten consecutive years we have been killing innocent people and getting our young men and women killed while destroying our treasure, whatever little is left, and having people like Rose [Gudiel whose story was covered in the first segment of the show] get evicted and so it is time that people should rise up.  We are only 24 or 25 people who will be doing this civil disobedience on October 7th in downtown LA but I hope and pray that there would be a mass uprising throughout the country in fact to remind the country, remind the nation, remind our political leaders that we are not going to forget the misadventures of our state.
LAist notes, "The protest, which incorporated religious leaders from many faiths, was scheduled to go from 9 a.m. until noon. Participants planned to engage in civil disobedience as they march from La Placita Church at 535 N. Main St to the downtown Federal Building, where a blessing was planned." Corey Moore and Larry Mantle (KPCC) report, "Protesters spoke from the platform of a truck where labor leaders, Occupy L.A. demonstrators and others denounced the war. They said money should be going to jobs and schools, not bombs."
In Baghdad today, protests took place.  The Great Iraqi Revolution notes that chants included, "America Out, Baghdad will always be Free." Aswat al-Iraq notes the activists were "demanding an end to corruption, unemployment and provision of services." Click here and here for video of the protest in Baghdad.
In other news, Al Rafidayn reports concern building over the fact that, as the headline notes, Baghdad is on top of a giant basin of oil but little water and the paper notes efforts are underway to address the potential scarcity of water in the future.  Water is an issue in Iraq for many reasons including the lack of potable water (water that is safe to drink) in much of Iraq and also the water issues they have with Turkey (predominately issues of dams preventing the flow of waterways) and Iran (salt polluting the water ways).  With so few aquifiers in that region (and Saudi Arabia sitting on several), the government of Iraq must be very worried about what happens in the future, especially if the world moves away from oil as the primary energy source and/or the price of oil drops.  New Sabah notes concern in the Ministry of Energy over the decline in the price of oil currently ($90 a barrel in the article; $83 per barrel currently according to AP)  and that there might be an emergeny meeting of OPEC to address crude production. This as Baser News reports that the Ministry of Health states that as much as 50% of the water in Baghdad is polluted.  And it's not just water in Baghdad that has pollutants.  At the end of 2007, Luke Mitchell reported for Harper's magazine from Iraq:
This was in a particularly empty patch of desert beyond even the lonely cinder-block houses and the rock-throwing kids. We had sped past dry concrete canals and abandoned oil drums and rocket-charred tanks, past mile upon mile of flat dirt and rust, and then we found ourselves drving between a series of mirror-black ponds. These pools crept along both sides of the highway, and through the scratchy ballistic glass of our SUV it was hard to tell at first if the liquid within was oil or water.  There were no ripples, though -- the pools were thick -- and the hot asphalt smell was strong enough that it had become a taste. Same said the oil came from leaky pipes, that there is no EPA watching over Rumaila.  "You have to gve the devil his due here," he said, meaning Iraq. "On a good day, they export 60,000 to 70,000 barrels an hour.  If 500 barrels of crude spill on the ground here, what is that?  Not more than a half minute of export."
[. . .]
Sam said the groundwater in Rumaila is so salty and alkaline that if you put it in your mouth you would gag and probably throw up.
The water issues are issues a real leader would address and do so quickly.  Meanwhile, Iraq's had Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister for five years and no progress on that or any other issue.
Despite his do nothing approach in his first term from 2006 to 2010, Nouri didn't want to give up the post as prime minister.  And even though his political slate came in second in the elections, he refused to surrender the post thereby creating Political Stalemate I which lasted over eight months.  Al Mada reports that Ayad Allawi, leader of Iraqiya which came in first in the March 2010 elections, announced yesterday that he was no longer going to seek to head the security council. The security council? Never created. The Erbil Agreement, which allowed Nouri al-Maliki to remain as prime minister, was supposed to, among other things, create an independent security council and Allawi was supposed to head it. After Nouri got what he wanted out of the agreement, he went back on his word and trashed the agreement. The Kurds and Iraqiya and the National Alliance have been calling for a return to the Erbil Agreement.

In his statements yesterday, Allawi decried the policies of the government currently and noted the "rampant corruption" taking place. He said there is no partnership nationally and noted the failure to implement the Erbil Agreement. As mixed up and messed up as he sees the national scene currently, he also stated that Iraq's relations with other countries and within the region was being harmed by the current approach of the current government (Nouri).
As Sheikh (Dar Addustour) notes of the Tuesday meet up at President Jalal Talabani's home, that Iraqis were expecting the governmental issues to be discussed but instead the meeting became solely about US troops remaining in Iraq (which they agreed to). He writes of failed opportunities and of a pattern of sewing dissatisfaction and mistrust.  Al Sabaah notes that to address the immunity that the political blocs were not willing to grant in that meeting, the notion of an umbrella of immunity under some agreement between Iraq and NATO could take place.  But MP Shaun Mohamed Taha tells the paper that the best thing to do would be for Iraq and the US to reach an agreement and save any NATO agreement for a last resort.  Al Mannarah, Iraq's independent newspapers, speaks with sources who state that Nouri had already promised the US White House that US troops would remain in Iraq before the Tuesday meet-up at Jalal's house (and Nouri had already promised it, they are right) and that if the blocs had rejected the US military presence beyond 2011, he had promised to sign a memorandum of understanding with the US which would allow US soldiers (billed as "trainers") to remain in Iraq.  It's said that Nouri and the US are tossing around the number 5,000 (number of US service members to remain in Iraq) and this in addition to any under the State Dept's banner who might be needed to guard the embassy. Al Sabaah is reporting that the Parliament's Security and Defense Commission has reached a decision about those non-"trainers" (US soldiers) and when they should leave.  Committee Chair Hassan Sinead issued a statement saying they should leave by November 11th.  Per the Status Of Forces Agreement, they should have until December 31, 2011.  Sinead is also insisting that, if soldiers are staying, a deal be made quickly.  His announcement may be, in part, an effort to move the process along. (A bluff to move the process along.)
Viola Gienger (Bloomberg News) reports, "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Iraqi leaders must give the U.S. certain legal protections for its forces in Iraq under any agreement to leave some troops behind after this year." Chris Carroll (Stars and Stripes) reports speaks with national security expert Anthony Cordesman about the issue of immunity and, "Cordesman said the United States and Iraq might not ink a Status of Forces Agreement that explicitly gives troops immunity like the 2008 document now in effect, but there would at least be some agreement to effectively shield U.S. troops, while providing political cover for Iraqi leaders."
Super summer sugar croppin'
In the mornin'
Do you shoppin' baby
Love my lovething
Super ride inside my lovething
You may leave the fair
But you'll be back I swear
Would you love to love me baby?
I would love to love you baby now
Would you love to love me baby?
I would love to love you baby now
I keep hearin' mother cryin'
I keep hearin' daddy through his grave
"Little girl, of all the daughters
You were born a woman
Not a slave"
Oh I hate my winsome lover
Tell him I've had others
At my breast
And only now am I a virgin
I confess
-- "The Confession," written by Laura Nyro, first appears on her Eli & The Thirteenth Confession
And this June, Mr. Obama spoke by telephone with the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, and indicated he was willing to leave nearly 10,000 troops, according to a Western diplomat and an Iraqi official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions had been private.
'It's the miltiary, acting all on their own, those mean generals!, and maybe Leon Panetta too, that keep pushing to prolong the US military presence in Iraq. It's not Barack.  He needs to speak up so that these generals know he's not for this.'  You've heard that delusion on programs like Flashpoints Radio (from guests, Dennis Bernstein's not crazy enough to spout that himself) and Democracy Now! and read it at places like The Nation and ZNet. It's apparently the first song in the hymnal of the Cult of St. Barack -- has to be the first one, it's sung so often.  (I believe the title is "He's Not Responsible" and it comes right before "It's All Bush's Fault" and "He's Only Been President For ____.")  It was never true. 
There was not a rogue State Dept or rogue branch of the military working behind Barack's back.  This is what he's always wanted.  But the press likes to give Barack cover and he has to reach  a 55% disapproval rating for the press to decide to provide a little truth (a little well known truth).
It's Barack's war and it's been his war for some time now.  Since he rebranded it "Operation New Dawn" just over a year ago, 60 US service members have died, 36 of those in combat (this despite his claim that "combat operations" had ended).
Arango and Schmidt speak to a few Iraqis.  We'll ignore the college student -- normally, we'd grab him for the quote -- because the paper's never been at a loss to quote Iraqis in favor of the US is staying in their country.  Instead we'll note Hamid al-Mutlaq ("a lawmaker"), "The Iraqi people won't forget what they were subjected to, such as killing, hunger and displacement. The atrocities of Abu Ghraib prison remain in their memory."
On the second hour of today's Diane Rehm Show (NPR), a guest called in about the occupation of the MidEast and the animosity it breeds.
Yochi Dreazen: You know, he mentioned Iraq. I was just there for about a month and came back recently so I'm still mildly incoherent from jet lag.  The disconnect between the debate here about troops and the debate there was staggering to me.  Here the question was always framed as how many troops will Obama leave?  Republicans said too few, Democrats said too many.  But the basic idea was that it was his choice, that the US could sort of choose how many to leave.  We are, as Nadia [] said, more hated there than -- I was the bureau chief there for three years, I spent about five years there -- more hated now than ever before.
[Guest host] Laura Knoy: Really? In Iraq?

Yochi Dreazen: In Iraq.  They want us out. There's not a single political party -- [not] the Kurds, none, no matter how pro-American. I spent some time with Ayad Allawi the former prime minister. He was on the CIA payroll.  He's as close to America as you can find in Iraq. And he refused to say that he thinks troops should stay and hinted strongly that they want them gone. Some of that is politics. It's an easier thing to say if you're a political leader that you want them out.  But we are hated in Iraq and there is no constituency saying we should stay, which is -- my gut is that I don't think there'll be a troop extension.  If it is it's going to be tiny. It's not going to be 3,000, it's not going to be 2,000. It'll be 1,000 or 1500 because we are so deeply, deeply unpopular.

As Political Stalemate II continues, so does the violence. Aswat al-Iraq reports a Baghdad bombing has claimed 5 lives and left twenty injured, a Mosul bombing claimed the life of 1 woman and left another person injured, and a police officer was shot dead in Baghad. Reuters notes a second police officer was shot dead in Baghdad, 1 civilian was shot dead in his Baghdad house, and, dropping back to Thursday for the remainder, the Iraqi military shot dead a suspect in Mosul and a Baghdad roadside bombing left "six boys" injured.
I got fury in my soul
Fury's gonna take me
To the glory goal
In my mind I can't study war no more
Save the people
Save the children
Save the country
-- "Save The Country," written by Laura Nyro, first appears on her New York Tendaberry
"Old men send young people to die in their wars," explained Phyllis Bennis this evening.  "The old men who send them don't die very often" in these wars.  She was taking part in the action at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church where Iraq Veterans Against the War's executive director Jose Vasquez welcomed those assembled to War Voices.  Safia Elhillo kicked things off with a poem entitled "How To Love In War Time" which includes the advice to "clutch your firstborn in your lap" because "all you have lost" is behind you. Phyllis Bennis gave some opening remarks and kicked off the voices with Suraia Sahar who explained, among other things, how Afghans for Peace ended up with that name (Sahar is an Afghan whose family moved to Canada).  Other voices included Afghanistan War veteran Brock McIntosh and Military Families Speak Out's Pat Alviso who noted with four deployments already (a fifth to begin in January), her son has lost friends, seen a marriage end and that these and other tolls aren't noted by the recruiters who show up in a lousy economy promising jobs, money and adventure.
In addition, DC (like many cities) has seen Occupy Wall Street actions.  Not to be confused with the action we weren't interesed in ( which Iraq War veteran Adam Kokesh noted was "now rebranded to capture the momentum of the #OWS."
adamkokesh Kevin Zeese, organizer of says he is unwilling to put aside calls for universal...
Good for Adam (who doesn't need applause to tell the straight truth but does deserve recognition for always stepping up to the plate and doing so).  It wasn't interested in war.  It didn't care about the Iraq War or even name it.  It was a toss-out-everything and hope something sticks.  Kevin Zeese is part of Come Home America (no link) and needs to get his act together because he looks like a hypocrite being the public face of that group which is supposed to build bridges across the political spectrum, linking all opposed to the current wars, and yet can't make room for the right in a protest?  The reality is that in the next 2 years, the wars could be ended (in less than the next 2) but universal health care is something that will require a lot more ground work and probably many more years.  So it look like a fetish prevented a message of strong opposition to war from being sent.  (A "fetish" refers to a refusal to be realistic.  It's not a dig at single-payer, universal health care which I do support.)
In Canada, Iraq War veteran and war resister Rodney Watson continues to hope for asylum.  Yolande Cole (Georgia Straight -- link has text and video) reports it's a little over two years since the US war resister, on the verge of being deported (September 2009), sought refuge at First United Church in Vancouver with his wife and son.  He states, "I've been through a lot in my life, and this has been one of the hardest things I've been through, being stuck in these walls. The hardest thing about being stuck here is waving to my wife and son . . . every time they got to the store, or to family dinners, outings, to the park . . . the hardest part for me is saying good-bye."  First United Church notes:
The 34th General Council of The United Church of Canada (1992) endorsed "the moral right and responsibilities of congregations to provide sanctuary to legitimate refugee claimants who have been denied refugee status."
Sanctuary should only be considered as a way to right a wrong or to uphold justice. As a public and prophetic witness of the church, it is to be considered only after all legal, administrative, and political appeals for justice have been tried. From this perspective, sanctuary is "moral obedience" and displays ultimate respect for the law and the justice it demands of it.
Rodney Watson, 31, after losing his job and being desperate for income, signed up as a cook for the U.S. army in Kansas City. He was subsequently sent to Iraq for 12 months. He found himself not working as a cook but as an armed soldier securing the kitchen and mess area. After his tour of duty ended in 2006 and a few months  before his 3-year contract would end, the US army informed him he would be sent back to Iraq where his contract would unilaterally be extended.
He fled to Vancouver, deeply convicted that his conscience would not permit him to continue to participate in a war that he believed was neither justified nor being conducted in ways he was willing to be a part of.  He sought refuge in Canada but Rodney was ordered to leave Canada by Friday September 11 2009, or face deportation. Rodney asked for Sanctuary at First United and came into this building on the evening of Friday September 18th, 2009.
In providing sanctuary for Rodney Watson, the Board of First United Church took the following into consideration:
1. Respect and support for the Law of the Land
The Church has consistently respected and supported the democratically established Law and processes of Justice. However, the Christian Church has also at times embraced actions that challenge and/or obstruct the Law when a law or its implementation is deemed unjust.
In Rodney's case, with reference to his application for refugee status:
A) The Law allows for a process that includes opportunity for a review on humanitarian and compassionate grounds to be held after a deportation order has been issued -- and it also allows for the deportation to be delayed until that hearing is held, but….
(i) Holding the Hearing after Rodney has been deported makes the process moot, since he will receive a prison sentence of at least a year and will have a criminal record that prevents re-entry into Canada
(ii) No indication has been given of a willingness to hold such a Hearing before deporting Rodney
(iii) The Hearing has been seriously prejudiced by the Minister of Immigration's public statement that "Iraq war resisters are bogus refugee claimants"
B) The legal process has denied Rodney refugee status despite the fact that the democratically elected Parliament of Canada has voted in 2008 and in March 2009 to allow Iraq war resisters to be given refuge in Canada, with the result that…
(i) The intent of the Law (which, as reflected in the Parliamentary majority votes and in Canada's history of providing refuge to Vietnam war resisters and others is clearly to offer refuge to war resisters) has been ignored or contradicted
The Board of First United considers the implementation and process of the Law as not being just -- and believes it would be an injustice for him to be deported at this point. Justice requires that Rodney be given a fair hearing on Compassionate and Humanitarian grounds before being deported -- and that the Hearing take into account the intent of the Law and the decisions of a democratically elected Parliament
2. Conscientious Objectors and Just Wars
The Church has over the ages been willing to accept the need for war as a last resort, carefully applying the Just War doctrine and criteria. When a war has been deemed not to meet the criteria of a Just War, the Church has opposed that war and refused to collaborate in its execution. Equally the Church has upheld (indeed often encouraged) Conscientious Objection by those who choose on the basis of conscience not to participate in a war (or to terminate their involvement in one.
In this context:
A) The war in Iraq is considered by many to be an illegitimate war.
(i) The grounds and justifications given for declaring that war have been proved to be invalid.
(ii) Canada itself chose not to participate in that war because the justification was suspect from the start.
B) The Church calls on secular society to join it in respecting the right to conscientious objection and Rodney is objecting to being sent back to a war in which he does not believe and cannot in conscience support  (In this case a war that most Canadians do not support).
C) Secular society holds individuals personally accountable for their decisions and actions in the context of war. We cannot hold people accountable if we do not give them the opportunity to choose not to participate. Denying Rodney the right to refuse to participate by seeking refuge in Canada, contradicts this basic principle.
Justice requires that Rodney be given the opportunity to make the choice of not participating in a war that in conscience he cannot support -- by being allowed as per the will of Parliament to be given refuge in Canada.
3. Basic justice and solidarity with those treated unjustly.
The Church has consistently stood in solidarity with those who are being treated unjustly. It has also traditionally had strong theological bases for defending the rights of workers/employees in the context of workplace/employment imbalances of power.
In Rodney's case:
A) There is a basic injustice in a unilateral extension of a contract (even when written into the small print of the document that has been signed by both parties. ). Rodney was not in breach of his 3-year contract in any way, when it was unilaterally extended 3 months before it was due to end.  The unilateral extension of a contract is an unfair labour practice and an abuse of power.
B) The consequence of deporting Rodney is that an 8-month old child will be deprived of any contact with his father for at least a year -- and possibly longer.
Justice requires that Rodney not be forced to continue being employed against his wishes despite having met his mutually agreed contractual obligations -- and equally that he not be imprisoned for being unwilling to meet unilaterally imposed requirements.
For the reasons outlined above and based on the theological principles and policies outlined in the attached documents, the Board of First United Church is providing refuge and Sanctuary for Rodney Watson.
Community note,  Wednesday, Cedric's "Who sat Wonkette at the grown ups' table?" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! THEY LOWER US ALL!" (joint-post) took on the what-does-killing-American-citizens-mean-for-Barack's-re-election-campaign (as opposed to dealing with the serious issue on serious terms).  And the other posts that night were theme posts, everyone weighing in on cereal: Betty's "Super Sugar Crisps," Trina's "Frosted Mini Wheats," Ann's "4 men, 1 woman" (she covers cereal but she also tracks the numbers for the guests on The Diane Rehm Show), Rebecca's "oatmeal," Ruth's "Bagels, lox, Matzo Brei," Kat's "Corn flakes," Marcia's "Cap 'n Crunch with Crunch Berries," Stan's "Great Grains," Elaine's "Fruit Loops" and Mike's "Lucky Charms."

At Black Agenda Report, Bruce A. Dixon asks a very important question regarding the Libyan War. Please check that out.  We'd quote from it but four mornings this week, I've been trying to work something in and instead we'll just close with it here.  David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. This is from his "Does Signing a Petition Give Parents a Voice?" (Rethinking Schools):

The first parent trigger law was passed in California last year. It says that if the parents of 51 percent of a public school's students sign a petition (the "trigger"), that petition will result in one of four options: firing the principal, bringing in an entirely new staff, closing the school, or handing over the school to a charter school operator. Rather than triggering a broader process, the specific option -- for example, the specific charter school company -- is part of the petition.

Several very conservative players in national education reform, in addition to Broad, have made parent trigger proposals a key part of their agenda. Many teachers fear the expansion of a privatized education system, and view parent trigger laws as a means for rushing the process forward.

And there is no indication that these laws increase parental voice in their children's education. "You get one shot and that's it, because once that charter is formed, that charter dictates how it will operate," John Rogers, associate professor of urban schooling at UCLA, told NBC's Education Nation. "[Parents] have fewer rights in the context of a charter than they would at a public school."

As trigger laws are introduced in state after state, California's experience is being watched closely. When the trigger law there was up for a vote, Democrats, among them Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (a former field rep for United Teachers Los Angeles), spoke for the bill, although the votes to pass it came mostly from Republicans. Teachers' unions lobbied against it, while a chorus of mainstream media hailed it. Patrick Range McDonald of the LA Weekly claimed it was the product of "minority parents and fierce reformers, who seemed to materialize from thin air."

Not quite. Although some grassroots parents undoubtedly did support the bill, it was the product of powerful political figures, backed by the wealthy foundations that shape much of the country's debate over education reform. SBX54 was written by the Los Angeles Parents Union (LAPU), started in 2006 by the Green Dot charter school company. The LAPU was headed by political operative Ben Austin, who then started another organization, Parent Revolution, to promote and implement the parent trigger law. At its birth, Parent Revolution had a $1 million budget supplied by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wasserman Foundation, the Eli Broad Foundation, the Hewlett-Packard Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation.

And we'll note an ongoing exhibit:
This Camera Fights Fascism:
The Photographs of David Bacon and Francisco Dominguez

Santa Clara, CA
July 29 - December 4, 2011 and January 14 - February 5, 2012
Tuesday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
David Bacon and Francisco Dominguez have both followed in the tradition of Depression-era photographers such as Dorothea Lange, focusing their cameras on struggle, dissent, immigrants, and workers. Their photographs speak to the global character of contemporary migration. Like the so-called Okies of the Depression, many of today's migrants have been displaced by environmental degradation and wider economic forces.

The title of this exhibition refers to a sign that 1930s folk musician Woody Guthrie often had on his guitar, "This Machine Kills Fascists." These two photographers build a powerful body of visual evidence of the continuing struggle of workers, migrants, and poor people to survive. In this exhibition the photographers responded to images by Dorothea Lange and selected photographs from their own work that draw close connections between the 1930s and today.
David Bacon is a photojournalist who has documented the movements of farm workers, social protest from Iraq and Mexico to the U.S., and the migration of people. He is the author of several books, and many of the images in this show are from Communities Without Borders, Images and Words from the World of Migration.

Francisco Dominguez is a photographer and printmaker. His parents both were farm workers. He documents the struggles of indigenous, immigrant, and poor people in black and white photography.

- Art Hazelwood, Guest Curator

To view the slide show please go to:

This exhibition is taking place at the museum simultaneously with
Hobos to Street People: Artists' Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present
Between Struggle and Hope: Envisioning a Democratic Art in the 1930s
July 29 - December 4, 2011
also curated by Art Hazelwood

True confessions from NYT

"Even in 2008, when the security agreement requiring a complete withdrawal by the end of 2011 was passed, officials said privately that they expected the document to be amended to allow a longer military presence," inform Tim Arango and Michael S. Schmidt (New York Times) this morning. While I'm aware neither was covering the SOFA for Iraq in November 2008 or in the immediate months that followed, they do work for the paper that was part of the Lie Chamber promoting the myth that the Status Of Forces Agreement meant all US forces left Iraq by the end of 2011. So when they share their tidbit today, near the end of their article, the natural response is: It's not that easy.

The paper lied. They were far from the only outlet to do so. But those that lied do share responsibility for the continuation of the illegal war. When you tell people -- over and over, it was never one-day coverage -- in article after article, that the Iraq War ends at the end of 2011, that it has to and all US troops have to leave at the end of 2011, you don't just mislead, you give many a reason to focus on other things, to (wrongly) believe that this issue is taken care of and they can focus on something else.

The media pimped that lie hard. They share responsibility. Share. They are not solely responsible. The Cult of St. Barack also shares responsibility. They were beyond desperate to believe the lie, so much so that they would take the Bush administration's Status Of Forces Agreement and treat that as proof not just that the illegal war would end but that Barack was better than Bush, they would turn a Bush agreement into a Barack treaty. People who are that eager to self-deceive are the reason the media can't be the sole culprit but it was an active accomplice.

Maybe Arango and Schmidt's article should have been called "True Confessions"? They certainly supply a lot of information the press has been concealing.

All summer, all year, we've had to take the crap for telling the truth that Barack was pushing for US troops to stay in Iraq while crackpots no longer with the CIA launched one disinformation that Barack didn't want that, didn't know a thing about it, that it was these out of control military officers and, Barack, please, please, please speak clearly on this issue so that your military will know you are opposed to this -- On and on that garbage went. So it is refreshing to see Arango and company report (finally): "And this June, Mr. Obama spoke by telephone with the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, and indicated he was willing to leave nearly 10,000 troops, according to a Western diplomat and an Iraqi official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions had been private."

I am not a Barack supporter. So it's interesting that we've always recognized his agency and power here while the Cult of St. Barack has repeatedly portrayed him as a victim, naive, apparently stupid to what the people he appointed are doing, unaware of what was going on around him.

I hope the Cult of St. Barack is aware that their portrayal of him the last years has contributed to the negative image he now holds (and that it's too late to change it now) with the public at large. You can only whine for so long that he's a victim, that he's Patty Hearst, that he doesn't want to do ___ but people won't listen to him, before that all contributes to his being seen as inept. And underlying the negative polling of Barack currently is that image that the Cult of St. Barack created. (Don't expect LieFace Melissa Harris Perry to ever tell that at The Nation. This is the cheap liar who went to work for the Obama campaign in 2007 but 'forgot' to disclose that in January 2008 on Democracy Now! or in March 2008 on The Charlie Rose Show.)

Had the paper bothered to offer reality in 2008 or 2009, I'd be raving over the article today. Instead, it plays a lot like someone broke the window and Arango and Schmidt got stuck taking the blame for everyone when they came to ask for their baseball back.

Al Mada reports
that Ayad Allawi, leader of Iraqiya which came in first in the March 2010 elections, announced yesterday that he was no longer going to seek to head the security council. The security council? Never created. The Erbil Agreement, which allowed Nouri al-Maliki to remain as prime minister, was supposed to, among other things, create an independent security council and Allawi was supposed to head it. After Nouri got what he wanted out of the agreement, he went back on his word and trashed the agreement. The Kurds and Iraqiya and the National Alliance have been calling for a return to the Erbil Agreement.

In his statements yesterday, Allawi decried the policies of the government currently and noted the "rampant corruption" taking place. He said there is no partnership nationally and noted the failure to implement the Erbil Agreement. As mixed up and messed up as he sees the national scene currently, he also stated that Iraq's relations with other countries and within the region was being harmed by the current approach of the current government (Nouri).

As Sheikh (Dar Addustour) notes of the Tuesday meet up at President Jalal Talabani's home, that Iraqis were expecting the governmental issues to be discussed but instead the meeting became solely about US troops remaining in Iraq. He writes of failed opportunities and of a pattern of sewing dissatisfaction and mistrust.

As Political Stalemate II continues, so does the violence. Aswat al-Iraq reports a Baghdad bombing has claimed 5 lives and left twenty injured, a Mosul bombing claimed the life of 1 woman and left another person injured, and a police officer was shot dead in Baghad.

The following community sites -- plus -- updated last night:

Plus Mike's "Turley" and Rebecca's "fast & furious."
Joan Wile is the founder of Grandmothers Against the War and has written the book
On Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, a coalition of major peace groups will mark the 10th anniversary of the Afghanistan war with a large rally at the SE corner of 42nd St. and 7th Ave. from 12 noon to 2 p.m. The event will advocate for an end to the war and redeployment of the money spent for the conflict to our needs here at home.

Among the speakers will be Cong. Charles Rangel; New York City Public Advocate Bill DiBlasiol; City Council member Gale Brewer; Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, Rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church; legendary Broadway actress Vinie Burrows; peace leader Dave McReynolds, renowned civil liberties attorney Norman Siegel, and many more. Entertainment will be provided by the Raging Grannies.
"This is not only America's longest war, it's the first not to be funded, but put on a credit card costing us billions," said Jerry Moss, Vice President of Peace Action Manhattan. "We desperately need that money here at home for jobs, schools, scientific research, health care, repair of infrastructure, and so on."
Sponsors are Military Families Speak Out, the War Resisters League, the Granny Peace Brigade, Afghanistan Veterans Against the War, Code Pink, Peace Action Manhattan, Grandmothers Against the War, Westchester Concerned Families, the Gray Panthers, Veterans for Peace, West Side Campaign Against Hunger, Citizen Soldier, and others.
"There are almost 7,000 dead, hundreds of thousands who lost a limb or developed
long- term medical and mental issues. We must call for an end to a war causing
so much destruction, economic disaster and which has no clear mission or goals achieved," stated Lionelle Hamanaka, a leader of Military Families Speak Out.

DATE: Oct. 7, 2011
TIME: 12 noon to 2 p.m. -- Rep. Rangel scheduled to speak 1 p.m.
LOCATION: SE corner of 42nd St. at 7th Ave

The e-mail address for this site is