Monday, October 02, 2006

Iraq snapshot

Monday, October 2, 2006.  Chaos and violence continue, a war resister who self-checked out prepares to turn himself in; World Can't Wait prepares for October 5th's day of mass resistance; Iraq's parliament once again extends its state of emergency;
Rummy loves Bully Boy, Bully Boy loves Rummy; Australians reject the war in Iraq; and a 68-year-old grandmother fasts -- longterm fast -- to protest the administration and because she's not seen signs that a real resistance to them is taking place in the United States.
On Saturday, war resister Darrell Anderson returned to the United States after moving to Canada in January of 2005 when facing a second deployment to Iraq.  Earlier, Darrell Anderson had been injured by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq and been awarded the Purple Heart.  Lynne Olver (Reuters) quoted Anderson stating: "I believed it was my human right to choose not to kill innocent people."  Jim Warren (Lexington Herald-Leader) noted that Jim Fennerty (Anderson's lawyer) was told by "an officer at Fort Knox" that Anderson would not be court-martialed, that there were "plans to release him within three to five days," and that "the officer told him that a discharge would be mailed to Anderson within a few days after that."  As the AP notes, Anderson is now headed for Fort Knox where he plans to turn himself in Tuesday.
Darrell Anderson is part of a movement of resistance within the military that also includes Ricky Clousing (facing charges of desertion), Ehren Watada (the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq) and others.  War resister Mark Wilkerson notes four protest songs "that have gotten me through Iraq and through my AWOL experience."  Ehren Watada's father Bob Watada this morning began his second
speaking tour to raise awareness on his son's case.  Here are some of Bob Watada's speaking engagements this week:
Tues 10/3 7:00pm ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)
1800 Argyle Ave. #400, Los Angeles
Contact: Carlos Alvarez, 323-464-1636, email:
Wed. 10/4 12:00-2:30 pm Angela Oh's Korean American Experience Class
Life Sciences Bldg., RM 4127, UCLA Westwood Campus
Wed. 10/4 Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
6120 S. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles
Contact: So Cal Library 323-759-6063
Thurs 10/5 5:00 pm World Can't Wait March & Rally
(March starts at noon at pershing S1/Bob speaks in front of Federal Bldg 300 N. Los Angeles St. at 5:00 pm.
Contact: Nicole Lee 323-462-4771 email:
Fri. 10/6 7:00 am  Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP)
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Bl., Los Angeles
Contact: Thalia 626-683-9004 email:
Fri 10/6 12:30  San Fernando Valley Japanese Community Center
SFV Japanese American Community Center, 12953 Branford St., Pacoima 91331
Contact: Phil Shigkuni 818-893-1851, cell: 818-357-7488, email
Full schedule (PDF format) can be found here and more information on war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.
Bryan Bender (The Boston Globe) noted (last week) the Congressional Research Service Report which found that "the Iraq war is now costing taxpayers almost $2 billion a week -- nearly twice as mush as in the first year of the conflict three years ago and 20 percent more than last year". What's that "buying"?  Not "democracy," not "liberation."
Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports that Iraq has again extended the state of emergency powers as it has done each month since the powers were put in place in November of 2004.  CBS and AP note: "The measure allows for a nighttime curfew and gives the government extra powers to make arrests without warrants and carry out police and military operations."
Yesterday, AP reported that US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld would not resign and that he has the support of the Bully Boy as Bob Woodward's latest book (State of Denial) proves the stenographer giveth and the stenographer taketh away.  Dan Bartlett stated publicly yesterday that Bully Boy "serves at the pleasure of the" Bully Boy and that Bully Boy enjoys Rummy's "bedside manner".  Bartlett should have more to do, as Bully Boy's attorney, then offer the public updates on Love In a Time of War especially at a time when the American people have firmly turned against the war in Iraq.  [Those needing more of Woody can click here for text and video of Mike Wallace's interview with him on last night's 60 Minutes.]
A sentiment shared by Australians.  A new poll by the Lowy Institute for International Policy has measured Australians' attitudes on the war.  Leigh Sales reported to Mark Colvin (PM, Australia's ABC) that the poll "uncovered an exceptionally negative view of the war in Iraq.  84 per cent of Australians believe the war has not reduced the threat of terrorism, and 67 per cent say it won't spread democracy throughout the Middle East." Australia's Herald Sun reports that Kevin Rudd ("Labor foreign affairs spokesman") states the polling results are indicative of the "commonsense" of the people and that: "What they've seen in the Iraq war is probably the single greatest national security and foreign policy failure on the part of Australia since the Vietnam war."
Failure?  Well only if you think continued bombing deaths, shooting deaths, kidnappings and discovered corpses are a failure.  Five months away from the four-year mark of the illegal war sold on lies with a trailer that proclaimed it a "cakewalk" and the chaos and violence continue.
On Sunday, a mass kidnapping resulted in 26 workers being kidnapped in Baghdad. Aileen Alfandary noted today (KPFA's The Morning Show) that 7 of those kidnapped have been discovered . . . as corpses.  Today saw another mass kidnapping. CNN reports that "at least 14 people" were kidnapped while working in "computer stores in central Baghdad". AFP raises the number of those discovered as corpses (from Sunday's mass kidnapping) to ten and notes this statement from the Iraqi Islamic Party: "The Iraqi Islamic Party asks how could 26 people, among them women, have been transported from Amil neighborhood to Abu Chir (where their bodies were found) through all those Iraqi and US army checkpoints and patrols?"
CBS and AP report four dead and at least thirteen injured in downtown Baghdad from a roadside bomb, an Iraqi soldier dead and two more wounded from a roadside bomb in western Baghdad, three people injured in "northeastern Baghdad" from a roadside bomb, and two people dead and seven injured in in another Baghdad "bomb blast".
Reuters notes one death, in Baghdad, from mortar rounds; and two dead from a roadside bomb in Hawija.  AFP notes the death of two driving "trucks carrying petrol for the US army" as a result of roadside bombs in Tikrit.
AFP reports: "Colonel Faris Khali of Iraqi intelligence was driving along in civilian clothes and an unmarked car on a Baghdad highway Monday, when gunmen roared up next to him and shot him dead, said the interior ministry."  CNN reports the shooting deaths of two Iraqi police officers (three more wounded) in Kut al-Hay.  CBS and AP note a drive-by shooting in Hillah that killed one person and a drive-by in Mosul that killed a police officer. Reuters notes three people shot dead in Ishaqi.
Reuters notes thirteen corpses discovered in Baghdad, four "near Suwayra," and
"[s]even headless bodies . . . hands tied" in Suwayra.
Returning to peace news, Nicole Brodeur (Seattle Times) notes that Cindy Sheehan will be at Town Hall Seattle Tuesday on her Peace Mom book tour and that local resident Patricia Brooks has been fasting "since Sept. 11" and, the 68-year-old woman states: "And I have said that as soon as I am convinced that this steamroller is going foward with a self-sustaining momentum, I will stop."
Want to try to persuade Patricia Brooks that the people will demand accountability?  World Can't Wait is calling for a day of mass action this Thursday (October 5th). Mathaba News reports, on Sunday, that "In the past 10 days, the number of cities planning protest jumped from 50 to more than 130.  Meanwhile, the Bush administration is bolting into place an unprecedented new law which legalizes torture and severely restricts habeas corpus, the basic right to legal redress first established in England with the Magna Carta in 1215."  Today Philip Maldari spoke with World Can't Wait's Sergio Andres Garcia on KPFA's The Morning Show noting an event in Oakland (California) this evening which includes participation by Alice Walker, Daniel Ellsberg and Boots Riley (7:00 pm, Grand Lake Theatre, 3200 Grand Ave, Oakland --  donations encouraged -- "between $15 and 50 dollars").  Garcia noted that Thursdays mass resistance events were taking place in 153 cities so the number of areas participating continues to grow.  To determine what's going on in your area or for more information visit World Can't Wait.
And those on the fence about participating might want to note Alice Walkers words on the current climate: "An enlightened rage is building in the people of the world and it is anti-war.  Never before have we seen war so clearly; its horror and stupidity and waste.  We watch, those of us in the West, mostly on television, unimaginable blunders of planning and strategy; we walk past our rapidly deteriorating hospitals and schools while reading about the 10 billion a day, or is it a month, or is it a minute, spent on war in what is obviously the wrong country, in a newspaper that reports this news, it seems to us, casually.  We feel helpless in that moment, but we do not feel ignorant.  That is a great gain."  That's from Walker's forthcoming We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness due out in November, an excerpt of which appears in the Fall 2006 issue of Ms. magazine, pages 66-70 (either just out or about to hit the stands).
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