Saturday, July 07, 2007

Mass fatalities from Armili bombing

Armili is a town noth of Baghdad in Iraq. It is located in the Salaheddin province which has seen it's share of violence. In August of last year, the city of Tirkrit was the site of a bombing resulting in mass fatalities (a bus carrying Iraqi soldiers, 23 were killed, 20 more were wounded). Tikrit is regularly targeted and the Salaheddin province, this year, may be most noteable for being the site where bombs claimed the lives of four people and left 8 more wounded as Senator Crazy John McCain was talking up the 'success' in Iraq during his heavily guarded stroll through the Green Zone of Baghdad. Today's attack is being reported as the first for Amerli. Yahya Barzanji (AP) reports that a truck bombing has killed more than 100 Iraqis there. Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports:

Around 8.30 a.m. a truck bomb was parked near a local market at Amerli town, about 35 km south of Tuz Khurmatu, killing 115 people and injuring more than 240. The huge truck bomb leveled more than 35 houses killing many of these families in their houses. The devastated city didn't witness similar violence before and this is the first attack of its kind in the town.

Dean Yates (Reuters) reports that the death and wounded tolls are expected to rise and also reports that it was a parked truck and not a "suicide bomber." AP goes with the latter and also rushes early on for their official US statement from the US military. Yates notes:

The bombing in the largely Shi'ite town was a blow to a U.S.-backed security crackdown in Iraq, and underscored the ability of militants to stage large-scale attacks despite the arrival of nearly 30,000 additional U.S. troops.

Yates also quotes Jasim Ali on his search for his wife after the explosion, "I ran to the market and saw burned cars along with dead and wounded people everywhere. I screamed until I found my wife. She was wounded in the head and hand."

In some of the other violence today, Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 19 corpses discovered in Baghdad, six police officers wounded in a Kirkuk bombing, an Iraqi soldier shot dead in Al Dholouair, "An Iraqi police checkpoint shot at a speeding car approaching their checkpoint in Balad today. A pregnant woman was injured," an Al Khuudaira roadside bombing claimed 1 life, "Tikrit general hospital received 3 inured citizens from Samarra today. The hospital said the injuries due to shooting by Interior Ministry commandos shooting in the city" and a car bombing in Iraq claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left 16 more wounded.

In other Iraq news, the US backed oil law that would ensure the theft of Iraqi oil (foreign companies would receive as much as 70% of the profits) is still billed as a 'benchmark,' however, Reuters reports Usama al-Nujeyfi has resigned from the energy committee in the Iraqi Parliament over the law declaring to "a small news conference that the proposal would cede too much control to global companies and 'ruin the country's future'."

Two visitors e-mail regarding Paul Hackett. One says, "You always praised him like to see that now!" The other e-mails he's forwarding the news "So you can beat up on Lt. Hackett again."
The visitors are partially right and partially wrong.

I never praised Hackett. Party hacks did. That was the great Party Hack strategy: "We'll run for office by hiding behind the US military!" Resulted in many lousy candidates. Also demonstrated that instead of working on ideas, the Democratic Party was still trying to push cult of personality. That's how a pro-war libertarian ends up running as a Democrat, which is what Hackett was.

Hackett was never praised here. He minimized Falluja all along. He would not call for an end to the illegal war when he began his first campaign and was all about a 'smarter war' proving he's far from the brightest in any room.

He wasn't a main focus of this site. He wasn't supported by this community. We didn't follow his campaign. I believe you'll find his name in relation to appearances on Democracy Now! and there he would have been called out by me (Rebecca also called him out on her site). When Hackett stepped out of his second campaign (for Senator), he got the most space here. I stated if he felt what he said, he shouldn't be dropping out (and he shouldn't have). I noted I wouldn't vote for him but there are many people I wouldn't vote for, they all have a right to run. But we didn't support him here. We didn't hail him as a "rock star" and you can take that crap up with various Party Hacks who did. Hackett isn't a Democrat and the Congress has enough problems without putting a libertarian in there to pose as a Democrat.

Party Hacks created him (including the Hacks at Air America Radio who really lapped at his crotch). We didn't promote him here. We also didn't note his violent outburst which was also criminal after he left the race. He's come out in defense of someone accused of taking part in one of the many slaughters of Falluja.

Hackett's declared, "Weemer is an American hero. Every American should be on their hands and knees thanking their god there are men in the American military like Ryan Weemer doing the heavy lifting their country requires." Which is why the little bully boy should have never run on the Democratic ticket. He was a whiney ass, libertarian. This is only one of many idiotic statements he's made. Every American doesn't not have a "god" nor are they required too, asshole. Every American doesn't need to drop to their hands and knees. That may be Hackett's position of choice but in a democracy, people are encouraged to stand, not crouch.

The same ones lapping Hackett's crotch were echoed by Hackett doing the same to the military.
He's an idiot and he never should have entered public life. By the time some kids joy riding accidently hit his fence with their car and he was grabbing his guns and chasing them down the road, stopping them and pointing a gun at them, it was obvious he needed more help than was generally known and he should have been disbarred over the incident.

This is the most I've ever stated on him. I don't care for him and I never did. I did defend his right to re-enter the race after he dropped out. I support anyone's right to run because we do need more voices, not less. Hackett's mistake was in not challenging Schmitt as a Republican, he could have beat her. Why he, and others, attempted to portray him as a Democrat (in the Congressional race -- lost -- and in the Senate primary race he dropped out of) is an issue to take up with Party Hacks. They ran a lot of War Hawk losers and did so because they were starved on vision and wanted the quick-fix of hiding behind the military. That's not bravery.

He was a creation primarily of Air America Radio (others as well) and, for those who have forgotten, with very few exceptions, AAR hit the airwaves promoting the illegal war. Their hosts supported it and, like Hackett, just wanted a "smarter" illegal war. A lot is made (rightly) of the John Kerry campaign's refusal to call out the illegal war. AAR wasn't technically a part of the Kerry campaign (and began broadcasting before Kerry had the nomination). Rachel Maddow, to name one on air still, played the "smarter" card repeatedly and hid behind the military obsessively with that dumb ass "Ask a Vet" which, although a weekly segment, could never find a vet who was opposed to the war. It wasn't about informing you, it was about attempting to recruit you. (Laura Flanders and Janeane Garofalo called out the illegal war consistently -- not all hosts, though they'd like to pretend otherwise today, can make that claim.)

The only support I've ever given Hackett was the right to run, the same support I would give to anyone. Party Hacks wouldn't offer that, they're all about the easiest race possible. They're all about lying to voters and playing as if they're 'independent' voices when they take their talking points from others. When the orders came to drop the man they'd built up, they quickly fell in line. True independence wouldn't have resulted in billing a self-described libertarian as 'progressive.' And, for the record, I believe Hackett was a major, not "Lt." But I don't worship at the crotch of the military machine so e-mail AAR or The Nation and see what they can tell you. More than likely, they'll all play dumb and act like they don't even know his name. Today.
They built him up and then dumped him. No doubt that was a "Bitter Sweet Victory." In fact, I believe I hear them singing right now, don't you?

You know I can't change, I can't change, I can't change,
but I'm here in my mold, I am here in my mold.
And I'm a million different people from one day to the next.
I can't change my mold,

A truly "Bitter Sweet Victory" for Party Hacks and, no, they probably can't change. Fortunately, they still have little Mommy's Pantyhose and his war cheerleading. And of course they play left while embracing a publicly exposed pedophile.

In the real world, where Iraq 'coverage' does not mean you ignore war resisters, you can find CounterPunch and Brad steers us to Paul Rockwell's "An Army of None:"

Legislators do not end wars. People do. That's the theme of a practical new book on counter-recruitment and people power -- Army Of None: Strategies to Counter Military Recruitment, End War and Build a Better World. "The anti-war movement needs a new strategy to stop the war and end the occupation," write Aimee Allison and David Solnit.
I first met the writer-activists at a vibrant rally in Oakland, California. After songs and raps, 300 Black and Latino students shut down the Armed Forces Career Center. Graffiti over the front door read: "A better world is possible." I remember one of the raps: "Ain't no power like the power of the people, 'cause the power of the people can't stop -- say what?" As one speaker put it: "We don't need to rely on intermediaries to make change. We ourselves are agents of peace and democracy."
Allison and Solnit helped organized the rally. Allison is a popular Green Party activist in Oakland. Solnit was a key organizer of "the battle of Seattle" in 1999. Their hopes, their new concepts of strategy, and their experiences in the counter-recruitment movement are explained in this timely book published by Seven Stories Press, 2007. Army Of None is a direct challenge to the militarization of American youth. It's not a treatise on non-violence or strategy. It's a toolkit, a practical how-to manual, for the emerging politics of non-cooperation and direct action. It is addressed to students, newcomers in the movement, practitioners of change, ordinary people who are prepared to end militarism through their own direct efforts.
The Jeff Paterson and David Hanks photos -- a Latino march for immigration rights and peace; recruitment centers plastered with anti-war graffiti; war resisters denouncing the military lies of state; Lt. Ehren Watada delivering his historic address to Veterans for Peace; the feisty Harlem Grandmothers Against the War -- all convey the humor, the joy, spontaneity, the defiance and sense of empowerment of an emerging force for change.

Eddie wasn't the first to note Margaret Kimberley this week. He was, however, the most recent. He e-mailed "in case you forget" (thank you, Eddie) this excerpt from Kimberley's
"The United States of Israel" (Black Agenda Report):

Americans celebrate their nation's independence on the Fourth of July. On that day in 1776 a group of propertied, nearly all slave holding, white men declared that Britain's American colonies no longer existed as such. America was an independent nation and would fight to retain that status. How ironic that in July 2007, America is anything but independent from foreign influence.
The Israeli government tells the American government and by extension, the American people, what they will do and when they will do it. Israel's influence was always immense, but the Bush administration's desire for endless empire makes that nation a perfect partner in crime. Israel's allies determine how that country is portrayed in the media, what elected officials can say and do about Israel, and even determine whether elected officials will stay in office.
The Israeli example of successfully lobbying against the interests of the American people is not unique in politics. The pharmaceutical industry, the NRA and many other lobbies are among the deep pocketed interest groups that get their way regardless of the effect on the public good.

Israel's influence is so great that it gets Congress to act when no action is required. Charging genocide in the absence of any violence is an amazing feat, but not when a nation that holds unprecedented levels of power wants to say that a lie is the truth.
In 2005, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be "eliminated from the pages of time." That often repeated wish for an end to zionism was
deliberately misquoted and turned into a declaration of war by the neocons, their Israeli allies, and the neutered media.

Rachel notes the following programs on WBAI this coming week, times given are EST, beginning tomorrow:

Sunday, July 8, 11am-noon
WBAI/NY 99.5 FM/
A discussion of atheism with Jonathan Miller, the British intellectual, TV producer, theater and opera director, and neurologist. Miller's BBC series "A Brief History of Disbelief," will begin its American launch on PBS on July 15. Hosted byJanet Coleman.
(Re-broadcast of an earlier program.)

Monday, July 9, 2-3pm
WBAI/NY 99.5 FM/
Cat Radio Cafe
Cheryl Faraone and Richard Romagnoli, founders of the Potomac Theatre Project (now in repertory in New York with Howard Barker's "No End of Blame" and Anthony Minghella's "Politics of Passion"), talk about re-defining political theatre for the 21st century; director Patricka Dallas on a production of "Sitting in Limbo," a retrospective on the revolution in Grenada; and author Trevor Corson on his new book, "The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, from Samurai to Supermarket." Hosted by Janet Coleman and David Dozer.

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