Sunday, November 01, 2009

And the war drags on . . .

The promises were countless: Americans would have universal health care; the US would take the lead on climate change; Wall Street and the banks would be regulated with a cap put on salaries and bonuses paid to executives; Guantanamo would be shut down by January 20010; most US troops would be out of Iraq within 16 months; the strategy in Afghanistan would be reviewed; the new administration would provide transparency and accountability unlike the practice of systematic secrecy from the Bush-era.
The reality and results are quite different: Americans will be lucky if they get a water-down version of public option in the health care bill; the climate change bill is unlikely to have a strong enough carbon tax; Wall Street and the banks are doing well, getting ready to paid huge bonuses to executive while Main Street is still in shamble from the recession; Guantanamo will not be shut down by January 2010; Iraq is still volatile, and US troops are likely to be there for at least 5 years; the president is still pondering on workable solutions for the unsolvable puzzle that is Afghanistan; some progress were made on the secrecy issue, but the Patriot Act will be renewed and the President blocked the release of torture documents involving the CIA

That's from Kool-Aid drinker Gilbert Mercier's "One Year Later, What Is Left Of The Hope For Change?" (News Junkie Post) who can identify the gulf between what was promised and what was actually done but refuses to judge Barry O by his actions. I was on the phone earlier tonight with a friend who was skewering the pathetic Ted Rall who can't do a damn thing but whore for Barack. After saying Barry's handsome and intelligent and blah, blah, blah, he finally offers some wimpy little criticism.

Guess what? Intelligent? There's never been any proof of that. (An intelligent attorney makes partner before 40.) What does handsome have to do with anything? Some of the ugliest and most unattractive people have made great leaders. In the end, we don't care what your intentions were, we care what you did. We care how it effected the lives of others in this country and around the world. The porn blogger (you know the trash I'm talking about) can take her ugly lined face and neck to CSPAN and yammer on about how she can see into Barack's "heart" (apparently, she learned that trick while staring into guy's anuses during her porn days) but at the grown up table -- where the porn industry does not sit, so sorry -- we don't play mind reader, we look at what was done and we look at the effects.

And we look at what was promised and what was delivered or not.

Gilbert and all the other members of the Cult of St. Barack can offer a million excuses but reality is nearly 200 Iraqis were reported dead last week as were 4 US service members in Iraq. That's reality. And you can snort lines of Kool-Aid all you want but it won't change that reality.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4351. Tonight? 4355.


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 Ramadi suicide car bombings which claimed the lives of 2 drivers and 3 civilians (with seven people left injured), a Karbala sticky bombing which left 4 people dead and fifteen wounded and a Babil market bombing which claimed 9 lives and left thirty-eight injured. Reuters notes a Mussayab bicycle bombing which claimed 5 lives and left thirty-seven people wounded. Al Jazeera notes a Baghdad mortar attack which claimed 1 life.


Reuters notes 1 corpse discovered yesterday in Kirkuk.

Oliver August (Times of London) observes, "Violence in Iraq has been reduced, as Western generals and politicians are keen to point out, but it has not gone away. If anything, it has become more deeply ingrained. [. . .] Were terrorists to disappear from Iraq overnight, the country would still be stuck, possibly for decades, with the culture of violence they fostered (building on the legacy of Saddam Hussein, of course). " On Thursday's shooting at the police station which made waves in yesterday's news cycle, click here for Marc Santora's New York Times report. Meanwhile KUNA reports CIA asset and fromer Prime Minister of Iraq Iyad Allawi announced yesterday that he was heading a new bloc/slate of candidates, Iraqi National Movement (INM) which will have National Dialogue bloc's Saleh al-Mutlak as General Secretary.

On the topic of the intended January national elections, Gabriel Gatehouse (BBC News) reported yesterday, "Iraqi MPs have until Sunday to pass controversial legislation or face postponing parliamentary elections set for 16 January. The poll is seen as crucial to the stability of the country, and any delay would likely impact on the US plan for withdrawal." That was yesterday. They had until Sunday? Sunday's come and gone in Iraq and there was no passage of election legistlation.

There's actually some Iraq coverage from western outlets and we'll pick up some of it tomorrow but the point that needs to be underscored tonight is that there is still no election law. The Parliament has still not turned a bill into law on this issue. The elections were supposed to take place in December. Shortly after Barack was elected president in the United States, the elections in Iraq were pushed back to January 2010. All this time after that, still no law allowing for elections to be held in January. That's the big news today.

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Kat's "Kat's Korner: Carly Simon's warm benediction" went up this morning, Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Pru highlights this from Great Britian's Socialist Worker:

This article should be read after: » Thousands surge against the war
Troops give anti-war soldier Joe Glenton a 'fantastic' response
by Siân Ruddick
Joe Glenton, a British soldier who is refusing to return to fight in Afghanistan, received the backing of his fellow troops after he led more than 10,000 protesters on last Saturday’s Stop the War demonstration in London.
Joe hit the news last week after it was revealed that he was refusing to follow military orders not to attend the march.
Him coming could add to the case that the army is bringing against him for speaking out about the horror and illegality of the war.
But Joe told Socialist Worker, “It felt empowering to be on the demonstration. I was surrounded by like-minded people—from the military and ordinary walks of life.”
Joe is still stationed in barracks, and he lives with other soldiers during the week.
“I was slightly worried on Sunday night about going back in, but I thought I’ll just see what they thought.
“The response was fantastic. Soldiers shook my hand and patted me on the back.
“One guy said, ‘You’re saying what everyone else is thinking.’
“I think there has always been support for people speaking out, and it has raised a debate inside the army.”
Discontent over the intensifying war in Afghanistan has spread in the army over recent months—and it has had a deep effect in the ranks.
Joe said, “I feel like I’m strutting round, not tip-toeing, after hearing what the guys think.
“Talking to soldiers in other units, you get the impression that people are questioning why we’re in Afghanistan.”
In September, in addition to the original charge of desertion and intent to avoid active duty, the army wanted to charge Joe with bringing the army into disrepute by speaking out.
Joe and his legal team fought for this charge to be dropped—and they won.
Joe said, “I feel like we are in the ascendancy now. We’ve taken the initiative.
“We’ll have to see what happens in the coming weeks—if they bring more trumped up charges we’ll take them on.”
Joe is continuing to speak out and encourages others to do the same. “We have to start talking and demanding the details,” he said.
“Write to your MP for answers, get out on the streets, demonstrate and debate. Whatever people can do to stop this war, they should do it.”
The following should be read alongside this article: »
Thousands surge against the war» Former Guantanamo prisoner Omar Deghayes speaks out
Support Joe in his fight for justice. Email messages of support to
Download a petition against the army’s attempts to court martial him at »
© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.
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