Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Hate The War

We note various companies when we're able to if they're doing something for veterans. Some are easier to note like Marriott where I have several friends in management that will pass on various things. Such as their support for Troy Yocum and Hike for Heroes. I'm not familiar with the following company but we will note them:

As of this week is launched by British public company Sky2 Plc. The company and website specialises in travel services to high security & high political sensitive countries. Our initial focus is Iraq & Afghanistan bringing you the best mix of international scheduled & local charter airlines under a single bookable site!

Please complete our registration process to access special negotiated fares with more Iraq & Afghanistan airlines than any other system worldwide.
If that wasn't enough special fares for the rest of the world too.

All bookable online and all payable by account or credit card (inc local airlines): A percentage of every booking this month is donated to charity "Help for Heroes".

I am familiar with Help for Heroes and they do important work for British veterans. I'm certainly not recommending anyone travel to 'safe' Iraq. But a number of veterans have been in the news for returning to Iraq to find peace and if someone is flying there, Sky2Plc offers flight from Baghdad to London and back. You can follow Sky2Plc on Twitter.

This morning, I was explaining how a snapshot that was X K (over 90K) could cause a problem because when it was e-mailed to this site it could 'bounce' off. That happened with today's snapshot. I dictate to four different friends. The one today records it and then types it up after I'm off the phone. It was way too long and I tried to fit way too much in there. (My fault. My apologies.) I was doing the roundtable this evening and had my phones off (as I always do during the roundtable). We had to do a quick edit after the roundtable and one of the things that was pulled was that you can stream the hearing at the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee's hearing page or, if you're having problems with that page, you can stream audio of the hearing from this CSpan page.

Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) writes of corrupt Ali al-Lami (who died today -- probably at the hands of one of the many sworn enemies he made), "Lami, who lived in Sadr City, was a symbol of the battle against the former Baath Party." The press certainly is being generous to a little thug who bullied and abused his position -- in fact most US outlets seem to have a problem noting that his position really didn't exist. Of course, Ali al-Lami was the boy pal of Ahmed Chalabi and, as we all learned after the start of the Iraq War, there was no lie the press wouldn't tell for Ahmed Chalibi.

While so much of the US press sheds tears for the consort of the man who gave them the Iraq War they so desperately wanted, AP reports that over 800 members of the National Guard are being deployed to Iraq for one year. Don't expect a lot of press sympathy for those 800. Unlike Ali al-Lami, they most likely will never provide 'good copy' and 'background' to reporters. They'll just risk their lives in the continued war that Ali al-Lami, Ahmed Chalabi and others helped start with lies. In real time (August 28, 2008), AP noted, "The military says the suspect is believed to be behind a June bombing in Baghdad that killed four Americans and six Iraqis, and that he is believed to be a senior leader of "special groups" — Iranian-backed rogue militiamen in Iraq." He was part of the League of Rightous -- admittedly part of it. When the mini-thug was released from the US prison, Rod Nordland and Sam Dagher (New York Times, August 17, 2009) reported, "Mr. Lami said his release was part of a government deal with the League, though he described himself as a 'supporter' of the group rather than a member." The League used their barganing skills to secure the release of their most important assets only. Lami was among the select few whose release they secured. He was more than a supporter.

It's amazing that the same US press corps that couldn't stop quoting Gen Ray Odiernor (or Gen David Petreaus before him) can't work either into their reports on Ali al-Lami's death. From the February 16, 2010 snapshot, here's Odierno:

al-Lami is a Sadrist by trade. He was arrested after an operation in Sadr City where both Iraqi security forces, U.S. civilians, and U.S. soldiers were leaving a meeting that they had with the local government in Sadr City, and their vehicles were attacked with IEDs as they left the meeting. There were some accusations. We had some intelligence that said that al-Lami was the one who directed these attacks on these individuals. He was released in August of '09 as part of the drawdown of our detention facilities because we did not have the actual prosecutorial evidence in order to bring him in front of a court of law in Iraq. All we had was intelligence that linked him to this attack. So, as we had some others, we had to release him. He has been involved in very nefarious activities in Iraq for some time. It is disappointing that somebody like him was in fact put in charge or has been able to run this commission inside of Iraq, in my opinion.
He is -- him and Chalabi clearly are influenced by Iran. We have direct intelligence that tells us that. They've had several meetings in Iran, meeting with a man named Mohandas, which is an ex-council representative member -- still is a council representative member -- who was on the terrorist watch list for a bombing in Kuwait in the 1980s. They are tied to him. He sits at the right-hand side of the Quds Force commandant, Qassem Soleimani. And we believe they're absolutely involved in influencing the outcome of the election. And it's concerning that they've been able to do that over time.

All of that gets vanished by so many. (As noted in today's snapshot, McClatchy Newspapers and the New York Times both broke from the pack and didn't engage in the 'poor, sainted al-Lami' coverage.)

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last week, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4455. Tonight it is still [PDF format warning] 4457.

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