I'm going for four posts this week, maybe five. Nothing long. Rebecca says she's doing better and Mike's got a long thing on that going up. I told Mike I wasn't in the mood to do a long post tonight and asked him if he was doing WBAI's Law and Disorder? He said he forgot and has been online forever. So I'll use that as my out tonight. He's grabbing the taser, I'm grabbing the prison segment and Ruth will grab the first segment. "Ruth's Public Radio Report" went up this morning. She didn't cover the first segment from last week. She was hoping to but then she found out about Rebecca miscarrying and, like everybody else, she knows how Rebecca wants children so she just wasn't in the mood to do much with her report.
I think it was a strong report. Check it out.
I'll talk about The Third Estate Sunday Review and do C.I.'s snapshot and call that my entry. Here's the new content at The Third Estate Sunday Review:
"Truest statement of last week" -- we all agreed Barbara Lee had the best statement that we heard last week.
"Editorial: What's news?" -- I didn't work much on this. I tossed out some ideas right around the time we heard Rebecca's news (or around the time C.I. figured out what had happened). Ty said they really weren't in the mood and that it was basically C.I. and Jim coming up with stuff and the rest of them smoothing it over.
"Iraq snapshot" -- Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim helped C.I. by going through the e-mails for Sunday's "And the war drags on . . ." -- picking highlights. That gave C.I. the time to do the snapshot for the entry (which they've pulled and posted as it went up at The Common Ills). C.I. thinks the entry was a joint entry because without that help there wouldn't have been time for the snapshot Sunday. They disagree and say that's C.I.'s work and give C.I. the credit.
"TV Review: There's always a platform for some" -- Ava and C.I. weren't in the mood. They'd spoken to two people for this review and thought they'd have something really funny. They said it was a pain to write (because their minds were elsewhere) and Ava points out that one section (the part around the "Woops!") was just for them to get through and they'd go back and fix it before it posted. Jim read it and said it was perfect as is. So they had to wait to get someone's permission to include the "Woops!" section. I think it is funny. I also think it's true about how it is easier to get a White point of view on TV than anything else.
"Incident you should have heard of" -- Look at the right, at the top and you'll see my CODEPINK button. We were working on this story, about how CODEPINK was stabbed in the back, and saying we wish we could do something more than just that story. Dallas, who always hunts down the links, ended up looking around the CODEPINK site and told us they had web buttons. Great idea on Dallas' part. (Great find too.) Kat's crashed, her site. It took awhile to fix it and after that we were all asking C.I. what to do? So C.I. copied the code and that's why we're all using the same button. We can change it now and C.I. told us where to put the code in but I'll probably stay with that one. Even Trina added one. She got up at 4:20 her time to get things ready because she wanted her husband to have a good father's day. Mike heard her in the kitchen (she's Mike's mother) and went down to ask her if she wanted a button on her site. She did so we've all got them now. We mean what we say in this piece but the buttons are just a visual way for us to show our support for a group that works hard to do what needs to be done. They do a great job.
"When War Hawks Lied" -- We were using another song. I said, "How about Prince's 'When Doves Cry?' and that might be my only input. At first, it was called "When War Hawks Lied." That got changed but the title didn't get fixed. You can sing it to "When Doves Cry" too (try it).
I think this was mainly Kat, Betty, C.I. and Jess with the rest of us trying to stay out of their way. It went very quickly. We were all tired (and wiped out from the news) so this was actually a good, easy piece where most of us, including me, were mainly just saying, "Yeah!"
"RadioNation with Laura Flanders" -- This got lost. No backup copy. Had to redo from scratch. It was a nightmare. (The show was great.)
'"We Were All Wrong!' Not so fast Pt. II" -- Should have been quick. Wasn't. We'll grab Howard Zinn next time, if you're wondering. There's a hateful woman who was interviewed by The Progressive last week. C.I., Elaine, Dona, Betty, Rebecca, Jess and Ava were adament that no links go to The Progressive website until the woman's interview wasn't on the front page. C.I.'s attitude was that they can interview whomever they want but they're not getting traffic while their interview with her is on the front page. I ended up getting upset the more I heard. She's a woman who trashes other women. I said I doubted they'd provide a reactionary African-American. She's considered by some to be progressive. Her statements are more along the lines of Ann Coulter but because they're aimed at women, it's apparently okay. Katha Pollitt, Gloria Steinem, Naomi Wolf . . . There's pretty much no woman she hasn't trashed. Since then, I've looked at some of her stuff (library and I didn't check it out so she didn't get "circulation" off me) and I really just get more offended. I guess the magazine was 'big tenting' last week. There's always room in the 'big tent' for those who attack women or people of color.
There was also a roundtable that we did early on. It ran in the print edition that goes out Sunday morning. But Dona said, "Hold on" about posting it. (I'd already bailed.) I asked her why and she remembered there were some comments Rebecca made when she thought everyone would just think she was having cramps from a period. Dona said that since it would probably be discussed at sites (the miscarriage), she didn't want the roundtable posted online. Rebecca was being open and under the impression of one understanding when it was being done (the roundtable) and she (Dona) just felt it wasn't fair to Rebecca to run it online. (And wished she'd realized that before the print edition went out.) There was also two other things in the print edition. A poem and I'm not even remembering the other thing. It's been a long week and it's only Tuesday.
Check out Trina's "Potato Casserole in the Kitchen." Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Chaos and violence continue in Iraq. Outside of Iraq?
As noted by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, "the so-called coalition of the willing continues to shrink:" Junichiro Koizumi, prime minister of Japan, declared that Japanese troops are leaving Iraq by "year's end.". Reuters notes that, although no Japanese troops were "killed or wounded in Iraq," "six Japanese citizens, including two diplomats, have been killed by insurgents in Iraq." China's Xinhau reports that the prime ministers discussed the intended withdrawal "with leaders of the ruling coalition and opposition parties" on Tuesday morning "shortly before the announcement." As Amy Goodman reported, Japan joins Italy with the announcement of pulling troops out by year's end and that "Spain, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Nicaragua, the Philipines and Honduras have already pulled out." Noting "Japan's Kyodo news agency," the Financial Times of London states the withdrawal "process could be completed by the end of July." Xinhua notes the same possibility and credits word on it to "Japanese government officials."
While Japan prepares to remove troops from the ground in Iraq, in the United States, a watered-down, weaker version of John Kerry's call for US troops out of Iraq is allowing for posturing. Caterwauling on the Senate floor today, Bill Frist exclaimed, "We cannot surrender. We cannot go wobbly. The price is far too high." Possibly a mantra he once repeated to himself while dissecting felines? Meanwhile, always one to run from a fight, Harry Reid's less concerned with exit plans for the US, and knowing there's no democracy in Iraq, focuses instead on a possible amnesty plan Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi prime minister and occupation puppet Nouri al-Maliki. Adnan Ali al-Kadhimi was fired/resigned following his comments to the press regarding the potential plan. But it's a nice, dead-hypothetical to rage and rattle about as opposed to dealing with reality. In other news on the spineless, John Walsh (CounterPunch) reports that what recent book sales didn't get across, phone calls might have -- Baby Cries a Lot took three calls complaining about his War Hawk position on the war. Walsh does not note if Baby Cries a Lot attempted to garner sympathy by sobbing, breaking into tears or using his own children to justify an ongoing war (children who do not and have not served in Iraq or, for that matter, the military). In non-spineless news, AP reports that Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold and John Kerry "intend to push for a vote on their own proposal."
In Seattle yesterday, Sara Jean Green reports: "Ann Wright appeared with 1st Lt. Ehren Watada and his parents at a news conference at University Lutheran Church to announce a national day of action June 27, when anti-war demonstrations will be held in cities across the country in support of Watada." Green reports that Wright, "retired army colonel and former State Department official," will appear at a "news conference today at University Lutheran Church on behalf of another Fort Lewis soldier, Suzanne Swift". Watada, whose parents joined him for yesterday's news conference, is the first commission officer to refuse deployment in Iraq. Click here to sign an online petition supporting Watada. Suzanne Swift was arrested last week after deciding she couldn't return to Iraq and going AWOL.
In Iraq, as reported by Jonathan Finer (Washington Post), Kristian Menchaca and Thomas L. Tucker, two US soldiers who were abducted last Friday, were found dead "near a power plant in Yusifiyah." The discovered corpses are said to have signs of "barbaric" torture. Meanwhile, the Mujahedeen Shura Council is claiming credit for the deaths. The Financial Times of London concludes: "The news will tarnish the positive image US and Iraqi officials have been projecting recently of a government that is gradually getting to grips with the security situation and turning the tide against the insurgents."Other corpses were discovered in Iraq today, Reuters notes that two were found in Hilla ("blindfolded and hands tied") while in Baghdad, five corpses were found ("handcuffed with gunshot wounds in the head").
Bombings? Baghdad saw a series of bombings. RTE News reports on one near "a second-hand clothes market in central Baghdad" which resulted in at least two dead and and at least 28 wounded. Al Jazeera notes that roadside bomb as well as a cra bomb "in a a crowded market in the eastern district of Jamila in Baghdad" that left seven dead and 18 wounded. The BBC reports that, in Basra, "at least one elderly woman was killed along with a suicide bomber who blew himself up inside a home for the elderly". Reuters notes that five others were wounded. Another car bomb went off in the Hurriya district of Baghdad "killing at least five people and wounding 11".
Reuters reports that while the US miliatry is saying Ramadi is not the target for a major offensive, the Red Cross has "voiced concern on difficult living conditions in Ramadi". Reporting for IPS, Dahr Jamail and Ali Fdhil write: "A week spent in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province west of Baghdad, reveals that residents are suffering from lack of water, electricity, cooking gas and medical supplies for the hospitals. The streets are eerily empty, and it appears that many people have now left the city, althought possibly as many as 150,000 still remain in their homes, either because they are too afraid to leave or they have nowhere to go."
As noted by Sandra Lupien on KPFA's The Morning Show the US military is claiming an exchange was aimed at insurgents with 15 dead while Iraqi witnesses disputing the official (US) account*. The exchange took place in Bushahin ("village . . . north of Baghdad") The AP reports that "AP Television News footage showed blood splattered on the ground and matresses and spent bullet casings inside a poultry farm, where residents said the civilians were killed." Reuters quotes Mohammed Jaba al-Qaduir, father of Jassem and Mazen killed in the raid, "They did not attack any Americans or Humvees. We don't have any problems with the Americans. We don't have any foreigners here." Reuters mentions that one of the corpses, according to a "police source" was that of a twelve-year-old boy."
Finally, Barbara McMahon, Michael Howard and Julian Borger report (for the Guardian of London) that four prosecutors in Rome have signed "[t]he request to charge Mario Lozano, a national guardsman from New York, with the murder of Nicola Calipari." As noted by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!: "Calipari was escorting Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena after she had been released by kidnappers. U.S. troops opened fire on their car killing Calipari and injuring Sgrena. . . . Tune in to Democracy Now on Thursday when Giuliana Sgrena joins us in the Firehouse studio." Also remember that: Sgrena will be in New York City Friday June 23rd for an event with Amy Goodman at Columbia University. (Event starts at 7:30 p.m.)
*Thanks to Zach and Mia for passing on the Lupien item.
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