Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Quick thoughts

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Iraq snapshot.
Chaos and violence continue . . . to continue.
And are we surprised? The usual Hawsk strut and pander while the violence claims more lives.Bombings?
As Sandra Lupien noted on today's KPFA's The Morning Show, 2 bombers blew themselves up "outside the so-called Geen Zone." Along with being home to various embedded reporters and their bodygaurds, the Green Zone also houses Iraq's parliament, Defense Ministry, High Criminal Court and the US embassy -- a huge complex, as the AP noted in April, with "21 buildings on 103 acres" which makes it "six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York, and two-thirds the acreage of Washington's National Mall."
The 'grandness' of it all suggests to some that the United States has no intent of handing over power or leaving. On the latter, Robert MacPherson (Mail & Guardian) reports that today, in England, Tony Blair announced England wasn't withdrawing anytime soon and that his wife, Cherie Booth, explained that he wasn't ready to step down. England's prime minister demonstrated what long ago led to him being dubbed the Bully Boy's poodle as he took slams at two nations in a single sentence: "Not for us the malaise of France or the angst of Germany."
In other nonsense, Gulf Times reports the William McCoy (US Army Corps of Engineers, "Major General") believes that, by the end of summer, electricity in Baghdad might be available for eleven hours. That's apparently "eleven hours" on some sort of Operation Happy Talk Clock since McCoy notes that right now electricity is available for six to eight hours -- a claim most media reports dismiss and note the figure is closer to between two and four hours a day.More nonsense comes from Angel Ortiz (the Army Corps seems to have hacks and flacks all over today issuing press releases) who maintains that by the end of the year Falluja will have "clean water" in 80 percent of all homes as well as "an $8 million wireless telecommunications project". Falluja was reduced to rubble in November 2004 (the article notes the need to more "laborers to haul away seemingly endless piles of rubble) and there's been little done to assist or help with many residents of Falluja who fled as the US forces began their attacks nearly two years ago, still homeless. Expect both inflated predictions to be forgotten as the deadlines draw near.
Meanwhile back in the real word, Sunni parliamentarian Ayad al-Samaraie has asked that the United Nations supply peace keepers immediately due to the fact that: "the occupation forces cannot protect the people." This as the Associated Press estimates the chaos and the violence in Iraq today claimed the lives of "at least 47 people nationwide." (Look for the New York Times to pooh-pah that number as they've done with press reports for the last two days -- today with Edward Wong, yesterday with Kirk Semple. If you thought it was hard work selling an illegal war, step back and watch the paper of no record really get down to the business of selling the illegal occupation.)
Early on, the BBC estimated that the bombings in the Green Zone resulted in five deaths and ten injured. Reuters woud place the fatalities at 15 as the day wore on. Al Jazeera notes that in addition to the two bombers who blew themselves up, there was also a car bomb. The BBC notes that police assume the target was "a restaurant frequented by police" while the AP reports that Gufran al-Saadi (female Shi'ite parliamentarian) states that she believes she was the target. The car bomb went of near the restaurant, according to Al Jazeera, while "[a]n Aljazeera witness" place one of the bombers "in front of the governmental compound in the Green Zone".
The BBC reports the kidnapping of Wissam Jabr in Baghdad "an Iraqi foreign ministry official who had been serving as a diplomat in neighbouring Iran." Reuters reports his name as Wissam Abdulla al-Awadi.
Also in Baghdad, Reuters notes that "eight employees of an Iarqge contracting company" were killed when their office was stormed by "gunmen" while the Associated Press notes two bakery workers were shot dead while on the job. CBS and the AP report two more bombs in Baghdad (one under a fuel tanker, the other a car bomb) that resulted in the death of at least four and and twenty-four wounded).
Outside of Baghdad, CBS and the AP report that "an engineer with Iraq's North Oil Co. and his driver" were ambushed and killed in Kirkuk. Reuters reports the shooting deaths of 19 in Baquba and of nine (Iraq soldiers) in Al-Shirqat. And the AP reports that, in Tikrit, three people were wounded when a bomb went off near a "private clinic." Later the three wounded would become two wounded and one dead. Dr. Amira Qassim al-Rubaie died, "the wife of the governor of the dangerous Salahuddin province".
Reuters notes the end of the Sunni boycott of parliament following the kidnapping of Taiseer Najah al-Mashhadani. (No, al-Mashhadani has not been released.) The Associated Press quotes Adnan al-Dulaimi: "We have decied to attend the meetings as of tomorrow in response to the call Muqtada al-Sadr." Various reports note that those holding al-Mashhadani have stated they are treating her as "a guest" and that she will be released in the next few days. Reuters notes that the Iraqi Accordance Front (the Sunni bloc in parliament with 44 seats) has been in contact with the kidnappers.
[. . .]
On July 15th, a rally will be held "at the gates of Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, WA." Courage to Resist is getting the word on that event [and on Suzanne Swift]. Kevin Zeese recently spoke with Max Diorio who explained "resisters need to feel that they are being upheld and supported by people in their communities. To take such a large step into the unknown, it is invaluable for resisters to feel that they'll have people to rely on when they are being persecuted by the US military."

I'm following Mike's lead as many of you may note. I told Mike, leave me my Law and Disorder with real radicals and I'm fine. Anything else I can lose.

I'll operate under the assumption everyone knows what I'm talking about. If not, oh well.

As an African-American male, I have no use for the site noted in the now infamous e-mail. I got a call from Keesha, Martha, Brenda, Charlie and then I lost track. By the time Mike called me, I said, "People are outraged."

He replied with something I won't post here.

He said it was his Irish temper but, hey, call it my "African-American temper" if you want but I'm offended as well. I don't know what the hell that e-mail was about and I really don't think sites should be plugged it in to begin with and certainly not that whole Las Vegas crowd.

Like Keesha said, "If they want to play Whiter Than White, play on homey." That's just so insulting on a whole other level (I had to explain it to Mike) to African-Americans. It's like giving a shout out to a Nazi group or something. African-Americans aren't welcome there and there's no a brother or sister I know who doesn't know that.

Sorry to bust any bubbles but the "Deaniacs" was largely a White crowd and that's their claim to fame, creating the "Deaniacs." There's a reason they can't get African-Americans to visit, we're not included, we're not welcome. It's not a surprise to anyone I know. They've all had their horror stories of deleted comments and being told they're a "troll" or something else for raising issues of race. And I'm talking two years ago.

So this isn't going to cause me to lose any sweat if we're not noting it anymore. Leave me my Law & Disorder and I'm fine. I feel bad for C.I. because I'm sure C.I.'s catching all the ___ on this. I'll also be real honest and say I think it's especially a slap in the face to C.I. I'll say it because no one else will. But come on, not even Mike, who really supported that show, gave it the kind of links C.I. did.

When people were griping last week, C.I. had to beg to get the weekend highlight because the attitude of the three who usually do it was, "I'm not doing it." Then Francisco finally did because C.I. called and asked personally.

So I'm sure some anger from the community is over that. The Common Ills Google Rank is 6/10. I wonder what that site's rank is. It's 8/10.

And The Common Ills mirror site is 4/10. So, if we add the two together, by Google rank, C.I.'s got a ten. That's not counting the copy and paste e-mails for those who can't access it directly outside the US.

So it's nonsense on that level and I'll be the only one to say it but that's fine.

I can live with that.

I wouldn't have known about the show if it weren't for C.I. I'll take a breather from the show now that may end up a permanent vacation. (I'll go with what C.I. decides. I'd call but I'm sure C.I.'s dealt with enough ___ tonight.)

But like I was telling Mike, "You're mad but you really need to talk some members who are African-American." That's who's really mad. Billie is furious and she sent me a blistering e-mail about how once again we're supposed to do, "What's right for White and treat ourselves like second class citizens."

That's what it feels like and, thing is, they probably don't even grasp that (e-mail senders). They never do. "It's big! Everyone must love it!"

But there's no African-American presence and the biggest person of any color is a corporate attorney, come on. Use your brains, people.

If you're left, you're left. If they'd linked to a left site, I wouldn't have cared. But to link to a non-left site that's not welcoming to people with my skin color? Yeah, it bothers me.

What really bothers me is how C.I. will handle it. I know last week was a ___-storm of e-mails and C.I. kept linking and taking ___ for it.

Well, we've got other things to focus on and like we realized the hard way at Third, we're not here to cheerlead. You think someone's worth listening because they're anti-war then they toss on two propagandist for a full hour and trash the caller who complains (rightly) that the whole thing is biased. That was my wake up call.

Give me the radicals who don't hide it or try to act all "Miss Daisy, I's uh so sorry."

But I am offended for C.I. I know how much time C.I. put into promoting that show and how many people did pick it up. So just because someone rights, "Hey guys, why don't we note ___ more" at a dopey website, they decide they're going to link to it?

C.I.'s not going to care on that level because The Common Ills isn't "a life." If I had C.I.'s money, I wouldn't care either. (Rebecca calls it the "F-you money.") But Gina wrote about that nasty trashing C.I. got and that seemed pretty obvious. (C.I. didn't hear it. The one time C.I.'s not listening! That still makes me laugh. I picture the guy planning that out and thinking, "I'll offer my two-cents worth.") C.I.'s attitude was, "Well, I guess they don't want my money anymore. No problem." (The issue was a lot more complicated than it was made out to be on that interview. Rebecca was planning to post on the fifth before she left but I ended up going, "Hey, Gina called me, what's going on?" and I got the 411 and then some.)

But on another level, and this is why I say it's part of the anger, we are all The Common Ills. It really isn't "what I want to write about" there. So consider it a gob of spit on all of us. (Mike kept calling it a gob of a spit on the phone.)

The fact of that matter is that on most issues, it's C.I.'s calling it out and putting it out there. The left (not the radicals) wants to be liked and mainstreamed. So they avoid Dexter Filkins day after day. They avoid that he lied about Falluja. They don't take him on.

It's easy to beat up on Judy Miller and some people are still doing that. But reality is that there's no excuse for Filkins and after Falluja, he should be called to the carpet. If we had a real left, he would be. People would say, "Forget Judy Miller, let's talk Filkins."

So that's my attitude on it. Send me to a place that basically says "Whites Only" says to me you're not too concerned about me. (If C.I. reads this: I know they do good work. I know that everyone makes a mistake. I'm being nice by not naming them. Let me just call this "a Black thing." You don't have to be fair to everyone.)

But after last week, I'm pretty much 'disenchanted' already.

Then you had that pro-war thing on another program and then last week's kiss my ass (because that's what it was) to C.I. and I'm really not interested in 'helping' a lot of people these days.

On that kiss my ass, maybe the guy should consider that it's C.I.'s money so it's C.I.'s decision how to spend it, how to contribute it and no one else's?

I know he got his digs in but I think he came off like a begger. And I mean, I do give to the homeless. Not a lot, I don't have a lot. But if I give a buck, the man or woman I'm giving it to is grateful for it. They don't say, "A buck? I can't live on a buck." That guy just came off like an idiot who seems to think it's C.I.'s job to be a bankroll.

So my attitude is screw 'em all.

C.I.'s only comment on that was, "Well that's one more way I can use my donations for causes and not organizations."

I really did think that guy came off like a greedy jerk. It's not my place to tell C.I. who to donate to and who not to but I hope a lot of stuff that's going down means some strong re-evaluating.

Nobody should say, "Thank you, let me kiss your ass." But they shouldn't be disrespectful either. That's just basic. I have to wonder how that guy was raised.

The really sad thing, and Ty was talking about this, is that this should be a time for the left but instead of trying to get their ideas across, they water them down and try to get weak ideas across. They then accuse the Democrats of doing that (which they are) but they're doing the same thing. It's like they don't really believe in their ideas (shades of Fraudan). All you hear is how unfair the media is and you can't get a free exchange of ideas then they get a spot and they do the same thing.

Screw 'em all. If I was C.I., I'd never mention any of those cowards again. Hell, if I was C.I., I probably wouldn't do anything but sit out by the pool day after day. Which C.I. won't do so it goes therefore that the first thing won't be done either.

But they hurt themselves. Not just because of money but because when they pull that sort of nonsense, they show that they're not really any better than the people they criticize. They'll do anything for a little attention. It's like the Democratic Party. They're not interested in inspiring new voters, they want the swing voters.

That's why the left can't get off the ground still, even after six years of the Bully Boy. They'll sell out their beliefs in a minute. And tell themselves it's just this one time and they'll still be the same and then they end up just like the people they criticize.

Mike asked me what I thought and all I could think was, "Thank God that Rebecca's on vacation." She was already furious before she left.


Anonymous said...

Screw 'em. C.I. promoted the ___ out of them. That email was a gob of spit in the face. I agree with you 101%. I'll never bother with ___ again. And you're right, C.I. stood up against pressure last week from all of us and kept linking to that nonsense. To have put up with our crap and stood by the show was probably a pain in the butt. To be repaid by that nonsense in that e-mail was the last straw.
Loved Keesha's comment!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that there was one place that consistently promoted them. I'm sure you right regarding the racism. But in terms of the sexism... How did they think including THAT WEBSITE in an e-mail for people who signed up for the news "digest" was appropriate? The Gillian's Island ad resulted in the PIG at THAT WEBSITE screaming and insulting women and that wasn't that long ago. Women walked away from THAT WEBSITE in huge numbers over that. So I am pissed, ticked off, you name it.

Edward Ott said...

But we have to stay, we still haven't found the WMD's. oh well maybe george will find them in Iran.

Anonymous said...

Linked to Mikey's site, hope it's cool. Look the "digest" came out today and still plugged that website. Mike's cell was going off like crazy in class. Wally saw the "digest" and called Rebecca. You're going to see a lot of delinking and Rebecca told Wally she thinks she's "In destroy mode" for when she posts tonight.

Anonymous said...

Life got a lot better. I know when C.I. put up
but, sorry, the show wasn't cutting it.I thought C.I. said it very nicely and honestly would have enjoyed a little more Rebeeca (like her thing

but it covered it. It noted what had people upset and I'm done with the show. I watched online. I don't anymore. The Watada coverage was disgraceful, waiting for the end of the show and then saying, "Quickly, quickly" over and over. The show does need a focus, it had started going over all the map and it stopped being the war and peace report. I was honestly willing to bail after Thomas Friedman came on and gave about five minutes of lies without Amy ever questioning him or challenging him. It would make it really hard for me to take any Hugo Chavez coverage seriously on that show after Friedman got to get out five minutes of lies and Amy just sat there.

Anonymous said...

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