Thursday, June 15, 2006

2500 American troops dead

"Kerry Calls for Troop Withdrawal" (Democracy Now):
Today's debate comes as major splits continue to emerge within both parties over the war. On Tuesday, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry told a gathering of liberal voters at the "Take Back America" conference in Washington that the Iraq war was a mistake and he was wrong to vote for it. Kerry announced he is introducing a resolution for a withdrawal of troops by the end of the year. Kerry attacked the war's architects as "armchair warriors whose front line is an air-conditioned conference room." In an interview with the Boston Globe, Kerry later added: "It is both a right and an obligation for Americans to… end a war in Iraq that weakens the nation each and every day we are in it." Kerry's proposal would keep some troops in Iraq to train Iraqi soldiers.

That was Tuesday and Kerry got applause and Hillary Clinton got booed. Bet she'd be booed even louder today because we just hit the 2500 dead mark for US forces serving in Iraq. So all these stay-the-coursers, they okay with that? They okay with two or three more years (at least) before they admit the reality (we're not going to "win") and the whole time they live in denial, we're stuck with fatalities mounting month after month? We okay with the number get higher? The 2500 will get higher but I mean the monthly toll. With Italy pulling out and more to follow, we'll have to put more Americans over there on the ground and you better believe as soon as the next election is over, Bully Boy will be shipping more over. By sticking with 150,000 (I think the figure's 130,000-plus right now), they've been able to keep the fatalities down. They double that number and people really will be streaming across the borders.

It's time to bring the troops home. Maybe it's easier for me to say that because I'm African-American and, as a group, we didn't support Bully Boy's illegal war from the beginning. We connected it to oil, to empire, to racism. Attack the 'darkies' -- that's all Bully Boy wanted. Like Kayne said: Bully Boy don't like Black people.

"Reporters, Attorneys Barred From Guantanamo Bay" (Democracy Now):
The US has barred journalists and lawyers from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. A group of visiting reporters was forced off the island Wednesday under a directive from the Pentagon. A Pentagon spokesperson said the removal was ordered following complaints from other media outlets who had complained they were being denied equal access. But questions are being raised over whether the removals were motivated by the reporters' coverage of the aftermath of Saturday's three detainee suicides. Their articles included interviews with the detainees' attorneys who criticized their clients' treatment. The reporters work for the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald and the Charlotte Observer. A Pentagon spokesperson said the revoking of the permissions came not from Guantanamo commanders but from the office of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Meanwhile, lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees have also been barred from visiting their clients at the prison. A lawyer representing a group of detainees said she was told the ban will be lifted on Monday. In a statement, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has represented scores of detainees, said: "At a time when the administration must be transparent about the deaths at Guantanamo, they are pulling down a wall of secrecy and avoiding public accountability. This crackdown on the free press makes everyone ask what else they are hiding down there? The Bush Administration is afraid of American reporters, afraid of American attorneys and afraid of American laws."

Why do they want the reporters gone? Why won't they let lawyers meet with the prisoners? Because they're doing something even uglier than usual and don't want anyone to know? Because there have been more suicides and they want to put a clampdown on the news? (They waited almost three days, according to Amy Goodman today, before telling the lawyers that their clients had committed suicide.)

And where's Hillary Clinton on Guantanamo? Where's her concern there? No where. She can't say a word about it because she's just a sell out. She needs to buy a clue. She's Whitney Houston. She got into the Senate and may keep her seat but she got in on sympathy.

People were sympathetic for Whitney at first too. After awhile, she just seemed trashy for staying with Bobby Brown. Hillary may think her "I love me a Rough Neck!" will make her loveable but I think everyone's tired of it. They'll give Bill a pass the way they do Bobby, but Hillary's going to be held to the Whitney standard and people are just going to think, "You are so trashy for living with that." I'm talking his past, by the way, not about any rumors today.

If she got the nomination, Republicans would have a field day. (Nomination for president.) They're be all these jokes about, "Do we want to let Bill back in the White House? Who will save the interns?" You can picture it without even trying. What would have saved her was her living up to her old image. Same with Whitney. But Whitney tried to prove she could do dance and all this other nonsense. People liked her because of her ballads. People like Hillary because they thought she had liberal values. She's trying a make over after she's known for loving her some Rough Neck and no one's going to take her seriously.

The more she speaks out in favor of the illegal war, the more I hear friends putting her down. She's not Bill. She can't count on the fact that people who voted for him in 1992 will vote for her in 2008. People make excuses for the Rough Neck, they don't do the same for the woman who's dumb enough to put up with it. Republicans will probably sell doormats with her face on it at their 2008 RNC convention.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Today, Thursday, June 15, 2006, the fatality count for US troops in Iraq has officially reached 2,500. The Pentagon noted the loss of lives today. The Bully Boy marked the milestone by signing a Broadcast 'Decency Enforcement Act (because illegal wars are apparently 'decent') and by apologizing for insulting Peter Wallsten, reporter for the Los Angeles Times, who had the 'nerve' to ask the Bully Boy a question while wearing sunglasses. As 2,5000 Americans have now lost their lives in Bully Boy's illegal war of choice, there's something illuminating in his actions a) what he considers 'decent' and b) compassion is trumped by his sense of entitlement that allows him to mock someone who, it turns out, "has Stargardt's disease, a form of macular degeneration that causes progressive vision loss."
While Bully Boy marked the milestone with his usual lack of attention or sense of gravity, in Iraq, chaos and violence continue. In Baghdad, the "crackdown" continues. As Bloomberg News notes of the "crackdown" : "Measures include increased checkpoints, a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, and enforcement of weapons laws, the military said in an e-mailed statement today." The AFP reports that the "crackdown" also includes "a vehicle ban [which] was announced for during the Muslim midday prayer hours on Fridays."
Despite, or because of, the "crackdown" (but certainly "during" the "crackdown), the AP reports that kidnapping continues in Baghdad (an engineer) as does killing (an engineer and a "a detergent factory worker"). How common are those actions in Baghdad at this point? The Guardian of London reports those two deaths and the kidnapping while stating "but no major violence was reported in the capital." Not noted by the Guardian, but noted by Bloomberg (citing AFP) was the fact that discovered corpses remain a regular occurrence of the illegal occupation: in Baghdad on Thursday, seven corpses were found.
With "26,000 Iraqi soldiers, 23,000 Iraqi police and 7,2000 coalition forces deployed in Baghdad" (Bully Boy figures) for the "crackdown," what's happening elsewhere?The AP reports that 10 Shi'ites were pulled from a bus and shot dead in Baquba -- "as they were heading to work" notes Reuters. In Qara Taba, Reuters notes an explosion in a graveyard which wounded "[a] woman and her son." In Tikrit, the Guardian notes the storming of "a Sunni mosque . . . killing four people and wounding 15". Reuters notes that three roadside boms in Tal Afar "killed five [Iraqi] soldiers" and wounded at least six; the death of another Iraqi solider in Haweeja; and, in Baquba, the death of "police Colonerl Ali Shakir Mahmoud, director of units protecting oil installations in Baquba".
Meanwhile in Ramadi, Al Jazeera reports that roads were "blocked, and a giant wall of sand has been piled up around the perimeter, and everything went silent preparing for the final onslaught, a scene we saw two years ago in another Iraqi city, Fallujah". Al Jazeera reports that the city is surrounded on all four sides; "jet fighters" and helicopters "hover over the city"; that American troops are preventing anyone from entering or leaving while they have cut "off all electricity supplies . . . as well as drinking water facilities": and that American forces have "shelled medical supply stores, closed down all medical clinics and confiscated all medical supplies". The Marines of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment are hoping to rename "the highway connecting Fallujah and Ramadi" "Darkhorse Drive" according to Marine Corps News. Possibly they should call it "Press Blackout Avenue"?
Stephen Fidler (Financial Times of London) reports that since "victims are killed by between four and 12 bullets, the cost of taking away a life in Baghdad is now $2.40." Reminder -- the US averages the worth of an Iraqi life at approximately $2,500 judging by compensation figures. As noted by Amy Goodman this moring, marine corporal Joshua Belile has stated his "song was intended as a joke and bore no connection to the killing of Iraqi civilians by US Marines." Margaret Neighbor (Scotsman) describes the song thusly: "In a four-minute video called Hadji Girl, a singer who appears to be a marine tells a cheering audience about gunning down members of an Iarqi woman's family after they confront him with authomatic weapons." As Sandra Lupien reported Wednesday on KPFA's The Morning Show the song included lyrics such as: "the blood sprayed from between her eyes." As Lupien noted today on KPFA's The Morning Show, the apologetic Belile stated that "People need to laugh at it and let it go."
The US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants has found that, "The global refugee population has begun to rise for the first time in four years, largely due to instability in Iraq" according to the AFP, resulting in "644,500 more Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria in 2005".
Along with noting the death of 2,500 American troops since the inception of the illegal war, the Pentagon also stated today that 18,490 troops have been wounded while serving in Iraq. On KPFA's The Morning Show this morning, Phyllis Bennis addressed the realities versus the photo ops noting that the flight in and out of Baghdad earlier this week by the Bully Boy was "One more attempt to add to a list of so-called turning points . . . We have a litany of talking points and turing points. . . . . [Reality in Iraq] is the lack of water, lack of electricity, lack of education and, worst of all, the lack of security." Commenting on the Pew Research Center poll that noted a decline in support for US policies around the world, Bennis noted that there was a line drawn between the government of the US and the people of the US in many minds because of the awareness of the peace movement against the war which "speaks to how much attention it gets globally even when the mainstream press in this country ignores it."
Meanwhile, as 450 Iraqi prisoners were released for US run-prisons in Iraq, the United States Senate voted the emergency funding bill that continues to fund the illegal war in Iraq (as well as other things -- the cost continues to be tacked on in a bill here, a bill there).
In Ireland, Owen Bowcott (Guardian of London) reports that the discovery of the "handcuffed and manacled marine . . . on board a military charter flight at Shannon airport" has led to Ireland's foreign affairs minister Dermot Ahern making statements that random inspections are now on the table involving US planes landing at Shannon. (Bowen reports the handcuffed marine was allegedly being transported to Georgia, reportedly accused of stealing clothes.)
Finally, again, the Pentagon has confirmed that 2,500 American troops have lost their lives in Bully Boy's illegal war of choice.

Check out Elaine's "Iraqis protest, Take Back America silences protest ," Kat's "Guns & Butter, the war hawk Hillary," Wally's "THIS JUST IN! IN THE CHURCH OF THE BULLY BOY ...," and C.I.'s "NYT: Nothing to see, is there ever?" and "Other Items (Phyllis Bennis on KPFA's The Morning Show)." And go visit Mike's site because we're covering the same items tonight.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Law and Disorder, Dahr Jamail & Amy Goodman on Falluja, the death of two Iraqi women, Ramadi and more, and Jason Leopold

"Scheduled outage" is the first thing I see when I log in. It's tomorrow morning (and will probably effect C.I.'s Iraq snapshot) but hopefully that doesn't mean trouble tonight. Rebecca was really upset last night (read her "jason" and you'll know why). She called and said she knew I was probably about to post and with the time difference between us, she knew it wouldn't be too late. She tried to get off the phone after a few minutes to let me post and I told her I'd already put up the announcement while we were talking. Friends are more important.

On the subject of Jason Leopold, too bad that no one else ever got anything wrong, right? I don't know a show I've watched or listened to or paper or magazine I've read that hasn't gotten something wrong before. I don't think he said, "Let me figure out how to be called a liar . . ." I think he either got tricked or Patrick Fitzgerald lost his nerve. Considering how long he's been working on the Valerie Plame case and how little he has to show for it (plus some news on his other cases), no big surprise if he lost his nerve. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, Robert Parry wrote something about that right after the Scooter Libby indictment.

It must be wonderful to never be wrong. I imagine. I wouldn't know because I've been wrong before. Everyone can be. The whole we'll now shun him is nonsense. I guess it made for good fund raising (that's my comment, not Rebecca's, all comments here are mine unless I say otherwise)? It must be nice being a "brave" voice whose only bravery is in acting like someone misled you. If Jason Leopold was wrong, a lot of people are guilty.

We highlighted his story when we saw it at The Third Estate Sunday Review. When it was tossed out, C.I. said, "Uh-uh." C.I. got on the phone and called around. There was no one else willing to say it was true (journalist) that C.I. spoke to. Which is why the title of that editorial is
"Editorial: Could it be true? Rove indicted?" and why the title reflects the tone. It's why C.I. wrote "The web today, just nuts (borrowing from Isaiah)" which was in response to all the attacks that were starting on Jason Leopold:

If you missed the editorial at The Third Estate Sunday Review, Jason Leopold has reported on an indictment of Karl Rove in the Plamegate case. (Click here to go to his Saturday report.) Rebecca phoned earlier and you can read her take here. I've heard from my friends (the ones who are in journalism) that: a) it's completely true and coming soon; b) they have accepted the official word (no indictment) as truth; c) "What do you know?"On the latter, nothing. I have no friends in the Special Counsel (Patrick Fitgerald) office.
Those who think it's true think it will break soon. My own guess (mine, not anyone I spoke to) would be that if it broke (this week) it would break either during the hearings tomorrow (to take heat off of Michael Hayden -- remember, they will be broadcast live, I'll note the details at the bottom of the post) or on Friday. That's when Scooter Libby's indictment was announced.
What if it doesn't break? What if it's not true? Again, I know no one in Fitzgerald's office and Karl Rove's still mad at me for selling him on the salsa diet -- telling him he could continue to eat everything he wanted and, as long as he topped it with salsa, he wouldn't gain a pound. (I'm joking on the Rove comment. I don't know Karl Rove.)
If it's not true, then it's not true.
But there is some sort of a drive/push to turn on Jason Leopold. Not from the right, but from some on the left and the supposed left. If it's not true then his sources burned him. That does happen. It happens at networks and at papers. It happens in the mainstream media and in independent media. Good reporters get burned, bad reporters get burned.

C.I. never thought it was likely because too many journalists were in the dark about it (that was the Saturday night/Sunday morning that we did the editorial). But when Ty said, "Well then it's not true." And C.I. said, "No one can say that at this point except Patrick Fitzgerald." We wrote it the way we did for that reason (the editorial).

If Jason Leopold was wrong, then he was wrong and we all are at some point. I'll still read him. I won't bash him.

UN Committee Against Torture studied the torture of African-Americans in Chicago and found that there were no prosecutions for the torture of 200 African-Americans in the 70s and 80s.
Did you know about that? No?

Well you don't listen to WBAI's Law and Disorder or you missed this week's episode. (It airs on other stations later in the week and my cousin heard it on a pirate radio station last week.) Heidi Boghasian pointed out that this was the first investigation that used a grand jury and was able to order witnesses to appear. Instead of dealing with the report, some are trying to derail its release. Flint Taylor (People's Law Office of Chicago) was the guest. Boghosian is one of the four hosts (Dalia Hashad, Michael Smith and Michael Ratner are the other three).

There's a move to suppress the report. The city government was against the release and only changed their position because of media pressure. If you think about when this happened, 70s and 80s, and the fact that we're over twenty years later, you can get how hard people have tried to cover up the torture. It involves a lot more than the ones doing the torture and their immediate superiors. This has been a long effort to cover this up.

And I know someone might take the attitude of, "They're prisoners, who cares?" (I actually heard that when I was talking about this week's show with some friends.) (That was a guy at another table who was listening to our conversation.) When someone is convicted, they are basically a ward of the state. (That may even be the legal term, I'm not a lawyer.) That means the state is responsible for their care. That torture could happen is awful enough. That it would happen and the state would be more interested in covering it up then living up to their obligations is hideous.

My friend Birdie had a good point she made to the guy at the other table. (He actually did get into the conversation. Which is good, maybe he'll think about what we were talking about or maybe he'll check out the show. He asked twice where I heard about this.) She said, "If we say that about prisoners, what's next? Orphans? 'Who cares? They're orphans, they don't have any parents.'"

I was hearing Birdie say that and thinking it was the wrong point to make but it ended up stopping him. He just sort of sat there for a few seconds before he had a reply. (His reply was that we'd never allow that to happen to children, which led a long discussion on Guantanamo Bay.) (By the way, Three Cool Old Guys may write about this as well. Birdie has a mini-van and I've been telling her how I wish we could get them out of the nursing home for more than church. Sometimes, after church, I'll run around with them so they can skip the van ride back and have a little fun but I'm sure they wish they were doing stuff all the time. They can leave, they're not prisoners. But it's a lot easier to go somewhere when you've got people to go with.)

This is an important story. It's important to the men that were tortured and to their families. It's important to our sense of justice. It's also important because if you don't say that this is wrong loudly, someone else will come along and try to push the barrier a little more. It's important for prisons in this country (and probably elsewhere). If you missed it, our prison population is growing. (Because we've turned it into a business and privatized it. That's what all the three-strikes nonsense is about, if you ask me.)

So what happened back then matters today. The report needs to come out. Not a year from now, or ten years. It needs to come out now and it needs to be addressed with charges against those who participated and charges against those who helped cover it up (which Flint Taylor agrees needs to happen but doesn't think it's likely, he thinks the high ups will get off without a mention or even embarrassment).

By the way, at the end of this segment they played a song. I thought it was pretty cool and assumed it was about Bully Boy until it went on some more. I asked Ruth what it was and she said it was Phil Ochs. He was a protest singer and he's most famous for "I Ain't Marching Anymore" (which I do know, I know some of his other songs mainly from all sitting around and listening when we were all in California for the week).

Meet the king of cowboys, he rides a pale pony
He fights the bad boys brings them to their knees
He patrols the highways from the air
He keeps the country safe from long hair
I am the masculine American man
I kill therefore I am.
I don't like the black man, for he doesn't know his place
Take the back of my hand or I'll spray you with my mace
I'm as brave as any man can be
I find my courage through chemistry
I am the masculine American man
I kill therefore I am.

It's called "I Kill Therefore I Am." (Thank you to Ruth who e-mailed me that part of the lyrics.) If you want to hear the song or if you want to hear the whole segment or (better) the whole show, you and go to WBAI or Law and Disorder and listen online. There are three segments to the episode. I grabbed the second one, Mike wrote about the first one ("Law and Disorder discussed Tasers plus some other stuff") and Ruth's planning on grabbing the first one this weekend.

Check out Wally's "THIS JUST IN! A BULLY BABY IS BORN!" for the truth about how government officials grab a free ride (for them, for us - we get stuck with the bill). C.I.'s "NYT: Dexy and Burnsie enjoy a reach around, Tavernise and Mizher go blank" may be the funniest thing this week. Check it out. And Elaine discusses the Hippocratic Oath in ""A difference of opinion."

Here's C.I.'s Iraq snapshot for today:

In the United States, following the actions of the so-called Take Back America leadership to silence the activist organization CODEPINK from registering their objections to war monger Hillary Clinton, Clinton's opponent in the primary, Jonathan Tasini, has issued his own comments at The Huffington Post where he wonders: "So, the question to real progressives through the country -- and funders who enable the organizations that want to stifle debate -- is simple: how are the progressives different than Republicans and pro-war Democrats if they suppress debate about the centeral electoral issue, the Iraq war?"
Hillary Clinton, though protected, was still booed. As was George Bush Snr. in Harrogate Friday. The protests are not going away which is why the Granny Peace Brigade was back in Times Square last Saturday and why they have "announced [that] they are taking their anti-war tour to Washington."
Something that won't be taking place in Baghdad anytime soon is the Arab League conference which has been postponed again. The conference has been postponed, again, due to the instability in Iraq (that would be the continued chaos and violence). As Amy Goodman noted today, a recent Pew Research Center poll has found a decline in support for US Policies. As Al Jazeera has noted, the poll finds that the US involvement in Iraq "is the biggest threat to Middle East stability."A feeling that was shared by the protestors that rallied against the Bully Boy when he visited Tuesday. As Sandra Lupien noted on KPFA's The Morning Show today, "some 2,000 protested" chanting slogans such as "Iraq is for Iraqis!" and calling for an end to the occupation. Today, as RTE News noted, protestors also made their presence felt at the Iranian consulate in Basra. Gulf News reports that they attacked the embassy and "set fire to a reception area of the building" as a result of a broadcast on "Iranian satellite station which they said had insulted a Shiite cleric in Iraq."
Meanwhile the photo-op sucked up a great deal of news space but few found the time to note that Bully Boy managed to grab time to lean on Nouri al-Maliki, occupation puppet, about Iran. Whether 'rebels' were discussed or not, the Turkish Press reports that al-Maliki desires "a dialogue with rebel groups." Roula Khalaf (Finanical Times of London) reports that "a national reconcilliation initiative that could include a conditional amnesty offer and negotiations with some some armed insurgent groups" is being prepared.
While al-Maliki's "crackdown" takes place in Baghdad, the usual violence occurs. Ceerwan Aziz offers an eyewitness account of one bombing for Reuters:
The blast sent shrapnel flying in all directions as huge balls of flames moved skyward. People fled the scene screaming and crying. The charred body of a dead man sat upright, engulfed by huge flames. A teenage boy was also on fire. He managed to grab a rod extended to him, and was pulled out of the inferno. I counted four bodies, but couldn't tell if they were dead or seriously wounded.
The Associated Press also reports four dead from the car bomb in Baghdad. Reuters notes two other car bombs in Baghdad today (this during the "crackdown"), one that claimed the lives of at least two (wounded at least seven) and another that wounded at least one person. The AP notes that a man driving his car in Baghdad was shot and killed while a roadside bomb (not covered by Reuters) took the life of one "police commando." This during the "crackdown," when, as the AFP points out, over "50,000 Iraqi and US troops patrolled the streets of Baghdad".
Outside Baghdad, CNN reports that four were killed, in Baquba, during a gunfire attack on "electronic stores" and that a skirmish of some form occurred in Diyala with officials reporting five dead and three wounded. In Mosul, the AP notes a roadside bomb that wounded four police officers. In Najaf, Reuters notes that "a construction contractor . . . working for the Iraqi government" was killed by "gunmen."
Meanwhile the WRA (Women's Rights Association) is reporting "a massive increase in reported cases of sexual abuse in Iraq." The report has found, among other things, that "nearly 60 women have been raped in Baghdad since February, while another 80 were abused in other ways." Note, that is in Baghdad only. That is reported rapes only. And that is only since February.

I was really glad C.I. emphasized the point about the rapes. It draws your attention to it so you're not just reading along and thinking, "60" and then moving on. That's from February to now. The issue of women in Iraq is probably one of the most underreported issue. Where do we think the Iraqi women went? They just said one day, "I'm used to my career and like it but I guess today I'll step several decades back and hide out, I mean, 'stay,' stay at home."?

Another underreported issue is Falluja and I was so glad that Dahr Jamail was a guest on Democracy Now! today (always am glad when he's one) and was glad that Amy Goodman brought up Falluja. Here's one section from "Another Cover-Up? U.S. Troops Kill Two Iraqi Women, One of Them Pregnant, in Samarra" where she brought it up and made a great point:

AMY GOODMAN: Can you repeat, Dahr Jamail -- because the last time we had you on, when we were asking you about Haditha, when we were talking about the killings there, you talked about Fallujah. And you said, if we're going to talk about Haditha, which is very important, we also have to talk about Fallujah. But can you repeat what happened? Because I think most people in this country don't understand what the siege of Fallujah is about. Especially as you're talking about Ramadi right now.
DAHR JAMAIL: It's a very important thing that people understand: Fallujah, during the November 2004 U.S. assault on the city, was essentially turned into an uninhabitable city, where -- most of it remains that way today. It's a city of 350,000 people, where it's estimated by Iraqi -- an Iraqi NGO within Fallujah that has tried to figure out the number of people who were killed there the best they could, that between 4,000 and 6,000 people were killed. 4 and 6,000 people were killed in one U.S. military operation. The Pentagon admitted they did use white phosphorus, which is an illegal incendiary weapon. They tried to deny this at first, but enough proof was provided, including soldier’s statements, who were in Fallujah, that they did use that weapon. It was called Whiskey Pete on the radio when they used it.
And soldiers testified of stepping over charred bodies that were hit by this themselves. And the Pentagon finally even admitted that they used it and it could have even hit civilians. They also used cluster bombs, they used uranium munitions, they used fleshettes, all of these are violations of various international laws. And the city, to this day, entire neighborhoods remain without electricity, without water. And basically, the water situation there is a disaster, where to this day, also, there remain many waterborne diseases spread rampantly. The medical system was absolutely crushed during the siege and has yet to recover to this day. People need to be very clear, that this is the equivalent of a Guernica. It was an absolute massacre of an entire city.
AMY GOODMAN: Last week, we read the first paragraph of a Newsweek piece in Fallujah, for our TV viewers, we're going to show some photographs and we're going to put this on our website for our radio listeners. This is from Newsweek, and I'd like you to respond, Dahr. 'The Marines know how to get psyched up for a big fight. In November 2004, before the Battle of Fallujah, the Third Battalion, First Marines, better known as the "3/1" or "Thundering Third," held a chariot race. Horses had been confiscated from suspected insurgents, and charioteers were urged to go all-out. The men of Kilo Compan -- honored to be first into the city on the day of the battle -- wore togas and cardboard helmets, and hoisted a shield emblazoned with a large K. As speakers blasted a heavy-metal song, "Cum On Feel the Noize," the warriors of Kilo Company carried a homemade mace, and a ball-and-chain studded with M-16 bullets. A company captain intoned a line from a scene in the movie "Gladiator," in which the Romans prepare to slaughter the barbarians: "What you do here echoes in eternity."’ And this is the kilo company that ended up in Haditha at the time of those killings. Your response, Dahr?
DAHR JAMAIL: Well, if that's correct, that what they do in Fallujah would echo in eternity, hopefully those echoes will be the voices being heard in the international criminal courts, where the people who committed the war crimes in Fallujah and, more importantly, those who gave the orders for this siege to happen, as well as declaring the entire city a "free-fire zone," will be those echoes that we all hear when justice is served. Because the entire city was declared a free-fire zone, and this type of psyching up, as described, is absolutely sick. I think that's lunacy.
And I think that's a big part of the reason why women, children and elderly suffered the most, and were on the receiving end of the bullets and bombs fired by the U.S. Military in Fallujah. That type of psyching up, as well as other statements made by a member of the U.S. military, that Satan lived in Fallujah, that Satan has a face and he is in Fallujah, saying this sort of thing, is clearly why the entire city was demonized, the people were made subhuman by this type of propaganda by the U.S. military, and psyching up. And this is one of the big reasons why it's an absolute atrocity and countless war crimes were committed there.

You should listen or watch or read that segment. I'm serious and I'll do the link one more time,
"Another Cover-Up? U.S. Troops Kill Two Iraqi Women, One of Them Pregnant, in Samarra."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'll post Wednesday

I'll blog tomorrow. A friend called and she's really upset. I usually blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays but this is more important so blogging's going to wait a day.