CRAZY JOHN MCCAIN UP AGAINST SHIFTY MITT ROMNEY AND WHERE WILL THE CHIPS LAND?
TODAY SENATOR CRAZY LAUNCHED "MITT VS. FACT" WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO DEMONSTRATE THAT MITT ROMNEY HAS CHANGED HIS TUNE ON ABORTION.
SHAKING HIS HEAD SADLY TODAY, MITT ROMNEY DECLARED THAT MCCAIN WAS SPEAKING FROM "DESPERATION".
WHO IS THE FATHER OF SENATOR CRAZY'S BABY? WILL JOHN MCCAIN BE FORCED TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO HAVE AN ABORTION?
CLEARLY SENATOR CRAZY'S PREVIOUSLY UKNOWN PREGNANCY EXPLAINS HIS OBSESSION WITH ABORTION.
THESE REPORTERS WISH SENATOR CRAZY THE BEST ON THE BIRTH BUT STRONGLY SUGGEST HE GO FOR A C-SECTION AND NOT NATURAL CHILD BIRTH.
Starting with news of war resistance, Kim Johnson, Duluth's WDIO, reports on Luke Kamunen who, like his two twin brothers Leo and Leif, self-checked out of the US military on the Christmas break and notes, "The brothers' story is not an isolated one. In fact, the Department of Defense reports desertions have risen 35 percent in the past two years -- from more than 2,400 in 2004 to about 3,300 in 2006" and notes that Luke Kamunen "was surprised" to encounter many others who had done the same "when he was detained by the military". (As noted here before, Luke is now discharged, his brothers state they will turn themselves into the US military at some point.)
The movement of resistance within the US military grows and includes Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Resistance to the illegal war isn't limited to one segment of the population. Amy Goodman (writing at Truthdig) reports on the off broadway production Voices in Conflict -- a high school production that Wilton High School (in Connecticut) decided wasn't fit for the school's theater. As disturbing as the attempted censorship of the play was, Goodman reports on equally alarming detail -- in the high schol clases, these students are not allowed to discuss Iraq even in US history whether they each have "to bring in a current-event news item" -- Jimmy Presson explains, "We are not allowed to talk about the war while discussing current events." Who teaches that class? And do they also work at The Nation? (Democracy Now!, by the way, spends the hour today with Vanessa Redgrave discussing art, politics and more.)
Turning to Iraq . . .
This morning Damien Cave (New York Times) reported on the latest ravings of the madman installed by the US as puppet of the occupation -- al-Maliki declaring that, "We have eliminated the danger of sectarian war." Sounds like someone needs to check their Desoxyn dosage. But reality can sometimes break through even the thickest drug induced fog even if it can be processed correctely. Look at Nouri al-Maliki's statements today. AP reports he's now likening events into Iraq to the American Civil War which would seem indicate that Iraq has not "elimated the danger of sectarian war" as al-Maliki claimed yesterday.
What semi-snapped out of his drugged stupor? A bombing in Samara. BBC calls the site "one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam, the al-Askari shrine in Samarra." The Scotsman notes that bombing "was a repeat of last year's bombing that shattered the Askariya shrine's dome" while Steve Negus (Financial Times of London) explains that bombing "destroyed the minarets of the Askariya shrine." Minarets? Those are the two towers or columns that previously stod on either side of the mosque. Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports, "It wasn't clear how the attackers evaded the shrine's guards to mount the stunning operation, detonating the blasts aound 9 a.m., and bringing down the two slender golden minarets that flanked the dome's ruins at the century-old mosque." Sam Knight (Times of London) notes two reactions -- the puppet "declared a curfew in Baghdad and asked for American reinforcements to be sent to the mainly Sunni town, which has been under a military blockade in recent weeks, to contain any violence" and Moqtadr al-Sadr "called for restraint, declaring three days of mourning and peacful demonstrations." Deborah Haynes (Times of London) notes the reaction of some Iraqis in Baghdad -- shop keeper Shiras Assem decalres, "We are preparing for any attack by the Mahdi Army. We closed the street and we expect to be attacked. Maybe they will hit the local Sunni mosque. We have set up a night watch until this morning. We will not sleep tonight."; and broker Marwan Faled who declares, "We have gather together the young me[n] in our street, each one has a weapon. We told them to be ready if anyone attacks us we will all open fire. We expect an attack during the curfew because we don't trust the checkpoint at end of our road. I plan to stay at home over the next few days because I believe more people will be killed." Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) notes that the Iraqi police have stated the columns were brought down by "mortar rounds fired by unknown fighters" while "witnesses said the explosions seems to have come from inside the church" and that despite appeals "for calm" already "five Sunni mosques in the southern port city of Basra were attacked, apparently in reprisal, and Sunni mosques were also struck in Zaiyuna and south of Baghdad." AFP reports that yesterday "there had been a row between the security forces" with two different groups (one from Baghdad, the other from Tikrit) present and saying they were in charge of security as well "some exchange of [gun] fire too" before the Baghdad contingent assumed security responsibilities and they quote an eye witness who states, "I was near the shrine when I heard big explosions that sent a thick cloud of dust in the sky covering the entire area. I quickly ran to the street from where I could see the shrine clearly. I saw one of the minarets was down. Seven minutes later as I was watching the shrine, another explosion occured and the second minaret came crumbling down." Al Jazeera notes that al-Maliki announced that the security team guarding the mosque (that would be the forces sent from Baghdad) would be arrested. Along with the curfew, ban on public demonstrations and driving in Samarra that has been imposed, Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times and the link also contains an AP Television clip) adds that Moqtada al-Sadr's 30 member parliament bloc has walked out in protest and this "could present a major challenge to Maliki, who is under intense pressure to deliver political and economic reforms aimed at appeasing the Sunni Arab minority". In addition to the Samarra curfew and bans, Mariam Karouny (Reuters) details the "three-day curfew in Baghdad" that has resulted from the Samarra attack though how a capital under crackdown for over a year can be further 'cracked down' may be open to question. Since Moqtada al-Sadr is calling for public, peaceful demonstrations, al-Maliki's "three-day curfew" may be an attempt to circumvent al-Sadr.
Zavis noted the "intense pressure" al-Maliki was facing from non-Iraqis. War Pornographer Michael Gordon (New York Times) noted yesterday that he accompanied US ambassador Ryan Crocker and Admiral William J. Fallon to a face-to-face with puppet Nouri al-Maliki and the point of the meeting was to pressure on the 'benchmark' of getting the oil legislation privatized (turning over as much as 70% of the profits to foreign corporations) passed in July.
Today, Damien Cave (New York Times) reported that the deputy US Secretary of State John D. Negroponte showed up out of the blue in Baghdad yesterday to pressure al-Maliki who released a statement following the meeting attesting that he would use all of his limited power "to persuade Parliament to approve several proposals that the Americans had identified as benchmarks, including an oil law". The law, like 'liberation' has always been just around the corner and you can drop back a year ago when al-Maliki was first 'rolling up the sleeves' to push through the US written oil law that would then be imposed upon the allegedly soveign nation of Iraq. Andy Rowell (Oil Change) observes that the privatization "seems to be in real trouble" and notes Tariq Shaif telling "a news conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank" some unpleasant realities while Rowell notes that al-Maliki's cabinet's Happy Talk of 'give us one month' is vaguely familiar: "If my memory serves me right, that's what he said about three months ago." Which is true and, again, al-Maliki was installed claiming the theft of Iraqi oil was top of his list but he's still 'trying', all this time later.