THE NEW YORK TIMES ANNOUNCES "NATION IN CRISIS EMBRACES THE MOMENT" WHEN WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN IS: "NATION IN CRISIS GOES ON A BENDER."
WHILE THE NATION WENT ON THEIR BENDER DURING THE INAUGURATION, MICHELLE OBAMA'S DECISION TO WEAR A HOUSE COAT TO THE PUBLIC CEREMONY INDICATES SHE STARTED NIPPING IN THE WEE HOURS OF TUESDAY MORNING.
IN FAIRNESS, YOU WOULD AS WELL IF THE DAY PRIOR YOUR HUSBAND HAD MADE YOU AND THE KIDS WORK A SANTIATION RUN IN THE EXTREME COLD.
In the US, Barack Obama took the presidential oath of office today and Iraq Veterans Against the War issued the following:
IVAW members and chapters got together recently to produce an ad calling for an end to the war in Iraq. This ad will be broadcast a few minutes before Barack Obama takes the oath of office (at noon EST) on NBC in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, Albuquerque, New York City, and Washington DC as a reminder that the war goes on, and that electing a new President is not enough to bring it to an end.
For supporting arguments and further information about the content of this ad, click here. IVAW would like to thank Baked Goods Productions, The Flobots and Beau Weaver for generously contributing their talent to create this ad.
Iraq Veterans Against the War depends upon the support of individuals in order to continue organizing for an end to the Iraq war, care for our veterans, and justice for the people of Iraq. 2009 will be a pivotal year for U.S. involvement in Iraq, and it is more important than ever that we keep the pressure on to bring this occupation to an end. Support IVAW, click here to make a donation now.
Sunday the US military announced: "A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier died of wounds suffered following an improvised explosive device in eastern Baghdad Jan. 18 at approximately 11 a.m." M-NF announces the deaths (like the previous ones) and the Defense Department then follows by issuing the name after the fallen's survivors have been notified. For example, Monday the Defense Dept announced, "The Department of Defense announced today the death of an Airman who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Senior Airman Omar J. McKnight, 22, of Marrero, La., died Jan 17 as a result of a non-hostile incident in Balad, Iraq. He was assigned to the 6th Security Forces Squadron, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla." The military's problem with that announcement is the death they identified was never announced by M-NF. January has seen eight US service members deaths and the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war is 4229.
Friday Haitham Kadhim al-Husani was assassinated, shot dead in Baghdad. Sunday deaths included Hassan Zaidan al-Luhaibi. Jonny Dymond (BBC) reported that a Mosul suicide bombing claimed the life of the "vice- president of the Sunni National Dialogue bloc" who "was leading his party's campaign for provincial elections to be held at the end of this month." In addition, Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) notee that al-Luhaibi's "son Falah is a parliament member". Sam Dagher (New York Times) explained al-Luhaibi "was barred from holding elected office because he had been a senior member of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party" and he had been "an army general who commanded Iraq's military academy. He was among the senior officers involved in Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and its long war with Iran in the 1980s." Ernesto Londono and Zaid Sabah (Washington Post) explained, "The attack occurred amid bitter competition between Sunni Arabs and Kurds for control of Nineveh province, one of four that includes areas claimed by both Arabs and Kurds."
Provincial elections -- which were supposed to take place no later than 2008 to meet the 'benchmark' -- are scheduled for January 31st. Even if they take place, they still do not meet the 'benchmark' for progress because they are not taking place in all provinces. Fourteen of Iraq's eighteen provinces will hold elections. The United Nations has regularly and repeatedly warned that violence would most likely increase in Iraq as provincial elections approached. AP's Kim Gamel and Hamza Hendawi explain that the elections are for 444 seats (444 from all 14 pvoinces) and that 14,431 people are competing for those seats. Timothy Williams (NYT's International Herald Tribune) notes a new poll of Iraqis has found 41% of those surveyed cite a preference for secular candidates and 31% prefer candidates from religious parties. Though religious markings and artificats are not supposed to be used in the campaigns, Anthony Shadid reported today that "everyone from the Communist Party to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a powerful Shiite party, has resorted to Shiite imagery." Saturday Amit R. Paley (Washington Post) reported that the puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki, was attempting to make the elections all about himself: "He is not on any ballot in the provincial elections scheduled for Jan. 31. But in agreeing to be the public image of the Coalition of the State of Law, a group of candidates running primarily on his record, Maliki has effectively turned the contest into a referendum on his rule. The elections will be the most crucial test so far of Maliki's attempt to bolster the central government's authority -- and his own. If he succeeds in establishing a nationwide base of local politicians ready to support him and the idea of centralized government, Maliki will have cemented his three-year transformation from little-known lawmaker to the most powerful Iraqi statesman since Saddam Hussein." The following day, Timothy Williams and Mudhafer al-Husaini (New York Times) explained that al-Maliki had demanded that Abudel Haneen al-Amara be kicked out as the police chief in Wasit Province and be replaced with a successor hand picked by al-Maliki leading to huge objections including objections over the timing. The reporters quoted a local council member, Sayyd Sattar al-Masqsusi, stating, "It's really not good to replace him at this time. We called the minister of the interior himself and he didn't know about the replacement and was as surprised as we are. Only God and Maliki know the reasons behind the change at this time." Monday Anthony Shadid (Washington Post) explored Basra where elections are expected to continue and solidify "Shiite Islamic parties" control of the area. Meanwhile Sam Dagher (New York Times) explores Anbar Province and finds that the US backed and elevated tribes may take control in the elections. Anbar is where the "Awakening" Councils were 'birthed' (created by tossing US money around). Gina Chon (Wall St. Journal's Baghdad Life) reports that the estimated 100,000 "Awakening" Council members are still not under Iraqi control and that the US is expected to continue paying the bulk of members until April when al-Maliki may finally pay the cost. So come April, the Iraqi government might finally take over payment. Strange.
April 8, 2008 during The Petraeus & Crocker Variety Hour, Senator Barabara Boxer brought up the thugs on the US payroll and noted $182 million a year was being paid by the US tax payers. "Why don't you ask the Iraqis to pay the entire cost of that program?" Boxer asked. When US Ambassador Ryan Crocker tried to dance around the issue, Boxer stated, "I asked you why they couldn't pay for it. . . . I don't want to argue a point. . . . I'm just asking you why we object to asking them to pay for that entire program giving all that we are giving them in blood and everything else?" Crocker's response was he would carry the suggestion back to Iraq. The "Awakening" Councils were supposed to have been turned over to Iraqi control in November. That has not taken place. Nor is al-Maliki assuming the payment. All this time later. In more non-progress, Timothy Williams (NYT's International Herald Tribune) notes that yesterday Iraq's Parliament again delayed their vote on selecting a new Speaker and now intend to vote on the 4th of February. December 23rd was when Mahmoud al-Mashhadani was relieved of his duties as Speaker. All this time later and they still have no Speaker.
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