BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O IS IN A NOSE DIVE IN THE POLLS AND HIS OBAMACARE IS DYING ON THE VINE.
RIGHT ABOUT NOW, A POLITICIAN WOULD GET SERIOUS.
BUT A STARLET WOULD PLAN HER NEXT TV PROJECT -- WHICH IS WHAT BARRY O'S DOING.
GET SCHOOLED: IT'S YOUR RIGHT IS THE NAME OF THE 'VARIETY' SPECIAL FEATURING KELLY CLARKSON, LEBRON JAMES, BARRY O AND ASSORTED OTHER C-LIST CELEBRITIES.
HE'S BECOME SO EMBARRASSING, HE'S LIKE THE DESPARATE ALANIS ON ROSIE'S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Today the US military announced: "FORWARD OPERATING BASE ECHO, Iraq -- A Multi-National Division - South Soldier was killed in action August 19. Release of the identity of the Soldier is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin." When ICCC updates, that will make the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war 4332.
"The windows of the Foregin Ministry shattered," Harry Haydon (The Sun) quotes a Foreign Ministry worker stating, "slaughtering the people inside." "Dozens of people were killed inside by shards of flying glass," adds UK's Channel 4 News (link has text and video) which identifies the woman as "Asia." Once again, violence swept through Baghdad on a massive scale -- such a massive scale that 'worst violence since US troops withdrew from Iraqi cities' was bandied about as if it were new and hadn't been used repeatedly in the last weeks. "All these things landed on top of me. These terrorists. Many innocent people were killed," surivor Samira Hachem, who'd been in her apartment, tells Ernesto Londono (Washington Post). Caroline Alexander (Bloomberg News) notes the website of the political party of Jalal Talabani (president of Iraq) reported multiple Baghdad bombings (not "immediately clear how many bombs were detonated or where") with multiple deaths and hundreds injured: "The finance, foreign, health, education, and housing ministries were all targeted, the PUK said, without indicating which blasts caused casualties. State-owned Iraqiya television broadcast footage of the capital showing plumes of gray smoke rising over rooftops." Martin Chulov (Guardian) reports that the bombings, "at least six attacks," began at 10:30 a.m. in the morning "within minutes of each other, the largest being the one outside the Foreign Ministry". Chulov's report is text and video and that's from the video. The Economist offers, "BAGHDAD has not seen a day as violent as Wednesday August 19th for a long while. At ten in the morning, simultaneous car bombs and rocket attacks struck half a dozen ministries and the cabinet office. A lorry exploded beside the foreign ministry, destroying it and leaving a large crater outside. Nearby high-rise apartment buildings were also set ablaze. A bomb smuggled into the education ministry narrowly failed to kill the minister in his office, according to Iraqi television reports, and a mortar just missed the home of the environment minister. Rockets fell across the heavily fortified green zone, destroying parts of the parliament building and damaging a neighbouring hotel a few minutes before the prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, was expected to visit." CNN notes the targeting of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. Liz Sly and Usama Redha (Los Angeles Times) agree those were "the main targets," note mortar attacks and quote eye witness Gaith Abdulla stating, "I saw people killed and wounded on the ground and many cars were ablaze. The security forces started shooting and were firing randomly. Then another massive explosion shook the whole place." ITN (link has text and video) describes the area around the Foreign Ministry, "The site was a twisted heap of smouldering cars as firefighters fought to put out the blaze." The video shows the Parliament building -- Parliament is not in session -- during the bombings as windows/panels shook and fell and dust flew in the air. Deborah Haynes (Times of London) observes, "By targeting the Foreign Ministry and the Finance Ministry, the bombers have sent a clear signal that they are able to strike at the heart of the Government. . . . Today's bloodshed will raise questions about President Obama's strategy to pull US forces out of Iraqi cities several weeks ago leaving domestic security forces in control." Natalia Antelava (BBC News) offers this analysis, "These are unusual attacks -- in the last few weeks, we have seen explosions in Baghdad but these attacks occured in some of the supposedly safest neighbourhoods of the city. For many people, these attacks confirm their worst fears over the withdrawal of US troops from cities across Iraq at the end of June and handing over of the security situation to Iraqi forces. A lot of people before the withdrawal were saying they were very fearful that attacks would rise." Jane Arraf (Christian Science Monitor) sums up, "At the stie of the deadliest Baghdad bombing in 18 months, Iraqi faith that their security forces could protect them lay shattered in the wreckage." Caroline Alexander reports, "It's too early to know whether the Baghdad assualts will prompt a change in U.S. tactics, and Iraqi officials haven't requested assistance under the security pact, said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel David Lapan, a spokesman for the Pentagon."
"Everybody on the street was going crazy. Everybody was just trying to get to their cars, just trying to get home -- and that's what I did," Mustapha Muhie told the BBC. BBC News offers a photo essay filled with plumes of smoke, showing the huge crater left by one bombing, the cranes used to check the Foreign Ministry for any people who might be alive and trapped in the building. Some outlets are saying car bombs, some are saying truck bombs. Adam Ashton (McClatchy Newspapers) goes with truck bombings and quotes Katheem Hanoon who was selling snacks and water by the ministry before "[s]he was buried under her goods and shelves after the bombing": "What security? Where is it? Is it borther killing brother, son killing father?" Sam Dagher (New York Times) informs, "The bombs crippled the downtown area, closed highways and two main bridges over the Tigris River and clogged hospitals with wounded."
Al Jazeera puts the death toll at 95 and the number wounded at 500 and quotes Iraqi Mar Gen Qassim Atta stating the Foreign Ministry was targeted by a truck bombing. Caroline Alexander also notes 95 dead but 563 injured and credits the count to AFP which got the numbers from the Interior Ministry. Anne Barker (Australia's ABC) adds, "Government ministry workers, journalists and security guards were among the dead." Jenny Booth (Times of London) offers a timeline of attacks in the last two years and August 10th saw 51 deaths (Mosul and Baghdad). Jane Arraf explains, "The ministry, surrounded by high concrete walls on a busy street, was near a checkpoint that had been dismantled earlier this year. As attacks in Baghdad have decreased, Iraqi authorities eager to show improvement in security and make the city livable again have started removing concrete walls and security checkpoints." Jamal Hashim (Xinhua) reports on the attitudes regarding the removal of (some) walls and quotes teacher Adel Hameed stating, "I feel like something heavy removed from my chest when they remove the walls, but I still feel in pain that my country had to pay very large amounts of money for those gray slabs to slice our city into Shiite and Suni enclaves."
Oliver August (Times of London) reminds, "Today is the sixth anniversary of a truck bombing that hit the United Nations compound in Baghdad, killing 22 people including special envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello." The link includes Sky News' video and you can see what looks like hundreds of burned out cars, some still aflame, and attempts to hose them down. Some were clearly parked (in a parking lot), others were on the road and apparently in motion when the explosions took place. Richard Spencer (Telegraph of London) explains, "Television footage showed cars smashed by falling concrete slabs and streets full of rubble and glass." August quotes a guest at the Rasheed Hotel stating, "The windows were blown out and the doors were taken out, even the door frames went. If I had been in my room at the time I would have been seriously injured or worse. Everything is locked down now. Nobody can move anywhere, nobody is getting in or out. Even our security team cannot move." The eye witness is identified as "John Tipple, a UK solicitor". Not noted is that Tipple is one of Danny Fitzsimons' attorneys -- the British contractor who could face trial in Iraq and face the death penalty. Tipple is in Iraq attempting to have Danny Fitzsimons' case transferred to England.AFP reports that Nouri al-Maliki has ordered a review of "security measures". Ahmed Rasheed, Khalid al-Ansary, Michael Christie, Mohammed Abbas and Tim Pearce (Reuters) report that Maj Gen Qassim al-Moussawi ("Baghdad's security spokesman") stated, "The operation shows negligence, and is considered a security breach for which Iraqi forces must take most of the blame." In the aftermath, a number showed up to compete for crazy. Chris Hill, US Ambassador to Iraq, denounced an undefined "they" as "psychopaths." Chip Cummins (Wall St. Journal) notes, "Iraqi security officials initially blamed Baathist loyalists and operatives associated with al Qaeda for the series of attacks, but provided no evidence for that claim. No one claimed immediate responsibility for the attacks." Apologies to Chip Cummins who was wrongly billed as "Chip Cummings" yesterday and that was my error. KUNA traces the swirling accusations identifying the head of "Baghdad security operations" as the first to accuse and to accuse "Baathis non-believer alliance". But crazy ass Jalal Talabani -- who so disgraced himself in the last years that his party performed miserably in the July Kurdistan elections -- may have won the prize for crazy (a padded cell) by insisting the bombings were the actions of a new polyblend: al Qaeda in Iraq and Ba'athists. KUNA quotes him stating, "Terrorist criminals from Al-Qaeda and Saddamists carried out Wednesday a number of criminal acts which targeted civil communities and government establishments." Now anyone could be responsible, anyone. But when you're going to toss around accusations with no proof, you might try making them plausible. And while al Qaeda in Iraq and Ba'athists teaming up could happen, it's not really the most realistic charge to instantly make. For one thing, Ba'athists are what? Secular. Anyone accuse al Qaeda in Iraq -- or al Qaeda anywhere -- of being secular? Nope. Never. Jalal hasn't looked so crazy since his trip to the US to unplug his arteries was followed by a major pig out which led to his collapsing in a Chicago bookstore. Someone might want to advise him that when he's no longer president of Iraq, he's probably not going to be flown in to the US every couple of months for the equivalent of cholesterol-lipo. Ben Lando (Time magazine) notes of the assertion of an al Qaeda and Ba'athist blend, "It is hard to asses that claim at the moment."
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