Monday, August 24, 2009

Barack's summer plan

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O IS HOPING AND PRAYING THAT HIS VACATION PUMPS UP HIS SAGGING POLL NUMBERS.

"I'M PLANNING ON DOING A LOT OF SHIRTLESS POSING," BARACK SAID REVEALING HIS GAME PLAN. "I'M ALSO CONSIDERING PACKING IT INTO A G-STRING AND 'ACCIDENTALLY' HAVING A LITTLE SPLIPPAGE. I FIGURE PEREZ HILTON AND TMZ WILL BE SINGING MY PRAISES THEN!"

MEANWHILE WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE TELL DAVID ROBERTS OF GRIST MAGAZINE THAT CALLING BARACK THE NAME HE DID WAS RACIST?

FROM THE TCI WIRE:


Today in Iraq, the media's attention is drawn to Kut. Outside the city, two bus bombings took place. Reuters says 11 are dead and, citing police sources, that the number may be 20. Al Jazeera gives the number wounded as twenty-five. BBC says the police are now insisting the death toll is 11. Marc Santora (New York Times) quotes bus passenger, Minem Salman stating, "I managed to get out from the window but all the others were burning. I couldn't help them." AFP states that the bombings took place "within half an hour of each other" and quotes police Lt Mohammed Fadhil stating they were sticky bombs. CBS and AP have the bombs exploding "minutes apart". Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) adds that a Baghdad roadside bombing left four police officers wounded.

Sunday the US military announced: "A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier died Aug. 23, from combat-related injuries while conducting a patrol in Baghdad. The Soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The names of service members killed in action are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense Official Website at http://www.defense.gov/. The announcements are made on the website no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin. MND-B will not release any additional details prior to notification of next of kin and official release by the Department of Defense. The incident is currently under investigation." The announcement brought the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4334.

This follows last week's violence which Third pointed out resulted in 211 reported deaths and 950 wounded. ("Last Sunday saw 13 reported dead and 41 reported injured. Monday saw 24 dead 59 wounded. Tuesday the reported death toll was 5 and 24 were reported injured. Wednesday 102 were reported dead and 572 wounded. By Thursday evening, 22 were reported dead with 67 injured. Thursday night 33 more deaths were reported and 145 wounded. Friday saw 8 deaths reported and 31 people wounded. Saturday saw 4 dead 11." Note that the US military announced the deaths of two US service members last week and they aren't included in the daily counts for last week in this parenthetical.) Wednesday's deaths were mainly from the Baghdad bombings which were largely an attack on the Foreign Ministry and the Finance Ministry. Today Jane Arraf (Christian Science Monitor) reports Hoshyar Zebari, Foreign Minister of Iraq, "held meetings [Saturday] in a makeshift reception room with plastic sheeting for walls. Iraqi officials with their heads bandaged walked the halls exchanging news of more servely wounded colleagues" and that "10 percent of the ministry staff [was] injured or killed." She also notes, "Iraqi officials, who almost instantly announced arrests after the attacks, have given conflicting reports about how it was carried out, but all have blamed Baath Party loyalists for planning the bombing and Al Qaeda operatives for carrying it out." Saturday, Nouri al-Maliki, thug of the occupation, appeared on Iraqi TV. Reuters quotes him stating, "I want to tell the Iraqi people we are still in an open war against them. I reassure the Iraqi people that the security forces can still keep up the battle and achieve victory despite breaches here and there." Reuters states "them" in the first sentence was supposed to refer to "terrorists." Zebari was also making public statements on Saturday. Khalid al-Ansary, Muhanad Mohammed, Michael Christie and Andrew Roche (Reuters) explained he denounced Nouri's previous decision (now on hold) to take down the Bremer walls throughout Baghdad and that he noted how it appeared to him that there was collaboration between whomever planned Wednesday's bombing attacks in Baghdad and Iraqi security forces. He is quoted stating, "According to our information, there has even been collaboration between security officers and the murderers and killers." While that was taking place, Liz Sly and Saif Hameed (Los Angeles Times) reported on the Baghdad govenment announcing arrests which allegedlly took place "hours after the attacks Wednesday". Chip Cummins and Ben Lando (Wall St. Journal) reported that leaders of Parliament met on Firday (the press was kept out and the meeting was not televised). Meanwhile an Iraqi correspondent for McClatchy (at Inside Iraq) pointed out the obvious, "Several people I talked to in Fallujah and Baghdad are full of doubt. They wonder how a truck loaded with more than one ton of explosives could escape more than 200 checkpoints throughout Baghdad?! If you are driving your car in Baghdad there will be one way to escape checkpoints without being searched properly, I mean after the explosive detectors point to your car, and that way is to show them a badge. A badge of an officer will be the perfect way. The fact that there were officers of the presidential guards involved in a bank theft and killing eight guards at the end of last month made people suspect anything." It's being called "Iraq's 9-11" by Iraqi officials and by US Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill while others are referring to it as "Black Wednesday." Click here for CNN video on Wednesday's attack. Adam Ashton (McClatchy Newspapers) spoke with Haider Chasibi whose home is near the Foreign Ministry and has experienced damages from three bombings on the Foreign Ministry in the last four years. He tells Ashton, "Next time it will fall on our heads and kill us. It cannot take another explosion."

Yesterday, the Baghdad-based government trotted out a suspect with the latest in their televised 'confessions'. This morning Steven Lee Myers (New York Times) serves up "Iraq Military Broadcasts Confession on Bombing" because Myers and the Times love forced confessions and are working overtime to become state media in Iraq. Real news outlets are less quick to swallow. Reuters headlined their story "Iraq shows video it says is confession of bomber." BBC goes with "Iraqi 'bomber confession' aired." Myers pants: "In brief, edited excerpts of videotaped remarks, the man, identified as Wisam Ali Khazim Ibrahim, calmly explained how he had organized one of the two bombings, which killed almost 100 people on Wednesday and wounded hundreds more." In the best Judy Miller style, it waits until paragraph five to point out that the 'testimony' cannot "be confirmed independently". Big surprise, the likely forced confession fingers Ba'athists (in Syria!!!!) for the attack. But here's the thing, if the confession was genuine, wasn't it stupid to air it? Iraq's not announced any other ringleaders and presumably were the 'confessor' telling the truth and doing so of his own accord, he would have supplied the names of all involved. Or are we not supposed to notice that? So shouldn't the 'confession' have been kept under wraps until after the Iraqi government announced a series of arrests? Jomana Karadsheh (CNN) reports that "many Iraqis expressed skepticism about the claims to CNN, asking why the government had the intelligence to make the arrests so quickly but was unable to prevent the attacks. In some previous incidents, the Iraqi government has announced arrests and aired confessions that did not hold up. In April, it claimed it had captured Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the head of al Qaeda in Iraq's umbrella group, the Islamic State of Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq denied it, and the capture was never confirmed by the U.S. military." Of the 'confessor,' Jane Arraf notes he "appeared strangely composed" and she also notes reports that some Sunni MPs may be arrested shortly. Oliver August (Times of London) adds, "Opposition politicians voiced doubt last night that the real perpetrators had been caught and asked if the confession was made under torture."

Meanwhile Alsumaria reports, "In a meeting with ministers, MPs, scholars and tribal Sheikhs, Prime Minister Al Maliki noted that some politicians cashing on Iraq attacks saps national interest of the country." Cashing in? On security? Nouri wants to play that card? Really? Who rushed to take credit for security previously? I believe that was Nouri. Now that the situation is different, suddenly he's concerned that some might make political hay out of 'security'. Now he's concerned. Poor Nouri. Ernesto Londono reports at the Washington Post that a Shi'ite coalition of politcal parties does not include Nouri. Apparently, they didn't want him to play in their reindeer games. This was made clear when they refused to promise that they'd re-appoint Nouri as Prime Minister should they secure the needed majority in the January 2010 elections. The New York Times repeately fails to grasp that last part: the prime minister is not elected by the people. Londono reports that the new coalition is thought to have closer ties with Iran.

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"NYT pimps 'confessions' . . . again"
"The Beat of Black Wings"
Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Barack Speaks to the VFW""
"And the war drags on . . ."
"Kat's Korner: John Fogerty rushes to country-lite"
"Nouri talks about his "open war""
"Debating Wednesday's bombings"

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