BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
TODAY CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O DID ANOTHER ROUND OF WHINING.
"I DON'T MIND CLEANING UP THE MESS THAT SOME OTHER FOLKS MADE, THAT'S WHAT I SIGNED UP TO DO," DECLARED THE DIVA.
THEN HE ADDED, "BUT WHILE I'M MOPPING THE FLOOR, I DON'T WANT SOMEONE STANDING THERE, SAYING YOU'RE NOT MOPPING FAST ENOUGH OR YOU'RE NOT MOPPING THE RIGHT WAY."
TO WHICH AMERICA RESPONDS, "TOUGH F**KING S**T!"
THE DIVA FORGETS THAT HE WORKS FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. HIS EGO HAS BEEN INFLATED FAR TOO MUCH BY AN ADORING PRESS. HE WORKS FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THEY'LL DO WHATEVER THEY WANT BECAUSE HE'S NOT A F**KING KING AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AREN'T SUBJECTS. SO MAYBE HE SHOULD DROP TO HIS KNEES AND GIVE THANKS THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE PUT TRUST IN HIM TO BEGIN WITH INSTEAD OF BEING SUCH A WHINY LITTLE BABY.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Today the US military announced: "CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, TIKRIT, Iraq - A Multi-National Division - North Soldier was killed and two were wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle in Ninawa province, Iraq, Oct. 19. The name of the deceased is being withhled pending notifcation of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website [. . .]. The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary kin." The announcement brings to 4351 the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war.
Before we go into other violence in Iraq, let's go to the heart of the violence: The continued war. And some people try to pretend it's over -- when it's not. And some try to pretend that SOFA means the end of the war -- when it doesn't. Golly, with even Ryan Crocker, former US Ambassador to Iraq, making it clear, you think the press will try to get it right now?
Gordon Robison (Gulf News) reports on Crocker's speech last week at Harvard's Kennedy School:
Like any international agreement the Sofa can be modified if, at some point in the future, both governments agree there is a need to do so. It is rarely said in Washington, but widely assumed, that this means the actual implementation of the withdrawal agreement is essentially situational: that is, it will go ahead only if conditions on the ground warrant it.
Despite the fact that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has emerged as a stronger, and far more savvy, political player than almost anyone expected; and despite the fact that the existing Sofa was only grudgingly approved by the Iraqi parliament, there remains a near universal assumption in Washington that if, come 2011, Washington decides we need to stay longer, then so be it. Last May, the army chief of staff, General George Casey, acknowledged as much, telling a group of journalists and think tank specialists that his planning scenarios envision the presence of US combat troops in Iraq for another decade.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there has been little discussion here in the United States about what 'withdrawal' really means. As Crocker emphasised last week at Harvard, the US policy has always been that it wants no permanent bases in Iraq. Crocker, however, failed to note that government officials and the general public often have starkly different definitions of "permanent base."
[. . .]
Beyond that there is the question of what 'withdrawal' actually means. The military tends to make a distinction between training or advisory troops and combat forces. The American approach to Iraq raises the very real possibility of combat forces heading home while tens of thousands of trainers, advisers and their accompanying support troops remain in place. A military professional might call such a situation 'withdrawal', but a lot of ordinary Americans and Iraqis are likely to think otherwise.
[. . .]
It is time, as Ambassador Crocker says, for a more public, more focused, discussion about what 'getting out' of Iraq really means. Americans and Iraqis alike may well be unhappy with what they hear.
The Iraq War has not ended. The SOFA does not mean -- and never did -- that the Iraq War ends. The UN mandate expired yearly. When the US operated under the UN mandate, the expiration of the mandate never meant the war ended. It only mean the US had to leave . . . if no other agreement was reached. Instead of doing the yearly renewal, the SOFA was an agreement allowing for three more years of occupation. That's all it has to mean (and that's provided neither side decides to kill it -- and killing it can be to replace it). James Circello (Party for Socialism and Liberation) addressed the realites of the illegal war this week:
The fact that dozens of bases will remain in Iraq long after the United States puts the Iraq war "behind it" clearly demonstrates that the U.S. ruling class has no intention of truly relinquishing Iraq. These bases—six of which are so-called "supersize bases" -- will continue to be filled with the boots and rifles of U.S. occupational forces. The same NY Times article notes that at least 50,000 troops will be left in Iraq through at least 2011. Soldiers, airmen and marines will continue to kill innocent Iraqis, while simultaneously building the military might of a puppet Iraqi army. The purpose of that reduction in Iraq, according to the senior commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, is to free up U.S. soldiers to go to Afghanistan.[. . .]
This so-called withdrawal is a continuation of using different tactics to achieve the same goal: imperialist domination and exploitation. The U.S. ruling class is invested in maintaining the occupation and due to multiple factors -- most notably the heroic resistance by the Iraqi people against its occupiers -- has now chosen to change its policies and the appearance of the occupation in Iraq. For the millions of families in Iraq and Afghanistan that have seen loved ones die while living under occupation, the nature of the experience doesn't change by simply lowering troop levels from 125,000 to 50,000. Foreign soldiers armed and under the direction of foreign governments in Iraq mean that Iraq is still occupied.
Now to some of today's violence in the continued Iraq War.
Jenan Hussein (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing injured three people, a Baghdad sticky bombing injured three people, a second Baghdad roadside bombing left two people wounded, a third one injured four people, a Falluja car bombing claimed the lives of 4 people with an ten more injured, a Mosul roadside bombing injured 2 Iraqi soldiers, a Mosul sticky bombing which injured two people and, dropping back to Monday, a Mosul mortar attack which left four Iraqi military recruits injured.
Jenan Hussein (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 person shot dead in Mosul and an armed clash in Mosul in which an Iraqi soldier was injured and 1 suspect was shot dead.
Jenan Hussein (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 corpses discovered in Mosul.
Last month, Lisa Holland (Sky News via Information Clearing House) reported on the damage being done to Iraqis and future generations due to toxic and deadly weapons foreign forces (which would include the US) have used (and continue to) in Iraq:
An Iraqi doctor has told Sky News the number of babies born with deformities in the heavily-bombed area of Fallujah is still on the increase. Fifteen months ago a Sky News investigation revealed growing numbers of children being born with defects in Fallujah. Concerns were that the rise in deformities may have been linked to the use of chemical weapons by US forces. We recently returned to find out the current situation and what has happened to some of the children we featured. In May last year we told the story of a three-year-old girl called Fatima Ahmed who was born with two heads. When we filmed her she seemed like a listless bundle - she lay there barely able to breathe and unable to move. Even now and having seen the pictures many times since I still feel shocked and saddened when I look at her. But the prognosis for Fatima never looked good and, as feared, she never made it to her fourth birthday. Her mother Shukriya told us about the night her daughter died. Wiping away her tears, Shukriya said she had put her daughter to bed as normal one night but woke with the dreadful sense that something was wrong. She told us she felt it was her daughter's moment to die, but of course that does not make the pain any easier.
It's a topic Dave Lindorff has covered many times before -- for example, see 2003's "America's Dirty Bombs" ran at CounterPunch. Today Lindorff revisits the topic at CounterPunch:
While the Pentagon has continued to claim, against all scientific evidence, there is no hazard posed by depleted uranium, US troops in Iraq have reportedly been instructed to avoid any sites where these weapons have been used -- destroyed Iraqi tanks, exploded bunkers, etc. Suspiciously, international health officials have been prevented from doing medical studies of DU sites. A series of articles several years ago by the Christian Science Monitor (http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0515/p01s02-woiq.html) described how reporters from that newspaper had visited such sites with Geiger-counters and had found them to be extremely "hot" with radioactivity. The big danger with DU is not as a metal, but after it has exploded and burned, when the particles of uranium oxide, which are just as radioactive as the pure isotopes, can be inhaled or injested. Even the smallest particle of uranium is both deadly poisonous as a chemical, and can cause cancer.
There are reports of a dramatic increase in the incidence of deformed babies being born in the city of Fallujah, where DU weapons were in wide use during the November 2004 assault on that city by US Marines.
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