BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O PLEDGED THE HEALTH CARE DEBATE AND PLAN WOULD BE OPEN BUT THAT WAS THEN AND NOW HE SAYS NO WAY WITH HIS WARDROBE MISTRESS DICK DURBIN BACKING HIM UP.
REACHED FOR COMMENT, FORMER SENATOR DURBIN EXPLAINED HE WAS RINSING OUT BARRY'S LEGGINGS "SO I JUST HAVE A FEW MINUTES BUT, YES, THE PUBLIC DOESN'T NEED TO KNOW. BARRY IS A CELEBRITY, OKAY? THEY DID. THEY DIE FROM OVEREXPOSURE. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT BARRY CONSERVE HIS STAR POWER AND IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE JUST GO AWAY. LEAVE HIM BE, AMERICA, LEAVE HIM BE!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Yesterday violence made a strong impression in Iraq even if the press wasn't paying attention. (See Timothy Williams' article in today's New York Times which reduces the deaths to an aside saved for the final paragraph of the article and note that Williams was one of the few reporting on Iraq that you could find in a US paper today.) If the ongoing, never-ending illegal war has demonstrated anything over the last six years and counting, it's that reality always crashes into the latest wave of Operation Happy Talk. Jamal al-Badrani (Reuters) counts 50 dead in Iraq today from bombings in northern Iraq and Baghdad. Ned Parker and Usama Redha (Los Angeles Times) report on two suicide bombers in Tal Afar where one bomber detonated outside the home of a police officer causing a crowd to gather, at which point, the second bomber detonated. Nada Bakri (Washington Post) adds that the police chief states the bombers wore police uniforms and, "The first suicide bomber managed to sneak inside the house of a counter-terrorism officer and blew himself up, causing the home to collapse. The attack took place in a neighborhood called al-Qala, inhabited by mostly Shiites. When neighbors gathered to help the family trapped inside, a second suicide bomber struck, increasing the bloodshed." Caroline Alexander (Bloomberg News) explains, "Tal Afar, a mostly Turkmen town about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Mosul, has been targeted by militans before. In March 2007, it was hit by one of the deadliest single attacks since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 when a suicide truck bomb killed more than 150 people." Jomana Karadsheh and CNN count 35 dead and sixty-five injured from the two bombings. The two Tal Afar bombings were not the only reported violence today . . .
Laith Hammoudi and Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) report a Baghdad market bombing which claimed 7 lives and left twenty injured, a Baghdad roadside bombing which left five people injured, a Baghdad sticky bombing which injured two people, a Baghdad bicycle bombing which left four people injured, two Baghdad bombings which claimed 9 lives and left thirty-five people wounded and a Ramadi car bombing which claimed the life of the bomber and left four police officers wounded. Reuters notes a Mosul roadside bombing which injured one person and a Kirkuk roadside bombing which claimed 1 life and left three injured.
Reuters notes one woman and one man were wounded in a Mosul attack by unknown assailants and 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Kirkuk.
Today the US military announced: "BAGHDAD – A Multi-National Division–Baghdad Soldier died July 8 after being found unresponsive at a Coalition forces facility. The Soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The names of deceased service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense Official Web site at http://www.defenselink.mil/ . The announcements are made on the Web site 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 DoD. The incident and cause of death are currently under investigation." It's the first US service member announced death in Iraq for the month and it brings the total number of US service members killed in the illegal war to 4322.
"I don't know the exact percentage but I'm sure it's well over 70% that want the US out as soon as possible," explains Mike Tharp in a video posted at McClatchy. He's speaking with Paul Jay for The Real News Network (click here for the clip at TRNN). Tharp states, "They've seen the last six years as an occupation, not as a liberation, not as bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq but instead the loss of tens of thousands of Iraqi lives as well as over 4300 American troop losses, a trillion dollars spent by the US, I don't know what estimates are put on the damage done to the Iraqi society and economy but it's incalcuable." On the topic of the physical damage done to Iraq . . .
Today the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has issued [PDF format warning] "FINAL REPORT on Damage Assessment in Babylon." The twenty page report prepared by the International Coordination Committee for the Saveguarding of the Cultural Heritage of Iraq explores the damage done by the US' decision to install a military base on an archaeological site in Babylon after the issue was raised by Iraq's Minister of Culture. The report explains the historical context:
Babylon is unquestionably one of the most important archaelogical sites in the world. It was the capital city of two of the most famous kings of antiquity, Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC) who introduced one of the world's first law codes, and Nebuchadnezzar (604-562 BC) who built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Alexander the Great chose Babylon as his new capital but died before he could implement this plan. The existence of Babylon is first mentioned in cuneiform texts of the Akkadian period (2371-2230 BC), but the city did not become significant until the time of Hammurabi. It was substantially enlarged in the Neo-Babylonian period (626-539 BC) when it became the largest city of the contemporary world. Although its location was forgotten for centuries the fame of Babylon survived through a number of historical and religious texts. In view of the historical and archaelogical significance of Babylon, recent allegations of damage to the site during its occupation as a military camp are particularly serious.
Since 1935, Bablyon has been listed as an archaeological site. In 2003, the US invaded and the Iraq War started, the Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar museums were looted ("Fortunately, the objects in the two museums were plaster replicas rather than the origianls"). April 21, 2003, the US military created Camp Alpha -- a US base that continued through December 22, 2004 during which time the US military and contractors such as KBR "directly caused major damage to the city by digging, cutting, scraping, and leveling." Nine trenches and two pits were dug including on areas that had not been excavated. This was true of cuts, scrapings and leveling efforts by the US military and contractors as well. In addition the report notes:
The Ishtar Gate serves as a ritual gate leading into the northern part of the inner city. The damage to the gate includes smashed bricks on nine of the bodies of the animals adorning the gate. These animals depcit the legendary dragon-snake, the symbol of Marduk, the god of the city of Babylon. [. . .] Major damage can be observed in the southern part of the Proecessional Way, which was rediscovered during the Babylon Revival Project excavations in 1979. Starting from the Nabu-sha-Hare Temple, the effects of heavy vehicle wheels are clear, breaking the paving of the street. Three rows of 2-ton concrete blocks were placed in the middle of the Processional Way on top the paving by heavy vehicles, which is itself an encroachment. These blocks were removed by helicopter on November 29, 2004 to prevent further damage to the Processional Way. In addition, a row of HESCO containers with soil taken from the eastern wall of the sacred precinct were placed on the way, and barbed wire was attached by steel stakes to the wall itself and in the middle of Processional Way. There is also a cut in the wall itself with a length of 2.5 m, a depth of 50 cm, and a height of 1.5 m.
UNESCO's director of the Office for Iraq Moahmed Djelid states, "In view of Babylong's historical and archaeological significance, recent allegations of damage to the site during its military use were particularly serious. The report is key because it establishes a description of damages on which there is international agreement. Without pointing fingers, we now have a clear picture of the situation. It provides the starting-point for the major challenge of restoration and conservation."
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