jill carroll freed, iraqis still under bully boy & flashpoints

be sure to check out betty's 'Thomas Friedman's Frostings and Facials' and cedric's 'Afghanistan the forgotten "liberation".' mike and i both delayed blogging tonight to make sure that when we did, we'd be able to note the latest from them. and kat's posted yesterday with 'Etta James and Bonnie Faulkner' and tonight with 'The downward spiral of democracy under the Bully Boy' so check out those as well. and if you're a music lover, be sure to check out 'Kat's Korner: Etta James Takes It All The Way.' i really love etta james' all the way. read kat's review and see if you're not interested in getting the cd too.

since mike and i were on the phone, i told him i'd grab headlines with him the way elaine normally does (she's off thursdays because she has to do group sessions). so these items are from democracy now.

Kidnapped Reporter Jill Carroll Freed in Iraq
After nearly three months in captivity, kidnapped U.S. reporter Jill Carroll has been released. Carroll is a freelance reporter working for the Christian Science Monitor in Iraq. She was seized in January outside the offices of a prominent Sunni politician in Baghdad. In a brief television interview in Baghdad, Carroll said she is in good condition and had been treated well by her captors. Her captors freed her by leaving her in a street near the offices of the Iraqi Islamic Party. She walked inside, and people there called US officials. Although her captors threatened twice in videotapes to kill her, Carroll said they never hit her or threatened to do so. Carroll said she was kept in a room with a window and a shower, but she did not know where she was. She went on to say: "I'm just happy to be free. I want to be with my family." On Wednesday, Jill Carroll’s sister, Katie Carroll, had read a statement on Arab television pleading for her sister's safe release. There had been no word from Carroll's captors in nearly two months. They had demanded the release of all women detainees in Iraqi prisons. Five out of an estimated nine women prisoners were released in January.

i didn't think we'd see her alive. when i was writing last night about the liars who didn't tell you what it was like and didn't do anything but hang around the green zone while others did all the work, i was thinking of what i would write about her when the bad news came? i'm so glad that it didn't come. jill carroll showed more some common sense and more bravery then the entire bylined staff of the new york times stationed in iraq. after she's had time to process what she's been through, i hope she starts talking about what she saw in iraq. i don't think many people over there now could tell you a thing about the iraqis themselves because it's hard to get to know the people waiting on you at the hotel. if she doesn't go on the lecture circuit, i hope she'll give a series of interviews.

Iraqi PM Criticizes US Over Resignation Pressure
In news from Iraq, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has lashed out at growing US pressure to block him from serving a second term as prime minister. U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has asked Iraqi Shiite politicians to seek the withdrawal of al-Jaafari's nomination for a second term. In an interview with the New York Times, al-Jaafari said: "[There's] concern among the Iraqi people that the democratic process is being threatened."

we want a "democratic" Iraq - as long as the iraqis don't think they can decide for themselves. don't they know that bully boy is the 'death force' and, like many mythical gods, requires human sacrifices? the iraqis just had the election that the administration tried to sell as 'freedom's on the march.' but when the march doesn't take the route we had scheduled, we want to pull the permit. it's all so very mayor bloomerg.

i was talking to ruth this week to see what show i could grab from pacifica radio that she's not able to cover. one such show is flashpoints which comes on when she's eating dinner and can't catch all the remarks. i'm not going to do flashpoints every day. (i fear committment!) but i will notice it at least once a week. flashpoints airs on kpfa monday through friday and is hosted by
dennis bernstein. it's an hourly broadcast.

what stood out yesterday was the interview with the father of a young teenager who was taking part in the protests against the legislation to turn immigrants into felons and to criminalize any 1 who attempted to provide any to aid to some 1 in need without demanding 'let me see your papers.' (seriously, we've become south africa at the height of apartheid.)he was an intelligent man and very proud of his daughter. (now watch, it will turn out it was a son. if so, write me and i will correct it.) he spoke of how the police, in california, were around the school fences to prevent any 1 from walking out to protest.

he sounded like a caring parent. and that's the main thing that stood out to me on wednesday.

on tuesday, there was a show that you should really listen to. you had patrick cockburn reporting the realities on the ground in iraq and if operation happy talk had any life left in it, it died in the ears of every 1 who heard his report.

you also got to hear jeremy scahill (who i know from democracy now) and dahr jamail giving speeches. what stood out about dahr's speech was his end question about what are you prepared to do to stop the war? jeremy schaill spoke of the illegal invasion in terms of the history of it. for those who wonder why hillary won't speak out against the war, listen to his speech. bill clinton had a hand in setting up this war.

jeremy pointed out that it's easy to protest an illegal war when it's overseen by some 1 as hated as the bully boy but where was the huge protest when bill clinton was playing war monger? hillary, jeremy didn't speak of her that i remember, won't speak out because her husband's so tied up in this. and she probabl is as well. the congressional authorization for regime change came under bill clinton, it set the stage for today.

jeremy also spoke of what c.i. has, the 'protest pens' in boston at the dnc convention. i didn't go to the convention. i heard about them from c.i. who found them disgusting. (c.i.'s noted that at the common ills many times and also disgust over the fact that the democrats had medea benjamin pulled from the floor for unfurling her anti-war banner.) (any 1 else ever wonder if that's not what the leadership would like to do to the grassroots of the party? by the way, i'll be writing about evan blah tomorrow night.)

jeremy was very outspoken about how disgusting that was and how disgusting the use of the military to 'maintain order' was.

it was a very powerful speech.

if this is new to you, the democratic party supported protest at their convention. as long as you were willing to step into a little pen to do it. now you might think, free speech being a constitutional right, that protests could happen anywhere. you would be wrong. if i'm remembering correctly what c.i. told me when the convention was going on, the pen wasn't even near a place where most people would see it. it was off to the side and i want to see near 1 of the back entrances/exits where most people would never pass. (just to clarify, c.i. didn't get into the protest pen.)

jeremy talked about the tone of the speeches and noted john kerry and john edwards. kerry just looked silly, to me, saying 'reporting for duty.' john edwards, and maybe it was because he never served in the military, came off like the bully boy.

now this week, elaine's written about home fries, kat's written about guns and butter and i've written about flashpoints. don't ask ruth to cover those in her report because they've been covered. there are hours and hours and hours of programming each week, each day, and there's only so much 1 person can even try to cover. if it ever looks like i'm going a week without covering flashpoints, drop me an e-mail to remind me. there was a feature with some 1 (i think his name was kyle) that i really enjoyed but i'm learning the regulars' names still so, until i do learn their names, i'll probably just focus on the guests.