heavy detention camps for middle easterns and their sympathiszers as interpreted by the white house, a draft and possibly ground action in iran and nuclear weapons used in iran.
daniel ellsberg's worst case scenario if we can't stand up to this adminstration.
he's on WBAI as part of the impeachment special that janet coleman's hosting. if you're not listening, you can go to WBAI pull up the archives and listen - it aired monday night, 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm e.s.t.
the anniversary of the start of the illegal war, the 4th anniversary, and c.i. forwarded me something on that:
Defund the War - End the Occupation of Iraq Declare Peace!
As folks gear up for fourth anniversary actions around the same time that the Iraq war supplemental comes to a vote, it is clear that we have reached a defining moment in the movement to end the U.S. war in Iraq and global drive for empire.
We must do everything in our power to cut off the funds and be prepared to escalate our opposition once that vote is taken. There's clearly interest in the larger movement for escalation and risk-taking, as evidenced by a growing number of civil disobedience/ NVDA initiatives and actions including the Occupation Project, The Declaration of Peace, Witness Against Torture, the growing numbers at the SOA protest, the Port of Olympia brigade, the CMU action in Pittsburgh, SDS actions across the country...the list goes on.UFPJ has empowered a nonviolent direct action working group to help communicate, coordinate, and possibly collaborate among the different groups and initiatives using NVDA strategies.
While Congress will continue to be a focus, the movement must also increase our pressure on the infrastructure that allows this war to be fought -- the "military industrial complex." Whether it is a recruiting center, or a weapons train, a university research department or a war profiteer's office, let us strengthen our resolve to directly confront the pillars of war as we build our capacity to disrupt and shut down the war machine and the systems that support it.
To facilitate this, members of the United for Peace and Justice National Steering Committee have organized a conference call for this Monday evening to bring together a broad range of groups; share valuable information, strategies, and common targets; and hopefully develop some coordinated or collective actions.
NVDA/ CD Conference CallMonday, March 5, 2007
Time: 8:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (5:30 PST)Phone Number: 1-218-862-6100Access Code: 031907
All active organizers with The Declaration of Peace or UFPJ member groups interested in nonviolent direct action/ civil disobedience are encouraged to participate in this call.
Nationwide Declaration of Peace Events: March 16 - 19, 2007 Let Us Know What You Are Planning!
Between March 16th and the 19th, scores of Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Actions and other forms of dramatic, Peaceful resistance will take place in cities and towns across the U.S.A. These actions are designed to put pressure on Congress to defund the war, to bring the troops home safely, and to support a comprehensive Peace process for Iraq.
Marking the fourth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and calling for an immediate end to the U.S. occupation, nationwide DOP events include: - direct action in Erie, Pennsylvania, and on Wall Street and at recruiting centers in New York City - nonviolent resistance to the war (memorial, music, speakers, civil disobedience) at Lockheed Martin in King of Prusia, Pennsylvania - massive die-ins throughout downtown San Francisco, California - nonviolently shut down recruiting centers in the country's #1 recruiting area, Los Angeles - candlelight procession to the White House, late-night vigil, and "divine obedience" in Washington, D.C.
Imagine Congressional office occupations, die-ins, recruiting center blockades, and other nonviolent direct actions in cities and towns all across the United States. Consider organizing an action in your city this month as part of the Nationwide Days of Action for Peace in Iraq, March 16-19.
View other upcoming events at the Declaration of Peace Events Calendar.Please post your "End the U.S. Occupation of Iraq" events (Vigils, Die-Ins, Nonviolent Direct Action, Rallies, etc.) to the Declaration of Peace website or let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
See the following resources for planning Nonviolent Direct Action:
A Call for Nonviolent Civil Disobedience: Why We Must Act
See the Nationwide Unifying Statement
Background on Nonviolent Civil Disobedience, including Legal Issue
Find a Local Organizer
Finding a Trainer: The Nonviolence Training Directory
Videos on Nonviolence
Essays and Articles on Nonviolence
"Don't abandon our troops - Defund this war."
The best way to support the troops is to cut war funding and bring them home alive and intact ! *** Tell your Senators and Representatives!
Download the Open Letter from Military Families Speak Out.Mail, fax, e-mail, and hand deliver to your members of Congress: the letter from family members of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, who REALLY know best how to Support The Troops.
Military Families Speak Out Open Letter to members of Congress calling upon them to block further funding of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Tell Congress: "STOP funding the war. Vote NO on the supplemental."
The Declaration of Peace encourages your participation in a week-long nationally-coordinated "Block The Funding" call-in campaign. Join the DOP, Democracy Rising, United for Peace and Justice, and many other organizations across the country (see list below) in the "Defund the War" National Congressional Call-In Campaign, as members of Congress debate and vote on the G.W. Bush-requested $93 billion appropriations bill.
The message to your members of Congress is: "STOP funding the war. Vote NO on the supplemental."
Voting NO on funding the war is the only way Congress can end the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
The war in Iraq has caused a global rise in terrorism and a dramatic drop in the standing of the United States in world opinion.
The war on Iraq has destroyed over 655,000 Iraqi lives and more than 3,170 American lives. And the money already spent on the invasion, war, and occupation has put our nation into debt for generations to come.
It is essential that all of our Representatives hear our opposition to further funding of U.S. military operations in Iraq."Support the Troops! Bring them Home! Vote No on the Supplemental!"
The Declaration of Peace call-in day is this Friday, March 9th.
We have a toll free phone number for you to use.
The number is: 1-888-851-1879.
The number will go directly to the Congressional switchboard. Just ask to be connected to your member of Congress.
Click here to find your member of Congress.Below is a list of the other groups participating in the "Defund the War" National Congressional Call-In Campaign:
Monday, March 5 - Voters for PeaceTuesday, March 6 - PDA, AfterDowningStreet.org, US Labor Against the WarWednesday, March 7 - CodePink, Global ExchangeThursday, March 8 - Gold Star Families for Peace, Democracy RisingFriday, March 9 - The Declaration of Peace, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Peace ActionMonday, March 12 - United for Peace and JusticeTuesday, March 13 - All together now!Democratic Members of the House Appropriations Committee:
David R. Obey, John P. Murtha, Norman D. Dicks, Alan B. Mollohan, Marcy Kaptur, Peter J. Visclosky, Nita M. Lowey, Jose' E. Serrano, Rosa L.DeLauro, James P. Moran, John W. Olver, Ed Pastor, David E. Price, Chet Edwards, Robert E. "Bud" Cramer, Jr., Patrick J. Kennedy, Maurice D. Hinchey, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Sam Farr, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Carolyn C. Kilpatrick, Allen Boyd, Chaka Fattah, Steven R. Rothman, Sanford Bishop, Marion Berry, Barbara Lee, Tom Udall, Adam Schiff, Michael Honda, Betty McCollum, Steve Israel, Tim Ryan, C.A "Dutch" Ruppersberger, Ben Chandler, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ciro Rodriguez.
Call Congress this week: 1-888-851-1879
Make your voice heard in the halls of Congress ~"STOP funding the war. Vote NO on the supplemental."
Valuable resources can also be found at: DemocracyRising.US
The Occupation Project and Call House Appropriations Chair, David Obey
In its 4th week, The Occupation Project continues applying pressure on elected representatives.
The House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on the supplemental spending bill on March 7th. The full House vote is expected to happen by March 14th.
Call Representative David Obey, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, to voice your opposition to any additional funding for this war. Please spread the word! Congressman David Obey: (202) 225-3365
For full contact information for your Representative, visit http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/ or call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
The Occupation Project: WEEK 4
A recent visit to the Wausau, WI office of Representative David Obey resulted in the arrest of 3 constituents who refused to leave when Obey did not reverse his position on war funding. Seven were arrested at the Des Moines, IA office of Sen. Grassley while 11 others were being arrested at Grassley's other office in Cedar Rapids. In St. Louis, after sitting down and discussing de-funding the war with Representative Russ Carnahan (D-MO) last week, members of Veterans For Peace and Military Famlies Speak Out returned to Carnahan's office and 2 members refused to leave before they secured Carnahan's public commitment to oppose any new funding. Carnahan did not publicly commit, so 2 members were arrested on charges of trespassing. Four Occupation Project participants were arrested in Sen. Barbara Mikulski's office in Washington, D.C.. Three were arrested in the lobby of the building housing Ohio Senator George Voinovich's office. Three others were arrested at the office of Rep. Virgil Goode in Charlottesville, VA.
There are now over 30 local Occupation Project campaigns happening across the country.
Join the efforts: The Occupation Project
122 arrested in Occupation Project actions across the country.Get all the details on The Occupation Project at their website.
Get information and insight on: "Defeating the Supplemental War Appropriation"
You are invited to join the UFPJ Legislative Action Network National Conference Call. Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Time: 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. Eastern Standard TimePhone Number: 1-319-632-1100Access Code: 381726# This call will include an update on the manuvering within Congress on the supplemental appropriations bill, and the role the Peace Movement has played and will continue to play in pressuring Congress. There will be plenty of time to exchange ideas and suggest tactics and strategies.
The 2007 Congressional Declaration of Peace
We encourage the use of the new Congressional Declaration of Peace for all of your lobbying efforts. Ask your member of Congress to sign on to Congressional Declaration, making a public commitment to work to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Mail, fax, or hand deliver the Congressional Declaration to your Congressperson's office. Let them know how crucial it is that they block all Iraq war appropriations and strive to bring U.S. troops home now.
The Congressional Declaration can easily be downloaded here, and from the Declaration of Peace website.
Use the 'Help Guide for Congressional Visits'
The Declaration of Peace Signers PledgeFor your local organizing, download and copy the Pledge -- use at all of your public events and demonstrations for collecting commitments to actively engage in nonviolent war resistance.
More than 600 people are committed to engage in Nonviolent Civil Disobedience ("Divine Obedience") at the White House on March 16th during the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq.
Gathering to call for an end to the U.S. war in Iraq and to make clear their opposition to U.S. policy in Iraq, Christians from many denominations will pray, march, vigil, and act in Washington, D.C.
Read more and please consider joining us in this Declaration of Peace-endorsed event in the nation's capital.
March 14th trial date set for Declaration of Peace activists.
Some of the defendants who were arrested in Declaration of Peace actions that took place in Washington, D.C. on September 26-27, 2006 will be tried on March 14th, in D.C. Superior Court.Because of dangerous traveling conditions due to snow and ice and the closure of the Court on Feb. 14th, about two dozen people were not tried with 30 other fellow activists on February 15th & 16th. After the two-day trial -- during which it was made clear why so many are risking arrest engaging in nonviolent acts of war resistance -- one woman was acquitted, and all others were convicted and fined $50 to $100 per person.Watch for further developments on the March 14th trial of Declaration of Peace activists.
The Declaration of Peace Campaign Updates and News Articles:
Campaign to Resist Shipment of Strykers at Port of Tacoma, WA Protester no longer "banned for life" from Federal Building
Toledo Ohio: 3 peace activists arrested at Voinovich's office
U.S. House Democrats seek more war funds than Bush
View more DOP Campaign Updates and News Articles at the Declaration of Peace website.
The Declaration of Peace is calling on members of Congress to oppose escalation, defund the war, bring the troops home safely, and support a comprehensive Peace plan. Declaration of Peace groups will take many steps to respond to the growing emergency of this increasingly destructive quagmire. As part of this, we are calling on people across the U.S. to organize peaceful civil disobedience, March 16-19, 2007.
The Goal of The Declaration of Peace
See the full text of the Declaration of Peace Call for Nonviolent Civil Disobedience.To prepare for action, organize a Nonviolent Action Training. Let us know if you are planning trainings, or if you need help organizing one!
Contact us at: email@example.com
For updates, visit: www.DeclarationofPeace.org
now, the next thing, let me start with rolling stone magazine which flyboy bought today. page 64, of the march 8, 2007 issue, a sidebar to an article on keith olberman. in the sidebar, keith offers his thoughts on various people. 1 of them is glen beck. this olberman: 'a wolf in sheep's clothing. a very dangerous bigoted guy who's selling himself as a pragmatic philsopher. i don't think he sees his own bigotry. there's something about him that suggests one night he will say something that costs him his career in television.'
i think that's happened if people would pay attention. this is from media matters' 'Discussing racy photos, Beck to female guest: "I've got some time and a camera. Why don't you stop by?":'
On the February 28 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck once again made sexually suggestive comments toward a woman when he hosted US Weekly's Dina Sansing to discuss racy photographs of American Idol contestant Antonella Barba. After Beck claimed that "[y]ou can't take stupid photos and expect those to be ... locked away forever," Sansing responded that it was "possibly" true and that "it depends." As the weblog Crooks and Liars noted, Beck then asked: "Dina, I've got some time and a camera. Why don't you stop by?" Sansing did not respond and, after several seconds of silence, Beck stated: "No? OK." As Media Matters for America has noted (here, here, and here), in each of the first three episodes of his CNN Headline News show in May 2006, Beck made sexually suggestive comments to CNN Headline News anchor Erica Hill, who was then giving daily news updates on Beck's show. Hill no longer appears on Beck's program.
As Media Matters for America has noted, ABC recently hired Beck as a "regular commentator" for Good Morning America.
'sansing did not respond and, after several seconds of silence ...' that really is uncalled for. he's a pig. it's not funny, it's not cute. and, he's married. take that trash off the air. it really tells you where cnn is at today that they think this is 'quality' programming. there is no sewer they won't crawl through today and you'd think, after nancy grace, that their cess pool quota would have been met.
janet coleman, debra sweet and daniel ellsberg are talking about how the 2008 elections are like (sweet) christmas in january. coleman compared it to missing blondes in aruba. ellsberg says it is entertainment and distraction.
and i would say 1 of the most guilty is the nation magazine. will they be able to get through 1 damn week in 2007 without talking about the election? do they have nothing else to talk about? do they not get that a war is going on?
if you ask me, like the democratic party, they want the war to go on because they think that will help the democrats in 2008.
'by failing to move for impeachment ... by failing even to try ... congress is ratifying the attack on the constitution this administration is making,' daniel ellsberg just said.
i really do love this special. hats off to the station and to janet coleman for doing it. i'm noting it when i'm listening. ruth and i are sharing the cell phone. (c.i.'s got it up to the speaker phone. c.i.'s friend in nyc has his phone up to the radio. who needs streaming! i'm joking. but i don't think i could stream on my laptop and be posting. by the way, if you missed it, i'm on the road. we're driving to texas and stopping along the way for the big meet up. due to that, i've asked c.i. to send me stuff so i'll have something to talk about each time. thank you to c.i. for giving me such a wide range of topics to choose from.)
sherry and goldie both e-mailed wondering how i was holding up? pretty good, actually. treva's rv is very roomy and we're all having fun. i take a nap whenever i need it, either in the rv or in whatever hotel we've checked in to. and i got an e-mail wondering if i planned to blog as usual while on the road? yes, while we're traveling there. however, in texas, we've got a speaking schedule and i'm not sure what that will be like. so i may post less (but on the usual schedule).
speaking of posts, i hope you checked out kat's 'The unmentionable?' and trina's 'Egg and Onion Soup in the Kitchen'.
kendall e-mailed asking about titles that end with 'etc' or 'and more'? that's largely due to wally and cedric. they provide a link to everything the community sites put up. if the title's too long they can't pull it with copy and paste and have to go to more trouble. so we've shortened our titels to help them. the exception is c.i. c.i. can do a long title and the reason is, they can copy and paste the title from the mirror site and there's no limit. if you're confused, consider c.i.'s site and my blog. my 5 most recent post titles are listed on the right (with links) automatically due to how my site is set up. the common ills doesn't have that feature. (but again, they're grabbing from the mirror site now.) so if i go on too long in my title it reads '____. . .' and cuts off words. if wally and cedric want to include the full title they can't just copy and paste from the sidebar, they have to copy the full title, pull up the link, copy the link, enter the link into the title and it's just easier if they can just copy and paste from my sidebar. so that's why we've all been trying to keep our titles shorter. (again, the common ills is an exception because the mirror site is where the links are grabbed and the mirror site has no limit on the words in the title - or c.i.'s never exceeded them.)
here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Monday, March 5, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq (in the midst of the 'crackdown'), US war resister Agustin Aguayo is one day away from his court-martial, the care crisis of Walter Reed Medical Center gets noticed in Congress, and Iraqi children continue to face health risks as the illegal war continues.
Starting with war resistance. Tomorrow Agustin Aguayo's court-martial begins in Germany. He is charged with missing movement and desertion which, if convicted of both charges, could mean being senteced to seven years in military prison. President of the National Lawyers Guild Marjorie Cohn (writing at CounterPunch) reviews the basics of Aguayo's case noting that what was happening to Aguayo during training was a phase he couldn't name until he and his wife Helga learned of US war resister Stephen Funk and realized the term for those opposed to war is conscientious objector. Cohn also notes, "Agustin Aguayo is represented by National Lawyers Guild lawyers James Klimaski, Peter Goldberger, and James Feldman." Amnesty International announced last week that they would have "a delegate to observe the court-martial proceeedings . . . and asses whether Agustin Aguayo would be a prisoner of conscience if convicted and imprisoned." In addition, as El Universal reported previously, Aguayo, who holds dual citizenship (Mexico and United States), will receive some form of consular assistance as a result of Susana Aguayo's request. (Susana is Agustin's mother.) Bertrand Benoit (Financial Times of London) notes that the court-martial "will cast some light on what non-governmental ogranisations claim is a serious drop in troop spirits in Germany" and notes Michael Sharp (Military Counseling Network) stating: "We normally get an average of eight calls a month. In January alone, we got 30 calls."
Courage to Resist has posted video (by Jeff Paterson) of Agustin Aguayo and others speaking in Los Angeles at his press conference on September 26th La Placita Olivera including Father Steve Niskanen, Father Richard Estrada and Fernando Suarez del Solar (whose son Jesus A. Suarez Del Solar died in Iraq on March 27, 2003).
Agustin Aguayo notes, in the video, that he is both an Iraq war veteran and a
Conscientious Objector and "I believe it is one of the greatest tragedies of our lifetime that we use war in an attempt to solve problems." His wife Helga noted that their twin daughters prepared a letter for their father: "They wrote him a letter and at the bottom of the letter they wrote: 'We are strong, we will get through this. Never forget that.' and they're only eleven" years-old. Helga also noted her pride in her husband "because he has been fighting" for c.o. status non-stop, for two years, within the military and within the US civilian courts.
The Center on Conscience & War notes that the civilian courts have not provided the oversight or recourse that they are supposed to and quotes attorney Peter Golberg stating, "The decision, in the wake of [Ehren] Watada outcome, makes the court martial of Aguayo all the more urgent as a focus of support." CCW further notes: "Had Aguayo gone AWOL 3 years ago, he may have been out of the Army two and a half years ago -- as happened to someone else in his unit. As a person of conscience, he played by the rules, trusting that the law would work as it should. It is unconsioable that Aguayo is still in the Army and facing court-martial 3 years after he first applied for conscientious objector discharge."
Turning to US war resister Ehren Watada who, in June 2006, became the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq, Jim Borg (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) profiled Eric Seitz, Watada's civilian attorney who noted several things. On the issue of the legality of Watada's stand: "Treaties, when they are properly adopted by this country, become part and parcel of American law. The president cannot select which treaties he is going to implement and ingore others. And his selective enforcement of the provisions of the law . . . frankly, in my view, should subject him to a war crimes trial -- and, in fact, to the ultimate punishment which the statute requires, which is death. And if you want to quote me, you can say that. I am more than happy to see President Bush and Vice President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld tried for war crimes. And I would be the first one to stand up and clap if they were punished as a consequence." A court-martial for Watada has been scheduled for July. This would be the second court-martial. The first of last month saw three days of a court-martial that ended in a mistrial when Judge Toilet (aka John Head) repeatedly prompted the prosecution to ask for a mistrial which they finally did. Judge Toilet granted a mistrial over the defense's objection. Seitz tells Borg: "If it's going badly for the prosecutor, the prosecution can't abort the case and then start over. Nor can a judge abort the case for the prosecutor because the judge thinks it's going badly. When you have a mistrial in a criminal case, you always have a double jeopardy issue because jeopardy has attached as soon as the jury has been sworn in or the first witness testifies. And then you try and figure out whether by conduct or by some statement the defendant has caused the mistrial. . . . I'm thinking to myself, 'My God, this is a defense's lawyer's dream!' We didn't create this mistrial, we didn't agree to it, we didn't approve it. Jeopardy is attached. And I don't think either the judge or the military lawyers had any inkling that that was going to be the bottom line."
Aguayo and Watada are part of a movement of resistance with the military that includes others such as Kyle Snyder, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Mejia, Patrick Hart, Joshua Key, Ivan Brobeck, Darrell Anderson, Ricky Clousing, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Corey Glass, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.
Turning to Iraq and the so-called crackdown which, in one form or another, has been going on since June of 2006 when resistance fighters came close to breaching the Green Zone. The official talking point from the latest wave of Operation Happy Talk is that over 1,000 Iraqi and American forces entered the Sadr City section of Baghdad on Sunday and this was proof that the 'crackdown' was working. Kirk Semple (New York Times) reports that the effort "lacked any element of surprise. It followed protracted negotiations -- between representatives of Mr. [Moqtada al-] Sadr, neighborhood leaders, Iraqi government officials and American and British military commanders . . . The cleric has privately ordered his militia fighters not to resist the military sweeps regardless of the level of provocation. Many militia leaders, in turn, have left Sadr City and sought sanctuary in Shiite-dominated southern Iraq and Iran, possibly figuring that they can wait out the offensive and return to the capital later." Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) noted that the Sunday effort was "termed a 'soft-knock' operation, clearly aware that one wrong move could stoke anger among supporters of Sadr."
Sunday's broadcast of The KPFA Evening News explored the military effort in Sadr City.
Rahul Mahajan offered,"It's a tremendous non-event. We have known for weeks now that the Sadrist . . . Army has decided to lay low and not to confront the American troops during this so-called security crackdown. This is completely consistent with their behavior before now and not a surprise at all. The Mahdi army has basically clashed with American forces on only two occassions -- in April and August of 2004." Edward Peck, who served in Baghdad from 1877-1980 as the US mission chief, in the US State Department, etc., observed, "The Sadr City thing is just one more little piece of something that's gone past or is going past or will go past. You know it doesn't do anything for anybody who is really concerned about what it is that's supposed to happen there because the basic problems will continue when the troops whatever troops they are, when they leave, you go right back to where you were. And they have to leave at some point. They're not going to stay there forever. Two days, three days, a week, less, more? My outlook is I'm afraid grimly realistic . . . We have taught the rest of the world and we have relearned ourselves the meaning of that terrible word 'quagmire'."
As the 'crackdown' continues (three months shy of a year) Karen DeYoung and Thomas E. Ricks (Washington Post) report that the US White House has no "Plan B" -- accepting the 'crackdown' as a plan, the US administration hasn't bothered to make preparations for what to do when it fails: "Eager to appear resolute and reluctant to provide fodder for skeptics, they have responded with a mix of optimism and evasion."
Reality does have a way of intruding. In the midst of the latest Crackdown Verson 6.0, a bombing took place in Baghdad, on Mutanabi Street, today claiming multiple lives. As AFP observes: "The blast came despite a massive Iraqi-US security operation involving more than 90,000 troops, launched just over two weeks ago and aimed at quelling sectarian violence that has ravaged Baghdad for more than a year." CBS and AP call it "the largest bombing in the capital in three days". Al Jazeera notes it was at least one car bomb and the explosion "set alight" shops and cars. AFP notes that the historic area targeted was "crammed with bookshops and frequented by writers, poets and artists, [seen] as one of the most important centres in the literay world. It was opened in 1932 by King Faisal II, and is named after Arab poet Abu Taib-alMutanabi." CBS and AP note the dark fumes of smoke drifting overhead and quote eye witness Naeem al-Daraji: "Papers from the book market were floating through the air like leaflets dropped from a plance. Pieces of flesh and the remains of book were scattered everywhere." The BBC puts the toll (which has risen throughout the day) at 30 with "at least 65" wounded. Video of the aftermath (when the flames were largely put out) showed Iraqis standing, many with hands on hip, staring in disbelief.
In other violence today . . .
Reuters notes a car bombing in Baghdad took the life of one police officer and wounded another, while a roadside bomb in Baghdad took two lives and left 10 wounded. Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports notes a bombing in the Dakhiliya neighborhood of Baghdad the wounded two "servicement."
Reuters notes the shooting death of one person in Diwaniya, of a police officer in Kirkuk, of five police officers in Ishaqi, and of five pilgrims in Baghdad (17 were also wounded). Lauren Frayer (AP) reports seven piligrims died from and notes: "The Shiites were apparently heading to shrines and holy sites in southern Iraq for the annual commemoration of a 40-day mourning period for the death of a revered 7th-century warrior, Hussein." Christian Berthelsen (Los Angeles Times) notes of the attack, "gunmen in a car and on a motorcycle shot at groups of pilgrims as they walked along roads in Baghdad". Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that the pilgrims shot dead were "headed for Karbala for the 'Fortieth day of mourning' ceremony for the Imam Al-Hussein, Grandson of the Prophet Mohammed" and that the gunfire came "from the orchards of Qadisiya"; in addition, Issa notes the shooting deaths of one man and the kidnapping of two in Diyala, the shooting deaths of 2 Iraqi soldiers in Diyala, and the shooting deaths of four police officers in "Al Nai town (north of Al Khalis city)."
Reuters notes four coprses were discovered in Sulaiman Bek while six corpses were discovered in Baghdad. Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports the number of corpses discovered in Baghdad climbed to 15 and that a "chopped head in a box" was discovered in Baqouba.
Also today, the US military announced: "One 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Soldier was killed and one was wounded in an improvised explosive device attack on their M-1117 Armored Security Vehicle while traveling in a convoy south of Tikrit at approximately 9 p.m. Mar 4."
Meanwhile, as Aaron Glantz noted today on KPFA's The Morning Show, children are at risk in Iraq of being underweight and under height. IRIN reports that UNICEF puts the figure of undernourished at 4.5 million, that "[p]overty and insecurity" are the chief causes (from the chaos and violence), that breast feeing would be healthier for the children than formula (formula can contibute to the rates of pneumonia and diarrhoea), and that one and ten Iraqi children are underweight.
Turning to the United States, Anne Hull and Dana Priest (Washington Post) continue to explore the care injustice (injustice -- not misfortune, using Judith N. Shklar's definition) for US service members seeking care and speak with others including Ray Oliva of Kelseyville, CA who tells them, "It is just not Watler Reed. The VA hospitals are not good either except for the staff who work so hard. It brings tears to my eeyes when I see my brothers and sisters having to deal with these conditions. I am 70 years old, some say older than dirt, but when I am with my brothers and sisters we become one and are made whole again." Hull and Priest note: "Olivia is but one quaking voice in a vast outpouring of accounts filled with emotion and anger about the mistreatment of wounded outpatients at Wlater Reed Army Medical Center. Stories of neglect and substandard care have flooded in from soldiers, their family members, veterans, doctors and nurses working inside the system. They describe depressing living conditions for outpatients at other military bases around the country, from Fort Lewis in Washington state to Fort Dix in New Jersey." The Washington Post has gathered their reporting on this crisis into one folder, click here. Attention has brought to the crisis thanks to the reporting of Priest and Hull and ABC News's Bob Woodruff (click here for Woodruff). So much so that the US Congress that appears to be unable to address Iraq, addressed this crisis today.
William Branigin (Washington Post) reports that "Senior Army commanders today apologized for failures that forces some wounded outpatients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to live in substandard conditions and wage lengthy bureaucratic battles over their treatment" -- apologized to the the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee. CNN reports that also testifying were two Iraq vets and "the wife of a third," Annette McLeod ("wife of Cpl. Wendell McLeod") who stated: "I'm glad that you care about what happened to my husband after he was injured in the line of duty. Because for a long time, it seemed like I was the only one who cared. Certainly, the Army didn't care. I didn't even find out that he was injured until he called me himself from a hospital in New Jersey" -- her husband was wounded in Iraq -- "This is how we treat our soldiers -- we give them nothing. They're good enough to go and sacrifice their life, and we give them nothing. You need to fix the system."
CBS and AP note: "Staff Sgt. Daniel Shannon, who took a bullet to the head in Iraq and lost an eye, told the panel [that] patients are sometimes just left in their barracks, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Fuss. He said he 'sat in my room for a couple of weeks wondering when someone would contact' him about continuing treatment. 'The truly sad thing is that surviving veterans from every war we've ever fought can tell the same basic story -- a story about neglect, lack of advocacy and frustration with the military bureaucracy." Branigin notes that the chair of the subcomitte, US Rep John F. Tierney, stated: "More and more evidence is appearing to indicate that senior officials were aware for several years of the types of problems . . . These are not new or sudden problems. Rats and cockroaches don't burrow and infest overnight. Mold and holes in ceilings don't occur in a week. And complaints of bureaucratic indifference have been reported for years." Susan Cornwell (Reuters) reports that Tierney also wondered: "Is this just another horrific consequence of the terrible planning that went into our invasion of Iraq?"
Monday evening on WBAI (which you can listen to over the airwaves in the NYC area and beyond and which can be streamed online as well):Monday, March 5, 9-11pm [EST]IMPEACHMENT SPECIALWorld Can't Wait/Drive Out the Bush Regime Director Debra Sweet hosts this panel with Daniel Ellsberg; activist professor Father Luis Barrios; Hip Hop Caucus leader Rev. Lennox Yearwood; recent college grad Anastasia Gomes and others. With listener call-ins.So that's a two hour live special (9 to 11 pm EST) on WBAI Monday.
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