a big name blogger writes me.
so why do i feel pissed on?
because it's a man?
maybe because, like most women, i don't like being lied to?
it started this morning with the b.n.b.'s e-mail in my inbox.
why was he writing?
he had a question about something i'd written.
i wrote an e-mail explaining and figured, since i was e-mailing anyway, i'd not a few things.
so i thought we were just talking.
i've thought he does good work.
he wrote me.
it seemed like he was friendly.
and then i send.
i open another 'name' e-mail and find out his e-mail to me wasn't all that it appeared. he'd shared it with someone else.
i immediately wrote back and included the following:
i take back everything i just wrote.
the fact that you didn't just write me but also felt the need to forward your e-mail to oooooo?
jess already got stabbed in the back, i won't.
yyyyyy was who i was addressing. it was clear on my end.
'yyyyy' was who the question was about. 'oooo' is whom b.n.b. ('xxxx') was forwarding my e-mail to.
let me be clear right at the top, i have printed out the e-mails. i may be quoting them (in full - i've got nothing on my end that i haven't said here), scanning them and naming names before the week is over.
i get an e-mail back from b.n.b. asking 'now you're mad at me?' (there was more to it. for now i'm leaving it at that.)
now any 1 who knows my site knows damn well that i can let it rip. you will note i didn't in the e-mail and that's because i was still shocked.
i was more shocked when his next e-mail came back saying he wasn't 'forwarding this anywhere.'
i was just in my inbox looking at the e-mail i wrote him that he forwarded.
so i wrote back:
you have written me repeatedly this morning.
when you write me, you then write oooo.
if you're not aware, i'm getting those e-mails.
on my end it appears to be tattling and less than sincere when i go into my e-mails.
'mad at me'?
i wouldn't have taken the time to write you a lengthy response had i known that everything i said was being passed out. i thought i was in a private conversation.
that should have been 'everything i said was being passed on' but, again, i'm shocked.
i didn't write this guy. i've never had any contact with him. he e-mails 'i love your site' today (his 1st e-mail) and asks his question and i reply.
and my replies are being fowarded.
apparently, on his end my saying that he is fowarding my e-mails is 'more accusations'.
those aren't accusations.
he needs to get honest.
if he's not, i can quote from the forwards and scan then and post them in full.
i have nothing to hide.
i wrote back:
i thought you were asking me for yourself. i did not realize you were fowarding everything i wrote you to oooo
i answered your question
.i did so in depth because i thought you were asking me for yourself.
i did not realize you were forwarding everything i wrote you to oooo. you write 'i'm not forwarding this anywhere.'i have no idea why you feel the need to foward my e-mails. i also have no idea why you feel the need to lie to me.
you forwarded 1 of my e-mails to you on to ooooo and included this note to ooooo in 1 of the fowards:
does that not look familiar?
i'm not an idiot. i know you fowarded my e-mails to yearwood.
i don't know why.
i don't know why you felt the need to or why you want to lie about it now.
i also don't know why you want to act offended.
i replied to you in depth and did so because i assumed you were writing me for yourself. had i known my e-mails would be circulated without my permission, i wouldn't have wasted my time in replying.
'--------------------------' is me deleting what i quoted from his e-mail. he did include ':-)' as the end of his sentence.
i'm not trying to out him tonight.
but i have no idea why he's lying.
if i am forced to post the e-mail exchange, i will be quoting from and scanning hard copies of my e-mails that got fowarded.
and let me be clear, i will be scanning the actual fowards because i have those.
i have what he was sending to 'oooo'.
i'm not talking about merely having what i sent him.
i have his e-mails where he forwarded my e-mails on to 'oooo'.
i have no idea why he's fowarding my e-mails.
but we all know jess got burned. i printed all the e-mails and ruth read over them. i showed them to t. i showed them to my husband.
i faxed them to the campus c.i. was at, i faxed them to elaine. i sent them to friends via e-mail.
i asked, 'am i in the wrong?'
(thanks to ___ and ____ -- 2nd is a rape counselor, in case she wants credit. i'm not going to put her name up here but if she wants to tell people, 'i looked at them and gave my opinion,' she did and i appreciate that. so thank you to ___.)
am i in the wrong here?
i was still stunned by the entire exchange.
actually, i was pleased by the 1st e-mail from b.n.b. i did write him about something he's doing offline in my reply (i'm being vague on purpose) and that i wish online he would write more about that.
that was the main reason i was thrilled to get the e-mail. i'm not slamming his online work. but i was honestly more interested in the offline.
so i sent it. i didn't expect to ever hear from him again.
and then i go through other e-mails in my inbox and come across the foward. then i've got another foward. he's writing 'oooo' in both e-mails and i've got the e-mails - and have printed them up - where he fowarded. i don't mean his e-mails to me - i want to be clear about that. i mean in my inbox, i have copies of what he wrote on top of my e-mails when he forwarded them.
that's how i was able to quote him in my final e-mail to him.
now am i missing something here?
i want to know why my e-mails were forwarded?
i'm not 'accusing,' i have the evidence.
my e-mails were forwarded by him.
i want to know why?
i don't appreciate that and i can't imagine any 1 would appreciate it.
but maybe there's some honest reason for it?
but don't lie to me.
don't tell me you're not fowarding my e-mails when i can go into my inbox and see that, yes, you did foward my e-mails because i'm reading the e-mails you sent to 'oooo'.
again, i have all the e-mails. i have already printed them up.
if there's an honest reason for it, fine.
i'm not looking for a war.
but - and i'm sure women can relate to this - do not tell me something didn't happen when it did.
do not treat me like i'm crazy and emotional and making 'accusations' when these aren't 'accusations.'
accusations are charges that need proof.
i have the proof.
i have the e-mails he wrote to 'oooo' where he wrote a few lines each time and fowarded my e-mails on.
after what happened to jess, we are all on the watch.
i could have attacked him. i could have said 'look you ___, who the hell do you think you are you piece of ___' etc. but i didn't do that.
because i was shocked.
i'm still shocked.
and i'd love for there to be a reason for this.
but it seems to me, if you write to me and don't say 'oh i'm going to share this' and i'm responding to you and taking my time, you don't turn around and foward my e-mails.
again, maybe i'm missing something.
i hope that is the case.
but as it stands now here is what is know:
1) big name blogger wrote me.
2) i replied.
3) a few seconds later, i found out my e-mail to b.g.b. was fowarded.
4) i wrote back explaining i knew that.
5) he's telling me he's not fowarding them
6) i'm looking at the copies of his fowarding of them.
if i'm missing something, enlighten me.
i would love to be wrong.
but here's what i know, i replied in good faith and was shocked to find myself being fowarded.
i'm still shocked.
i wouldn't have been at all shocked if i'd found out he'd written about me to 'oooo' but fowarding what i'm writing him?
i'm sorry, i'm not getting why that happened.
i'm not 'accusing' him of anything.
that would be along the lines of, 'you fowarded to laugh at me' or 'this was all some sort of stunt and never genuine on your end!'
stating that what i wrote him was fowarded is not an accusation.
i have the proof. i have the e-mails he passed on - with his passing on remarks at the top - to 'oooo.'
i can talk about my feelings. i feel betrayed.
i was honestly pleased to hear from b.n.b. and took him at his word that he was being genuine in his 1st e-mail.
now maybe this is online standard. maybe we're all supposed to be fowarding e-mails sent to us around?
i get crazies all the time, guys getting off at their keyboards by telling me how they'd kill me or whatever. if i see it (sometimes my husband goes through my e-mails to help out) and it bothers me, i will read it over the phone to c.i.
but if i write some 1 a nice e-mail and they reply, i'm not fowarding it around. (i'm not fowarding it to even 1 person.)
to me, that's like showing letters.
and i really value my personal letters.
i grasp that letters aren't e-mail and that certain rules/guidelines no longer apply.
but i don't grasp why some 1 showed up appearing to be genuine and i wrote him back (being genuine) only to learn that what i wrote was being passed on.
and when i informed that i knew what was going on, to be told i'm making accusations and lying.
it's like, women can relate, knowing a guy's cheating on you and being told by him 'you're crazy.'
and you start thinking, 'well maybe i am being crazy. maybe i'm just the most ungrateful bitch in the world.'
and, to be honest, when he denied fowarding, i did doubt myself and go back into the inbox to make sure i was seeing what i was seeing.
i was forwarded. i have proof of that.
if i'm missing something, and maybe i am, please enlighten me.
and maybe this is just 'normal' online. you write some 1 a kind note (i thought his 1st e-mail was kind) and when they reply, you foward it around. maybe that's how it is and i just don't know.
but on my end, i'm still shocked.
i haven't made any accusations.
i can back up everything i said in my e-mails to b.n.b.
[i was going to add my links but i think i'll just cheat and note, i'm talking about: The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim, C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review, and Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz. i cheated and swiped that from third.]
now when jess got burned, we all got suspicious. and i've written the same man jess wrote (i've replied to him when he wrote here).
so knowing that jess' e-mail was shared with the nation and that they laughed at jess (who was responding to a genuine e-mail and the guy was still acting genuine when he wrote me a day or 2 later - the same guy) makes all raise an eyebrow.
so maybe i am missing something here.
that could be possible.
but as it stands, i noted i didn't know why b.n.b. was fowarding my e-mail and i didn't know why he was lying to me about it. i still don't know.
he's made no effort to answer those 2 questions that i can see.
if he had asked me, 'can i foward your reply,' i might have said yes. (i think i would have but who knows?) but he didn't and he didn't tell me he was going to foward - didn't ask me, didn't tell me.
i had no ill will towards b.n.b. he's not on my links but i don't update my links very often.
and i thought he was a genuine person. reading what he writes, i thought he was genuine and straightfoward.
i didn't always agree with him (and feel he takes out the happy stamp too often) but i enjoyed his work and i respected his offline work.
so i'm really confused and, honestly, hurt that he's fowarded me.
and i'm highly offended that i'm being treated like i'm crazy when i have the foward.
if i'm missing something, explain it to me.
i'm also kicking myself because c.i. called last night about an e-mail. a friend of k.p.'s had written c.i. and she's a feminist and c.i. was asking me whether or not to write back?
i said, 'don't!' but if you're a feminist (or say you are), c.i. gives those e-mails the same high priority as if you were a student.
so i'm on the phone and listening to c.i. read me back the reply. i say, 'don't send that.' 1st of all, c.i.'s playing sin eater and doesn't need to. katha pollitt made a fool of herself. she deserved to be called out.
and fortunately, c.i. noted something like, 'i stand by what i wrote.' but c.i.'s taking the blame. there's no blame to take.
katha pollitt decided she was an expert on a san francisco race and decided to share that 'expertise' with cindy sheehan by telling sheehan to drop out of the race.
that's not feminism, telling a woman to drop out of a race isn't feminism.
but katha offered her 'political wisdom' so c.i. offered career advice for katha.
i thought it was hilarious (i still think it's hilarious) and if katha's friend can't grasp that katha needs to work on the visual, then her friend has a problem.
print is fading.
katha needs to quit changing her hairstyles.
if i still had my p.r. firm (fortunately, i made enough to leave the rat race for good), i'd tell her flat out, you're making yourself ugly. you're never going to be pretty. you can be striking. your hair needs to be chin length on the sides minimum, that will enhance your face and turn your cheekbones into your strongest assett.
i know katha's not going to put on makeup, but i wouldn't offer make up tips. i could offer about 70 more like the hair issue.
the thing is to develop a look. joan didion (c.i.'s going to squirm on this, c.i. knows joan) is not a beauty by natural standards and never was. but she cultivated a look that made her striking and it's a look.
a look is not, 'oh i'll get my hair cut short, oh i'll get it shorter, oh i'll wear a tank top for a professional photo even though i'm too old and my arms aren't going to look good.'
now if katha's trying to break the mold, have at it. but she looks ugly and she's made herself that.
c.i. knows it, i know it, any woman with 1/2 a brain knows it.
and really, come on, i'm blonde and big breasted and always considered pretty and more but, i mean, c.i.'s the looker. to this day. elaine's got incredible bone structure and is beautiful. but she'll tell you, she has to work at it.
c.i. - and we saw that when we all went to speak in texas - is beautiful. no question. but the schedule c.i.'s on doesn't allow time for 'beauty.' c.i.'s usually drying the hair with the hands and it may or may not be dry when the day starts. what we're basically talking - and elaine and i have talked about at length because we are amazed - is c.i.'s hopping out of the shower each morning, drying the hair a little (no blow dryer), using that hair product the friends at crossing jordan were using (i've used it, it doesn't do for me what it does for others - and as ava and c.i. pointed out, it did wonders on crossing jordan) and that's it.
no comb through. no brush. no foundation. probably no mascara (c.i. has long, thick eye lashes naturally so i can't say for sure mascara's never used - but not when we were speaking in texas that week).
now i was always the girly girl. i have my day make up and my night time make up to this day. and each morning, i'd be looking at elaine (who is beautiful, no question) and we'd both be doing our faces in the car on the way to the 1st speaking engagement and c.i.'s going over notes. the hair's still damp. the face has no make up on it. and we're just gaping open mouthed trying to figure out how the hell c.i.'s pulling that off?
i mean c.i. could go pose for a magazine at that moment (or at any moment during the day) and people would go 'good god! the years have been kind and then some!'
after 30, i think most of us need make up. i'd forgotten, elaine reminded me, that in college, c.i. always had the most wonderful complexion and didn't need blush because the cheeks are cheekbones to die for (elaine has great cheekbones, she's audrey hepburn like, but even she wishes she had c.i.'s cheekbones and coloring).
but we were just gaping in awe. we're scrambling to get our make up and just i mean, c.i. looks amazing. c.i.'s always drank gallons of water each day and avoided the sun (i tan every summer) and maybe that's part of it but that skin and it's so soft.
i'm sure part of it as a great haircut. but even there, c.i.'s only getting the hair cut about every 6 weeks. (and only then because the color - i'm not telling tales out of school, c.i.'s noted at the common ills, 'the hair is my own even if the color isn't' - needs to be touched up. and c.i.'s schedule is so buy that the stylist comes to the house.
i'm 2 youngers than c.i. but i felt older, very much older. elaine and i discussed that repeatedly that week (and have since). i did all the beauty creams from day 1. my mother instilled that (and remove the make up each night) into me. i finally had to ask, 'botox?' because i couldn't (and can't) figure it out. (c.i.'s never had plastic surgery. botox and a chemical peel, i wouldn't swear on a bible. but c.i. swears nothing's been done and i believe that.)
maybe that's the look you get for having no vanity?
on that, jess' mother called me yesterday afternoon with 2 stories to share. 1 was her own and 1 she said check with jess.
her father only recently found out who jess was living with. (jess, ava, jim, dona & ty all live with c.i. now.) he was so thrilled because c.i. donated a huge sum (back in the 70s) to a case he was working on. she'd never heard that story and was asking me if i knew about it? no. i don't know half of the donations c.i.'s made. i know that all the money was gone in the 70s because c.i. was giving it out like crazy. and c.i. went from less than 5,000 dollars in the bank to back to rich in less than a year (and though c.i. now has more than the inherentance that was given all away, elaine does worry that we're going to see a repeat - i don't think that will happen. i know c.i.'s generous but that whole make everything back and then some period ... c.i.'s never going to do that again. we were all young and believed the liars who said they were going to change the world. they installed themselves and became exactly the same as the 1s they railed against.)
anyway, so there's that story which has a nora ephron romantic comedy twist to it since c.i. knew jess' maternal grandfather and c.i. knew ava's aunt and now ava and jess are a couple.
the 2nd story, verified by jess, is summer 2005. jess and his parents went out to california and jess ended up staying with c.i. for a week while he was waiting for ava to get out there (she has family on both coasts). on july 4th, c.i. had some spare time. and that was used to get things out of the main bedroom closet (which is so big, it could be a bedroom -- you could put a king size bed in there and a dresser and who knows what else - this isn't a 'walk-in' closet, that's too mild for what this is). jess was offering to help after the party was over and c.i. said no but jess insisted so jess was given the magazines to go through while c.i. bagged clothes to give to charity. (including a sweater i had loved but i'm not bitter, no.) so jess comes across 1 and says, 'you kept this because you're on the cover.' he's joking. (c.i. truly isn't vain.) and c.i. says 'turn to page __ and you'll see why i kept it.' and that was why. then jess finds a tabloid with c.i. on the cover. jess jokes again. c.i. says 'turn to page __. my mortal enemy. pull that page and trash the magazine. i want that page mounted and framed.' (and it was.)
i'd posted early yesterday and mentioned i didn't know if i had anything to write about. jess' mother read that and called with both stories.
now let's take this back to katha. i got sidetracked. 1st off, if katha read it, she made a mistake c.i. never does. c.i. always says 'never read your own press' and lives by that. (that comes from growing up in a press family and knowing how distorted it can be.) but i was still saying, 'don't send that e-mail.' and c.i. said there's nothing in it that hasn't been up at the site and if there is and gets i out, so be it. 'besides, do you realize how many of her superiors at _______' (the mainstream magazine the e-mailer works for) 'i've slept with? if she passes it around and i'm mad, i can screw her life over with just a few phone calls.' that made me laugh so hard. but i was still concered. c.i. said, 'okay forget all my ex-lovers for a moment, the owners are old family friends. trust me, if she screws me over and i give a damn, i can make her life very painful.' (i had to get a story for an actor once. he needed it desperately. he was a client. i mentioned it to c.i. and c.i. reeled off a list of magazines and asked me to choose 1. i did. c.i. made 1 phone call, to the owners, and not only did the actor get a story, he got a cover story. i sometimes thinkg nothing gets done without c.i.'s say so. and overall, that just may be true.)
so after knowing that if c.i. was pissed, there could be severe payback, i said, 'send the e-mail.'
so it's really fitting that today, a b.n.b. writes me and i'm so quick to believe what he says and think he's really asking me a question out of curiosity and not because it's going to be forwarded.
let me repeat, there may be a reason for that. i don't know. but as it stands, i will not have private contact with some 1 who is fowarding my e-mail. i don't know why it's being done, but knowing that it is, that's walking up to the tiger and sticking your head in its mouth.
let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Tuesday, August 14, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, a US helicopter crashes, mass fatalities from bombings in northern Iraq, and more.
Starting with war resistance, Mary Wiltenburg (Christian Science Monitor) continues her coverage of Agustin Aguayo today addressing his court-martial, how Agustin's wife Helga cried (Helga: "It was the ugly crying, with snot and everything. I wanted them to see how much they were hurting us."), how Augustin's squad leader, Sgt. David Garcia, testifited ("I told him what he needed to do was stick by his gun, if that was how he felt.") and how, following the conviction, Capt. Jennifer Neuhauser talked about what really was going on (sending a message to others serving). (Click here for part one of Wiltenburg's coverage.) Aguayo's case for CO status is currently awaiting his decision as to whether or not he's going to continue to fight in civilian courts. In his court filed statement (August 10, 2006), Aguayo wrote, "As time progresses (it has been more than two and a half years since I became a CO) my beliefs have only become more firm and intense. I believe that participating in this (or any) deployment would be fundamentally wrong, and therefore I cannot and will not participate. I believe that to do so, I would be taking part in organized killing and condoning war missions and operations, even though I object, on the basis of my religious training and belief, to participating in any war. I have to take stand for my principles, values, and morals and I must let my conscience by my guide. After all, I and no one else has to bear the consequences of my decisions or burden of neglecting my conscience." He also addresses the fact that although he was supposed to be a non-combatant, per The Department of the Army, his "unit will not respect that arrangement."
Aguayo was punished by the military to send a message. As noted on October 20, 2006, "That is their biggest fear. That this will spread. Unfortunately for the military, it is already spreading. That's why it's important to get the word out. Each person who takes a brave stand against the war deserves support. They'll only get that if people are aware of their stand. And with increased awareness it's not just an issue of raising awareness on one person, it's an issue of raising awareness on an entire movement."
Kyle Snyder is another war resister and he self-checked out (April 2005) and moved to Canada. On October 31st, Snyder returned to the US and turned himself in at Fort Knox. Snyder turned himself in and quickly checked back out when the US military refused to honor the agreement they had come to and instead attempted to send him to Fort Leonard. Snyder then began speaking out in the United States, he did some volunteer construction work in New Orleans around Thanksgiving of last year and continued to speaking out (one of the places he spoke out at was Fort Benning). Despite the lie repeated by the media, the US military does attempt to track those who self-checkout. We certainly saw it last month in Denver, CO when a parent's home was searched. We saw with it Snyder who, in the midst of his West Coast speaking tour, suddenly had to worry about the police showing up at stops because the military investigation unit of Kentucky kept calling the California police and instructing them. Snyder returned to Canada after his speaking tour was over and was set to marry Maleah Frisen when Canadian police showed up at his door, drug him off in handcuffs (and in his boxers). Snyder was told the orders for the arrest came from the US military and that charge came, not from Snyder, but from Canada's Border Service Agency.
It was a last ditch attempt to screw with Snyder because, married to Frisen, he's out of the US military's reach. (He no longer needs to be granted asylum by the Canadian government.) Rochelle Baker (The Abbotsford News) reported last week that at last an investigation is taking place. The Nelson City Police -- and specifically Chief Dan Maluta, have repeatedly changed their public versions of events. At one point, Maulta was claiming the Border Service Agency ordered the arrest (the Border Service Agency consistently maintained that they did not, that they did not contact the Nelson City Police Dept., and that, after Snyder was arrested, the Nelson City Police Dept. contacted them). How much of an investigation it will be is unclear since Maluta has strong ties to the Abbotsford Police who will be conducting the investigation.
What happened to Snyder is not a one-time incident. Joshua Key is also a war resister who went to Canada (Key tells his story in The Deserter's Tale). Following the February orders to arrest Snyder, 2 members of the US military (still unidentified) went into Canada, paired up with a Canadian police officer and began inquiring as to where Key was. They showed up at peace activist Winnie Ng's door. The three men identified themselves as Canadian police and began questioning her -- very upsetting. Ng came forward with what happened and that she believed two of the men were US military. "Never happened!" cried the police. They hadn't gone to Ng's door. They hadn't been accompanied by the US military. Those were lies and slowly the police had to admit that, yes, a Canadian police officer did travel with two US military service members to assist their efforts to find Joshua Key. That is a violation of Canadian sovereignty. It is a big deal in Canada.
Back in May, Gregory Levey (Salon) became the first at a US news outletto explore this story. It was an explosive story but if you thought it got traction after Levey covered it, think again. No one in big or small media has picked up on the story (several other outlets ran Levey's groundbreaking story). Only surprising if you haven't noticed how very little attention is given war resistance period.
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Zamesha Dominique, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. IVAW and others will be joining Veterans For Peace's conference in St. Louis, Missouri August 15th to 19th.
Yesterday Sean McCormack, US State Dept. flack, declared the US government was working with al-Maliki and "not only with Prime Minister Maliki, but also with important political party leaders, some of whom are in the government or have representatives in the government, some of whom are not in the government." (Click here for text, click here for a/v.) "Some of whom are not in the government"? Needless to say, there was no follow up asking exactly what that meant. Nouri al-Maliki, puppet of the occupation, has a cabinet that is falling down. Megan Greenwell (Washington Post) reported this morning that, apparently refreshed from his trips last week to Turkey and Iran, al-Maliki now says he wants to work with others and that he has big hopes that he can rebuild the cabinet. This after he he trashed those that walked out and entertained the kind of conspiracy theories that usually has the MSM using their index finger to make a circular motion while saying, "Koo, koo, koo, koo." Possibly due to the trashing, not all who were boycotting in the cabinet were forgiving. Reuters reports only three who had been boycotting showed up for a cabinet session today.
In other bad news, though northern Iraq keeps promoting itself as "The Other Iraq" (honestly, they should stop the check on the p.r. agency that dusted off the "other white meat" slogan and sold it to them) reality slaps back. Just last week, the push was on again for "The Other Iraq." C.J. Chivers (New York Times) reports that: "A European civil aviation authority said yesterday that it was reviewing security conditions at airports in northern Iraq after two pilots reported that their passenger airliner had been attacked by ground fire last week while taking off from Sulaimaniya." And Louise Nordstrom (AP) reports that Sweden has now suspended all their "commercial flights to and from Iraq". Chivers also notes the Brookings Institute's figure of "at least 34 helicopters" -- US -- shot down during the illegal war thus far.
Helicopter crashes? Megan Greenwell (Washington Post) is reporting that a US helicopter crashed today in Anbar resulting in the deaths of 5 US soldiers. (This is web, not print. By Wednesday am, the link may or may not go to the story.) CBS and AP note the "emergency response crews had sealed off the site" and that it "is about 45 miles west of Baghdad in restive Anbar province". And for those fretting, it's okay to use "crash" -- even the US military is using it in their press release noting the five deaths ("Helicopter crashes in Al Anbar Province").
Turning to other violence today . . .
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing targeting Thira'a Dijla bridge claimed 10 lives and left six wounded. Reuters reports "three civilian cars" were sent into the Tigris. Carol J. Williams (Los Angeles Times) notes that that the "bomber detonated a truckload of explosives on a key bridge north of the Iraqi capital today, plunging the concrete span and at least three vans packed with passengers into the murky waters of a wide canal linking the Tigris and Euphrates rivers." Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) also notes a Baghdad bombing that left two people wounded, a Baghdad mortar attack left three people wounded, 3 Kirkuk bombings left eight police officers and five civilians wounded, and, dropping back to yesterday, 2 people lost their lives (a third was wounded) in a Basra rocket attack on a residence. CBS and AP note an attack in "northwester Iraq" where Yazidi members were targeted by a bombing that claimed 9 lives (fourteen wounded). But Reueters has an update: "At least 175 people were killed when three suicide bombers driving fuel tankers attacked residential compounds home to the ancienty minority Yazidi sect".
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports two people were wounded while the Iraqi army and unknown assailants had a shoot out "in Shorja market neighborhood downtown Baghdad" and a civilian was shot dead in the capital (four more wounded).
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Abdul Jabbar Al Wagga'a and 2 of his body guards "and 4 general directors" were kidnapped by unknown men who "were wearing a military uniform" when they invaded the marketing building of the Baghdad Oil Ministry (five people were wounded during the kidnapping).
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 15 corpses were discovered in Baghdad.
In addition to the five dead from the helicopter crash, today the US military announced: "Three Task Force Lightning Soldiers died as a result of injuriessustained from an explosion near their vehicle while conducting operations in Ninewah Province, Monday." And they announced: "One Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed and three others wounded during combat operations in a western section of the Iraqi capital Aug. 14." ICCC's total for the month thus far is 41 with 3699 US service members being the total killed in the illegal war since it started. The 3700 mark looms closer. It will be passed, as will other marks, before this illegal war is ended.[CBS and AP report the 3700 mark has been passed: "The deaths raised to at least 3,700 members of the U.S. military who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count." Before the 5 deaths from the helicopter crash, Reuters reported: "United States 3,694." Adding five to that, you have 3,699.]
Sticking with reality, Leila Fadel (Baghdad Observer, McClatchy Newspapers) addresses the charges and counter-charges being exchanged between Sunni and Shia leaders in Iraq and weighs in with this: "People are fighting to be the bigger victim. Shiite politicians don't openly condemn the situation, instead they ask 'who picked the fight?' and talk about the higher number of Shiites killed in Iraq. Shiite and Sunni groups compete for the anonymous bodies at the morgue. Each side wants to raise the body count of their population by burying them in their graveyards. A question was raised to me during interviews this week. There is an assumption that the Shiite-led government will try to solve the crisis. But no one official asked 'What if the intent is to continue the purge?' No American officials ever asks this question publicly. No one ever asks whether the true intentions of the current government may be to solidify power by ridding themselves of a restive minority. Are American officials banking on a government that was born under U.S. supervision but may not be the best thing for the future of Iraq?"
The chosen ones, by the US government, were the Shi'ites. They now toy with backing the Sunnis. Whether they will or not remains to be seen but it does, a government run counter-insurgency is supposed to, keep everyone off balance with the hopes of fostering a dependence upon the occupying power (US).
It was really 'cute' at the start of the month when the Iraqi Air Force Commander, Lt. General Kamal Araznji declared, "As everybody knows, the Iraqi air force is basically one of the oldest air force in the region and it was established since 1931. But now, we've started a new beginning since 2004 on a new basis with support and from the abilities and experience by the international air force, particularly by the western countries." He continues but search in that statement, bragging about Iraqi Air Force's long history for any indication that 1931 doesn't matter at all. That's because the US disbanded the military. That's because when it was built back up certain groups weren't allowed back in. This is part of the who got put in control story that Fadel's asking about. It's equally true that when someone tosses out "1931" and starts rambling about the history of the Iraqi Air Force, they're just gas bagging. The military was disbanded. There is no history to speak of. Of course, when asked if the Iraqi military was "working with people who are essentially war criminals?", Fox responded, "I wouldn't necessarily jump or characterize, you know, that we're embracing any particular segment or sect or group of people" but that is what happened and what has happened. So to return to the question Fadel notes American officials don't want to ask in public, "What if the intent" of those currently in charge "is to continue the purge?"