the house-bound blogger

Last week I spoke in Marietta, Ohio to 35 people, and announced the Occupation Project. I asked who among them would consider occupying their local congressional offices. Without a moment's hesitation, six hands went up. You could hear the choir start to harmonize!
We talked about practical concerns: having to work, how much will it cost, what will the charge be? We talked about taking a vacation day and the modest fines involved for a misdemeanor -- all compared to the enormous suffering Iraqis and soldiers now endure in this war.
We could have talked about how much less frightening this is compared to the suffragists who were arrested, manhandled, and force-fed while they served long jail terms; how unionists struck in the face of company goon squads; how civil rights activists tolerated untold abuses from screaming racists -- and still they carried on. They persevered. They stepped into the gap when they were needed most. They won justice and made history.
The Democratic Party now controls Congress because the grassroots peace movement turned public opinion against the Bush administration's war. These new elected officials must see that the time to end this war is now.
Many incumbents, including my own Congressperson, talk for peace -- even join the "Out of Iraq" Congressional Caucus -- but vote for war. They must now be told in no uncertain terms the jig is up. We will no longer tolerate platitudes for peace and votes for blood. This is where we draw the line. They either vote to end the occupation of Iraq or they will be occupied.

that's from mike ferner's 'Roll Call for the Choir' (counterpunch) and i really like the idea.

normally, i don't advocate anything i can't do. but i really do like this idea. i know people have been doing it already. i hope more will. if i wasn't house-bound due to the pregnancy, i'd be up for it. if it's not for you, don't do it. but if it's an idea that appeals to you, please consider it. and please read the piece because it's a really good 1.

house-bound day 2 million! no, but it did seem that way for a bit today. mike and elaine are here and they set up dinner outside so that was nice. this isn't necessarily the way the entire pregnancy will be. it may, however. for now, it's how the next three weeks have to be because of the critical point and based on past histories of miscarriages.

ruth has been so wonderful and flyboy and i have both told her, 'we appreciate it but you don't have to.' each day she's arrived in the morning and cooked lunch for us. wonderful, healthy dishes. she said she'll cut back the visits after the 3 weeks but she wants to help out and that elijah loves it when they get on the ferry. today, tracey (her granddaughter, elijah's her grandson - tracey's a teenager, elijah's a toddler) came with them and that was fun.

i told flyboy i wanted him to go out tomorrow. i have to do this. i appreciate that he's willing to share it but i'm feeling like every 1's suffering because of me. so since mike & elaine are out here, he can go out and not have cabin fever.

t's visited as well. and she apologized for that. no 1 has to apologize for visiting. i don't think, as they're leaving, 'you get to leave! i hate you! i hate you!' or i don't think that for very long. (again, i'm joking.)

i asked c.i. to write down a predicition for me. (c.i.'s not a psychic.) it arrived thursday. i was so good until this afternoon. (i wasn't supposed to read it until after the baby was born - but i'm sure c.i. knew i wouldn't make it that long.) this is c.i.'s guess - in my 7th or 8th month, i'll have a c-section. and the baby will be a girl.

that was good for a wonderful nap this evening. i fell asleep thinking of baby names. i was on the couch, not laying, and was rather embarrassed to wake up in bed tonight. (flyboy had carried me into the bedroom.) i have no idea what i'd name a girl. i'm not asking for suggestions. the problem isn't possibilities, it's picking out just 1.

i told flyboy we'd make that our talk monday. i feel so boring these days. i have to ration my conversation topics. (and that's not a joke.)

i think part of the constant sleeping i feel like i'm doing these days is adjusting to knowing i'm pregnant. but i may just be grabbing on to any excuse to be lazy.

i move very slowly in the morning and my excuse is i'm less sick to my stomach in the morning if i take it very slow. but that may be psychological or just a cop-out to avoid doing much.

i've cut out cigarettes, obviously, and coffee as well. that's 1/2 my normal morning!

i thought about substituting a cup of hot tea for coffee but i know how quickly i go through a pot of coffee and would probably do the same with tea. so i'm trying to find a fruit juice i can stand.
apple, which i like, just doesn't taste right this week and orange juice, which i could never take straight most days, tastes bitter even when flyboy tastes it and it tastes fine to him. ruth brought prune juice and papaya (not mixed) and i sampled both today. i'm embarrassed to say it, but the prune juice agreed with my stomach.

embarrassed because i always think of prune juice as something people use to stay regular. but i really liked the taste (i don't think i've had it before). i can't even stand to smell grape juice right now so that's out.

i'm sure i'm being a total drama queen and it's all in my head but prune juice was the 1st thing i could find that i could stomach.

morning's are the worst because flyboy's having to put up with goldilocks. that's what i feel like, 'this is too, that is too,' always looking for the 'just right.' i know he must love it when ruth gets here because the 1st thing elijah wants is for flyboy to take him out to the shoreline. he's probably going through the entire morning thinking 'smile, just smile. when ruth gets here, you get to go outside.'

ruth's family is so lucky. she really is just the dream friend (or, for them, mother and grandmother) when you're not able to do for yourself. (or maybe just too lazy - me - to do for yourself.) i really want to put a big thank you to ruth up here.

my grandmother keeps asking about visiting. she's wonderful but i told her i do not want her traveling by herself. my mother's going to visit next week and my grandmother's going to ride along. she and ruth have never met (ruth has met my mother) and i really want them too but i also keep saying, 'come on ruth, you know you need a break. this would be the perfect time, you wouldn't have to worry at all.'

i see betty's 'Did you hear the one about a Fat Ass who'd do anything for a Blizzard?' is up. we were on the phone yesterday and she cheered me with horror stories about her sickness in the morning with each pregnancy. i've got nothing to complain about. she had me laughing so hard and then said, 'enjoy this laughter while you can, you laugh like this when you're in your final months and you'll end up peeing!' she really made me laugh. (thank you, betty.)

that's it for me tonight. i promise it won't be the pregnancy report every day. i'm actually not tired as i end for a change but we've got company and i really want to talk to mike & elaine before i start yawning.

here's c.i.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, December 15, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the Iraqi Red Crescent states it's been attacked repeatedly by the US military, the US military announces that three troops have died, the US media attempts to ignore the big Iraq story of the day, Kyle Snyder continues speaking out and Donald the Rumsfled leaves an appointed office but he does not complete a 'tour of duty.'

Starting in England, with the big story.
Colin Brown and Andy McSmith (Independent of London) report that Carne Ross ("Britain's key negotiator at the UN") statement in the Butler inquiry (2004) that's only now been revealed and it exposes the lies behind the 'case' for war in England. AFP reports that Ross declared "at no time did HMG [Her Majesty's Government] assess that Iraq's WMD (or any other capability) posed a threat to the UK or its interests." Ross also declared that: "It was the commonly-held view among the officials dealing with Iraq that any threat had been effectively contained" (Al Jazeera).

Though Carne Ross' statements have been kept secret (swept under the 'national security' rug), Last month,
he did speak to the House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Committee and note that the intel offered to the public was "manipulated." As Brown and McSmith note, the Commons Select Committee is the body that's brought the information public while an unidentified member of the Foreign Affairs committee states: "There was blood on the carpet over this. I think it's pretty clear the Foreign Office used the Official Secrets Act to suppress this evidence, by hanging it like a Sword of Damacles ovre Mr Ross, but we have called their bluff." The Irish Times declares: "British Prime Minister Tony Blair's case for attacking Iraq has been dealt a new blow with the release of once-secret evidence from a former British diplomat who dismissed the threat of weapons of mass destruction."

As the mainstream media in the US bends over backwards to note Ross' statements, many may be reminded of the Downsing Street Memos and how they were greeted with silence and then derision. AP was the excuse many hid behind with DSM -- claiming they would have run a story if AP had covered it -- if only a wire story . . . Well
AP has covered it.

Turning to peace news,
Alex Zdan (Trenton Times) notes Tuesday speech Carolyn Ho, mother of Ehren Watada, gave to the Nassau Presbyterian Church where she described how her son became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq ("In studying all the literature, he was stunned by what he saw") which included refusing to accept a "desk job" in Iraq. On last Saturday's RadioNation with Laura Flanders, Carolyn Ho explained that the refusal was for himself as well as those serving under him, "He felt the best thing he could do for his men was to remain behind and speak truth." She is asking for everyone to contact their members of Congress and put pressure on Congress to carry out their oversight role. Monday, Carolyn Ho appeared on Democracy Now! and discussed her own progress when meeting with members of Congress. Outside of Maxine Waters, not much. So those who haven't contacted their Congress members should considering doing so.

Ehren Watada, as Aaron Glantz (IPS) reported, is also the subject of subpoenaes -- the US military is attempting to compell three journalists to testify in court: Sarah Olson, Dahr Jamail, and Gregg Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin). Jason Leopold (Truthout) notes that Olson is "one of few reporters covering the anti-war movement and the voices of dissent" and that she has not decided yet how to respond to the subpoena -- Sarah Olson: "Once you involve a reporter in prosecution, you turn that reporter into the investigative arm of the government."

Another US war resister continues speaking out:
Kyle Snyder Washington's Bellingham Herald notes an appearence at the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center. Last weekend, at a speaking appearance, police showed up. Snyder continues speaking out.

Watada and Snyder are part of a movement of resistance within the military that includes
Joshua Key, Ivan Brobeck, Darrell Anderson, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Agustin Aguayo, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, and Kevin Benderman.
Information on this movement of 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. Appeal for Redress is collecting signatures of active duty service members calling on Congress to bring the troops home -- the petition will be delivered to Congress next month.


As Aileen Alfandary noted on
KPFA. this morning ( The Morning Show), two car bombs went off outside US bases in Ramadi.


Qais al-Bashir (AP) reports that Muhsin al-Kanan, a cleric who was tight with British forces, was shot dead in Basra and that a civilian was shot dead in Kut. Reuters reports that "a member of the Iraqi intelligence agency" was shot dead in Diwaniya as was an oil company guard.


Reuters cites hospital sources in Mosul having received 13 bodies today.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Red Crescent states it's the target of US forces.
Stephanie Nebehay (Reuters) reports that that the IRC states there has been "a spate of attacks on its offices over the last three years" and in the most recently, according the the IRC's vice president (Jamal Al Karbouli), about a week ago, "US forces had occupied and nearly destroyed its Falluja office, held staff for hours, and burned two cars clearly marked with its neutral symbol." CBS and AP report: "'We have flags, we have everything, we have (the) logo, so they (U.S. forces) know everything, but unfortunately they come again and attack us many times,' Al-Karbouli said. He complained that U.S. forces broke doors and windows at the Red Crescent headquarters "and they didn't find anything, and they left.'"
Today, the
US military announced: "One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5and one Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died Thursday from woundssustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province." The US military also announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier assigned to 4th Brigade Combat Team,1st Cavalry Division, died Tuesday as a result of enemy fire while conducting operationsin Ninewa Province. Two other Soldiers were wounded and transported to a Coalition Forces’ medical treatment facility."

Tomorrow is the first of two 'big meets' for puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki.
KUNA reports that he "will convene another National Reconciliation Conference for political leaders from across Iraq." While he gears up for his conference, Jawad al-Bolani is in Syria apparently not overly concerned with the opinions of US Secretary of State Condi Rice. KUNA reports the Interior Minister of Iraq is there "to discuss security issues as the first Iraqi official to visit Damascus since diplomatic relations were resumed between the two neighboring countries." This comes at a time when Tareg al-Hashemi, one of Iraq's vice-presidents, is in the US and criticizing Bully Boy's 'plan' Al Jazeera quotes him saying: "Imagine one day waking up and finding out that your nation's leaders had completely dismantled all police and military. As a result, there is no one policeman, or state, or federal law enforcement agent, or even one national guard or any soldier to protect you from criminal elements, or terrorists. It will be total chaos. Then imagine that instead of calling back the army and security forces, the authorities in this imaginary scenario decided to form a new army and police from racist militias, some mercenaries and organized crime gangs. . . . This is exactly what has happened in Iraq."

In a
lengthy talk/performance with the Washington Post editorial board, Condi Rice attempted to buff her image a bit but mainly demonstrated (yet again) that even her fabled 'expertise' in Russia/the Soviet Union is inflated. The take away should be Rice's declaration, "I find Prime Minister Maliki a strong man." A statement so laughable it begs for a remix and one that will come back to haunt her.

In other things that should haunt, Donald the Rumsfled began a three-day farewell while most Americans wonder, "I thought he'd left already." Today it was time to 'salute' him and watch for the media that makes (at best) an idiot of itself or (at worst) spits on democracy by referring to the soon to be former US Secretary of Defense's 'tour of duty.' The Rumsfled was a civilian. Civilians are in charge of the military in the US. He did not complete a 'tour of duty' but fools and those with no respect for democracy will repeat the nonsense.
Roger Runningen and Brendan Murray (Bloomberg News) note this remark by the Bully Boy: "He spoke straight. It was easy to understand him." File it away from the future War Crimes Tribunal should Bully Boy attempt to say he was confused about what was being discussed.


blah blah from me and also a robert parry excerpt

first off, KPFA's Flashpoints tonight had a wonderful interview that nora barrows-friedman did with robert fisk. you really need to hear it if you missed it. it discusses the ripples that bully boy's war of choice is having - such as australia now feeling they need a huge standing army to defend themselves, the other - including maps created to official-ize the other, iraq and so much more. flyboy offered to take notes but i just wanted us both to enjoy it.

i couldn't take notes. i was stuffing my face. i really wasn't hungry today until the sun went down and then i was just starving. during the fisk interview, i was stuffing with my face with 'sandwiches.' i spell it like that because it was whole wheat bread with strawberry preserves (that a neighbor made) smeared between the 2 slices. that's not really a sandwich but i was just wanting that so badly. so i was chewing away during the interview.

and i won't say how many 'sandwiches' i had.

now there were some questions in the e-mails. i'm probably not answering you if you're not a regular reader - answering you in an e-mail.

i didn't even log in to read them today. flyboy printed them up for me.

1 guy wondered why i wouldn't notice my period?

i was busy and at my age it's not uncommon. i was surprised earlier this year that i was pregnant. i have a cousin who got pregnant very late in life (3 years older than me) but i really wasn't thinking about it.

i had other things to focus on and if i had noticed that it hadn't arrived repeatedly (which i didn't) i would've just thought it was time for what's generally called 'the change.'

sherry e-mailed a funny e-mail (thank you for making me laugh) and asked what c.i. picked up on to figure out that i was pregnant?

i don't throw up like i did and i am a big whiner when i have the flu - a huge whiner. c.i. sensed that wasn't the flu for that reason.

also let me put this in because we will fight it about it shortly. as c.i. has noted in my many pregnancies, when i'm pregnant, i always hole up with bette davis movies. c.i. pointed that out on the phone when convincing me that i was was pregnant. c.i. also pointed out that i'd deny it after. so before i arrive in my usual denial, let me note, yes, i do seem to hole up with bette davis flicks when i'm sick.

now i love all about eve, now voyager and dark victory at any time. but when i start dipping into dangerous or of human bondage or beyond the forest, etc., i generally have been pregnant.

there was also a stumbling that c.i. saw that usually accompanies my mornings when i'm pregnant. (stumbling of words.) i'm not talking typos - i can have them at any time - but when i'm straining for the word and end up going with things that really aren't my personal choices. i don't know which 1s c.i. saw but i do know that brief post took forever to write.

there was also something i'm forgetting now. it was the last thing c.i. brought up, something i'd said over the phone a week or 2 back. but whatever that was, when c.i. brought it up i was stunned and that was when i stopped arguing and started thinking, 'you may be right.'

i said i wouldn't change my usual time but i may need to kick up at an hour or so earlier because when i start blogging, i'm full of energy and intentions but, for the 2nd night in a row, i find myself yawning. (and usually just my readers do that!)

but before i fall out, let me note robert parry because i've wanted to note him all week. he's got many pieces up worth reading and there's also a piece by ivan that i enjoyed today (i don't know ivan's last name and i'm rushing to get this done before i fall asleep - seriously, the second i start typing, i feel sleepy). this is on gary webb and i read, against c.i.'s advice, a book on webb recently that's new and i felt 'uh, facts weren't real important here, were they?' so i was really glad to read the gary webb piece by robert parry. this is from his 'Gary Webb's Death: American Tragedy:'

When Americans ask me what happened to the vaunted U.S. press corps over the past three decades -- in the decline from its heyday of the Watergate scandal and the Pentagon Papers to its failure to challenge the Iraq WMD lies or to hold George W. Bush accountable -- I often recall for them the story of Gary Webb.
Two years ago, on the night of Dec. 9, 2004, investigative reporter Webb -- his career shattered and his life in ruins -- typed out four suicide notes for his family, laid out a certificate for his cremation, put a note on the door suggesting a call to 911, and removed his father’s handgun from a box.
The 49-year-old Webb, a divorced father of three who was living alone in a rental house in Sacramento County, California, then raised the gun and shot himself in the head. The first shot was not lethal, so he fired once more.
His body was found the next day after movers who were scheduled to clear out Webb's rental house, arrived and followed the instructions from the note on the door.

Though a personal tragedy, the story of Gary Webb's suicide has a larger meaning for the American people who find themselves increasingly sheltered from the truth by government specialists at cover-ups and by a U.S. news media that has lost its way.
Webb's death had its roots in his fateful decision eight years earlier to write a three-part series for the San Jose Mercury News that challenged a potent conventional wisdom shared by the elite U.S. news organizations -- that one of the most shocking scandals of the 1980s just couldn't have been true.
Webb's "Dark Alliance" series, published in August 1996, revived the story of how the Reagan administration in the 1980s had tolerated and protected cocaine smuggling by its client army of Nicaraguan rebels known as the contras.
Though substantial evidence of these crimes had surfaced in the mid-1980s (initially in an article that Brian Barger and I wrote for the Associated Press in December 1985 and later at hearings conducted by Sen. John Kerry), the major news outlets had bent to pressure from the Reagan administration and refused to take the disclosures seriously.
Reflecting the dominant attitude toward Kerry and his work on the contra-cocaine scandal, Newsweek even dubbed the Massachusetts senator a "randy conspiracy buff." [For details, see Consortiumnews.com's "
Kerry’s Contra-Cocaine Chapter."]
Thus, the ugly reality of the contra-cocaine scandal was left in that netherworld of uncertainty, largely proven with documents and testimony but never accepted by Official Washington, including its premier news organizations, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post.
But Webb's series thrust the scandal back into prominence by connecting the contra-cocaine trafficking to the crack epidemic that had ravaged Los Angeles and other American cities in the 1980s. For that reason, African-American communities were up in arms as were their elected representatives.
So, the "Dark Alliance" series offered a unique opportunity for the major news outlets to finally give the contra-cocaine scandal the attention it deserved.
Media Resistance
But that would have required some painful self-criticism among Washington journalists whose careers had advanced in part because they had avoided retaliation from aggressive Reagan supporters who had made an art of punishing out-of-step reporters for pursuing controversies like the contra-cocaine scandal.

i was going to comment on this but i'll just say read it. flyboy's going to copy the snapshot in for me. he's calling c.i. to figure out how to do the map in the snapshot. (i don't know how c.i. go that in there, i can't click on it and be taken elsewhere.) so c.i.'s 'iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, December 14, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, 2008 presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich talks the costs of war, the US military divides Baghdad into "ethno-sectarian" regions, mass kidnapping rocks the Iraqi capital, and John McCain wants to enlist and fight . . . Well, wants others to enlist and fight.

"Someone has to rally the American people, to let them know that the money is there right now to bring our troops home. Democrats were put in power in November to chart a new direction in Iraq. It's inconceivable that having been given the constitutional responsibility to guide the fortunes of America in a new direction, that Democratic leaders would respond by supporting the administration's call for up to $160 billion in new funding for the war in Iraq," so explained
Dennis Kucinich to Joshua Scheer (Truthdig) his reasons for seeking the 2088 Democratic nomination for president. Kucinich explains the $160 billion isn't just a pie-the-sky number, it represents massive spending which isn't going to allow for "a new agenda for the American people in housing, in healthcare, in education". More information on Kucinich's campaign can be found at his site: Dennis Kucinich for President 2008. There you can read his announcement which includes the following:

I ran for President in 2004, not just to challenge the war and Democratic Party policy, but to bring forth a message: Fear ends. Hope begins. My candidacy will call forth the courage of the American people to meet the challenge of terrorism without sacrificing our liberties and everything that is near and dear to us. My candidacy will inspire hope for a new America, where social, economic and political progress is grounded in work for peace.

Carl Hulse (New York Times) reports that Democratic leadership in Congress has decided that the problem is not the funding of the war, it's when the bill statement arrives. As Sandra Lupien noted on yesterday's The KPFA Evening News the Bully Boy is expected to ask for an additional 100 billion dollars in funds at a time when the wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) have already been funded with approximately 379 billion dollars. Which brings us back to Kucinich's point about what loses out when war gets a blank check.

What's all that money buying? Well meet the new catrographists -- the US military who've drawn up a new map of Baghdad.
Ned Parker and Ali Hamdani (Times of London) report "that the US military has drawn up a new map of Baghdad to reflect its ethno-sectarian fault lines . . . it lists the mixed neighbourhoods considered to be most explosive."

The new map of Baghdad designates many of the established and well known landmarks, the Tigris river, Baghdad International Airport, etc. The new map also designates areas the illegal war has made infamous such as the heavily fortified Green Zone -- an area that rightly calls to mind, in shape, a tea kettle -- buffered by Bremer walls but always in danger of boiling over at any moment -- and, of course, to the west, there's Abu Ghraib -- Donald the Rumsfled's pride and joy.

The map declares the five most dangerous neighborhoods to be: Adhamlya, Amariya, Ghazallya, Khadamlya and Khadaslya.

And that's the map, drawn up by the US government.

And the violence drawn up by the US government? On Saturday's
RadioNation with Laura Flanders, MADRE's Yanar Mohammed discussed how it wasn't until after the invasion that she was ever asked whether she was a Shia or Sunni and that the questions were coming not from Iraqis, but US government officials. The civil war created and fanned by the Bully Boy led to another mass kidnapping in Baghdad. The most infamous one this year is the November 14th kidnapping and today's echoes the earlier one in that much is still disputed.

CBS and AP cite CBS News' Pete Gow's report on the kidnapping: "Armed gunmen have abducted a group of men in broad daylight in central Baghdad. Police sources tell CBS News that the gunmen dressed in military uniforms were members of the Interior Ministry police commandos. The gunmen let off volleys of gunfire as a distraction and rounded up a group of 20-30 men, seemingly at random, and drove them away to an unknown location.
AFP reports that while the gunfire was going on "workers ran for cover and motorists made rapid U-turns to escape the unofficial dragnet" and that assailants (approximately 100) were using "sports utilivty vehicles of the type issued to government security forces". AFP reports that it was 29 hostages and they were all Shi'ites who "were later released in two areas of east Baghdad"; however, a source ("Iraqi defence official") states that 49 people were kidnapped including "20 unidentified passers-by".


CBS and AP report: "a sucicide car bomber slammed into an Iraqi army check point, killing a soldier and a civilian and wounding nine other people" in Baghdad. Reuters notes a roadside bomb near Mussayab took the life of one Iraqi soldier and left four more wounded, a roadside bomb in Mosul took the life of one civilian and left another wounded, two died from a car bomb in Mahaweel with six more wounded, and a roadside bomb wounded a British soldier in Basra. Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) notes that Yousif Al Mosawi ("general secretary of Thar Allah party") survived an attempted attack from an IED and that three car bombs in Baghdad left fifteen dead and thirty-five wounded.


Reuters notes an attack on Adel Abdul Mahdi (one of Iraq's vice-presidents) in Baghdad that "gunmen opened fire on" and "guards returned fire" but no one was reported injured. Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reports a boys' school guard shot dead in Baghdad, three people (one a police officer) were shot dead in Mosul. And KUNA reports that yesterday Al-Hurrah's Omar Mohammad was shot and wounded.

Reuters reports six corpses were discovered in Mosul, 15 corpses were discovered in Khallisa, the corpses of three Iraqi solders were turned over to a hospital near Mosul and two corpses were discovered in al-Lij. Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reports 45 corpses were discovered in Baghdad.

As the chaos and violence continue nonstop, Iraqis register their opinions.
Al Jazeera reports on a new survey from the Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies that polled 2000 Iraqis and discovered that 95 "per cent of Iraqis believe the country is worse off now than before the war in 2003" and almost "90 per cent described the government's implementation of its commitments and promises as very poor." Al Jazeera pairs the results from a joint poll by NBC and the Wall St. Journal where only "one in four Americans approves of George Bush's administration's handling of the conflict in Iraq."

NBC and WSJ poll had a sample of 1,006 Americans and found "69 percent say they are less confident that the war will come to a successful conclusion, while just 19 percent -- a new low in the NBC-Journal poll on this question -- say they're more confident. Moreover, 65 percent believe the U.S. is already doing everything it can to reduce violence there." That results of that poll were announced Wednesday. Earlier this week, CBS News revealed the results of their own poll: "50 percent say the U.S. should begin to end its involvement altogether" and Bully Boy's approval rating hit an all time low: 21%. (The poll had 922 respondents.) The CBS News poll results were announced Monday, on Tuesday, came the USA Today/Gallup poll (1009 respondents) which found 54% of respondents stating Bully Boy "will be judged as a below-average or poor president, more than double the negative rating given any of his five most recent predecessors"

This as US Senator John McCain launches his own effort to challenge the Bully Boy as American's choice for most useless politician.
AP reports that John McCain, with Joey Lieberman at his side, played the tough boy in the heavily fortified Green Zone while calling for the US to deploy 15,000 to 30,000 more troops to Iraq. You're over there right now and trained, so pick up a gun, Big John.

In peace news, Canada's New Democratic Party has released their statement "
Canadians call for sanctuary for U.S. war resisters" in support of war resisters and the petition collected by War Resisters Support Campaign which works to help US war resisters in Canada with legal advice and other assistance. In the United States, The Athens News (Ohio) reports that "[f]orty Athens County residents signed a group letter to the Secretary of the Army," Francis Harvey, calling for the "discharge for soldiers who have served honorably in Iraq but refuse to redeploy because their experience there convinces them the Iraq war is immoral and against international law."

Such a discharge would cover war resisters like
Kyle Snyder but it wouldn't cover others such as Ehren Watada. They are a part of public war resistance within the military and the movement also includes Darrell Anderson, Joshua Key, Ivan Brobeck, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Agustin Aguayo, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, and Kevin Benderman.

Information on this movement of 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. Appeal for Redress is collecting signatures of active duty service members calling on Congress to bring the troops home -- the petition will be delivered to Congress next month.


blah blah blah

sherry wondered if i'd continue posting at the same time? probably so. this is my schedule and how i wind down. she also wondered if there was anything she could do. send me kind thoughts. i asked mike to pass on that people shouldn't worry.

i do understand that's not easy. i know flyboy seems to think i'm a porcelean doll and a non-moveable 1. 'where are you going?' to get a glass of water. 'i'll get it!' and he's running through the house.

i've got a few weeks where i need to be concerned but i've already made it further than i've done before. there's also not been any spotting or any of the other usual signs.

this could end in a miscarriage. i know that. but it doesn't feel like that and even the doctor made a point to stress that.

of course, it means that i yet again quit smoking and probably my irritation over that allows me to worry less because i am so craving.

that will get me through 7 days if past pregnancies are any indication.

after that, the urges won't be as strong and then i may freak out.

but so far, i'm not freaking out.

i'm sleeping in each morning. which, honestly, i'd love to do every day. i hate waking up. but i force myself to get out of bed. not as bad now that flyboy's here. when we split up, i really would have to force myself to get out of bed before ten in the morning. once i stopped working, there was no pressure.

and sadly, i was 1 of those women who spent hours getting ready in the morning. if i was leaving the house at 7, i would be up at 4:30. no, not like c.i. to work out (god bless c.i. and that kind of energy!) but i'd be fixing my hiar and then changing it and then fixing it again. and it would always look pretty much the same. i'd go through several outfits and wonder if it (a) looked good on me, (b) would fit the days appointments and meetings and (c) why i put it on in the 1st place?

dona's already told me i am on limited duty at the third estate sunday review. i'll work in their final hours. which will be the time i would be getting up on sunday if i wasn't up. flyboy's thrilled about that because he was concerned. i told dona i'd do that during the critical period but after it passes, i'd probably go by what my body told me.

i did appreciate the concern. dona said they'd all talked about it and knew telling me 'you're not working with us' would be a problem. so instead i'm on 'light duty' and, hey, that's how i've lived my life so i can live with that. (that was a joke.)

ruth came by today with elijah (her grandson). she told flyboy they're coming over each day while she teaches him how to do stuff. i told her, 'ruth, flyboy does most of the things you probably think i do!' which isn't true but he knows how. (we both split the cleaning chores.) (or did until yesterday's news.)

we both love having ruth and elijah over so that's not a problem. i do feel bad that she's going to be driving because before we were rotating our once a week get together. elijah had a blast with
the ballons that were delivered today (c.i.).

flyboy said we were going to make it through this period just fine but he worries about elaine and c.i. i agree. they are really going out of their way to check in and make sure little treats come my way. elaine's delivery was food which i didn't share - i gobbled it all up. i love them both very much.

flyboy does as well. flyboy always got along with elaine but he really didn't like c.i. when we were married the 1st time. (c.i. knows this. i'm not telling tales out of school.) c.i.'s really protective of friends and flyboy assumed since he and c.i. knew each other (for many years) that it would be friendship all around. but elaine ended up being that way. c.i. is friendly to spouses but just friendly. all the loyalties lay with me. (which i loved!)

they bumped into each other, i learned of this on my honeymoon and may have shared this here already, forgive me for repeating if i have. so after we divorced, they bumped into each other at a party in d.c. (georgetown, actually.) and flyboy was avoiding c.i. they ended up leaving at the same time so had to do more than nod. i love this story and flyboy reminded me of it tonight.

so they have to talk and flyboy was surprised he wasn't attacked, set on fire and kicked up and down the street. flyboy will tell you he had really begun to live in fear of c.i. near the end of our marriage. having nothing else to talk about but feeling he had to say something, flyboy asked about the paper and if i was serious about being bored with it? (the new york times.)

c.i. said something like, 'well your big issue is really that you need to call her.' to check on the paper? no, c.i. told him that it wasn't over between us.

if c.i. hadn't done that, flyboy and i probably still would be dancing around each other. they talked a bit more but the point is that was the start of us getting back together and flyboy and c.i. getting along better. they're friends today.

with elaine it was more difficult. she had been close to him and when we broke up, there was a problem because of the breakup. (which we had both decided to but elaine's my friend.) when we went to nyc for the world can't wait, elaine and flyboy had a long clearing of the air and they're fine now. better than fine. but i think, no, i know, flyboy was expecting that same relationship with c.i., that same type, and what he's learned since is that there are walls and levels with c.i.

elaine lets you in and you're in. if a problem comes along, you'll need to clear the air. that's about it.

with c.i. flyboy was some 1 you know and can speak to and then he married me and it was like starting from scratch. i think c.i. gave him as much of a headache as my mother-in-law gave me.
(i said 'gave.' i've grown and so has she. when flyboy and i got back together, she and i did a clear the air and we're actually closer now. i'm also able to enjoy her more these days. i do think she's more free wheeling, though she might disagree. we also have the bond that the bully boy has driven the country off the cliff. she was more of a centrist the 1st go round - though not a bully boy supporter. but she was more the new republic type. those days are gone, and she'll tell you that herself.)

i intended to talk about other things tonight and got off on a tangent. i promise that always won't be the case. but i do know people are concerned. so hopefully this post will make some people worry less.

here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Wednesday, December 13, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, Tuesdays bombings repeat today (on a smaller scale which is the pattern), Saudi Arabia whispers to Dick Cheney, the US military wants more, the Iraqi military has their own laundry list, and is Emily Greene a liar, a fool, a tool, a stooge or an enabler as she rushes to deny abuses of Iraqi women?

Starting with reality, on yesterday's
KPFA's Flashpoints Dahr Jamail summarized conditions in Iraq:

What we do have is a situation that's well beyond the control of the US military . . . The two hottest spots we can talk about are Baghdad and Al-Anbar Province. One thing that people tend to overlook is that Al-Anbar Province is one third of the geographic area of the entire country, so that just right off form starters, we can say is completely out of control of the US military. Marines are being killed there every day. Dozens are wounded every single day and we're not getting this information. And it's very interesting. If you look at the news, we see this kind of unquestioning reporting going on where another US soldier killed or marine killed in A-Anbar but what it doesn't say is that it's typically in one of two cities, that's either Falluja or Ramadi almost every single time. So it really indicates how high the level of violence is there. Recently, 3,000 more marines were called off of ships in the Gulf and sent into Ramadi specifically, which, ironically, just yesterday the first female marine [officer][
Megan M. McClung] was killed in that area as well. So we have a situation where, as you [Nora Barrows-Friedman] described in the highlights, where, really hundreds are dying every single day, it's not "scores," it's not "tens," it's not "dozens." It's hundreds of Iraqis are dying every single day. On average, it's well over a hundred a day just in Baghdad alone. And then if you look what's happening in places like Ramadi and Falluja which are under a consistent -- somewhere between 'low burn' and 'high burn' seige by the US military -- we have snipers killing many people in each city every single day, US snipers. We still have medical workers being harrassed. We still have all of the things you and I have talked about from almost the very beginning, Nora, back in January 2004, but on a much, much broader level, not just in one city, and not just even in one province, but really across all of Iraq -- even now bleeding into the Kurdish controlled north."

Staying with reality, we'll move to today's violence.


CBS and AP note a Baghdad bombing "near a crowded bus stop" that left at least 11 dead and at least 27 more wounded. Ammar Karim (The Australian) describes the scene: "Bodies of the victims lay scattered around the street amid pools of blood and the burning wreckage of at least two cars and a row of market stalls set up by a nearby bus stations." AP quotes eyes witness Abu Haider al-Kaabi: "A Volkswagen car exploded right near the bust stop, hitting a group of people, including women and children who were waiting to take a bus to a fruit and vegetatble market".

CNN notes two car bombs that exploded in the capital's New Baghdad district resulting in at least five deaths and an additional 10 people wounded. Xinhua puts the count of car bombs in Iraq today at seven (seven total for the entire country) and counts 29 dead from them which includes an attack on an Iraqi army base in Kirkuk that left ten Iraqi soldiers dead. Sameer N. Yacoub and Qais al-Bahsir (AP) report that another bombing, in Baquba, resulted in no physical deaths or injuries but it "destroyed a small Shiite shrine" while, in Musayyib, three roadside bombs exploded resulting in one death and one wounded. Kirk Semple (New York Times) reports a mortar attack in Baladiat that killed one and left six more wounded. Reuters notes a roadside bomb in Jurf al-Sakar left one person dead and three wounded.


Sameer N. Yacoub and Qais al-Bashir (AP) report a home invasion in al-Hesna resulted in assailants shooting dead nine members of a family. Reuters notes the family members killed were "four men, two women and three children" and that, near Balad, an attack on an Iraqi check point resulted in the wounding of four Iraqi soldiers.


Thomas Wagner (AP) reports that seven corpses ("tortured") were discovered in Mosul. Reuters notes that a corpse was discovered in Kirkuk, two corpses were discovered in Mahmudiya, and four corpses were discovered near Falluja.

As the chaos and violence continues day after day, both
Sudarsan Raghavan (Washington Post) and John F. Burns (New York Times) report a new 'plan' to cut down on the violence: provide jobs! As Kurdish legislator Mahmoud Othman tells Raghavan, "It's a bit late, as usual. They should have done this three years ago. In this country, they have spent so much on security without results. If they had spent one-tenth of that on creating jobs, more projects and fighting unemployment, things would have been better now."

The stop-gap measure (it's not a plan and it's not implemented) comes as
Ann Scott Tyson (Washington Post) reports that both the US marines and army are advocating that Congress provide them with "permanent increases in personnel" and while, as Michael R. Gordon and Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) point out, 'readiness' is just around the corner for Iraqi armies according to the country's national security advisor.

Did someone say, not quiet, not right?
AFP reports this 'readiness' isn't just conditional upon future predictions, it also includes a list of wants: "more arms for the Iraqi army, more powers and training in order to be capable of handling security missions all over the country." Those are the words of the puppet Nouri al-Maliki and appear to indicate that when ousted by the US, he may not even grasp it, so removed from reality is he already.

The puppet reflects his master -- Bully Boy -- and shares company with a lazy press that can't stop jaw boning about toothless, idiotic 'reports.' Noting the 'snowjobs' weren't reality on yesterday's
KPFA's Flashpoints, Dahr Jamail declared, "The reality is this a permanent occupation. They don't give a damn about the Iraqi people. They're not going to leave They're just trying to get the oil set up. And they're going to stay there until that happens and until it's all extracted."

But all the defocusing on 'listening tours' and 'reports' and other nonsense allows the Bully Boy to give the impression that he's 'active' and 'involved' -- so involved that, possibly, next year he can come up with a 'plan.'
Danny Schechter (News Dissector) notes: "I can't wait for the Decider to Decide and for President Bush to announce his new revised version of his unrevised war plan. We will will have to wait a bit longer, perhaps to next year. And no matter that OVER SEVENTY PERCENT of the American people disagree with the current policy, he is not to be hurried with the media still taking him at his word as a rational decision maker. He is stuck. That's for sure. And anyone expecting new leadership in the White House might want to consider buying a bridge I am selling to Brooklyn."

While Bully Boy stalls the (willing) press, Saudi Arabia's not so patient. This morning,
Helene Cooper (New York Times) reported that last month (after Thanksgiving), Dick Cheney was told by King Abdullah that if US forces withdraw from Iraq, the Saudi government will back the Sunnis. Cooper's story comes out just as Robin Wright (Washington Post) reports on the fast exist of the Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who "flew out of Washington yesterday after informing Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and his staff that he would be leaving the post after only 15 months on the job, according to U.S. officials and foreign envoys. There has been no formal announcements from the kingdom."

Returning to yesterday's
KPFA's Flashpoints, Nora Barrows-Friedman and Dahr Jamail discussed the issue of women's rights in Iraq and noted the steady decline since the beginning of the illegal invasion. Prior to that, there were no "dress restrictions on women, they didn't have to cover up or wear a hijab," they could attend school, college, they held doctorates, they held postions in the government ministries. That's all changed. Dahr noted (and pay attention to this for later in the entry) "One of the first things that the US appointed Iraqi governing councile was to pass laws that would have done away with the laws that protect" the rights of women in Iraq. Though that was stopped it did "set the tone of what was going to happen in this inccreasingly fundamentalist" society where "There are no women's rights. Nothing is protected. It's a very fundamentalist government."

Nora Barrows-Friedman: I remember during the invasion and war against Afghanistan. Laura Bush was touting that country as a horrible place for women's rights and she herself was going to personally liberate the women. And now, after the invasion the Taliban has come back ten, a hundred-fold, it is worse for women in Afghanistan. Would you say the same is happening for women in Iraq?

Dahr agreed and noted "one of the consistent things we can see" using Afghanistan and Iraq as an example is that "if you're a woman you might want to seriously consider leaving because it's only a mtter of time before your rights are basically in the waste basket and horrible things are going to start happening to you."

Also addressed were the fact that the daily kidnappings in Baghdad (conservative estimate is thirty per day) target women more and more due to the fact that Bully Boy's 'liberation' has left them with no rights and little safeguards.

Today, the United Nations'
IRIN attempts to report on the realities for female prisoners in Iraq. Standing in the way is one Emily Greene, described as "a spokeswoman for the US military in Iraq" who is a liar, a fool, a tool or an enabler? While Green offers denials/lies, Faten Abdul Rhaman Mahmoud, one of the few women in the puppet government with any power (she heads the Ministry of Women's Affairs), attempts to address the situation. There's something very vile about the US government, whose actions have destroyed the rights of women, using a woman as window dressing to hide behind and there's something even more disgusting about a woman who allows herself to be used in a such a manner. Greene lies/misinforms/disinforms that there's no information of any women held prisoner "in Iraqi prisons. The ones that had been held for investigation by them had all been released months ago and no torture has occurred, she said."

Emily Greene meet
Um Ahmed who spoke with IPS about her imprisonment that did not take place "months ago" and that involved US forces who "told me they would rape me if I didn't tell them where my husband was, but I really didn't know." When her husband surrendered to the US military, the 'fun' just kept coming. Um Ahmed told Dahr Jamial and Ali al-Fadhily: "They told him they would rape me right in front of him if he did not confess he was a terrorist. They forced me to watch them beat him hard until he told them what they wanted to hear."

IRIN quotes Faten Abdul Rahman Mahmoud: "We don't know the exact number of remale prisoners but there are many being held in different prisons -- even though the [other ministries in the] government and US forces deny it. They are afraid of a counterattack from the country's conservative society." And though they may fear an attack, as noted by Dahr Jamail in his conversation with Nora Barrows-Friedman, the 'new' government set up post-illegal invasion has not given a damn about women's rights. IRIN also notes that Sarah Abdel Yassin of the Organization for Women's Freedom (OWF) whose own research backs up Faten Abdul Rahman Mahmoud's findings and she states, "The Ministry of Interior, [Ministry of] Defence and US forces are denying that there are female prisoners in Iraq but we have enough proof that they are there and that they suffer daily humiliation." An example is Samira Abdallah who was hooded for the entire four moths she was held, released in November only to find that her husband was now dead ("killed by the Iraqi army") as was her oldest daughter ("raped by a soldier" and then the daughter, 16-year-old Hania, killed herself) so it's now just her and her seven-year-old son.

When the Emily Greene's are presented with this 'choice' positions, the smart thing would be to turn them down. It should be perfectly obvious that Willie Caldwell gets all the 'prime' assignments and that they're being used as mere window dressing. By participating in the con, women like that not only enable the destruction of the rights of others, they make it all the less likely that a Faten Abdul Rahman Mahmoud will come along to speak out against abuses to women. But that's the point of using US women in window dressing roles, isn't it?

In war resister news,
Jane Cutter (PSL) reports on Saturday's actions in Seattle (despite "rain and wind") which including distributing brochures featuring war resisters such as Ehren Watada and Kyle Snyder and collecting "postcards to be hand delivered to pro-war Democratic senator Maria Cantwell." Meanwhile Lydia Lum (Diverse Education) explores past the 300 Japanese-Americans who refused to serve in WWII due to their families being (illegally) interned. Lum notes that 120,000 Japanese-Americans were held in internment camps, explores the "no-no boys" and ends in the present noting UCLA's Dr. Lane "Hirabayshi says the current case of U.S. Army Lt. Ehren K. Watada, who is of Japanese and Chinese descent, is the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq, callin the war illegal and immoral. He faces court-martial and a possible prison term."



i said earlier today not to expect much from tonight's post.

i'm just going to talk about the day and hope that's okay.

i told every 1 they could note at their sites that i am pregnant.

i haven't been keeping track of my periods. it's been a really busy time. i was supposed to get my tubes tied and did let every 1 think i had (as elaine pointed out over the phone today) but i hate doctors. and i had a vacation to go on and then i got married and then we were doing the remodeling and i didn't need any of those excuses because i hate doctors.

(i don't even sleep with doctors. seriously, if you made a list of all the men i've slept with, you wouldn't find 1 doctor on it - medical doctor - because i can't stand doctors.)

i didn't know i was pregnant when i wrote this morning. i found out from c.i. sometime before noon. i was arguing and flyboy was suddenly home with a pregnancy test. (c.i. had phoned flyboy and told him to get his butt home pronto with a pregnancy test.) then my mother-in-law (c.i. had phoned her) was at the door i don't know how much later and flyboy and i were going to an appointment that i don't even want to think of how she got it. (i'm hoping she just called in favors - i would hate to think she spent the morning screaming.)

so we did tests there and are waiting on results (though i feel it is a healthy pregnancy - for any 1 wondering) and we've got an appointment schedule and everything else.

i've even got a blogging schedule that c.i. arranged where any time i don't feel up to blogging, i call and pass off to some 1 else. i thank every 1 for getting on the list.

when did i realize i was pregnant? about 15 minutes into the phone call with c.i. who was pointing out all of my usual pregnancy signs.

the good news is i am so far along. if i'd been keeping track of my period, and known i was pregnant sooner, i would have been freaking out for the last few weeks. i'm going to be staying around the house for the next few weeks. i'm not even leaving for christmas.

some of my family was over tonight, some of flyboy's too, and i explained that this is the difficult period for me. so i'm just going to stay around the house for this month. that is on doctor's orders.

flyboy and i were discussing my history with the doctor and he feels we're looking at the next 3 weeks where i need to be most concerned. already the pregnancy has lasted longer than previous 1s so i'm not freaking out.

my mother-in-law pointed out that flyboy was extremely premature and that's a point the doctor made as well. if we can get through this period (and i think we can) there shouldn't be many problems but anything that might come up means ceasarian. (did i spell that right?)

i credit all the things going on with keeping this pregnancy going. i've had enough miscarriages that i usually freak out in the 1st 6 weeks and i'm sure the stress from that hasn't helped.

so it was a gift to discover i was pregnant and so far along.

i'm not going to worry about this and if you're a regular reader, please don't worry either. worrying won't accomplish anything and i feel really good about this pregnancy. earlier this year, when i realized i was pregnant it was too familiar, the usual signs. that's why i didn't tell any 1 about it. it was obvious how it was going to end.

i know my body and this 1 feels different. so i'm just going to be happy and if you want to help me, be happy for me. if there's anything to worry about, i will know. this really feels different.

every 1's been so wonderful and the west coast gang did a group call which they limited to 6 minutes so i could have my 'rest.' that was very kind but let's no go overboard. i'll still be living on the phone the way i do most days.

knowing how i hate doctors, flyboy has already said he's going to every appointment with me. elaine's coming out to spend the weekend. every 1's pitching in. so there's no point in worrying.

i did try to listen to KPFA's Flashpoints but we had both of our families here and i can't tell you what was on the show. on the new york times, i stated yesterday they wouldn't note the 4 children dead in palestine that nora barrows-friedman noted last night. in today's paper, they proved me correct - they noted 3. the undercount goes on.

what else? flyboy's staying home with me during the next few critical weeks.

and i loved what kat wrote last night about 'justice'.

i don't know what else to write. i warned this morning that i wouldn't have much to offer. and that was before i knew i was pregnant.

here's c.i.'s 'iraq snapshot:'

Tuesday, December 12, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq; Dennis Kucinich declares his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential race; a bombing takes place in Baghdad that's so severe, with at least 70 now declared dead and at least 236 wounded, even the New York Times will have to take notice; the US military announces the deaths of four troops in Al-Anbar Province; a new report finds that the conditions for women continue to decrease worldwide; in the US, Medea Benjamin and Cindy Sheehan address the war; and impeachment continues to be discussed outside the halls of Congress with Elizabeth Holtzman declaring, "Frankly, if we had really debated whether there should be a war in Iraq, we may not have gone into Iraq. If the American people had been told the truth, if the Congress had been told the truth, I doubt very much that we’d be in this pickle now. How do you put a price tag on that? How do you estimate the consequences of going into a whole war from scratch on the basis of deceptions and lies?"

Starting with impeachement.
BuzzFlash interviews Elizabeth Holtzman on the topic. Holtzman is a former district attorney and a former member of Congress. As a member of Congress, the committee she served on was the one that drafted impeachment charges against "Tricky Dick" Nixon. In January, Holtzman penned "The Impeachment of George W. Bush" which not only remains the strongest piece to run in The Nation throughout the 2006 year, it also kicked off the discussion (which had seemed dormant after the 2003 invasion of Iraq) and Lewis Lapham's "The Case for Impeachment" (Harper's), the Center for Constitutional Rights's Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush, David Lindorff and Barbara Olshansky's The Case for Impeachment (Olshansky is an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights) would quickly follow. More recently, Holtzman's published the book The Impeachment of George W. Bush.

In an
exclusive interview with BuzzFlash, Holtzman was asked about pundits who say that impeachment will not happen and the fact that Nancy Pelosi took impeachment 'off the table' (in an October interview with Lesley Stahl on CBS' 60 Minutes). Holtzman responded:

We can't start and end the conversation with what political pundits have to say. First of all, our generation -- the American people living right now -- have a responsibility for preserving and maintaining our Constitution. Are we going to allow it to be shredded by a president? Then, if this president can get away with starting a war based on lies, with breaking the law willfully, what's the next president going to do? What’s the precedent that's started here?
Secondly, it really doesn't matter what the pundits say, and it doesn't really matter what members of Congress have to say about impeachment. If the American people want impeachment, it's going to happen. The real problem is that the mainstream media won't take the issue seriously. They don't want to spend the time to understand it. And they've decided it's not going to happen, so they're not going to write about it.
The consequence is that many Americans don't understand that the framers of this Constitution 200 years ago understood that there would be a Richard Nixon, and they understood that there would be a George Bush. And they said: American people, you have a remedy. We're giving you a remedy. It's 200 years old. It's called impeachment. That's designed to remove a President who threatens our Constitution and subverts our democracy.
Watergate didn't start because the Congress wanted impeachment. Left to its own devices, Congress never would have done anything on impeachment. Left to its own devices, the press never would have investigated, except for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. The rest of the press was completely unconcerned on the subject. They didn't care. They weren't aggressive. But the American people understand that this is their Constitution, this is their democracy, this is their country, and they have the power to do something about it.

On the issue of Congress, Ann Wright told
The KPFA Evening News Monday, ". . . they're going to just let things evolve. And what we the people have to do is to put pressure on all of these oversight committees to have continual oversight committees investigations and I think there's going to be overwhelming evidence, through these investigations, so damning to the administration that, at that point, there will be a collective effort by the Congress to hold accountable people who have broken US law and that, probably, will lead to impeachment."

Echoing that thought, Cindy Sheehan
stated on Democracy Now! today that the movement for impeachment has to come from the people and then "Congress will have the courage to do the same thing." On the same broadcast, Medea Benjamin noted that "nothing is off the table."

Also yesterday on
The KPFA Evening News, a news conference was held on The Lancet Study and among those attending was US Congress member Dennis Kucinich who declared, "There have been a staggering amount of civilian casualites." The Lancet Study found over 655,000 Iraqis had died since the beginning of the illegal war. Also noted was that Kuccinich would declare his candidacy for the Democrat 2008 presidential nomination today. Mark Mericle reported that Kucinich "doesn't think his fellow Democrats are heeding what he called the anti-war message sent by the voters this year."

Joe Milicia (AP) reports on Kucinich's announcement today quoting from the presidential primary candidate stating, "I am not going to stand by and watch thousands more of our brave, young men and women killed in Iraq. We Democrats were put back in power to bring some sanity back to our nation.We were expected to do what we said we were going to do -- get out of Iraq."

Kucinich's declaration comes at a time when the deaths of US troops continue to mount.
Michael R. Blood (AP) reports on the Santa Barbara display of white crosses, each marks the death of a US soldier, that began in November 2003 (when the death toll stood at 340)
and last weekend numbered 2928.
Blood notes that "the nation approaches the grim milestone of 3,000 war fatalities" and ICCC's current count of US troops who have died in Iraq since the start of the illegal war is 2936 with the count for the month of December thus far standing at 46.

The count includes
today's announcement by the US military: "One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died Monday from non-hostile causes while operating in Al Anbar Province.Three Marines assigned to 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing died Monday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province." The US military also annouced today: " A 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Soldier died of apparent natural causes near Diwaniyah Dec 11. The Soldier lost consciousness andwas transported to a Troop Medical Clinic where medical personnel were unable torevive him."

As all of the above is announced and violence again rocks the capital in Iraq, Alexander Downer, Australia's foreign minister, grasps desperately for a little face time by
declaring that the United States cannot withdrawal from Iraq.

Back in the real world, the chaos and violence continue.


In Baghdad's Tayaran Square today, many have died and many more were wounded as a result of a bombing that may have resulted from more than one bomb.
Sudarsan Raghavan and Debbi Wilgoren (Washington Post) report that it was a car bomb -- "265 pounds of explosives packed into a Chevrolet pickup truck" while Thomas Wagner and Qais Al-Bashir (AP) report this was followed by another car bomb ("thirty yards away") and the two "shattered storefront windows, dug craters in the road and set fire to about 10 other cars." Ross Colvin (Reuters) notes that the pickups was used to lure day laborers to the truck.
Raghavan and Wilgoren quote eyewitness Jabbar Yousef who states: ""People were running in every direction . . . They were clutching their heads, legs and hands. There was blood everywhere." The Times of London reports that the first explosion came from a BMW that hit a police car, drew a crowd and then the Chevy pickup "ploughed into the crowd and exploded." They quote eye witness Khalil Ibrahim stating, "When the other bomb went off seconds later, it slammed me into a wall of my store and I fainted" (Ibrahim has "shrapnel wounds to his head and back"). The Times of London describes the scene: "Mangled bodies were piled up at the side of the road partially covered with paper and the impact of the blast severely damaged two nearby buildings." Reuters places the toll thus far at 70 dead and 236 wounded.

Wagner and Al-Bashir also note the exposions of two roadside bombs ("about a mile away") that wounded at least two police officers and seven other civilians. Reuters reports a "sucide car bomb" in the Radwaniya section of Baghdad that wounded eight and killed one person (besides the driver of the car), while in Kirkuk five people were left dead and 15 wounded in another car bombing and a mortar attack in Riyadh that killed "a mother and her two children and wounded two others".


Thomas Wagner and Qais Al-Bashir (AP) report that the AP's Aswan Ahmed Lutfallah was shot dead in Mosul while filming a "clash" that broke out between police and another group.
Reuters reports that two police officers were shot dead "near the town of Hawija."


Reuters reports that 47 bodies were discovered in the capital, four in Mosul, and on in Kirkuk (the last five were all shot). Yesteday's corpses didn't make the snapshot. Sandra Lupein noted on Monday's The KPFA Evening News that at least 46 corpses were discovered in Baghdad alone.

Meanwhile, a new report by
Unicef notes the underrepresentation of women in the political process. The report is entitled "The State of World's Children 2007: Women and Children: The Double Dividend of Gender Equality." [An overview can be found here and a link to the report in PDF form as well.]

Al Jazeera notes Unifem's Noeleen Heyzer who told the UN Security Counil two months ago, "What Unifem is seeing on the ground -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia -- is that public space for women in these situations is shrinking. Women are becoming assassination targets when they dare defend women’s rights in public decision-making." [On Saturday's RadioNation with Laura Flanders, MADRE's Yanar Mohammed addressed the issue of the assassinations of women in Iraq.]

Reuters reports that the United Nations cited the report today in their comments on life in Iraq for women "where violence is curtailing their freedoms and poverty is limiting their access to basic services including health care, the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement" and "their rights risk slipping away" as a mere "14 percent of Iraqi women between 16 and 60 years old are currently employed, against 68 percent of men, U.N. figures show. Women leaving home to find work puts both them and their children at risk
. . . threats to girls attending school on the increase, more and more families are being forced to choose between education and safety for their daughters'. The UN also noted that 25% representation of women in Iraq's 'government' remains "disproportionately low".

Two women in this country continuing to activism are
Cindy Sheehan and Medea Benjamin who were convicted of trespassing at the UN Mission yesterday in a Manhattan court along with Missy Comley Beattie and Rev. Patti Ackerman for the apparent 'crime' of delivering a petition (with approval from the UN Mission ahead of time). Benjamin and Sheehan were interviewed by Amy Goodman on today's Democracy Now! addressing the trial and trespassing conviction. [Click here and here for the interview -- audio, video or text.] Sheehan observed that possibly the United States' UN Mission was attempting to demonstrate that "there agressive policies towards the world are the same they use towards peace woman at home." Sheehan noted that the charge of trespassing was what they were originally charged with and should have meant they were issued a court summons; however, they were told by police that higher ups had decided to add charges (these were the charges the jury found the four women not guilty of) so that the women could be held in jail overnight.

Sheehan noted that the US is spending ten million dollars (US) an hour on Iraq. Sheehan: "We can't allow our elected officials to say that they are against the war if they vote for more money" for the war. Benjamin "I think our role in the peace movement is to say 'Bring the troops home now.'

Of the obstacles to the peace movement in the near future, Medea Benjamin observed that "what I see as the real danger ahead is the peace movement thinking 'Ah the democrats are coming to power. Oh, there's a plan out there. Let's give them a little time.' This is the hardest time for the peace movement and this is when we we have to be the strongest. We have possiblities now coming up in January as soon as they are sworn in in the new Congress -- we have to be there January 3rd and 4th,
Gold Star Families for Peace, CODEPINK and other groups are planning on being in Wahsington DC we have a big mobilzation. United for Peace and Justice is organizing for January 27th. We have the next anniversary of the war coming up, March 17th. We've got to be out on the streets. We've got to be in the offices of our Congress people. If not this war is going to go on and on and we're going to be facing another presidential election with two pro-war major candidates, from the Democrats and the Republicans."

Also on today's Democracy Now!,
Amy Goodman interviewed lefty mag Poster Boy Sherrod Brown and asked him what he would say to US war resisters such as Ehren Watada who think the war is immoral and illegal and the poster boy replied, "I don't know, I don't know what you say to them." [Goodman interviewed Watada's mother, Carolyn Ho, yesterday.] When asked by Goodman if there should be "pressure on the military not to prosecute these men and women who . . . are saying the war is wrong," Poster Boy replied, "I don't know. . . . I don't know the answer to that."

Possibly had the leading magazines of the left, The Nation and The Progressive, put war resisters on the cover or printed even one article on them in 2006, the Poster Boy might have been prompted to consider the issue?

The Progressive ran two photos, November 2006 issue, in their multi-page photo eassay. The two photos (by Jeff Paterson of
Not In Our Name), on a page of five photos, were of war resister Ricky Clousing. The Nation has provided nothing in their print edition. ["Leading" is based on circulation. Left Turn has published an article, in print, on Watada.Off Our Backs and Ms. have dedicated entire issues to war and peace this year.] While the New York Times and the Washington Post, two leading mainstream, daily papers, have covered the war resisters (the Times has done major stories on both Watada and Clousing) and a leading wire service (the Associated Press) has significantly covered the war resistance within the US military, leading magazines of the left continue to avoid the topic and 2006 may end without either The Nation or The Progressive providing one single print article on war resisters. No wonder the Poster Boy feels comfortable avoiding the issue.

While the magazines have repeatedly avoided the issue, one of the Iraq stories of 2006 has been the war resistance within the military.
Kyle Snyder, Ehren Watada, Darrell Anderson, Joshua Key, Ivan Brobeck, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Agustin Aguayo, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, and Kevin Benderman are part of an ever growing movement of resistance within the military. Speaking last Thursday with Nora Barrows-Friedman on KPFA's Flashpoints, Kyle Snyder noted that more war resisters who have not yet gone public are planning to in the coming months. (Snyder also noted that he meets war resisters who have self-checked out as he speaks around the country.)

The failure of the leading magazines of the left to cover this story stands as one of the biggest barriers of a free flow of information on the issue of the illegal war. It also calls to question, for many politically active college students across the United States, the magazines' committment to ending the illegal war -- more so for The Nation which is a weekly and which managed to mention Carl Webb in an article this year but failed to note that he was a war resister. (Webb was quoted in the context of an article on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.) [For what is focused while Iraq is avoided see the parody "
The Elector."]

While they've played the quiet game on the topic, information on this movement of 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. And Appeal for Redress is collecting signatures of active duty service members calling on Congress to bring the troops home -- the petition will be delivered to Congress next month.