Tag: Iraq War

Another Gruesome Day

It was yet another gruesome day, in Iraq. As the New York Times reported:

As many as 20 mortar shells were fired Sunday at the heavily fortified Green Zone, one of the fiercest and most sustained attacks on the area in the last year.

The shelling sent thick plumes of dark gray smoke over central Baghdad and ignited a spectacular fire on the banks of the Tigris River. It ushered in a day of violence around the country that claimed the lives of at least 58 lraqis and four American soldiers.

According to tallies by The Associated Press and Icasualties.org, an independent Web site that tracks casualties in Iraq, those military deaths pushed the number of American service members killed in the five-year-old war to at least 4,000. The figure includes service members whose names have not been released by the Pentagon.

This following a week in which Dick Cheney yet again lied about a link between 9/11 and Iraq, then served as Administration point man, promoting permanent occupation. This after a week in which Bush once again expressed his complete lack of regret for having caused this hellish disaster. This after a week in which John McCain reiterated his intent to keep us in Iraq indefinitely.

Of course, even our puppet Iraqi president admits the country is rife with violence, terrorism and corruption. And the New York Times reminded us that Bush originally claimed the entire cost of the war and aftermath would be no more the $60 billion. Which has already been wrong by more than a factor of ten. A factor which is expected to increase by several more factors. And the Pentagon is still sharply divided on the war strategy going forward. And the Iraqi army is still nowhere near ready to defend itself. And the Mehdi Army’s truce is fraying. And those Sunni militias, whose allegiance Bush has been buying, may go on strike. But other than that, everything’s going perfectly well. Except, of course, for those 58 Iraqis and four Americans who were killed, yesterday.  

Austin TX and The Million Musician March

Last Saturday, we met on the state capital stairs to enjoy some music and a little walk around town.



“In four short years he has turned our country from a prosperous nation at peace into a desperately indebted nation at war. But so what? He is the President of the United States, and you’re not. Love it or leave it.” -Hunter S Thompson on George W. Bush


4000 of our brothers and sisters in uniform.

100,000 of our brother and sisters in Iraq.

Always remember.  

Iraq Moratorium #7: Berkeley, CA

Photos from IM Day in Berkeley. It was a warm sunny day – much in contrast with xofferson’s blizzard experience.  


That’s dedication!

My Fifth Anniversary Present To You, DD!

Not that this occasion really calls for a present….

However, I would like to take this time to share a video I made this evening from photos I collected from around the tubes…

If you have any you would like to add, put the photo/s in comments.

This is my contribution to the FOW project.


(You may use this video anytime, anywhere, any blog-if you’d like)

All They Know Is War

I remember reading a story in the New York Times magazine, in October of 2004 about terrorism and John Kerry’s view on it.

Kerry had a far different view of what should be done to counter terrorism:

But when you listen carefully to what Bush and Kerry say, it becomes clear that the differences between them are more profound than the matter of who can be more effective in achieving the same ends. Bush casts the war on terror as a vast struggle that is likely to go on indefinitely, or at least as long as radical Islam commands fealty in regions of the world. In a rare moment of either candor or carelessness, or perhaps both, Bush told Matt Lauer on the ”Today” show in August that he didn’t think the United States could actually triumph in the war on terror in the foreseeable future. ”I don’t think you can win it,” he said — a statement that he and his aides tried to disown but that had the ring of sincerity to it. He and other members of his administration have said that Americans should expect to be attacked again, and that the constant shadow of danger that hangs over major cities like New York and Washington is the cost of freedom. In his rhetoric, Bush suggests that terrorism for this generation of Americans is and should be an overwhelming and frightening reality.

When I asked Kerry what it would take for Americans to feel safe again, he displayed a much less apocalyptic worldview. ”We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance,” Kerry said. ”As a former law-enforcement person, I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling. But we’re going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn’t on the rise. It isn’t threatening people’s lives every day, and fundamentally, it’s something that you continue to fight, but it’s not threatening the fabric of your life.”

This analogy struck me as remarkable, if only because it seemed to throw down a big orange marker between Kerry’s philosophy and the president’s. Kerry, a former prosecutor, was suggesting that the war, if one could call it that, was, if not winnable, then at least controllable. If mobsters could be chased into the back rooms of seedy clubs, then so, too, could terrorists be sent scurrying for their lives into remote caves where they wouldn’t harm us. Bush had continually cast himself as the optimist in the race, asserting that he alone saw the liberating potential of American might, and yet his dark vision of unending war suddenly seemed far less hopeful than Kerry’s notion that all of this horror — planes flying into buildings, anxiety about suicide bombers and chemicals in the subway — could somehow be made to recede until it was barely in our thoughts.

Remember?  Remember when Bush said he didn’t think the “war on terror” could ever be won?  Remember when he and Cheney were running around on every talk show and media newshour one could think of, telling Americans we should live in fear, that it wasn’t just probable but inevitable that we would be attacked again?

I remember it very well.

Minneapolis Rally Against the Iraq War (photos)

We can’t believe it has been five years that the US has been in iraq. The war and occupation has lasted longer than WW II and there is no end in sight. The people of the Twin Cities showed their displeasure by taking to the streets. Nearly 2000 persons protested and their unique signs and mostly solemn faces tell the whole story. Not surprisingly, I didn’t see any signs declaring that war is romantic, which is what George W. Bush said the other day. Instead, I saw signs that were critical of torture, killing of innocent civilians, and crony capitalism. Those are the kinds of things that Barack Obama’s preacher was complaining about; that doesn’t sound like the rhetoric of a crazy uncle to me. He sounds like a man of the cloth.

Organizers of the rally included Women Against Military Madness, Military Families Speak Out, YAWR, The Anti-War Committee, and Veterans for Peace, to name a few. A lot of members of the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis participated and they were easily recognized by their blue hats. The protest began at Lake and Lyndale Ave with members of Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR) meeting at a US Army recruiting center. Afterwards, YAWR joined the main group at Lake and Hennepin and the everyone walked from there to Loring Park. The entire protest was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

ps. Is Feingold single? Someone in Minneapolis wants to know (see image on my blog along with other rally photos not shown here).

Images below the fold- ek hornbeck

In Iraq, the irony doesn’t drip; it bleeds.

In Iraq, the irony doesn’t drip; it bleeds.

You remember the last time Saint Maverick went to Iraq to give us a little straight talk about the improving conditions. You remember how he went on a leisurely shopping trip to an open-air market. Wearing a flak jacket. And accompanied by 100 of his closest armed friends. With three Blackhawk helicopters hovering overhead. Not to mention two Apache gunships. Well, he’ll be skipping that fun diversion, this time. As John King of CNN explained:

And it will be interesting, because you note that marketplace. It’s called the Sorja (ph) marketplace. It’s in a Baghdad neighborhood.

We tried to go there today, as a matter of fact. We wanted to see what it looks like now, a year after Senator McCain was here. And he did walk around, and he did say it was proof that there were security gains being made, and that some parts of Baghdad and Iraq were quite safe. And as you noted, he also had 100-plus troops providing his security detail. And many of the merchants in the area, as soon as they were gone, said the neighborhood was quite unsafe.

We got close to that marketplace today, Jim, but our own security advisers here in Iraq didn’t want us to go there. They did not believe it was safe for an American to be in that area.

We were in a thriving marketplace nearby, but when you show up, the local Iraqis, well, it is clear that security is better on the street. And it’s clear there are more markets open. Just the traffic jams alone tell you that things are better on the streets of Baghdad.

It’s also very sensitive potential neighborhoods. That one marketplace, as a matter of fact, that neighborhood, you do see Iraqi police, you do see the Iraqi army. But in truth, that area is controlled by the racial cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi army.

It’s safer for the Iraqis, but still not safe for Americans. But it’s safer for the Iraqis because it’s controlled by al-Sadr. Good thing he extended his truce. Otherwise that market might not even be safer for the Iraqis.

Racist Reaction Accelerates Against Obama

Right-wing reactionaries thought manna had fallen from heaven along with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s denunciation of the crimes of America. That’s because Rev. Wright is Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama’s personal preacher. But while the demagogues falsely label Wright’s sermons as racist and anti-white, his remarks express truths that resonate with the experience of black Americans and cannot be forever hidden.

Anyone can go and watch excerpts from Rev. Wright’s sermons, edited for maximum incendiarism by arch-conservative, Fox Network Hyas muckamuck, Bill O’Reilly. Yet, all the editing tricks in the world cannot paint Wright’s sermons racist. But then that’s the cry raised when African-Americans say anything on the mark about the experience of racism in America, an experience that has made them sensitive to the crimes and injustices of this country perpetrated abroad, as well.

As if four hundred years of slavery, and one hundred years of Jim Crow state segregationism were not enough to prove the racist legacy of this country, African Americans are still subject to discrimination across the entire society, with inferior schools, inferior health care, wage discrepancies, housing discrimination, racist assaults, unfair drug laws and a still racially insensitive judicial system. CalexanderJ over at Daily Kos hit the mark with this quote from the comedian Chris Rock:

Stand for Peace – Fifth Anniversary of Iraq War

Cross posted from DailyKos.

Please join me in a protest against the war.

On March 19, 2003 (US time), the US invaded Iraq on a search for “Weapons of Mass Destruction” – the first of many excuses claimed by the Bush Administration for this illegal war.

On the five year anniversary of that invasion, I ask you to join me in protest.

More over the jump.


I’m guessing that tens of millions of people today know the name of the young woman Eliot Spitzer was paying for sex. I’m guessing that no one outside their circles of family, friends, and colleagues knows the names of Kevin S. Mowl and Christopher S. Frost. They are the last two named American servicemen to have been killed in Bush’s Iraq disaster. Mowl died in late February, from wounds suffered in an IED attack. Frost died last week, in a helicopter crash. Thirteen more American service personnel have been killed more recently, but their names have not been released to the public. Three were killed yesterday, in a rocket attack near An Nasiriyah.

We all know about Geraldine Ferraro. We found out about Samantha Power not because she’s an expert on one of the most important issues humanity faces, but because she made some stupid comments to a Scottish reporter. We’ve recently heard more about obscure Canadian embassy officials than we have about the people who are dying in Iraq. Little wonder, then, that support for the war is at the highest level since 2006. Little wonder that more Americans think the number of U.S. casualties is closer to 3,000 than the actual 4,000. The Iraqi people are a little more realistic. As reported by the Associated Press:

In just a week, Baghdad has seen a spate of suicide bombings that have killed scores of Iraqis and five U.S. soldiers – among 12 Americans who have fallen in the line of duty during the past three days in Iraq.

Suddenly, the city is feeling the unease of the period before violence eased partly as a result of the U.S. troop buildup, which is now coming to a close.

“Violence has increased dramatically” over the past few days, said Haitham Ismael, a 33-year-old father of three living in western Baghdad.

After five years of war, Iraqis interviewed said they were not necessarily changing their daily routines. But all said the growing bloodshed was present in their minds, clouding what had until recently been a more hopeful time.

Out of the Shadows? A Tale of Two Wars

The New York Times famously writes that it publishes “all the news that’s fit to print.” But there’s a lot that doesn’t get published, even on the Internet. Let’s look at two examples.

Yesterday, the Pentagon made it official. According to a U.S. military study, Saddam Hussein had no links to Al Qaida. None. Nada. But like a pesky gopher that sticks its head up out of the ground, and then swiftly disappears down the hole into its dark tunnels, governmental truth made a very swift appearance yesterday. And now, it’s going to be snatched back out of the light and stuffed into a deep governmental shaft. Here’s the UK Guardian on subject (with a h/t to StuHunter at Daily Kos):

The Pentagon study based on more than 600,000 documents recovered after US and UK troops toppled Hussein in 2003, discovered “no ‘smoking gun’ (ie, direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al-Qaida”, its authors wrote.

George Bush and his senior aides have made numerous attempts to link Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda terror in their justification for waging war against Iraq.

Wary of embarrassing press coverage noting that the new study debunks those claims, the US defence department attempted to bury the release of the report yesterday.

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