February 4, 2005

Once again I am referring below to an article written by Robert Fisk. We, the people in our country, don't know what the horror of this war, or any war, is really like. Read this chilling article and you'll get a hint.

Baghdad, the city that dreams of death 

--snip--

On Tuesday, a husband and wife and their daughter were brought to the morgue, all killed by gun shots. No one amid the morticians knew who killed them. But it was the sheer extent of death by violence which was so shocking. 

Yesterday, 23 bodies were brought to the morgue. There were 22 brought in on Tuesday. A week and a half ago, on just one day, almost 80 cadavers arrived; on another day 50. Even at the rate of 20 a day, a very conservative figure, this means that in Baghdad alone, 140 civilians are being killed every week, 560 a month. Again, there has been no news of this. 

During the three election days, when driving in the city was prohibited, the figures dipped. But now they are back to normal. So what is one to make of the tears and grief and shouting in the funeral yard where the corpses, boxed in cheap wooden coffins from the mosques, are taken away by families on the backs of battered, white pickup trucks. more.... 

February 3, 2005

Is history repeating itself?

US Encouraged by 1967 Vietnam Vote:
Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror
Peter Grose, NY Times, Sept. 3, 1967

February 2, 2005

Train wreck of an election By James Carroll, February 1, 2005

IN THINKING about the election in Iraq, my mind keeps jumping back to last week's train wreck in California. A deranged man, intending suicide, drove his Jeep Cherokee onto the railroad tracks, where it got stuck. The onrushing train drew near. The man suddenly left his vehicle and leapt out of the way. He watched as the train crashed into his SUV, derailed, jackknifed, and hit another train. Railroad cars crumbled. Eleven people were killed and nearly 200 were injured, some gravely. The deranged man was arrested. Whatever troubles had made him suicidal in the first place paled in comparison to the trouble he had now.

Iraq is a train wreck. The man who caused it is not in trouble. Tomorrow night he will give his State of the Union speech, and the Washington establishment will applaud him. Tens of thousands of Iraqis are dead. More than 1,400 Americans are dead. An Arab nation is humiliated. Islamic hatred of the West is ignited. The American military is emasculated. Lies define the foreign policy of the United States. On all sides of Operation Iraqi Freedom, there is wreckage. In the center, there are the dead, the maimed, the displaced -- those who will be the ghosts of this war for the rest of their days. All for what? more....

February 1, 2005

Another report from Robert Fisk:
Triumph and tragedy for Iraq 

Low level of Sunni participation tarnishes success of large poll turnout 

It was easy to imbibe the false optimism of the Western television networks and the nonsense about Iraq's "historic" day - for it will only have been historic if it changes this country, and many fear that it will not.

No one I met yesterday believes the insurgency will end - many thought it would grow more ferocious - and the Shi'ites in the polling stations said with one voice that they were also voting to rid Iraq of the Americans, not to legitimise their presence. 

This is a message that the Americans and British will ignore at their peril. more.... 

January 31, 2005

Time for Talk

The Triumph of Marketing Over Dialogue Results in a President Leading Much of the Nation Where it Doesn't Want to Go

by Deborah Tannen

A Los Angeles Times poll found recently that many Americans (between 52 and 69 percent, depending on the issue) are skeptical about President George W. Bush's proposed changes to Social Security, believe that the Iraq war has been badly mismanaged and do not want the president's tax cuts made permanent if it would worsen the deficit (which it would). Sixty percent say they believe that improving the country's infrastructure would do more to stimulate the economy than tax cuts. The Times reports that "an overwhelming majority of Americans believes Washington is unlikely to make much progress on the country's key problems."

And what of the "values" vote that we are told separates Americans on the issues of gay marriage and abortion rights? A Gallup poll dispels this notion, too. When asked to rate the importance of 18 issues facing the country, a majority placed these two "values" issues at the bottom (16 percent and 19 percent respectively). Even more striking, a CBS/New York Times poll finds that only 22 percent of respondents nationwide believe that abortion should be illegal. more....

January 30, 2005

This election will change the world. But not in the way the Americans imagined

from Robert Fisk yesterday in Baghdad

"Few in Iraq believe that these elections will end the insurgency, let alone bring peace and stability. By holding the poll now - when the Shias, who are not fighting the Americans, are voting while the Sunnis, who are fighting the Americans, are not - the elections can only sharpen the divisions between the country's two largest communities.

While Washington had clearly not envisaged the results of its invasion in this way, its demand for "democracy" is now moving the tectonic plates of the Middle East in a new and uncertain direction. The Arab states outside the Shia "Crescent" fear Shia political power even more than they are frightened by genuine democracy.

No wonder, then, King Abdullah of Jordan is warning that this could destabilise the Gulf and pose a "challenge" to the United States. This may also account for the tolerant attitude of Jordan towards the insurgency, many of whose leaders freely cross the border with Iraq." more....

January 29, 2005

Thanks to Brian Nelson for this joke:

The President, Condoleeza Rice and Dick Cheney are flying on Air Force One.

George looks at Condi, chuckles and says, "You know, I could throw a $1,000.00 bill out the window right now and make somebody very happy."

Condi shrugs her shoulders and says, "Well, I could throw ten $100.00 bills out the window and make 10 people very happy."

Cheney says, "Of course then, I could throw one-hundred $10.00 bills out the window and make a hundred people very happy."

The pilot rolls his eyes, looks at all of them and says to his co-pilot,"Such big shots back there..... hell, I could throw all of them out the window and make 56 million people really happy."

**********

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No War in Iraq march.
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