Saturday, April 22, 2006

Oasis of Joy

"An Iraqi man carries his son on his shoulders as he leaves weekly Friday noon prayers at the holy shrine of Imam Musa al-Kazem in Baghdad."

(AFP Caption)

They both seem to be enjoying themselves. From the expression on his face the little boy is having a great time. When I was researching this post I came across this page Brief sayings of Imam Musa bin Jafar Al-Kazem (A.S.) I especially liked this one:
"The best of generosity is the help to the oppressed."

Friday, April 21, 2006

Are you hungry?

These children are, that's a garbage dump, - they're looking for food.

What are you cooking for your children tonight?

Are your children the same age as these?

How would you feel if your children had to do this to eat?

If your children had to do this to eat would you be surprised if they turned to crime?

If your children had to do this to eat would you be surprised if they turned to violence?

If your children had to do this to eat would you be surprised if they turned to prostitution?

If your children had to do this to eat would you be surprised if they turned to drugs?

Aromatic Joyful Singing

We'd Rather Kill 'Em Off by PEaceful Means

Reader Dr. C has suggested you read this article PTSD: What About the Children?


Update 2

Army suicides hit highest level since 1993
83 soldiers killed themselves in 2005, up from 67 the previous year


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Three Crying Children and a Brave Old Lady

These three children were photographed today Thursday at the funeral of a man who was found shot dead yesterday night in Baghdad. As you can see somebody is trying to comfort them. Click the graphic if you wish to see the full size photo. Do they look comforted to you? They do not look very comforted to me.

This old lady's name is Betty Brassell. Look at her. She needs a walking frame and the court officer is helping her into the court building.

She is one of 18 grandmothers who blocked access to the U.S. military recruiting station in Times Square and was arrested for it. I am a soldier's daughter, one of my grandparents was put into German concentration camp for being in the resistance, the man I am going to marry is a bomb disposal officer in the army. I will return to my commission when I graduate in a few weeks. Call me a pacificist and I will kick your fucking teeth in. As far as I am concerned this old lady is a hero. As far as I am concerned those badges she is wearing are worth more than any heap of medals. I salute her.

What are you doing to stop Dick Cheney's evil war?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Don't Believe Everything You Hear

pete tx:

What's the reason for the two beheadings?


I don't believe those reports.

But listen carefully to what I'm not saying:

I'm not saying that it's not possible. I'm not saying that those determined to break up the country so they could go their own way wouldn't do such a thing. I'm not saying that to do that they need to shatter the alliance between the current PM and al-Sadr who are determined to resist that breakup and that neutralising al-Sadr by committting atrocities in neighbourhoods controlled by his militia would be part of that.

I'm saying I don't believe that in this particular case that teachers were beheaded in two separate primary schools in the al-Shaab district of east Baghdad.



Echidne of the Snakes - Glasgow Scotland 2000
In which her divine serpentinity explains the upper reaches of what passes for thought amongst the American extreme right (and then has to take a lie-down to recover.)

Go read, not having ichor in my veins I'll be busy spending the rest of the day in the vomitorium, third door on the left follow the sound of despairing laughter interspersed with "horp horp horp."



PS: click the graphic to see the goddess in all her glory.

PPS: Depending on the browser you use you may have to scroll down a bit. The posting in question is the one headed: "Wingnuttery 101"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What's this "WE" business paleface?

The naked colonialist arrogance of this disgraceful article posted on Firedoglake by "Democrat Taylor Marsh" put me in such a bad temper that I left. Here's her concluding paragraph in which the memsahib delivers her instructions to the brown people:

" "A few days" wait to form an Iraqi government is not good enough. Someone needs to light a fire under these people. If Bush and his administration can’t get it done they need to get an emissary over to Iraq immediately who can make it happen and soon. Everything depends on Iraq forming a permanent government. Get it done."
Before you click the link I suggest you grab a pencil and some paper. Count the number of times she says "we" in the ensuing comments. The pottery barn principle:
"We broke it we own it."
is alive and well and it's not just for right wing republicans like Colin Powell or extreme right wing Republican presidential wannabe Senator John McCain. In an earlier generation the American satirist Tom Lehrer exposed this sort of colonialist mindset succinctly:

Send The Marines! - Tom Lehrer

"When someone makes a move
Of which we don't approve,
Who is it that always intervenes?
U.N. and O.A.S.,*
They have their place, I guess,
But first - send the Marines!

We'll send them all we've got,
John Wayne and Randolph Scott;
Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
To the shores of Tripoli,
But not to Mississippoli,
What do we do? We send the Marines!

For might makes right,
And till they've seen the light,
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
Till somebody we like can be elected.

Members of the corps
All hate the thought of war;
They'd rather kill them off by peaceful means.
Stop calling it aggression,
Ooh, we hate that expression!
We only want the world to know
That we support the status quo.
They love us everywhere we go,
So when in doubt,
Send the Marines! "

I'd like to believe that the wonderful denizens of what is one of my favourite American political sites - Firedoglake, who piled in with unfavourable comments on Marsh's article are in the majority, but I don't. Now to be fair they had another guest posting that night entitled "Oh Wow" by Ian Welsh. It's just that Ian Welsh is ummmm Canadian.


*OAS - "The Organisation of American States" an intergovernmental organisation set up by the USA during the cold war to coordinate its various satraps ruling over a mix of descendents of colonists and brown people in South America.


Today there was a bomb explosion in a cafe/restaurant in Al-Suleikh in Eastern Baghdad. AP are saying that the coffee shop was frequented by police. I rather doubt that. In that particular part of Baghdad the police are far from popular. As this from a resident helping to search for bodies in the wreckage shows:

"Labourers gather here and there is a coffee shop and a restaurant. At around 10 a.m. the blast happened and we ran outside to see. We collected pieces of flesh. There were no policemen, only innocent people sitting in the coffee shop"

The bomb appears to have been targetted at a passing patrol. The woman in the photo is looking for her son who was in the cafe at the time. I haven't been able to find out if she found him or whether he was alive or dead.