Saturday, October 14, 2006

Carrying The Burden

  1. "Israel and Australia are like sisters in Asia," Tamir said in an interview with Haaretz during a visit to Israel this week. "We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians. We don't have yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are not - we are basically the white race. We are on the western side of Asia and they are on the southeastern side." (Source:

  2. " "If they are accurate, these are grave and inappropriate expressions that the Foreign Ministry will not allow to pass without a response," she said.

    Ministry officials said Mr Tamir was on a flight to Australia and had not yet been reached for clarification.

    According to Haaretz, the ministry said it would not return to business as usual if an internal examination confirmed that Mr Tamir made the comments attributed to him.

    Mr Tamir met Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni during the week, emphasising the potential for developing trade and other links in Asia through Australia. " (Source: AP in )

Last time I looked Lebanon was in Asia. It must be so hard to carry the white man's burden so close to home.


In Which The Gorilla Pays His Dues

A Banana Loaf For Siun

  • 3 oz. butter
  • 8 oz. self-raising flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • A few drops banana essence (optional but strongly recommended.)
  • 3 oz. soft dark brown sugar (muscavado)
  • 1 gill milk
  • 3 large bananas

How to make it:

Get your oven to 350° F

While the oven is heating do the following:

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  2. Beat the egg yolks for 5 minutes add them to the butter mixture.
  3. Add the milk
  4. Add the flour.
  5. Stir thoroughly.
  6. Mash the bananaa and add.
  7. Add the banana essence.
  8. Stir thoroughly.
  9. Beat the egg whites until they're stiff fold them into the mixture.
  10. Transfer the whole shebanb into a greased loaf dish.
  11. Bake at 350° F.for about 1 hour. You know it's done when a knitting needle comes out clean.
  12. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
  13. Serve sliced plain or (if liked) sliced and spread thinly with butter.

I don't know how long it keeps because in my household it's always been eaten down to the last crumb within 24 hours.

Baked Apricots with Almond Paste for Grania

  • A baseball bat.
  • Wooden cocktail sausage sticks
  • About a dozen large ripe apricots (they should be firm)
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup flor melis (or any other superfine sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons rose water

How to make it:

Get your oven to 350° F

While the oven is heating do the following:

  1. Wash the apricots but don't skin them.
  2. Dump the other ingredients into a food blender and blend them to a soft paste.
  3. Cut the apricots in half and remove the stone.
  4. Form the paste into balls and gently shove into the cavity left by the stone.
  5. Press the two halves together gently, and insert the cocktail sausage sticks to hold them together.
  6. Put the filled apricots onto an ungreased heat-proof dish and pop into the øvn
  7. Bake until slightly softened. (About 20 minutes check after 15)
  8. They're very nice eaten warm but for my money they're best eaten chilled.
  9. If you choose to serve them chilled stand in front of the refridgerator waving the baseball bat agressively at all family members who approach. (Or resign yourself to a dessertless meal.)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Iraqi Federalism Off To A Shaky Start - Guest Posting by Badger of "Missing Links"

Today's posting in the occasional series of guest postings is from "Badger" of Missing Links.

He covers the explosive vote engineered by Al-Hakim in the Iraqi parliament for "federalism." This is a major story. The consequences of that vote are likely to be disastrous not only for Iraq, not only for the Middle East in general, but also for the circa 140,000 American dead men walking hostages to fortune future body bag occupants service men and women in Iraq. I'm sure it won't be a surprise to my readers that it hasn't been covered either widely or well in the western press. The gates of hell have just swung wide open? Well so what? No missing blondes in a Caribean resort? No pre-greased pages being preyed upon by Republican congressmen? No little fluffy bunnies? None of those? Oh well then it's back page news for most.

And yet America desperately needs a more informed populace and a more informed political debate. "Badger's" blog helps fill in some of those gaps. I wrote about "Missing Links" back on September 18th. I'm impressed by his very solid work as I said back then:

"Helping Fill In The Gaps

Via a comment of his on Juan Cole's place I've just discovered Badger's new blog "Missing Links" which Badger describes as; "News items from the Arabic-language press to help fill in the gaps."

I'm impressed. The articles he's selected are well worth reading both in their own right and as indicators of what's drawing attention in the Arabic language media - and his analysis is well argued. In short "Missing Links" is a resource for people who want to be able to make up their minds on the basis of information...."

But don't take my word for it, judge for yourselves. Badger kindly agreed to do a guest posting. I suggest you read his posting here. Then head "upriver" his place and read his latest "Iraqi federalism vote: Behind the contradictory numbers" and also that you add his blog to your daily reading.

There will be no other postings today.


Iraqi Federalism Off To A Shaky Start

We're used to the idea that the Western press beautifies the American wars with its "campaigns" and its "casualties". It's always been a little harder to get a handle on the political beautification.When the Iraqi parliament voted Wednesday on a bill to set up procedures for establishing federal regions in Iraq, the Western press reported a beautiful democratic event, and a victory for the federalists.The Iraqi press reported a procedure that reeked of skulduggery. Here's how I tried to sort through the different accounts in the immediate aftermath of the vote, a picture-perfect illustration of"political beautification". (Since then, AP has filed what I guess they call a "row-back", retelling their story to bring it a little closer to reality. You can read that here).

Baghdad papers Azzaman and Al-Mada said the vote on the federalism-procedures bill on Wednesday was 138 yeas out of 138 voting, in other words one-half of the 275 parliament members plus one, with all of the others boycotting the session. Another standard source, the pan-Arab paper Al-Hayat, said the vote was 148 in favor, out of 175 voting. Al-Sabah described the yea vote as "a majority, with 140 present." Ah, you say, surely the New York Times cleared this up. Actually the New York Times didn't offer its own figure, even though it had five staff people working on this. It said the Associated Press said the bill passed with 140 yea votes, without mentioning what the attendance was. Of maybe you prefer the Le Monde approach to this. They didn't report any vote count at all, noting only that the bill was supported by the UIA which has 138 members, and the Kurdish alliance, which has 52, thus ensuring "une solide majorite". So there you have it. The English-speaking result is a non-controversial 140 votes in favor, end of story, nothing to see here. The Arabic-speaking result is a squeaker, passing by barely one vote, suggestive of skulduggery. The French-speaking version is that the vote isn't worth reporting because this was supported by two blocs which, if all of their members had voted with the bloc, which they didn't, would have ensured a solid majority. Al-Hayat, with its 148 yeas out of 175 voting, is the statistical outlier.

Voting In The Dark

Okay with the numbers? Now let's look at the meaning. Various Arabic newspapers noted that the Speaker of Parliament, one Mashhadani, was one of those boycotting the session, which was then presided over by his deputy, Khalid Atia. "According to al-Hayat, Khalif al-Alayan, a leader of one of the mainboycotting groups, said: "This [the voting procedure] was done by collusion", followed by a cryptic remark, which -- this is only a wild guess, but -- looks like where the editor on the desk said "why don't we just leave the rest of this out". Azzaman says several parliamentarians spoke of connivance, and some of outright illegality in the passage of this. (Apparently this was voted on clause by clause, and the process took several hours, some alleging that this was drawn out to give time to pressure enough members to come in and vote, and the time it took was over the legally-permitted time for doing this).

Al-Mada is a little more helpful on the overall picture. They report that Mashhadani, before he too joined the boycott, ordered that the session be closed, ordering out even the members' staff people, and he cut off the direct electronic transmission of the session to the outside, creating a hermetically sealed environment. Which would mean there weren't any reporters there to count the votes. Of course that doesn't explain why the reporters couldn't have had recourse to an official record after the vote was over, but I guess there are some things we are not meant to know.

Bottom Line: Is Iran Undermining Our Number-System ?

"Well and good, Badger", you say, "but come to the point. Who are the black hats here?" Actually in the English-language and the French-language worlds, there weren't any black hats here. The bill passed, by a non-controversial majority, and that was that.

In my opinion, this was open-and-shut for the NYT and its information-allies, because Iraqi "federalism" is a foregone conclusion for the US and its allies. A smoother national outcome would have been nice, but it appears the default was always creative destruction, which now means an easy-going federalism is a lot more attractive than trying to put the pieces back together for a strong and competent central government. I realize this doesn't make rational sense in any world you and I are capable of imagining, but there you have it.

(If there had been a problem with the vote in the English-speaking version, it would have been the fault of the Iranians, but you knew that).

The newspapers that reported this passed by only one vote, however, had to face up to the whodunnit question. In specific terms, the finger points at four members of the party that is headed by Ayad Allawi, the so-called "Iraqi List", which being supposedly of the strong-central-government persuasion, was expected to oppose this bill by joining the boycott. Allawi is the former CIA asset from London, who went on to become interim head of the Iraqi government between the Bremer and Jaafari administrations. Azzaman names the four members of his group that had naturally been expected to join the boycott. Had they joined the boycott, Azzaman said, the bill would have failed, but unexpectedly they attended and voted for it, and that was what tipped the balance. Azzaman names the four of them, in dramatic fashion, under a separate headline: "The four that changed history". But the paper also says there were parliamentarians complaining of "direct Iranian pressure". In any event, the Azzaman take on the whole process is that the passage of this bill plunges Iraq into a tunnel of sectarian and racial division from which there will be no exit. The reporter says this bill faced "vehement popular opposition". And he quotes someone from the Fadhila wing of the UIA, which along with the Sadrists, opposed this bill as untimely: The Fadhila person said what has been a partial and latent civil war is now going to come out into the open.

If you want a detailed, dispassionate analysis of the procedures outlined in this bill, indicating why this could well be a slippery slope to long-term instability, you should read the essay on this by historian Reidar Visser, at The Draft Law for the Formation of Regions: A Recipe for Permanent Instability in Iraq?, and also his update on this at Iraq Federalism Bill Adopted Amid Protests and Joint Shiite-Sunni Boycott.

Luckily, Sovereignty Is Not An Issue

The other unusual story of that day, apart from a mortar attack and spectacular fire at an American ammunition depot, was this: US military personnel, dressed in civilian clothes, broke into the Central Courthouse in Baghdad and removed the former Electricity Minister, who had just been sentenced to two years in jail for fraud, and took him to the American Embassy for safekeeping. (Al-Hayat version in the piece linked to above). He is a dual Iraqi-US citizen, and the Americans probably thought he might not do well in the all-Iraqi prison system. The Iraqi Justice Minister had some choice words to say about this.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Qurtuba Square

Boy leaving scene of bombing in Qurtuba Square October 12th 2006
Take a look at his face. He's leaving Qurtuba Square in Baghdad. He's just seen five people killed and eleven people wounded. He's just seen what America has brought to Iraq. Once he gets over the shock he's going to start to get angry. He and his entire generation of Iraqi kids are going to have plenty of opportunities to do to Americans what Americans are doing to them.


Eery Resemblance

Murat Karyilan co-leader of the PKK

Eery but not surprising.


The System Is Designed For A Benign Environment

Bwaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha"Benign environment" listen you idiot. Nowhere in Iraq is a benign environment. Nowhere. A country in which the US has engaged in war crime, after warcrime, after warcrime, isn't a "benign environment." A country in which every single American (and allied) soldier, diplomat, civil servant, and local collaborator, can be accurately described in just two words:

"Legitimate Target"

Can't even remotely be described as benign not even in the sense you're using the word.



Resistance Growing Up at School

Resistance Growing Up at School
Ali Al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail

KHALDIYA, Oct 12 (IPS) - The bomb went off just outside the school as the IPS correspondent stood speaking to children and teachers within.

The headmaster smiled. "You will hear many of these every day if you stay here another day or two," he said. "The resistance will not stop until the last American leaves."

The children too took no notice of the blast, which shook the doors and windows of the half-destroyed school in this town near Fallujah, 70km west of Baghdad.

The children are growing up in occupied Iraq - and they are resisting it.

"Americans are bad," said 11-year-old Mustafa. "They killed my family." The family were killed in Operation Phantom Fury of November 2004 as they tried to flee the city, teachers said. That operation killed thousands and destroyed much of Fallujah and towns around it.

"God will send all Americans to hellfire," cried another child in the classroom. Attempts to suggest that not everyone they thought American was bad proved fruitless.

"How can we teach them forgiveness when they see Americans killing their family members every day," the teacher in the classroom who gave her name as Shyamaa told IPS. "Words cannot cover the stream of blood and these signs of destruction, and words cannot hide the daily raids they see."

For the headmaster, the idea of a clash of civilisations is not just an idea.

"The gap between civilisations is widening thanks to the U.S. administration's crimes against humanity all over the world," he said. "They seem determined to tear the world apart, and their footprints cannot be removed for the coming generations."


Three to four U.S. soldiers are being killed every day on average in such attacks now. The U.S. Department of Defence says at least 2,754 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq, and more than 44,000 have been wounded or have fallen ill.

U.S. troops are vacating towns, but not the country. Top U.S. military commander Gen. Peter Schoomaker said Wednesday the current level of U.S. troops, about 15 brigades, would be maintained at least through 2010.

"This is not a prediction that things are going poorly or better, it's just that I have to have enough ammo in the magazine that I can continue to shoot as long as they want us to shoot," he said.

From IPS News


Some Questions For My British Readers

Dear British Readers,

Please scroll slowly down the list of British Fatalities in Iraq to get to the questions:

2003-03-21Colour Sgt John Cecil
2003-03-21Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Karl Evans
2003-03-21Capt Philip Stuart Guy
2003-03-21Marine Sholto Hedenskog
2003-03-21Sgt Les Hehir
2003-03-21Mechanic (Comm) 2nd Class Ian Seymour
2003-03-21Warrant Officer 2nd Class Mark Stratford
2003-03-21Maj Jason Ward
2003-03-22Lt Philip D Green
2003-03-22Lt Antony King
2003-03-22Lt Marc A Lawrence
2003-03-22Lt Philip West
2003-03-22Lt James Williams
2003-03-22Lt Andrew S Wilson
2003-03-23Sapper Luke Allsopp
2003-03-23Staff Sgt Simon Cullingworth
2003-03-23Flight Lt Kevin Barry Main
2003-03-23Flight Lt David Rhys Williams
2003-03-24Sgt Steven Mark Roberts
2003-03-24Lance Cpl Barry Baz Stephen
2003-03-25Cpl Stephen Allbutt
2003-03-25Trooper David Jeffrey Clarke
2003-03-28Lance Cpl of Horse Matty Hull
2003-03-30Major Steve Alexis Ballard
2003-03-30Lance Cpl Shaun Andrew Brierley
2003-03-30Marine Christopher R Maddison
2003-03-31Staff Sgt Chris Muir
2003-04-01Lance Cpl Karl Shearer
2003-04-06Lance Cpl Ian Keith Malone
2003-04-06Piper Christopher Muzvuru
2003-04-06Fusilier Kelan John Turrington
2003-04-22Lt Alexander Tweedie
2003-04-30Lance Cpl James McCue
2003-05-06Private Andrew Joseph Kelley
2003-05-08Gunner Duncan Geoffrey Pritchard
2003-05-19Corporal David John Shepherd
2003-05-22Assistance Chief Officer Leonard Harver
2003-06-24Corporal Russell Aston
2003-06-24Sergeant Simon Alexamder Hamilton-Jewell
2003-06-24Lance Cpl Thomas Richard Keys
2003-06-24Corporal Paul Graham Long
2003-06-24Lance Cpl Benjamin John McGowan Hyde
2003-06-24Corporal Simon Miller
2003-07-18Captain James Linton
2003-08-13Private Jason Smith
2003-08-14Captain David Martyn Jones
2003-08-23Corporal Dewi Pritchard
2003-08-23Major Matthew Titchener
2003-08-23Warrant Officer Colin Wall
2003-08-27Fusilier Russell Beeston
2003-09-23Sgt John Nightingale
2003-10-31Corporal Ian Plank
2003-11-06Private Ryan Lloyd Thomas
2004-01-01Sgt Norman Patterson
2004-01-01Major James Stenner
2004-01-07Lance Cpl Andrew Jason Craw
2004-01-21Rifleman Vincent Calvin Windsor
2004-01-31Sapper Robert Thomson
2004-02-12Corporal Richard Thomas David Ivell
2004-06-28Fusilier Gordon Campbell Gentle
2004-07-19Flight Lieutenant Kristian Michel Alexander Grover
2004-08-04Private Christopher Rayment
2004-08-09Private Lee Martin O'Callaghan
2004-08-12Private Marc Ferns
2004-08-17Lance Cpl Paul David Trevor Thomas
2004-09-10Fusilier Stephen Jones
2004-09-28Gunner David Lawrence
2004-09-28Corporal Marc Taylor
2004-10-29Private Kevin Thomas McHale
2004-10-31SSgt Denise Michelle Rose
2004-11-04Sgt Stuart Robert Tennant Gray
2004-11-04Private Paul Aitken Lowe
2004-11-04Private Scott William McArdle
2004-11-08Private Pita Tukutukuwaqa
2004-12-17Chief Petty Officer Simon Roger Owen
2004-12-26Sgt Paul Connolly
2005-01-30Chief Technician Richard Antony Brown
2005-01-30Flight Sgt Mark Gibson
2005-01-30Acting Lance Cpl Steven Jones
2005-01-30Squadron Leader Patrick Brian Marshall
2005-01-30Master Engineer Gary Nicholson
2005-01-30Sgt Robert Michael O'Connor
2005-01-30Flight Lieutenant Andrew Paul Smith
2005-01-30Flight Lieutenant David Kevin Stead
2005-01-30Cpl David Edward Williams
2005-01-31Flight Lieutenant Paul Martin Pardoel
2005-03-28Private Mark Dobson
2005-05-02Gdsm Anthony John Wakefield
2005-05-29Lance Cpl Allan Brackenbury
2005-06-29Signaller Paul William Didsbury
2005-07-16Private Phillip Hewett
2005-07-162nd Lt Richard Shearer
2005-07-16Private Leon Spicer
2005-09-05Fusilier Stephen Robert Manning
2005-09-05Fusilier Donal Anthony Meade
2005-09-11Maj Matthew Bacon
2005-10-15Captain Ken Masters
2005-10-18Sgt Chris Ian Hickey
2005-11-20Sgt John Jones
2006-01-30LCpl Allan Stewart Douglas
2006-01-31Cpl Gordon Alexander Pritchard
2006-02-02Trooper Carl Joseph Smith
2006-02-28Pvt Lee Ellis
2006-02-28Capt Richard Holmes
2006-04-15Lt. Richard Palmer
2006-05-06Lt. Comdr Darren Chapman
2006-05-06Gunner. Paul M. Collins
2006-05-06Wing Comdr. John Coxen
2006-05-06Capt. David I. Dobson
2006-05-06Flt Lt. Sarah-Jayne Mulvihill
2006-05-13Pvt. Joseva Lewaicei
2006-05-13Pvt. Adam Peter Morris
2006-05-28LCpl. Paul Farrelly
2006-05-28Lt Tom Mildinhall
2006-07-15Cpl John Johnston Cosby
2006-08-01Cpl Matthew Cornish
2006-09-04Gunner Samuela Vanua
2006-09-04Gunner Stephen Robert Wright
2006-09-07Gunner Lee Darren Thornton
2006-10-02LCpl Dennis Brady

So here's the first question. It's a friendly question just between neighbours.

What did you do today to hold George Bush's bestest friend Tony to account?

Or if you did nothing can I take it that you actually like Britain being an American colony that always does what it's told? Do you think that's why those dead British soldiers joined? To fight for a pack of thieving American polticians who when they're not busy taking bribes campaign donations from their oil company buddies are busy covering up for pedophile congressmen.

Makes me glad I'm not British. How does it make you feel? Britain used to be a decent county.


What are you going to do to get her back?


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Human Cost of the War in Iraq A Mortality Study, 2002-2006

The study "The Human Cost of the War in Iraq" will be published in the Lancet. The full text of the study can be downloaded from here as a PDF file. I've turned the summary page into XHTML and posted it immediately below. I'm going through the report now and at present don't have much to add beyond the following:

  1. With one reservation which I'll cover in a lengthier posting I'd say that most of the deaths under the category "unknown" should be categorised as "killed by death squad."
  2. The quoted figures are likely towards the conservative end of the range.
  3. Anthony Cordesman has criticised the timing of the release as "political" - that's a point that will be made repeatedly. Here's my reply:

    "Tony has carved out a nice little niche for himself whoring out his undoubted intelligence and ability as the pet "liberal" analyst to the war establishment in Washington. He provides great cover and that is all he does. Nobody in authority ever seriously listens to him or acts upon his recommendations."

I'll do a longer posting on this at the weekend. Probably on Friday after the survey is published.

The Human Cost of the War in Iraq
A Mortality Study, 2002-2006


A new household survey of Iraq has found that approximately 600,000 people have been killed in the violence of the war that began with the U.S. invasion in March 2003.

The survey was conducted by an American and an Iraqi team of public health researchers. Data were collected by Iraqi medical doctors with analysis conducted by faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The results will be published in the British medical journal, The Lancet.

The survey is the only population-based assessment of fatalities in Iraq during the war. The method, a survey of more than 1,800 households randomly selected in clusters that represent Iraq's population, is a standard tool of epidemiology and is used by the U.S. Government and many other agencies.

The survey also reflects growing sectarian violence, a steep rise in deaths by gunshots, and very high mortality among young men. An additional 53,000 deaths due to non-violent causes were estimated to have occurred above the pre-invasion mortality rate, most of them in recent months, suggesting a worsening of health status and access to health care.


Between May and Jul July 2006 a national cluster survey was conducted in Iraq to assess deaths occurring during the period January 1, 2002, through the time of survey in 2006. Information on deaths from 1,849 households containing 12,801 persons was collected. This survey followed a similar but smaller survey conducted in Iraq in 2004. Both surveys used standard methods for estimating deaths in conflict situations, using population-based methods.

Key Findings

Death rates ates were 5.5/1,000/year pre-invasion, and overall, 13.2/1,000/year for the 40 months post-invasion. We estimate that through July 2006, there have been 654,965 "excess deaths"- fatalities above the pre-invasion death rate - in Iraq as a consequence of the war. Of post-invasion deaths, 601,027 were due to violent causes. . Non-violent deaths rose above the pre-invasion level only in 2006. Since March 2003, an additional 2.5% of Iraq's population have died above what would have occurred without conflict.

The proportion of deaths ascribed to coalition forces has diminished in 2006, though the actual numbers have increased each year. Gunfire remains the most common reason for death, though deaths from car bombing have increased from 2005. Those killed are predominantly males aged 15-44 years.

"The Human Cost of the War in Iraq" [PDF]


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mostly For My American Readers

"With the failure to stop and reverse the spread of nuclear weapons, military planners do not have the luxury of ignoring the possibility that such weapons might be used against military or civilian targets, abroad or at home.

A new Department of Defense doctrinal publication (pdf) defines policies and procedures for managing "the consequences from all deliberate and inadvertent releases of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear agents or substances, and high-yield explosives with potential to cause mass casualties and large levels of destruction."

You can download the files from here on the Federation of American Scientists "Project on Government Secrecy" site. You won't enjoy reading it. It makes it crystal clear exactly what level of help and protection civilians will get. The Republican party - making sure that every American is safe will experience what it's like to be from New Orleans during a hurricane when the next terrorist attack takes place.


Helping Your Neighbour Can Be A Death Sentence

17 Year old Abdur Rahman was shot while helping a neighbour move from ad doraThe body in the coffin is this lady's 17 year old son. Abdur Rahman and a friend were asked to help some women move from Dora in Baghdad. Ad-Dora used to be mixed it's now becoming mostly Sunni. I've lost track of the number of times it's been "pacified," "cleared," "swept." The latest "pacification" was just a few days or ago.

"Pacified." Yeah right. Tell that to Abdur. Oh, silly me, you can't, he's dead. He was asked to help some neighbours move. They didn't dare live there any more and being a decent kid he helped. And died.

Then people write to me from the States (usually from asking me why I don't believe the pack of lies spewed day in day out at the US military briefings and then taking me to task for being "anti-American." Take a look at that poor woman's face. She's one, just one, of the reasons why every word in every single briefing, statement, photo, you name it, released by the American military publicity machine deserves to be treated as a flagrant and cynical lie until proved otherwise.


I Have A Problem

I have a severe problem with the photograph and supplied text below:

Handout photoThe staff of the 47th Combat Support hospital in Mosul treat a wounded Iraqi soldier in a photo released by the Department of Defense. Military doctors say most of the U.S. injuries in Iraq are from explosive devices and shrapnel, with legs and arms especially vulnerable because they are not shielded by body armor. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Jacob N. Bailey/Handout/Reuters)

The problem I have is this. Iraqi soldiers may get immediate emergency treatment at US facilities when they're injured. But they sure as hell get shifted out of there and into an Iraqi hospital as fast as possible. Moreover once they're in the Iraqi hospital they have to pay for their treatment. (Nor does a disabled Iraqi soldier get any sort of pension or aftercare.) The photo and accompanying text lead readers to assume that wounded Iraqi soldiers get equal access to the same superb medical treatment that US soldiers get in the US army medical system, and that's just not true. Then American commanders gripe about how reluctant Iraqi soldiers are to take risks. If the US occupiers display a complete lack of loyalty to their Iraqi janissaries they can't expect to get loyalty in return.


Monday, October 09, 2006

Ana Iraqi

Ana Iraqi Campaign

ننشر هنا ملاحظاتكم عن السلوكيات الطائفية والعرقية التي يمارسها الاشخاص والمؤسسات والاحزاب والواجهات الاخرى و التي تلحق ضررا بالوحدة الوطنية للعراقيين . فاكتبوا الينا لكي نباشر فضح كل من يمس وحدتنا واخواتنا وتماسكنا ، لنعزل اعداء الهوية الوطنية ونوثق افعالهم للتاريخ ونضعهم في القائمة السوداء... ترسل الكتابات على الايميل التالي

سر النجاح على الدوام هو أن تسير إلى الأما


Amer al-Hashemi Assasinated

General Amer al-Hashemi Iraqi Vice-President's Tariq al-Hashemi brother has been assasinated [Arabic language]. , Tariq al-Hashemi leads the (Sunni) Iraqi Islamic Party, al-Hashemi's sister Meysoun was assasinated last April 27th (as was his brother Mahmoud two weeks previously.)

According to Aswat al Iraq [previous Arabic Language link] the general who held a post as an adviser in the Defense ministry. Was killed by gunmen who stormed his home.

"Gunmen clad in the uniform of interior ministry special forces arrived in about 10 vehicles similar to interior ministry vehicles stormed the house of General Amer al-Hashemi in al-Selaikh north Baghdad, shot him dead and fled the place,"

They also abducted his bodyguards. There is no news yet of their fate. Al-Hashemi is well known for his trenchant criticism of the presence of foreign troops in Iraq his calls for putting a timetable for their withdrawal and, crucially, for his insistence on disarming the militias.


update: See also this mix 'em gather 'em feeble attempt at a round upAP News reprort on Yahoo News. - mfi

Update 2:Abdullah Al-Sabbagh was kidnapped during the assasination. - mfi

Contemplating His Future In American Occupied Iraq

An Iraqi boy looks at a stain of blood at the site where a roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi police patrol, in central Baghdad.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

They Want Another Kind Of Freedom - Freedom From Us




Strange fruit and strange catch same type of people responsible for each