Saturday, November 18, 2006

Not All Victims Are Innocent

Two victims of the war on IraqThe two people in the graphic are both victims of the war in Iraq started by America and her allies. Both are human tragedies. The child in al-Kindi hospital was wounded by mortar fire. The man to the left is Paul Reuben who worked for a "private security firm."

There is however a very important difference. Reuben apparently was a nice guy who was in Iraq to make a bit of money and buy a house. His death is tragic. There have been very sad photographs published of his grieving family. It's impossible to be unmoved by the pain and grief they're now experiencing. But there's problem. And the problem is this.

One of these people is an innocent victim of America and her allies war against the Iraqi people. That's the child. The other, Mr. Reuben was anything but innocent. "Security contractor" is a nice way of saying "mercenary." He decided to go to Iraq to make money and he was perfectly prepared to kill to do so. On an individual level his death is tragic. But he had no right to be there. He decided to be a hired killer. His action meant that he was directly supporting the corrupt illegal and racist war and occupation that has caused the death of countless innocent civilians. In his small "entry level" way he decided to profit from the misery and bloodshed in Iraq. His decision was as evil and immoral as the decisions of the war profiteers sitting in comfort in the USA and raking in their almost completely tax free millions. The only differences are those of scale and that he lost his gamble.

He should have stayed at home.

markfromireland

Friday, November 17, 2006

We're going to be running a colony - part 3

This is what Mark and Declan wrote on July 6th of this year. First Mark:

Ahmed and Mohammed Qassim Hamza Ahmed is the boy on the left he's aged 9 Mohammed is aged 11"These two boys are Ahmed Qassim Hamza and Mohammed Qassim Hamza. Ahmed is the boy on the left he's aged 9. His brother Mohammed is 11.

They're what's left of the the family of the 14 year old girl raped and murdered in Mahmoudiya by a group of 5 US soldiers one of whom, Steven D. Green has now been charged with homicide and aggravated sexual assault. [A copy of the complaint against Green can be found here. - mfi]

  1. Their father Qasim Hamza Raheem's head was "smashed" by bullets;
  2. Their mother Fakhriyah Taha Muhsin died of gunshot wounds to her head.
  3. Their seven year old younger sister Hadeel Qasim Hamza was shot dead.
  4. Their fourteen year old sister Abeer Qasim Hamza first raped then shot and her body burnt.

Declan then updated:

The couple had found the two young boys in the family crying as they stood outside the farmhouse, where they could see the bodies inside. The boys had been at school when the killings occurred but were home by the time Janabi and his wife arrived.

Those American soldiers did what they did because they wanted to and because they could.

90 years is not enough.

Laith

Of Course He Was A Muslim So That Makes It All Right

Academic freedom and freedom of expression as practised by UCLA police:


I wonder how they knew he was a Muslim. Brown skin and uppity perhaps. Hat tip to Steve Gilliard's News Blog. I suggest you read the comments as well.

America's Finest. Raping 14 year old children in Iraq and tasing Muslim students in America. You! You there in the back. What's the common denominator? Yup, brown Muslim, therefore fair prey. Got it in one. Well done. Go to the top of the class.

markfromireland

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Why I Feel Rage

The mother of the murderer JodkaOne of the things about doing this that makes me clench my fists is going to the Western news sites and the western bloggs. This lady is the mother of the murderer Jodka. I feel no pity for her. Her son is one the four American soldiers who murdered an inncent Iraqi civilian. He has been sentenced to 18 months for his part in the crime. 18 months! According to the western reports she has said that she hopes it will not "define his life."

I am a parent, I can feel some sympathy for what is described as her anguish. But there are things that I as a parent also feel. Her son came to my country prepared to kill.

He was one of a group who took a crippled old man and murdered him. For his part in this crime he will spend 18 months in prison. Apparently he is "truly sorry." Really?

Jodka earlier apologized to Awad's family, to his own family and to "my Marine Corps whose highest ideals I have failed to uphold."

What ideals? The ideals of a group of armed men who slaughtered my people. They have behaved like a wolf in winter from the moment they got here. In my own immediate family in this year alone I have buried six people. His "ideals" are the subjugation of my children and myself to his country. To hell with him, to hell with his parents who failed to do their job and rear him with respect for human life. To hell with the country whose true values he reflects.

Peace? Forgiveness? Yes eventually. After his comrades have been forced to leave my land. What will that take? It will take treating them as they have treated us. I do not grieve when I learn that another invader has been killed.

I rejoice.

And this is the thing that perhaps I hate this woman's son and his comrades and the society whose true values he reflects for the most.

That they have killed my ability to feel the pity that one should feel for a mother who saw her child shackled like an animal as this poor woman did.

Laith

Why Are Bakeries Attacked So Often?

Child in bakery blood shoes on floorToday another backery was attacked in Baghdad. This time it was the al-Rafidayn bakery in Zayonah (East Baghdad). People need bread they gather to buy it - particularly early in the mornings. Therefore bakeries are often attacked. That is one reason why bakeries are attacked. There is another. Traditionally being a baker was a low-status job. It is not surprising therefore that in Iraq many bakers belong to the Shia sect.

The attack was carried out by gunmen. They drove up and shot four of the bakers dead along with customers. All four were brothers. According to radio Annas 9 people were killed and 12 people were wounded. If you look at the photograph you can see the shoes of the bakers on the floor in the blood.

You should also look at the child and how he holds himself.

Laith

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Al Jazeera English Launches

Before I turn in for the night Al Jazeera launched their English news channel today. Their subscription page is here. No US cable or satellite providers are carrying it but Market watch have information here on how to subscribe to their on-line broadcasts.

A bit of googling and hunting around on you tube turned up this:

G'night folks :-)

markfromireland

PS: The now largely defunct al Jazeera staff blog is here

Happy Thoughts

I read today that Condoleeza Rice has been thinking a lot about my country.

QUESTION: Can you tell us anything about the internal meetings the Secretary had yesterday here on Iraq and what sort of the objective was? Is there a review going on within the Department about policy? I know there's one in the Defense Department going on.

MR. MCCORMACK: Right. She's been doing -- like I said, she's been doing a lot of thinking over the past month and a half, two months about Iraq; certainly as it relates specifically to the State Department and more broadly. But the primary focus is on the State Department's role in Iraq and are we pursuing the proper policies, are we seeking the right objectives, you know, are we using the right means to achieve those objectives, following the right strategies and right tactics. So this is something she's been doing, leading an informal group here in the State Department the past month and a half or so. And as you point out, the Department of Defense is engaged in a similar kind of exercise as are other agencies, I believe. So this is a continuing conversation here in the Department as well as over at the White House. They're getting together and starting to talk a little bit about what their findings are and what their thinking is.

Now, as for any sort of formal, you know, formal policy reviews, I'll leave it to my White House colleagues to describe how they view these efforts. But it is, from our perspective here in the State Department, yeah, it is -- it's a review of, you know, are we doing the right things? Are we doing everything that we possibly can? Are we doing the right things?

United States, State Department, November 14 2006

I already knew that:
Condoleeza Rice thinks about Irak

Ali

Sometimes The Man Just Excels Himself


Click the graphic to see full size. I'm not sure if I'll be able to post anything further today. I'm too busy wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes.

markfromireland

Mother of All Defeats

Commentary No. 197, Nov. 15, 2006

"Mother of All Defeats"

George W. Bush is a high-stakes gambler. When high-stakes gamblers lose, they lose big. George W. Bush has lost big - in Iraq and in the United States.

When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, it seemed that, despite overwhelming military power, the United States might even lose the war. It didn't take too long to see that the United States actually was losing the war. By now, it is obvious that the United States has lost the war, irremediably. The U.S. objective in Iraq was to put in power a stable, friendly government, and one that would allow U.S. military bases. It is clear now that if it is stable, it won't be friendly. And if it is friendly, it won't be stable.

On November 7, the Republican Party lost the midterm elections. As Bush himself said, in all the close races, the margin was very slight, but overall it was a "thumping." The degree of thumping is underlined by the fact that, after the elections, Bush's poll ratings went down still further.

Reason number one was the fact that most Americans felt that the war was going badly in Iraq and they wanted to get the military home. Even in districts where the Democratic candidate did not make this an issue, it played in the background. There were other reasons to be sure. Many centrist voters voted against the Christian right, and having some Democratic candidates who took a more centrist position on the "social" issues didn't hurt.

The question is what is going to happen now. Bush is not, and has never been, an ideologue. He is a pragmatic rightwing politician, who does what he thinks necessary to win elections. He has been pretty good at this, and he is aware of the mistakes he has made in recent years - not in geopolitics (where he basically understands nothing and cares about very little), but in U.S. politics, where he has gotten a "thumping." He is adjusting. He has fired Rumsfeld, will back seat Cheney, and (no doubt following Karl Rove's advice) has called for help from the old "realist" wing of the Republican party - his father, James Baker, and the incoming Defense Secretary, Robert Gates. He is hoping to co-opt the Democratic leadership into his revived bipartisan veneer.

Can he do this? Specifically, what can he do about Iraq? And what can he do about the Democratic thrust forward? The short answer on Iraq is that it is hard to see any way he can extricate himself and the United States elegantly from the Iraq fiasco. The Baker-Hamilton commission will soon let us know what "new directions" they see, but I doubt that they can come up with anything that can work.

Some people talk about dividing Iraq into three parts. This is a non-starter. Neither Turkey nor Iran can tolerate an independent Kurdistan, and the Kurds will be far better off in their present de facto autonomy than in fighting a war with neighbors. The majority of the Shia do not want a separate state. For one thing, why have Shia-stan when they can more or less dominate a united Iraq? And in any case, what would happen to Baghdad? And of course, the Sunni are dead opposed. So of course are all Iraq's neighbors, without exception. And as we have seen in Yugoslavia, separate states do not end ethnic conflict; they actually enhance it.

Basically, there are only two ways the United States can withdraw from Iraq with minimal further loss of life and minimal political damage. They can ask Iran to be their intermediary to dampen internal conflict in Iraq, which might work. Or, alternatively, the al-Sadr faction of the Shia and the Sunni resistance can join forces on an anti-American platform and ask the United States politely to leave immediately (that is, kick the United States out), which also might work.

Neither alternative is the least bit palatable to Bush or to the U.S. Congress. But these two alternatives represent probably the best deal the United States can get at this stage. Any other road almost surely leads to an ending in which helicopters ferry people out of the Green Zone to Kuwait.

The one thing that is sure is that there will be no U.S. troops in Iraq as we approach the 2008 elections. The voters and the military made that clear in the 2006 election. Of course there will be a massive blame game - among Republicans as to who lost the 2006 elections, and between Democrats and Republicans as to who lost Iraq. But the word on everyone's mind is "lost."

We can also be sure that bombing either North Korea or Iran is off the real agenda (including for Israel). The U.S. armed forces and the U.S. electorate will not tolerate it (not to speak of the rest of the world). Where will this leave the United States as a world power? It will probably result in a big push towards drawing inward. Already, in the 2006 elections, many candidates won by opposing "free trade" and Iraq was a dirty word. The political temptation will be to go local in emphasis. One of the major side effects will be a notable reduction in U.S. support for Israeli foreign policy, which will be wrenching for Israel.

The Democrats are united on internal economic legislation - higher minimum wages, better and more affordable health care, financial aid to college students. They are also going to push ecology issues and medical advances (stem cell research, for example). If the Republicans hope to recuperate strength, they will have to move their economic program as well as their program on social issues somewhat in a centrist direction.

The result, as is already obvious, is to create major turmoil in the Republican party, while reducing it in the Democratic party - the exact opposite of what has been the case in the last decade. And in early 2009, George W. Bush will fade into the wilderness, remembered (if we bother) for being the front man for the mother of all defeats - in Iraq, in the world-system, and at home for the Republican party.

by Immanuel Wallerstein


markfromireland

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The American Militiary Had No Immediate Comment

Salim Falih's son at his father's funeralHis father's name was Salim Falih. He was killed yesterday in the American assault on al-Shula. That's in Baghdad it's not particularly prosperous 'though it's nowhere near as poverty stricken as Sadr city which it abuts.

As usual the Americans "escalated" force the moment there was the slightest resistance. As usual the Americans called in air strikes. As usual it is a war crime do that. Not that that is ever a consideration for the American forces who have committed one war crime after another in Iraq. This particular war crime was relatively small scale by American standards in Iraq. The green zone "government" police put the dead from the American assault upon a civilian residential area at 5. Residents put the total at 9. I know who I believe and its not the "police." Forunately I don't have to worry about what some American occupation spokesperson has to say. Because, also as usual, they have "no immediate comment to make." It'll just be the usual pack of lies when they do get around to commenting.

The excuse for last night's assault on civilians was that it was a "raid" against followers of the "radical" Muqtada al-Sadr. There's nothing particularly radical about al-Sadr's theology it's relatively mainstream towards the stricter end of the spectrum, true, but relatively mainstream. What's radical is that so far he's refused to be co-opted. That's what AP mean when they use terms such a "radical" about any Iraqi in particular about any Iraqi clergyman or politician. What they mean is "not an Uncle Tom."

So what's in this now fatherless child's future? That's easy. Poverty and humiliation are his future. He's going to depend for his food, clothing, and education, upon the very people who the Americans tried to kill last night. He'll grow up with a searing hatred of the country that killed his father and made his life a misery. Maybe he will want revenge. I hope not. But it's likely. It is more than probable that you're looking at a future radical - made in the USA.

Mission accomplished.

markfromireland

The Karrada Abductions

العجيلي : اختطاف موظفي وزارة التعليم العالي اختراق امني كبير
من واثق اسماعيل وكوثر عبد الامير
(لاضافة تصريحات وزير التعليم العالي)
بغداد-(أصوات العراق)
وصف عبد ذياب العجيلي وزير التعليم العالي عملية اختطاف أكثر من 100 من موظفي الوزارة اليوم الثلاثاء بانه اختراق امني كبير لان المنطقة التي تتواجد بها مكاتب الوزارة تعج بنقاط التفتيش سواء التابعة للشرطة او للجيش، واقترح تعطيل الدراسة بالجامعات العراقية.
وقال الوزير في تصريحات لقناة تلفزيون (العراقية) الناطقة باسم الحكومة "انا بنفسي طلبت من وزيري الداخلية والدفاع ان يقوما بتأمين الحماية لوزارة التعليم والجامعات العراقية.. لدينا معلومات تفيد ان هناك جهات ارهابية تستهدف الوزارة والجامعات."
واقتحم افراد يستقلون سيارات حكومية ويرتدون زي الشرطة العراقية صباح اليوم مكاتب حكومية وسط بغداد وخطفوا العشرات من الموظفين.
وقال ان "عدد من تم اختطافهم يتراوح بين 100 الى 150 بين موظف ومراجع من الذكور فقط."
وأضاف العجيلي ان الوزارة "توفرت لديها معلومات تفيد ان سيارات شرطة كانت متواجدة في المكان قامت بمتابعة سيارات القوة المهاجمة الى مكان معين..وبعد ذلك لا نعرف ماحدث."
وأشار الى ان هذه القوات قد "ذهبت بالمخطوفين باتجاه ملعب الشعب شرق بغداد."
وفي لقاء له مع اعضاء البرلمان العراقي الذي استضافه على عجل قال العجيلي في مثل هذه الظروف "ليس امامي الا ايقاف التعليم العالي في بغداد حتى نعرف ماذا سيحدث."
وقال شاهد عيان من نفس الدائرة التي تعرضت لعملية الاختطاف كان خارج البناية لحظة الحادثة " ان مايقارب من اربعين سيارة يرتدي افرادها اللون الكاكي اقتحموا المكاتب (دائرة البعثات والعلاقات الثقافية) في حدود الساعة العاشرة والنصف (صباحا بتوقيت بغداد) وقاموا باقتياد جميع الاشخاص الذين كانوا متواجدين في البناية الى موقف السيارات التابع للدائرة."
واضاف الشاهد الذي طلب عدم ذكر اسمه ان "الخاطفين قاموا بعد ذلك بالتدقيق بهويات الاشخاص ثم عزلوهم في مجموعتين .. ثم قاموا باخذ مجموعة واحدة."
ونفي الوزير ان يكون المختطفون من طائفة واحدة وقال "الموظفون الذين تم اختطافهم هم من جميع الفئات .. اختطفوا الاشخاص دون تمييز."
وحسب التقسم الطائفي الذي تم اعتماده في ابان التشكيل الحكومي الذي جرى الصيف الماضي فان وزارة التعليم العالي اصبحت من نصيب قائمة التوافق العراقية السنية.
وأشار الى ان المداهمة استغرقت 15دقيقة وانه اتصل بالنجدة ايضا دون جدوى.
وقال "ان حراسة المبنى اشتبكت في بادئ الامر مع القوى الا انها تمكنت في النهاية من دخول المبنى وقاموا بعزل النساء في قاعة واخذ الرجال من عامل بسيط في الوزارة الى المدير العام كما قاموا بجمع اجهزة الموبايل واخذ الثمين منها وترك البسيط."
وأشار الى ان هذه القوات قد "ذهبت باتجاه ملعب الشعب شرق بغداد."
وقال العجيلي ان ما يجري في العراق من استهداف الاساتذه والوزارات هو "افشال لمسيرة التعليم العالي للعراق وافشال خطط الدولة."
ومازالت مدينة بغداد تشهد العديد من عمليات الاغتيال التي تستهدف الاساتذة الجامعيين حيث قتل العشرات منهم خلال الفترة الماضية بينما هرب عشرات اخرون خارج البلاد خوفا من هذه العمليات.
وقالت مصادر وزارة الداخلية العراقية اليوم الثلاثاء ان افرادا يستقلون سيارات حكومية ويرتدون زي الشرطة العراقية اقتحموا مكاتب حكومية وسط بغداد وخطفوا 20 موظفا وافتادوهم الى مكان مجهول.
وأوضح مصدر من الداخلية لوكالة أنباء (أصوات العراق) المستقلة ان "افرادا يرتدون زي مغاوير الداخلية ويستقلون سيارت حديثة قاموا اليوم الثلاثاء باقتحام مكاتب دائرة البعثات الثقافية ودائرة اعمار المشاريع التابعين لوزارة التعليم العالي والكائنة في منطقة الكرادة وخطفوا 20 شخصا من العاملين في الدائرة واقتادوهم الى مكان مجهول."
لكن وزارة التعليم العالي أكدت ان "عدد المختطفين قد يتجاوز المئة."
وقال متحدث من المكتب الاعلامي لوزارة التعليم العالي ان سيارات حكومية وافرادا يرتدون ملابس قوات الداخلية اقتحموا المكاتب وقاموا باقتياد كل الاشخاص الذين كانوا متواجدين داخل المكاتب من الموظفين والاشخاص المراجعين من ضمنهم مدير المكتب."
وقالت وزارة الداخلية العراقية انها علمت "بالحادثة وان جميع وحداتها العاملة في بغداد دخلت الان في حالة الانذار بحثا عن الجهة التي تقف وراء العملية."
وأضاف المسؤول بالداخلية والذي رفض تأكيد عدد المختطفين "نريد ان نعلم الان من هي الجهة التي تقف وراء العملية هل هم ارهابيون ام هي جهات حكومية؟."
وطالب نائبان بالبرلمان العراقي الحكومة العراقية والقوات الامريكية اليوم الثلاثاء بالتدخل لحل أزمة اختطاف العشرات من الموظفين الحكوميين واطلاق سراحهم والسيطرة على الملف الأمني بالبلاد.
وقال عضو مجلس النواب عن قائمة التوافق العراقية علاء مكي ان عدد الاشخاص الذين خطفوا اليوم يتراوح بين 100 الى 150 شخصا بين موظف ومراجع.
وطالب مكي خلال الجلسة الثالثة والخمسين للبرلمان اليوم رئيس الوزراء والوزراء الامنيين بالتدخل لحسم الموضوع.
واشار الى ان "المختطيفن من الطائفتين (السنية والشيعية ) مما يعني ان الشعب العراقي هو المقصود بغض النظر عن طائفة معينة."
ومن جانبه، قال علي الاديب عضو الائتلاف العراقي الموحد في مداخلة له خلال جلسة مجلس النواب ان عدد المعتقلين من دائرة البعثات يبلغ 150 شخصا.
وأضاف ان "الكيفية التي تمت بها العملية تؤكد انها اختطاف وليست اعتقال."
وأوضح أن "القوات الامريكية لاتزال تسيطر على الملف الامني وهي المسؤولة عن ايقاف هذه الحالات التي هي خروقات خطيرة للامن."
وطالب الاديب "القوات الامريكية بترك الملف الامني للعراقيين اذا كانت غير قادرة على تحقيق الأمن للعراقيين."
وتعيد حادثة الاختطاف حادثة مماثلة وقعت في الصيف الماضي وفي نفس المنطقة وسط بغداد عندما قامت مسلحون يرتدون ملابس الشرطة العراقية باختطاف احمد الحجية السامرائي رئيس اللجنة الاولمبية العراقية وعشرات اخرين من العاملين معه والذين كانوا مجتمعين لمناقشة قضايا تهم واقع الرياضة العراقية.
ومازال مصير الحجية مجهولا حتى الان ولم تعلن اي جهة مسؤوليتها عن الحادثة ولم تعلن وزارة الداخلية حتى الان من هي الجهة التي وقفت وراء الحادثة.
وتكررت حوادث الخطف الجماعي في مدينة بغداد وبالذات من قبل مجموعات يرتدي افرادها ملابس القوات الحكومية في الفترة الماضية اكثر من مرة.
وكان عشرات من الاشخاص يعملون في شركة حماية خاصة اختطفوا من منطقة شارع فلسطين شرقي بغداد العام الماضي من قبل مجموعة يرتدي افرادها ملابس الشرطة العراقية ومازل مصيرهم مجهولا.
كما اختطف عشرات اخرون يعملون في مكاتب سفر اهلية قبل اشهر من منطقة الصالحية وسط بغداد من قبل قوات حكومية ومازال مصيرهم مفقودا حتى اللحظة.
ش ع

اصوات العراق

There's no doubt what today's main story is, the abduction of an unknown number of people from the Scholarships and cultural relations department and the computing research center of the education ministry in Karrada. At least 1oo and perhaps as many as 150 people have been abducted.

Karrada as Mark has repeatedly noted is under the control of SCIRI. As Mark has also repeatedly noted the Interior Ministry "special forces" are paid by, and report directly to the American "advisers" in the Interior Ministry.

SCIRI control the interior ministry and support both the occupation and the break up of Iraq. They are heavily implicated in death squad activity. That however is not the important point of today's kidnappings.

Let us first examine what is known (Source above and eyewitness accounts:)

  • Gunmen dressed in police uniforms stormed the building.
  • They took the employees down to the car park.
  • They separated the employees confiscating telephones and pagers from the women as they did so.
  • They then herded their victims into what witnesses report were at least 25 cars.
  • They then drove east.
  • The entire operation lasted 15 minutes.
We emphasise that to carry out an operation such as this that you need:
  • A lot of planning.
  • Considerable coordination.
  • A lot of well disciplined people willing to take risks and capable of working as a team.
  • A lot of automobiles.
  • Secure location(s) to hold and or kill the abductees.
  • Inside knowledge.

    Ideally you should also have conducted at least one and most likely several "dry runs."
  • SCIRI do NOT control the education ministry. That ministry is contolled by the Sunni bloc bitterly opposed to the breakup of Iraq.
Much of the report we cite above can be discounted. It is impotent politicians grandstanding and seeking to deflect blame. But this is undeniable:
ومازالت مدينة بغداد تشهد العديد من عمليات الاغتيال التي تستهدف الاساتذة الجامعيين حيث قتل العشرات منهم خلال الفترة الماضية بينما هرب عشرات اخرون خارج البلاد خوفا من هذه العمليات
As is this:
وأوضح أن "القوات الامريكية لاتزال تسيطر على الملف الامني وهي المسؤولة عن ايقاف هذه الحالات التي هي خروقات خطيرة للامن

Baghdad in particular has indeed seen many targetted murders and kidnappings of educators particularly in the university sector. The intent is clear to deprive Iraq of the ability to educate its people. There is only one country which wants a weak a war torn Iraq and that country is not one of Iraq's neighbours.

The Americans are indeed responsible for and control the security of Baghdad. They have repeatedly refused to even consider relinquishing control.

Nobody in the Middle East will benefit from the collapse of Iraq. But the collapse is the inevitable result of every single action and policy of the occupiers to date. We look at what the invaders do not at what they say. What the invaders have done from the moment they invaded has been to the break up of Iraq and the subjugation of the Iraqi people.

We expect there to be more such operations in the future and that those operations will be both larger and more sophisticated.

Ali, Laith, markfromireland, Omar.

Family Life In Iraq November 14th 2006

Family life in Iraq Thank You America
"No child should ever have to experience the terror of abduction, or worse. No family should ever have to endure the nightmare of losing a child. Our nation grieves with every family that has suffered unbearable loss. And our nation will fight threats against our children."    George W. Bush April 30, 2003

That is as true of our children as it is of American children. Taking that advice is why Iraqis are killing the invaders' troops and their collaborators. If you want that to stop the solution is easy:

Leave.

Ali

Monday, November 13, 2006

Late For School

Get out of my way I'm late for school
Ali

Sunday, November 12, 2006

We Would Like To Say Thank You

5 photograph irak november 12 2006

  1. Hospital morgue in Baquba today. Those are PEOPLE who should be ALIVE.
  2. The wreckage left by a car bombing today. It wrecked PEOPLE too.
  3. A bombing survivor being treated and comforted.
  4. He has just found out that his 7 year old son was one of those killed in the bombing.
  5. Walking past the scene of a car bombing in Baghdad today.

The people of Irak would like to thank everyone who made this possible. In particular we would like to thank the people of the USA who voted to make it possible.

Now that we have thanked you for wrecking our home and our children you may leave.

Ali

Is Blair A Neo-Con About Political Money Too?

Has "New Labour" under Yankee Poodle Tony emulated his master's best buddy's the toxic texan's Republican Party less than ethical approach to slush funds political cash? There's this from the UK Independent today all empahases added by me:


Cash for honours: Labour hid millions from auditors
Exclusive: Scotland Yard investigates failure to disclose £12m of loans as pressure mounts on Tony Blair
By Marie Woolf and Francis Elliott
Published: 12 November 2006

The Labour Party concealed from its own auditors the receipt of millions of pounds in loans from businessmen nominated by Tony Blair for Labour peerages, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

Scotland Yard has now broadened its inquiry to consider allegations that the party produced a false balance sheet and broke the law by failing to disclose £12m-worth of loans in audited annual figures published last year.

The widening of the investigation to look at accounting irregularities will significantly increase the pressure on Mr Blair, who is now considered by the police as the pivotal figure in the inquiry.

The police are looking into allegations that Labour was guilty of the "systematic concealment of liabilities" in its financial accounts, according to sources involved in the investigation.

Senior Labour Party figures have told The Independent on Sunday that the party did not inform its own auditors that it had received the loans until the spring of 2006 - a year after the money arrived in the party's coffers.

The auditors signed off the party's 2004 accounts in June 2005, not knowing that Labour had accumulated £12m in loans the month before.

The police are also closely examining Mr Blair's role in the honours process and what he told his chief fundraiser, Lord Levy, and its National Executive Committee about the loans.

Mr Blair, who nominated the donors for peerages, could also face accusations of misleading the National Executive Committee, the party's governing body which is responsible for checking that Labour's financial system is secure and accurate.

The Scotland Yard team, led by Assistant Commissioner John Yates, is expected to interview Mr Blair in the next few weeks, with questions about the accounts.

The police have received information that the party produced a false balance sheet by failing to mention the loans in its 2004 accounts. They are considering whether there was a breach of the terms of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000, which includes an offence of concealment or disguise.

[snip].

According to usual accountancy practice, loans worth millions of pounds should have been disclosed in Labour's 2004 accounts as a "material post-balance sheet event" because they had such a large bearing on the party's finances - even though they were received later than the end of the year.

In the 2005 accounts, Labour did include a "post- balance sheet event". The party said it had received a £2m loan from Richard Caring, who runs the Ivy restaurant, one of London's favourite celebrity haunts. He gave Labour a loan in March 2006 and the loan was included in the party's 2005 accounts - even though it was received in 2006.

The police will be considering whether the party deliberately concealed the £12m loans from the accounting firm Horwath Clark Whitehill in order to keep them out of the books. The firm gave the party a clean bill of health when it audited the accounts.

[snip]

Meanwhile, cabinet ministers have turned up the heat on Mr Blair by telling detectives they cannot explain why he nominated secret donors for peerages. They believe "the net is closing in" on Mr Blair after Mr Yates wrote to every member of the Cabinet last week.

His letter, seen by The Independent on Sunday, listed 13 wealthy businessmen who made secret loans to Labour. Each senior minister was asked whether they had nominated any of the individuals for an honour or knew of any reason why they should receive one.

The letter then asked whether they were aware that the individuals had provided financial help to Labour. But in their replies, most of Mr Blair's most senior ministers have made clear they cannot explain why any had been put forward for an honour.

One minister described Mr Yates's letter as a "fishing expedition", but also said that it was clear evidence that the net was now closing in on the PM.

Tony Blair

Charge
The Prime Minister personally nominated to the House of Lords millionaires who had secretly lent Labour money. Mr Blair is one of the few figures in the party who knew about the loans. He is being accused of awarding "peerages for cash".

Outcome
Police are expected to ask to question him under caution in the coming weeks.

Patricia Hewitt

Charge
Sir Gulam Noon donated £2,500 to her constituency party. Her office is believed to have helped secure a knighthood for the Labour lender when she was Trade and Industry Secretary. Ms Hewitt registered his donation,calling him "a personal friend".

Outcome
The police have asked to interview her.

Ian McCartney

Charge
The former Labour Party chairman knew the party was receiving loans, but he insists he never knew the identity of the lenders. The minister signed forms certifying the nominations of several major donors in his hospital bed, but was unaware they had also lent the party cash.

Outcome
He has already spoken to the police.

Alan Milburn

Charge
A close ally of the Prime Minister, he played a key role in planning Labour's general election campaign. He revealed he had been told during the campaign that the party had plenty of cash in loans to fight the Tories.

Outcome
He is one of a few former ministers questioned by detectives, but was not interviewed under caution.

Jonathan Powell

Charge
As Tony Blair's chief of staff, he would have been closely informed of the honours process. The Prime Minister's long-standing senior aide and confidant is likely to have known that several Labour donors were to be honoured.

Outcome
Powell has already talked to the police and is expected to be recalled for a more formal interview.


markfromireland