It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey
the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog,
passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.
To those who have come to trust
The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial
tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped
lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects
and interest categories where others feared to tread.
Please keep Steve's friends and family in your
thoughts and prayers.
Steve meant so much to us.
We will miss him terribly.
photo by lindsay beyerstein
Turks mass for Kurd attack
Turkey's military massed more troops and tanks on the border with Iraq Thursday as the country's military chief said he was ready to stage a cross-border offensive to fight Kurds.
Our spreading peace and democracy is really starting to kick in now!
His latest remarks appeared to put Erdogan's government under pressure to ask for approval from parliament to send soldiers into Iraq to fight separatist Kurdish guerrillas.
The United States opposes any unilateral Turkish military action, fearing it could destabilize northern Iraq - the most stable part of the war-torn country.
Past cross-border operations have yielded mixed results, with many guerrillas sheltering in hide-outs and emerging to fight again once the bulk of Turkish units withdrew from Iraq. A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the military could set up a buffer zone in northern Iraq to block Kurdish rebels from entering Turkey.
I think he means; 'a buffer zone of northern Iraq', the whole thing, then the Turks will have the Lebenstraum living area they need.
The Talking Dog has been covering the legal aspects of the Gitmo story since it started. Now he's on the part where our guests are killing themselves.
So far, no flippant responses from the Defense or Justice Departments to the latest news that yet another GTMO detainee, this time a Saudi national, has managed to kill himself at our gulag beach resort at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Around this time last year, when three detainees killed themselves, GTMO commanding officer Rear Adm. Harris insisted that this was some kind of gesture of "asymmetrical warfare".) While we do get the usual explanation of a detainee "found not responsive", we get no details such as the name, or whether the detainee was one of those scheduled for release (because they're all "the worst of the worst", of course), or in this case, the manner of suicide.
The WaPo article relies on insanely under-stated official estimates of "around 40 suicide attempts by 25 detainees". We know, for example, from our interview with Joshua Colangelo-Bryan that his own client Juma Al-Dossari may have exceeded that number all by himself, and that suicide attempts were rampant. What has happened, of course, is that the military has simply stopped counting suicide attempts, and calling them other things. Well, three of the Orwellianisms managed to work last year, and a fourth this year. That's around 1% of the current detainee population. Given that, unlike the usual super-max prison, where those held have been tried and convicted of something and have a determinate sentence (even if its a long one, or a life sentence), the GTMO detainees have simply been determined guilty by executive fiat, and may face life, or may be released tomorrow, again, by executive fiat and whim. And unlike the usual super-max, they are subject to the kind of officially sanctioned abuse and torture, which, stateside, some lawyer and judge might find offends the Eighth Amendment.
No matter. A "cultural advisor" is on hand to make sure that the prisoner's body is treated with the kind of respect that the prisoner was denied while he was alive (doubtless using protocols written by former chaplain Capt. James Yee, interviewed here.)
And so it goes. Another day at the office, if the office is Joint Task Force Guantanamo. This ongoing stain on our nation's integrity continues. Our friends at Cage Prisoners count this as day 1967 of illegal imprisonment at GTMO; my Bush Countdown Calendar tells me we have 600 days left of this Administration.
"Last year, I organized the Rightroots effort to raise more than a quarter of a million dollars for Republican candidates in the last 3 months of the election. This year, if this amnesty bill passes, I'm going to organize a group of blogers to raise money for any viable primary challengers to pro-amnesty Republicans in the Senate. I'm also going to offer those candidates my services, pro-bono, as a consultant, to try to get their names out in the blogosphere. On top of that, I'm going to hunt down every single piece of dirt I can find on the pro-amnesty Republicans and I'm going to release it in the blogosphere. Put another way, if you're a Republican Senator up for reelection in 2008 and you vote for amnesty -- and you face a viable primary challenger -- I've got two words for you,
Except...as pointed out in comments by our own Julia of Sisyphus Shrugged:
"and Google, who rewrote their algorithms last year specifically to combat linkbombing, are never going to notice."
I believe it was Driftglass who I first heard say, "these people could f*ck up a two car funeral". If you want to understand why the top-down style of the wingnuttosphere is the abject failure it is, bass-ackwardness such as this is proof positive of Drifty's point. So by all means, my dear C-cuppers and cheerleaders, fire up your Amigas and Lisas and have at it. Do try to not give the hamster powering your beige boxes a heart attack, though.
Oh, and while nibbling at your cheetos, enjoy this little cartoon break.
And in the spirit of bi-partisan disgust, this week's craven bullsh*t on our side will not go uncommented on. Fill up a bowl of Congress Crispies, my fellow lefties.
Life was so much simpler when we were a bunch a' cartoon-watching kids, wud'n it? :(
D. Sidhe has some thoughts about the uses of government
Phil Nugent had some thoughts on defunding the federal government this weekend, you are encouraged to read them. The man's an amazing ranter, and I mean that with absolute respect. But it sent me off on a tangent of my own, and about the time I realized that my comment was going to get truncated over at No More Mister Nice Blog's place, where Phil crossposted, I decided perhaps it'd be better over here where a smaller audience might mean no one points out my various and prominent flaws in logic. (Unless you feel like it, in which case, have at it.)
For some reason, I'm pro-government. Always have been. People who say things like "Government doesn't solve problems", or "Name one good thing the government's ever done", or "Capitalism can do that better" baffle the living hell out of me.
Give me a few minutes, and I could name at least three dozen government programs that are important enough they need doing but that capitalism isn't capable of, or interested in. Let's start with orphan drugs. People with rare diseases, for which drugs aren't available because any given company can make more manufacturing Cialis than something maybe a thousand or so people across the US take. Unless we're willing to just write these people off, telling them, well, yes, a cure exists, but you can't have it because there's not enough profit in making it, taxpayer subsidies seem like a good solution.
Rural electrification, there's another good one. No for-profit company is going to string wire all the way out to some tiny hamlet in the Ozarks for the sake of a few hundred people. For that matter, no for-profit hospital is going to spend much if any time treating the indigent in their ERs if they're not made to. For-profit schools is another good way to say "MacDonald's Training Academy", and no kid is going to learn literature or citizenship or art there. Anybody want to explore the concept of capitalistic fire departments? Remember, your non-covered neighbor's housefire can very quickly become yours, and even if the fire department saves your home, you'd have less damage if they put out the fire when it was still two houses away. Road building, police departments, prisons, the military, you want to see what happens when they go capitalistic, Iraq is rather instructive.
There's an awful lot of stuff I'm perfectly happy to pay taxes for so everybody can use, and so no one person or group controls how it gets used. If civil courts are replaced with the sort of arbitration my bank tells me is my only option if we have a disagreement, those of us who aren't hiring and paying the arbitrators will never see justice. If the roads are maintained by auto companies, you can just keep your bike in your garage. If Microsoft is the only source of funding for the local aquarium, you can expect to have to wait outside with the field trip kids while they hold their monthly employee banquet. When the Wall Street Journal gives PBS more money than anybody else, you can expect to see programming where some B-list columnist quizzes guests as to whether the economy is going "great" or "really great".
So government can absolutely solve problems, and paying taxes is how we have a government with an interest in and an ability to solve problems that are important, rather then just profitable. And right off the bat, I have an adversarial stance toward anyone who tells me smaller government is inherently better--which is not to say I'm any happier with those who propose that larger government is inherently better. It's not the size, as they tell us, it's what you do with it.
The thing is, I don't actually know anyone who goes around saying that big government is inherently good, unless you count the walking pathologies we've come to refer to as "authoritarians", and even they aren't really arguing for bigger government, just more powerful government. And even that only in certain, narrowly constrained areas (like, "any part of the law that will control the behavior of people who aren't me"). So when I find myself arguing about the appropriate role of government, it is almost exclusively with republicans, and usually with the drown-it-in-the-bathtub sort.
I will continue to contend that a big part of why we have Bush is that we let Clinton get away with pretending we had a "budget surplus". I know, I know, we really only did it because it made the GOP's Congressional witchhunters look bad to be going after a guy who accomplished the budget restraints they were never capable of, etc. I was never a huge fan of Clinton, and a couple of his noteworthy policies still strike me as unnecessarily vicious, which is not to say, as they do, that he might not be entertaining to have a beer with. But even so, I found myself defending him in conversations with people who still regard The Clenis as the Antichrist. And defending him frequently. I suspect it was probably pretty common for liberals to have a few policies with which they agreed with Clinton, and to defend him on that basis to people who thought calling Hillary a "dyke", Chelsea a "dog", and Bill a "scumbag" was the height of wit.
So the budget thing came in handy, especially to jab at republicans and conservatives who advocated balanced budget amendments all the while venerating Reagan. But it was pretty predictable the sort of problems that would come from letting it be framed as a surplus. Especially it should have been predictable after we got a good look at what Dubya had done in Texas, though surprisingly few people seemed to regard it as any sort of valid indicator of anything.
So we had this money that was theoretically unspoken for, and the GOP, as they do, announced that the government was stealing your money! More than it needed! Because that's what governments do! And it is only justice--justice, I say--to return it to the people from whom the government stole it! And thus the grand GOP experiment of bribing the voters with their own money--and never delivering anyway--brought us to Dubya, Worst President Ever.
The worst part of allowing him to bribe his way into the White House with that money is, it damned well was never a surplus in the first place. It was the money we'd promised to all sorts of people and programs that we cut during the Reagan/Bush years, and, yes, during the Clinton years as well. We took the money out of schoolkids' mouths, we took it away from health inspectors and teachers and hospitals and research and civil servants in all those boring but necessary positions.
The reason at the time was that we couldn't afford it, not with these huge budget deficits. So we cut right back to the bone all the social stuff that helps hold the country together, and when we had the money again, instead of going back to re-fund those programs, we pretended it was a surplus. We pretended, for example, that teachers were doing just fine on smaller classroom budgets, or that poor families had learned to go elsewhere for food, and that these were solutions that were workable for the long term.
Regardless of whether every poor family found a non-governmental solution (and I can promise you a lot of them didn't), it's pretty close to obscene to have pretended that if they weren't objecting loud enough for us to hear them, then there was no problem. (Meanwhile, we made damned sure they couldn't get anywhere near any sort of position from which to complain.)
But the minute people started referring to that as a "surplus", rather than "finally having the money to meet our obligations", the GOP candidates were all set up to start yelling about how we needed to give all that extra money back to "the people who paid it". (Or at least those whose major tax burden was income tax, which is not the case for most people.)
That was predictable. And it was predictable that a whole lot of idiots would buy into it. And now we have Bush, and we're struggling to meet even the already grotesquely inadequate budgets for our social programs--and will be doing that for the foreseeable future.
Life sucks, and sometimes you have to make choices. If Junior drives the family car into the neighbors' living room, maybe the family has to talk to the dentist about making smaller payments while they do something about the mess. But if it turns out the damage wasn't quite as much as it was expected to cost, the family doesn't continue to skip dental bills and instead buy a big screen TV with the money. They sure as hell don't triple Junior's allowance with the money they're keeping back from dental bills.
Personally, I've never for the life of me been able to imagine why we let the GOP control the government when they don't seem to understand what the point of it is. Phil's got me a little closer to understanding it, and it was worth the read just for that.
(The title of this post, for the record, is an Arrogant Worms song.)
Top Cheney Aide: 2007 Is 'The Year Of Mexico,' U.S. Attack ‘A Real Possibility'
--Outrageous-- As the Bush administration ratchets up pressure on Mexico, Vice President Cheney’s top national security aide has been sourced by the Washington Post — in the 10th paragraph on page A18 — saying that war with Mexico is “a real possibility” this year:
Some senior administration officials still relish the notion of a direct confrontation. One ambassador in Washington said he was taken aback when John Hannah, Vice President Cheney’s national security adviser, said during a recent meeting that the administration considers 2007 “the year of Mexico” and indicated that a U.S. attack was a real possibility. Hannah declined to be interviewed for this article.
Those with knowledge of the build-up to war in Iraq will recognize John Hannah’s name. In Bush’s second term, he replaced Scooter Libby as the head of Cheney’s national security staff. During Bush’s first term, he personally wrote the first draft of the infamous speech that Secretary of State Colin Powell delivered to the United Nations, according to Powell’s former aide Lawrence Wilkerson.
Moreover, Hannah was a top source for false pre-war intelligence from Iraqi exiles that was “stovepiped” past the intelligence agencies and sent directly to the White House:
For months, Cheney’s office has denied that the veep bypassed U.S. intelligence agencies to get intel reports from Mexico, and the latest information from inside the Miss Universe pageant have the players in motion.
The latest outrageous action will not stand. For more info see here
John Hannah’s comments about Mexico should be taken seriously. He knows how to mislead a nation into war.
reprinted in part from Think Progress
UPDATE: commenter tassawwuf points out the activities of EZLN are not to be overlooked, and their suspiciously named Subcommandante Marcos Coincidence, I think not!
UPDATE: Lets not forget about known Mexican Agent Selma Hayek!
Michael Powell and Guliani - Gay Lovers ?
Michael Powell of the New York Times wrote a piece on Rudy Guliani today that, because I know the Times does not take money to write pieces I can only assume that Powell and Guliani are gay lovers.
Mr. Giuliani laughs, he gestures expansively, he even pokes fun at his tendency to wax a wee bit authoritarian. (He suggests a touch of the cane was necessary to impose discipline on that liberal asylum known as New York.) He shakes hands with reporters he once viewed as “jerky” and assures them he is fine with tough questions about abortion, where he has settled on a position supporting a woman’s right to choose, and about gun control
He runs! He Jumps, He Shoots, He Scores! WOW! What a guy...
He dresses in the one-size-too-large suits he has favored since his days as a federal prosecutor, with the top shirt button fastened and tie knotted tight. It is difficult to imagine anyone asking him a “really dopey” (two favorite Giuliani words now in abeyance) question about his favored style in underwear, as someone once did of Bill Clinton.
Mr. Giuliani has made upgrades. The comb-over, his decades-long insistence on combing his hair across a substantial expanse of cranium, is history. His remaining hair is slicked back and comes to rest in a tight nest of graying curls.
Hubba Hubba, get a room girls.
This piece is ridiculous. What is the Times thinking? Will Keller pull Powell off this race before his boy's man-crush cause them any more embarrassment.
In Atlanta, Mr. Giuliani offers to take questions, and a stout blond woman in a red pantsuit shoots straight up, raising her hand and nearly shouting, “I think you are sooooo handsome.”
(In 1994, a woman in Queens translated the same compliment into New Yorkese; she peered carefully at Mr. Giuliani and acknowledged, “You look a lot better in person.”)
hmmmm... 1994?... Does Powell keep a Guliani Diary? with hearts drawn on the cover?
Republican Crooks, $3.8 million in VA Executive Bonuses
Secretary of VA Affairs, Jim Nicholson with Bush
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly two dozen officials who received hefty performance bonuses last year at the Veterans Affairs Department also sat on the boards charged with recommending the payments. Documents obtained by The Associated Press raise questions of conflict of interest in connection with the bonuses, some of which went to senior officials involved in crafting a budget that came up $1.3 billion short and jeopardized veterans' health care.
The documents show that 21 of 32 officials who were members of VA performance review boards received more than half a million dollars in payments themselves.
These crackerjack political appointees, after bungling the 2005 budget and creating a $1.3 billion dollar shortfall paid themselves over $3.8 million in bonuses.
While veterans wait more 6 months for care, and the VA itself has a 100,000 case backlog. These bastards voted themselves bonuses.
The bonuses were awarded even after government investigators had determined the VA repeatedly miscalculated "if not deliberately misled taxpayers" with questionable methods used to justify Bush administration cuts to health care amid the burgeoning Iraq war.
As I said in a comment, food is my friend in times of distress or conflict. A food post is therefore my first humble contribution to The Newsblog in honor of Steve, Jen, Jim in LA and the rest of you irregulars.
Summer is just around the corner if you count the days until kids are out of school in many parts of the US. Here in South Florida, we have what passes for summer in most places year round!
I’m not much of a dessert eater, especially as I get older and the battle of the waistline reaches epic proportions. However, Key Lime Pie is something special and always welcome on my table. Not too sweet, a great take-along to a party or BBQ, and absolutely refreshing. Kinda healthy, too – if you count mental health!
Easy to make – unless you are the lucky chef’s assistant assigned to juice the key limes. Key limes are rather tough-skinned little rascals with a firm pulp and many seeds, and you need a bunch to extract enough juice for a decent pie. (Decent is defined in my pie lexicon as having enough citrusy tang to curl your lip but not your hair.) Fresh key limes come in a net bag and are more yellow-green than their big perfectly colored green cousins (see photo). Most in the Miami area are imported from Mexico. The good news is that stores now carry bottled key lime juice. The Pompeii brand in a sage green lemon-shaped plastic container is a good alternative if you can’t find fresh.
The following egg-free, no baking required pie travels well to outdoor picnics or ‘cues. No worrying about spoilage if you do not tope it with whipped cream. I added recipes for a crumb pie crust and whipped cream if you have time to make your own.
Key Lime Pie
• Graham cracker, other crumb-crust* or plain pie crust (pre-made or homemade) • 8 oz cream cheese, softened • 1 can sweetened condensed milk • 3/4 cup key lime juice (fresh or bottled) – I add extra for more tart goodness! • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract • Key lime zest, swirls or thin slices (optional garnish) • Whipped cream topping (optional) – I only use the real thing or Reddi-Whip (in a time pinch), never Cool Whip
Soften cream cheese. Place in blender or food processor and add sweetened condensed milk. Mix in lime juice and vanilla extract. Pour cream cheese mixture in crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Top with whipped cream plus key lime garnish if desired.
Crumb-Crust Pie Shell
• 1-1/2 cups fine crumbs* (graham crackers, toasted bread, vanilla wafers, or zwieback recommended to complement the key limes) • 1/4 cup sugar • 1/2 cups butter, melted
Mix crumbs and sugar together; stir in melted butter. Line pie plate with mixture, pressing firmly into place. Chill for 20 minutes or bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Makes 1 pie shell, 9-inch.
• 1 cup whipping cream or heavy cream • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon confectioner’s or superfine sugar (they dissolve faster than granulated sugar that also can be used)
For 2 cups of whipped cream, pour whipping cream or heavy cream into a chilled bowl and whip it vigorously until it just begins to hold its shape. Add vanilla extract and sugar and continue to whip until it holds very soft, droopy peaks. Best used immediately, but can be refrigerated up to 24 hours and briefly whisked by hand before serving.
Goes bucking for Commodore.
Every now and then as I run barefoot over the burning shores of the NYT, I catch a glint of Tom Friedman talking about, say, energy policy. Like a shiny nickel washed up along a great swath of poo, catching the light just so.
And I nod and I say “Good on you” and then scamper away, because man, the reek at high tide’d knock a dung beetle out of Fred Phelps’ mouth. And for, oh, about a minute I indulge the notion that one of the most highly paid, highly regarded, highly quoted, best selling, A-listed op-ed columnists for America’s paper of record is not a vulgar and irredeemable idiot.
That maybe he doesn’t deserve to be cast into ignoble oblivion. Reduced to writing, say, lunch menu specials at IHOP (“A cab driver in Bangalore assured me that these pecan waffles in a peach compote are genuinely Vishnulicious!”) or ghosting the “Turn Ons/Turn Offs” for “Ass Fancier” centerfolds.
And then I read something like this (Behind the NYT blast wall, a snip if which is transcribed here) and I get cranky all over again.
… They actually thought they could unite Iraq, while dividing America.
Whenever Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney had a choice between seeking political advantage at home or acting in a bipartisan fashion to buy more unity, time and space to do all the heavy lifting needed in Iraq, they opted for political advantage.
When Franklin Roosevelt fought World War II, he made a conservative Republican, Henry Stimson, his secretary of war and did all he could to hold the country together. The Bush- Cheney team, by contrast, summoned us to D-Day and then treated it like it was just another political wedge issue, whenever it suited them.
It has not worked. As Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, put it:
“You cannot govern like Winston Churchill some of the time and like Grover Norquist most of the time.”
First my mind wanders momentarily away from Captain Obvious to contemplating his employers and I wonder what kind of feeble-minded, inbred, tasteless Peter Keatings must be running the place?
Seriously, it is one of those questions that just nags at me: In a world quite literally overflowing with talented, literate, pungent writers, how in the world do utterly talentless, debased hacks like Friedman and Brooks find themselves at the very pinnacle of the mediaverse?
I know the general answer -- Market forces compacting competent journalism into the ever more Procrustean Bed of Entertaining InfoHappyBytes. The rise of the Hatekrieg Xian Right blasting away at the press for 30 year, shellshocking them into giving the out lame, the crazy and the outright liars ever more column inches and prime time space in the name of Holy “Balance”. The deliberate murder of the Fairness Doctrine by Reagan, Bork and Scalia (That was just for you, Ivory Bill Woodpecker). -- but I still think the particular, specific answers would be interesting.
I still dream of going full Patrick McGoohan on NYT Chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., President and CEO Janet L. Robinson, Executive Editor Bill Keller and Editorial Page Editor Andrew M. Rosenthal.
Muse that whisking them off to The Village
for some fun, frolic and Pentathol would yield some remarkable and gag-inducing results.
Preferably just before the threshers roll in so that the Captain can be reaped and processed into something useful.
Like, say, ethanol.
There would be something satisfyingly poetic about that.
Because, Tom, how in the fuck dare you be surprised? How dare you?
For thirty years the GOP has campaigned and governed on a deep and abiding hatred for government generally, and those who believe in using government as a sword and a shield against the excesses of both unfettered capitalism and theocracy specifically.
For thirty years the GOP has plainly tattooed “Welcome All Loonies” on its ass in forty-foot-high Day-Glo letters, bent over and grabbed its ankles and beckoned the scum of the nation to take a jolly electoral rump-tango with the Party of Lincoln. It has openly, sluttishly enticed the Dobsons, the Gingrichs and the Coulters into it’s “Big Tent”, while driving out the Goldwaters, the Deans and the Phillipses.
It has not just practiced a hyperMcCarthesque politics of rend and rule, it is fucking proud of it.
It has been a little over 80 years since Adolph Hitler publish “Mein Kampf” in which he explained in some detail what he intended to do: He intended to conquer Europe, kill 20 million Russians, and exterminate the Jews. He was very clear about all of this and methodically set out to check each atrocity off of his "To Do" list while a chorus of the Tom Friedman’s of the age said, over and over again until it was far too late, “Well he can’t really mean it.
"He won’t really do it.”
It cost civilization a bloody world war in which millions died and whole nations were destroyed to stop the planet from being tipped mechanized Dark Ages from which is may never have recovered. And one of the casualties that perished in rubble of the Third Reich was the excuse that, when evil people tell you what they plan to do, they don’t really mean it.
Of course they mean it. In fact they say it extra loud and clear to recruit others to their depraved cause.
And so now live in a nation where a portrait of Karl Rove ripping the Constitution in half and then taking a dump on, rampant on field of Klansmen it practically the GOP Family Crest…and yet here we find Captain Obvious actually putting pen to paper to express how Shocked!Shocked! he is to discover that the GOP actually means what it says.
And then offering this bit of helpful advice to Democrats:
... “Democrats need to be careful, though, that they don’t let their rage with the hypocrisy of Mr. Bush make them totally crazy, and blind them to the fact that they ? we ? still need a credible plan to deal with the very real threat to open societies posed by Islamist terrorism.” ...
Fuck you, Tom. I take back what I said: no IHOP job for you.
In a sane world anyone who exhibits this dizzying combination of blithering obliviousness and effrontery to such an extent that they:
A) Actually say out loud that they’re stunned that the GOP is acting exactly as they said they would and have for the last 30 years and,
B) Urgently council the only people in a credible position to oppose their rising fascist tide to pull their punches…
would never be allowed near a pen again.
Unless their intention is to commit honorable, Mont Blanc seppuku.
In which case, Tom, c’mon and belly up to the bar. Fixing those typos This from the Irish Times, with the typos fixed.
See how much clearer it reads with the errata cleaned up.
Iraqi gunmen soldiers attack village killing 15.
Gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms Iraqi Army regulars entered a village east of Baghdad early today, removed families from their homes and opened fire on the men, killing 15 of them, an Iraqi general and a Kurdish political party said.
The victims were Kurdish Shias, according to a statement posted on the website of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. The gunmen Iraqi soldiers entered the village of Hamid Shifi, about 60 miles from Baghdad and forced families from their homes, said Brig. Gen. Nazim Sherif.
The assailants Iraqi soldiers then separated the women and children, ordered the men to stand in a single file and gunned them down, he said. Sherif said villagers had received no threats before the attack, which he blamed on al-Qaeda. The village is in Diyala province, an area northeast of Baghdad where violence has violent skirmishes in the Iraq Civil War have risen sharply in the past six months.
Meanwhile five US soldiers were killed in four separate attacks by insurgents Iraqi soldiers dressed as civilians in Iraq yesterday and today, taking to eight the number of American soldiers killed in the past 48 hours, the US military said. …
In one of the worst attacks, a roadside bomb followed by gunfire killed two soldiers and wounded two others in northeastern Baghdad yesterday, the military said in a statement today.
Another soldier was killed in western Anbar province, a stronghold of the Sunni Arab insurgency side of the Iraq Civil War, and a fourth was shot dead near Baghdad, also yesterday. …
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we are training and arming the people who are killing each other and us Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends and evenings.
Dear Democrats; Bush has walled up our soldiers in the Valley of Death and will fucking well keep them there until we’re all broke and they’re all dead or damaged for life. They need to be rescue from Bush’s Iraqi Fiasco as surely as New Orleans residents needed to be rescued from Bush’s Katrina Catastrophe.
On this point the landslides of 2006 made the will of the American people unambiguously clearly.
Your most vital civic duty is to save our military from their involuntary participation in an Iraq Civil War that is killing them for no damned good reason, and from the cowardly Republican sociopaths here at home that are holding them hostage to George Bush's ego.
Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread Post
Thomas E. Vandling Jr., 26, Army Reserve Sergeant, Jan 01, 2007
Charles D. Allen, 28, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 04, 2007
Michael Lewis Mundell, 47, Army Reserve Major, Jan 05, 2007
Jeremiah Johnson, 23, Army Corporal, Jan 06, 2007
III, Raymond N. Mitchell, 21, Army Specialist, Jan 06, 2007
Elizabeth A. Loncki, 23, Air Force Senior Airman, Jan 07, 2007
Daniel B. Miller Jr., 24, Air Force Senior Airman, Jan 07, 2007
Timothy R. Weiner, 35, Air Force Technical Sergeant, Jan 07, 2007
Eric T. Caldwell, 22, Army Corporal, Jan 07, 2007
Stephen J. Raderstorf, 21, Army Corporal, Jan 07, 2007
Ryan R. Berg, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 09, 2007
Ming Sun, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 09, 2007
James M. Wosika Jr., 24, Army Sergeant, Jan 09, 2007
Gregroy A. Wright, 28, Army Sergeant, Jan 13, 2007
James D. Riekena, 22, Army Sergeant, Jan 14, 2007
Paul T. Sanchez, 32, Army Sergeant, Jan 14, 2007
Ian C. Anderson, 22, Army Sergeant, Jan 15, 2007
John E. Cooper, 29, Army Sergeant, Jan 15, 2007
Jason J. Corbett, 23, Army Specialist, Jan 15, 2007
Mark J. Daily, 23, Army 2nd Lieutenant, Jan 15, 2007
Matthew T. Grimm, 21, Army Corporal, Jan 15, 2007
Collin R. Schockmel, 19, Army Specialist, Jan 16, 2007
Joseph D. Alomar, 22, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class, Jan 17, 2007
Jennifer A. Valdivia, 27, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, Jan 17, 2007
William J. Rechenmacher, 24, Army Corporal, Jan 18, 2007
Russell P. Borea, 38, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 19, 2007
Luis J. Castillo, 20, Marine Reserve Lance Corporal, Jan 19, 2007
Jacob H. Neal, 23, Marine Reserve Corporal, Jan 19, 2007
Brian D. Allgood, 46, Army Colonel, Jan 20, 2007
Jeffrey D. Bisson, 22, Army Specialist, Jan 20, 2007
Johnathan Bryan Chism, 22, Army Specialist, Jan 20, 2007
Shawn Patrick Falter, 25, Army Private, Jan 20, 2007
Sean P. Fennerty, 26, Army Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007
Jacob N. Fritz, 25, Army 1st Lieutenant, Jan 20, 2007
Ryan J. Hill, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 20, 2007
Allen B. Jaynes, 21, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 20, 2007
Jonathan P. C. Kingman, 21, Army Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007
Victor M. Langarica, 29, Army Corporal, Jan 20, 2007
Phillip D. McNeill, 22, Army Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007
Jonathan Millican, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 20, 2007
Toby R. Olsen, 28, Army Specialist, Jan 20, 2007
Daryl D. Booker, 37, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007
John G. Brown, 43, Army National Guard Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 20, 2007
David C. Canegata, 50, Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel, Jan 20, 2007
Marilyn L. Gabbard, 46, Army National Guard Sergeant Major, Jan 20, 2007
Roger W. Haller, 49, Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major, Jan 20, 2007
Paul M. Kelly, 45, Army National Guard Colonel, Jan 20, 2007
Floyd E. Lake, 43, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007
Sean E. Lyerly, 31, Army National Guard Captain, Jan 20, 2007
Michael Taylor, 40, Army National Guard Major, Jan 20, 2007
William T. Warren, 48, Army National Guard 1st Sergeant, Jan 20, 2007
Brian Scott Freeman, 31, Army Reserve Captain, Jan 20, 2007
Darrel J. Morris, 21, Marine Corporal, Jan 20, 2007
Brandon L. Stout, 23, Army National Guard Specialist, Jan 21, 2007
Andrew G. Matus, 19, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 21, 2007
Emilian D. Sanchez, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 21, 2007
Nicholas P. Brown, 24, Army Specialist, Jan 22, 2007
Jamie D. Wilson, 34, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 22, 2007
Michael J. Wiggins, 26, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 23, 2007
Gary S. Johnston, 21, Marine Sergeant, Jan 23, 2007
Michael M. Kashkoush, 24, Marine Sergeant, Jan 23, 2007
Keith A. Callahan, 31, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Jan 24, 2007
Hector Leija, 27, Army Staff Sergeant, Jan 24, 2007
Michael Balsley, 23, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 25, 2007
Alexander H. Fuller, 21, Army Sergeant, Jan 25, 2007
Darrell W. Shipp, 25, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 25, 2007
Mark D. Kidd, 26, Marine Reserve Corporal, Jan 25, 2007
Nathan P. Fairlie, 21, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 26, 2007
Alan R. Johnson, 44, Army Reserve Major, Jan 26, 2007
Mickel D. Garrigus, 24, Army Sergeant, Jan 27, 2007
Jon B. St. John II, 25, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 27, 2007
Timothy A. Swanson, 21, Army Corporal, Jan 27, 2007
David T. Toomalatai, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Jan 27, 2007
Anthony C. Melia, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 27, 2007
Cornell C. Chao, 36, Army Chief Warrant Officer, Jan 28, 2007
Mark T. Resh, 28, Army Captain, Jan 28, 2007
Carla Jane Stewart, 37, Army Reserve Specialist, Jan 28, 2007
Adam Q. Emul, 19, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 29, 2007
Corey J. Aultz, 31, Army Sergeant, Jan 30, 2007
Milton A. Gist Jr., 27, Army Sergeant, Jan 30, 2007
Alejandro Carrillo, 22, Marine Sergeant, Jan 30, 2007
William M. Sigua, 21, Army Sergeant, Jan 31, 2007
Stephen D. Shannon, 21, Army Reserve Corporal, Jan 31, 2007
David C. Armstrong, 21, Army Corporal, Feb 01, 2007
Tyler Butler, 21, Army Private 1st Class, Feb 01, 2007
Michael C. Mettille, 44, Army Sergeant Major, Feb 01, 2007
Eric R. Sieger, 18, Army Specialist, Feb 01, 2007
Terry J. Elliott, 34, Marine Gunnery Sergeant, Feb 01, 2007
Richard O. Quill III, 22, Marine Corporal, Feb 01, 2007
Matthew G. Conte, 22, Navy Hospitalman, Feb 01, 2007
Jason Garth DeFrenn, 34, Army Chief Warrant Officer, Feb 02, 2007
Terrence D. Dunn, 38, Army Staff Sergeant, Feb 02, 2007
Kevin C. Landeck, 26, Army Captain, Feb 02, 2007
Alan E. McPeek, 20, Army Specialist, Feb 02, 2007
Keith Yoakum, 41, Army Chief Warrant Officer, Feb 02, 2007
Matthew T. Zeimer, 18, Army Private, Feb 02, 2007
Ronnie L. Sanders, 26, Army Staff Sergeant, Feb 03, 2007
Clarence T. Spencer, 24, Army Private, Feb 04, 2007
Randy J. Matheny, 20, Army National Guard Sergeant, Feb 04, 2007
Brandon J. Van Parys, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Feb 05, 2007
Brian A. Browning, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Feb 06, 2007
Joshua J. Frazier, 24, Marine Sergeant, Feb 06, 2007
Joseph J. Ellis, 40, Marine Sergeant Major, Feb 07, 2007
Jennifer J. Harris, 28, Marine Captain, Feb 07, 2007
Jared M. Landaker, 25, Marine 1st Lieutenant, Feb 07, 2007
Jennifer M. Parcell, 20, Marine Corporal, Feb 07, 2007
Travis D. Pfister, 27, Marine Sergeant, Feb 07, 2007
Thomas E. Saba, 30, Marine Corporal, Feb 07, 2007
James Rodney Tijerina, 26, Marine Sergeant, Feb 07, 2007
Tarryl B. Hill, 19, Marine Reserve Private 1st Class, Feb 07, 2007
Matthew P. Pathenos, 21, Marine Reserve Lance Corporal, Feb 07, 2007
Gilbert Minjares Jr., 31, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, Feb 07, 2007
Manuel A. Ruiz, 21, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class, Feb 07, 2007
Ross A. Clevenger, 21, Army Reserve Specialist, Feb 08, 2007
James J. Holtom, 22, Army Reserve Sergeant, Feb 08, 2007
Raymond M. Werner, 21, Army Reserve Private, Feb 08, 2007
Leeroy A. Camacho, 28, Army Specialist, Feb 09, 2007
James J. Regan, 26, Army Sergeant, Feb 09, 2007
Eric Ross, 26, Army Staff Sergeant, Feb 09, 2007
lan W. Shaw, 31, Army Staff Sergeant, Feb 09, 2007
Donnie R. Belser Jr., 28, Army Captain, Feb 10, 2007
Russell A. Kurtz, 22, Army Sergeant, Feb 11, 2007
Robert B. Thrasher, 23, Army Sergeant, Feb 11, 2007
Dennis L. Sellen Jr., 20, Army National Guard Specialist, Feb 11, 2007
Allen Mosteiro, 42, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Feb 13, 2007
Nickolas A. Tanton, 24, Army Private 1st Class, Feb 13, 2007
Branden C. Cummings, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Feb 14, 2007
Ronnie G. Madore Jr., 34, Army Specialist, Feb 14, 2007
John D. Rode, 24, Army Sergeant, Feb 14, 2007
Carl Leonard Seigart, 32, Army Sergeant, Feb 14, 2007
Daniel T. Morris, 19, Marine Lance Corporal, Feb 14, 2007
Todd M. Siebert, 34, Marine Captain, Feb 16, 2007
Chad E. Marsh, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Feb 17, 2007
Justin T. Paton, 24, Army Private 1st Class, Feb 17, 2007
Christopher K. Boone, 34, Army National Guard Specialist, Feb 17, 2007
William C. Spillers, 39, Army National Guard Sergeant 1st Class, Feb 17, 2007
Brian A. Escalante, 25, Marine Lance Corporal, Feb 17, 2007
Matthew S. Apuan, 27, Army Sergeant, Feb 18, 2007
Kelly D. Youngblood, 19, Army Private, Feb 18, 2007
Blake H. Howey, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Feb 18, 2007
Matthew C. Bowe, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Feb 19, 2007
Adare W. Cleveland, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Feb 19, 2007
Pedro J. Colon, 25, Army Staff Sergeant, Feb 19, 2007
Shawn M. Dunkin, 25, Army Sergeant, Feb 19, 2007
Montrel S. Mcarn, 21, Army Specialist, Feb 19, 2007