Sunday, July 23, 2006

Oh Yeah, There's Still That Other War Going On Too

And Things Aren't Getting Any Better There Either,

The Latest From Peace Takes Courage: Civil War in Iraq

Watch the WMP or QT version at C&L

Iraq car bombs kill 56 people
Reuters: Car bombs killed at least 56 people in Iraq on Sunday as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki prepared for a White House visit expected to focus on easing violence that has raised doubts over his reconciliation efforts. ...(more)
Video C&L: Is the Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani pulling out of Iraq?
David Ignatius: "Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is really the most important and powerful personality in Iraq, is signalling the bush administration this week that he is worried the situation in Iraq is spinning out of control. He is the crucial person. If he gives up on this effort-this effort is over. ..."
Iraq prisoner abuse 'routine and organised'

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Take 2 Imodium Anti-Dershoshitz's & Call Me In The Morn

It's this kind of rationale that leads to the justification for war.

Alan Dershowitz in L.A. Times: Not all civilian deaths 'tragic'

In today's Los Angeles Times, Harvard University Professor Alan Dershowitz has written a column in which he argues that the value of some civilian wartime casualties is less than others. (...)

"The Israeli army has given well-publicized notice to civilians to leave those areas of southern Lebanon that have been turned into war zones. Those who voluntarily remain behind have become complicit. Some — those who cannot leave on their own — should be counted among the innocent victims," wrote Dershowitz. ...(more)

UN envoy: Israel bombing breaks humanitarian law

Half a million Lebanese become refugees

Israeli Soldiers Push Deeper Into Lebanon, Seize Village

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

The War on Science

FDA gets back to business (as usual)
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) just released a survey of 997 FDA scientists, co-sponsored by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility to a total of 5918. (...)

One hundred eighty three scientists in this sample reported they "have been asked, for non-scientific reasons, to inappropriately exclude or alter technical information or their conclusions in a FDA scientific document." (...)

Forty percent of respondents fear retaliation for voicing safety concerns in public. This fear, scientists say, combines with other pressures to compromise the agency's ability to protect public health and safety. More than a third of the respondents did not feel they could express safety concerns even inside the agency. (...)

Only 47 percent think the "FDA routinely provides complete and accurate information to the public." ...(more)
WaPo: Top Democrat Finds F.D.A.'s Efforts Have Plunged

In Case You Missed It

And just because it totally deserves another shout out. ....

Newman's 'History of Oil' Check it out
Beelzebub's controlling Dick, Dick's controlling Bush, and Bush is fucking up the entire world.
Pictures from Sept 24, 2005 March for Peace, DC

Friday, July 21, 2006

Meanwhile Back in Tikrit, ... LMAO!

This is frickin hillarious! h/t SadButTrue from the comments.

US Soldiers Ordered to Kill All Military Age Males?

Soldiers Say Ordered to Kill Young Men
Soldiers in murder case claim they were ordered to 'kill all military age males' in Iraq raid
AP: Four U.S. soldiers accused of murdering suspected insurgents during a raid in Iraq said they were under orders to "kill all military age males," according to sworn statements obtained by The Associated Press.

The soldiers first took some of the men into custody because they were using two women and a toddler as human shields. They shot three of the men after the women and child were safe and say the men attacked them.

"The ROE (rule of engagement) was to kill all military age males on Objective Murray," Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard told investigators, referring to the target by its code name. ...(more)
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Britain and US Defy Demand for Immediate Ceasefire
Israeli warplanes continued their bombardment of Lebanon yesterday, defying a demand by Kofi Annan for an immediate end to fighting on the ninth day of a war that has led to the "collective punishment of the Lebanese people" .

Two countries, the US and Britain, defiantly refused to back the international clamour for an immediate ceasfire between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas. Their ambivalence about civilian deaths in Lebanon has given Israel a powerful signal that it can continue its attacks with impunity.

However, Israel's ground offensive against Hizbollah was blunted when four of its soldiers were reported killed in clashes in south Lebanon. Across the country clouds of smoke appeared as the aerial bombardment continued and the evacuation of foreign nationals, including Americans, was stepped up. Israel said it would allow humanitarian aid to flow into Lebanon as international outrage grew over civilian casualties which are now above 300. ...(more)

The War Via Youtube

It sure looks a lot different than what we are seeing on Fox/CNN/... et al. I spent some time viewing a bunch of them this morning. Many are particularly hard to watch. Some look to be homemade works of propaganda from both sides of the conflict, and others seem more to present an unvarnished look at what is really going on.

This one seemed a little like one of Ava's videos. I picked it because it has a message of peace. The man with a sling towards the beginning brings up the stark image of David and Goliath, and the little boy with the Anderson Cooper eyes in tears really got to me.

Conflicts in the Middle East documentary Part 1

Watching these shows what a disservice the media does by showing the missiles and the explosions and none of the carnage of war. The networks glorify the heinous face of war, and thus they help perpetuate it.

There are so many videos, literally hundreds if not thousands more from the week old conflict, and many times that about Iraq. If you see any really good ones, about Israel-Hamas-Hezbollah or US-Iraq, or have any thoughts about how these videos might actually help balance governments' attempts to control the flow of information from a war zone, as I think they can, please let me know in the comments.

I want to salute video sites like Youtube for allowing people to share with us this lense into the horrors of war like the world has never seen before. I think the UN or perhaps the Gates Foundation or some other group with the means to be able to do so, ought to flood war zones with video cameras and computer/internet access. Pictures, and even more so video, represent the one true universal language. It is the most powerful medium for peace IMO.

Your thoughts?

Anyone from India: Can You See This?

In response to the Mumbai train bombing which killed over 180 people last week.

India Censors The Internet

Businessweek's blog: The first case of India censoring the internet has occurred. (...)

Niti Bhan tells me that the Indian government has "has blocked access to blogs hosted by Blogger, Typepad and sites on geocities for the moment,while they claim to be going through hard ip numbers to trace terrorists who they bleieve used these sites to coordinate the Mumbai bombings." ...(more)

h/t Die for the Elite in the comments

[Update] Government Lifts Ban on Websites

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Frist Open Thread

I'm sure I've said before I wasn't going to do open threads around here.
Oh well, I'm a flip-flopper.

What's news?

Welcome to WWIII sponsored by the USA

House Overwhelmingly Backs Israel in Vote
AP: The House, displaying a foreign affairs solidarity lacking on issues like Iraq, voted overwhelmingly Thursday to support Israel in its confrontation with Hezbollah guerrillas.

The resolution, which was passed on a 410-8 vote, also condemns enemies of the Jewish state. ...(more)
Confession: I totally cribbed the title from an A'Blog
commenter Dances with Wolves
Video: Hezbollah takes BBC into 'wasteland' of southern Beirut
Video: Matthews and Buchanan slam neocons for Mideast 'warmongering'
Matthews and Buchanan. Sometimes these guys make sense afterall.

Report: US Muzzling Hurricane Victims

I can't believe how far this administration is willing to go to shit all over our Constitutionally protected rights.
AP: Residents of trailer parks set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to house hurricane victims in Louisiana aren't allowed to talk to the press without an official escort, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate reported.

In one instance, a security guard ordered an Advocate reporter out of a trailer during an interview in Morgan City. Similar FEMA rules were enforced in Davant, in Plaquemines Parish.

FEMA spokeswoman Rachel Rodi wouldn't say whether the security guards' actions complied with FEMA policy, saying the matter was being reviewed. But she confirmed that FEMA does not allow the news media to speak alone to residents in their trailers. ...(more)