Archive for July 7th, 2007

Suicide Bomb Kills Over 100 In Iraq

by- Suzie-Q @ 6:22 PM MST

A man cover the face of Iraqi intelligence officer Hecor Mohammed, after he died in the hospital after he was attacked by gunmen in central Kirkuk, Iraq, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, Friday, July 6, 2007. (AP Photo/Emad Matti)

TUZ KHORMATO, Iraq (AP) — A suicide truck bomber blasted a Shiite town north of Baghdad on Saturday, killing more than 100 people, police said, in a sign Sunni insurgents are pulling away from a U.S. offensive around the capital to attack where security is thinner.

The marketplace devastation underlined a hard reality in Iraq: There are not enough forces to protect everywhere. U.S. troops, already increased by 28,000 this year, are focused on bringing calm to Baghdad, while the Iraqi military and police remain overstretched and undertrained.

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, told The Associated Press he expected Sunni extremists to try to “pull off a variety of sensational attacks and grab the headlines to create a `mini-Tet.'”

He was referring to the 1968 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Tet offensive that undermined public support for the Vietnam War in the United States.


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by- Suzie-Q @ 4:00 PM MST

It could be Senate Majority Harry Reid’s (D-NV) moment.

The New York Times will report Sunday that the Democrats’ Senate chief is increasingly confident that he’ll be able to sway the Senate into voting for withdrawal.

Against the backdrop of a seething public — including those of his own party who feel Democrats haven’t done enough to seek an exit from Iraq — and a coterie of Senate Republicans who have warmed to the idea, Reid suggests he may find enough votes to withdraw.

“We haven’t done enough,” Reid tells the Times.

Reid’s efforts to temper America’s involvement in Iraq have been frustrated by a former member of his own party. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), who supported Reid in his bid for the Senate leadership, votes against him on the war.

“Sensing momentum from the new Republican defections, Mr. Reid and other leading Democrats intend to force a series of votes over the next two weeks on proposals to withdraw troops and limit spending,” the paper’s Carl Hulse and Jeff Zeleny report. “Democrats are increasingly confident they can assemble majority opposition to administration policies.”

“It is going to be harder for Republicans to not sign on to something with bite in it, a clear Congressional assessment that change is needed,” Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) says. “I think it is more likely there will be a majority around here that say we should begin to redeploy some forces by a certain date, and I hope it would be a larger majority.”

Raw Story

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by- Suzie-Q @ 11:08 AM MST

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Basheert! 🙂

We’ll have cake and ice cream later Basheert… if I can find the recipe for this cake! 😉

I thought we would go see the Chippendale Dancers later tonight… what do you think Basheert? 😆

Well, anyway… even if you don’t want to see those guys…

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Happy 7-7-07: A Holiday Called TANABATA

by- Suzie-Q @ 10:21 AM MST

Today is a magical day in Japan. It is a day to celebrate a tradition that has its start in a love story. It is 7-7-07.

If you make a wish on this day, and if it does not rain, then your wish will come true. This year, it is especially lucky because it is the seventh day of the seventh month of the seventh year.

(Images from here).

Tanabata means “Festival of the stars.” This is a story about the two stars Altair (the boy) and Vega (the girl) which are the main stars in two constellations, Aquila the eagle and Lyra the musical lyre:

Altair and Vega are also two of the three stars of the Summer Triangle, and appear closest to each other in the summertime. (Images from here and here).

There was a girl named Orihime – she was the daughter of the Sky God and she wove beautiful weavings. One day, she looked out of her window and saw the oxen-boy, Hikoboshi, and they fell in love. They spent so much time together that she didn’t have any time to weave, and so the Sky God separated the two, and allowed them to only meet each other on the seventh of the seventh.

Why is the Milky Way involved? “In the Chinese Calender, there is almost always a half moon on July 7th and they believe ORIHIME and [HIKOBOSHI] use that half moon as a boat to meet each other over the great river in the sky, AMANOGAWA [the Milky Way],” reports this site.

As long as the Milky Way does not overflow, i.e. it does not rain, everyone’s wish will come true on this day. So you can put on your bright summer cotton kimono, called the “yukata,” and you can go dancing in the parks, and you can write your wishes on brightly colored paper (as described here!) and tie them to a plant (in Japan, it would be a bamboo tree). And finally, you make that wish wholly and deliberately, and then you let go….


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Anthony @ 17:45 BST

ANNE FLAHERTY | July 6, 2007 07:34 PM EST |

WASHINGTON — After the recent defection of prominent Republicans on the Iraq war, the big question in Washington is who might be next.

More than a dozen Republican senators who are running for re-election next year head the list of lawmakers to watch. But others, too, have expressed concerns that the GOP has grown increasingly vulnerable on the issue. As the clock ticks toward Election Day, voter pressure is building against any lawmaker still standing with President Bush on the war.

Potential wildcards include members up for re-election who have broken with the president on other issues such as immigration or who face growing anti-war sentiment in their home states. Those include Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Ted Stevens of Alaska, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Michael Enzi of Wyoming, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Norm Coleman of Minnesota already has expressed grave doubts about the president’s Iraq policies, but he hasn’t signed on yet to legislation calling for a change in strategy.

Support among Republican senators is considered crucial to Bush’s Iraq policy. Democrats hold a narrow 51-49 majority and routinely fall shy of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate and advance most anti-war legislation.

But new cracks in Bush’s support base have begun to show. In the past two weeks, three Republicans _ Sens. Richard Lugar of Indiana, George Voinovich of Ohio and Pete Domenici of New Mexico _ have announced they can no longer support Bush’s Iraq war strategy and have called on the president to start reducing the military’s role there.

Their announcements took many by surprise because most Republicans have said they are willing to hold out until September to see if Bush’s troop buildup is working.

“I have carefully studied the Iraq situation and believe we cannot continue asking our troops to sacrifice indefinitely while the Iraqi government is not making measurable progress to move its country forward,” Domenici told reporters from New Mexico this week. Instead, Domenici embraced a bipartisan bill by Colorado Democrat Ken Salazar that would put U.S. troops on track to leave by the end of March 2008.


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by- Suzie-Q @ 9:15 AM MST

Photo- C & L

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed last month, neoconservative scholar Fouad Ajami compared Scooter Libby to “fallen soldiers” in Iraq. “[Libby] can’t be left behind as a casualty of a war our country had once proudly claimed as its own,” he wrote.

MSNBC’s David Shuster confronted Ajami about this comparison today on Hardball. “Mr. Ajami, do you really believe Mr. Libby is like the 3,600 soldiers killed in Iraq?” he asked. “I don’t need to be lectured on the soldiers killed in Iraq,” Ajami said. “You have to be able to handle metaphors, this really was a metaphor.” Schuster noted, “The word ‘metaphor’ is nowhere in your column.”

Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq war veteran and executive director and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), said of Ajami’s comparison:

I think it’s absurd. It’s a new low and an act of desperation here to defend a man by comparing him to fallen soldiers. … Part of the soldier’s creed is to uphold the Army values and live the Army values. Those values include honor, integrity, and personal courage. They don’t include lying and breaking the law. So I think it’s really an absurd analogy.

Shuster asked Rieckhoff, “If someone was convicted of four felonies, would they even be entitled to serve in the military?” “No, they’d be in a military prison right now.” replied Rieckhoff.

Think Progress

MSNBC’s David Shuster and Fouad Ajami

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by Sudhan@18:00 CET


‘Supporting the troops’ means

withdrawing them

COMMENTARY | July 05, 2007

Gen. William Odom writes that opponents of the war should focus public attention on the fact that Bush’s obstinate refusal to admit defeat is causing the troops enormous psychological as well as physical harm.

By William E. Odom

Every step the Democrats in Congress have taken to force the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq has failed. Time and again, President Bush beats them into submission with charges of failing to “support the troops.”

Why do the Democrats allow this to happen? Because they let the president define what “supporting the troops” means. His definition is brutally misleading. Consider what his policies are doing to the troops.

No U.S. forces have ever been compelled to stay in sustained combat conditions for as long as the Army units have in Iraq. In World War II, soldiers were considered combat-exhausted after about 180 days in the line. They were withdrawn for rest periods. Moreover, for weeks at a time, large sectors of the front were quiet, giving them time for both physical and psychological rehabilitation. During some periods of the Korean War, units had to fight steadily for fairly long periods but not for a year at a time. In Vietnam, tours were one year in length, and combat was intermittent with significant break periods.

In Iraq, combat units take over an area of operations and patrol it daily, making soldiers face the prospect of death from an IED or small arms fire or mortar fire several hours each day. Day in and day out for a full year, with only a single two-week break, they confront the prospect of death, losing limbs or eyes, or suffering other serious wounds. Although total losses in Iraq have been relatively small compared to most previous conflicts, the individual soldier is risking death or serious injury day after day for a year. The impact on the psyche accumulates, eventually producing what is now called “post-traumatic stress disorders.” In other words, they are combat-exhausted to the point of losing effectiveness. The occasional willful killing of civilians in a few cases is probably indicative of such loss of effectiveness. These incidents don’t seem to occur during the first half of a unit’s deployment in Iraq.


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Six US soldiers killed in Iraq


Sudhan@10:45 CET



US Marines in Iraq

US casualties have been rising in Iraq in the past few months

Six American soldiers have been killed in Iraq in recent days, the US military has announced. Officials say four soldiers were killed in Baghdad when roadside bombs exploded near their patrols – three on Friday and one on Thursday.

Two Marines died in combat in the western Anbar province on Thursday.

American casualties have been rising in Iraq in the past few months with more troops drafted in to try and stop the sectarian violence in Baghdad.

April, May and June were the deadliest three months for US troops since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

About 3,600 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the conflict began.

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Senior French Govt. Official Questions 9/11

Anthony @ 09:40 BST

San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, July 6, 2007

Today, nearly six years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, does anyone doubt the Bush administration and the mass media’s grand narrative about just who was responsible for those shocking, sudden, well-coordinated and super-destructive events?

Well, yes.

For starters, on the strength of irrefutable evidence, the whole world has rejected George W. Bush, Jr. and Dick Cheney‘s repeated insinuations – which they used as a excuse to start the U.S.-led Iraq war – that the government of former dictator Saddam Hussein was somehow behind the attacks. That claim didn’t square with the evidence that Al-Qaeda was responsible, since the terrorist organization led by Osama bin Laden was not operating in Iraq at the time. In any case, today, still, there are some observers who doubt the established, now-familiar media story about the historic attacks that Team Bush seized upon to launch an aimless “war on terror.” Apparently, one of them has landed a high-ranking government job in the cabinet of France’s new president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

That Doubting Thomas is Christine Boutin, France’s new minister of housing and urban affairs. (more…)

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