Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ned Parker, Mary Pipher

Okay, what I mainly want to steer you to tonight is the snapshot. Yesterday, C.I.'s "More lies from the Bully Boy," Cedric's "Bully Boy wins the Liar! Liar! competition again" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! BULLY BOY CAN'T STOP LYING!" provided an analysis of Bully Boy's speech. Today, exploring the failure of the puppet Nouri al-Maliki, C.I. refutes Bully Boy's claims again. Bully Boy, as C.I. makes clear, is responsible for the illegal war. But this "Sympathy for the Puppet" nonsense is garbage and needs to be called out. Nouri al-Maliki was not forced into the position of prime minister, he sought it. What has he done with it? Added to the destruction, added to the violence.

It is not accurate to say al-Maliki has "no power." As C.I. points out, al-Maliki could have used something the US desired, such as the privatization of Iraqi oil, as leverage. Note when al-Maliki is suddenly screaming, "It's coming!" Only after it's obvious how low he's fallen in the eyes of the world. He uses it now, as leverage, to save his own ass. He did not use it to get potable water for the people of Iraq, to get electricity improved, he didn't use it for anything . . . except to save his own ass.

We all know Allawi's waiting in the wings. There are probably several waiting in the wings. If this is your typical 'let's plan the coup,' you'll have several in the running. The CIA will back one, the State Department another, the Pentagon another and they will squabble amongst themselves to decide who it will be.

But the whole "Sympathy for the Puppet" strikes me as the same nonsense as "Bully Boy can't be impeached! We'd end up with Dick Cheney!" Mike deconsructs that flawed argument here. Could we just once try to act as if our principles matter to us and not sitting there trying to plays oddsmaker in Vegas?

"Interior Ministry mirrors chaos of a fractured Iraq" (Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times):
Parties representing the Sunni minority, which controlled Iraq in Hussein's day, have been almost entirely purged from the ministry in the last two years. Three of the ministry's longest-serving Sunni generals have been killed in the last year.

Feel like playing "Sympathy for the Puppet" now? Nouri al-Maliki's responsible for that. Read Parker's article before you start humming along with the 'poor al-Maliki' chorus. That's just one example of what al-Maliki's responsible for in Iraq today. He wanted to be in charge, he wanted to be prime minister. He is a puppet, no question, but even a puppet has some powers.

"Psychologist, Author Mary Pipher Returns APA Award Over Interrogation Policy" (Democracy Now!):
AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Pipher, what do you say to those who resisted the moratorium on psychologist participation in these interrogations, saying if psychologists aren't there, they can't make it better, that psychologists who are there could protest if they see torture taking place?

MARY PIPHER: Well, first of all, psychologists designed much of the torture. We were involved with the SERE project at Fort Bragg. We developed the protocols. And what our field has actually done is create through reverse-engineering, actually, some of the earlier methods for our captured [POWs]. We reverse-engineered them into a very rapid and heinous process by which almost anyone could be broken down and hallucinating and psychotic and, in a sense, destroying their mind within about twenty-four hours, forty-eight hours. And so, we've been very, very much a part of this.
If we leave, first of all, it can't happen anymore. But secondly, if we leave, what we’re really saying is psychologists are not involved as interrogators. You know, this goes back. My mother was a doctor in a small town. And first of all, she was a very good person. And she was one of these people that she told me a lot of stories, and all of her stories had a strong moral crux. But she took her work very seriously. She worked very hard. And one of the things that I remember her saying was parts of the Hippocratic Oath. Here's one of them: never do harm to someone for someone else's benefit. That's what we're claiming to do. That violates the most basic of standards for caregivers. The other thing is, make your patient your highest priority. Psychologists, doctors, we are about helping people. That is our mission. And so, anytime we do something else, we become something else. And it's very important to me that I am defined not by the APA's current recent behavior, not by the APA's Substitute Motion Three, but that I'm defined as my mother was defined, by a way of thinking about human beings that in a sense insists I treat all human beings as people of worth and dignity.
You know, I remember one thing that happened a lot. I lived out in rural Nebraska. My mom had to do everything. I mean, she was the doctor at football games. She did all the physicals. She sat with old farmers while they were dying. But she always carried her little black doctor bag. And if we stopped along a road because there was a car wreck -- we did that all the time -- she and my dad -- had been a medic in the war -- would jump out and run for that accident victim. And they didn't ask that person if they had a criminal history. They didn't ask that person if they were a Republican or a Democrat or paying their taxes or had the proper identification. They took care of that person. And that's what I think is our job as psychologists, just as my mother thought it was her job as a doctor.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Mary Pipher, you have worked with torture victims. Explain when you worked with them, where you did and what you learned.

MARY PIPHER: Well, I've worked in two capacities. First of all, I've always been someone deeply interested in human rights -- again, I think, from my mother. But I was marching in 1965 in Kansas City to desegregate. I was a long-term member of Amnesty International. I was writing, ironically -- today I was writing urgent action messages all over the world to protest the torture of specific people who are being held in facilities, sadly not unlike some of the facilities where we're holding, in quotes, "enemy combatants." The other thing, though, is I've long worked with Physicians for Human Rights. I've done Asylum. I wrote a book, Middle of Everywhere, in which I immersed myself in our refugee community for about three years, and I have always worked with refugees in our poverty programs, and so on.
The other thing, though, is just as a therapist I’ve spent my entire life helping traumatized people. I listen to the damage that people talk about when they've been -- for example, someone whose child has been murdered. One time we worked with a policeman who had accidentally killed someone, someone who’s been raped or had a child who was sexually assaulted, someone who’s been abandoned by their long-term mate. I understand trauma very well.
And two things I know about torture victims, Amy. One is many of them are innocent of any wrongdoing. They were tortured for purely political reasons. The other thing is there is always lasting harm. There is always lasting harm. I could tell you stories of specific people, if we had the time, but what I know for sure is if you have been locked up and treated as an animal, you're never the same person again. It's like you have a chronic disease like diabetes or schizophrenia or Parkinson's: you’re forever compromised. Your mind indeed has been very changed by those experiences.
So I think because of my empathy and my understanding and my moral education, I was someone who was perhaps more aware of these issues than many other issues. The other thing, too, and I’m very lucky in this, is I’m not in a bad position. I don't have to make my living participating in behavior that’s questionable. I've always tried to arrange my life that way, and I’m proud that I’ve been able to. But I'm someone who can speak on these issues and probably not be terribly hurt by it.

I noted what was the start of the interview yesterday. I didn't realize that. It was continued today. That's an excerpt of it. You can use the link to read it in full, listen to it in full or watch it in full.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, Texas gears up for a big rally on Saturday, Bully Boy wants another $50 billion for his illegal war, and more.

Starting with war resistance.
Nick Chin and Hannah Morong (US Socialist Worker) report the Eli Israel was a huge hit in Kennebunkport, Maine on Saturday at the peace rally held there where Cindy Sheehan, Dennis Kucinich, Carlos and Melida Arredonod, Cynthia McKinney and Dahlia Wasfi were among the over 4,000 people participating. Eli Israel is the first service member to publicly refuse to fight in the illegal war while being stationed in Iraq. The reporters quote Israel asking, "What's going to stop [the war]? It has to stop from the inside."

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Zamesha Dominique, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko,Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters.

Iraq Veterans Against the War were also a big hit at the Kennebunkport rally. They'll no doubt be a huge hit Saturday in Texas. In what may be one of the biggest actions in Texas against the illegal war in September, Texans For Peace are staging an American People's Poll on Iraq in Fort Worth, Texas featuring many speakers including IVAW's Adam Kokesh, Leonard Shelton and Hart Viges as well as Diane Wilson, Tina Richards, Ann Wright and many others. Click here for the press release. There is not a fee to attend, the event is Saturday, in Fort Worth, Texas which is also where the Republican Straw Poll will be "taking place in General Worth Square". People will begin arriving at nine in the morning, the speeches will begin at 1:30. There will be music and entertainment. Though the event is free, people can donate and Texans For Peace is encouraging everyone planning to attend to print up tickets online. The tickets will be used for a number count of those attending. No one will be turned away because they didn't have access to a computer to print up the ticket. A number of community members are in the D-FW area. If you're en route to the rally and see a friend, take them along. Texans For Peace are encouraging people to invite friends. This could be the biggest peace rally the area has seen. The event's theme is "Bring the troops home now and take care of them."

Throughout the day (nine to five, this is a Saturday) there will be canvassing and straw polls, the pre-rally entertainment starts at one p.m. and the peace rally begins at 1:30 and lasts until 3:30. Fort Worth is a city in Texas, part of the Dallas and Fort Worth region known there as "DFW." Suburbs, towns and cities in the area include Denton, Plano, Arlington, Irvining, Bach Springs, Desoto, Duncanville, Lewisville, Addison, Grand Prairie and a host of others. There is a point. Texans for Peace notes that you can catch the Trinity Railway Express to Fort Worth and that at 12:30 pm volunteers will be helping transport people to the rally.
Community member Diana and her family took part in the April 2006 immigrants rally in downtown Dallas that had at least a half million participants making it the largest protest in Dallas' history. She noted the traffic issue when she shared her experiences from that rally. Today, she explained over the phone that the easiest thing for people to the north, east or south of Fort Worth wanting to attend Saturday's events but unsure of how to get there is to utilize the Trinity train. She suggests grabbing a Dart Express Train and taking it to Union Station (in downtown Dallas). You can pick up the TRE there. ("It's the big, brown -- same brown as UPS uses --train that runs right next to the two light rails," says Diana.) ADDED: Dallas and Billie both note that there is also a solid white train. Billie: "Brown or white, they are real trains that look like trains, not the light rail." Texans for Peace notes that the TRE (Trinity Railway Express) runs from eight in the morning until eleven at night on Saturdays.

[The last two paragraphs were noted yesterday and will be noted tomorrow and Friday. Texas members in that area, or able to get to that area, will hopefully be attending and getting the word out.]

Yesterday, Bully Boy gave another laughable speech.
Cedric, Wally and I addressed it yesterday. Michael Abramowitz (Washington Post) observes the "upbeat" speech came as Bully Boy "is stepping up his case for keeping additional U.S. forces in the country. However, Democrats and Iraq experts say that Bush's proposals will face a steep hurdle because many of his predictions of success have not materialized." Thomas E. Ricks (Washington Post) reports that the White House will be asking for another 50 billion dollars ($50,000,000,000.00) for the illegal war "which would come on top of about $460 billion in the fiscal 2008 defense budget and $147 billion in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq" with the announcement most likely coming "after congressional hearings scheduled for mid-September featuring the two top U.S. officials in Iraq. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker will assess the stat eof the war and the effect of the new strategy the U.S. military has pursued this year."

Bully Boy's responsible for the illegal war. The puppet's responsible for his lousy performance.
Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) interviews him and he declares that he did not arrive at "this postition from being a king or a prince but have reached here through a political process, democracy and national will." Each claim, in and of itself, laughable. He then tries to play himself off as an accident of history: "I never wished to be put in a position of responsibility, neither did I see for one minute to be here." Apparently, he was just sipping a soda at the counter of Schwaabs and Bully Boy liked the way al-Maliki filled out a sweater. In a report by Fadel on the interview, it's noted that: "Despite Maliki's confidence, the scene at his office made it clear that his survival isn't being debated only in Washington. Maliki's security guards were closely watching a talk show on a wide screen Panasonic television in the lobby. The topic was whether Maliki is the only choice for Iraq, and political pundits were debating whether the prime minister should step down. When Maliki entered, the guards turned down the volume, but kept the program on."

This week
Erica Bouris (Foreign Policy in Focus) became the latest offer that criticism of al-Maliki is not helpful. Well sometimes the truth hurts. al-Maliki has done an awful job and doesn't represent Iraqis.

Let's deal with some basics before we get to specifics. Iraq is a war zone. Iraq is occupied. Leaders in those situations (in any country) have a limited number of options. They can lead a resistance to occupying forces. They can attempt to work with the occupation in a 'savy' manner that benefits the people of the country. Or they can become a collaborator in the occuaption. They can attempt to work between all the options listed -- ping-ponging back and forth -- but those are the options for leaders in any occupied country. Bouris declares, "Scolding Maliki, however tempting it is in the dog days of August, when heat, violence, and the 2008 election are all a little close for comfort, is a dangerous temptation to give in to. Especially when combined with the just released National Intelligence Estimate report that paints a grimp picture of Maliki's ability to lead Iraq towards effective governance." In other words, Bouris is aware of the NIE and its evaluation of the puppet so why is she bothered by criticisim of al-Maliki? She fears that al-Maliki might begin to "reach out to less moderate Shiites. Or he could broaden his horizons and respond to the overtures of the Iranians. The Iranians would likely be happy to lend a supportive hand to keep Maliki securely in power."

Nouri al-Maliki came into puppet office with ties to Iran (he lived there in exile). US intelligence notes those ties and when they became firmer is when al-Maliki started getting more public criticism. al-Maliki cannot be pushed closer to Iran, he's already there. That may or may not be a bad thing for Iraq or for the United States. But a claim that he might be pushed into the arms of Iran requires a lack of awareness of his firm ties prior to becoming prime minister and the strengthening of those ties since he has.

As to the concern that he might "reach out to less moderate Shiites" -- again, anyone paying attention will raise an eye brow over that 'fear' as well. Not only has al-Maliki backed the Shia death squads and refused to call out their attacks, calling his Interior Ministry "thugs" is being generous. On July 30th,
Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) walked readers through the Interior Ministry building noting that Mahdi Gharrawi controls the second floor ("Last year, U.S. and Iraqi troops found 1,400 prisoners, mostly Sunnis, at a base he controlled in eastern Baghdad. Many showed signs of torture"), the sixth floor is "home to border enforcement and the major crimes unit, belongs to the Badr Organization militia. Its leader, Deputy Minister Ahmed Khfaji, is lauded by some Western officials as an efficient administrator and suspected by others of running secret prisons," the seventh floor is the location of "a turf war" betwen the Badhr Organization and Kurds . . .

That is not a new development, that is not a rarely reported development. al-Maliki would have a very difficult time getting closer with "less moderate Shiites" because they're already arm-in-arm.

"Maliki is the stupidest man alive (well, after Bush of course . . .) if he belives his arrogance and callous handling of the sitatuion will work to dismiss it from the minds of Iraqis. By doing what he is doing, he's making it more clear than ever that under his rule, under his government, vigilante justice is the only way to go. Why leave it to the security forces and police? Simply hire a militia or gang to get revenge."
Riverbend (Baghdad Burning) wrote that on February 20th of this year. She was commenting specifically of the refusal to pursue justice for Sabrine Al Janabi. What does Riverbend think today? Her last post was in April and she noted that she and her family were going to attempt to make it to Syria or Jordan:
Riverbend is now a refugee and under the puppet's 'rule' a vast number of those have been created.

On Monday,
Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) explained, "Meanwhile the Iraqi Red Crescent reports the number of internally displaced Iraqis has also doubled over the course of the so-called U.S. troop surge. More than 1.1 million Iraqis are now internally-displaced, up from under four-hundred fifty thousand earlier this year." Today, Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted that "the Iraqi refugee crisis worsens by the month. The United Nations says the monthly rate of displacement has reached 60,000 people -- an increase of 10,000 over previous estimates. Some 4.2 million Iraqis have fled their homes since the U.S. invasion of Iraq." Do we want to talk orphans? Jonathan Finer (Washington Post) reported in 2006 that prior to the illegal war approximately 400 children were living in orphanages throughout Iraq but by the beginning of 2006, the number had already grown to 1,000.

Assuming the puppet was attempting to be 'savy' and not collaborating, he has failed. There are many things the US wants. Top of the list, the US wants to put into law the theft of Iraqi oil. If he was attempting to be 'savy,' he could have used the desires to leverage items that would make life under occupation a little better for Iraqis. He hasn't.

He told Fadel, "The support for the Sunnis is something we do not accept -- because we do not agree to support either Sunnis or Shiites. I have made a pledge to deal with matters according to state law and citizens regardless of their affiliations. Our responsibility is to break down the barriers that have been erected recently". The first eleven words are probably the closest to the truth al-Maliki got: "The support for the Sunnis is something we do not accept". That would explain creating an 'alliance' this month without Sunnis and trashing the US White House's 'benchmarks' two and sixteen.

He is a miserable failure and with regards to the Sunni population, he is a menace by whom he appoints and what he chooses to recognize and what he chooses to ignore.

Over a week before the NIE was made public,
Peter W. Galbraith (The New York Review of Books) was already laying reality out: "Provincial elections will make Iraq less governable while the process of constitutional revision could break the country apart. . . . Iraq's mainstream Shiite leaders resist holding new provincial elections because they know what such elections are likely to bring. Because the Sunnis boycotted the January 2005 elections, they do not control the northern governorate, or province, of Nineveh, in which there is a Sunni majority, and they are not represented in governorates with mixed populations, such as Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad. New elections would, it is argued, give Sunnis a greater voice in the places where they live, and the Shiites say they do not have a problem with this, although just how they would treat the militant Sunnis who would be elected is far from clear."

Reality is reality and calling al-Maliki out for his failures is reality. Reality check: Baghad went under 'crackdown' when? June 2006. Over a year later and nothing to show for it. No improvement.
On September 2, 2006 -- almost a year ago -- AFP reported the effects of the 'crackdown' -- the only real effects: "Several of Iraq's leading booksellers and writers have burnt a pyre of books to denounce a curfew which they said has turned the centre of Baghdad's intellectual life into 'a street of ghosts'." The curfews only inflame the tensions, they do not solve anything. The 'crackdown' has been an extreme curfew. It has had resulted in the destruction of many of the last remaining cosmopolitan aspects of Baghdad.

al-Maliki was not swept in by 'national will' as he claims to McClatchy Newspapers. He got the job when Ibrahim al-Jaafari didn't have the support needed. April 22, 2006 was when al-Maliki became the prime mnister. From the May 17, 2006 snapshot: "
CNN, the Associated Press and BBC note that Iraqi prime minister-designate Nuri al-Maliki will, apparently, announce his cabinet nominations this Saturday. As the rah-rah-rah-put-on-Etta-James'-"At Last!"-mood builds, it's left to AFP to note the obvious: the parliment meets Saturday because the constitutional deadline is Monday, the 22nd. al-Maliki has already missed his own imposed deadline. The Monday deadline is not optional." On May 22nd, he had a cabinet -- if you were willing to ignore Iraq's Constitution and al-Maliki was. As Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted, the 'cabinet' wasn't full: "Several key cabinet positions remain unfilled including Minister of Defense and Minister of the Interior." Of course, the Constitutional deadline of May 22nd was about the full cabinet, not partial.

That should have been the first clue that he was ineffective. How about that fabeled 24-point plan al-Maliki was talking up in May? In May of 2006, it should be noted. That 'peace plan' didn't amount to anything. After the Green Zone barricades were stormed in June 2006 (the reason for the crackdown), al-Maliki suddenly had a new 'plan' and it was another 'peace plan'. Lot of praise for an awful plan and one that never worked but let's drop back to
October 3, 2006's snapshot:

Operation Happy Talkers are on the move and telling you that Nouri al-Maliki offers a 'four-point' peace plan. You may have trouble reading of the 'four-point' plan because the third point isn't about "peace" or "democracy" so reports tend to ignore it. The first step has already been (rightly)
dismissed by Andrew North (BBC) of the "local security committees": "In fact, most neighourhoods of Baghdad set up their own local security bodies some time ago to protect themselves -- because they do not trust the authorities to look after them." AP reports that the Iraqi parliament voted in favor of the 'peace' plan (reality title: "continued carnage plan").

As we went on to note (and noted repeatedly), it was difficult to hear about the plan because so much of the press made a point of ignoring one point. The third plank of the 'peace plan' was the attack on a free press. The war on the press. It was the war on the press that created the problems in Falluja in April 2004 when Paul Bremer's itsy-bitsy feelings were hurt over a political cartoon. It was the war on the press that led
al-Maliki to shut down al-Arabiya in September 2006.The 'peace plan' pushed in the fall of 2006 only enshrined the assault on a free press though most media outlets avoided noting that. The assault continues. Ali al-Fadhily (IPS) reported yesterday on the "fascist behavior" in Falluja where even the journalists live in fear "after a few of them were arrested and held for several days. One of the detained journalists spoke to IPS on condition of anonymity. Visible shaken, he said that a major in the Fallujah police force had told him that freedom of the media had been missued and the police would not allow it anymore. He said the major told him that 'the news you transmit to the world will be what we tell you, not what you pick up from the street'."

al-Maliki is a puppet. There's no question of that. When he was in Egypt, the US decided to install permanent barricades in Baghdad. al-Maliki declared, "I oppse the building of the wall, and its construction will stop," as
Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) noted before adding that the US "military did not say whether the wall's construction would be halted." And the following day, as CNN reported, Iraq's Brig. General Qassim Atta held a press conference in Baghdad where he declared, "We will continue to set up these barries in Adhamiya and other areas." And, FYI, the construction continued.

al-Maliki is a puppet. There's no question of that. But he wanted to have the title of "prime minister" and be seen as a leader. The Iraqi people have nothing to show from his 'leadership'. If this was al-Maliki being 'savy' for 15 months, he's an idiot. More likely, he decided to be a collaborator in an illegal occupation. Regardless, he has not used the limited power he does hold to leverage better conditions for Iraqis. He has allowed Shi'ite death squads to run free, he has allowed his Interior Ministry to target Sunnis when they coveted their homes. The statements being made by people holding office in the US government, mild as they are, are not really that different from what was being stated publicly by October 2006. The difference is that the jury is no longer out on al-Maliki. September 30, 2006,
Amit R. Paley and Sudarsan Raghavan (Washington Post) reported that then US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad said of al-Maliki, "He has a window of a couple months. If the perception is that this unity government is not able to deal with this issue [the death toll and threat of civil war], then a big opportunity would have been lost and it would take a long time to address this issue." In their opening sentence, Paley and Raghavan wrote, "The U.S. ambassador to Iraq warned on Friday that time is running out for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to contain the burgeoning sectarian bloodshed that threatens to plunge the country into a civil war." That was almost a year ago. The statements or threats are the same today as they were then except for the fact that there's no talk of "if" -- the jury is in, the puppet failed. By the US government's standards he has failed. By measures of daily life for Iraqis he has failed.

US forces arrested Iranians in Baghdad.
Stephen Farrell (New York Times) reports, "An Iranian Energy Ministry delegation was arrested by American troops at a hotel in central Baghdad during an official visit to Iraq" while the US military "did not mention the hotel" and asserted the arrests took place "near the checkpoint on the east bank of the Tigris" but staff at the hotel say "the members were eating dinner in the ground floor restaurant" of the hotel when they were arrested, handcuffed and blindfolded. Robin Stringer (Bloomberg News) notes they were released and that the US military's latest version of the ever changing story is that they waived the Iranians through a checkpoint and then changed their minds which is how they ended up arrested at the hotel.

In other violence.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 1 life (three wounded). Reuters reports a Kirkuk car bombing claimed 3 lives (seven people wounded), a Kirkuk mortar attack claimed 2 lives (one more wounded), a Diwaniyah roadside bombing claimed the lives of 2 "bodyguards of a government official",


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Hawija shooting that left an Iraqi soldier dead and 1 person shot dead in Kirkuk. Reuters reports a police officer shot dead in Najaf.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 11 corpses discovered in Baghdad.

Today the
US military announced: "One Multi-National Corps – Iraq Soldier died of wounds suffered during combat operations in the vicinity of Kirkuk Aug. 28." The announcement brings the ICCC total for the number of US service members killed in Iraq this month to 75 with 3733 being the total number killed in the illegal war since it started.

Another thing we'll be noting through the end of the week -- events for Army of None, published
by Seven Stories Press, available at Courage to Resist and many other places, which is written by Aimee Allison and David Solnit. This Thursday there will be a release celebration for the event at Club Oasis (135 12th St., btwen. Madison and Oak Sts., Oakland 6 blocks E. of Broadway/12th St. -- click here for East Bay express' map of Club Oasis' location). The event is free and open to all. The authors will be there, Jeff Paterson will have a slide show, there will be a puppet show, poets, snakcs, a dj . . . The event starts at 6:30 pm. More information can be found [Warning: MySpace page] by clicking here.Aug 29, at 12:00P, Aimee and David on KPFA Radio! @ KPFA Radio 94.1;Aug 30, at 6:00P Army of None Book Release Party & Tour Kick-Off @ Oasis Restaurant & Bar - Oakland, CA;Sep 14 at 4:00P Army of None Workshop - San Jose, CA @ Californians for Justice, San Jose, CA;Sep 14 at 7:30P Army of None Book Release/Signing - San Jose, CA @ Dowtown San Jose - Location TBA; Sep 15 at 12:00P Army of None Tour in Pittsburgh, PA;Sep 19 at 7:00P Army of None Tour in Cleveland, OH;Sep 20 at 6:00P Army of None Tour @ Kent, OH;Sep 23 at 6:00P Army of None Tour @ Milwaukee, WI;Sep 24 at 6:00P Army of None Tour in Milwaukee, WI @ Milwaukee, WI;Sep 25 at 7:00P Army of None Tour @ Madison, WI;Sep 26 at 6:00P Army of None Tour @ Madison, WI;Sep 27 at 6:30P Army of None Tour @ May Day Books, Minneapolis MN;Sep 28 at 10:00A Army of None Tour @ High Schools in Minneapolis, MN;Sep 28 at 7:30P Army of None Tour @ Lyndale United Church of Christ, Minneapolis MN;Sep 29 at 1:00P Army of None Tour @ Rondo Community Outreach Library - St. Paul, MN;Oct 12 at 7:00P Army of None Tour @ Bluestockings Bookstore - New York City;and Oct 17 at 7:00P Army of None Tour @ Sanctuary for Independent Media - Troy, NY