Saturday, September 06, 2003
This is the hottest and most explosive story behind the scenes in Washington in terms of how it could affect the Bush administration.
Ambassador Joseph Wilson has been turning up the heat in this situation. He revealed on Friday August 29 in a symposium in Washington the person in the Bush administration, who had leaked it out to the Washington Post that Wilson’s wife is a CIA agent of 26 years. As a consequence of this leak, her entire team of overseas assets were liquidated.
The leaker, it turns out, was none other than the notorious Karl H. Rove, Bush’s so-called White House advisor. Ambassador Wilson identified him as Karl Roverer, with the umlaut over the “o.”
According to reliable sources, as well as our own Al Martin Raw.com investigation, Karl Rove is, in fact, the grandson of Karl Heinz Roverer, the gauleiter of Mecklenburg, who was also a partner and senior engineer of Roverer Sud-Deutche Ingenieurbüro AG. They built Birchenau, the concentration camp in Nazi Germany.
So Karl Rove has been identified as the leaker responsible for the deaths of more than 70 CIA assets overseas.
President George W. Bush’s job performance ratings have reached the lowest point since his pre-Inauguration days, continuing a steady decline since a post-9/11 peak, according to a new Zogby America poll of 1,013 likely voters conducted September 3-5.
Less than half (45%) of the respondents said they rated his job performance good or excellent, while a majority (54%) said it was fair or poor. In August Zogby International polling, his rating was 52% positive, 48% negative. Today’s results mark the first time a majority of likely voters have given the president an unfavorable job performance rating since he took office.
Friday, September 05, 2003
Last Friday’s terrorist bombing outside the Tomb of Ali in the Iraqi city of An-Najaf was the deadliest such attack against a civilian target in Middle East history. It recalls a similar blast in the southern outskirts of Beirut in March1985, which until last week held the region’s record for civilian fatalities in a single bombing.
There are some striking parallels between the two terrorist attacks: both were the result of a car bomb that exploded outside a crowded mosque during Friday prayers and both were part of an assassination attempt against a prominent Shiite cleric that killed scores of worshipers and passers-by.
There is a key difference, however: While no existing government is believed to have been behind the An-Najaf bombing, the Beirut bombing was a classic case of state-sponsored terrorism: a plot organized by the intelligence services of a foreign power.
That foreign power was the United States.
The 1985 Beirut bombing was part of an operation, organized by CIA director William Casey and approved by President Ronald Reagan, to assassinate Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a prominent anti-American Lebanese cleric. More than 80 civilians were killed and over 200 wounded, though Ayatollah Fadlallah escaped serious injury.
Few people today are aware of this major terrorist incident. Not only did Casey, Reagan, and other officials responsible never face justice for the crime, it is as if the tragedy has completely disappeared from history.
The attack and the U.S. role in it is not, however, a matter of historical debate. Major American daily newspapers not only made the bombing itself front-page news, but when the CIA connection came to light several weeks later, that too made the lead headlines. In addition, award-winning Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward examines the incident in detail in his best-selling 1987 book Veil.
Hours later, 8-year-old Bakr Sobah searched through the rubble, looking for his books and school bag. "I have homework in my notebooks. What can I do now?" the boy said. "We had a house here, now we don't."
Eight of the 15 apartments in the building demolished Friday had been occupied, housing about 50 people. Residents included shopkeepers, accountants and middle-class professionals. Each apartment had cost $50,000, with a monthly mortgage payment of $300 high sums in the impoverished Palestinian economy.
Bakr's mother, Mona, was at a nearby elementary school, still dressed in the black bathrobe she wore when soldiers asked her to leave her apartment at the start of the raid. "I have only this," she said, raising her identity card. "I thought we were only being asked to leave for a few minutes."
Soldiers surrounded the building, ordered the residents out and took them to a school, said Jamal Kordi, 38, a housepainter and one of the residents. Men were handcuffed and questioned about strangers in the building.
Kordi said that after midnight, he and three other men were taken into the building as "human shields," leading the way as soldiers, accompanied by dogs, searched various apartments. Israel's Supreme Court has outlawed the practice of using human shields; the army had no immediate comment.
You're hearing a bit about William Janklow in the news lately I'm sure. He is the govenor of South Dakota who recently killed a motorcyclist, Randolph Scott, by running a stopsign at high speed and hitting the man. Here is a pretty good summation of what I have heard about the William Janklow:
State court records show that Janklow got 12 speeding tickets in 11 South Dakota counties from 1990 to 1994 and paid more than $1,000 in fines. He often drove 15 mph to 20 mph faster than legal speed limits and once got caught going 90 mph in a 65-mph zone.
I find the above troubling. But not nearly as troubling as what I don't see in the mainstream news. Concerning motor vehicle violations, are you aware the Mr Janklow has been arrested for drunk driving, disorderly conduct, assaulting an officer and indecent exposure? Read the rest of the affidavit to see Janklow was wearing no pants at the time. And that he also tried to outrun the officers in his vehicle, something we see no further charge for, leading one to think they were being pretty decent to him, overall.
There are also allegations of Janklow riding around the reservation shooting dogs. This accusation is held up in his Disbarment Proceedings, Proceedings he did not attend, nor contest. Please read the linked statement by Judge Mario Gonzalez. You'll note by reading this telegram there seems to be government collusion involved in seeing justice is not served.
The most serious of "allegations" against this long time friend of Mr Bush is that he raped 15 year old Jancita Eagle Deer, his children's babysitter. A letter he wrote the BIA in 1983 states he was her guardian at the time. Although doctors had testified about the evidence of the attack and young Miss Eagle Deer had identified Janklow as the assailant he was never brought to trial. A warrant to apprehend was finally issued November of 1974, as a result of his disbarment case brought before Judge Gonzalez.
A very strong "allegation".
Here is how Peter Matthiessen in his book "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" relates it:
"On January 14, 1967, according to delegates from the Rosebud Reservation, a fifteen-year-old student at the Indian boarding school named Jancita Eagle Deer reported to her school principal that she had been raped on her way home the night before by her legal guardian, a young white lawyer named William Janklow, who was serving effectively as director of the tribe's Legal Services program, and was therefore friendly with a number of people who would later become his enemies. ... The principal had escorted the girl to the hospital; the hospital records included evidence suggesting that the attack had occurred. A complaint was made to a BIA investigator, who filed a report recommending that Janklow be prosecuted. But no help was available from the Legal Services program, and the case had been smoothed over by the FBI. In a January 16 report, Agent John Penrod stated that "it was impossible to determine anything," and Richard G. Held (Special Agent in Charge in Minneapolis and later a leading FBI official at Wounded Knee) concluded six weeks later that there was "insufficient evidence, allegations were unfounded; we are therefore closing our files on the matter." Meanwhile, Jancita, ashamed when the ugly story spread, had lost progress in school and finally disappeared from the reservation. Jancita's stepmother, Delphine Eagle Deer, swore she would prove that her daughter had been raped by William Janklow, but she never did. Mrs. Eagle Deer ... died after a beating by the BIA police, who left her unconscious in a winter field."
Ms Jancita Eagle Deer was found dead a few months after the Janklow disbarment hearing.
Janklow and FBI agent David Price sued Mattheissen over the veracity of the reports in his book. Their case was thrown out of court.
At sixteen years of age Janklow was convicted of sexual assault of a seventeen year old woman.
... Janklow had been brought before juvenile court in 1955 at the age of sixteen for allegedly having assaulted a seventeen-year-old girl in Moody County, South Dakota. Although the juvenile records were confidential, Sande repeated in public the rumor that the juvenile offense had been rape. Janklow said that the juvenile delinquency petition against him was dismissed, and that the alleged offense was not rape. "it didn't go that far:' he told the media, "but it was preliminary to that sort of thing"
The railroading of Leonard Peltier (and attempted railroading of other AIM members) and becomes evident when one sees Janklows involvement in the timeline of events (scroll down to footnote 142). Remember he was Attorney General while the FBI armed and assisted Dick Wilson and his GOONs in terrifying Traditional folks of the Pine Ridge Reservation. People who didn't want to sell off their Sacred Lands and resources. Folks who died and whose killers have never been brought to justice.
For example, during 1975-76, the head of the federally imposed puppet government on Pine Ridge, Richard Wilson (head of the local death squads, known as "GOONs"), signed over approximately one-eighth of the reservation--without tribal consent--to the U. S. Park Service. The ceded area is believed to be rich in uranium and is suspected of being used to accommodate a high-level nuclear waste dump. The AIM people would have resisted such a land transfer. It was therefore necessary to tie them up in other matters or simply liquidate them.
Read about "National Sacrifice Areas" Food for thought...
This has been a modest attempt to fill you in on the character of William Janklow. Let us see if this time, this once, justice is served.
Documents pertinent to the Jancita Eagle Deer case: JancitaEagleDeer.com . (Read the Letter to John Ashcroft, scroll down for documents)
FBI Peltier Pine Ridge Janklow Cointelpro general Info http://www.derechos.net/paulwolf/cointelpro/
Janklow Dakota Lakota Nakota Nations http://www.dlncoalition.org
First Nations Issues http://www.dickshovel.com/
The Times They Are A'Changin
The scene is the National Mall of Washington, D.C., a public parks space and gathering spot for citizens seeking to come together to communicate common interests to their government. The time is Sept. 4, 2003, the kickoff event for the new National Football League season, sponsored by Pepsi Cola, Coors, the NYSE, and others. Advertisements, banners, placards emblazooned with company logos, “Take Pride in America”, and "Operation Tribute to Freedom" are everywhere.
A crowd of 130,000 has gathered for a free concert by Britney Spears, Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige, and Aretha Franklin, the culmination of a four-day event. A giant stage, also covered with ads, has been erected. Out strides a middle aged white man in a suit.
(Deep, resonant voice of The Announcer): Ladies and gentleman, The President
…of Pepsi Cola.
PoPeC: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you very much! Great to be here! Thank you! I’m touched! I really am! This is a great day as we gather here on the National Mall. A great day for all Americans and for Pepsi Vanilla!
(crowd roar dies down)
I am here today because I had a dream! You are here at a historic moment, because Pepsi Vanilla is bringing the dream closer than it’s ever been before.
(Odd music begins to play. Jumbotrons display digital versions of the inescapable Pepsi Vanilla banners littering the Mall. The banners begin to swirl into a spiral pattern.)
Look into my banners. You cannot look away. You are getting sleepy….sleeeeeeepeeee. You….are….a…sleep.
(an eerie quiet descends on the Mall, punctuated by an occasional baby’s cry)
Yes, I had a dream that one day the concept of citizenship would be completely obliterated. I had a dream that we could one day live in a world with cola wars as your top concern. And there’s only one way to achieve that dream, and that is to demonstrate our power over you, over your public spaces, over your very consciousness.
The NFL is a national pastime, a sporting event, but most importantly, a commercial enterprise. As such, it is THE DREAM of this great nation. The domination of one commercial enterprise over another, everywhere. It is our model, it is our pardigm, it is our religion.
And we will WIN! NO ONE has a problem with this. There is NO dissent. This is the way it is. Anyone who disagrees with this is A LOSER.
We will bomb whomever we choose. This is good. There is nothing more powerful than the power of life and death. This is the great struggle. And we will win. Drink Pepsi Vanilla, driiiiiinnnkkk it! Everyone will drink it, in every country. It will make you immortal…and as handsome and resolute as a young soldier when photographed from below.
And it will make you as sexy as pop star Britney Spears, who is here tonight, for free, thanks to Pepsi Vanilla and the other sponsors, of which I am a board member. This is going to be an exciting, inspiring show. I repeat, an exciting, inspiring show. In….support….of…..the…..global…war….on….terrorism.
Now you may ask, can you take pride in America without supporting our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? NO! Why? Look at all this, feel it. Can YOU see any alternatives?
Remember to support our troops, take pride in our great country, and remember Pepsi Vanilla when you grab the handle of the cooler at the convenience store.
Now enjoy this fabulous entertainment as we celebrate the kickoff of the 2003 season of the National Football League!
Award-winning online journalist David Neiwert has published a lengthy series of essays touching on a topic intending to start what may the most important--if the most improbable--conversation to be had in the contemporary West: Is Fascism a real and growing force in the United States of America?
Neiwert's series of essays touch on a comprehensive and cohesive number of relevant points, but the most profound might be his jab against those--mostly on the left--who have abused the term "fascism," caused its meaning to be eroded into a more simple synonym of "totalitarian" or even "bad," and rendered earnest inqury into the rise of American corporatism/fascism essentially untenable.
"Fascism" has come to be a nearly useless term in the past 30 years or so. In many respects, leftists are most responsible for this degradation; it became so common to lob the word at just about anyone conservative or corporatist in the 1960s and 1970s that its original meaning -- describing a very distinct political style, if not quite philosophy -- became utterly muddled, at least in the public lexicon….
At the same time, it’s important for Americans of all stripes – liberal or conservative –have a clear view of what fascism is, because it is not an extinct political force, and it is above all anti-democratic and anti-American in spirit. This essay is in some regards a plea, particularly to those on the left who have used the term willy nilly to score shrill partisan political points to cease abusing the word ‘fascism,’ learn what it means, and apply it only when it’s appropriate.
Indeed, the rise of fascism in America needs to be openly discussed--pheonomenologically, rather than as a conscious movement (there clearly is no Fascist Party). This can't be done if the lexical toolbox has been emptied by overzealous and counterproductive past politicization of language.
Neiwert's essays are neither perfect nor exactly what you or I would have written, but they are both detailed and broad enough to serve as a good launching pad for a real concerted inquiry into the nature and course of American corporatism.
Thursday, September 04, 2003
The canvas weighs 44 tons and it used to fire shells. Until early April it was a tank, a Russian-made t55. Iraqi soldiers used it to defend a city called Kirkuk, in their own inept and overmatched way, and our guys turned it into a paperweight.
Then, three or four weeks ago, a small army of kids went after it with paintbrushes. Now, John Gattorn will tell you, it's a piece of art and a fragment of hope -- a charred and rusty fragment, sure, but in a war zone you don't always get to polish your symbols.
Go to Google and type your phone number into the "Search" box. Put dashes in like this 555-111-2222 and hit search. "Whalla", there you have the phone owners name and address- as well as a Mapquest or Yahoo Maps hyperlink to find your way right to your door. Do you want strangers accessing this information so easily? Click on the Blue Phone Icon to request your information be removed.
Does Google make you uneasy? Get food for thought about Blogger's owner at Google Watch.
Wednesday, September 03, 2003
"The United States on Tuesday sneered at plans by four European countries to create an autonomous European military command headquarters near Brussels separate from Nato, referring to the idea's proponents as "chocolate makers".
In unusually blunt language that drew surprised gasps from reporters, State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher scoffed at Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg for continuing to support the proposal that they first introduced at a mini-summit in April."
(reposted from Warfilter.)
"Their covert plans were exposed when I ripped open a bag of nacho flavored Doritos(tm) and cracked their secret 'Mexi-Code' embedded in each chip!"
Update: Something along the same lines from Pocho.com: Aztlan's Numero Uno Source for Satire Y Chingazos.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign to become governor of California is facing more problems as he admitted being inspired by disgraced former US President Richard Nixon.
The Terminator star said he had supported the Republican Party since hearing Nixon speak in 1968, several years before he was forced to quit the White House during the Watergate scandal.
"I listened to President Nixon talk about free enterprise ... lowering taxes and strengthening the military," he said.
"So I turned to my friend and said 'I am a Republican!'. This is the philosophy I believe in."
Administration Officials Confirm that US Arranged Post-9/11 Exodus of bin Ladens
Not long after 9/11, there was a persistent rumor that the Bush administration, through the FBI, had arranged for a secret flight on which more than 100 members of the bin Laden family were allowed to leave the US after receiving no questioning or investigation. This story circulated for a while, and finally died with repeated denials by the Bush administration.
Today, however, this story is about to come back to life. Two former administration officials, former White House counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke and Dale Watson, the FBI's former head of counter-terrorism, are talking to the media about this covert operation to ferry away members of a family which at least unwittingly funded a portion of the 9/11 attacks (and which has had a long and amicable business relationship with the Bushes, going back to the days when the Carlile Group would subcontract jobs to the bin Laden construction concern).
This seems to be the pattern with the Bush administration: as soon as someone has been alienated to the point of being fired, they will talk to the press about the nefarious secret shit they put up to by their former bosses. But this one is gravely serious. It is already becoming clearer every day that George Bush has something (~28 pages of something) to hide about his relationship with the Saudi royal family, and it seems like his Presidency has some secrets about the bin Ladens as well.
FAMILY 'FLOWN OUT OF US'
Members of Osama bin Laden's family were allowed to fly out of the US shortly after the September 11 terror attacks, a senior official has said.
Even though American airspace had been shut down, the Bush administration allowed a jet to fly around the US picking up family members from 10 cities, including Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston and Houston.
Some 140 high ranking Saudi officials were also on the plane.
The revelations come from former White House counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke.
He said the Bush administration sanctioned the repatriation of the family in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.
"Somebody brought to us for approval the decision to let an airplane filled with Saudis, including members of the bin Laden family, leave the country," he told Vanity Fair magazine.
Mr Clarke said he checked with FBI officials, who gave the go ahead. "So I said, 'Fine, let it happen'."
He first asked the bureau to check that no one "inappropriate" was leaving.
"I have no idea if they did a good job. I'm not in any position to second guess the FBI," he said.
But Dale Watson, the FBI's former head of counter-terrorism, said the Saudis "were not subject to serious interviews or interrogations".
Here are the disastrous proportions, in the hope that someone in Israel will take notice: 80 percent of the Palestinians killed were not connected to armed actions.
Like the Israelis, who experience the horror of bus bombings, the Palestinians too are all exposed to the terror of missiles and bombs exploding in the heart of the civilian population centers. This terror, and the tribal need for vengeance (which is not foreign to Israelis) have become a true "terror infrastructure." The bottomless pit of its ammunition is the pointlessness and hopelessness of the lives of tens of thousands of young people. The targeted killings may sabotage technical capabilities for a time. But they do not deter more and more young people from seeking the means to act.
The Bush administration has ended a 25-year-old ban on the sale of land polluted with PCBs. The ban was intended to prevent hundreds of polluted sites from being redeveloped in ways that spread the toxin or raise public health risks.
The Environmental Protection Agency decided the ban was "an unnecessary barrier to redevelopment (and) may actually delay the clean-up of contaminated properties," according to an internal memo issued last month to advise agency staff of the change.
The government believes that PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, probably cause cancer.
(Feral House, Edited by Adam Parfrey). "...Taking a cue from his classic Apocalypse Culture, Parfrey here gives us bite-sized nuggets of hatred from Islamic extremists in dozens of countries and spanning the generations. Just as you might expect, previously critical attitudes toward the west appear to be deteriorating fast. Vintage boogiemen Moammar Khaddafy and Anwar Sadat's views seem almost moderate compared to the more recent 'Restrictions Imposed by the Taliban' and bin Laden's 'God's Order to Kill Americans Around the World.'"
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Guess who's making a killing in Iraq? This weblog tracks the venal players of war and plunder, and all their dirty deals. Recommended by Le Blogeur.
Number of Wounded in Action on Rise
Vernon Loeb of the Washington Post reports that:
U.S. battlefield casualties in Iraq are increasing dramatically in the face of continued attacks by remnants of Saddam Hussein's military and other forces, with almost 10 American troops a day now being officially declared "wounded in action."
The number of those wounded in action, which totals 1,124 since the war began in March, has grown so large, and attacks have become so commonplace, that U.S. Central Command usually issues news releases listing injuries only when the attacks kill one or more troops. The result is that many injuries go unreported.
The rising number and quickening pace of soldiers being wounded on the battlefield have been overshadowed by the number of troops killed since President Bush declared an end to major combat operations May 1. But alongside those Americans killed in action, an even greater toll of battlefield wounded continues unabated, with an increasing number being injured through small-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades, remote-controlled mines and what the Pentagon refers to as "improvised explosive devices."
Indeed, today another large improvised bomb went off in Baghdad, this time in front of the new police station:
A car bomb exploded near the headquarters of U.S.-trained police in Baghdad on Tuesday, killing one policeman and wounding many bystanders. Separately, a U.S. soldier was killed in a helicopter crash, a day after a roadside bomb killed two American soldiers....
On Monday, two soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 2nd Battalion of the 220th Military Police Brigade were killed when a bomb went off beside their convoy in southern Iraq. Another soldier was wounded.
The U.S. military provided no other details. In all, 286 U.S. soldiers have died in the Iraq war, 148 since the end of heavy fighting.
Maybe this is how Russians felt about Afhganistan in the late 70's? In any case, one would hope that the public will only allow their children to be sacrificed for so long without hearing a detailed set of goals or an exit strategy. Currently, there isn't even the loosest of plans, just a slew of platitude and base fearmongering.
Monday, September 01, 2003
"The report's opening sections underscore the extent to which such real change in majority-minority relations is crucial. These sections elucidate the background causes of the explosion. These include: long-standing policies of discrimination enforced by Israeli governments toward the Arab population; processes of ultra-nationalism and religious extremism that grip the Arab sector; the role played by Arab Knesset members in blurring a crucial distinction between showing solidarity with the suffering of Palestinians in the territories and relinquishing ties of loyalty to the state of Israel; and the Jewish majority's refusal to treat members of the Arab minority as equals."
Sunday, August 31, 2003
Juxtaposing Transportation Situations
"Ford Transit" shows us how the charismatic driver of a makeshift West Bank bus negotiates the treacherous border, and gives an ear to the Palestinian passengers' points of view along the way.
Many dramatic films don't have a character as good as Rajai Khatib, who drives one of "The Fords" that take Palestinians from checkpoint to checkpoint as they cross from the West Bank to Israel and back again.
Driving in the Valley of the Shadow of Death
It's the management problem from hell: How do you run a company whose customers and employees are being killed?
As Baratz looked through his windshield, the number 32A bus exploded right in front of him. The blast was so powerful, it blew out all the windows of bus32A, and the big bus leaped up off the road. The boom of the explosion rolled over Baratz and his passengers. There was a moment or two of total silence. Then the screams started.
The Zionist revolution has always rested on two pillars: a just path and an ethical leadership. Neither of these is operative any longer. The Israeli nation today rests on a scaffolding of corruption, and on foundations of oppression and injustice. As such, the end of the Zionist enterprise is already on our doorstep. There is a real chance that ours will be the last Zionist generation. There may yet be a Jewish state here, but it will be a different sort, strange and ugly.
There is time to change course, but not much. What is needed is a new vision of a just society and the political will to implement it. Nor is this merely an internal Israeli affair. Diaspora Jews for whom Israel is a central pillar of their identity must pay heed and speak out. If the pillar collapses, the upper floors will come crashing down.
The opposition does not exist, and the coalition, with Arik Sharon at its head, claims the right to remain silent. In a nation of chatterboxes, everyone has suddenly fallen dumb, because there's nothing left to say. We live in a thunderously failed reality. Yes, we have revived the Hebrew language, created a marvelous theater and a strong national currency. Our Jewish minds are as sharp as ever. We are traded on the Nasdaq. But is this why we created a state? The Jewish people did not survive for two millennia in order to pioneer new weaponry, computer security programs or anti-missile missiles. We were supposed to be a light unto the nations. In this we have failed.
It turns out that the 2,000-year struggle for Jewish survival comes down to a state of settlements, run by an amoral clique of corrupt lawbreakers who are deaf both to their citizens and to their enemies. A state lacking justice cannot survive. More and more Israelis are coming to understand this as they ask their children where they expect to live in 25 years. Children who are honest admit, to their parents' shock, that they do not know. The countdown to the end of Israeli society has begun.
You're Free Now Aincha?
(pic from the Great Micah Wright of course...)
If you would like to know what a female Iraqi programmer thinks of our "liberation", then you might want to check out this blog called Bagdad Burning. Check out her decimation of the Iraqi governing council, which they couldn't vote for or choose themselves (some democracy) and her realization that she couldn't work anymore. We also get to peek at one of those 8000 dead Iraqis that the pro-warblogracy never seems to take into account. Heartbreaking stuff. (I know she and Juan Cole have been linked to earlier, but this is worth an encore...)
Here's an Excerpt:
I stood staring at the mess for a few moments longer, trying to sort out the mess in my head, my heart being torn to pieces. My cousin and E. were downstairs waiting for me- there was nothing more to do, except ask how I could maybe help? A. and I left the room and started making our way downstairs. We paused on the second floor and stopped to talk to one of the former department directors. I asked him when they thought things would be functioning, he wouldn’t look at me. His eyes stayed glued to A.’s face as he told him that females weren’t welcome right now- especially females who ‘couldn’t be protected’. He finally turned to me and told me, in so many words, to go home because ‘they’ refused to be responsible for what might happen to me.
Ok. Fine. Your loss. I turned my back, walked down the stairs and went to find E. and my cousin. Suddenly, the faces didn’t look strange- they were the same faces of before, mostly, but there was a hostility I couldn’t believe. What was I doing here? E. and the cousin were looking grim, I must have been looking broken, because they rushed me out of the first place I had ever worked and to the car. I cried bitterly all the way home- cried for my job, cried for my future and cried for the torn streets, damaged buildings and crumbling people.
I’m one of the lucky ones… I’m not important. I’m not vital. Over a month ago, a prominent electrical engineer (one of the smartest females in the country) named Henna Aziz was assassinated in front of her family- two daughters and her husband. She was threatened by some fundamentalists from Badir’s Army and told to stay at home because she was a woman, she shouldn’t be in charge. She refused- the country needed her expertise to get things functioning- she was brilliant. She would not and could not stay at home. They came to her house one evening: men with machine-guns, broke in and opened fire. She lost her life- she wasn’t the first, she won’t be the last.
Before, the war, over at Warblogger Watch, I argued that women in Iraq had it better than in any other Mid Eastern state. Now, after the war, I'm arguing that we have to build a real democracy to ensure that women like this get their lives back. Bush is unable to do this, but Dean just might. The UN could certainly do a better job if they get rid of the cronyism and the no bid contracts. Also, check out the corruption in the Iraqi bidding process for repairs. Apparently, Tony Soprano is running the Iraqi Esplanade reconstruction projects...
Meanwhile, Perle, of all people, says that mistakes were made. Juan Cole, arguably one of the best analysts of Iraq out there, tells him where he's wrong. (scroll down) One of his primo military sources got shot and killed by the way. He lists the entire email exchange on his site.