In al-Anbar province at Karma 50 km west of Baghdad, a meeting of the local Awakening Council was blown up by a suicide bomber, killing clan chieftains and wounding some US troops. The bombing caused the handover of security from the US to the Iraqi army in al-Anbar to be delayed.
In Mosul, a major city of 1.7 mn. some 225 miles north of Baghdad, guerrillas attempted to assassinate the governor of Ninevah province, Duraid Kashmula with a car bomb. They killed 17 persons, including bodyguards of the governor, and wounded 62. Kashmula escaped unscathed.
The bombing in Karma was carried out by a man dressed in a police uniform, and it killed more than 20 persons. Among them were the head of the Karma tribal council. Three policemen were killed. About 20 persons were wounded.
Actually, casinos are always socially regressive, hurting the poor disproportionately. The Green Zone is like a stone’s throw away from Sadrist-dominated Sadr City. Why does he think the religious Shiites will put up with all this? The Iraqi maids will be viewed as violating norms of gender segregation. The other activities would attract . . . sanctions under the sharia. In fact, that wonderful Iraqi constitution that the US Republican Party was so enthusiastic about forbids parliament to pass any law contrary to Islamic canon law. Since gambling is forbidden in the Qur’an, it is unlikely that the Iraqi parliament can legalize it.
This sort of thing is why the Iraq public wants any Status of Forces Agreement between the Iraqi government and the US to ensure that US forces can only deploy force with the agreement of the Iraqi government.
Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that the security situation has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in Mosul. Yesterday a bombing killed 2 and wounded 90 persons, and a municipal leader was assassinated; in addition, a roadside bombing killed 3 US troops and their interpreter. An informed source told the Baghdad daily that the security campaign in the northern city of 1.7 mn. led by PM Nuri al-Maliki was deeply flawed. He said that there had been no coordination between the government forces sent into Mosul with the police in their 80 local HQs, nor with the 48 offices of parties that maintain powerful militias.
Peshmerga troops of the Kurdistan Alliance in Mosul began being replaced on Wednesday by units of the Iraqi Army after severe pressure was exerted by the people of the city, tribal elders, and notables. (Mosul is about 80 percent Arab, but there is a Kurdish minority; residents fear that Kurdistan is trying to annex the city). An Iraqi Army source said that in the Waterfall District in the east of the city, a Peshmerga unit had already been switched out with an Iraqi Army one.
Al-Zaman also alleges that the Badr Corps paramilitary of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq refused to surrender their HQs in Maysan Province to the government, and that the Interior Ministry apologized for them!
Three civilians were killed and ten others wounded in parked car bomb near Saj al Reef restaurant in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 1:00 p.m.
Police found five unidentified bodies in Baghdad . . .
An Iraqi soldier was killed and three others were wounded in a booby-trapped house in al Naqeeb village 15 miles south of Baquba city around 6:00 a.m.
A member of Sahwa council was killed in clashes between Sahwa members and insurgents in Khan Bani Saad town 15 miles southwest of Baquba city around 7:00 a.m.
Gunmen killed Mosul municipality director Khalid Mahmoud and his driver in al Baladiyat area in downtown Mosul city on Wednesday morning.
Seven people were wounded in a tribal fight between two sub-tribes south of Nasiriyah city on Wednesday morning. Iraqi army got involved supported by US helicopters to control. The security forces arrested 16 people including seven wounded.
two people were killed and 15 others were wounded when a bomb exploded inside a car near Imam Abbas holy shrine in downtown Karbala city south of Baghdad around 7:00 p.m.’
The late George Carlin did not like the phrase “post-traumatic stress disorder.” He famously said,
‘ I don’t like words that hide the truth. I don’t like words that conceal reality. I don’t like euphemisms, or euphemistic language. And American English is loaded with euphemisms. Cause Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have trouble facing the truth, so they invent the kind of a soft language to protect themselves from it, and it gets worse with every generation. For some reason, it just keeps getting worse. I’ll give you an example of that.
There’s a condition in combat. Most people know about it. It’s when a fighting person’s nervous system has been stressed to it’s absolute peak and maximum. Can’t take anymore input. The nervous system has either (click) snapped or is about to snap.
In the first world war, that condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables, shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves.
That was seventy years ago. Then a whole generation went by and the second world war came along and very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer to say. Doesn’t seem to hurt as much. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shell shock! Battle fatigue.
Then we had the war in Korea, 1950. Madison avenue was riding high by that time, and the very same combat condition was called operational exhaustion. Hey, we’re up to eight syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of the phrase. It’s totally sterile now. Operational exhaustion. Sounds like something that might happen to your car.
Then of course, came the war in Viet Nam, which has only been over for about sixteen or seventeen years, and thanks to the lies and deceits surrounding that war, I guess it’s no surprise that the very same condition was called post-traumatic stress disorder. Still eight syllables, but we’ve added a hyphen! And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-traumatic stress disorder.
I’ll bet you if we’d of still been calling it shell shock, some of those Viet Nam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I’ll betcha. I’ll betcha.’
I have concluded that Carlin was right about that issue. Being traumatized by war is not a disorder. In fact, if you are not traumatized by the sight of body parts flying all around you as you are splattered with the blood of people you know, then you would have a disorder. Why not just say “war-traumatized”? Or better yet, “war-scarred”? The PTSD phrase has the unfortunate effect of making it seem abnormal for people to be negatively affected by wartime violence.
It is like the phrase “Vietnam syndrome,” in which the understandable reluctance of the Baby Boom generation to launch big, long-lasting land wars in Asia was medicalized, as though there was something wrong with them that they were not warmongers. Why not say that they had ‘learned the lessons of Vietnam,’ or were ‘Vietnam-scarred’? Why suggest that there is something wrong with them for it?
So below is a report from CBS on how the US networks have sanitized the Iraq War for viewers, and how we cannot understand the long-term trauma suffered by US troops who served in Iraq unless we understand what they’ve been through. Warning: her description of what she and others saw in Iraq is explicit and disturbing. Carlin would be proud of her:
“Army Times reporter Kelly Kennedy saw first hand the horrors of the war in Iraq. She spoke to CBS News about her experiences and about how post traumatic stress disorder is affecting the troops.”
In Mosul, guerrillas set off a massive bomb outside a coffee shop, wounding at least 90 persons. McClatchy is reporting 2 deaths, but said the total would rise.
In Baghdad, a meeting of a local district council was bombed, killing 11 persons and wounding 11. An election was just about to be held for the chairman of the local admisory council in Sadr City. Among the dead were two US soldiers and two USG employees, one of them a PRT officer for Sadr City, Steven L. Farley. Two Defense Department civilians, one an American, were also killed. A US soldier and 10 Iraqis were wounded.
Sawt al-Iraq reports in Arabic on the statement about US troop withdrawals of Humam Hamoudi. Hamoudi, a Shiite cleric and member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, heads the Foreign Relations Committee in the Iraqi parliament. He met with a number of American officials on Monday, and expressed his conviction that a studied withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq is the foundation of any security agreement with the USA. He told David Satterfield and Gen. Mark Kimmit of the “necessity to safeguard the sovereignty of Iraq and to arrive at an agreement that would gain the assent of the Iraqi people and the support of the parliamentary blocks. The studied withdrawal of foreign forces would be foundational to such an agreement.”
Hamoudi’s party, ISCI, has been among the main US allies in Iraq and is the cornerstone of what little power Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has. If he is talking about the need to build a plan for a deliberate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq into any security agreement, imagine how the groups that distrust the US feel.
Reuters reports other political violence in Iraq on Tuesday:
‘ TIKRIT – U.S. forces detained the head of a local journalists’ union in Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad, police and the Iraqi media watchdog the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory said.
MOSUL – Gunmen kidnapped four university students from their halls of residence in western Mosul, north of Baghdad, police said. They later released two of them.
MOSUL – U.S. forces said they killed a senior al Qaeda leader in Mosul, although they gave no details on what his role had been in the city.
BALAD – Two members of a U.S.-backed Iraqi neighbourhood patrol were killed and four others were wounded when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle on the outskirts of Balad town, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
YATHRIB – Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. troops caught a wanted Iraqi al Qaeda militant along with his Saudi Arabian aide in Yathrib village, north of Baghdad, security forces said.
BAGHDAD – U.S. forces killed one gunman and captured 12 others on Monday in various operations in different parts of northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.
KERBALA – Iraqi police arrested three wanted Shi’ite militiamen accused of killing and kidnapping people in central Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad, police said. ‘
The AEI was the major cheerleader for the war in Iraq.
So it looks like the Oil Majors are multitasking. Their “think tank” is giving out money to bribe scientists to deny global warming. And it gave out a lot of advice about how to go to war in Iraq.
My own suggestion would not be so much trial as exile. I think the American Enterprise Institute should be removed to Fallujah, where their expertise is so needed. And where they can get a taste in the summer of what real heat is.
John McCain, too, is speaking out of both sides of his mouth, saying he wants to go green but actually urging drilling off the US coast so as to put more carbon dioxide into the air.
And then McCain wants to offer a $300,000 mn. prize for breakthroughs in battery technology. He seems to live in an ancient era when lone geniuses could invent things in their guest rooms. The kind of thing he is looking for could only be accomplished by big government or big business, and he is offering chump change in corporate terms.
The problem needs hundreds of billions of dollars, not millions.
Oh, that’s right, I forgot. We don’t have them. Because the Republican Party spent them in Iraq.
So as to get more oil out of the ground.
Which will cause more global warming.
War, oil, it is all the same.
Only if we get big breakthroughs in solar can we avoid our asses being cooked.
“the longtime political pro got a bit too honest. Asked about the political impact of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Black replied: ‘Certainly it would be a big advantage to him’.”
You worry that people who think like Black would not be above a little wagging the dog, say, a provocation against Iran in October.
I wonder if Cindy McCain still feels safe, on knowing how her husband’s associates really think.
We don’t need any more of this politics of fear that Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and Bush gave to us. That McCain has such people around him is yet another indication that he is too close to Bush and Bushism to be allowed anywhere near the White House.