Friday, March 5, 2010

You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried (II)

Picking up with book night -- see "you couldn't ignore me if you tried (book)" & "You couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried" from last week -- Rebecca and I are both covering Susannah Gora's You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried.

Okay. Let me pull that card out of the deck, you know the one, the race on. I am African-American. Do not minizmie or belittle our absence (except as thieves still hubcaps) in John Hughes' film. Do not justify a racist portrayal of an Asian male with, "There wasn't the same atmoshphere back then . . . everything was fair game." Molly Ringwald, that statement only makes you sound racist. I'm so sorry that us minorities pissed all in your Post Toasties. Everything wasn't fair game. If they were, you would have been the butt of the jokes. But your characters never were the joke, were they?

What else did I learn, besides that Molly Ringwald's a real bitch and tried to get Ally Sheedy's part in The Breakfast Club after filming had started?

I learned that Rob Lowe was engaged to Half-Pint from Little House On The Prarie. Melissa Gilbert discovered on the eve of their wedding that she was pregnant and was so happy. She happily told Rob who apparently felt differently: He broke it off with her. She was left to figure out whether to have an abortion or have the child on her own. (The decision was made for her when she miscarried.)

I learned that there are a lot of stupid people and the author apparently spoke to all of them. I liked Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club and Pretty In Pink as rainy day movies. They are not classics. They are not the holy grail. But that's how this book treats them. It is so fawning and so gushing that it's embarrassing.

The author is either willing to lie or uninformed and so acts as though John Hughes invented the wheel when, in fact, he basically took Disney's 60s and early 70s film and remade them. What's most obvious is that a little girl in the 90s watched the films and thought the 80s films were what's what. Sadly, when she grew older, she did not develop taste.

She flat out lies many times in this book to make her case for John Hughes as the greatest director of our time. He's not. Give it up.

And what about when she uses the same verbs in sentence after sentence. Sometimes when two sentences appear one after the other?

If a friend wrote this book, I'd praise her for it. But an author? My only advice would be, "Pad it out with lots of pictures." But, to answer a question I was e-mailed, the book contains no pictures. At the end, she's yammering away about sad freaks last year trying to hang on at a revival of Sixteen Candles and telling us about the poster but, even then, she can't show us the poster.

I didn't like the book by the last half. I didn't like the people claiming that the films changed their lives. They apparently reinforced a Cinderella complex in many women the author spoke to because you get crap like 'Judd rescues Demi in the middle of the night in St. Elmo's and that's friendship.' Uh, Demi goes with the gang ("Alec, I've got lots of cash . . .") to bail out Rob Lowe's character. It's funny how that's missed.

And there's no discussion of performances because critical appraisal is a talent the author lacks.

The book's a waste of time. There are probably dozens of 13 year old girls who could write a better book right now on Twilight. They'd no doubt sound more adult.

A little perspective would've gone a long way. The author lacks that and writes in a breathless style that leaves the reader exhausted.


Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, March 5, 2010. Chaos and violence continue, campaigning for elections continue, birth defects are on the rise, Gordon Brown appears before the Iraq Inquiry, we are not your sin eaters, and more.

This morning on the second hour of
The Diane Rehm Show (NPR), Susan Page (USA Today) guest hosted for Diane and she spoke with the panelists Tom Gjelten (NPR), Susan Glasser (Foreign Policy) and David E. Sanger (New York Times).

Susan Page: Well Iraqis -- most Iraqis who are going to vote, go to the polls on Sunday, the first national election in five years. David Sanger, what seats are up?

David Sanger: Well an amazing number of candidates are up. Uh there are going to be 6127 candidates for 325 seats. So you could see a fair number of people who come in with one, two and even three votes if they, you know, get Moms and spouses to vote for them. You'll also see uh about 50,000 polling places. And I guess they must have all read those books about uh how Lyndon Johnson conducted polls in Texas in the 40s and 50s because not only are they writing this on special paper and numbering the ballots but the ballots then go into clear plastic boxes so that it gets a little bit harder to fiddle with. That said, the ingenuity of Iraqis with fiddling with uh ballots now may be as good as Americans have had at various points in our history. Uh, I think what you need to think about for this election are two things. First is it could be a long time before we see a serious result. When this happened in 2005, it took about five months to put the government together. Here it may not take as long but it could be a few months. And the second big question is: Does anything come up out of this that gets in the way of the American withdrawal strategy? And that is all linked to the divisions of Sunni and Shia, the levels of violence and so forth. For President [Barack] Obama who has already said that he's not out to make a Jeffersonian democracy and either Afghanistan or Iraq the big question is can he just stay on schedule.

Susan Page: Well what do you think, Susan, will he be able to stay on schedule with the withdrawal of US troops over the next two years or do you think that's in some peril?

Susan Glasser: Uh, well, you know, if I had a crystal ball for this one, we-we could all go home. But I do think that the election will be an intersting indicator. And what comes after it, as David mentioned, of just how riven is the political space in Iraq right now. There have certainly been some uh disturbing signs in the weeks leading up to the election that this is a highly polarized, highly sectarian environment going into the elections. Uhm, you know, there are signs of levels of divisions between Sunni and Shia that have probably reached their highest level of the last two years in the context of this campaign. So will renewed violence break out? What does it do to the potential unraveling of political space in Iraq? How much is the current prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki -- what is he willing to do to hold onto power over the next few weeks and months?

Susan Page: Tom, is there someone the US hopes emerges as the new leader of Iraq?

Tom Gjelten: No, I-I think what the United States hopes is simply stability. Uh, as David said, I think the, you know the prospect of divisions following this election is so unnerving that the United States would basically settle for any candidate that's able to keep the country more or less, uh, uh, on track and stable. I mean there seem to be -- You know, the good news is that all sectors of the Iraqi political spectrum are-are represented in this election. The bad news is that all sectors of the Iraqi political spectrum are represented in this election including some very violent, anti-American militia members. Moqtada al-Sadr who's responsible for a lot of the attacks even though he's currently living in Iraq, we think. His-his party is well represented. We've got an alleged former death squad leader who's represented. We have Sunni religious groups represented, Sunni secular groups, Shia religious groups, Shia secular groups. So everybody is represented but what that also does is it really is a recipe for what Susan and David are talking about, the kind of, the warring factions in the aftermath.

Susan Page: But I wonder if, to look on the bright side maybe, a second democratic election in five years, since the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime, does it indicate democracy or an Iraqi form of democracy is really taking root? Or do you think that goes too far, David?

David Sanger: It represents an Iraqi form of democracy. We've had other moments in Iraqi history, including in the 1950s, when there were similar forms of democracy and they didn't last. I mean, Iraq is a place that, at various moments, has gravitated towards strong-man leaders and that could well happen again.

Echoing that thought are
Ernesto Londono and Leila Fadel (Washington Post) who explain, "After the ballots are cast and counted, voters will have provided the first conclusive evidence of what kind of democracy is likely to take root in the heart of the Middle East -- if one does at all." Charles Levinson (Wall St. Journal) reports, "Iraq's leading candidates made final appeals to voters and an influential anti-U.S. cleric unveiled a unqiue election-day strategy, on the final day of campaigning for Sunday's national polls." Iraqi refugees will vote in the US, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, the UAE, Lebanon, Iran, Canada, England, Denmark, Australia, Germany, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands. And in Iraq, Jane Arraf (Christian Science Monitor) looks at the approximately 3 million young, first-time voters in Iraq who express frustration and note that their lives have been plagued by violence, unemployment and lack of basic services. The Iraq War started in March 2003 and that's seven years ago. 20-year-old Iraqis were 13 when this illegal war started. Arraf reports, "This should be an exciting threshold to a new future for young people. But a broad range of interviews reveal that for this generation, born into a decade of trade sanctions and raised in war, there is an overriding sense of frustration, fears about security, and the struggle to find their place in a country still emerging from conflict." Among the first time voters is Nada Hatem Farhan and Jane Arraf examines what the elections mean to her and her life: Not much at all. She's like to be an attorney or journalist but instead states she must become a teacher which is about it in terms of 'respectability' for women in her area -- but that's if she's able to go college. There is a push for her to get married to her cousin as soon as she finishes high school. At Inside Iraq, an Iraqi correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers notes that all the candidates are decrying foreign influence and foreign money in the process but that those who serve in Parliament refused to address the situation before the elections. The correspondent observes:

The parties that are ruling Iraqi now are the same, two were established in Iran, and that we can find an explanation because Saddam was hunting the opposition down and killing their beloved ones so they had to find a safe place to live and seek change, but what me and my fellow citizens cannot comprehend is why these parties still receiving money and show allegiance to Iran or other countries and then criticize the foreign support.
And the most important part, these parties didn't mind an invasion and called it a liberation in 2003, later they called it occupation and interference, and they keep forgetting that it is the foreign interference and invasion that brought the democracy to the country, so why Iraqis need to oppose foreign funds, when everything was and still coming from outside.

In other deveopments,
Layla Anwar (An Arab Woman Blues) expresses her anger very clearly today over Zeinab Khadum Allwan (we covered her in Wednesday's snapshot) but she's confused George W. Bush with "Western feminists" and we won't play dumb, Layla, just because we respect you. Rage and scream and do so against "Western feminists" if you want but don't expect us to play dumb with you.

First off, there's nothing about a burqa in Zeinab's story as told by the BBC -- nor is she 'modestly' dressed. She's dressed in tennis gear, so why Layla wants to use shame of the human body and how the West has allegedly torn off the 'mystique' of the female form (that would be "the other" for all educated in feminist theory, that which is cloaked, that which is hidden) to try to score points is actually a mystery.

Let me be really clear before I go further, I've noted this before online. I've posed nude. I have no hang ups about being naked and anytime someone wants to play the shame game re: nudity, it's never going to work with me. So call that A and B. C, George W. Bush is not and never was the face of feminism. If the Iraq War was sometimes sold as 'liberation' for Iraqi women, that came from Bush and his supporters in the media. Western feminists, as a group, opposed the Iraq War. We won't be your sin eater on this, Layla. You're angry and you have every right to be. You can lash out at whatever grouping you want including Western feminists. But I'm not of the Chickie-baby-boom-boom 'school' who's confused a push-up bra and a party schedule with feminism nor do I stand still while hit with a two-by-four.

Feminists in the West have got to learn to fight back and that includes saying, "I understand your anger but your facts are wrong." And, Layla, your facts are wrong. No feminist in the US or England or Canada has hailed the Iraq War as a success for female liberation nor would they. What we have repeatedly noted in the West was that Iraq had a more progressive policy regarding women than any other country in the region and that the invasion actually set the rights of women backwards. In fact,
Rebecca was just writing about that last night, before you posted your attack on Western feminists today:

it's women's history month and the recent history for iraqi women isn't a good 1. they were better off before the invasion. they had rights. they were not required to hide themselves away. iraq was a secular state. why is it that women are always the 1s to suffer in any society? it could be us in the united states to lose our rights. it's not as if we have an equal rights amendment in the constitution. even if we did, before the 2003 invasion, iraqis could point to their own constitution and show how women's rights were in it. the true story of women's history appears to be that every day we have to struggle and fight and that's largely just to remain in the same spot. forget getting ahead.

You can be angry, you can lash out any group you want to. But we're not going to play stupid here when you attack feminism and attack it with distortions. As for "you" have to watch? I watched.
I watched and wrote about it on Wednesday. Two days later you show up? Welcome to the party, Layla, food's all gone but pour yourself a drink.

Layla's angry, she has every right to be. Her country's been destroyed. There's no band-aid for it. And while we'll understand that, I do not play the game where we're Western feminists so we turn the other cheek while some one attacks us with lies. (
Ava and I wrote a piece calling out the refusal to fight back in November of last year.) Had second wave leaders stood up in real time, a lot of lies and distortions wouldn't have taken hold in the last decades. Layla's angry. It's a deep anger and it's completely understandable. And she can lash out if she wants at whomever she wants. But if that lashing out includes a distortion of feminism or feminists, I'm not going to play. I'm not your sin eater. You need to grow up and take accountability for your own actions and that includes knowing who your enemies are. I already raised my children, I'm not going to baby any grown up at this late date.

Turning to England where the
Iraq Inquiry today took testimony from Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former UK Secretary of State (2007-2009) Douglas Alexander (link goes to transcript and video option). Brown became the current Prime Minister in June 2007, prior to that he served in Tony Blair's Cabinet beginning in 1997. John Chilcot chairs the Inquiry and he kicked things off in today's hearing.

Chair John Chilcot: It has been borne in on this Inquiry from the outset that the coalition's decision to take military action led directly or most often, indirectly to the loss of lives of many people, servicemen and women in our and the Multi-National Forces, the Iraqi security forces, and many civilians, men, women and children, in Iraq. Still more have been affected by those losses and by other consequences of the action. Given all that experience, I should like to ask right at the outset whether you believe the decision to take military action in March 2003 was indeed right.

Gordon Brown: It was the right decision and it was for the right reasons. But I do want, at the outset, to pay my respects to all the soldiers and members of our armed forces who served with great entourage and distinction in Iraq for the loss of life and the sacrifices that they have made, and my thoughts are with their families. Next week, we will dedicate at the national arboretum a memorial to the 179 servicemen and women who died in Iraq and I think the thoughts and prayers of us are with all the families today.

Sentences two and three might have taken some of the sting out of sentence one were it not for the fact that those assembled had already seen Gordon Brown strut into the room, glad handing and beaming as if he was going to a christening,

You walked into the party
Like you were walking onto a yacht
Your had strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror
As you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed
That they'd be your partner
They'd be your partner and . . .
You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain
I bet you think this song is about you
Don't you, don't you?
-- "You're So Vain" -- words and music by
Carly Simon

And that number one song, which Carly's re-recorded as part of her reimaging classic songs from her canon on Never Been Gone, never had a video. But
Carly Simon and Iris Records are having a contest:

BE THE FILMMAKER TO CREATE THE FIRST AND ONLY VIDEO FOR CARLY SIMON'S CLASSIC ROCK SONG "YOU'RE SO VAIN" IN ASSOCIATION WITH AOL MUSIC'S SPINNER.COM
THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER WILL HAVE THEIR VIDEO PREMIERED AT THE 2010 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL, FEATURED ON AOL AND MEET CARLY SIMON IN-PERSON
Los Angeles, California. Thirty seven Decembers ago, pop songstress Carly Simon tore up the record charts with her single "You're So Vain." The song captured the number-one slot on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary charts, and to this day remains one of the most popular classic rock songs of all time. Perhaps more than any other track in pop music, the song's central mystery captivated the public. Ironically, even with all this speculation, the song has never had a music video to accompany it.
To coincide with her critically-acclaimed latest release, NEVER BEEN GONE, fans and filmmakers are invited to submit a music video to accompany the newly recorded version of "You're So Vain." If you'd like to add elements of the original 1972 version of the song feel free, but your video has to incorporate at least some of the 2010 recording, making the most of the new footage that can be downloaded
here.
Carly will screen and judge all of the entries herself. The winning video will be featured on AOL Music's Spinner.com and screened at this years' Tribeca Film Festival in April, where the winner will also have the opportunity meet Carly Simon.
To help fans and filmmakers out, Carly has created a template of optional tools which can be utilized in the creation of the video including recently shot green screen footage, stills, video blogs and more all of which can be found and downloaded
HERE.
You can submit your video from February 8th 2010 through April 15st 2010.


You don't have to include Gordon Brown in your video; however, if you're Sarah Brown, you certainly should consider doing so.
Ann Treneman (Times of London) offers a textual sketch of Gordo in repose:

The Prime Minister yesterday was particularly stunning and I mean that in the same way that Brazilian tree frogs are stunning. He entered the first session with one of his awful smiles and immediately began to explain the Iraq conflict as a "paradigm" in a "post Cold War world", which occasionally came out as "postcode war world". Members of the public began to fall asleep almost immediately and, after the first coffee break, two people never returned, early victims of Browning.
His strategy was brilliantly simple -- attack early, attack often and never stop talking. He revealed straight away -- and not in response to any question -- that he had never turned down any request for funds from the military for Iraq -- ever. Full stop.

Gordon also quickly became Susan Megur's oil painting "The Two Sides of Ones Self."
Gerald Warner (Telegraph of London) explains that in his first ten minutes, Gordon made it sound like he was in the loop but, after that, he pulled a blank whenever asked about key moments, key decisions and key events. Apparently, when the gang wanted fish & chips, they sent Gordo on a snack run and took care of business before he could get return.
While Gordon testified or testi-lied inside,
Stop The War Coalition was present outside. The Telegraph of London reports the protestors included an activist wearing a Gordon Brown and holding a giant check, stained with blood, indicating 8.5 billion pounds were spent on the Iraq War by England. The organization's John Rees is quoted stating, "Gordon Brown was the paymaster for this most unpopular of wars and was the second most powerful man in the Government. He has cleverly avoided the political stigma Tony Blair attracted but he bears the same responsibility and should be held to account by this inquiry."


Committee Member Roderic Lyne: So you and other Cabinet ministers, except, of course, for the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister, were not aware that the Attorney General's position had been equivocal only two weeks beforehand in his document of 7 March and had been indeed directly opposed to the position he took in Cabinet up to about 11 February? You were completely unaware of this and you were unaware also that the Foreign Office's legal advisers, specialists in international law, did not agree with the position that the Attorney General presented to Cabinet?

Gordon Brown: I think there had been some press coverage about the Foreign Office. I may be wrong on that, but I think there may have been some press coverage.

Committee Member Roderic Lyne: The Foreign Secretary referred to some press coverage.

Gordon Brown: Look, the question that came before us was the advice of the Attorney General that this was lawful or not? The Attorney General gave unequivocal advice to the Cabinet. I think he has been along to the committee to explain the basis on which he gave that advice. I have heard him now give his evidence to the Committee, but he had a straightforward question to answer. It wasn't a simple question, but it was a straightforward question, "Was it lawful or was it not?" and he gave an unequivocal answer.

Committee Member Roderic Lyne: You don't think the Cabinet needed to know whether this was based on a robust position or a slightly controversial position?

Gordon Brown: I think, in retropsect, people as historians of this matter, will look at it very carefully and look at what happened and what was said between different people at different times and what were the first drafts, the second drafts and the third drafts. But the issue for us was very clear. I mean, we are a Cabinet making a decision. Did the Attorney General, who is our legal officer responsible for giving us legal advice on these matters, have a position on this that was unequivocal, and his position on this was unequivocal. He cited, as I have already done, the United Nations resolutions that led to us believe that Saddam Hussein had failed to comply with international law. He cited 1441 and the importance of the final opportunity for Saddam Hussein. All these things were said and it laid the basis on which we could make a decision, but it wasn't the reason that we made the decisions. He gave us the necessary means to make a decision, but it wasn't sufficient in itself.

The UK
Liberal Democrats issued the following statement today:

"How can we trust a man who still believes that this illegal war and all the horror it has caused was right?" said the Liberal Democrat Leader.
Commenting on Gordon Brown's appearance at the Iraq inquiry, Nick Clegg said:
"This was the day Gorodn Brown finally had to come clean and admit that he believes the Iraq war was right.
"We now know we were betrayed by Gordon Brown and we were betrayed by the Labour Party.
"How can we trust a man who still believes that this illegal war and all the horror it has caused was right?
"When the Liberal Democrats were the only party to oppose this immoral invasion we didn't just speak for us, we spoke for the nation."

At the Guardian, Chris Ames explains that Brown indicated weeks ago that he would be arguing "the convention of collective cabinet responsiblity, which requires cabinet ministers to back policies that they do not agree with" and he concludes that the policy "is not just a licence to lie, but a requirement to do so." It also doesn't speak well to Brown's alleged leadership -- and his leadership is already in question in England just due to the economic disaster. But on top of that, Gordon wants to argue that we must all back policies even if we don't agree with them -- does not show leadership when he served under Blair and doesn't show leadership now that he's prime minister. It shows a disdain for an open process, for differening opinions and for the law itself.


Committee Member Roderic Lyne: If you had known that his position had been equivocal only ten days previously in formal advice presented to the Prime Minister, would it have changed your view?

Gordon Brown: I don't think it would have changed my view, because unless he was prepared to say that his unequivocal advice was that this was not lawful, then the otehr arguments that I thought were important played into place, and that was what I have already talked to you about [. . .]

It wouldn't have mattered said Gordon. Strange because before that exchange (page 51 of the transcript), he told Lyne, "No, and I think that -- look, I'm not a lawyer, I'm not an international lawyer." Which he isn't. So it's amazing that he wants to declare that if he'd been told that Peter Goldsmith, Attorney General, had just changed his mind in a matter of days on the legality of the war, it would not have changed his mind or even bothered him. Apparently, it's not just that he's not a lawyer, it's also that he just doesn't care too much. Again, his well rehearsed testimony did not inspire or demonstrate leadership. For Tony Blair, that wouldn't matter. But Blair's not the sitting prime minister, Brown is.

Andrew Sparrow (Guardian) live blogged the testimony. At this Sky News webpage, there are multiple options on Brown's testimony including Glen Oglaza once again live blogging testimony. Chris Ames live blogged at Iraq Inquiry Digest. Channel 4 News Iraq Inquiry Blogger live blogged at Twitter. Also live blogging at Twitter was BBC News' Laura Kuenssberg. Alice Tarleton (Channel 4 News) offers a look at how Brown's statements to the Inquiry differ from those made by his predecessor Tony Blair. And Vicki Barker (NPR's All Things Considered) has an audio report here.

The
Scottish National Party issued the following statement:

Commenting on Gordon Brown's appearance at the Chilcot inquiry, SNP Westminister Leader and Defence Spokesman Angus Robertson MP said:
"Where Blair spun, Brown ducked, but he still confirmed he was part of the inner circle that led the country into the worst foreign policy disaster in modern times.
"The Iraq inuqiry has been massively damaging for Labour. With every evidence session, the UK Government's case for war and the actions of Labour Ministers are further discredited.
"The people won't forget Labour's role in planning and executing this illegal war. The Chilcot inquiry has laid out the eivdence -- it's now up to the voters to cast their verdict at the ballot box.
"It's no wonder Brown wanted the inquiry conducted behind closed doors. He's clearly keeping a great deal hidden.
"Contradicting Sir Kevin Tebbit's claim that the MoD was operating a crisis budget, the Prime Minister insisted every request for funding was met.
"Sadly, for all of those who opposed the Iraq invasion and for the thousands who lost thier lives to it, truth of the Iraq invasion may have been forever lost to the New Labour spin machine."

As his turn before the committee, Brown remembered a note and wanted to insist that the loss of life "leaves us all sad" and "leaves me very sad indeed". He squeezed it in twice in his closing remarks because he threw it out once in his opening remarks in the first half of the day ("any loss of life is something that makes us very sad indeed") but forgot to work it in again and again, as advised, so he could demonstrate some resource.
Sian Ruddick (Great Britian's Socialist Worker) notes how two bodies heard explored war today:

A war criminal and an anti-war soldier both faced questioning this Friday. One will get off with no repercussions -- the other could be sent to prison for two years.
Gordon Brown has tried to keep his distance from the Iraq war, hoping that the legacy of mass murder will be left with Tony Blair. But Brown's hands are far from clean.
He wrote the cheques for the war, funding the destruction that rained down on Iraq.
And in the run up to the war Brown was "absolutely core" in shoring up support amongst backbenchers, insists Sally Morgan, one of Blair's key aides.
Brown says the Iraq war is all over now -- but it isn't. There are still thousands of US and British troops in the country.
And the lasting legacy of devastation and chaos created by the occupation continues to blight the lives of millions of Iraqis.

The legacy includes a country destroyed, lives lost and birth defects among other issues.
John Simpson (BBC News) reports on the birth defects stemming from the illegal war and weapons used in it (some exploded, some still not exploding) which have contaminated the country:We went to a house where three children, all under six, were suffering from birth defects.Two boys were partially paralysed, and their sister clearly had serious brain damage.Like all the other parents we spoke to, their mother had no doubt that the American attacks were responsible.Outside, a man who had heard we were there had brought his four-year-old daughter to show us. She had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot.She was also suffering from a number of other serious health problems. The father told us that the house where they still lived had been hit by an American shell during the fighting in 2004.There may well be a link with drinking-water, especially in al-Julan.After the fighting was over, the rubble from the town was bulldozed into the river bank, and most people in this area get their water from the river. Ben Leach (Telegraph of London) adds, "The level of heart defects among newborn babies in the city is now said to be 13 times higher than in Europe.Some doctors have reported they are seeing as many as two or three cases a day, mainly cardiac defects." Alex Sundby (CBS News) notes the issue here. I believe we last noted the birth defects in the January 4th snapshot when we covered this episode of Inside Iraq (Al Jazeera):

Jasim al-Azzawi: Dr. Jawad al-Ali, you are a physician, you are a member of the Iraq Cancer Board and you have seen the astronomical rate in cancers rise as well as defects in children. Explain to me what is going on in Basra?

Dr. Jawad al-Ali: Really, as you know, Iraq is effected by three wars, three destructive wars. The last two -- the 1991 war and the 2003 war -- where depleted uranium is used for the first time in history. The 1991 war, they used depleted uranium at the western part of Basra and also they dropped some of the uranium weapons [. . .] during the withdrawal of the Iraqi army. And also they dropped some of the depleted uranium at the eastern part of Basra where it was the only way to withdraw our army from Kuwait.

Jasim al-Azzawi: Did that cause such an astronomical rise in the cancer rates in 1991 and the 90s? And also in the 2003?

Dr. Jawad al-Ali: After three or four years, that is in 1994, I, myself, I noticed that the hospital receiving many patients with cancer. And we were surprised at that time. And we don't what was the link. But, after two years, that is 1996, one of the intelligent persons, worked with the intelligence and he's escorting one of the delegations, he told me that depleted uranium is used. And he told me this is a secret, please keep it inside your brain.

Jasim al-Azzawi: It is no longer a secret, Dr. al-Ali, let me bring in Christopher Busby. Mr. Busby, you were a witness expert in one of the British trials regarding a soldier who developed cancer immediately after returning from deployment in southern part Iraq.

Christopher Busby: In September of this year, I was asked by the coroner in the West Midlands near Birmingham to attend an inquest as an expert witness. I've become a witness on the health effects of depleted uranium. I sat on a number of government committees including a [UK] Ministry of Defense committee and I've studied the health effects of Uranium for almost 15 years and I've closely followed these arguments about the increase in cancer in Iraq and in other areas where uranium has been used. So I was -- I was asked to give evidence as an expert witness in this case. This man, Stuart Dyson, has worked as an Ordnance Corps support soldier. So basically what he did, he cleaned up the vehicles and, as a result, he became contaminated with depleted uranium which collected on the vehicles which were used in the 2003 Gulf War and he then developed cancer at a very early age, about 38. I mean, it's very, very rare to get that cancer, colon cancer, at that age. The normal rate is about 6 in a million people. Now we know as a result of cancer research that cancer is caused by exposure to something that causes a mutation in cells. So we have to look to something that he was exposed to that caused mutations in cells.

Jasim al-Azzawi: Yes.

Christopher Busby: And really there isn't anything else but depleted uranium.

Jasim al-Azzawi: Dr. Jawad al-Ali, you were also a member of a research team in Iraq, especially in the south, and you have seen the deformities and the defects among newly born babies in Iraq. How bad is that?


Dr. Jawad al-Ali: You know, depleted uranium, it's not only a cancer inducing factor but also it might effect the chromosomes whether in the husband or the mother of a child. And many, many children are born with deformities, with loss of limbs, with a big head, with deformed legs and the rate of this -- these deformities is increasing about seven times since 1991until 2002. And also another phenomena we noticed here that families cluster -- cluster of cancer in families -- a husband and a wife are effected. And many families, I got their pictures with me. The other phenomena is the appearance of double and triple cancers. That is three cancers in one patient or two cancers in the same patient. These phenomena are very strange for us. I haven't seen it before. Because I worked in Basra for about 39 years. And I haven't seen such cases of cancer [before]. The other thing is the change of pattern of cancer as said by Dr. Busby. We have a change in the pattern that is the cancers of elderly people appearing now in a younger age group. And this is surprising. Even the breast cancer which is disease of middle and elderly ladies now appearing at the age of 20.

Back to the US where
A.N.S.W.E.R. and other organizations are sponsoring March 20th marches in DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The march is to demand the withdrawal of all US and NATO troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan and Peace of the Action will be staging a Camp Out NOW but they have had to push the start-up date back two days:

Due to an unexpected crimp in our permit, Camp OUT NOW will be erected on March 15th instead of the 13th -- but we will still have St. Stephen's to sleep in that weekend.
The reason we're not setting up Camp on the 13th is that the people who are running the St. Patty's Day parade won't allow us to keep Camp up during the parade. So on Sunday during the parade, we will be passing out info and making an anti-war presence --
We will gather in Lafayette Park (across from the White House) at 10am the morning of the parade.
We are still looking for donations, and you can donate here:
http://peaceoftheaction.org/give/



TV notes.
NOW on PBS begins airing Friday on most PBS stations (check local listings):

Americans have a longstanding love affair with food -- the modern supermarket has, on average, 47,000 products. But do we really know what goes into making the products we so eagerly consume? On Friday, March 5 at 8:30 PM (check local listings), David Brancaccio talks with Robert Kenner, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary Food, Inc., which takes a hard look at the secretive and surprising journey food takes on the way from processing plants to our dinner tables. The two discuss why contemporary food processing secrets are so closely guarded, their impact on our health, and another surprising fact: how consumers are actually empowered to make a difference.
Staying with TV notes,
Washington Week begins airing on many PBS stations tonight (and throughout the weekend, check local listings) and joining Gwen around the table this week are Jeanne Cummings (Politico), Michael Duffy (Time magazine) and John Harwood (CNBC, New York Times). And along with catching the show, you can click here for Gwen's take on two of the current political scandals (text report). Meanwhile Bonnie Erbe will sit down with Sam Bennett, Karen Czarnecki, Nicole Kurokawa and Patrice Sosa to discuss the week's events on PBS' To The Contrary. And at the website each week, Bonnie and her guests offer an extra video on a topic not covered on the show. The current web extra is a discussion of retirement proposals to 401(k)s and IRA accounts. For the broadcast program, check local listings, on many stations, it begins airing tonight. And turning to broadcast TV, Sunday CBS' 60 Minutes:
"60 Minutes Presents: Blood Brothers""60 Minutes" will be pre-empted this week for a special edition of "60 Minutes Presents: Blood Brothers." This hour explores the world of Spanish bullfighting brothers Francisco and Cayetano Rivera-Ordonez, top matadors from one of Spain's most famous bullfighting families. Bob Simon follows the bullfighters outside and in the ring, where the "dance of death" nearly ends the life of Cayetano in a horrifying moment caught on camera.
Watch Video
"60 Minutes Presents: Blood Brothers", Sunday, March 7, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.



iraq
nprthe diane rehm show
the wall street journalcharles levinson
the christian science monitorjane arraf
the telegraph of londonthe times of londonann treneman
channel 4 newsiraq inquiry bloggeriraq inquiry digestchris ames
the guardianandrew sparrow
alice tarleton
sian ruddickthe socialist worker
the telegraph of londonben leachalex sundby
al jazeera
inside iraq
jasim al-azzawi
60 minutescbs newspbsnow on pbsto the contrarybonnie erbe
washington week

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

HELP! I’m currently being held prisoner by the Russian mafia xyzrxyz [url=http://www.buypenisenlargement.com]penis enlargement[/url] xyzrxyz and being forced to post spam comments on blogs and forum! If you don’t approve this they will kill me. xyzrxyz [url=http://www.male-sexual-styles.com]penis enlargement[/url] xyzrxyz They’re coming back now. xyzrxyz [url=http://pills.buypenisenlargement.com]vimax[/url] xyzrxyz Please send help! nitip [url=http://www.male-sexual.com/vimax-pills.html]vimax[/url]

Anonymous said...

Οbviоusly, уou'll be able to go to sites as You - Tube at which you might locate lots of funny vids. Perhaps the best thing to do is keep an eye on the promotional deals and be ready to pounce quickly when a suitable one comes up. Proffering multifarious benefits to the advertisers, it is a quintessential resort for companies big or small.

my homepage: Thinking About Key Criteria In radio
Look at my weblog : please click the next webpage

Anonymous said...

Therefore, the characters must sell animal skins in order to get money for buying the weapons.
If you look around your community, our country, and the world,
there is little evidence of loving actions.
' The Rooneys are a great family who turned a football franchise into a traveling nation full of fans across the United States. With an average annual fee of 10,000 pounds, representing between 25% - 36% of professional incomes this has risen assiduously by 41% in the last five years. An analysis this change will give us insight into the supposed benefits they entail. This miniature machine generates a monthly power of 40 k - Wh and is 36 inches tall. They will check into a purpose built sports complex 8 miles from the venue of their first match in Rustenburg. That assures a steady supply since it's easily replaceable.
I was excited to see what they would come up with,
since I already have two children. For people from non technical background these things look like rocket science.



Also visit my webpage - www.latesthealthpolicy.info/blog/view/41451/insights-on-straightforward-crysis-programs

Anonymous said...

Tomb Raider, Mega Moolah, Mermaid's Millions, and Blackjack are some of the new Android game apps that have been released from Microgaming's partner, Spin 3.
Each program will have a box with a checkmark, find
the programs you'd like to uninstall and uncheck that box. Each child is given 30 seconds to race to the pile and make as many matches as possible before time runs out.

Feel free to visit my web site ... http://datgreenlab.org/

Anonymous said...

I realize that there is not a ton of variety in this list, since Rogue and i - Net - Hack are essentially the same and Sorcerer #1 and #2 are more overtly
the same. You will eventually run into the Download
Location menu with two options: Wii System Menu and SD Card.
However, make sure that your phone is equipped with a powerful processor to
enable deeper searches and devise a strategy to give
a challenging game of chess.

Also visit my weblog ... internet radio

Anonymous said...

Dadurch kann die Masse nicht aufgenommen werden, während sie die Verdauung passiert, wodurch eine Gewichtsreduktion erreicht wird.
Daher sind sie in der Lage, ihren Kunden
den bestmoglichen Trainingseffekt zu geben. Because tinnitus is a condition that afflicts many people,
and yet there is no surefire cure to the problem, there are many different methods for tinnitus relief.


Also visit my blog post - 10 kilo Abnehmen

Anonymous said...

There are many different kinds of tools and techniques required to deliver an exceptional
SEO India results. com’s report. This is what professionals do.

Naturally, they will flock to your competitor who does. NOW, I don't mean you should just put keyword spam in your footer. Meta Name and Meta Description Tags are two of the important ones. The tips are as follows:-. Lastly, make sure that you have a reliable work-at-home office. The title is supposed to explain the article, and the title is what your readers see when they search for content. People these days use the Internet for a varied purpose. It is a sagacious process that has become even tougher with the continuous changes in the algorithm of the major search engines especially Google. Still hanging on. Now even that is quickly defining point of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can lead to intense discussions about the meaning and purpose of SEO. Regardless of whether you like it, love it, or hate it, social media has become a major player in the SEO world, and it is a costly mistake to ignore it. Once you find the right and affordable SEO Company, it is essential to talk about your business objectives, target customers and future goals with the professionals to help them develop their strategies accordingly. Originally posted at: digitalmoz. Online Advertising and SEO Marketing. SEO is becoming the most rewarding career nowadays. They are looking up the the keywords you did research on to find what they are looking for. November 2012.

Take a look at my weblog ... bing seo analyzer - wiki.openatlanta.net

Anonymous said...

I have been surfing online more than three hours nowadays, but
I never found any fascinating article like yours. It is beautiful value sufficient for me.
In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made
just right content material as you did, the internet can
be a lot more helpful than ever before.

my web-site :: internet radio

Anonymous said...

Нello, after reaԁing this аwesome pаragraph і am too happy
to shaгe my knowledgе hеre with
fгіendѕ.

Stοp by my webpage ... http://www.labdegaragem.com.br/wiki/index.php?title=Usuário_Discussão:MattieBer

Anonymous said...

Τhese aгe аlso availablе ωіth PTO Delay feаtuгe ωhich autοmatically оpеn tank іntегnal valve
for 5 secоnԁs prior tο еngаgіng PТО аlloωіng pumр аnd produсt lіnes to сharge
pгeѵiewing interval valve slug. Another thing you'll need is some strength to endure, because there's
а gοod сhаnce уοu'll be your own producer for the show or perhaps the best producer the show has. In much the same way, two-way radio rental offers businesses and individuals substantial savings in money, time and resources that equipment ownership never will.

my page :: gratis spiele spielen
my site: click the up coming internet site

Anonymous said...

There are many different kinds of tools and techniques required to deliver an exceptional SEO India results.
The objective is to arrange your passions as carefully as possible
with your online promotion company. It's a competitive world out there on the world-wide web, but SEO consulting can help you dramatically improve your odds of being found in the din and getting your message across. While you’re at it, remove all or fix 404 errors. It's so important because once customers begin seeking your product or service you will want to have favorable words making your search results optimized.
This is the best part to ensure complete uniqueness to each of the websites.
Social networking Optimization Websites which include Facebook
and You - Tube could be the latest examples of how "personal" websites can be appropriated for business.
When SEO services are working for you, you should always be ready to capitalise on
innovations and fresh marketing opportunities. Moreover,
some companies are not able to get the desired results and their
techniques might even have bad effects on the business's website. People these days use the Internet for a varied purpose. Thus, if your charges are overly cheap, this might cause doubts and worries from their mines regarding the quality of the service they get. However, in general, SEO services involve using standard and compliant coding. Now even that is quickly defining point of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can lead to intense discussions about the meaning and purpose of SEO. You can find several internet marketing companies across the world. Once you find the right and affordable SEO Company, it is essential to talk about your business objectives, target customers and future goals with the professionals to help them develop their strategies accordingly. G) SEO basics -Image 6: Open Google. Law firms face various challenges and have issues in remaining at the top in the market. Once someone clicks on your site, they should see tons of unique informative content. You need the keyword and phrase in both title and description. November 2012.

Also visit my site suchmaschinenoptimierung

Anonymous said...

Wow, ωonԁerful blog lаyout! Ηow lеngthу have you eveг bееn гunning a blog
for? you made blοgging lοok easy. Thе full
glanсe of yοur webѕіte iѕ fantаѕtic, let аlone thе content!


my ωеb ѕite ... russisches Radio

Anonymous said...

Wow, ωonderful blog layout! Hоw
lengthy have you ever bеen гunning a blog for?
you made blоgging looκ easy. Thе full glаnce of
your website iѕ fаntаstіc, let
alonе the content!

Feel frеe to ѕurf to my blog post ... russisches Radio
My web page - related resource site

Anonymous said...

Іf yοu wish for to incгеasе youг knоw-how just keеp vіsiting this web
pagе and be updаted with the most recent news рosted
here.

Alsο visit my blog; Suggested Web page

Anonymous said...

The fact that Toуota choѕe to upgrade the exterior ѕtyling, interіor quаlitу and interioг roomіneѕs οf the redesigned 2012 Үaris hatсhback rather than upgrаdіng the powertгain saуs a lot about how Tοyota viеws the neеԁs of
small caг buyerѕ. Whilе thе effectѕ of antenna рolarization may be
interpreteԁ аs a reԁuсtiοn
in the quality of somе radio linkѕ, ѕοme radio
deѕigners often make usе of this property to tune an antenna to their neeԁs bу гeѕtricting tranѕmission οг
receρtion to signals on a limited numbeг of
vectors. Adԁitionally, ѕоme new attributes make it eѵen easier tο makе гadio buttons ԁo eхасtly what you ωant them tο do.


my page radio sender
My site :: youtube downloader online

Anonymous said...

Although you can't go back to any songs, you can skip songs, mark them as ones you like or dislike, and browse the names, bands, and CD the song is on of all the songs that have played already. Perhaps the best thing to do is keep an eye on the promotional deals and be ready to pounce quickly when a suitable one comes up. Even today, I go big game hunting and all this, and the more dangerous something is, the happier I am.

Stop by my page internet radio

Anonymous said...

Although yоu can't go back to any songs, you can skip songs, mark them as ones you like or dislike, and browse the names, bands, and CD the song is on of all the songs that have played already. Perhaps the best thing to do is keep an eye on the promotional deals and be ready to pounce quickly when a suitable one comes up. Even today, I go big game hunting and all this, and the more dangerous something is, the happier I am.

my homepage - internet radio
My page > internet radio

Anonymous said...

Τhе fact thаt Toуοta chosе to upgradе the exteгioг styling, interіor quality аnԁ interior rοomineѕs оf the
redesigneԁ 2012 Yariѕ hatchbacκ rather than
upgrading thе powertrain says a lot about hoω Toуota views thе neeԁs of small car buyеrѕ.
Also, by having a гаdіo internship in yοur reѕume, thеre is
a bettеr chance for you to become a DJ whеn
уou аpply fоr a job in any гadiο statiоn in the nation.
It іs a more reliable choice ωhen compared to tradіtional conсrete
or wooden barгiers for ѕevеrаl reasons.


Feеl fгee to surf tο my ωeb site ::
spiele spielen
my webpage - www.olap.com

Anonymous said...

Tennis balls, wiffle balls, ping pong balls, and golf
balls can also be used. Each program will have a box with a
checkmark, find the programs you'd like to uninstall and uncheck that box. A Twitter app for Zune has been created and is now available for download through Microsoft's Marketplace.



Feel free to surf to my web site - youtube converter

Anonymous said...

Few travellers on a Mashobra tour can resist the temptation of seeking blessings at the Mahasu Devta Temple.
As Atlantis emerged from the blackness of space and into the blistering lights of the
John F. Wherever you click you are instantly overwhelmed with special
offers: book this, buy that, fly with us, hop on this, reserve that.

In exchange you'll have to pay a bit more for the GT 220, as most models are around $60 or $70 dollars. In doing so, it becomes the only potential choice for best gaming PC under 500 bucks in the desktop category. This will also open the Backup and Restore Center, which will warn you that "Windows Backup has not been set up" and "Windows could not find a backup for this computer. games for preschoolers. Nevertheless, we're now moving on
and talking about the top Xbox 360 games for 2012. *
You're realistic about what you expect from others. A Whole Lot of Exciting Options to Choose from Advanced car wash equipment use low-flow technology that drastically reduces drying times for carpets and upholstery.

Here is my site :: blog-sexe-tube.com

Anonymous said...

These online dress-up video games have about hundreds of online games stored in its database.
Like a pc when much too many programs are downloaded at the moment the process can shut lower from overuse.
You're punished more than and in excess of for generating faults in education and encouraged never ever to do it.

Also visit my blog post :: click through the up coming web page

Anonymous said...

But also since then, we as a country, and as just as well, a world, have become
basically addicted and dependent on our radios. Pandora is free (ad-supported), but you can buy an upgrade for no ads and other improvements.

com ( is the home site for a radio station only on the internet which provides exactly what it says: Worship music.


Feel free to visit my web page - http://www.online-radioportal.de

Anonymous said...

In addition to this, now you can listen to the radios online, which is already getting to
be pretty popular. If you want to know what folks are
listening to and talking about on the opposite coast, Fly -
Cast is terrific. You can in fact lend your ears to varied musical programs on rock
music, jazz, country music and many more.

Take a look at my website: review4u.co.kr

Anonymous said...

However, the number of apps is steadily rising, and if Nokia continues
to put out quality phones like the Lumia 900, we may see developers take more notice and the number of
apps will rise accordingly. replica cartier earrings.
Wherever you click you are instantly overwhelmed with special offers: book this, buy that,
fly with us, hop on this, reserve that. you ask with softness coming back
into your voice as you sit on the sand beside me. Of course, the layout of the apps is completely customisable,
so you can place your most commonly used apps and widgets within easy reach, so they can be instantly accessed after
unlocking the screen. IMPORTANT NOTE: When shopping for a sound card,
make sure you do not accidentally purcahse one that is "Low Profile. We actually become happier people. Nevertheless, we're now moving on and talking about the top Xbox 360 games for 2012. *Composite fillings. So be it.

my weblog - Mạng Thông Tin - Giải Trí - Thương Mại - Powered By phpFox

Anonymous said...

Try downloading a game demo prior to purchasing the actual game so that you can determine if
you're going to enjoy it. Your best bet is to choose a video card that is just one or two steps down from the number one card now. You're punished more than and in excess of for generating faults in
education and encouraged never ever to do it.


Stop by my website click through the up coming article

Anonymous said...

These online dress-up video games have about hundreds of online games stored
in its database. Like a pc when much too many programs are downloaded at the moment the process can
shut lower from overuse. Many games have role-playing incorporated and from the young age
kids quickly learn from your heroes they choose to be.


Here is my weblog http://haduqoynhni.fotopages.com/?entry=6812003

Anonymous said...

But also since then, we as a country, and as just as well, a world, have become basically addicted
and dependent on our radios. Remember that most dorm room radio stations out
there may or may not be online from time to time and
that cannot be blamed on the app, however this does hinder the experience of Internet
radio on the i - Phone. As a gadget, it's out of this world; as a functional laptop, I'm not so sure.


Here is my web site: 1

Anonymous said...

Few travellers on a Mashobra tour can resist the temptation of
seeking blessings at the Mahasu Devta Temple. I even
find myself backing away from recommending other resources which, in the past, I would
have shared willingly. In essence, they appreciated each other and never
lost sight of how lucky they felt to have each other as their
spouse. With an average annual fee of 10,000 pounds,
representing between 25% - 36% of professional incomes this
has risen assiduously by 41% in the last five years. In doing so, it becomes the only potential choice for best gaming PC under 500 bucks in the desktop category. It is hard to believe that we are unable to provide the minimum required comfort to our old ones, destitute women and even orphans. In 2005, the QI Group acquired a UK-based independent telecommunications provider with a strong background in providing advanced communications solutions and technology in the United Kingdom. I'm the kind who smokes and judges people' Vanda pretends to demonstrate a yoga pose with a cigarette in her hand' 'Whoa, THAT guy's out of shape''. * You're realistic about what you expect from others. So be it.

Look at my website: Omerta City of Gangsters

Anonymous said...

At times the selection may be off, you can always dislike a song meaning that it will never
appear on your radio again. However, the MP3 player doesn't have an impressive volume buttons and the quality of sound is also not good. Of course, this is just the public face of the flap between two not disinterested parties.

My blog - nalanda.org.br

Anonymous said...

Employing riddles is always a possibility whereby the
answer leads to the geocache stash or another location where
another riddle needs to be solved before the final boon is revealed.
Deciding on the best Android UI is tough - after all, these user interfaces appear on phones of varying specification.
Visitors can ascend the piece on escalators to visit exhibitions encased within the work of
art's spheres, as well as the unique restaurant in the uppermost sphere, which is called Chez Adrienne.

my web page ... crysis 3 key

Anonymous said...

In most cases they are, but when it comes to updates, patches, etc to the mmorpgs.
A bowler who can consistently pick up his spares can easily hold a 180 average without getting any strikes.
It can go as far as ruining their experience since it is the last interaction they have with a
game.

Here is my homepage; www.clearboth.org

Anonymous said...

Similar to the cue ball that is shot in pools; this game involves coins
and strikers that are essential to play carrom game. However, every character in the
game (even supporting players) should be presented in
this same detail. In this addictive puzzle game, catch that damn
fly and avoid those tricky obstacles.

Also visit my web-site; http://www.spielespielen24.de/other/easter-candy-collection

Anonymous said...

com provides information on Fishing, Fly Fishing,
Fishing Boats, Deep Sea Fishing and. You will also want
to have a supply of different lines that you can use.
Yet sometimes a net is better to use because it usually doesn't harm the fish and will most likely be easier for you to prepare the fish for later.

Anonymous said...

The fishfinder approximates where the fish are by measuring the amount of time between when the beam was
sent out and when it registered the hit. You will also want
to have a supply of different lines that you can use.
Yet sometimes a net is better to use because it usually doesn't harm the fish and will most likely be easier for you to prepare the fish for later.

my web page: simply click the up coming web site ()