About Us
Mission Statement
Rules of Conduct
 
Name:
Pswd:
Remember Me
Register
 

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 04/29/2008 10:57:24

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,868th day in Iraq.

We'll start as we always do, with the latest casualty figures, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4056
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3917
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3595
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3197
Since Election (1/31/05): 2619

Other Coalition Troops: 309
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 494


We find this morning's cost of war passing through: $ 515, 290, 925, 000 .00



I've got an interesting first-hand account of Baghdad that comes to us via our friends at IAVA. I'm skipping their website in favor of the original source today, I'm sure Paul won't mind. In any case, New York artist Steve Mumford was originally embedded with the troops in 2003...he's been back several times since.

http://images.artnet.com/images_US/magazine/features/mumford/mumford4-21-08-2.jpg


http://images.artnet.com/images_US/magazine/features/mumford/mumford4-21-08-8.jpg




I am back in Iraq for part of April and May to continue recording the war through drawing. Iím going to Mosul, a city in northern Iraq, to visit the U. S. militaryís COPs, or Combat Outposts, which have been a key part of the tactics of the surge: platoon-sized units living within the cities, backing up and working closely with Iraqi army and police. The tedious part is getting there.

At Kuwaiti customs I get a disconcerting dose of Middle Eastern bureaucracy: what should be a 20-minute job of stamping passports with visas yawns into a chasm of several hours, while the half dozen young Kuwaiti officials stare distractedly at their cell phones, pretend to take notes, and occasionally break into random conversation with one another. The stack of passports sits, barely moving. Children whine while mothers attend to them, and men look hopelessly at nothing, waiting for an official to contemptuously announce a name in a barely audible voice.

At Camp Ali al-Salem in Kuwait I gather my equipment for a nighttime flight to Baghdad in one of the cavernous halls where soldiers wait for planes to Iraq and Afghanistan. Whole companies of soldiers are sprawled out on the ground surrounded by their gear, forming vast landscapes of packs and bodies, everything covered in digital gray-green cammo. Platoons form lines in front of signs with destinations printed in large letters; the eerie light casts dramatic shadows. Despite my tiredness I wish that I could draw these scenes, but Iíve been told unequivocally that itís impossible. I read, suck on Halls cough drops, and wait.

When I finally arrive in the Green Zone, nothing looks much different. Over the last week rockets and mortars have been falling thick and fast, mostly from Sadr City, and everyone seems to have stories to tell. Several people died, including a colonel who was out jogging one morning. Itís quiet now, with only one air raid siren all day.

Thereís a lot more graffiti in the bathrooms and port-a-johns than before, but it doesnít differ much from graffiti in any public restroom. With one exception: generations of Chuck Norris jokes, counter-jokes and commentary. Some notable examples:

Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas.

Chuck Norris has a nightlight. Not because heís afraid of the dark but because the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesnít read. He just stares at a book until it tells him what he wants to know.

When Chuck Norris pees he clogs the toilet.

The Peruvian guards manning the checkpoints are an enthusiastic audience while Iím drawing and I chat with them in my frayed Spanish. A young woman walks up speaking Spanish and I ask her if sheís from Peru.

"Oh no -- Iím Iraqi, from up North, near Mosul." I attempt to segue to the time of the Moors, when Spaniards mixed with Arabs but my Spanish isnít nearly up to the task; she interrupts, "These Peruvian guys are too ugly -- only the women are good looking!" The guards hoot with delight.

I could mistake some of the Peruvians for Arabs, although others have distinctly Incan features. They have an easy rapport with the Iraqi translators, but one of the soldiers tells me theyíre very racist towards the Nigerian soldiers stationed here. A Peruvian who has been here three years says none of his countrymen have been killed. "We say itís because heís [pointing towards the sky] a Latino!"

Much more at the link...




Since diplomacy in the Middle East is also a casualty of this war, it's fallen to Tufts University (Massachusetts) and the Crisis Management Initiative (Finland) to attempt to re-start the process. They've been having meetings in Helsinki with the factions in Iraq. There's no word if "President" Bush has denounced the process, or if Hannity or Rush have called for anyone's passports to be suspended...

WASHINGTON - After a weekend of closed-door negotiations in Helsinki, a group of rival members of Iraq's parliament and tribal leaders are set to announce today that they will gather in Baghdad for the first time for a further round of talks that they hope will lay the foundation for peace in their troubled country.

"Progress has been made," Padraig O'Malley, the UMass-Boston professor and veteran peace activist who organized the meeting, said in a phone interview from the Finnish capital.

O'Malley said the participants agreed upon all but three of 16 broad principles, which he hopes the Iraqi Parliament will eventually endorse, laying the framework for negotiations to reconcile Iraq's warring parties and militias. He said the participants hoped that that their talks would lead to a detailed agreement on core issues that have plagued Iraq, including disarming militias associated with political parties, protecting the rights of minorities, and reducing corruption in government.

So far, the participants have declined to make details of their discussions public to avoid creating too much debate and acrimony in Iraq, O'Malley said. They are planning to announce their progress at a press conference at the Helsinki airport today before returning to Iraq.

The first meeting organized by O'Malley, held in September of 2007 at an undisclosed location in Helsinki, was kept secret because of security concerns and out of a desire to have participants freely discuss their views without the scrutiny of the media.

Participants at the weekend meeting included Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Badr Organization, a Shi'ite group considered the armed wing of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, one of the most powerful Shi'ite parties, as well as Fouad Massom, a Kurdish member of the Iraqi Parliament's constitutional review committee, and Usama al-Tikrit, the leader of the Sunni-led Iraqi Islamic party and a former classmate of Saddam Hussein.

Four tribal sheiks - two Sunni and two Shi'ite - also attended.

One notable absence, however, was that of the representative from the movement loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. He had been scheduled to attend but called at the last minute to say he was unable to make the flight. As part of a crackdown ordered by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq, supporters of Sadr have been fighting US and Iraqi forces in Sadr City, his Baghdad stronghold, in a battle that has cost dozens of lives.

The weekend's Helsinki meeting was an exercise in unconventional diplomacy. Up until now, most of the reconciliation efforts have been organized by the Arab League, the US State Department, or the Iraqi government. This meeting was organized by O'Malley, the Institute of Global Leadership at Tufts, and the Crisis Management Initiative, a Finnish nongovernmental organization.

Continued...



Lastly this morning...perhaps you've seen this ad recently? (Thanks, Raine!)

Well, guess who doesn't like it?

The ad that the Democratic Party is airing about Sen. John McCain -- picturing him mouthing words about 100 years of U.S. troop deployment in Iraq -- is not only misleading, according to lawyers for the Republican National Committee, but also illegal.

The DNC ad pictures McCain responding to a question at a town-hall styled forum in January, where he was asked how long U.S. troops might be committed to Iraq. "Maybe 100.... that'd be fine with me,'' replies McCain, who maintains that he was speaking of a non-combatant role, simliar to the long post-war deployments of U.S. forces in Germany following World War II and in South Korea. The ad repeats those 100-year remarks with overlays of script: "Five years... $500 billion... over 4,000 dead.''

"As a legal matter,'' RNC chairman Mike Duncan said today, this is a "maliciously false'' campaign ad. "The advertisement in question falsely and maliciously'' quotes Sen. McCain as saying that extending the war in Iraq for 100 years would be fine with him, and places it in a context of images of combat. "Clearly this ad is just another attempt by the DNC to mischaracterize Sen. McCain's statements.''

Sean Cairncross, general counsel for the RNC, said that McCain had responded to a question about how long the U.S..might be in Iraq. He noted that McCain's comment about 100 years included a caveat that "as long as Americans are not being injured... harmed or killed.... It's fine with me.''

The RNC, calling on cable news networks and television stations to refrain from airing the ad, maintains that a party does not have the independent right to air an ad that a candidate has, and that it becomes the obligation of networks and stations to monitor the truthfulness of ads The party stopped short of threatening legal action, however.

The RNC also accuses the DNC of making an illegal coordinated contribution to the the Democratic candidates with this ad, but maintains that the main legal problem with the ad involves its willful misrepresentation of McCain. "This is a complaint about the facts that are being misrepresented in this ad,'' Cairncross said in a conference call with reporters. "Based on this being a deliberate falsehood. We are saying to the stations, 'You have an obligation.'''

Stay tuned for a DNC reply.


Well, the DNC must have hit awful close to the mark to get them all riled up like that, eh?


232 comments (Latest Comment: 04/30/2008 03:33:36 by livingonli)
   Perma Link

Share This!

Furl it!
Spurl
NewsVine
Reddit
Technorati

Add a Comment

Please login to add a comment...


Comments:

Order comments Newest to Oldest  Refresh Comments

Comment by m-hadley on 04/29/2008 11:40:08
Mornin' TriSec,

Great post - have I mentioned that I hate, loathe, despise this f*ckin' war? We need to come home and deal with issues large and small here on the homefront. End the War(s) NOW Happy Tuesday everybody :)

Cheers,

mfaye

Comment by velveeta jones on 04/29/2008 11:59:19
:rofl: :rofl:



................. *cough, cough* *snort*



Ahhhhh, sorry, I'm laughing over the "ad is misleading and maybe even illegal..." Oh, NOOO, are the Rapublicans upset? Aw. Too bad.



Isn't it funny that they complain over words said by their candidate, but not so much when words by a Rev. are tied to our candidate. Hmmm. Karma. I think this should be the DNC's reply:





Comment by starling310 on 04/29/2008 12:28:02
Velveeta! You took the words out of my mouth. When I read that story I thought of this: RNC -------> :cry:



PUHlease RNC! Would you like me to draft a list of all the "potentially illegal" or misleading statements ever made from your camp!



:grumble:



Oof...I am in a huff early this morning. F*ckers.

Comment by right wing hater on 04/29/2008 12:42:01
Good Morning everyone!



Daily Reading posted to News of Day



Highlights - Live Earth is back, Oct 5th

Delegate Calculator: HRC would need 69% of remaining votes in each primary to win (ie, winged monkeys more likely)

Study: Con-servatives tuned out everything except Fox from 1998-2006 (shocker!)

Krugman on McCain = permanent GWBush

Michael Moore on CNN (Larry King) this Wed (will talk about his endorsement of Obama)

GWBush has 265 days left....

Comment by m-hadley on 04/29/2008 13:08:27
Quote by velveeta jones:

:rofl: :rofl:



................. *cough, cough* *snort*



Ahhhhh, sorry, I'm laughing over the "ad is misleading and maybe even illegal..." Oh, NOOO, are the Rapublicans upset? Aw. Too bad.



Isn't it funny that they complain over words said by their candidate, but not so much when words by a Rev. are tied to our candidate. Hmmm. Karma. I think this should be the DNC's reply:







Mornin' Velveeta & Starling,

I need more caffiene I smell the RNC in just about everything these days (even infiltrating the Hillary camp - )

Cheers,

mfaye



Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 13:14:00
good morning!

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 13:16:44
Just in time for indiana... I am sure that is QUITE a coincidence, huh?

Comment by m-hadley on 04/29/2008 13:17:28
Love the new Lying Sack of Crap version :)

Cheers,

mfaye

Comment by m-hadley on 04/29/2008 13:18:29
BTB, I'm home for a few hours this morning - so I'm bi-blogging away :D

Cheers,

mfaye

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 13:22:56
Quote by right wing hater:

Good Morning everyone!



Daily Reading posted to News of Day



Highlights - Live Earth is back, Oct 5th

Delegate Calculator: HRC would need 69% of remaining votes in each primary to win (ie, winged monkeys more likely)

Study: Con-servatives tuned out everything except Fox from 1998-2006 (shocker!)

Krugman on McCain = permanent GWBush

Michael Moore on CNN (Larry King) this Wed (will talk about his endorsement of Obama)

GWBush has 265 days left....
Live Earth is coming back! That is wonderful news!!!



Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 13:27:06
Quote by m-hadley:

BTB, I'm home for a few hours this morning - so I'm bi-blogging away :D

Cheers,

mfaye
you are off the hook !

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 13:28:56
I think I am just gonna stick my head in mud until this is over at this point.

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 13:31:11
Pocketbooks? the president is going to talk about pocketbooks this morning???

Comment by m-hadley on 04/29/2008 13:33:06
Raine and Others,

I got my photos back last night - a few winners in the bunch - I'll send them along to BobR so he can post them with the others :D

Cheers,

mfaye

Comment by starling310 on 04/29/2008 13:36:09
Faye, was I wrong? My eyes were closed every time, right?







Comment by starling310 on 04/29/2008 13:36:34
hi stan.

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 13:37:09
I love Arianna! :swoon:

Comment by starling310 on 04/29/2008 13:37:15
Did Arianna just drop an explitive?

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 13:37:59
Quote by starling310:

hi stan.
:rofl:



Comment by starling310 on 04/29/2008 13:39:56
Quote by Raine:

Quote by starling310:

hi stan.
:rofl:





;)

now that i know he's "out there" . . .

Comment by livingonli on 04/29/2008 13:40:08
Good morning everyone.



So, what's up gang?

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 13:40:10
Quote by starling310:

Did Arianna just drop an explitive?
That time delay can be quite a useful tool!



Comment by livingonli on 04/29/2008 13:41:50
Quote by starling310:

Quote by Raine:

Quote by starling310:

hi stan.
:rofl:





;)

now that i know he's "out there" . . .


You are just trying to get him to post, aren't you?

Comment by starling310 on 04/29/2008 13:46:10
Chris! With the Icicle Works bump!

Comment by m-hadley on 04/29/2008 13:47:44
Quote by starling310:

Faye, was I wrong? My eyes were closed every time, right?









No, my darling Starling,

I have several photos of your bright eyes wide open I will send them along to BobR, so he can post them with the rest of the shots - good times :)

Cheers,

mfaye

Comment by livingonli on 04/29/2008 13:49:33


He's still trying to pull that shit. I guess the little dictator has never heard of "checks and balances",

Comment by livingonli on 04/29/2008 13:50:05
Quote by m-hadley:

Quote by starling310:

Faye, was I wrong? My eyes were closed every time, right?









No, my darling Starling,

I have several photos of your bright eyes wide open I will send them along to BobR, so he can post them with the rest of the shots - good times :)

Cheers,

mfaye


You have any pictures of me?

Comment by m-hadley on 04/29/2008 13:54:17
Quote by livingonli:

Quote by m-hadley:

Quote by starling310:

Faye, was I wrong? My eyes were closed every time, right?









No, my darling Starling,

I have several photos of your bright eyes wide open I will send them along to BobR, so he can post them with the rest of the shots - good times :)

Cheers,

mfaye


You have any pictures of me?




Yes Liv,

At least two good ones :D

Cheers,

mfaye



Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 13:58:14
Last night my father brought up th e Rev thing, he said the usual talking point about how could it be possibnle that the 20 years at the church blah blah...



I asked my father if my liberal friends should judge me becuase of who he is. He started to balk, and I reminded him that he says a lot of nasty things, that I do not believe in and I still care ad love him. I told him that if he really believed that bs about obama and his pastor, that would mean that I should not associate with him, lest my friends think I am just like him.





Dad changed the subject.

Comment by starling310 on 04/29/2008 13:59:01
:yawn:



hard to keep eyes open. . . lady friend snoozing next to me. . . :thud:

Comment by starling310 on 04/29/2008 14:00:13
Good job Raine. . . the media may never successfully make that point, but it's really important that we make that point in our own lives. . . reach the people you can.

Comment by wickedpam on 04/29/2008 14:01:25
:yawn: Morning



Man, still trying to recover some sleep.

Comment by livingonli on 04/29/2008 14:02:34
Good morning Mala. Sounds like you feel the same way I do.



And tonight I go back to work. Vacation goes much too fast.

Comment by wickedpam on 04/29/2008 14:04:06
Okay something I noticed about the housing thing. I know alot of people who can't sell are trying to rent. However they can't even find people to rent a house. I'm starting to wonder if theres not something more going on or if I'm just looking at it in an odd way.

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 14:05:23
HEy, Where has ShaneO been ?





Comment by velveeta jones on 04/29/2008 14:08:14
Hey! I just found out that a few of you have facebook accounts............. You'll be getting an invite from me (my real name - not as Velveeta). :D



I had forgotten that I'd signed up for that silly Facebook, until I got an email recently from an old school chum! Pretty cool!



(Otherwise, I'm not much into these online communities like FB and Myspace).

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 14:08:49
Ok, this is just wierd...



A Los Angeles porn company is planning to release a film supposedly showing guitar legend Jimi Hendrix having sex with two women, according to a report in the New York Times on Tuesday.



According to Vivid Entertainment, the film, which has no audio, allegedly shows Hendrix having sex with two women in a dimly-lit bedroom, the Times reports.



Vivid, which has also released sex tapes featuring Pamela Anderson, Tommy Lee and Kim Kardashian, among others, says that the tape is authentic, and will be offered for sale in stores and for download Online, according to the Times report.

===================================================





Comment by wickedpam on 04/29/2008 14:10:17
Quote by livingonli:

Good morning Mala. Sounds like you feel the same way I do.



And tonight I go back to work. Vacation goes much too fast.






I like to call it vacation lag.



Comment by livingonli on 04/29/2008 14:10:51
Quote by Raine:

HEy, Where has ShaneO been ?





He's posted at the SMS live blog. Maybe he's just been busy building his drops.

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 14:12:17
I added y'all to my face book!

Comment by wickedpam on 04/29/2008 14:12:36
Quote by velveeta jones:

Hey! I just found out that a few of you have facebook accounts............. You'll be getting an invite from me (my real name - not as Velveeta). :D



I had forgotten that I'd signed up for that silly Facebook, until I got an email recently from an old school chum! Pretty cool!



(Otherwise, I'm not much into these online communities like FB and Myspace).






I just signed up for facebook and livejournal yesterday since so many others did. Plus I already had my myspace account.

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 14:13:37
I am getting car sick from the sound drops...

Comment by wickedpam on 04/29/2008 14:14:30
Entitys can haunt people instead of places. (yes I believe in the paranormal to some extent)

Comment by velveeta jones on 04/29/2008 14:16:30
Quote by Raine:

Ok, this is just wierd...



A Los Angeles porn company is planning to release a film supposedly showing guitar legend Jimi Hendrix having sex with two women, according to a report in the New York Times on Tuesday.



According to Vivid Entertainment, the film, which has no audio, allegedly shows Hendrix having sex with two women in a dimly-lit bedroom, the Times reports.



Vivid, which has also released sex tapes featuring Pamela Anderson, Tommy Lee and Kim Kardashian, among others, says that the tape is authentic, and will be offered for sale in stores and for download Online, according to the Times report.

===================================================





:yawn:



I'm waiting for Miley Cyrus................



:lol:



Comment by livingonli on 04/29/2008 14:17:37
Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by velveeta jones:

Hey! I just found out that a few of you have facebook accounts............. You'll be getting an invite from me (my real name - not as Velveeta). :D



I had forgotten that I'd signed up for that silly Facebook, until I got an email recently from an old school chum! Pretty cool!



(Otherwise, I'm not much into these online communities like FB and Myspace).






I just signed up for facebook and livejournal yesterday since so many others did. Plus I already had my myspace account.




I guess it's time for me to sign-up for these things with everyone else on them. I know mgm also has a facebook page.

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 14:17:55
Quote by velveeta jones:



:yawn:



I'm waiting for Miley Cryus................



:lol:







I would do ANYTHING for the honour of being photographed by Annie. That story is so dumb.



Her parents were on set the whole time.



Comment by velveeta jones on 04/29/2008 14:24:29
Quote by Raine:

Quote by velveeta jones:



:yawn:



I'm waiting for Miley Cryus................



:lol:







I would do ANYTHING for the honour of being photographed by Annie. That story is so dumb.



Her parents were on set the whole time.



Totally stupid!! I think Disney put the pressure on her, they don't want her to turn into another Lindsey Lohan.



Too late......... she's on the way!!



Comment by livingonli on 04/29/2008 14:29:09
So, smart women have trouble with orgasms. I guess I just have to try harder.

Comment by Raine on 04/29/2008 14:35:48
I hate that **man's voice.