Sunday, July 02, 2006


The general offered no apologies
He said, "The soldiers erred in judgement
They should have hired a hooker!"
No apologies
-- "No Apologies" written and recorded by Joni Mitchell, Taming the Tiger

A family of four dead in Mahmoudiya. That much is known. The rest? Under investigation. Two American soldiers have spoken of a rape and then killing of the family. One claims he saw blood on the shirts of at least one soldier and that he heard them planning the cover up.

Whether American journalists want to visit Mahmoudiya or not (the thought doesn't appear to have occurred to any of them), the allegations are having an impact in Iraq where the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars have issued a statement that "raping this girl then mutilating her is shameful and will remain as a sign of shame to American invaders."

Current June figures (they will probably be added to) are 62 American troops died last month (2 "others" as well) and at least 1,009 Iraqis civilians died.

Meanwhile Nouri al-Maliki takes his peace 'plan' on the road to Saudi Arabia where he wins "approval." That's the same plan that, while al-Maliki is out of the country, the parliment has announced they'll make "some changes" too. Also in parliment news, Tayseer al-Mashhadani was kidnapped on Saturday -- a Sunni and one of the few women serving in the parliment -- causing the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front to walk out and refuse to participate until al-Mashhadani is returned (she was kidnapped in a Shi'ite section of Baghdad). Another member of parliment, Shi'ite Iyad Jamal al-Din was targeted by a bomb that "just missed." Also on Sunday, Retuers is reporting that another member of parliment, Leqa al-Yaseen (Sunni, female) was the victim of an attempted kidnapping (apparently eight of her bodyguards were kidnapped). The approval of Saudi Arabia really doesn't seem to be the issue.

Saturday, a car bomb in a Baghdad market killed at least 62 and wounded over a hundred. AFP says 66 dead and notes this occurred after the explosion: "A US military vehicle, which attempted to approach the blast scene withdrew in the face of a hail of stones from angry residents." In the "What you talking 'bout, Willis?" department, Reuters reports: "A PREVIOUSLY unknown Iraqi Sunni Muslim militant group claimed responsibility for a car bomb blast in Baghdad today that killed at least 66 people, saying it was avenging Shiite Muslim killings of Sunnis." B-b-b-b-ut, 8 or 10 or 8 of 10 'insurgent' groups were talking to the government about laying down arms! Remember the news telling us that! Remember how we couldn't get any real news because 8 or 10 or 8 out of 10 out of how many 100s of resistance groups were talking?

Reuters reports a car bomb in Baqubua and multiple ones in Baghdad claimed the lives of at least five lives and wounded at least 32.
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