Off to the G8!

This will be the last post for a bit as I'm off to do my bit at the protests against the G8 in Scotland. It seemed a bit of a shame, that after going to Genoa in 2002 and Evian in 2004, I would miss out when the biggest terrorists in the world esteemed world leaders take the trouble to go to Scotland.

So I'm off tomorrow for the thrilling 31 hour journey from Auckland to Edinburgh.

I'll try and get to a PC as soon as I can to fill you all in on the fun and games around the summit.

Cartoon of the day

What a bloody waste

If have any doubts about the social class of the American troops who are being killed over in Iraq this story gives us an idea.

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 20, 2005; C01

Under the glare of a midmorning sun, Staff Sgt. Jody Hayes stands sweating in the hatch of his M-113 armored vehicle, scanning for insurgents. Hayes and his Iowa National Guard crew have been stalled for nearly 30 minutes on a risky, slow-moving mission to clear road bombs, and he's getting nervous.

Suddenly he hears the snap of a sniper's bullet flying past his head. The round pierces the neck of the soldier next to him, Spec. John Miller, entering the two-inch gap between his Kevlar vest collar and helmet.

"Get down!" Hayes yells. Miller falls heavily against Hayes's leg, and at first Hayes believes his friend is taking cover. "Man, he got down pretty quick," he recalls thinking. Then he glances down and sees Miller bleeding at his feet.

Sgt. Ty Dermer, who is manning a .50-caliber machine gun within arm's reach of Miller, radios for help: "We got a man down! We need a medic, ASAP!"

Hayes drops down and cradles Miller's head in his lap, while Dermer rips open a pressure dressing and places it on the neck wound. Each man grabs one of Miller's hands and feels for a pulse. They still haven't found one when medic Spec. Jaymie Holschlag pulls open the back door of the M-113 and rushes, breathless, to Miller's side.

"Doc," Hayes says, looking up at her. "He's gone."

Holschlag begins checking Miller's pulse herself, as if she hasn't heard.
"Doc," Hayes repeats, louder. "He's gone!"

It is 10:18 a.m. on April 12, and John Wayne Miller is no more.

In the frenzy to save Miller, no one was thinking about why the war had snatched away the gangly 21-year-old Wal-Mart stocker from West Burlington, Iowa. Only later, as darkness falls and details of the day's horrors ricochet through their camp, do that question and others begin to haunt Hayes and his tightknit Iowa platoon. With a fifth of its soldiers killed or wounded, the platoon is reeling from the trauma of repeated loss, facing a constant threat from bombs and gunfire on Ramadi's streets, or mortar strikes on their base. They are angry, anxious, wracked by guilt -- one soldier suffers from combat stress so acute that he is unable to go on missions, and stays behind camp walls.

Holschlag runs to Miller. When the platoon medic sees that insurgents have taken out another of her "boys," she swears, grabs her medic's bag and walks back to her Humvee, slamming the side of it with her fist. Then she pulls out the gray body bag she has learned to carry at all times, and waits for a vehicle to evacuate Miller's body.
To Holschlag and many in the unit, Miller was their "boy," their "kid," and in his sudden death, the good-hearted but awkward young man was mourned as a family member. "You live on top of each other. You get used to working together . . . then you go out one day and -- boom -- he's gone," she says.

"In 2 1/2 seconds, for no particular reason, because we found their weapons cache, they took him out," she says. "And never again will John Wayne Miller steal my Pepsi"

"J-Dub," as platoon mates called Miller, was an unlikely hero. His mother died when he was a teen, and his father was in and out of jail, they said. After high school he found a job stocking shelves at Wal-Mart on the graveyard shift, which he liked because it let him devote his days to his real passion -- video games. Miller had a one-bedroom apartment on Prairie Street in West Burlington and a mean pet ferret. Other than that, they said, the lanky young man didn't have much going on in his life. So one day in March 2002, more for friendship than anything else, Miller signed up for the Iowa National Guard.

This is the war the chickenhawks support, but won't fight in. As long as Wal Mart employees do the dying, it's fine.

Looking for a Scapegoat

We're starting to see a new Meme from the increasingly embattled warmongers as the disaster on the Euphrates gets clearer and clearer.

Of course they cannot admit it is their fault, that the war they called for was obviously doomed from the beginning, so of course, like German generals after World war one the blame must lie elsewhere, the "Stab in the Back" theory has returned

From the USA Billmon Brings us some chilling quotes.

What evil, darkness of mind and absence of conscience, would drive a man to commit such an atrocity upon his fellow soldiers? Could it be possible that among the voices in Staff Sgt. Martinez’ head were those of Amnesty International, Senator Dick Durbin, and all the others who are publicly condemning America’s military by falsely accusing U.S. soldiers of crimes against humanity?
California Conservative
U.S. Soldier Kills His Superiors:
Casualties of Liberal Warfare?
June 18, 2005


The primary reason that Americans are losing heart in the war on terror is because the media is lying to them. The media's lies are lies of omission, gorging on the bad news while ignoring the good news. The effect has been to portray the war in Iraq as an unwinnable war that is costing more and more American lives. The left has contributed to the lies by constantly trying to compare the war in Iraq to the war in Vietnam . . . and by trumpeting every abuse by an American soldier as though it was the equivalent of the routine beheadings, assassinations and bombings of the terrorists.
Media Lies
The primary reason that Americans are losing heart
June 19, 2005


Let me tell you something, folks, if we are hit again, if we are hit again, we need to hold these people in our country who are undermining our efforts responsible. It ain't going to be the FBI's fault next time. It isn't going to be the CIA's fault next time. It isn't going to be some bureaucracy's fault next time. It's going to be the fault of politicians, left-wing groups and the like who have names and identities and spend their every waking moment trying to obstruct our ability to secure intelligence information for our own national security.
Rush Limbaugh
The Rush Limbaugh Show
June 14, 2005

So lets have a little Sonic's place competition to see which one of the "Decent" left websites is first to pick up this ball and run with it, will it be Squealer? Little Green Soccerballs? Or Ollie?

Or will it take a Nick Cohen article to get them going?

One thing is clear, as the occupation of Iraq winds down to it's inevitable defeat things are going to get even more nasty.

Fighting for Women's rights in Iraq

Amongst the ever shifting rationales for the ongoing disaster in Iraq one theme that keeps cropping up is that by blowing the hell out of the country we are somehow involved in freeing the women of Iraq from tyranny.

Some of those very women have been out demonstrating in Mosul this week, as pictured below.

For those who do not read arabic (myself included) here is the reason for the march.

US Frees Iraqi Woman Detainees After Protests

MOSUL, June 19, 2005 ( – US occupation forces completed on Sunday, June 19, the release of twenty one Iraqi women held as a bargain chip in the northern city of Mosul.

"The release came after massive protests organized by the Islamic Party and the Islamic organization for human rights over the past three days," Nour Al-Din Al-Hayalli, the Islamic Party's media officer in Mosul, told

The Islamic party championed a massive demonstration following the Friday prayers on June 17 to press for the immediate release of all Iraqi women in the US custody.

Assembling outside the Sedek Rashan mosque, protestors denounced the American occupation for dishonoring the Iraqi people by detaining women.

They carried photos of detained women, demanding the government of Ibrahim Jaafari to live up to its responsibilities toward the Iraqi people.

The demonstrators also issued a statement calling for an immediate release of all Iraqi women detainees across the occupied country.

There is no available figures on Iraqi women in the custody of American occupation forces

And why are they arrested?

In a demonstration staged on Thursday, June 16, an Iraqi woman said her daughter-in-law was detained by US soldiers after they failed to find her husband.

"They stormed the house on May 24, searching for my son. When they failed to find him they detained his wife and threw his six-month-old child to the ground," she recalled

Now I'm not an expert in military tactics (I just play one on the internet), but could one of the pro-war people who regularly pop in here tell me how they justify this?


For those who may be ready to dismiss these reports as propaganda due to the source, a further article from the WP reveals that it was standard practice as far back as 2003.

"It is a practice in some U.S. units to detain family members of anti-coalition suspects in an effort to induce the suspects to turn themselves in, in exchange for the release of their family members,"

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