Friday, May 9, 2008

Still the War Grinds On

Moqtada al-Sadr

As we here in this country place bets on when Hillary Clinton will end her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, halfway around the world a war that this country started roars on. Lives are being lost, children are being maimed, soldiers are being blown to smithereens and the astronomical costs keep soaring. When will we say enough is enough? I ask each and every one of you to send one e-mail next Monday or Tuesday to your (House) Representative. Please jot off a quick e-mail asking your representative to vote against more funding for this god-awful war in Iraq and urge your representative to cosponsor The New Diplomatic Offensive for Iraq Act (H.R. 3797). Please if enough of us write - they will spend the money anyway, but maybe, just maybe, a few of the spenders/deciders may not sleep as well as they have in the past. The Friends Committee on National Legislation has a nice and easy page that you can just fill in the blanks. Or you may make a phone call (FCNL). There is a little box in which you type in your zip code and, voila, there is your representative and her/his contact information. So please fill in a few blanks or pick up the phone and let your representative know that you want the war in Iraq to end, the sooner the better. Thank you very much :)

Sadr City Residents Told to Flee Homes
(From DemocracyNow!)

In Iraq, residents of the Sadr City district of Baghdad say they’re being warned to flee their homes in advance of an intensified US-led assault on Shia fighters. Sadr City has seen relentless violence in a nearly two-month campaign against followers of Muqtada al-Sadr. UNICEF says around 6,000 people have already been forced to flee. Up to 150,000, half of them children, are said to be cut off from aid in areas isolated by the US military. Medical care has declined following Saturday’s US missile strike that damaged several ambulances at Sadr City’s main hospital. At least four people were killed and thirteen injured in fighting overnight. At the White House, the veteran correspondent Helen Thomas questioned Press Secretary Dana Perino about the killing of innocent Iraqis.

Dana Perino: “Helen.”

Helen Thomas: “Yesterday, according to the New York Times, we dropped a bomb on a home in Sadr City and burned alive a pregnant woman and her children. How long is the siege of Sadr—how long are we going to keep bombing Iraqis?”

Perino: “Well, I’m not aware of that particular report. I have not—I’ve not seen it.”

Thomas: “Well, it was pretty buried in the stories.”

Perino: “OK. Well, the operation against the militias in Sadr City will continue until they root them out. And that is expressly in order to protect people like you just mentioned.”

Thomas: “Root who out? The Iraqis? In their own country?”

Perino: “It is Prime Minister Maliki’s government which is going after the militia, which is appropriate.”

Thomas: “Why are we bombing these people?”

Perino: “Any time anyone that is an innocent civilian is hurt in a conflict, we obviously regret it, and we go out of our way to make sure it doesn’t happen.”

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