Friday, July 4, 2008

Zoriah Miller's Journalistic Blog on Iraq

Journalist Charges Censorship by US Military in Fallujah
by Dahr Jamail

SAN FRANCISCO - U.S. journalist Zoriah Miller says he was censored by the U.S. military in the Iraqi city of Fallujah after photographing Marines who died in a suicide bombing.
On Jun. 26, a suicide bomber attacked a city council meeting in Fallujah, 69 kms west of Baghdad, between local tribal sheikhs and military officials.

The explosion also killed two interpreters and 20 Iraqis, including the mayor of the nearby town of Karmah, two prominent sheikhs and their sons, and another sheikh and his brother. All were members of the local “awakening council,” one of the U.S.-backed militias that have taken up arms against al Qaeda in Iraq, according to U.S. and Iraqi authorities.

Miller was embedded with Marines on a patrol one block from the attack when it occurred. He had originally turned down the option of going to report on the city council meeting that was bombed.

Miller ran with the Marines he was with to the scene of the attack. “As I ran I saw human pieces…a skull cap with hair, bone shards,” he told IPS during a telephone interview from the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad. “When we arrived at the building it was chaotic. There were Iraqis, police and civilians running around screaming. Bodies were being pulled out of the building.”

“I went in and there were over 20 people’s remains all over the place,” Miller continued, “Of the Marines I jogged in with, someone started to vomit. Others were standing around, not knowing what to do. It was completely surreal.”

Miller was terminated from his duties with the Marines. The reason: The letter he was given stated reasons for his dismissal as “you photographed the remains of U.S. soldiers”, “you posted these images along with detailed commentary”, and “by posting the images and your commentary you violated 14 H and O of the news media agreement you signed”.

His blog: link

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Patriotism: Property of the GOP

I had to laugh yesterday when I was 'reminded' that the REAL patriots in this nation belong to the GOP. It was a dopey reply on the WTAM Radio message board run by former Toledo radio jock Bob Frantz. Apparently the GOP knows about and is the exclusive home for American patriots.

Funny stuff, always funny on the right-wing. posted an article about GOP patriotism today called, Wave the Flag: How the Republicans Claimed the "Patriotism" Mantle in Presidential Politics.

On the WTAM message board, hucksters from the GOP purport to be the real, true Americans and call those to the left of them cowards, un-American, and other sordid names. They love their jingoistic phrases as well. Today one of them told me that 'I love our enemies more than this country.' I'm not patriotic and 'I love to dance on the graves of our soldiers.'

Here's the odd thing: these jingoistic phrases along with 'We're bring'n freedom to Iraq' were used to propagandize the American people just before Shock and Awe on March 20, 2003. That terrible decision by the Bush/Cheney team has led to 4000 dead soldiers and more than 20,000 severely injured military men and women. The Afghanistan War, we read in today's paper, is going badly. One headline read: Outgunned in Afghanistan. How pathetic.

I often point out that the War on Iraq was a war of choice and that it took away our focus on the perpetrators of 9-11, the al Qaeda masterminds, and their allies the Taliban in Afghanistan. That angers some right-wingers. They don't like to be reminded that their man, the Republican George Bush, screwed up badly. As a result, they hide behind their faux patriotic jingoistic phrases and accuse me of not being a real patriot. The fools.

Rather than being real patriots, these people are stooges for the GOP. They proclaim to be such great Americans yet fail to analyze the awful mess that Bush created in Iraq while leaving Afghanistan to the Taliban and al Qaeda. Stooges for the GOP hiding behind the flag, not wanting to see the reality of a bad decision by a group of ideologues surrounding the President.

Patriotism- the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fly Your Flags Findlay, But Close Your Mind

In Flag City USA, False Obama Rumors Are Flying is a Washington Post article on the folks in Findlay, Ohio. The poor souls: they would rather cling to their rumors than know the truth. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Read the article and see for yourself.

I wonder if 'flying the flag' absolves them from their stupidity? Lots of scoundrels throughout history flew the flag. The Nazis did and that is why the German people today are reluctant to fly their flags. In the small village from where my grandfather emigrated there isn't a flag to be seen. It isn't that they do not love their country, but they lived through the ugliness of the Nazis with their pomp, flags, hate and murder.

"Some Findlay voters rejecting the truth" is the subtitle of this story. Jim Peterman, featured in the Post story ' believes a smart vote is an American's greatest responsibility. Which is why his confusion about Barack Obama continues to eat at him.'

On the television in his living room, Peterman has watched enough news and campaign advertisements to hear the truth: Sen. Barack Obama, born in Hawaii, is a Christian family man with a track record of public service. But on the Internet, in his grocery store, at his neighbor's house, at his son's auto shop, Peterman has also absorbed another version of the Democratic candidate's background, one that is entirely false: Barack Obama, born in Africa, is a possibly gay Muslim racist who refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Stupid stuff? Of course. Stupid people? No, but dumb to investigating the truth. No doubt that is why this city voted Bush/Cheney overwhelmingly in both elections. Don't confuse the people in Findlay with the truth; let them steep in the rumors and innuendo. They apparently feel more comfortable swimming in the sludge.

Bigoted Baptist Pastor Pens Ugly Anti-Gay Letter to Editor

"The wickedness of the homosexual movement is well documented in the Bible and history. Their sin has contributed to the spread of AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis, and myriad other diseases."

So says Pastor Russ Merrin of the Monclova Road Baptist Church.

"To the homosexual reading this letter, the world will not be there to hold your hand on death's bed. Christ is the only person you can go to get true forgiveness and peace. It is Christ who will forgive you and restore you when you repent and believe in His shed blood and His resurrection."

What a hatemonger! By the way, this church is one of those behemouth structures built in the farmlands of suburbia. Lots of white folks out there.

A pastor like Merrin surely draws big crowds- people who want to know that they are righteous and those 'other people' are the sinners. No doubt the good pastor tells them how good they are and, by the way, will the ushers pass the basket.

Jesus would vomit if he knew how his message was corrupted by narrowminded jackasses like Merrin. I hope the money keeps pouring in, pastor, so that you can expand your school and teach even more little children the hate that is in your heart. Do the little children sing, "Jesus loves me this I know....but if I'm gay oh NO, NO NO!"

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