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Friday, July 27, 2007

The Shooting of Old Men

I heard this on the radio coming home from work ... the BBC is reporting that many families in Iraq get a half hour of electricity per day. A half hour!

Meanwhile the L.A. Times is reporting this:

U.S. drops Baghdad electricity reports
The daily length of time that residents have power has dropped. The figure is considered a key indicator of quality of life.

By Noam N. Levey and Alexandra Zavis, Times Staff Writers
July 27, 2007

WASHINGTON — washington — As the Bush administration struggles to convince lawmakers that its Iraq war strategy is working, it has stopped reporting to Congress a key quality-of-life indicator in Baghdad: how long the power stays on.

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that Baghdad residents could count on only "an hour or two a day" of electricity. That's down from an average of five to six hours a day earlier this year.

But that piece of data has not been sent to lawmakers for months because the State Department, which prepares a weekly "status report" for Congress on conditions in Iraq, stopped estimating in May how many hours of electricity Baghdad residents typically receive each day.

Instead, the department now reports on the electricity generated nationwide, a measurement that does not indicate how much power Iraqis in Baghdad or elsewhere actually receive.
and this is at a time when the average daily temperature in Baghdad is
108 degrees F so no air conditioners!

Democracy Now has this quote on their website. It’s from an elderly resident in the town of Husseiniya north of Baghdad:
“Even Israel hasn't done anything like this. Israel did not do what America has done to us."

Then there’s this item from the Washington Post about foreign workers being tricked into going to Iraq to work on the building of the new U.S. embassy:

Foreign Workers Abused at Embassy, Panel Told

By William Branigin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 27, 2007; Page A15

Two American civilian contractors who worked on a massive U.S. Embassy construction project in Baghdad told Congress yesterday that foreign laborers were deceptively recruited and trafficked to Iraq to toil at the site, where they experienced physical abuse and substandard working conditions.

State Department officials disputed the charges, telling a House committee that inspections had not substantiated the worst reported abuses.

The accounts were delivered at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on allegations of waste, fraud and abuse in the construction of a huge new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad at a cost of nearly $600 million. The embassy, slated to be the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in the world, is being built by a Kuwaiti firm, First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting Co., which was awarded the contract after no U.S. company would meet the terms, the committee was told.

First Kuwaiti's labor practices are under investigation by the Justice Department, which is looking into allegations that foreign employees were brought into Iraq under false pretenses and were unable to leave because the company had confiscated their passports.
Okay ... am I the only one that thinks that building a big ole honkin’ embassy, “...slated to be the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in the world”, in *Baghdad* .... let me repeat ... in Baghdad ... does no one else think this is CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY ????!!#$#%%$##.

Why don’t they just paint a big old target on it? My mind is sizzling from being overly boggled.

To lighten things up a bit so we can all think a tad more clearly post-boggle:

Jon Stewart reported on Monday's Daily Show that during President Bush's colonoscopy, "for a couple of hours on Saturday morning [... uncomfortable gulping followed by long pause ... followed by unsuccessful attempts to get the words out...] Dick Cheney was the president."

"Did you feel it?" Stewart asked. "You might have, I don't know, had a vague feeling as you were making your coffee on Saturday morning that you'd failed everyone who'd ever loved you."

Stewart then began reporting breathlessly on the events of the "Cheney presidency," saying, "The race was on. Could Dick Cheney start a new war in under two hours?" He also turned back to Bush at times, explaining, "The president had five polyps removed from his lower intestines, and here's the interesting part. They were removed for political reasons. Apparently these polyps were not loyal Bushies."

"Senior presidential historian Samantha Kearns Bee" then came on to declare that "the Cheney presidency" would be remembered for "his executive order decriminalizing the shooting of old men."

Now, folks, Ms. Manitoba is a jaded old bird ... nearly 58 ... seen a lot ... has been called a doubting thomas many times ... but the news just gets freakier and freakier. Awful is what it is.

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At 8:38 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Illegimati non carborundum est, toots.


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