April, 2004 was by far the bloodiest month in the U.S. occupation of Iraq. In fact, I believe that history will quite clearly point to April as the turning point in the war. 135 soldiers were killed, and 1195 were wounded. The average American finally started to pay attention. With scheduled "sovereignty" only 60 days away, people were beginning to ask, "so, how's that gonna happen?"
We found out. In the space of two months, the Coalition Provision Authority went from zero to sixty in picking a puppet regime to create the illusion. Under the cover of darkness in late June, Jerry Bremer handed the ceremonial key to thugmeister Iyad Allawi, and then scooted out of Baghdad so quickly they're still cleaning up the tire skidmarks in the Green Zone.
Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer caps a three day run of an amazing series of articles, photos, videos, and interviews that date back to events on April 6th in Ramadi, Iraq. A Knight-Ridder / Inquirer news service photo journalist, David Swanson, was embedded with 2nd Battalion of the 4th Marines, Echo Company. On that day, Echo Company lost 12 Marines as they were led into an ambush in the town square of Ramadi.
I don't know how long this stuff will be online, so catch it while you can. It's not just a story - it's a snapshot of the legacy of failure we're leaving in Iraq. The current events in Najaf are a stark reminder that the Bush administration had a plan to get into Iraq, but were absolutely clueless on what to do once the soldiers arrived. There is no exit strategy. And the quagmire is as sticky and deep as ever.
If you read nothing else online today, or for the next week for that matter, you must read "Echo Company - Ambush in Ramadi".
Underappreciated blogs that I'm liking
King of Zembla: Maybe I like this blog so much because the author's snarky commentary style is much like my own. The King has a great rolling stock of daily absurdities from the news.
Prometheus 6: Written from an African American POV, Prometheus 6 is one of the most articulate blogs this side of Body and Soul. P6's take on Alan Keyes this past week is worth the price of admission all by itself.
Before any Catholic's crap on me, my wife's one!
This is just flat-out wrong.
First, some loon right Catholic bishops invoke denial of communion for any politician (or parishioner, for that matter) that doesn't toe the Vatican line. Then, they make a political issue out eating the wafer. Now, apparently if you're a kid who has a medical reaction to the ingredients of the host wafer, apparently you're shit out of luck (even though alternatives exist). You can't partake in the sacrament. Note to moron priests: it's the blessing ritual of the host that makes it a sacrament, not the content of the wafer.
You'd think with all of the scandals involving the church, they'd be making the wafers out of pressed cannabis just to get parishioners in the door. Jeesh.
BRIELLE, N.J. - An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot consume wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained none, violating Catholic doctrine.And finally, Weekly World News uncovers al-Qaeda plot!
Now, Haley Waldman's mother is pushing the Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican to make an exception, saying the girl's condition - celiac sprue disease - should not exclude her from participating in the sacrament, in which Roman Catholics eat consecrated wheat-based wafers to commemorate the last supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion.
"In my mind, I think they must not understand celiac," said Elizabeth Pelly-Waldman, 30. "It's just not a viable option. How does it corrupt the tradition of the Last Supper? It's just rice versus wheat."
It's more than that, according to church doctrine, which holds that communion wafers must have at least some unleavened wheat, as did the bread served at the Last Supper.
Alert Tom Ridge! Alert Ralph Reed!
AL QAEDA PLANS TO DROP GAY BOMBSThat's it for this PRSMD, ASZ's weekly alternative to Sunday morning talk show blovation! Keep 'em honest this coming week!
Men within 30 miles of the blast will instantly turn queer!
By Nick Jefferies
EXTREMIST Muslim scientists are developing a bomb that turns anyone within a 30-mile radius of its blast into a homosexual, say U.S. Intelligence insiders.
It's all a part of the Al Qaeda master plan to pull our country apart and kill the patriotism that makes us strong. "
They believe that making more Americans gay will start civil war between gays and ultraconservatives," says one highly placed intelligence officer. "They also figure it will lead to a decrease in the U.S. population."
The Gay Bomb was already in the planning stages when Osama Bin Laden and close, intimate friend Muhammad Atef founded the international terrorist group Al Qaeda in 1989.
"Atef and Bin Laden spent many late nights together during that time of revolution," reveals an ex-Al Qaeda member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.