Monday, October 16, 2006

the scribe is a little late in commenting on this particular item – the estimated ‘excess’ death toll in Iraq – but that’s the beauty of blogging.

Blogger is boss.

We couldn’t recuperate a link to Dan Brown’s article in the “Washington Post,” published October 11, so we’ll serve up ample samplings of the actual text.

For those of you who missed it, a team of doctors overseen by epidemilogists at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health and funded by the Massachusets Institute of Technology, estimated that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq than would have had the United States not gone in and liberated them.

If Dick Cheney had meant liberation through death, he should have been more specific when talking to Tim Russert all that time (and all those dead people) ago.

“[The estimate] is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December. It is more than 10 times the estimate of roughly 5,000 civilian deaths made by the British-based Iraq Body Count research group.

“The surveyors said they found a steady increase in mortality since the invasion, with a steeper rise in the last year that appears to reflect a worsening of violence as reported by the U.S. military, the news media and civilian groups. In the year ending in June, the team calculated Iraq’s mortality rate to be roughly four times what it was the year before the war.”

Tony Blair, whom the war cost his job, popularity, and legacy, denied the figure last week.

Not that many dead he says.

Here we debate, Civil war, not civil war."

Back when only 700 soldiers had died in Iraq, it took Ted Koppel a full hour just get their names and photos up on the screen for a second. And that’s just the toll on our side. Those who we invaded to ostensibly help are lying, increasingly, under mounds of dirt.

The exposure of an innocent population to the worst elements in an already violent society should have been anticipated by an administration that spends its days trying to scare the bejeezus out of Americans for electoral gain.

But they always talk a good game.

The intentional murder of civilians is mortifying, horrible, and not the doing of our soldiers.

The soldiers do their own damage, and it’s not them we condemn at highwayscribery, but those who sell war as something in which innocents don’t die, because they should know better (and do).

The current and sorry excuse for a world leader unleashed hellfire on these poor people now living through an endless nightmare of explosions in civil settings, dead children, dead old people, dead young men, dead young women, dead entire families at dinner, dead uncles and nieces on their way to the bank, dead cousins volunteering for a new Iraqi police force.

To liberate and save them might have been noble, but that’s not what happened.

What did happen is criminal.

Here’s a speech by John Kerry up in New Hampshire a few nights ago.

“This war in Iraq is a disgrace.”

It’s a stemwinder, half an hour long and part of a larger e-mail in which Kerry asks for money and and stepped-up activism during the closing chapters of the campaign.

There’s a lot to look forward to on November 7, but none of it can be taken for granted. The (r)epublicans always operate from a base of power and they always have more money.

This time it’s $55 million more.

So Kerry, still keeping his post-2004 election promise to lead the party in opposition, is running around the country helping candidates who need it.

“In the last week,” his missive to the John Kerry online community read, “I’ve traveled hundreds of miles, spoken to thousands of voters, campaigned for dozens of candidates. And let me tell you this: There is something big taking hold out there.

“It’s something that the Rove Republicans can’t stop – no matter how shameless they are, how much fear-mongering they do, or how many vicious attack ads they launch.

“None of it will work. Not if we hold our ground. I’m telling you what I told a packed house of committed Democrats in New Hampshire just a few days ago:

We know what the Republicans will do. They’ll wrap our strategy in slogans. They’ll try to debate straw men because they’re afraid of real men – or women. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their faces with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their lies.”

If you want to make a contribution. Trust Kerry to spend it properly and donate here.

Click on the talking heads up and to the left. The “Washington Post” GlobalChat wanted to know (from its foreign bloggers one supposes) whether people in other countries are awaiting a taking of some power by the Democrats.

It makes for interesting reading.


This week the highway scribe reads "The Seduction of Father Olivares" to the guitar work of Omar Torrez at La Vedette, Gloriella's My Space Page. Give the song a few seconds to connect and load.

And remember, it's politics, POETRY, and prose (from an anarcho-syndicalist perspective.)

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