Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mel Gibson, Maria McKee, Iraq

From today's LA Times (this is from Mel Gibson's arrest report):

...Gibson was cooperative with the field investigation. His conduct began to change when I advised him he was being detained/arrested for drunk driving. Gibson became increasingly belligerent as he took stock of his predicament. Gibson angrily stated "Everything's (profanity redacted)," "My life is (profanity redacted)." Gibson became fixated on his notoriety and concern that this incident was going to be publicized.
In order to calm Gibson's concerns, I directed Gibson to the back seat of the patrol car, telling him, if he remained cooperative I would transport him without handcuffing. Gibson quickly turned and bolted toward his own vehicle, as he said, "I'm not going to get into your car." Gibson attempted to escape arrest.
I chased after Gibson, catching up as he reached the driver's side of his vehicle. I (unreadable) onto Gibson's (unreadable) from his back side with my hands and turned him a quarter turn so he was facing his vehicle's left side. Gibson offered no resistance. I placed Gibson's hands behind his back and handcuffed him without...
Page 6
Gibson's belligerent attitude (unreadable). Gibson (unreadable) out profanities (unreadable), calling me, "You mother (profanity redacted)." Gibson repeatedly threatened me, saying, "I'm going to (profanity redacted) you. You're going to regret you ever did this to me."
While en route to Lost Hills Sheriff's (unreadable), Gibson's conduct remained (unreadable). Gibson almost continually threatened me, saying he "owns Malibu" and will spend all his money to "get even" with me. Gibson blurted out a barrage of anti-Semitic remarks about "(profanity redacted) Jews." Gibson yelled out, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in! the world." Gibson then asked, "Are you a Jew?"

The f-word is what has been redacted. No, I don't get tired of noting that. I'm not fond of Holocaust deniers. The media bent over backwards to avoid seriously addressing Gibson's views. Frank Rich was an exception. And Frank Rich (New York Times) got trashed for it. The online, latter day Dylan (community members know who C.I. means) appeared to rave over the crap film mainly because Gibson was attacking Frank Rich. So online, latter day rushed in to reveal more ignorance and swore up and down it wasn't anti-Semetic. It was. The Catholic Church ruled passion plays were. Online, latter day, once again, didn't know what he was talking about.

It's easy to say, "Oh, he was drunk." He didn't use "Jew" was a smear once. He did it repeatedly. With his past history, it's not just a case of he was drunk. The 'tolerant' Gibson, some may remember, was "Nancy" it up and having quite a few laughs at gays and lesbians in the 80s and 90s. Some at GLAAD gave him cover in 90s, they shouldn't have. I'll assume that even with the hair loss today, if he wants to lay on the charm, some will be taken in. Today, he says he's "sorry" again but still doesn't apologize for using "Jew" as a smear. He's now willing to meet with 'leaders' -- but he still won't say he's sorry.

He's attacked feminists, gays and lesbians, Jews and pretty much everyone. It's not surprise that the religious right would embrace him. I think it's important to note the reality of what they embraced. I think they should feel uncomfortable right now. As should those who gave his passion play cover.

I'm not trying to prevent Disney from releasing his movie. I'm not like the forthy right-wingers who prevented them from releasing Michael Moore's film. I say release it. Release the piece of crap with the current controversy and let's all see his career head completely into the toilet. (It was already there, in case anyone missed it. Lethal Weapon is a thing of the past -- probably the Asian stereotypes will keep it that way. He's not a good leading man in a romantic comedy -- he looks like 8 miles of bad road and has for about the last ten years.)

Disney's just distributing it. As I understand it, he has his own money in this one again. Well, release it and let that money go down the drain. Release it so we can see what hypocrites the people of Disney are. Michael Moore makes a political statement and they can't be near it due to the "controversy" (while their ABC radio stations broadcast political speech all the time -- right wing talk shows). So release it and reveal to a new generation what people my age grasped (though some ending up stocking their homes with children's videos later on), Disney's got nothing to offer other than tired stereotypes.

Elaine, Betty (at Rebecca's site for Betty, she's filling in) and I are noting a song tonight. Just something that stood out to us in the day or when we're writing. I'm going with Maria McKee's "Nobody's Child:"

I'm depending on you
To teach me all the things I forgot I ever knew
Baby you can lean on me
I may lean a little too
Whatever gets us through
And I feel a mountain movin' deep within
At the end of the revival we begin
Take this veil
And I'll dry your eyes
In a world like ours
I'm nobody's child

The music to that song is by Maria McKee and she wrote the lyrics with Robbie Robertson (of the Band fame). You really have to hear her voice rise and fall to grasp how beautiful the song is. It's off Maria McKee and I believe that even new, it's an inexpensive CD. You really have to hear the voice. For more on McKee's music (besides buying some!) you can read a review I wrote of a live CD she did.

Now C.I.'s latest "Iraq snapshot:"

Chaos and violence continues today, Tuesday, August 1, 2006. The bombings continue, the shootings continue, the death continues with the estimated number of the dead jumping in the last hour and half from at least 39 to at least 63. (Possibly Damien Cave will write in tomorrow's New York Times "at least 12"?) Reuters notes that among the dead are "at least 26 soldiers" (Iraqis as well as one British soldier stationed in Basra).
A series of bombings throughout Iraq account for the largest reported fatalities.
CNN places the first as a roadside bomb that targeted "a bust carrying members of the Iraqi military". AFP notes this as "the bloodiest incident, a massive roadside bomb ripped apart a bus carrying soldiers from Baghdad to the northern city of Mosul". Al Jazeera places the death toll at 24 minimum. Reuters notes "[t]he charred remains" that "were scattered across the bus" and "[t]wo skulls . . . in the vehicle along an empty highway." AFP reports that in addition to those killed (they say "at least 23"), 20 more were wounded. Joshua Partlow and Saad al-Izzi (Washington Post) note an Interior Ministry source who placed the number wounded at 40 (killed at 23).
BBC notes "at least 14 people died" in Baghdad when a car bomb ("suicide") went off "outside a bank where security forces were collecting pay." Sandra Lupien on KPFA's The Morning Show noted the timing and planning involved in that attack. Jane Peel (BBC) noted the "black fumes" wafting from the bombing to the sky and that, "The security forces seem unable to stop the attacks." [*Use "BBC notes" link if this one won't work. On the "BBC notes" link, the link to Peel's report is in the right hand corner.] Partlow and al-Izzi (Washington Post) report: "The soldiers had blocked off part of a street in front of the Zuwiyah Bank, where they were withdrawing their monthly salaries." Reuters notes a child of 12-years-old "sobbing and tearing his shirt after seeing his dead mother" and kisosk owner Abu Fadhil saying: "We should carry guns to protect ourselves. If we expect Iraqi security forces to protect us we will burn, just like those innocenct people."
Reuters notes that at least seven died and fifteen were left wounded from a car bombing in Muqdadiya. Partlow and al-Izzi (Washington Post) note that the car in question was "a Kia sedan" and that the bombing took place outside a hospital.
David Fickling, Ben Hammersley "and agencies" (Guardian of London) report the death of a British soldier today in Basra forma "mortar attack". CBS and AP note: "The infantry soldier died after being airlifted from a base in Basra to a field hospital outside the city, said the spokeswoman on customary condition of anonymity in line with ministry policy."
In addition to the above,
Reuters also notes a "roadside bomb . . . in northeastern Baghdad" that killed one civilian and left one wounded; a car bomb aimed at "an Iraqi army patrol" that left "two civilians" wounded; and that the US military announced today that a "U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb Monday".
RTE News reports the an attack on a minibus carrying electricity board employees which left four dead and four wounded "when their minibus was sprayed with gunfire in central Baghdad." AP raises the numbers to "five killed and injured the other six". Reuters notes two separate shooting deaths in Mosul; in Kirkuk, "A member of the Arab Consultative Assembly . . gunned down"; and, "outskirts of Baghdad," an attack on an Iraqi checkpoint left four Iraqi soldiers wounded as well as one civilian. AFP gives Sheik Abdul Razak al-Ibadi as the name of the ACA member gunned down and notes that he "was shot dead outside his home."
CBS and AP note that two corpses were discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes that three corpses were discovered in Baquba. Reuters also notes that "[t]he body of Adel al-Mansouri, a correspondent for al-Alam television station, was found dumped with bullet holes on a street". By Reuters count, al-Mansouri is the eleventh journalist reported killed in Iraq this year. On April 14th of this year, Dahr Jamail's web site featured the Mosaic Video Stream featuring a report al-Mansouri had done for Abu Dhabi TV. Adel al-Mansouri opened with this statement: "Iraqis hope that their political leaders will be able to overcome their differences and quickly form the new government in order to deal with the problems that plague the country." Not only did that not happen quickly the rumors now float about a shake up in Nouri al-Maliki's cabinet (with the Interior Minister being mentioned most often as at least one person who will be replaced). Since that report, Baghdad has been under the so-called "crackdown" for over six weeks and now an estimated 4,000 US troops are being repositioned in the capitol.
Associated Press is reporting that Asaad Abu Kilal (governor of Najaf) has announced that six buses were "waylaid" and that "45 people from Najaf" have been kidnapped. The AP quotes an Interior Ministry flack who says the number is correct but the kidnappings have taken place "over the last two weeks" and it's "[l]ike two or three people snatched a day." Apparently that's when you panic if you serve in the Interior Ministry -- not when 45 people are kidnapped over a two week period, when they are kidnapped all at once. It doesn't change the number but apparently spreading it out over several days lessens the impact. Vijay Joshi (AP) notes: "U.S. officials estimate an average of 30-40 people are kidnapped each day in Iraq, although the real figure may be higher because few families contact the police."
In Australia, the inquiry into the April 21st death in Baghdad of Jake Kovco continues.
AAP reports that Kovco's former roommates (billes as "Soldier 17" and "Soldier 19") provided DNA on Saturday. The gun believed to have been utilized had Jake Kovco's DNA on it as well as unidentified DNA. Malcom Brown (Sydney Morning Herald) reports that the DNA has been tested and the roommates' DNA doesn't match what is on the gun so Wayne Hayes ("Detective Inspector) is heading Iraq "to ask other soldiers in hi platoon to give DNA samples." The current developments were best summed in this exchange on Australia's The World Today -- Eleanor Hall (host) asked, "So Conor, the source of the DNA remains a mystery then?" to which Conor Duffy (reporters) responded, "That's right Eleanor, like so much of what happened in room 8 at the Australian embassy where Jake Kovco died, the source of the DNA on the gun that took his life remains a mystery."
Dan Box (The Australian) reports: "Evidence presented to a military board of inquiry into Kovco's death and failed repatriation now suggests the soldier killed himself in a tragic accident, probably without realising his pistol was loaded. But the army's decision to clean his room and wash his roommates' clothes after he died has destroyed almost all the forensic evidence and may now mean the exact cause of death will never be known." Brown notes that Soldier 19 testified "no way, sir" that Kovco would have committed suicide and AAP notes that 19 states he didn't see the shooting because "he was bending down at a bar fridge in the room". Conor Duffy noted that this would put 19 "probably about one to two meters away from Private Kovco at the time" and that both 19 and 17 are "expected to remain in Sydney for at least this week before they return to Baghdad."
In peace news,
Carol A. Clark (Los Alamos Monitor) reports that Cindy Sheehan will speak at Ashley Pond on August 6th ("this year's Hiroshima Day") for an event that will include others and last from two to nine p.m. and will include "free buttons and balloons, live music, face painting and activities for the kids" as well as "the lighting of 3,000 floating candles on Ashley Pond at dusk."
CODEPINK's Troops Home Fast is on Day 29 with over 4,350 people participating from all over the world. David Howard (Countercurrents.org) writes about the reasons for participating in the fast including "to end the immense horror and suffering for Iraqis and to ensure that our high school graduates of 2006 and 2007 don't end up dead, like Tony Butterfield." Tony Butterfield was Anthony E. Butterfield ("Lance Cpl.") who died on July 29th in the Anbar Province at the age of 19. In addition, as Howard notes, Butterfield was "a 2005 graduate of Buchanan High school in Clovis, California." The fast is ongoing (until September 21st) and people can pick a one-day, one-day a week, or more at any point between now and September 21st. More information is available at Troops Home Fast.

A lot going on in Iraq -- even if few are paying attention. The toll later went up to 70 dead and I heard on the radio that it ended up including an American soldier (not the one C.I.'s noting who died Mondy, one who died today).