Saturday, July 15, 2006

What's on Your Mind?

The conflict in the Middle East is giving many of us pause to reflect on the continued destruction in that region, in terms of individual, group and regional destruction and loss.

Here are thoughts about peace as expressed by those wise sages throughout history.

A tip of the hat to beachblogger for the quote above.

A tip of the hat to time for the quote above.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging- The Pallas Cat

The Rare Pallas Cat

The Pallas's cat is also known as a Manul. About the size of a large domestic cat, the manul is covered with long course fur, sandy to grey in color with white tips on the guard hairs which gives an overall 'frosted' appearance.

The legs are short and stumpy compared to the overall body size - the small broad head has high set eyes, and low set hair covered ears. The head has a striped facial ruff.

The tail of the manul cat is tipped with black and has darker rings toward the end, similar dark markings can also be faintly seen across the side of its back. The range of the manul extends from Iran through southern Asia to parts of western China. They are an endangered species with some zoos participating in breeding programs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

And so it has begun...Iraqi Retribution

And the retribution has begun, with undoubtedly more to follow. There is NO way the Bush administration can spin the violence done to this child and her family into gold. More soldiers are marked for torture and violence.

Associated Press/AP Online; 7/11/2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq - An al-Qaida-linked group claims it killed three U.S. soldiers last month and mutilated two of their bodies to avenge the rape-slaying of a young Iraqi woman by troops of the same unit, an institute which monitors extremists Web sites said Tuesday.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council made the claim in a 4:39 minute video posted on the Internet which included the mutilated bodies of two of the soldiers attacked June 19 near Youssifiyah southwest of Baghdad, according to a statement by the SITE Institute.

The institute released still pictures from the video showing two of the American dead, one of whom had been decapitated.

According to the institute, the statement by the insurgent group said the video was released as "revenge for our sister who was dishonored by a soldier of the same brigade."

Two sergeants are among five American soldiers charged in the March 12 alleged rape-murder and the killing her parents and a younger sister. The U.S. military released the identities of the suspects Monday.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Rape/Murder Victim in Iraq Was Only 14

Five US soldiers have been charged in a rape and multiple murder case that has outraged Iraqis, as proof emerged the rape victim was a child of 14, and not over 20 as US officials insist. The 14 year-old teenager lived in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad. Iraq will ask the United Nations to end immunity from local law for U.S. troops, the human rights minister said on Monday.

Although U.S. military has claimed the girl allegedly gang-raped by five U.S. soldiers was an adult over the age of 20, documents show the girl was just 14.

Reuters news agency authenticated the rape/murder victim's age on Sunday by examining her birth certificate and identity card.

By Friday though the military backed away from those claims as Reuters and others began probing the matter. On Friday Army spokesman Paul Boyce said the U.S. military now believes the alleged victim was between the ages of 14 and 20.

In addition to raping and murdering her, the soldiers allegedly killed both her parents and 6 year-old sister, and burned the house to cover their crimes.

However a Multinational Corps Iraq news release, which announced the preferring of charges against five more U.S. soldiers in relation to the matter, and was issued as late as Sunday, described the rape victim as, "a young Iraqi woman."

What is the advantage of the US pre-emptively naming the victim as an adult? It makes it easier to blame the victim. We’ve all heard it before in every rape trial in America. You know she wanted it, what was she wearing, she was leading them on, she said no but meant yes. It’s harder to accuse a child of provocative behavior. When a child is raped and murdered, setting up a defense for the soldiers becomes tougher.

Under the equivalent laws in the US, no American girl of 14 would be named as an adult or "a young American woman." Let’s call this victim what she was, a child. Her dead sister, aged 6 was also a child. American soldiers entered her home and killed two adults and two children. This is a fine way to bring democracy to Iraq, raping and killing children.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Come Join the Peace Train

The Peace Train is rolling! We are adding new things every day. A special hat's off to Dude at the Blue Republic and Earl, who have both been working hard with me on this project. Please come and join us to organize for peace.