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Repost: Mcat: 22 April 2006 28 January 2007

Posted by marisacat in Culture of Death, DC Politics, Iraq War, WAR!.

On Saturday in front of the capitol, Carlos Arredondo spoke.  In heavily accented English and, as I caught him during his words, I am not certain how he was introduced. It was he who held up a dollar bill and called out:  “Gringo Out of Iraq, Gringo out of Iraq”…


What is *our* political solution?

Over and over, as they bed us down to compliance reminding us every inch of the way to ask the Lord our soul to keep, we hear Iraq needs a political solution.  Obvious nonsense in the real world, pabulum for the masses, as we go on fighting – no matter what.

Or we are fed the happy catechism that “all politics is local”.  No it is not.  Tip O’Neil was referring to election politics. Election politics is all about achieving a sinecure and securing power. These accrue to the pol and by extension to his/her party.

We may effect small and large changes on our own ground, but the national political refuse dump that holds us captive – goes on.

From McNamara and his tears to Rumsfeld and his joker’s smile.  Monsters. Six years in, the enablers are no different.

The current edition of The Nation has a short and searing photo essay from Eugene Richards matched with the words of a father, Carlos Arredondo.  Father of a marine, Alexander.  Mr Arredondo, on his own birthday several years ago, ignited himself and the van carrying the merciless announcement of his son’s death.  He replicated the blast furnace that is the war, that is our leadership.

What is our ”political solution”?

 From The Nation essay:

His mother knew the whole time. Then they told me last, I guess because they know how I was feeling. The Marines had an office in the high school and the recruiters know everything, know who comes from divided families, especially when the father’s not around. They offer Alex thousands of dollars for signing up and help with college. Though we share custody, one parent can sign. His mother sign the paper. From that moment on, of course, I support my son. I had US Marine bumper stickers on my car, flags in my home, letting people know, even though I didn’t want him to go. […]

Next thing, the Marines ask me if I was Carlos Arredondo. I don’t understand why they asking me that, and I don’t see my son anywhere. I even ask them, “Are you guys here to recruit some kids?” because I have a second son, a 16-year-old, Brian. And he said, “I’m sorry, I’m coming to notify you that Alexander Arredondo got killed in combat.” At that moment, not expecting those words, my world tumbled and I felt my heart go down to the ground and rush up through my throat. I run from my house to the backyard, looking for my mother to tell her what these men were saying. And she run to try to talk to them


I went into the garage and got a hammer. After asking them to leave again, I walk toward the van, wanting to smash it, all the time hearing the Marines telling me, “Sir, don’t do that, don’t do that,” and my mother yelling in Spanish, “Carlos, Carlos, we’ve already lost Alex.” My head full of confusion, asking myself what’s going on, what’s going on, I pounded the hammer hard into the ground, then went behind a tree to cry when I think to call Alex’s recruiter, Sergeant Martinez. I have his telephone number in my phone. I call him, explain that I’m Alex’s father and ask him to please help me, the Marines are telling me Alex has died. The voice on the other side say, “Sir, sir, you’ve got the wrong number.” I look and the phone say “Sergeant Martinez.” Pretty sure it was Sergeant Martinez’s voice. I call him back again, and again he hung up on me.


I am with one leg out of the van, holding the acetylene torch, with my mother pulling at me, when I lose my balance. But what happens was I press the button, which ignite the torch. Next thing was an explosion that threw me out with a lot of fire, and I was falling head down on the ground in flames. And not knowing yet what happen to my mom, I run across the street, until one of the Marines jump on top of me, on my back. And I was screaming, “Momma, Momma, Momma,” because my socks, my feet, my shirt were burning. As they dragged me away from the van something blew up. A big bang. And I continue screaming, yelling for my son Alex. “Are you sure that was Alex? Are you sure?”


When I first approach the casket, I thought it might be hard to recognize him, because we had not been told yet what killed him. We hadn’t learn yet that he had a wound in the temple of his head, so that he had a three-inch-wide hole in back of his head.

But it was him.

And seeing him laying flat in a casket, I thought, he’s not breathing and that he looks a little different, a little older. That his hair is a little bit longer. Wanting to reach him I was lifted off the stretcher and climb up to kiss him, to touch his head, his hands, his fingers, his shoulders, his legs, to see if they were still there.

I lay on top of the casket, on top of my son, apologizing to him because I did nothing for him to avoid this moment. Nothing.


Today:  Helicopter brought down, elsewhere a girls’ school hit.

 BAGHDAD (AFP) – A US military helicopter was reportedly shot down in Iraq and a girl’s school came under attack in a wave of ambushes, car bombs and gunbattles that left at least 24 people dead. …

A spokesman for the US military would only say: “We can’t comment on ongoing operations.” …

The White House remained defiant however, with spokesman Gordon Johndroe saying that Bush

“understands that Americans want to see a conclusion to the war in Iraq and the new strategy is designed to do just that.”  …


   US Helicopter Shot Down Near Najaf

    By Rich Mauer
    McClatchy Newspapers

    Sunday 28 January 2007

    Baghdad – A U.S. helicopter was shot down early Sunday afternoon near the provincial capital Najaf during a pitched battle with fighters described as religious fanatics.

   The correspondent observed the helicopter shot down about 1:35 p.m. Iraqi time Sunday (5:35 a.m. EST).

    The battle is being fought against alleged religious fanatics. Iraqi intelligence had received several reports that this group of fighters planned to attack the religious shrine in Karbala Wednesday, the holy day of Ashura, and to kill all the clerics.

    The Iraqi officials told the correspondent that the fighters, whom he described as Saddamists and Afghanis, infiltrated the area as Ashura pilgrims commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

    The battle began with U.S. aerial bombardments Saturday night. Iraqi forces ground forces sealed off the area around 3 a.m. Sunday and begin an assault, assisted by U.S. helicopters and F-16 fighter jets. Maj. Hussain Muhammed of the Iraqi Army confimed the helicopter was down. “We do not know any other details yet, but there are flames raising,” he said.


UPDATE,  4:16 pm Sunday

Madman has up a very good piece at LSF, Blinded by False Hope.  It builds off the Barbara Ehrenreich 2/07 Harper’s article (not online yet), Pathologies of Hope.

A snip from some of Madman’s writing:

We’re only allowed to hope in the PROPER way, one that is sanctioned by the narrative decreed by the amorphous powers-that-be. It’s interesting to watch CNN describe a protest that is actually smaller than the ones prior to the war, and during the RNC in New York, as massive, after spending years denigrating earlier efforts, writing them off as “fringe” movements who don’t understand reality. As Iraq spirals out of control, we’re offered a dim idea that change is aborning, while both parties talk about expanding the military and rattle sabres at Iran. No one who is genuinely antiwar is given a real platform, only those anti-losing, or anti-THIS war, the black hole that is Iraq.




1. CSTAR - 28 January 2007

Hijo mio, que me devolvieron de ti?
Una bandera.

2. D. Throat - 29 January 2007

Blogging for Dollars:

Now, as a movement progressive, when there’s a field of similar candidates like the ones we have, I’m going to criticize with an eye towards pushing them all in a more progressive, moral direction. And to be honest, the Iran belligerence really shook me up. I get that some rhetorical heat is necessary, but Edwards attended a very neocon conference while other Democrats did not, and spoke aggressively about Iran.

This is going to happen. There are going to be places our candidates are going to feel the need to make compromises, compromises that we might find abhorrent. The right capitalizes on this.

no comment.

3. marisacat - 29 January 2007

Blogoland is a really strange place. The story, RW sourced or not, on the house is interesting. I had read it last week… but it really is not worth a big post or comment or whatever. just more of Edwards being Edwards. I see ”Mary Contrary” (who appears to be a Hillary supporter) is interesting in comments. She cites Edwards really bad timing over and over. yeah that is a problem.

Interesting thread… 😉

Funny how they go to the mat for possibly misreading The Internet Client, oops I mean Candidate… but so much about the BlahgBoyz is not transparent.

Maybe Edwards formally hired Jerome. Who knows.

Te Boyz are such buccaneers.

4. supervixen - 29 January 2007

They’re so worried about Edwards being part of an “elite” so it might not ring true for him to talk about poverty – well, what about Webb? He’s not part of the elite? Maybe he’s not as wealthy as the Edwardses but he’s not living in a trailer either.

The difference is that Webb projects the gruff, Manly Man, diamond-in-the-rough image that fits better with his supposed “populist” stand, and also, the militarist stuff is SO much more appealing than the “trial lawyer” stuff.

The DKos diary/discussion on Webb that popped up over the weekend has intensely emetic qualities. Some dippy woman posted about how “safe” he makes her feel. Then she hastily added that she didn’t need a man, that she raised her kid by herself blah blah blah. They are so ridiculous over there.

5. marisacat - 29 January 2007

Well Stoller has not liked Edwards (not sure at this point he likes anyone) so he posted about the Herzliyah speech (people are already finding ways to call the speech anything but what it was) and, I gather, a post about the house… but an entire post to basically recall some post about the house (I did not read the original)… ?

All I can say is a looong two years rolling out ahead of us.

… people talking themselves into a really bad line up of possible candidates. LOL My best hope still is to just watch the overly crafted primary candidates fall to the ground, go for the jugular (their own or the opponent’s) and have at it. The caretakers and handlers should travel with sawdust to throw over the blood.

I just read a piece in the Independent on Segolene Royal… who is stumbling badly in her “Listening Tour” (familiar? chat anyone?) when the questions get to the nitty gritty. Pretty funny really.

6. supervixen - 29 January 2007

I don’t follow Stoller so I don’t know his shtick, but if you ask me, it looks an awful lot like a backhanded hatchet job designed to mention the house as much as possible. “I really shouldn’t have criticized him about his big house, I know the house isn’t that important, even though it does indicate that he’s part of the elite, it really doesn’t matter that he has such a big house, I shouldn’t have mentioned the big house. Big house big house big house.” Kind of like Kerry’s mention of Cheney’s daughter.

7. marisacat - 29 January 2007

yeah I am about to do a post on how long the two years will be.

Oh one more MyDD public confessional. They should try for the priesthood. Put themselves in a tiny dark closet with a little grille. Hear the whispers of the penitent cultists.

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 January 2007

another diff btwn Webb and Edwards, two men who got wealthy by:

Webb: writing bad versions of Tom Clancy’s schtick and capitializing on his career … ummm … killing people.

Edwards: pursuing contingent fee civil cases on behalf of poor/middle class people harmed by corporate neglect.

Now, I’m no big fan of Edwards (and that steaming pile he laid in Israel pretty much finished him off in my eyes), but if I had to pick which one had helped more people, the militarist misogynist asshole Reagan Democrat WOULD NOT be the one.

9. marisacat - 29 January 2007

Interestingly I wonder if Edwards has sought to, or bothered to or dared to explain those comments via satellite to Herzliyah.

Eliz Edwards was up pretty quick iwth a declaration that the house is Energy Star. And that they bought a hybrid. LOL I would assume they have several cars. And one car for staff I should think. I mean it all gets very silly.

I certainly don’t care abou tthe house (really a complex is what it is) but people ignore how resolutely tonedeaf they are about politics… the fact he is running on poverty, populism issues and has not street cred. A couple of years at UNC Chapel Hill and an endowment is not cred. Not in the Real World.

I have been around the block too often. Atticus Finch he is not. But it is nice slop. And I have no issue iwth PI Plaintiff work, at all, very necessary. But it is a business.. But then he barely voted in his adult life. And iirc there were issues (of what little was raised in 03/04) if he had ever done ANY pro bono work. Easy to sign your law firm up to do it.

It gets old. I personally think the media is going to have a lot of fun. And fortunately it really doe snot matter much any more.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 January 2007

oh, agreed, and the house/compound is fucking stupid, about as stupid as nearly everything Kerry has done since Iran/Contra, about as stupid as Teddy signing onto No Child Left Behind.

11. marisacat - 29 January 2007

yeah agree. Every once in a while I just tip over about how gullible the rank and file are. Esp now, no matter who you are, we all hae access to so much information. I am a lousy Googler, but LOL it is my friend… 😉

BelieVers. They so want to be…

I think once in an email you got the Edwardses very on target. They decided in 96 or so, for the 98 run that this was to be their “new business”. And now that the lay of the land has changed, and perhaps their ability to be (or sell) the DLC Southern White Guy is kinda past and yet he is not RFK (no cred) nor FDR (BlogSnots trot him out that Yes Indeedy the aristos DID so too care!! Golly Gee!) nevertheless, they are stuck. So, they plod on. And who knows… somebody will be nominated.

Well, stuck on 125 acres and plodding around in a 30,000 sq ft house. I would assume 5 in staff.


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