The authors of the 2006 Iraq mortality study in the Lancet will conduct a Congressional briefing Monday:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 8, 2006 11:31 AM
CONTACT: Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Doug Gordon (202) 225-5871(o); (202) 494-5141(cell)
650,000 Dead Iraqis – Authors Of Comprehensive Lancet Study On Iraq Civilian Casualties To Present Findings To Congress Monday
Monday, December 11th AT 10am In 2247 Rayburn House Office Building
WASHINGTON – December 8 – In a bipartisan Congressional briefing hosted by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) and Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) the authors of the Lancet Study, which found that as many as 650,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed during the war, will present their full findings to Congress.
The briefing will take place Monday, December 11th from 10:00am – 12:00pm in 2247 Rayburn House Office Building.
Congressional Briefing on Lancet Study
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Congressman Paul (R-TX)
Gilbert Burnham Ph.D., co-director of the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at Johns Hopkins, co-author of the Lancet Study
Les Roberts Ph.D, lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University, co-author of the Lancet Study.
Juan Cole, Ph.D, Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the University of Michigan. Author of blog Informed Consent [sic].
Richard Garfield, RN DrPH, professor of Clinical International Nursing Deputy Director for Public Health, Operation Assist, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University
December 8th, 2006
Revere at Effect Measure reminds us that A pandemic could be bad (in case you hadn’t heard). In this case he reminds us that emergency medical services will be stressed beyond their limit, leading to many very serious patients (not just with influenza) being denied treatment. Heart attack? Sorry. Please come back in two months.
As Revere reminds us:
Health care has become so expensive we have tried to wring the last drop of efficiency out of it, cutting down on beds and staffing. With no reserve and no redundancy I have no doubt we will find it to be a false economy. Sometimes inefficiency and redundancy aren’t wasted resources, they are common sense.
December 8th, 2006
As the TV shows get ever more risque, our sexually conflicted society gets even crazier. A four-year old in Texas was suspended for
“inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment.”
The offending action? Either a hug or else “rubbing his face in the chest of a female employee,” depending on who’s describing.
As a psychoanalyst, it’s upsetting that the parent’s fight against this absurd school department behavior has to be fought using the concept of sexual innocence:
Blackwell says it’s ridiculous that the aide would misread a hug from a four-year-old. Blackwell wrote to administrators demanding that the whole incident be expunged from his son’s academic file because his son is too young to know what it means to act sexually.
David Davis, the executive director of the Advocacy Center in Waco tends to agree with Blackwell. He says assuming the boy has not had sexual encounters, or been inappropriately exposed to pornography, most four-year-olds are sexually innocent.
One hundred years after Freud, we still need the cultural defense of pretending that children are innocent. They must have no “sexual” desires. Once we grant them the existence of desires, they are not safe from the thought police taking over in our schools. So, at age four the choice really is innocence or guilt.
By the way, the school administration is holding firm:
Blackwell got a response from the La Vega administration. The sexual references on the discipline referral were removed. But the thing that makes Blackwell most upset is they told him “your request for an apology by the aide and removal of all paperwork regarding this incident is denied.” Now the young student’s file will refer to the incident as “inappropriate physical contact.”
Perhaps, if he does it again, they’ll send him to Guantanamo.
December 8th, 2006
After months of waiting, Godot-like, for the Iraq Study Group Report that was to solve all problems, the report has already come and gone with nary a ripple on actual policy, according to a New York Times article. [Bush Expresses Caution on Key Points in Iraq Panel’s Report] The Decider has decided that people will just go on dying as they are. The Decider has decided that even pretending to change would make him look weak:
President Bush moved quickly on Thursday to distance himself from the central recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group: pulling back all combat brigades over the next 15 months and direct talks with Iran and Syria.
Meanwhile, the Generals, falling in line, have also rejected the report:
The prospect of all US combat troops being withdrawn by the first quarter of 2008 was described as impractical by Gen Jack Keane, a retired US Army chief of staff and an adviser to the group. “Based on where we are now, we can’t get there.”
Gen Keane, who was speaking to The New York Times, said the report said more about “the absence of political will in Washington than the harsh realities in Iraq”.
Gen Barry McCaffrey, who is also retired, told the newspaper that there was a danger that embedded trainers would be kidnapped or killed.
“They [the group] came up with a political thought but then got to tinkering with tactical ideas that in my view don’t make any sense. This is a recipe for national humiliation.”
Lt Gen Keith Kellogg, a retired US Army commander who also served as a civilian in Iraq, said that while increasing the numbers of US trainers and embedding them throughout Iraqi units was a “really good idea” it would probably take a year before combat troops could begin to be pulled out.
As Sidney Blumenthal points out in his Beating off the rescue party, there is a long pattern of Bush being warned just how bad things are going and ignoring the warnings and punishing those who dared challenge his fantasy world. Thus, his campaign against the report began months ago:
Ever since the commission was announced, Bush’s energy has been devoted to beating off the rescue party. “This business about a graceful exit just simply has no realism to it whatsoever,” he said last week in anticipation of the commission’s report, mocking the “realism” universally attributed to former Secretary of State James Baker. Then, on Monday, in an interview with Fox News, he held forth on his superior knowledge over his father’s. “I love to talk to my dad about things between a father and a son, not policy,” he said. “No,” he replied, when asked if he consults his father for advice. “He understands what I know, that the level of information I have relative to the level of information most other people have, including himself, is significant and that he trusts me to make decisions … I am the commander in chief.” He is the “decider” and the decider decides that Father does not know best.
Since the midterm elections loss, Bush has conducted a foreign policy intended to counter the Baker-Hamilton Commission. In a sense, his entire foreign policy is a case study in reaction formation. From the start, he was determined to do everything opposite from what President Clinton had done. Bush abandoned the Middle East peace process, cast aside the negotiations with North Korea over its development of nuclear weapons, withdrew from the secret diplomacy with reform-minded Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, and brushed aside concerns about terrorism. Even before Sept. 11, Bush entertained scenarios about invading Iraq. In this he was operating in the shadow of his father, who refused to march to Baghdad in the Gulf War to topple Saddam Hussein. Bush envisioned himself succeeding where he believed his father had failed, thereby exceeding him.
As soon as Baker declared that staying the course was an unacceptable option, Bush furiously initiated rounds of diplomacy guaranteed to disqualify Baker’s proposals before they were formally presented. He rejected talks with Iran. He suggested that Syria comply with his demands, which Baker would propose as the proper subject of negotiations, before there could be any direct relations. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was prompted to repackage long-rejected proposals to the Palestinians as the basis for peace talks there. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was sent to the region to engage in predetermined fruitless nondiplomacy in order to suggest the appearance of diplomacy. Thus Bush created a series of false events so that he might claim he had tried Baker’s approach but that it had failed.
Again, we have been had, waiting months for nothing.
The fantasy will continue. The killing will continue. The Decider will decide nothing. The pundits will pretend that change is just around the corner. On to the next farce.
December 8th, 2006