Friday, September 21, 2007

Kugel in the Kitchen

We were in DC for the demonstration and rally and for a few days prior and a few days after. The cooking was shared and there are several recipes that I wrote down and plan to post here. This week I'm going with kugel and I have two recipes. The first one is more ambitious and the second one is very easy. Tracey, Ruth's granddaughter, made the first one on Tuesday and I don't think I've ever had a real kugel before. I'm familiar with the carrot kugel which is a lot like a carrot cake as well as some with raisins. The two recipes I'm offering are more of casserole type dish.

4 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of cooking oil or melted butter
1 tablespoon of salt
pepper to taste
5 eggs
2 onions
8 potatoes

Using a grater (cheese grater), grate the potatoes and onions. into a bowl. After you do that, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In another bowl, add the oil, flour, salt, pepper and the eggs (yolk and white) and mix. Grease a baking pan with butter. Now return to the potato and onion bowl. Some moisture from them will be evident, you want to drain that. Then add potato and onions to the other bowl with flour, etc and mix. Add this mixture to the baking pan, smooth it so that it's an even layer on top, pop it into the 400 degree oven and bake for one hour. As you would with a cake, insert a toothpick (you can use a fork if you don't have a toothpick) and you'll know it's done cooking when the toothpick comes out clean when you remove it.

This was a wonderful dish. I'd only had the sweet kugels before and honestly thought it was only a dessert. Tracey learned this recipe for one of Ruth's birthdays. All the adults brought a dish and Tracey was only 13 at the time but wanted to have something to take her grandmother as well. Her aunt (Jayson's mother) showed her this recipe and Tracey says that "other than things you pop in the microwave or toaster, this was the first thing I learned to cook." She is very fast with the grater. Ruth loves the dish but offered an easier kugel in case anyone wasn't up to grating. Ruth grates all the time for various potato dishes but notes Tracey is her only grandchild that uses a grater "even for cheese. Everyone else is, 'Grandma, you can buy it shredded.'" So when I was getting the exact recipe from Tracey, Ruth suggested I offer two.

1 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
4 eggs
1 pound egg noodles

Cook the egg noodles according to the directions on the package, drain them and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use butter to grease a baking pan. In a bowl, add the sour cream, cottage chesse and eggs and mix well, combining all. Add the noodles to the mixture and mix so that they are coated. Transfer this to the baking pan. Add some bits (dots) of butter to the top and bake in the 350 degree oven for forty minutes. When it's golden brown on top, it's done. That's largely true of Tracey's as well but you really do need to insert something into Tracey's to check due to the onions and potatoes.

Ruth and I fixed the above together Wednesday morning and served it as part of breakfast. It went fast. I fixed both last night for the Iraq study group and they were among the first to be gone. If you are Jewish or cook Kosher, you are probably familiar with multiple kinds of kugel but most people referred to Tracey's dish as the potato casserole when they asked for the recipe. With Ruth's, they just called it a casserole when they asked. So those are two kugel's and you just have to use the oven which allows you to get the meal started and cook something on the stove with it (Ruth loves to steam some spinach to eat with either) or just go take care of something else. For me, that's what I love about baking, you're not standing there stirring the entire time.

Monday night, Dennis Kucinich will be a guest on The Tonight Show on NBC. (If you're a Diana Krall or fan of "The Rock," they are also schedule to appear.)

One of the most interesting things to me during the week was the press love for Hillary Clinton. Now they still get snide and nasty and you'll always have the Andrea Mitchell's serving up rumors about Clinton's marriage. But they're on board with Hillary Health Care. She's either a witch who tried to destroy health care or the martyr who tried to save it. Neither is true. Hillary Clinton glommed on the health care issue because it was popular. The same reason her husband suddenly added it to his campaign list. He wasn't a populist and Jerry Brown stood a good chance of continuing to beat him. So the DLC Bill suddenly care a little about the little people. Hillary met with a lot of health care providers and made a lot of promises. Then, as the 1992 election grew closer, she met with a lot of big business. Guess who won out?

Though it was difficult to know because Americans weren't informed as it was going on. Like Dick Cheney with his oil panel, Hillary thought the people's business was best done in secret and refused to release information about her meetings. When the multi-paged nonsense was released, we were left with far less than what we were promised. Now she's gearing up again to be a friend to the insurance companies and screw over the people.

But such is the climate change in the media that the same voices who screamed she was offering socialized medicine (she wasn't) back then, now rush to paint her as a martyr. And there are still the attacks.

Sometimes, you wonder if Hillary gets thrilled with some of these attacks? They are so off base, she has to know only the extreme right will give them credence and everyone else will be appalled so she can ride the sympathy wave one more time.

I think it's great that Bill Clinton's written a book entitled Giving. Maybe he'll learn something from it? He didn't "give" to the working poor or the poor as president, he slashed the safety net to such a degree that too many fell through to count. Paul Krugman, every time a job report comes out, gets highly indignant that the government is fudging the numbers. I hope he remembers that when the Democrat is back in the White House because the government's been fudging the umployment numbers for decades.

I don't know if the Clinton White House was the slimy-est or if it just had so much scum taking to the airwaves to support it: James Carville, the little weasel now hosting This Week on ABC, Paul "I'm almost as famous as James!" and all the other rejects who lied over and over.

I don't care that Bill Clinton couldn't keep it in his pants. I do care that he attacked the poor, I do care that he betrayed the Democratic Party (with a lot of help from enablers -- many of whom still exist today). "The Big Dog" nickname should have tipped everyone off that a man with no sexual control was in the White House. "No sexual control" does not mean I believe he harassed any woman or raped any woman. I think every woman he was involved with was a willing participant. He has a very seductive nature and I think the women who cried foul, like Paula Jones (whose stories never match up from one to the next), cried foul because, like the country, they got seduced and then they got dumped.

At the height of the sex scandals, Caroline Kennedy wrote a piece in Newsweek expressing outrage. Her own father had multiple affairs and the press covered up in those days. So it was easy for some to make little jokes about what she had written. I didn't make jokes or think, "Hypocrisy!" I thought she was writing as the daughter who loved her father but realized how much her father's sexual escapades had hurt her mother. That's something left out of the story even now. You hear about JFK and Marilyn Monroe or any number of women. And where's Jackie? Humiliated and ignored in the narratives. I thought Caroline Kennedy's piece was a strong one and one that got to the heart of the pain that was caused.

So now Hillary wants her chance to occupy the White House as president and all the same warning signs are there that were there in Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign. She is out of touch of voters, considers big business her closest friend and wants the illegal war to keep going and going and going.

I don't for a minute believe that Bill Clinton will be able to keep his zipper closed and if Hillary is as inevitable as an e-mail declared this week, I guess we'll be back on board the Clinton scandals shortly. What fun that will be as we yet again focus on all their personal crap and get stuck pointing out that personal matters are no one else's business while the latest Clinton destroys the country the same way her husband did.

Media consolidation an issue that concerns you? Thank Bill Clinton and the Saint Al Gore. Bothered by arsenic in the water? Remember Bill Clinton had time for Monica and big business but no time to address the issue until after the 2000 elections (eight years after he was first voted into office) and then issued an executive order as he was about to leave the White House.
Disgusted that the nation is involved in an illegal war? Remember that Bill Clinton's administration laid the groundwork and that's why Hillary refuses to call it out. Think there's too much money in politics? Remember that the 'humble' Bill and Hillary moved into the White House having never owned a home and now they're multi-millionaires.

"The Big Dog" should have been known as "The Broken Promise."

What the Republicans couldn't do on their own -- destroying the safety net or turning Tricky Dick Nixon into a 'statesman' -- Bill Clinton did for them. If Hillary is the nominee and then becomes the president, I guess we'll get more of those 'good' times. Pray for the country but especially pray for the poor.

And pray for Iraq because Hillary has demonstrated no concern for Iraqis. Like NOW Pac whic endorsed her, she never had a word to say about 14-year-old Abeer who was gang-raped by US soldiers and then murdered. Way to go NOW! What a bunch of leaders you are! Such strong women to make the 'pracitical' decision that what the world needs is any woman in the White House! It doesn't matter that she doesn't represent women, that her positions on everything from the illegal war to reproductive rights are out of touch with women, she's got the XX and that's all that matters! I really am disgusted with NOW. They sent out an e-mail last week where they suddenly remember the illegal war again. First time since they endorsed the War Hawk that they thought to mention it. Possibly the money's not flowing into the coffers the way it once did. If so, good. I'm done with them. I'm sick of their faux outrage over the illegal war that they set aside to endorse the war hawk.

Linda S. Heard has an article entitled "Apathy is our greatest enemy" (Online Journal) and the opening is very powerful but I'm going to excerpt the conclusion:

Even as I write, the Iraqi government is coming under severe pressure to sign-up to an oil law that will concede a large proportion of the country's prime resource to foreign oil companies for decades to come.
Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich says, "The administration has been relentless in trying to force the Iraqi government to enact a so-called hydrocarbon law that will, in fact, enable multi-national oil and energy corporations to gain control of 200 billion to 300 billion barrels of Iraq's oil with a market value of around $20 trillion".
"And to facilitate and protect that scheme," he says, "he [George Bush] is willing to continue the occupation, keep our brave men and women in the line of fire, and risk an escalation of violence and regional stability".
That's right. The US occupation of Iraq is due to continue in some form for decades. Why else would the US have built the largest embassy complex in the world, along with permanent bases?
But those who thirst for governance of the world's precious resources aren't content with the black gold of Iraq. There may be another war for oil in the pipeline and more millions will die or be left maimed.
Unless we wake up long enough to put our pretty toys aside, stare at the ugly face of reality and scream "not in our name" the burden of our apathy will be our legacy for generations to come.

Where's Hillary on the issue? Too busy becoming the number one Dem when it comes to contributions from the oil industry.

If Hillary does get elected, I guess we can all enjoy watching NOW squirm as the candidate they endorsed tries to continue the illegal war when not slashing reproductive rights. We can all chuckle over that and remember that Molly Yard spoke out against candidates like Hillary but today NOW embraces them. United for Peace & Justice made a huge mistake recently. They posted (and probably commissioned) a report on Iraq by Phyllis Bennis and Eric Leaver that offered a "low" and "high" for the number of Iraqis who had died in the illegal war. Their "high"? "600,000 plus" Iraqis had died. That wasn't even the "high" from the Lancet study that ended it's count in July 2006. 1.2 million and 1.4 million are the current "high" numbers. So that was really offensive. Unlike NOW, United for Peace & Justice heard the criticism from members and considered it. They've now updated their report to reflect the million number. So that's one organization that listens to its membership. (NOW Pac and NOW are two different groups by law. But there seems to be enough 'leakage' between the two to suggest that the difference is only maintained by law.) So give United for Peace & Justice credit for being willing to listen to their members.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" from Friday:

Friday, September 21, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, 'progress' is no where to be found in Iraq, the US loses weapons and the Iraqi resistance reportedly now has them, and more.

Starting with war resistance.
Alaam News reports that a US family of five (three children) is seeking asylum in Finland "with local media speculating that it is opposition to the Iraq war" that has led the family to leave the United States and start over in Helenski this week. If true, it would be only the second time this decade that an "American citizen . . . [has] filed an asylum application in Finland during the current decade." Meanwhile IVAW's Michael Prysner (PSL) reports, "The number of deserters is also steadily climbing, with official numbers now reaching over 10,000 since the war began. Many believe these numbers may actually be much higher. The G.I. Rights Hotline reports an average of 3,000 calls a month by new recruits and active duty soldiers who have decided they want to abandon the military. . . . Soldiers against the war have begun organizing within the military. Active duty soldiers started the Appeal for Redress, a petition calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. It was formulated less than a year ago, and has collected over 2,000 signatures of soldiers currently serving in the military. Membership in Iraq Veterans Against the War is nearing 600. . . . Soldiers like Lt. Ehren Watada and Camilo Mejia have set the example, publicly refusing deployment and condemning the war for its illegal and immoral nature."

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Derek Hess, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Zamesha Dominique, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko,Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters.

Peter Hart spoke with Anthony Arnove (
IRAQ: The Logic of Withdrawal) on this week's CounterSpin (airing on most radio stations today) about the issue of contractors.

Anthony Arnove: There is effectively a doubling of the US occupation in Iraq right now through the employment of private contractors of whom as many as 50,000 are armed -- effectively private mercenaries working in the employee of the US occupation. Blackwater is operating under the employment of the State Department. What's interesting is that very early on in the US occupation, Paul Bremer -- who was acting as the colonial viceroy -- in his capacity of head of the Coalition Provision Authority deliberately exempted these mercenaries and other US contractors from Iraqi law. And they've created basically a legal black hole in which these mercenaries can operate without any accountability. And the few times there have been incidents in which Iraqis tried to pursue contractors for violations they've been skirted out of the country so as not to have to face any prosecution. They do technically fall under rules of engagement set down for US contractors -- whether that's Pentagon rules or State Department rules. But like we've seen with active duty troops who've engaged in abuses of human rights in Iraq, there's really been no accountability certainly not up the chain of command.

No accountability. And Bremer and the CPA were nothing but a shell game. Bremer stripped Iraqis of oversight and, in fact, the US may not have any legal right to oversight as well. As Naomi Klein explains in her new book
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism:

Bremer's CPA would not try to stop the various scams, side deals and shell games because the CPA was itself a shell game. Though it was billed as the U.S. occupation authority, it's unclear that it held that distinction in anything other than name. This point was forcefully made by a judge in the infamous Custer Battles corruption case.
Two former employees of the security firm launched a whistle-blower lawsuit against the company, accusing it of cheating on reconstruction-related contracts with the CPA and defrauding the U.S. governments produced by the company that clearly showed it was keeping two sets of numbers -- one for itself, one for invoicing the CPA Retired Brigadier-General Hugh Tant testified that the fraud was "probably the worst I've ever seen in my 30 years in the army." (Among Custer Battles' many alleged violations, it is said to have appropriated Iraqi-owned forklifts from the airport, repainted them and billed the CPA for the cost of leasing the machines.)
In March 2006, a federal jury in Virginia ruled against the company, finding it guilty of fraud, and forced it to pay $10 million in damages. The company then asked the judge to overturn the verdict, with a revealing defense. It claimed that the CPA was not part of the U.S. government, and therefore not subject to its laws, including the False Claims Act. The implications of this defense were enormous: the Bush administration had indemnified U.S. corporations working in Iraq from any liability under Iraqi laws; if the CPA wasn't subject to U.S. law either, it meant that the contractors weren't subjected to any law at all -- U.S. or Iraqi. This time, the judge ruled in the company's favor: he said there was plenty of evidence that Custer Battles had submitted to the CPA "false and fraudulently inflated invoices," but he ruled that the plaintiffs had "failed to prove that the claims were presented to the United States." In other words, the U.S. government presence in Iraq during the first year of its economic experiment had been a mirage -- there had been no government, just a funnel to get U.S. taxpayer and Iraqi oil dollars to foreign corporations, completely outside the law. In this way, Iraq represented the most extreme expression of the anti-state counter-revolution -- a hollow state, where, as the courts finally established, there was no there, there.

Contractors in Iraq -- with the permission of the US government and sometimes on the orders of the US government -- have been allowed to act with impunity.
Daniel Howden and Leonard Doyle (Independent of London) provide a look at the rise of outsourcing governmental tasks and note, "A high-ranking US military commander in Iraq said: 'These guys run loose in this country and do stupid stuff. There's no authority over them, so you can't come down on them hard when they escalate force. They shoot people.' In Abu Ghraib, all of the translators and up to half of the interrogators were reportedly private contractors."
Rosa Brooks (Los Angeles Times) also addresses the reality of governmental tasks being sold off to the private section, "What's been happening in Iraq -- and in Afghanistan, Columbia, Somalia and the Pentagon and the State Department -- goes far beyond the 'outsourcing of key military and security jobs.' For years, the administration has been quietly auctioning off U.S. foreign policy to the highest corporate bidder -- and it may be too late for us to buy it back. Think I'm exaggerating? Look at Blackwater. Its $750-million contract with the U.S. State Department employees in Iraq is just one of many lucrative U.S. (and foreign) government contracts it has enjoyed (and it's a safe bet that Sunday's episode will be only a minor PR setback for Blackwater). As for Blackwater's most recent slaughter, Kim Sengupta (Independent of London) reconstructs the events on Sunday via eye witness testimony: " We have found no Iraqi present at the scene who saw or heard sniper fire. Witnesses say the first victims of the shootings were a couple with their child, the mother and infant meeting horrific deaths, their bodies fused together by heat after their car caught fire. The contractors, according to this account, also shot Iraqi soldiers and police and Blackwater then called in an attack helicopter from its private air force which inflicted further casualties." Apparently unable to speak to Iraqis, Sabrina Tavernise and James Glanz (New York Times) rely on a leaked report from the Ministry of the Interior which "has concluded that employees of a private American security firm fired an unprovoked barrage in the shooting last Sunday," "that the dozens of foreign security companies here should be replaced by Iraqi companies, and that a law that has given the companies immunity for years be scrapped" -- and the reporters offer: "The Iraqi version of events may be self-serving in some points." And the US version may be what? Tavernise and Glanz ignore that prospect. Blackwater's apparently ignoring some things as well. Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) notes, "In Iraq, the private security firm Blackwater USA is reportedly back on the streets of Baghdad despite an announced ban on its activities. The Iraqi government said it had revoked Blackwater's license this week after its guards killed up to twenty-eight Iraqis in an unprovoked mass shooting. But a Pentagon spokesperson said today Blackwater is guarding diplomatic convoys following talks with the Iraqi government." So, as Ian Thompson (PSL) judged it, "Even the Iraqi puppet government leadership spoke up -- but its words were hot air. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki wants to gain credibility and appear to be independent of his U.S. colonial masters." The events appear to answer Thursday's question ("For the US government, it's a quandry: Do they use this moment to provide al-Maliki with a chance to alter his image or do they continue to let greed rule?"): Greed again won out.

Self-serving? Sabrina Tavernise and James Glanz apply that to the report from Iraq's Interior Ministry and it's doubtful they'd ever use the term for the upcoming US report. Along with the issue of equality, there's also the fact that the term is flat out wrong. The Interior Ministry is not self-serving, it's US-serving.
Dropping back to the September 6th snapshot:

Turning to retired generals,
Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) reported today, "A panel of retired US generals is urging the United States to disband and reorganize the Iraqi police force because of infiltration by sectarian militias. The generals also report Iraq's security forces will be unable to fulfill their essential security responsibilities independently for at least another twelve to 18 months." Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) explains that the national police force as well as the Iraq Interior Ministry are "riddled with sectarianism and corruption" by the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq headed by James Jones (Marine general) in there 150-plus page report which also finds the Iraqi army at least a year to 18 months away from being able to handle "internal security". Tim Reid (Times of London) reports, "The 20 member-panel also said today that the Iraqi Army was incpable of acting independently from US forces for at least another 18 months, and 'cannot yet meaningfully contribute to denying terrorists safe haven'."

The militias of the Interior Ministry are thugs who terrorize. Who trained them? Who introduced the "Salvador option"? The US. Who has refused to disband them? The US. Self-serving? The Interior Ministry wishes it were self-serving. Then it could really go to town slaughtering 'enemies.' It wouldn't have to worry that one of the many torture chambers they are running might result in a US military 'rescue' of their torture victims. If they were independent and self-serving, all of their torture chambers would be signed off on and not just some.

Today on
NPR's The Diane Rehm Show, Rehm spoke with the Washington Post's Karen DeYoung, the Wall St. Journal's Neil King Jr. and Newsweek's Michael Hirsh about a number of topics. On the topic of Blackwater, Hirsh declared, "Often all that happens is that the employee is spirited out of the country. That happened last Christmas Eve when a Blackwater employee shot and killed a guard to a senior Iraqi official inside the Green Zone which was obviously a little politically toxic. And he left, the company has since refused to disclose his name and he has not been prosecuted."

Neil King, Jr. (Wall Street Journal): The thing that is extraordinary about it is that we had the Petraeus hearings last weekend or last week, and all the discussion "we want Iraq to be a country, we want it to step up, we want it to meet all these benchmarks" etc. And yet we don't really actually treat it as a country to the extent that we've got thousands of our own nationals driving around with machine guns and opening fire on people and then being totally immune from the law and as is the case of this shooting last week -- sorry, last December -- where a person shot a security guard who was the personal security guard of the vice-president of Iraq and the person's spirited out of the country. Nobody ever knows what his name was and he's gone. There'll never be -- I mean if you reverse the scenario and imagine any remote corrolary to that in the United States which is literally unimaginable.

A point the paper of record misses. Self-serving also wasn't applied by the New York Times to any of Gen. David Petraeus' many laughable reports to Congress. Rather strange considering
Patrick Cockburn (Independent of London via CounterPunch) was reporting in the midst of the dog & pony show on how Petraues was explaining how he wanted to be President as early as 2004 but thought 2008 would be too soon to run. As Ann Scott Tyson (Washington Post) reported earlier this week, safety "is deteriorating in southern Iraq as rival Shiite militia vying for power have stepped up their attacks after moving out of Baghdad to avoid U.S.-led military operations, according to the latest quarterly Pentagon report on Iraq". If it all sounds familiar it's because it's the same story that's been playing out over and over across Iraq. But this was hailed last week as 'progress.' Let's stick with 'progress' for a bit. Remember how the meaningless soccer victories didn't change anything but were hailed with waves of Operation Happy Talk? Strangely, that's not been the case for a title Iraq actually won. The title? Kim Sengupta (Independent of London) reported mid-week that "Iraq holds the world record for both the first and second highest amounts taken in the history of bank robberies." Number one! Number one! In fact, the chart accompanies the article reveals that four of the top five Iraq bank robberies have taken place this year for a total of $282 million (US equivalent). And how about the 'progress' in the spreading of cholera? What had been a crisis for nothern Iraq is now reaching into Baghdad with Andrew E. Kramer (New York Times) reporting that there are now two confirmed cases of cholera in Baghdad. And it's not stopping at Baghdad. Katrina Kratovac (AP) reports that "a baby in Basra" is "the farthest south the outbreak has been detected." "Progress"? Robert Burns (AP) reports that Iraqis control approximately 8 percent of Baghdad -- only 8 percent -- which Burns points out is not a large growth even though Maj Gen Joseph Fil claims it is, "Despite the slow pace of progress towards having Iraqi forces maintain control of Baghdad neighborhoods with minimal U.S. troop presence, Fil said he was hopeful that it would accelerate in coming months." He's hopeful -- that's supposed to have us all glowing.

Well maybe there's 'progress' to be found in oil news? Tuesday
Press TV reported on the bombing outside Beiji of an oil pipeline "causing huge quanties of crude oil to spill into the Tigris River" which has "caused oil to seep into the Tigris River damaging water stations and triggering their temporary closure in Tikrit". And the Tigris flows. Last night AP reported, "City officials urged Baghdad residents Thursday to conserve water and fill up their tanks in case water treatment stations have to be shut down because of an oil spill in the Tigris River." Progress? Just more violence.

In some of today's reported violence . . .


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Hawija bombing of the home "of the former chief of Hawija police". Reuters reports 1 Romanian soldier dead from a Tallil bombing that left five more injured, a Kirkuk roadside bombing that claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and 1 Iraqi police officer, an Iskandariya mortar attack that claimed 1 life (three more injured)


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 8 corpses were discovered in Baghdad and three female corpses in Basra. Reuters notes that three corpses were discovered in Yusufiya and 1 in Bajwan.

Today the
US military announced: "A soldier assigned to Task Force Lightning died in a non-combat related incident in Kirkuk province Sept. 20." And they announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier was killed in Diyala Province Thursday when an explosion occurred near his vehicle." The deaths bring the total number of US service members killed in the illegal war since it began in March of 2003 to 3794 (ICCC). That's six announced deaths away from the 3800 mark.

Finally, the
CBS Evening News' Armen Keteyian looks into the missing weapons "the U.S. military could not account for" (190,000 of them) and discovers a large number of the Glock pistols have ended up in the hands of the Iraqi resistance: "According to an intelligence source, the U.S. contractor in charge of the Glocks somehow lost track of an entire shipment. That mysterious disappeance is now part of a massive military bribery investigation centered around a contracting office run out of a small trailer at a military base in Kuwait. Eighteen federal investigators are digging into the actions of dozens of high-ranking U.S officers and military contractors."