Another pretty day here in the South, although there's predictions of storms later this afternoon. I went on my bike ride early, had the park all to myself, as I did yesterday morning also. I weighed in at 89 this morning, although I ate a hearty meal yesterday evening. Guess the exercise helps. More in my CR Journal, if I have time to update.
I'm reading a great novel: "A Parchment of Leaves" by Silas House. It is set in early 1900 Kentucky, and the prose is so lyrical, poetic...that I find it necessary to read and reread certain passages. The storyline is interesting also, and I am over halfway through already. It's a joy to actually find a good novel these days, especially with such amazingly gifted prose.
The war in Iraq goes on...and on...and on. I rarely watch any of the U.S. media coverage, but do read international news websites. Here's an interesting article I found about a few independent (not embedded) journalists complaining about their treatment by U.S. troops:
Coalition Forces Target Journalists, Charge Press Watchdogs
Meanwhile, both the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) expressed concern that reporters who were not "embedded" -- that is traveling under the protection and control of coalition forces -- had been poorly treated by U.S. forces.
Christian Science Monitor reporter Phil Smucker, for example, was deported to Kuwait after an interview on CNN in which he offered what the U.S. charged was too much information about their location. Unlike "embedded" journalists, he had not signed an agreement beforehand to withhold such information.
Similarly four other journalists -- two Israelis and two Portuguese -- were arrested March 25 by U.S. troops, accused of spying, and detained in a jeep for 36 hours without access to outside communications, despite the fact that they displayed their press accreditation, according to RSF. One of the four, Luis de Castro of Portugal, claimed to have beaten and suffered broken ribs while in U.S. custody.
"The US soldiers said we were terrorists and spies and treated us as such," said Dan Scemama, who works for the TV station Israel Channel One. "They want all the journalists in Iraq to have one of their liaison officers with them to supervise the footage they are broadcasting. There is no doubt that this is why they treated us so cruelly."
Actually, those reporters NOT embedded are the ONLY ones in Iraq that are being objective, insofar as their material. It's sad that several journalists have already died over there, but that IS part of the territory when you are covering any war. I am sure they knew the risks, but were anxious to go to the war front. Nothing quite like the prestige of being a 'war correspondent.'
You know, if I see ONE more news report about having found "the smoking gun" of "chemical weapons" and it turns out to be false (as they all have thus far) I don't think ANYONE will give the U.S. media any credibility. Come on, wait till CONFIRMATION before reporting this BS; it just makes Bush & Company look desperate to justify the war. Here's a link to the latest fiasco on that:
"Smoking gun" WMD site in Iraq turns out to contain pesticide
A military intelligence officer for the US 101st Airborne Division's aviation brigade, Captain Adam Mastrianni, told AFP that comprehensive tests determined the presence of the pesticide compounds.
Initial tests had reportedly detected traces of sarin -- a powerful toxin that quickly affects the nervous system -- after US soldiers guarding the facility near Hindiyah, 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Baghdad, fell ill.
Mastrianni said: "They thought it was a nerve agent. That's what it tested. But it is pesticide."
The turnaround was an embarrassment for the US forces in the region, which had been quick to say that they thought they had finally found the proof they have been actively looking for that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction.
I mean, give me a break! If they can't find WMDs, then does that mean all those innocent civilian people (and troops) died for nothing? Nah, couldn't happen, could it? It did in Vietnam. 'Nuff said.
I also read a recent news article that stated the U.S. plans to bring Iraqi 'war criminals' to trial -- ominously by a U.S. tribunal/military undertaking. And what about our own 'war crimes?' I am sure that all the Iraqi civilians killed by American troops would be glad to testify at such a trial...alas, we will never hear from them. I find this quote accurate about that issue:
"A policy that sets the United States above and apart from the rules that other states are expected to follow is ultimately unsustainable and self-defeating. Perpetuating U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons as a key component of protecting U.S. security will only make the acquisition of nuclear weapons more attractive to others, not less." ~~ Daryl G. Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association
One of my older cats, Tiny, seems to be ailing. I think she is suffering from allergies, since the pollen here is thick. Her breathing is somewhat labored, so I may take her to the vet tomorrow, if she isn't better.
And that's a wrap for today!!