occupied w/ democracy

us helicopter over baghdad

Numerous correspondents filing from Iraq this morning on NPR.

Details least likely to be reported again today:

[paraphrased]: Someone riding a bicycle dropped a suspicious satchel on a road leading into Baghdad this morning. The roads are closed to cars, and now the military is informing boys on bicycles to bring their bikes on back home.

also: report of people not knowing HOW to vote… and only men going to vote – very few women.


Iran: Top Ministers Implicated in Serious Abuses

While the world’s attention remains on the pathetic, yet not surprising remarks by Iranian President Ahmadinejad denouncing the Holocaust, Human Rights Watch has just released:

The briefing paper, Ministers of Murder: Iran?s New Security Cabinet, details credible allegations that Minister of Interior Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi and Minister of Information Gholamhussein Mohseni Ezhei were involved in extremely serious and systematic human rights violations over the past two decades.

The debunking-the-Holocaust thing is nothing new, and does not even deserve press. Perhaps Ahmadinejad keeps repeating this to overshadow today’s HRW release – just as all of the apparently bogus reports of Iran tampering with Iraqi elections could be fluff for Iran’s far nastier undertakings. Pundit Guy has documented ths history of Holocaust-doubters.

Ahmadinejad may be that bad but it looks like the real problems run much deeper in his cabinet.

The Human Rights Watch report, to be officially released tomorrow, calls for the immediate removal of Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi and Gholamhussein Mohseni Ezhei from the president’s cabinet:

Iran?s cabinet is now dominated by former security and intelligence officials, Human Rights Watch said, raising fears that President Ahmadinejad?s government will readily resort to violence to suppress dissidents and punish critics.

AFA is OWND (by force of blogosphere)!

Congrats to John Aravosis at Americablog for spearheading perhaps the most effective campaign for action in the history of the blogosphere.

Over the past two weeks, the devilish American Family Association has produced multiple media reports stating that it had met with Ford behindn closed doors and convinced the corporation to pull support and advertising from the gay-related events and publications.

In response, Aravosis began posting contact information of Ford execs on Americablog, and wrote several spirited posts encouraging action. More recently this outrage spread to the Daily Show (video), Dan Savage’s nationally syndicated column and beyond.

This afternoon, Aravosis, who had already solidified his position as a patriotic hero of the blogosphere with his Katrina coverage, over the course of this campaign on his site serve as an excellent how-to resource for implementing effective activist operations through the blogosphere. Henry Ford had a history of bigotry – and the AFA’s media flood recently should have red-flagged the MSM – but thanks to the viral spirit of the ford tough blogosphere, this potential insult to humanity (as nearly everything that AFA proposes is) has been quashed and rectified — and quickly.

Congrats – to all bloggers and activists involved – we can directly affect and influence corporate bullying via the simple means of the blogosphere alone.. Read John’s post including a letter from Ford.