Saturday, May 17, 2008  

File under N-S

Seriously. This goes under the No Shit heading:

"Adrienne Kinne is a former Army sergeant who worked in military intelligence for 10 years, from 1994 to 2004. Trained in Arabic, she worked in the Army translating intercepted communications. She told me in an interview this week that she saw a target list that included the Palestine Hotel. She knew that it housed journalists, since she had intercepted calls from the Palestine Hotel between journalists there and their families and friends back home (illegally and unconstitutionally, she thought).

Said Kinne: “[W]e were listening to journalists who were staying in the Palestine Hotel. And I remember that, specifically because during the buildup to ‘shock and awe’ ... we were given a list of potential targets in Baghdad, and the Palestine Hotel was listed. [P]utting one and one together, I went to my officer in charge, and I told him that there are journalists staying at this hotel who think they’re safe, and yet we have this hotel listed as a potential target, and somehow the dots are not being connected here, and shouldn’t we make an effort to make sure that the right people know the situation? And unfortunately, my officer in charge ... basically told me that it was not my job to analyze ... someone somewhere higher up the chain knew what they were doing.”

Those of us who could put 2+2 and get 4, had this already figured out: The US deliberately targeted the Palestine Hotel and the journalists working from it.

And now, we have a confirmation.

Targeting journalists is against the Geneva Conventions.

Impeach. Impeach. Impeach.



I am SOOOOOO proud of my ALI Writing 107 students! They were given a very hard assignment: translate something from your own language into English- it could be poetry or a song or a short passage + some background on the poet/writer, why they chose this piece, any areas of difficulty, and the piece's cultural place. I must confess, I assigned this partially out of selfishness- I get REALLY, REALLY bored by average essay questions- which is also why I assign topics like a version of Vanity Fair's Proust Questionnaire and You are a political refugee and you have been given one week to get ready and leave. Where will you go and why, what will you bring with you, what/who will you miss, what will you do in exile, do you think you will ever go back? (btw- go ahead and write an answer to this yourself and submit it- maybe we'll do an If I were a Political Refugee... Blog. What do you think?). Also assigned this because a) I had to do this in French class (merci, Monsieur!) and I translate myself- mostly North African material.

But I digress...

On their poetry blog, Every one...a poet, you will find poetry in several different languages as well as some very interesting and informative background material. In at least one case, you can listen to the song. be sure to drop by once in awhile as the various students post and comment. Feel free to comment yourself, as well.

Happy reading!

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Sunday, May 11, 2008  

Happy Mother's Day!

(c) Magnum Photos
From today

Happy Mother's Day! A mother is a precious thing, even when you're relatively grown up- they will always be there to tell you what you need (but don't always want to!) hear.

This is an iffy age, at best. Parents are being beset by a world run by the stable boys of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. It is an act of faith to have a child, a belief that small miracles can and do happen.

So, to all those great moms that I know: Aunt Marion, my cousins Monica and Andrea, my sister-in-laws Debbie, Annette, Naima, Fatiha, friends Dominique, Eloissa, Teresa, Djamila, Bernadette, Linda F., Linda M. , and especially
My Mom,
even though I STILL haven't turned out the way they expected,
talks to me anyway.

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