Thursday, February 28, 2008

That 70s...LIFE

entering a contest over at it is for the best 70s pics. I couldn't decide which I liked better...suggestions? No laughing!!

some of the happiest days of my life were spent in Mass. with my new adoptive family. This is my Aunt Kristin who was a yr older, Me,(loving the mickey mouse shoes!) My Uncle Mark, and my brother Ronnie.

oh MY! This was my Girl Scout uniform. The jammies...lovely!

not sure where we were headed, but we were kinda cute!

showing off (??) our belly shirts. Stylin!!

I LOVED me some Toughskin jeans!

Boy, we dressed cool back then eh?


thats me and my big brother Ronnie. He had a big wheel. No idea whose car that is.


Im the one ON the bed. The other cute kid is my Aunt Kristin.


yes, I am the dork in the middle of the dork parade.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ibrahim Muhammad Agel

The acting director of a Baghdad psychiatric hospital has been arrested on suspicion of supplying Al Qaeda in Iraq with the mentally impaired women it used to blow up two crowded animal markets in the city on Feb. 1, killing about 100 people.

Iraqi security forces and U.S. soldiers arrested the man at al-Rashad hospital in east Baghdad on Sunday. They then spent three hours searching his office and removing records. Sources told The Times that the two female bombers had been treated at the hospital in the past.

"They [the security forces] arrested the acting director, accusing him of working with Al Qaeda and recruiting mentally ill women and using them in suicide bombing operations," a hospital official said.

Ibrahim Muhammad Agel, director of the hospital, was killed in the Mansour district of Baghdad on Dec. 11 by gunmen on motorbikes. Colleagues suspect he was shot for refusing to cooperate with Al Qaeda

Mr. Agel died to protect his charges. His replacement sent them to their deaths. Sometimes I wonder what God thinks about these loving and gentle people He has sent down amongst us. Surely, this is a test of who we are as a people, how we treat the most innocent and childlike people in the world. I imagine He is hoping we will learn by their example, have you ever seen someone with DS arrested? Me either. Obviously, the human race has much to learn about kindness and protecting the most vulnerable among us. The US cant scream too awful loud about the rights of these ladies, not with their blood on our OWN hands.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Alina Looks West

Alina Looks West

In her eyes
there is sadness
and hope
faith that something better

Outstretched hands
grasping to hold on
invisible lifeline
cling tight baby girl

jaw is set
mom and dad
will come for you

Artemovsk is home
but only for awhile
home is where your eyes are
home is where your heart is.

is where you are.
Safe, loved, claimed.
Ava is home.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Mentally Disabled Female Suicide Bombers Blow Up Pet Markets in Baghdad, Killing Dozens
Friday, February 01, 2008

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BAGHDAD — Remote-controlled explosives strapped to two mentally retarded women detonated in a coordinated attack on Baghdad pet bazaars Friday, Iraqi officials said, killing at least 73 people in the deadliest day since the U.S. sent 30,000 extra troops to the capital last spring.

The chief Iraqi military spokesman in Baghdad, Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, said the female bombers had Down syndrome and that the explosives were detonated by remote control — indicating they may not having been willing attackers in what could be a new method by suspected Sunni insurgents to subvert stepped up security measures.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the use of mentally retarded women as suicide bombers proves Al Qaeda is "the most brutal and bankrupt of movements" and will strengthen Iraqi resolve to reject terrorism.

The first attack Friday occurred at about 10:20 a.m. in the central al-Ghazl market. The weekly bazaar has been bombed several times since the war started but recently had re-emerged as a popular place to shop and stroll as Baghdad security improved and a Friday ban on driving was lifted.

Four police and hospital officials said at least 46 people were killed and more than 100 wounded. Firefighters scooped up debris scattered among pools of blood, clothing and pigeon carcasses.

About 20 minutes later, a second female suicide bomber struck a bird market in a predominantly Shiite area in southeastern Baghdad. That blast killed as many as 27 people and wounded 67, according to police and hospital officials.

One witness who declined to be identified told AP Television News that the woman said she had birds to sell, then blew herself up as people gathered around to inspect them.

The attacks were the latest in a series of violent incidents that have been chipping away at Iraqi confidence in the permanence of recent security gains.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said about 70 people were killed in both attacks, which he said were committed by terrorists motivated by revenge and "to show that they are still able to stop the march of history and of our people toward reconciliation."

Police initially said the bomb at al-Ghazl market was hidden in a box of birds but determined it was a suicide attack after finding the woman's head, an officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

Pigeon vendor Ali Ahmed, who was hit by shrapnel in his legs and chest, said he was worried about his friend who disappeared after the blast about 40 yards away.

"I just remember the horrible scene of the bodies of dead and wounded people mixed with the blood of animals and birds, then I found myself lying in a hospital bed," he said.

Navy Cmdr. Scott Rye, a U.S. military spokesman, gave lower casualty figures, saying seven were killed and 23 wounded in the first bombing, and 20 killed and 30 wounded in the second. He confirmed both attacks were carried out by women wearing explosives vests and said the attacks appeared to be coordinated and likely the work of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Associated Press records show that since the start of the war at least 151 people have been killed in at least 17 attacks or attempted attacks by female suicide bombers, including today's bombings.

The most recent was on Jan. 16 when a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives as Shiites were preparing for a ceremony marking the holiday of Ashoura in a Shiite village near the Diyala provincial capital of Baqouba.

Involving women in fighting violates cultural taboos in Iraq, but the U.S. military has warned that Al Qaeda in Iraq is recruiting females and youths to stage suicide attacks because militants are increasingly desperate to thwart stepped-up security measures.

Women in Iraq often wear a black Islamic robe known as an abaya and can avoid thorough searches at checkpoints because men are not allowed to search them and there's a dearth of female guards.

In January 2005, Iraq's interior minister said that insurgents used a disabled child as one of the suicide bombers who launched attacks on election day. Police at the scene of the bombing said the child appeared to have Down syndrome.

A bomb hidden in a box of small birds also exploded at the al-Ghazl market in late November, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens. The U.S. military blamed the November attack on Iranian-backed Shiite militants, saying they had hoped Al Qaeda in Iraq would be held responsible for the attack so Iraqis would turn to them for protection.

The U.S. military has been unable to stop the suicide bombings despite a steep drop in violence in the past six months, but the explosions on Friday were the deadliest in the capital since Aug. 1, when some 70 people were killed in three attacks, including 50 in a fuel truck explosion in Baghdad.

Rae Muhsin, the 21-year-old owner of a cell phone store, said he was walking toward the New Baghdad bird market in southeastern Baghdad when the blast occurred, shattering the windows of nearby stores.

"I ran toward the bird market and saw charred pieces of flesh, small spots of blood and several damaged cars," Muhsin said, adding he will no longer visit the Friday market. "I thought that we had achieved real security in Baghdad, but it turned that we were wrong."

The number of Iraqi civilians and security forces killed in January fell to at least 609, an Associated Press tally showed, the lowest monthly death toll since December 2005, and continuing a downward trend since the fall. The figure as tabulated by Iraqi officials in the ministries of Defense, Interior and Health was slightly lower, at 543.

U.S. forces, meanwhile, have expanded offensives in central and northern Iraq, seeking to build on gains against Al Qaeda in Iraq in the past year. But the latest campaigns also have driven up the military's death toll after months of decline.

Two U.S. soldiers were killed Thursday — one by a roadside bomb in Baghdad and another by a rocket or mortar attack on a convoy support center south of the capital, the military reported.

The attacks raised to at least 39 the number of U.S. troops who died in January — well above the 23 in December but still sharply lower than a year ago. In January last year, 83 soldiers were killed in Iraq.

And here is the rest of it.