Monday, August 29, 2005

Other items

In a cinderblock hut, baking in Cité Soleil's midday heat, 13 residents of the neighborhood, brought together by the political leaders, squeezed around a small wooden bench to tell a different story. There, they laid out seven pictures of people, including women and children, who they said had been killed by United Nations troops.
"Here are the ones we had a chance to photograph before the dogs ate them," said René Momplaisir, a local Fanmi Lavalas leader. Many victims appeared to have been shot in the head, though who fired the bullets - United Nations troops or gang members - could not be independently verified.

[. . .]
United Nations officials said in a statement that an undetermined number of innocent bystanders "may have been injured or even killed." They also cited "unconfirmed but numerous reports" that gangs killed residents after the troops left.
During the recent visit, several residents, including three children, showed reporters what they said were wounds inflicted by peacekeeping troops. Adeline Pierre, 28, said she had been pregnant and lost her unborn baby after being shot.
"They're on the ground and they're in the air, coming after us," she said. "I was standing in front of my house and I felt all of a sudden something hit my stomach," Ms. Pierre said.
Olivia Gayraud, the administrator of a free hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, about a 20-minute drive from Cité Soleil, said doctors there treated 27 gunshot victims from the raid, but that the number of wounded was very likely to have been higher. Most were children and women, Ms. Gayraud said, including a woman in her 28th week of pregnancy who lost her baby. The hospital declined to identify the woman because of privacy concerns.
Dr. Christophe Fournier, at Doctors Without Borders in New York, said the clinic in Haiti had treated 1,132 gunshot victims since it opened in December. Most appear to be victims of gang violence. But according to Ms. Gayraud, most patients wounded July 6 said they had been shot by international peacekeepers.

The above is an excerpt from Walt Bogdanich and Jenny Nordberg's "A Haitian Slum's Anger Imperils Election Hopes" in this morning's New York Times and Ava e-mailed to note it. This is a lengthy article, over thirty paragraphs, and the Times' isn't attempting to determine what happened. It's a he-said/she-said. But it's also one of the few articles on Haiti in the mainstream. I wish the authors had left the he-said/she-said to do a little more determining of what happened but for the paper they're at and the issues involved, I'll call it bravery (and hope that either they or someone else quickly raises the stakes on what we'll applaud from the mainstream).

Anne E. Kornblut's "In Re Grammar, Roberts's Stance Is Crystal Clear" explains that John Roberts has always been a persnickety fussbudget with a tendancy towards prissiness.

Francisco e-mails to note this article by Reuters' "Chávez May Try to Extradite Robertson:"

President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that his government would take legal action against Pat Robertson and potentially seek his extradition after the American evangelist called for Washington to assassinate the South American leader.
"I announce that my government is going to take legal action in the United States," Mr. Chavez said in a televised speech. "To call for the assassination of a head of state is an act of terrorism."
Mr. Robertson, who apologized for the remark, said he was expressing his frustration with Mr. Chavez's constant accusations against the Bush administration.

Trina e-mails to note that the story Skip highlighted yesterday makes the Times via Reuters,
"U.S. Studies Report Its Soldiers Killed Journalist:"

A soundman working for Reuters Television was shot dead Sunday in Baghdad, and a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by United States soldiers. An Iraqi police report, read to Reuters by an Interior Ministry official, said the two had been shot by American forces.
A United States military spokesman, Lt. Col. Steven A. Boylan, said the incident was being investigated, and an official statement indicated that the Americans were responding to an attack on an Iraqi police convoy when the journalists were shot.

It's a Monday, not a great deal in the Times. As requested last week (and thanks to Bonnie for e-mailing this morning to remind me), we'll note the entries from yesterday, "Reporting from outside the US mainstream media" and "Reporting from outside the US mainstream media focused on Iraq" and we'll also note "Third Estate Sunday Review News Review" which cover a number of issues and events. And while we're doing reminders, Ruth's latest Ruth's Morning Edition Report went up Saturday for anyone that missed it.

Susan e-mails wondering if the "Stuball" Marc Weingarten refers to as "obscure" is the same song "Stewball?" (Refers to in "Book Says Alan Lomax Neglected Black Scholars.")

I wondered that too. Possibly it's a different song. I've seen the same set of lyrics and chords referred to either way. But maybe it's a different song? I don't know. If it's not, if it's the song about Stewball the racehorse, that's hardly an obscure song. Joan Baez records on Joan Baez/5, Peter, Paul & Mary recorded it, go down the list. It's on a large section of children's albums.

But maybe it's another song called "Stuball?" If it's the same song, since it's usually recorded as "Stewball," Weingarten wouldn't turn it up by googling and would have to visit a library.

I don't know, Susan. Same thought went through my head when I read the article. (The article's about Alan Lomax not crediting others for their work, specifically " John W. Work III, a composer and musicologist; Lewis Wade Jones, a sociologist; and Samuel C. Adams Jr., a graduate student.")

Erika e-mails to note Diane Farsetta's "School of the Americas Fights Back" (CounterPunch):

More commonly, PR campaigns enjoy partial successes. That appears to be the case with the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC, formerly called the School of the Americas or SOA), a Defense Department facility at Fort Benning, near Columbus, Georgia. While media coverage and Congressional attitudes haven't improved appreciably since WHINSEC launched a major PR effort three years ago, the Institute has achieved a partial détente with some academic figures and human rights organizations.
According to its mission, WHINSEC provides "professional education and training to military, law enforcement, and civilians to support the democratic principles of the Western Hemisphere." Unlike the dozens of other U.S.-based military training facilities, though, the Institute receives a significant amount of public scrutiny. This mostly negative attention is due in large part to protests, outreach and lobbying activities organized by the School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch).
Since 1990, SOA Watch has worked "to close the SOA/WHINSEC and to change oppressive U.S. foreign policy that the SOA represents." The organization points to hundreds of cases where WHINSEC graduates have been found guilty of or implicated in human rights abuses, including the November 1989 killing of six Jesuit priests and two associates in El Salvador and the February 2005 murder of eight members of the San Jose de Apartado Peace Community in Colombia.
WHINSEC public affairs officer Lee Rials rejected any culpability in these cases, telling PR Watch, "No one's been able to show even one person that took a course here and committed a crime that was related to the course." Yet there are ongoing contacts with trainees, according to WHINSEC's website: "When students return to their own countries, the U.S. military groups there maintain ties with them as part of the U.S. military-to-military engagement plan."
Eventually, the fallout from alumni crimes -- along with revelations that the Institute had used training manuals describing "'coercive techniques' such as those used to mistreat the detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq," as described by the National Security Archive, which made the manuals public last year -- became too much to ignore. In 2000, the then-School of the Americas became WHINSEC, ostensibly because the SOA "had fulfilled its Cold War era mission." Critics dismissed the change as a PR ploy.

Martha e-mails a heads up that Danny Schechter has a News Dissector that went up Sunday.

Democracy Now! today will be offering continued coverage of Camp Casey. A lot went on this weekend, so watch, listen or read transcripts.

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