Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Those serving

The deaths of two U.S. soldiers in western Baghdad last week have sparked concerns that Iraqi insurgents have developed a new weapon capable of striking what the U.S. military considers its most explosive-resistant vehicle.
The soldiers were riding in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protective vehicle, known as an MRAP, when an explosion sent a blast of super-heated metal through the MRAP's armor and into the vehicle, killing them both.
Their deaths brought to eight the number of American troops killed while riding in an MRAP, which was developed and deployed to Iraq last year after years of acrimony over light armor on the Army's workhorse vehicle, the Humvee.

The above is from Nancy A. Youssef's "2 soldiers' deaths in Iraq raise doubts about MRAP vehicle" (McClatchy Newspapers) and speaks for itself. Staying with the topic of service members, Claudia Parsons' "Iraq and Vietnam veterans find common ground" (Reuters) covers resistance while serving:

In the Vietnam War, some in the U.S. military who opposed the war wore a paper clip on their uniform as a sign of dissent -- an underground tradition some who fought in Iraq want to revive.
Sgt. Eli Wright, a medic who served in Iraq and is awaiting a medical discharge for post traumatic stress disorder and a shoulder injury, has a gallery of tattoos on his arms and legs. He recently added a black paper clip on his right hand.
"During Vietnam, guys that were against the war would wear a paper clip on their uniform somewhere, it was a little way for them to identify themselves," Wright said in an interview at the Different Drummer Cafe in Watertown, near Fort Drum.
"It stands for People Against People Ever Re-enlisting -- Civilian Life is Preferred," he said.
"We decided instead of just wearing paper clips, we would actually tattoo them, a permanent reminder of our dedication to getting out," he said, adding that he's hoping other soldiers who oppose the war in Iraq will follow suit.

Eli Wright is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and he took part in the Winter Soldier action in March. From the March 14th "Iraq snapshot:"

Eli Wright spoke of how "military healthcare doesn't get enough attention" and advised service members struggling to get the medical care they have been promised, "Don't keep it quiet and, unfortunately, in many cases you can't rely on your command" to do the job for you. He noted how difficult it could be, while you serving, to speak out for your healthcare needs but that it's often the only way to receive treatment. In Monday's snapshot, we will note the veteran by name but I didn't know him and if we wait to find out who he was the snapshot will never go up.

For more on the health care panel, see "Veterans Healthcare" (The Third Estate Sunday Review). If you missed Winter Soldier you can stream it online at IVAW's Winter Solider page (audio or video). You can also stream audio at War Comes Home, at KPFK, at the Pacifica Radio homepage and at KPFA, here for Friday, here for Saturday, here for Sunday. Aimee Allison (co-host of the station's The Morning Show and co-author with David Solnit of Army Of None) and Aaron Glantz were the anchors for Pacifica's live coverage. Allison and Glantz also hosted KPFA's live coverage April 22nd on the lawsuit against the Veterans Administration.

Liang notes Howard Wolfson's "HUBdate: Fighting For Every Vote" (HillaryClinton.com):

By the Numbers: A new USA Today/Gallup Poll shows Hillary "lead[ing] Obama among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents by 7 percentage points… Obama led by 10 points" only two weeks ago. Read more.

State of the Race: Howard Wolfson and Phil Singer assess the state of the race on a call this morning at 9:45 a.m. ET.

Endorsement Watch: "Groundbreaking IndyCar Series driver and team owner, Sarah Fisher" endorsed Hillary today... Fisher said: "[w]e need a president who will stand up for us and be a fighter for Hoosiers and all Americans." Read more.

In Case You Missed It: Today's NYT explores how yesterday, "Clinton Steals One Show, While Obama Endures Another: Television interviews provide snapshots, not full portraits, but that does not make them any less telling. Mr. Obama revealed that he was not impervious to pressure, while Mrs. Clinton once again proved that it takes more than a village to make her sweat." Read more. Click here to read the transcript and watch the video of Hillary on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

On the Gas Tax: Yesterday in South Bend, IN, Hillary "scolded both Sen. Barack Obama (D) and 'elite opinion'…for opposing her proposals to fix the ailing economy…[she said on the race:] 'There's a big difference between us, and the question is: Who understands what you’re going through, and who do you count on being on your side…I believe I have what it takes to stand up and fight for you when you need a president on your side.'" Read more.

A Critical Distinction: Communications Director Howard Wolfson described "a critical distinction in this race between, in Senator Clinton, someone who understands the pain that middle class and working class families are feeling, who wants to help bring immediate relief to them…and Senator Obama, somebody who just doesn't seem to understand that middle class families are hurting, working class families are hurting and that they need relief." Read the transcript here and listen here.

Ready to Deliver: In a Charlotte Observer op-ed, Hillary Clinton writes to voters in North Carolina: "It has been an honor and privilege to travel across North Carolina and talk to you about the issues that matter most to you and your families. I know how hard you're working, how much you love this country, and how big you dream for your children. But I also know that you're feeling squeezed from every direction…I don't back down from a challenge -- and neither do the American people. It's up to all of us to keep the promise of America for the next generation, and together, that's exactly what we'll do." Read more.

Previewing Today: Hillary hosts "Get Out The Vote" events in Greenville and High Point, NC. She also hosts "Get Out The Vote" events in Merrillville, New Albany, and Evansville, IN. Hillary's stop in Evansville will mark her 100th campaign stop in the Hoosier State.

Recapping Yesterday: Hillary spoke before a crowd of 2,300 at the Indiana Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, offering her pledge to continue to fight for every American from the moment she becomes president: "There's one thing you know about me. I am no shrinking violet. I may get knocked down. But I will always get right back up, and I will never quit until the job is finished." Read more.

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