Friday, November 14, 2008

2 US service members announced dead

China's Xinhau notes, "Two American soldiers died in separate non-combat related incidents in Iraq, the U.S. military said on Friday." Both are noted here: The US military announces, "A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier died as the result of a non-combat related cause at approximately 3:50 a.m. Nov. 13 in Baghdad." And the US miliary announces: "A Coalition force Soldier died as a result of a non-combat related cause at approximately 11:52 a.m Nov. 13 in western Iraq." But we'll note them again because the announcement were made late. The two deaths bring the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4197.

On the front page of this morning's New York Times, Katherine Zoepf and Mudhafer al-Husaini cover sticky bombs in "Militants Turn to Small Bombs in Iraq Attacks"

According to figures from Iraq's Interior Ministry, sticky bombs killed 3 people and wounded 18 in Baghdad alone during the month of July. In October, 9 people were killed and 46 more were injured by sticky bombs. Casualty rates caused by sticky bombs are still relatively low. But recent raids on insurgent groups have uncovered caches of the bombs, even "sticky bomb factories," Colonel Stover said. And magnetic I.E.D.'s have recently been made an explicit part of the training that American soldiers in Baghdad receive.
"We make our soldiers aware of the latest threat, and the latest I.E.D. threat is these magnetic I.E.D.'s," he said. "We put them in their hands and say, 'Hey, soldier, this is what this thing looks like.' They're sometimes used against us -- our vehicles are metallic, too."
Iraqi and United States officials acknowledge that "sticky bombs" have been an effective means of spreading terror among Iraqi urban populations but note that, paradoxically, the bombs are also a sign that terrorists are finding it harder to move freely.
"The safety barriers, the walls themselves, have largely taken away these catastrophic attacks that you saw in the past," Colonel Stover said. "The smaller bombs are not capable of causing that catastrophic attack. But they’re causing a lot of panic."

Stover might want to reconsider his assasine remarks because they are offensive. While the US may take the 'long range' view that sticky bombs do less damage, they still do damage and people still die. The people are not being 'silly' or 'paranoid' to be bothered (or in a "panic") over them. For more on sticky bombs, you can drop back to October for Ernesto Londono's "Use of 'Sticky IEDs' Rising in Iraq" (Washington Post) which noted:

Iraqi insurgents are increasingly using magnetically attached bombs known as "sticky IEDs" to assassinate mid- and low-level Iraqi officials, Iraqi and U.S. officials said.
Rigged with magnets so they will adhere to the undersides of automobiles and detonated by remote control or with timers, the bombs have been used in Iraq sporadically since 2004. This year, U.S. military officials said, they have investigated roughly 200 cases involving magnetic bombs, and Iraqi officials said they have noted an increase in assassination attempts in which attackers use guns equipped with silencers.

Staying with bombs in Iraq, an Iraqi correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers offers "The Explosive Detecting Device of the Iraqi Forces" (Inside Iraq) addressing the ineffective devices used to 'detect' bombs:

The first time I found out this fact was few days ago. I was with my friend in his car coming to work. When our car passed through the checkpoint, the Iraqi soldier walked beside the car carrying the detecting device. The antenna of the device moved towards our car which means that we have explosives. The soldier ordered us to park aside. My friend did exactly what the soldier wanted. Another soldier came towards us and told my friend to open the trunk and he searched it. he didn't find anything. while searching our car, a soldier came riding his motorbike and carrying his AK 47 gun. he passed through the checkpoint. I was looking at him when I saw that the device didn't detect anything although the gun was loaded. I thought it is only the device was broken.
The second incident was in Abo Nowas street in downtown Baghdad. Another kind of the detecting devices is used in one of the check point. Again, the devices detected something in our car. We stopped and the policeman checked it but he found nothing. he came towards us and asked "anyone of wear perfume?" I said quickly "yes I do" then the man said "ok you can go." I was like OMG. What kind of detecting devices our forces have".

The Congressional races still ongoing include the December 6th vote for a House seat the Green Party's Malik Rahim is running for.

2008 Campaign Videos

Kimberly Wilder (On The Wilder Side) is supporting Malik's run and covering it and you can click here for the YouTube video of him speaking at the Green Party convention last July.

Public broadcasting notes. NOW on PBS explores green collar jobs:

Can something as common as building materials represent an opportunity to create jobs, help the needy, and save the planet? This week, NOW looks at two "green" projects keeping furniture, paint, cabinets, and other building supplies out of landfills and getting them into the hands of those who need them most. Will they be devastated by the economic meltdown, or do they signal a possible way out?
Based in the Bronx, New York, Greenworker Co-operatives aims to set up worker-owned green businesses. The first of these is Rebuilders Source, a store that sells recycled and donated building materials at affordable prices--items that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill.
"My vision now is a completely green South Bronx," says Bronx-born entrepreneur Omar Freilla, the founder of Greenworker Co-operatives, "with businesses throughout the area that are owned and run by people living in the area together."
On the other side of the country, in Southern California, Materials Matter matches donations of furniture and high quality building materials with individuals, organizations, and homeless shelters that use the materials to literally rebuild lives. But the faltering economy has had an impact.
"We have to decide whether the value of that donation will be worth the cost of transportation," says Materials Matter co-founder Alison Riback on her blog. "[The economic downturn] put a huge dent in our 'always say yes to a donation' philosophy."
This show is part of Enterprising Ideas, NOW's continuing spotlight on social entrepreneurs working to improve the world through self-sustaining innovation.

NOW on PBS begins airing tonight in most PBS markets, check local listings. Washington Week also begins airing on some PBS stations tonight (and later throughout the weekend on others). Gwen's joined by Greg Ip (The Economist), Dan Balz (Washington Post), Janet Hook (Los Angeles Times) and Karen Tumulty (Time magazine) and topics will include the proposed auto bailout, Barack, Bully Boy transitioning to civilian war time (okay, Karen won't really discuss that, but she should) and Congressional races. On Barack, CBS' 60 Minutes gets the first extended television interview with him since the election (Steve Kroft interviews him) and that airs this Sunday.

That's public broadcasting TV, public broadcasting radio includes WBAI and we'll note these programs airing Sunday and Monday on WBAI:

Sunday, November 16, 11am-noon


Former WBAI News Director and Dan Rather writer, Paul Fischer's latest newsical in the series "What's the Freqency, Kenneth?" This time, Paul goes one joke over the confess his lifelong addiction to drug songs.

Monday, November 17, 2-3pm

Cat Radio Cafe

Feminist author Vivian Gornick on her latest book of literary criticism, "The Men In My Life," downtown icon Edgar Oliver on "East 10th Street Self-Portrait," a play by and about him; and playwright Stephen Belber on his newest work, "Geometry of Fire,"about an investment-banker-turned Marine sniper returned from Iraq and a Saudi-American who just wants to get laid. Hosted by Janet Coleman and David Dozer."

Broadcasting at WBAI/NY 99.5 FM
Streaming live at WBAI
Archived at Cat Radio Cafe

Zach asks that we note this from A.N.S.W.E.R.:

Mass Actions on the 6th Anniversary of the Iraq War -- March 21, 2009
Bring All the Troops Home Now -- End All Colonial Occupations!
Fund People's Needs, Not Militarism & Bank Bailouts!

Marking the sixth anniversary of the criminal invasion of Iraq, thousands will take to the streets of Washington D.C. and other cities across the U.S. and around the world in March 2009 to say, “Bring the Troops Home NOW!” We will also demand “End Colonial Occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Everywhere,” and “Fund Peoples’ Needs Not Militarism and Bank Bailouts.” We also insist on an end to the war threats and economic sanctions against Iran.

The ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is organizing for unified mass marches and rallies in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and other cities on Saturday, March 21, 2009. Months ago we obtained permits for sixth anniversary demonstrations. ANSWER has been actively involved with other coalitions, organizations, and networks to organize unified anti-war demonstrations in the spring of 2009. ANSWER participated in the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations that was held in Cleveland, Ohio on June 28th-29th and attended by 450 people, including many national and local anti-war coalitions. The National Assembly gathering agreed to promote national, unified anti-war demonstrations in the Spring of 2009.

The war in Iraq has killed, wounded or displaced nearly a third of Iraq’s 26 million people. Thousands of U.S. soldiers have been killed and hundreds of thousands more have suffered severe physical and psychological wounds. The cost of the war is now running at $700 million dollars per day, over $7,000 per second. The U.S. leaders who have initiated and conducted this criminal war should be tried and jailed for war crimes.

The war in Afghanistan is expanding, and both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and Congressional leaders have promised to send in more troops. Both have promised to increase the size of the U. S. military. Both have promised to increase military aid to Israel to continue its oppression of the Palestinian people, including the denial of the right of return.

While millions of families are losing their homes, jobs and healthcare, the real military budget next year will top one trillion dollars, $1,000,000,000,000. If used to meet people’s needs, that amount could create 10 million new jobs at $60,000 per year, provide healthcare for everyone who does not have it now, rebuild New Orleans and repair much of the damage done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Federal bailouts of the biggest banks and investors many of whom have also made billions in profits from militarism, are already up to an astounding $2.5 trillion this year. None of that money is earmarked for keeping millions of foreclosed and evicted families in their homes.

Coming just two months after the inauguration of the next president, March 21, 2009 will be a critical opportunity to let the new administration in Washington hear the voice of the people demanding justice.

Click this link to endorse the March 21 Actions
If you're planning a local March 21 anti-war action, let us know by clicking this link.

That was mentioned in Monday's snapshot and will be noted in the snapshots as it draws nearer. But, as Zack points out, the so-called 'movement' is "pretty damn pathetic right now and noting what A.N.S.W.E.R. has planned might clue people in that some are still working to end the illegal war." Good point. In Monday's snapshot, we also linked to Debra Sweet's "Going Forward in Stopping the Crimes of Your Government" (World Can't Wait) and we'll note a section of it here:

Some hard facts & questions:

What is there to celebrate in an Obama presidency? Making us feel good about the country again when Obama is trying to unite us to behind what he calls "the good war" in Afghanistan? While people in the US were lining up to vote, a US air strike on an Afghan wedding party killed 34 civilians. Another strike killed 7 more yesterday.

Obama, the "anti-war" candidate, wants to leave 50 to 80,000 troops in Iraq, and move more combat brigades to Afghanistan. He promises to increase the US military by 92,000, ready to project American empire further on the lives of kids in high school now. Obama proposed sending drones and special forces into Pakistan - a sovereign country - and the Bush regime secretly began attacks on Pakistan in July, which have killed scores of civilians, as part of the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war.

How could we celebrate "national unity" when Obama's vote for the FISA law opens the way for unprecedented political repression and spying on the people? People expected Obama, who taught Constitutional law, to protect their rights, but Obama went out of his way to make an unpopular vote to bolster the "war on terror" and set the basis for expanded political repression. He voted for an amended USA PATRIOT Act that had more draconian curbs on political protest than the 2001 version.

How can we feel Obama is "for the people" when he put all his backing behind the bailout of Wall Street banks, but tells the people only to have faith in their leaders? When he supports the notoriously racist death penalty, and blames Black people themselves for the huge prison population? When he finds "common ground" with the most rabid Christian fundamentalist plans to do away with abortion and gay marriage? The ban on gay marriage passed in California, benefiting from Obama's expressed opposition to gay marriage.

In the face of huge crimes perpetrated by the Bush regime,.Obama said, "I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breaches, and intentional breaches of the president's authority."

There is a responsibility and a way for us to act:

This is not the time to "wait and see" what Obama will do after January 20, or after 6 months or a year...or never, because if he does what's in the peoples' interests he won't be re-elected? He's telling us what he will do, and the worst thing would be to get passive in the face of more crimes being done in our name.

There is a force to join with that will firmly oppose this program. World Can't Wait will be here, organizing a movement of resistance with a realistic aim -- to bring these crimes and this whole direction to a stop. If you don't want to join us now, remember what we're saying, and when it does become clear to you that the crimes of your government - not matter who is president -- have to be stopped, join with the kind of movement that CAN make that happen.

We'll note an action this weekend:

The San Francisco rally against Prop 8 this weekend is part of a nationwide mobilization -- a peaceful demonstration in support of marriage equality in California. For a full list of rallies throughout the state and country, check out the Join the Impact website.

San Francisco rally details:

  • Where: San Francisco City Hall
  • When: November 15, 2008 - 10:30a to 1:30p
And from Join The Impact, the following will be holding actions as well:

This Saturday, November 15, 2008, Join the Impact in EVERY single state in America. Click your state below to learn more.
AlabamaIndianaNebraska South Carolina
AlaskaIowaNevadaSouth Dakota
ArizonaKansas New HampshireTennessee
ArkansasKentuckyNew JerseyTexas
CaliforniaLouisianaNew MexicoUtah
ColoradoMaineNew YorkVermont
ConnecticutMarylandNorth Carolina Virginia
DelawareMassachusettsNorth Dakota Washington
FloridaMichigan OhioWashington DC
GeorgiaMinnesotaOklahomaWest Virginia
HawaiiMississippiOregon Wisconsin
IdahoMissouri PennsylvaniaWyoming
IllinoisMontanaRhode Island*International*

Stan continues covering the topic at his site and posted "Homophobia" last night. And swiping from his site to grab the latest community posts:

The e-mail address for this site is

the new york times
katherine zoepf

mcclatchy newspapers
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 ernesto londono

 cat radio cafe
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oh boy it never ends