Friday, February 26, 2010

Still deploying to Iraq

The large propane tank on the outskirts of the Iraqi village seemed innocent enough.
But in a matter of minutes, the 3rd Infantry Division soldiers conducting a routine convoying would find themselves in the middle of a scene reminiscent of the Oscar-nominated movie "The Hurt Locker," after Iraqi villagers inform them of a suspected improvised-explosive device planted by the town's fuel supply.
For soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, Thursday was just day two of Vanguard Focus, a 10-day training exercise that's geared toward preparing them for Fort Irwin's National Training Center - and ultimately a year-long deployment to Iraq that begins in July. It will be the brigade's second deployment since it was activated May 26, 2004.

The above is the opening to Pamela E. Walck's "4th Brigade soldiers train for NTC, Iraq deployment" (Savannah Now). And they're not the only ones gearing up to deploy to Iraq. Amanda Kim Stairrett (Killeen Daily Herald) reports from Fort Hood on the Florida Army National Guard's 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team which is gearing up for their second deployment to Iraq while Casey Gisclair (Tri-Parish Times) reports many Louisiana members of the 256th Infantry Brigade are at Camp Shelby preparing to deploy for Iraq. Matt Fakeir says of the deployment, "The sooner we get there, the sooner it will be over with. We're going to go in there, achieve our goal, then come home."

Sunday a US helicopter in Iraq crashed killing Marcus Ray Alford and Billie Jean Grinder of Troop C, 1/230th Air Cavalry in Louisville. Blount Today quotes Tennessee's Adjustant General, Maj Gen Max Haston, stating, "Words cannot express my extreme sorrow at the loss of these outstanding soldiers, and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families and friends of these valiant warriors. Tennessee has lost two brave volunteers who truly believed in what they were doing to ensure a free Iraq. This loss is felt not only in the Tennessee National Guard, but throughout the entire military community. We shall miss them greatly. We are still a nation at war, and we must continue to keep our soldiers, sailors, Marines and Airmen in our daily thoughts and prayers."

This week the Palm Center issued the following press release:

SANTA BARBARA, CA, February 24, 2010 – Congressman Jim Moran read a letter on the floor of the House of Representatives today from an active duty soldier in Afghanistan. Congressman Moran stated that the soldier had, "learned that a fellow soldier was also gay, only after he was killed by an IED in Iraq. The partner of the deceased soldier wrote the unit to say how much the victim had loved the military; how they were the only family he had ever known." The soldier originally provided the letter in response to an inquiry for the Pentagon’s current study of “don’t ask, don't tell."
This is the second publicly known case of a gay soldier killed in action during the current wars in the Middle East. The first was U.S. Army Major Alan Rogers, who died while on patrol in Iraq in January, 2008. Statisticians have estimated that more than 200 gay and lesbian service members have perished since the onset of the conflict. Military leaders this week suggested in Congressional hearings that gay and lesbian troops disrupt the force.
Dr. Nathaniel Frank stated that, "It is important to honor the sacrifice of all American troops, and we do so today and always." Frank is Senior Research Fellow at the Palm Center.

Next month is the seventh anniversary of the Iraq War which officially began in March of 2003. The Mercury News has compiled a list of the fallen -- from either the Iraq War or the Afghanistan War -- "who called Santa Clara or San Mateo County home or grew up here through high school" and are asking that people check the list to make sure there were no omissions and, if one is discovered, to contact the paper at so they can examine whether or not they've accidentally left someone off. The list currently has 19 names.

Steven Dale Green is someone I'm not interested in this morning at all. The War Criminal is appealing his conviction (he devised the criminal conspiracy to gang-rape and murder Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and the fourteen-year-old girl's parents as well as her five-year-old sister). Brett Barrouquere (AP) has long covered this case and because he's got an update on the process, I'll put a link in.

We'll note this from the Democratic Policy Committee:

Promoting Travel and Tourism Will Create Jobs

SENATOR BYRON DORGAN (D-ND) – Travel Promotion Bill Creates 500,000 Jobs, Reduces Deficit, Strengthens America’s Standing in World -- Senate floor speech on 2/24/10 (01:19). Click here to view or embed this video.

Promoting Travel and Tourism Will Create Jobs

February 25, 2010

The Travel Promotion Act (S. 1023), which passed the Senate by a strong bipartisan vote of 79 to 19 on September 9, 2009, would jumpstart economic activity in the tourism industry and create jobs by encouraging tourist travel to the United States. The bill would establish a non-profit corporation to execute a nationally-coordinated travel promotion program, better communicate American entry policies to international travelers, and promote leisure, business, and scholarly travel to the United States . The House included the text of the Travel Promotion Act in H.R. 1299 and the Senate now needs to pass the legislation to send it to the President for his signature.

While international travel has boomed over the last decade, with 46 million more overseas trips taken in 2009 than in 2000, the United States had 2.4 million fewer travelers in 2009 than in 2000. If the United States had merely maintained its share of overseas visitors over the past decade, 441,000 jobs could have been created or retained. The Travel Promotion Act would allow the United States to compete with other countries that spend hundreds of millions of dollars to promote travel to their countries.

The Travel Promotion Act would create jobs and reduce the deficit. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that the bill could create 40,000 American jobs and yield $321 million in new federal tax revenue annually. [U.S. Travel Association, Get America’s Economy Back on Track] The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the legislation would reduce the deficit by $425 million over the next decade. [Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate, S. 1023] Small businesses, which make up 90 percent of employers in the travel industry, would receive a particularly strong boost from a coordinated campaign to promote travel to the United States .

The Travel Promotion Act would encourage travel to the United States and increase spending by visitors. The travel promotion campaign provided for in the legislation could yield an additional 1.6 million international visitors a year to the United States , which would translate into $4 billion in additional spending. [U.S. Travel Association, Get America’s Economy Back on Track]

Travel and tourism support jobs and promote economic growth in every region of the country. The travel and tourism sector generates approximately $1.3 trillion in economic activity each year in the United States and supports 8.3 million travel-related jobs. Overseas and international travelers visit all regions of the country, contributing to the economies of every state. The average overseas visitor to the United States spends more than $4,000 per visit. Increased tourism would boost the hospitality industry, increase the number of individuals eating in American restaurants, encourage additional spending in retail stores, and expand the use of all forms of transportation.

The following community sites updated last night:

We'll note this from Zed Books:

Zed Books
Please find below some information on the most recent titles from Zed Books. You can download a CompleteStocklist of all the paperbacks we currently have available here. If you have any questions please do get in touch. Our most recent new title catalogue which features books published Winter 2009-10 is available here.

Many thanks to all of you who took part in last months customer survey. Your feedback was immensely useful and it was particularly good to hear that Zed's list is so valued by so many of you. Your kind comments were very much appreciated. Two winners of the free prize draw have been chosen and complimentary books will be in the post to Denmark and South Africa respectively. We will also be donating a box of books to Bookaid as a token of our appreciation for your comments.
Zed Books


Women, History and Feminism
Carol Dyhouse

'In her relish for brassy blondes, gutsy flamboyance and tinsel vulgarity, Dyhouse writes like a woman who knows her way around the lipstick counter and the flea market. She shows how a parade in the trappings of glamour expressed aspiration and assertion at odds with mousy, unobtrusive conformity. Glamour was a cynical business, but also a shriek of camp defiance. All fur coat and no knickers. Dyhouse has whipped the stopper from a vintage bottle of 'Evening in Paris' and conjured a vanished world - cheap, a little tarty, but impossible to forget.' - Amanda Vickery, Professor in History, Royal Holloway, University of London, Author of Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England

Trade Hardback Edition ISBN: 9781848134072 £19.99

The Truth about Trade

The Truth about Trade
The Real Impact of Liberalization
Clive George

'Clive George was at the centre of the EU's ten-year research programme into the impacts of trade liberalization. Now he is able to reveal the true findings of that research. This careful assessment of the evidence shows how trade liberalization threatens economic development, anti-poverty programmes and environmental sustainability in the vast majority of developing countries, with potentially catastrophic results. This book is an important corrective to the myth that free trade will lift millions out of poverty. It should become required reading for all people seeking to understand the truth about trade.' - John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want

ISBN: 9781848132986 £16.99


Rebellion from the Grassroots to the Global
Alex Khasnabish

'Since their appearance fifteen years ago, Mexico's modern day Zapatistas have been a powerful, compelling, inspiring enigma - and a Rorschach test of sorts for scholars, activists, and policy makers alike. After millions of words - more than a few of their own - exploring and explaining the Zapatistas, Alex Khasnabish's smart and accessible book perceptively explicates their origins, deftly outlines their philosophy and practice - not least the move beyond bullets to words and actions, and astutely analyzes their national and transnational impact. Khasnabish's text provides our best lens yet on the twenty-first century's most intriguing revolutionaries.' - Eric Selbin, Professor of Political Science & University Scholar, Southwestern University

ISBN: 9781848132085 £14.99

Algeria Since 1989
Algeria Since 1989
Between Terror and Democracy
James D. Le Sueur

'Modern Algerian history has long been filled with intense moments of suffering and tragedy alternating with great expectations for a progressive and prosperous future. Such was its trajectory in the late 1980s when the country was on the verge of transitioning from authoritarianism to democracy only to be short-circuited by a military coup that drove state and society into a bloody tailspin from which it has barely emerged. Le Sueur's study is the most historically comprehensive, analytically insightful, and intellectually honest account of Algeria's dramatic and tumultuous last two decades available in any language. That it is written in crisp and accessible prose makes it valuable to both specialists and general audiences alike. Based on many years of close study of the country, the author unveils the many contradictions, complexities, and conflicts that continue to plague North Africa's most important political actor whose fate has implications for the Mediterranean region and beyond.' - John P. Entelis, Fordham University

ISBN: 9781842777251 £16.99

Revolution, Rebellion, Resistance
Revolution, Rebellion, Resistance
The Power of Story
Eric Selbin

'People choose to resist and rebel and people make revolutions. They do this in no small measure by making stories, stories that also make them people. Eric Selbin, author of these words, is the leading advocate for the undeniable centrality of the human side of culture, agency, and identity in the study of revolutions today. This work, beautifully written and subtly powerful in its surprising messages for scholars and activists, fully lives up to the promise of its title, from its first page to its eloquent conclusions. Written with passion and humanity, it is for anyone interested in understanding why people matter in projects of radical social change, in the past and into the not so foreseeable future.' - John Foran, Professor of Sociology, UC Santa Barbara

ISBN: 9781848130173 £16.99

Africa's Development Impasse
Africa's Development Impasse
Rethinking the Political Economy of Transformation
Stefan Andreasson

'Stefan Andreasson has crafted a very well-grounded/-informed treatise about both region & literatures, juxtaposing politics & economics with sociology & history. He is both revisionist & idealistic about the elusiveness of development & democracy, advocating a post-development perspective. He confronts notions of developmental state/nexus along with corporatism by reference to the comparative political economy of a trio of Southern African states. This book constitutes a major contribution to (Southern) African & (post-) development studies at the start of the second decade of the 21st century following the recent global financial restructuring. The latter might just offer a new space or window for the global South to finally overcome the development impasse in this as other continents.' - Professor Timothy M Shaw, Institute of International Relations at the University of the West Indies

ISBN: 9781842779729 £18.99

Citizenship and Social Movements
Citizenship and Social Movements
Perspectives from the Global South
Edited by Lisa Thompson and Chris Tapscott

'Analysing social movements in Bangladesh, India, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa, this book presents a distinct and diverse picture of collective action - and also shows how this picture defies many of the theoretical assumptions of Northern literature on the subject. With a combination of concerns with historical and contextual background, specific characteristics of states and political systems, and cultural and political identities, this thorough and sophisticated analysis of the struggles around citizenship and rights provides a splendid venue for the debate on the limits and possibilities of social mobilization in confronting the deeply rooted and multidimensional inequality of Southern societies.' - Evelina Dagnino, Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Campinas, Brazil

ISBN: 9781848133891 £19.99

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