Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The fallen and Turkey continues bombings

Monday media accounts identified Estevan Altamirano as the US soldier who died Sunday in Iraq. Gail Burkhard (Monitor) speaks with his widow, Pamela Altamirano, who states his gunn -- "a .50 caliber machine gun" -- apparently accidentally went off while he was cleaning it due to some malfunction. She also notes he was on his fourth tour of Iraq. From the article:

The sergeant had two sons from his first marriage and a daughter and two stepdaughters with Pamela Altamirano.
His wife remembers asking her husband not to go to Iraq again. The sergeant had back, ankle and knee injuries from his past tours in Iraq, she said.

She tells Melissa Correa (KRGV), "He showed me how to appreciate life. He changed my world forever." Lynn Brezosky (San Antonio Express-News) quotes his sister Loreda Altamirano explaining, "He was funny, he was positive, always thinking positive. He loved what he would do, never let any of his military men down." Stephanie Bertini (KRGV) speaks with his high school Spanish teacher Juventino Segundo:

He describes Altamirano as a quiet, bright and well-behaved student. He says he's one of the most successful alumni this school has seen.
Altamirano graduated from back in 1999. Segundo says Altamirano came to visit him in a uniform shortly after, but the Spanish teacher says he knew that young man’s future was with the military long before that visit. He says he had the makings of a true soldier.
"He didn't put any barriers. He always followed through. I remember him clearly in his uniform because I know he was ROTC," says Segundo.

Meanwhile there's nothing from the governor's office. If running his national campaign is too much for him already, maybe Rick Perry to throw in the towel? Texas is a state that's already lost over 400 residents in the Iraq War. When the media identified the fallen, the governor's office should have issued a statement. It's two days after, where's the statement? Perry made a point to speak to Time magazine about the Iraq War last week. If those weren't just words tossed out in a political campaign, his office needs to issue a statement on the passing of Estevan Altamirano.

And I am a Democrat, yes, but only if you're new here will you think that's the first time I've called out a governor for failure to make the announcements necessary. With Perry, it's the first time I've called out a sitting governor seeking national office. I really don't care who anyone votes for, the reason he's being called out is because Texas is one of the hardest hit states when it comes to deaths in the Iraq War and Perry's been in place as governor long enough to know the drill on what you do when one your residents dies in the war.

Meanwhile the government of Turkey is boasting of another round of carpet bombing today on northern Iraq. AP reports that in addition to carpet bombing the region, the government is using Heron drones to track movement (those drones supplied by the Israeli government) and intelligence passed on by the US government which the US government obtained via "U.S.-operated Predator drones". World Bulletin notes the Turkish boast of hitting "152 targets" since the bombings began on August 17th. The Times of Oman reports, "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has submitted a list of requests for help from the United States to counter Kurdish separatists, Anatolia news agency said Wednesday." And Erdogan's quoted stating his belief that it will be no problem for Turkey to get those predator drones from the US it requested last week. For an overview of the historical issues at play today, you can read this piece by Moign Khawaja for the Palestine Telegraph.

All of the following except Third updated last night or this morning despite Blogger/Blogspot not reading them:

David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. We'll close with this

This Camera Fights Fascism:
The Photographs of David Bacon and Francisco Dominguez

de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University
Santa Clara, CA
July 29 - December 4, 2011 and January 14 - February 5, 2012
Tuesday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Opening Thursday, September 22nd, 6PM

David Bacon and Francisco Dominguez have both followed in the tradition of Depression-era photographers such as Dorothea Lange, focusing their cameras on struggle, dissent, immigrants, and workers. Their photographs speak to the global character of contemporary migration. Like the so-called Okies of the Depression, many of today's migrants have been displaced by environmental degradation and wider economic forces.

The title of this exhibition refers to a sign that 1930s folk musician Woody Guthrie often had on his guitar, "This Machine Kills Fascists." These two photographers build a powerful body of visual evidence of the continuing struggle of workers, migrants, and poor people to survive. In this exhibition the photographers responded to images by Dorothea Lange and selected photographs from their own work that draw close connections between the 1930s and today.
David Bacon is a photojournalist who has documented the movements of farm workers, social protest from Iraq and Mexico to the U.S., and the migration of people. He is the author of several books, and many of the images in this show are from Communities Without Borders, Images and Words from the World of Migration.

Francisco Dominguez is a photographer and printmaker. His parents both were farm workers. He documents the struggles of indigenous, immigrant, and poor people in black and white photography.

- Art Hazelwood, Guest Curator

To view the slide show please go to:

This exhibition is taking place at the museum simultaneously with
Hobos to Street People: Artists' Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present
Between Struggle and Hope: Envisioning a Democratic Art in the 1930s
July 29 - December 4, 2011
also curated by Art Hazelwood

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