Thursday, October 13, 2011

3 US soldiers injured in rocket attack

Independent Online News reports, "A rocket attack on a United States military base in Iraq's southern Maysan province wounded three American soldiers on Wednesday, a US military spokesperson and an Iraqi security official said." Press TV adds, "According to the reports, emergency vehicles were sent to the military base and helicopters flew overhead. [. . .] The rocket attack comes as two Iraqi soldiers were gunned down at an army checkpoint in the northern city of Mosul late on Wednesday." The US State Dept's Patrick Kennedy was living in a fantasy world yesterday, explaining how the State Dept would be protected from rockets and mortars because they were learning the construction techniques that DoD had used in Iraq to ward off rocket and mortar attacks. Either they don't work or there are loopholes. Kennedy might want to look into that -- assuming he believed what he was telling Congress which is always an iffy assumption. We covered the Iraq hearing in yesterday's snapshot and last night Wally covered it in "US House Rep Jason Chaffetz (Wally)" (at Rebecca's site), Kat with "House Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations" and Ava, at Trina's site, with "DoD says it can't talk about Iraq in an open session."

Turning to the fallen, Tuesday, Spc Adrian Mills was laid to rest. The 23-year-old is the most recent US soldier to die in the Iraq War. John Winters (Newnan Times-Herald) reports, "Facing McKoon Funeral Home Tuesday morning, one could see a large 'V' of American flags lining the two sidewalks from Jackson Street to the stairs of the funeral home. The flags swayed gently in a slight breeze. There was an on-and-off drizzle, which seemed appropriate. Each of the 40 or so flags was held firmly by a man or woman, some young, some old. Many were clad in leather jackets and chaps." Meanwhile the BBC (link is video) remembers on US soldier Travis Patriquin who died in serving in Iraq in December 2006 after coming up with the "Awakening" plan.

Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and her office issues the following:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Murray Press Office

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 (202) 224-2834

Chairman Murray’s Statement on Passage of House Veterans Employment Bill

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, released the following statement on House passage of the VOW Act, a bill to address veterans unemployment sponsored by House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman, Rep. Jeff Miller. Chairman Murray first introduced legislation in this Congress to help put veterans to work with the Hiring Heroes Act, which passed Senator Murray’s Committee unanimously on June 29th and is awaiting action on the Senate floor.

“I look forward to working with Chairman Miller to build around both of our efforts to start putting veterans to work. This is an issue that should transcend partisanship and remind us that doing right by our veterans always comes first. We have made tremendous investments in training and supporting those in uniform and simply patting them on the back for their service and sending them into the working world alone isn’t good enough. We must improve the opportunities and resources available to our veterans to help them find the dignity and financial security that a job helps provide.”


Matt McAlvanah

Communications Director

U.S. Senator Patty Murray

202-224-2834 - press office

202--224-0228 - direct

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And as usual Blogger/Blogspot isn't reading feeds. All of the community sites below updated last night or this morning except Third:

Lastly, Sgt William Collins is a US Marine currently serving in Iraq. Karlos Zurutuza reports on him in "To Be Black in Iraq" (IPS):

"If I dressed the local Arab garb, I would be able to walk across these streets and nobody would take me as a foreigner," says Collins. He adds that he’d probably feel safer that way than with the bulletproof jacket and the helmet he’s wearing.
There are many black people in Basra and especially in Zubeir district - an area of crumbling mud-brick buildings that is home to 300,000. Most black people in Zubeir claim to be descendants of slaves brought to the Gulf from Africa at least since the ninth century. And some old habits seem to have survived for a whole millennium.
"The Arabs still call us "abd" ("slave" in Arabic), says 46-year-old Zubeir resident Amin Tarik. "Luckily enough, there are not aggressions against us, but we face discrimination in almost every aspect of life," adds Tarik, speaking in the courtyard of his humble mud house.
Iraqi blacks hardly speak any language but Arabic, and they are overwhelmingly Muslim, like the majority in the country. Slavery was abolished here in the 19th century but the colour of their skin literally closes many doors.

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