Sunday, October 09, 2011

And the war drags on . . .

Hannah Meisel (Daily Illinois) reports on a Friday speak out on the campus of the University of Illinois in which students and faculty noted the ongoing wars on the 10th anniversary of the start of the Afghanistan War. Meisel reports:

David Amerson, Marine veteran and law student at the University, spent two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. His message echoed Miller’s, speaking out against what he considers the disservice of the U.S. to its veterans.
"When I joined the Marines at 18, I was told this country takes care of its veterans," Amerson said. "But when I left the service, I came home to find out that was a lie."
Amerson said male veterans make up 40 percent of the country's entire homeless population, due to poor health care, scarce psychological counseling and few employment opportunities for former service members.
"Meanwhile, the politicians want us to fight for their poll numbers, while living in opulence and luxury," he said.

This was one of many events marking the official start of the never-ending 'war on terror' which has so many lives and so many dollars and has nothing to show for it, all this time later.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4481. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4481.

10-9-11 dod

In Baghdad today, Aswat al-Iraq reports there were two shootings, the first injured a bystander, the second targeted a Cabinet official who managed to escape.

Barack can't escape criticism. Qasim Agrh (Al Sabaah) offers his take on Barack and it's not pretty. He argues Barack's forever on vacation, that for over two years he's continued the wars, that he's failed to repudiate the Bush policies and, to really get the point across, he quotes one-time rival John Edwards from the 2008 campaign trail. Ahmed Abdul-Jabbar Abdullah (Dar Addustour) is also in a reflective mood, but on the eight-plus years of war in Iraq. He notes Iraqis know full well what democracy is, they just can't seem to obtain it from a government forever engaged in political squabbles and forever targeting one segment of the population via marginalization or exclusion. He notes that Iraqis understood democracy to mean that they could utilize their rights in a civilized engagement on issues effecting the country; however, that is not what the war has brought to Iraq.

In political news, Alsumaria TV reports that yesterday, "The meeting of Kurdish delegation with Iraqiya List and National Alliance resulted of many statements that stressed on close views between political parties. During the meeting with National Alliance, Kurdistan delegation stated that Baghdad talks are not restricted to meet the demands of the delegation only. The National Alliance stressed the necessity to resort to dialogue in order to resolve unsettled issues on all levels." The Kurds have objected to Nouri's oil & draft proposal, to the refusal to implement Article 140 of the Constitution (nearly six years after the Constitution was ratified) and the failure to implement the agreed upon Erbil Agreement. Dar Addustour reports that Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has refused to meet with the Kurdish delegation.

New content at Third:

Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Pru notes this from Great Britain's Socialist Worker:

CIA ‘success’ means more chaos for Yemen

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by Ken Olende

An unmanned CIA drone blew up Islamist leader Anwar al Awlaki and an unknown number of companions in Yemen last week.

US president Barack Obama declared it a “major blow” against terrorism.

In fact, it is likely to accelerate Yemen’s slide towards civil war and encourage recruitment to Islamist rebels.

Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh claims he provided intelligence that helped the US to target its drones.

Saleh is desperate to extend his 33-year rule—despite growing opposition.

Student and youth groups set up a democracy camp in Change Square in the capital, Sana’a, in February. Saleh also faces both a Islamist rebellion and a separatist movement in the south.

These interlocking struggles have created enormous confusion.

So, a government warplane bombed a building housing an army unit in Zinjibar last Saturday, killing 30 soldiers.

The unit was loyal to General Ali Mohsin. Mohsin defected from the government side in March—but his troops have been fighting alongside government forces in the south against Islamist insurgents.

There is confusion over if this was an intentional attack on an enemy unit or “friendly fire”.

Hundreds of thousands marched out of Change Square on Wednesday of last week demanding Saleh stands down and faces trial.

Armed soldiers from units loyal to General Mohsin joined the protest.

Previously Mohsin’s troops have protected protests and rebel districts, but have not actively taken part in the demonstrations.

Saleh announced the following day that he will not step down. But after Friday prayers, tens of thousands took to the streets again demanding that he goes.

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