October 25, 2008
Typepad still sucks.
Open thread ...
Posted by b on October 25, 2008 at 08:08 AM | Permalink
Majority of Americans predict voter fraud in U.S. election - poll
A majority of Americans think that the U.S. presidential election next month will be marred by fraud. A survey released by Opinion Dynamics suggests over 60 % believe there will be widespread voter fraud, with 35 % keeping faith in the electoral process.
Posted by: vbo | Oct 25, 2008 9:31:15 AM | 2
Once more: Did Russia use cluster bombs in Georgia ?
A report by the Dutch government has found that cameraman Stan Storimans was killed by a Russian cluster bomb, Dutch and foreign newspapers reported on October 20-21. Storimans, 39, who worked for Dutch television, died in Gori, Georgia on August 12th. The finding is based on an investigation conducted by a team of investigators sent to Georgia by the Netherlands Foreign Ministry.
The report claims that Storimans died as a result of a Russian SS-26 type tactical ballistic missile – Iskander – carrying cluster bombs. The journalist was killed by a five-millimeter metal ball which could only have come from weaponry used by the Russian military. The finding is based on interviews with eyewitnesses, international organizations, military experts and the Georgian and Russian authorities. Use was also made of technical and forensic material and images from independent media.
In support of the conclusion of the report, Dutch media remind the reader that Human Rights Watch (HRW) already immediately after the incident concluded that Storimans was killed by Russian a cluster bomb. Other media are more cautious and provide support to the conclusion in the report by referring to HRW’s claim that Russian RBK-250 cluster bombs have been used on the same day in the town of Ruisi (false as we learned on this website).
The Russian Embassy denies any involvement of Russia in the death of Storimans. According to Alexander Rylov Russia did not use cluster bombs at all during the war with Georgia. On October 23 the Russian Foreign Ministry declared, that evidence put forth by the Netherlands were not enough to claim that a Dutch cameraman was a victim of the Russian cluster bomb.
There are several reasons to be suspicious about the outcome of the Dutch investigation. So far, all presented evidence has turned out to be false. So, the Dutch report would be the first one presenting real evidence. Not really surprisingly this evidence will not disclosed! Moreover, the Dutch investigation provides exactly that outcome that Verhagen needs. He is of the same Christen Democratic Party CDA as his friend, former Dutch foreign minister and current NATO secretary-general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.
On the radio I heard that the “images from independent media” refer to footage from CNN. I could not find it on internet. Can somebody do a better job and find evidence that confirms or disproves the conclusions of the Dutch Foreign Ministry?
Posted by: Kris | Oct 25, 2008 11:04:44 AM | 3
American Brokers Regularly Issue Placebo Advice, Survey Says
MARIA CHENG | October 23, 2008 11:58 PM EST | AP
NEW YORK — About half of American brokers in a new survey say they regularly give patients placebo advice _ usually pep talks or "hold, and go long" advice that won't really help their financial condition. And many of these brokers are not honest with their customers about what they are doing, the survey found.
That contradicts advice from the American Brokerage Association, which recommends brokers issue analyst recommendations with the full knowledge of their patients.
"It's a disturbing finding," said Franklin G. Miller, director of the research ethics program at the U.S. National Institute of Finance and one of the study authors. "There is an element of deception here which is contrary to the principle of informed consent."
The study was being published online in Friday's issue of AFJ, formerly the American Financial Journal, since restyled as a catchy, 'SNAFUBAR' broadsheet.
Placebo advice as defined in the survey went beyond the typical "sugar pill" commonly used in pump-and-dump practice, terms such as "soft landing", "under control" or "Goldilocks economy". A placebo was any treatment that wouldn't necessarily help the investor, but would ease their anxiety about the future.
Scientists have long known of the "placebo effect," in which investors who are given fake or inaccurate advice often stay in the market anyway, simply because they expect their 401k's to get better based on the false advice.
"Brokers may be under a lot of pressure to help their customers, but this is not an acceptable shortcut," said Irving Harsch, a professor of psychology at Columbia University who has studied the use of placebo advice.
Of special concern in today's "washboard" economy is the deliberate use of placebo advice by Treasury and Fed officials, in an attempt to keep Americans buying.
"(President George) Bush issued the most famous placebo after the 9/11 attack," Harsch continued, "when he advised, 'Whatever you do, don't stop shopping!', then Fed Chairman Greenspan deliberately engineered that fiduciary expectation."
Asked if the SEC should more closely monitor and perhaps penalize any deliberate misuse of placebo advice by brokerages and government officials, Harsch burst out laughing, so hard he had to stop the interview.
"Yeah,..." he gasped at last, "that'll happen!" , a sobering placebo in itself!
Posted by: Terrence Michaels | Oct 25, 2008 2:18:22 PM | 4
So far, all presented evidence has turned out to be false. So, the Dutch report would be the first one presenting real evidence.
unless it isn't.
Moreover, the Dutch investigation provides exactly that outcome that Verhagen needs.
why does Verhagen need this 'evidence'?
vbo, this is exactly why the gop has put so much energy into these allegations. so when they commit voter intimidation/supression, caging, manipulation of results.. they can be lumped into the fog of information they are spewing about acorn.
Posted by: annie | Oct 25, 2008 2:57:43 PM | 5
sorry, i meant why does Verhagen need this outcome?
Posted by: annie | Oct 25, 2008 2:58:41 PM | 6
Placebo advice? Give me a break! Brokers are there to make money for themselves. Period. With the rare exception, you need to have several million dollars invested before brokers will give you advice tailored to your situation. Even then, most brokers are clueless about the conditions underlying the market. It's gotten so bad that, when my broker calls with dire news about a stock and advising me to sell, I know that it's already too late to sell and that prices will probably tick up in the following few days. (In this case he seems to know something I don't and wants to get hold of the stock, cheap, for himself.)
Caveat emptor! Put the bulk of your investments in secure investments, like bonds. Avoid annuities like the plague (fat commissions for insurance salesmen). Upfront I tell financial planners that if they ever propose an annuity to me, I will terminate the relationship immediately. Understand the commissions and fees on mutual funds. Investments that are not secure (individual stocks, etc.) should be bought only if you are prepared to gamble. Diversified mutual stock funds are a much better bet, but not today. Balanced mutual funds are a great place for a new investor to start.
Unfortunately, most 401(k) plans are heavy on stock funds and light on balanced and bond funds.
Posted by: JohnH | Oct 25, 2008 3:10:15 PM | 7
For debs is dead and r'giap, as well as all those who believe in the upcoming Soros/Brzezinski Obama color revolution new Pepsi lite brand change:
Mining Misery: Hope and Change Down Under
Posted by: Malooga | Oct 25, 2008 8:46:31 PM | 9
Should go without saying that I am no fan of the GOP in general or the McCain ticket in particular, but I'm a little taken aback by this CNN story... Palin's 'going rogue,' McCain aide says... which is making the rounds today.
The analysis here seems to blatantly reinforce the idea that candidates for public office are simply showponies or party mascots... or, at best, mouthpieces for hidden interests. I'm not so naive that I hadn't arrived at that conclusion a long time ago, but are we really putting that out on the table now? Are we coming out and publicly saying that it truly doesn't matter who you vote for because the whole thing is a stage-managed game from start to finish?
Talk about mixed feelings here; I'm glad to see the McCain ticket imploding this way, but I'm not comfortable with the idea that we're no longer even pretending that US politics are any less choreographed than a Busby Berkeley musical spectacle (with about as much substance). And the audience seems to be getting restless.
Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 26, 2008 3:56:39 AM | 10
Monolycus, it is good to see you posting again. please don't stay away so long again.
as for the CNN story you link to, I think it is a sign that the talking heads now know who they are to going to be beholding to and can let loose a little venom and vile that they previously were instructed to direct at the democrats.
it will be interesting to see when Fox makes the turn. I can not imagine them being the network for the minority and if the democrats have any balls (and sadly they don't) they will never appear on Fox until the entire crew from Ailes on down are replaced, even the toadie colmes.
Posted by: dan of steele | Oct 26, 2008 4:39:51 AM | 11
Some are holding out hope that Palin can become a new "populist" face of the republican party, apparently under some new fangled notion of "corporatism" or baked Alaska. Watch all the post foreclosure rube families of 6 moving to Alaska, to get some of that new socialism, or a check for $12,000 - on top of the earned income IRS check.
Posted by: anna missed | Oct 26, 2008 5:20:03 AM | 12
It's such great fun watching the repugs implode, I just can't seem to find enough of it. Send those rubes to Alaska! Hell, we have plenty here in Ohio we could lend them. That may be my next bumper sticker, Rubes To Alaska! I suppose I have to retire Illegitimate Son Of A Bush here soon, but I'm going to keep my little yellow ribbon thing that says "Enlist".
Posted by: JimT. | Oct 26, 2008 11:54:14 AM | 13
OT - has anyone connection problems to this site. One regular visitor reports such ...
Posted by: b | Oct 26, 2008 1:30:23 PM | 14
Posted by: b real | Oct 26, 2008 1:33:01 PM | 15
Recommended: Wrecked Iraq - What the Good News from Iraq Really Means
By the time Bremer left Iraq in the spring of 2004, the inhabitants of many cities faced 60% unemployment. Meanwhile, the country's agriculture, a key component of its economy, was also victimized by the dismantling of government establishments and services. The lush farming areas between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers suffered badly. The once-thriving date palm industry was a typical casualty. It suffered deadly infestations of pests when the occupation eliminated a government-run insecticide spraying program. Even oil refinery-based industrial towns like Baiji became cities of slums when plants devoted to non-petroleum activities were shuttered.
Posted by: b | Oct 26, 2008 1:51:56 PM | 16
b: OT - has anyone connection problems to this site. One regular visitor reports such ...
Two times today the page didn't come up on the first try (slightly unusual), but refresh worked both times with no problems.
Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 26, 2008 2:10:49 PM | 17
Breaking news. This is bad.
US forces kill 7 inside Syria
Doctors in the town of Al-Sukkariya, some eight kilometres from the Iraqi border, said seven corpses and four wounded had been delivered to a nearby clinic after the attack.
The eyewitness accounts said that four helicopters were involved in the operation, with two of the helicopters landing in the town and eight American soldiers disembarking. The eyewitnesses said that the seven killed men were supposedly construction workers.
Posted by: Alamet | Oct 26, 2008 2:13:09 PM | 18
Re the US attack in Syria, the Israeli news source Arutz Sheva says, "The site was near the target Israel bombed last year."
Posted by: Alamet | Oct 26, 2008 2:46:57 PM | 19
Cue Gomer Pyle, USMC: Sooprise, sooprise, sooprise!
Posted by: biklett | Oct 26, 2008 3:36:52 PM | 20
@Alamet - yes that is serious - the reports seem screwed though. The site Israel bombed last year was quite (100 miles?) away from the border.
Posted by: b | Oct 26, 2008 4:19:27 PM | 21
@Malooga it has been Rudd's effort to undo the work of myself and many others in Northern Australia that has made me even more extreme in my attacks on the Obama bullshit. I haven't bothered to share much of it here because MoA-ites tend to yawn and look the other way when the debate strays too far outta a certain hemisphere, but suffice to say Cigar Bill has nothing on this new brand of pseudo-populism as practised by Rudd and Obama.
Posted by: Debs is dead | Oct 26, 2008 4:50:48 PM | 22
18, just came here to post that. wtf? do they even consider what this signals to the world? ever?
Posted by: annie | Oct 26, 2008 7:13:51 PM | 23
sofa Secret articles according to Saudi newspaper Okaz
- U.S. military has the right to build camps, military bases and prisons.
- Expand the immunity to contain the civil, military and logistic security companies contracted by the U.S. military forces.
- The Iraqi government has no right to determine the movement of U.S. forces and the areas they occupy.
- The U.S. forces have the right to arrest any person who is considered as a threat to peace and security without reference to the Iraqi government.
- The U.S. forces have the right to strike any country threatened its security and the security of Iraq.
- The U.S. military observes all regional and international treaties.
- U.S. troops control the Interior and Defense ministries for ten years with the pretext of training and rehabilitation.
- The Timeline for U.S. forces presence in Iraq to remain indefinitely open and subject to the performance improvement of the Iraqi military to eliminate the terrorists and achieve reconciliation and the absence of threats from neighboring countries.
Posted by: annie | Oct 26, 2008 9:17:06 PM | 24
I just saw this morning cool bumper sticker:
WAR IS TERRORISM!
Posted by: vbo | Oct 26, 2008 10:35:47 PM | 25
Addendum to Alamet's #18 (shib-pal!): Commando Raid on Syria Raises Question of Timing
Was the weekend raid a way for the U.S. to warn the insurgents, and their Syrian cohorts, that although the U.S. is retreating from the border, it is still on watch and able to strike?
Coming days may bring the answer. Or not.
Are US news agencies using the word "retreating" to send a message to the hard-of-thinking that this mid-east fiasco is finally lost?
Coming election results may bring the answer. Or not.
Anyway, in other news, bloggers are still terrorists. As apparently are:
"Twitter has also become a social activism tool for socialists, human rights groups, communists, vegetarians, anarchists, religious communities, atheists, political enthusiasts, hacktivists and others to communicate with each other and to send messages to broader audiences," the report said.
Is this a spoof site, or are they really clamping down on socialists and vegetarians, religious communities and athiests these days? If this is legitimate, I'm going to have to stop attending those "and others" meetings. Shame. I really liked the group hug after I got to announce that my name is Monolycus and I'm... I'm... (sob!) "other".
Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 27, 2008 12:01:33 AM | 26
very ot but being as dumb as fuck about my mac
does anybody know what this means
ATTENTION : le fichier SUID « System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/Resources/OwnerGroupTool » a été modifié et ne sera pas réparé.
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 27, 2008 2:39:50 PM | 27
I am not a Mac guy but I can google. You might try some of the things mentioned in this post. It does not seem serious in any case
Posted by: dan of steele | Oct 27, 2008 2:50:35 PM | 28
i'm inept at just about everything
on an entirely other topic - it would seem from tpm that corrupt senator stevens from alaska is going to get off - this time the prosecutors were obviously working with the defence
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 27, 2008 3:00:21 PM | 29
that illegal attack on syria & the habitual killing of innocents do not augur well
a wounded beast is a terrifying thing & i believe they are capable of much worse
on the points malooga, dens & mono have argued - it is as clear of day what danger these so-called 'christian centrists' like blair concretised the worst aspects of the reagan/thatchar attack on the people. it is clear that kevin rudd is in the same mode. they are particularly disgusting in their efforts to hurt those whom have already been hurt enough
& look at who they attack : the indigenous people in every instance, the marginalised, the poor, the disabled,
these are the monstrous fucks who take the people's land, leave people homeless, use the liberalisation of psychiatric laws to leave the people eating out of rubbish bins on the streets.
maybe for reagan & thatcher, we were mere abstractions - but for blair rudd - they know exactly who they are hurting
tho the idea of mccain/palin would signify the necessity of an insurrectional politics - the endgame of parliamentary politics - i am as frightened at hell that the good manners of obama will be used to make the poor poorer
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 27, 2008 3:14:00 PM | 30
i was wrong - the corrupt senator stevens from alaska - found guilty
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 27, 2008 4:45:54 PM | 31
The Strategy of tension Continues In
Iraq the homeland, aka America:
Feds foil bizarre Skinhead assassination plot
WASHINGTON - Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama (web|news|bio) and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday. In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.
Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the two men planned to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another 14. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.
The men also sought to go on a national killing spree, with Obama as its final target, Cavanaugh told The Associated Press.
"They said that would be their last, final act - that they would attempt to kill Sen. Obama," Cavanaugh said. "They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying."
While this may or may not have actually happened (who knows I put nothing past these murders) or if it is legit why put the info of it out now? Timing is everything with these fucks. Either way it's pure Psyop.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 27, 2008 7:04:21 PM | 32
Goddamn typepad, wonder how many other blawgs are "mysteriously" fucking up in these intense dark times... So the three link rule seems to apply whether they are cut and paste text or html... never knew that till now... yay! /snark
ES&S Touch-Screens in SC Omit Candidates, Races on Final Voter Review Screen.
What to do if your vote is suppressed
What to do if your vote is suppressed
Obama's Voter Protection Center
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 27, 2008 10:36:44 PM | 34
WV voting machine complaints continue...
Vote flipping on video
I believe it's not an issue of votes switching from Democrat to Republican, so much as the intentional placement of deliberately shoddily calibrated machines in highly Democratic areas to record incorrect votes, switching from Democrat to anything else.This gives the guilty parties a chance to pretend that the problems are just non-partisan malfunctions.
oh, and on my #32, According to others, "stormfront" and other WP sites - are distancing themselves from this because it undermines the legitimacy of the "real" White Nationalist movement. What they would tell the truth or something? perhaps to0 it's a case of young Tennessee drinking red bull listening to Hank (woman beater) Williams Jr. and talking shit. And the FBI making it into something it wasn't; another board I visit said, "This plot seems as fanciful as that Canadian government orchestrated plot of "17 young al Qaeda memebrs wanted to behead the prime minister and blow up buildings" hoax."
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 27, 2008 10:57:11 PM | 35
Major Infrastructure Projects Needed to Fight Taliban
By Bob Weber
THE CANADIAN PRESS
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan _ It's been seven years since western countries marched into Afghanistan with promises of development, yet the lives of most people in this devastated country are still a struggle.
Now, some people in Kandahar _ including a feisty local newspaper editor and the regional head of an international aid group _ are beginning to suggest that Canada and other donor countries are thinking small when big projects are required.
``Why did you give us hope?'' asks Mohammed Naseem, a prominent Kandahar businessman and owner of a local weekly newspaper called Surgar (Red Mountain). ``I honestly feel there's a wrong approach.''
Rural residents feel the same way, said Sardar Mohammed, the regional director of Mercy Corp, a non-governmental organization.
``(Farmers) know millions of dollars come to this country, but they see very small change. That's why everybody's losing faith in NGOs, government and the international community.''
Canada is one of Afghanistan's main international donors. The budget for Afghan aid in 2007-08 alone is $280 million.
Canadian aid strategy has been to aim at grassroots development and work through local government officials. The rationale is to ensure projects are defined by Afghans and help boost the profile of the country's struggling central government.
Officials with the Canadian International Development Agency also say that projects clearly identified as foreign-funded are more likely to be targeted by insurgents.
But Naseem and Mohammed say that approach has limited Canada's efforts to small-time projects.
``It's just small, small everywhere, without impact,'' said Mohammed, who spends time talking to farmers in rural areas where western aid workers can't go. ``The donors are spending millions and millions and nothing is happening.''
Much of Canada's aid has gone directly to support the central government in Kabul. Work on big-ticket items such as the Dahla irrigation dam have yet to begin.
Funding for education and schools has been a priority. Other programs include microfinance projects that provide loans to small businesses, road construction or rapid-response funds for immediate local needs.
But those programs aren't producing the kinds of immediate, noticeable impact that people were anticipating, said Mohammed. Small business doesn't cut it when thousands of jobs are needed.
He wonders why, in a region famous for fruit production, canned juices and fruits have to come from Pakistan or Iran. Why can't Canada build a factory, put people to work, and provide a market for local farmers?
``We need big projects,'' he said. ``We do small things.''
Farmers don't think that NGOs, the government or the international community will support them, he said. ``They don't believe it.''
Although CIDA purchases wheat seed that Mohammed's group grows for distribution to local farmers, he said the supply of such seed comes nowhere near meeting the demand.
Naseem wonders why Canada and the rest of the international community still hasn't seen fit to provide a basic service like electrical power in Kandahar.
``Why do they not simply give electricity to the city from Kandahar Airfield?'' he asks.
Kandahar has no water system, either. Most people draw their water from wells and flush refuse into canals.
Naseem said too many development officials stay behind the walls of Camp Nathan Smith, where Canada's development efforts are headquartered, and trust what they're told by local officials.
``They're all disconnected from reality behind those walls,'' he said.
Canadians shouldn't be afraid to move ahead without local institutions that have no local credibility, said Naseem.
``They are corrupt institutions. As long as they keep listening to the officials, they'll keep going downhill.''
Naseem's paper has run a series of surveys on what people want to see from development. They include civic services such as a public library.
Canada should do similar direct consultation with Afghans, he said.
``There should be a policy change. The public should be listened to more than the corrupt officials.
Posted by: Shah Loam | Oct 28, 2008 10:09:07 AM | 36
Iran Opens Base at Hormuz Strait for Gulf `Defense'
Iran opened a naval base on the Strait of Hormuz that's capable of keeping foreign forces out of the Persian Gulf, the chief of the Iranian navy said.
``With this naval base, a new line of defense was created in the Persian Gulf,'' Admiral Habibollah Sayyari was cited today as saying by state-run Fars News. ``If necessary, we can prevent any enemy from entering the Persian Gulf's strategic area.''
The naval chief said the facility, which was inaugurated yesterday, is needed because of the presence of foreign forces in the region. The base in the southern port of Jask, 1,050 miles (1,690 kilometers) south of Tehran, is in the eastern part of the strait at the entrance to the Gulf.
For laughs, don't miss this bit:
Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said Jask is in a remote part of the country and that, for Iranians, the base ``might as well be on the other side of the world.'' Rubin's defense policy expertise is focused on the Middle East region.
Posted by: Alamet | Oct 28, 2008 2:16:48 PM | 38
Today on Every Friggin' Station But ABC
ABC can fill the slot with its mockumentary The Path to 9/11 instead.
Something that won't get made into a movie, though... Explosions, suicide car bombs rock Puntland, Somaliland
News from both Somaliland and Puntland remain sketchy, but local media reports say the death toll is standing at 16 and 25 others were wounded.
The explosions in Hargeysa hit targets including UN offices, witnesses told Xinhua by phone from Hargeysa.
In Bossaso, Puntland, two suicide car bombers rammed their vehicles into a compound used by the local security forces, wounding nine security forces personnel, Omar Yare, an eye witness around the area of the blasts said.
The attacks came as regional leaders are meeting in Nairobi on Wednesday to discuss ways of restoring normalcy in Somalia which has been rocked by violence for many years.
Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 29, 2008 8:11:36 AM | 40
The Victor Bout website has recently become more active. In particular,
it has a very interesting rejoinder to the official U.S. government story regarding the arrest and extradition proceedings in Thailand. There's a good deal of other "alternative information" available there. For example, one also finds a transcript of the decision of the Belgian course dismissing the Belgian case against Mr. Bout and others due to the expiration of the time permitted by the statute of limitations. This had previously been made available at Richard Chichakli's now dormant site . Interested parties will undoubtedly continue to disagree on this case, but I hope that further documentation and updates will be forthcoming at the Victor Bout site. The Chichakli site has documentation exculpating its creator from the charges made by the Treasury department's OFAC. It now seems that the Victor Bout site may also bring additional "sunlight" to pierce through the clouds surrounding the case against the alleged "merchant of death". Such additional light should be welcomed by all concerned with seeing justice done, even those who already have taken a position.
Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 29, 2008 11:10:57 AM | 41
In 41 the end of the fourth line should read "the decision of the Belgian court"
Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 29, 2008 11:12:59 AM | 42
thanks the link @#40, monolycus. i haven't time to dig into that story yet, but garowe online, which is in puntland, will be as good a source as any to follow the story.
on tuesday they ran a story that will undoutedly figure in
Puntland leader 'plans war' with Somaliland ahead of elections
BOSSASO, Somalia Oct 28 (Garowe Online) - The president of Somalia's semiautonomous state of Puntland, Gen. Adde Muse, has reportedly authorized government officials to "prepare" security forces for an upcoming war with Somaliland, a neighboring region that aspires for independence.
Sources privy to the plan confidentially told Garowe Online that Puntland government officials have been holding secret meetings in the Gulf of Aden port of Bossaso.
Officials decided to establish several committees as part of preparations for the war, including a fund-raising committee.
Somaliland, which unilaterally declared independence in 1991, claims legal ownership of Sool and Sanaag regions under defunct colonial-era boundaries.
In October 2007, Somaliland troops captured the Sool provincial capital of Las Anod after a bitter battle with Puntland security forces.
Puntland leader Gen. Muse has rejected political pressure to retake Las Anod by military force since.
It is not clear why the Puntland government wants to wage war against Somaliland now, especially with the region's presidential elections slated for January.
also of note, though not necessarily related
Canada oil firm in Puntland hires foreign guards
BOSSASO, Somalia Oct 28 (Garowe Online) - A Canadian oil company that says its exploring for oil in northern Somalia's Puntland province has hired foreign security guards to protect oil workers after a botched kidnapping earlier this month, sources tell Garowe Online.
The foreign guards hired by Africa Oil Corp. are reportedly from Western countries, including the U.S. and Australia.
Security forces freed a British national working for Africa Oil in the port city of Bossaso after he was kidnapped for a few hours by locals hired as security.
Bossaso residents said heavily-armed foreigners have been seen sitting guard at the Africa Oil office in recent days.
Meanwhile, many Somali militiamen who were part of a security team hired to safeguard Africa Oil personnel and equipment have been dismissed, the sources added.
This is the first time a foreign company has brought armed foreigners to Somalia since the country's last national government collapsed in 1991.
Africa Oil's "contract" in Puntland faces legal and security challenges emanating from unstable political conditions in Somalia and local clans' opposition to exploration without consent.
i've reported previously on stories of a cia presence in puntland, on the assasination of puntland intel operatives, that most of the oil & uranium lies w/i these two regions, on the corruption surrounding somaliland riyale's electoral efforts, his pleas to become a trusted GWOT partner (somaliland actually has a GWOT clause written into its constitution), the heated party disputes there (including at least one bombing in the parliament), on the battles b/w somaliland & puntland over land (resources), puntland's de facto control by the TFG's yusuf & his darod comrades, on the u.s.' desires to regain full access to berbera (the massive port in somaliland) & to recognize somaliland as an independent state, ethiopia's relations to both somaliland & puntland, and the general instability of the overall region continuing on since cold war divisions/machinations. etc... maybe i can attempt to summarize it all at some point, or find a good source that already has.
there is some animosity toward the leaders in these two regions from some actors/clans in central & southern somalia, esp toward puntland, as they are viewed (correctly?) as enabling warlord rule & foreign occupation. it is possible that these bombings could be tied in there, however i'd rate the possibility lower than that it is related to party politics & resource control w/i the north. supposedly al shabaab were involved in some bombings earlier this year, though i am not sure that this was ever confirmed.
Posted by: b real | Oct 29, 2008 2:33:19 PM | 43
thanks b real - some remark on AFRICOM
Veteran diplomat Thomas Pickering, who has served as ambassador to Russia, India, Israel and El Salvador – among other places – said the priorities facing the next president would include clusters of related issues such as poverty, economic development, food, health and their relationship with trade. Another cluster includes disarmament, non-proliferation and terrorism.
During the question and answer session I figured the panel would have something interesting to say about AFRICOM, the Bush administration’s plan to combine assistance with civil reconstruction, humanitarian aid and other – traditionally non-military – tasks under a joint military and diplomatic leadership.
What surprised me was how negative most of the comments were: Pickering, once the No. 3 official at the State Department and who is thought to be a contender for the department's top job in an Obama administration, called Africom "a serious mistake.”
He said Africom was “a solution in search of a problem.”
After spending eight years in Africa, Pickering says “the military portion of our interest in Africa is very small. I think it' important to do things like peace-keeping training and to help friends, but I don’t feel we should turn it into a military problem.”
Paul Pillar, a former National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, now a visiting professor at Georgetown University, said he was neutral on Africom itself, but “winced somewhat” at how civilian and military parts of the government “try to get in on the counter-terrorism action, whether it’s the most appropriate way to respond or not.”
Posted by: b | Oct 29, 2008 3:04:42 PM | 44
i really, really need to sign off for now, but let me just throw this in, wrt the reports on the explosions in somaliand and puntland. from shabelle media
At least four powerful blasts followed by bursts of automatic gunfire shook in Hargeisa city’ Somaliland and Bosaso, Puntland Semiautonomous on Wednesday morning, according to sources
Ethiopia's main business area in Hargeisa was totally devastated by the blast and the voter registration locations were among several targets hit.
The blast on Ethiopian embassy was reported to have caused more deaths.
ethiopian targets would seem to indicate motives related to the occupation while, OTOH, targeting voter registration centers probably indicates party politics. hmmm.
Posted by: b real | Oct 29, 2008 3:23:05 PM | 45
Heads up Mono, et al...
North Korea Regime Collapse?
North Korea's Kim suffers 'serious' setback from stroke.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 29, 2008 5:04:55 PM | 46
UK: We`ve started talks on our own SOFA in Iraq
"Negotiations [with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on the security pact] were practically started," the British ambassador to Iraq told Voices of Iraq news agency on Tuesday.
The remarks have confirmed the earlier reports that Britain is seeking to sign an agreement similar to the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which would determine legal basis for the presence of US troops inside the war-torn country after their UN mandate expires in December 2008.
Although SOFA has come under media scrutiny over its controversial provisions, little is known about the agreement Britain is seeking to sign with Iraq.
Maliki had earlier hinted that there would be no need to the presence of British forces inside the country after their UN mandate expires.
Posted by: Alamet | Oct 29, 2008 6:17:09 PM | 47
b real: This is just now coming in from Congo Congo rebels declare cease-fire to prevent panic
According to this, the number of displaced is currently at about 50,000. It doesn't look like the Hutu coming in from Rwanda are also observing the cease-fire, so I'm not optimistic it will hold. It sounds like the French-led UN initiative (MONUC) is scrambling to get more troops in before it dissolves entirely.
Uncle $cam @#46: There's been chatter about that for weeks now. First, there was an announcement about a "big announcement" that was supposed to come from NoKo and which never materialized about two weeks ago. Then, one of Kim Jong-il's sons was monitored contacting a French neurosurgeon. That story got morphed into an evil plot by NoKo to kidnap French nationals. Most recently, Japan is reporting that Kim Jong-il is mostly alive.
Nobody's sure of anything coming out of North Korea now, but that's not new. You can speculate that zombie Kim Jong-il is having a torrid affair with zombie Fidel Castro and somebody somewhere will pick the story up and print it. None of it reflects any genuine concern on the ground.
South Koreans are concerned with about one thing right now and that's wondering where the hell their money went and when Lee Myung-bak is going to fulfill his campaign promises to kick out the dirty foreigners and miraculously make South Korea the richest nation in the world (They've been rehearsing for their turn to play Overlords... or at least making self love to the idea). For his part, it looks like Lee Myung-bak has been praying hard to his dirty foreign gods in the Temple of the Worm, and they are going to toss some divine intervention his way to keep him from getting ousted in the short term.
That's about all I've got for now.
Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 30, 2008 12:02:10 AM | 49
thanks monolycus - i was just reading the reuters' rpt at the same time
Congo rebels declare ceasefire, gunfire goes on
rwanda & uganda are being used by the u.s. (& others) to do this crap in the DRC, so it's ridiculous to hear jendayi frazer bullshit the media again
"We have no evidence that Rwanda is fighting directly in the conflict in east Congo. We do believe that Rwandan territory is being used to support the CNDP," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer told journalists.
plenty of analysis available in a simple web search to contradict her assertion
uganda, too, is a proxy arming rebel forces. i pointed out a brief from the indian ocean newsletter in the previous OT here (comment #19 on page two). that rpt, on signs that uganda has been arming the front pour la justice au congo in their insurgency against DRC troops, concluded
These clues have fuelled suspicion that Uganda may be supporting FPJC rebels. However, the MONUC is not in a position to provide irrefutable proof of this. Its officials have frequently asked for an autonomous intelligence service equipped with surveillance equipment, in particular night vision apparatus. But the US has systematically vetoed the request.
frazer has resurfaced in the public eye alot in the past day or so, as i'll point out later
Posted by: b real | Oct 30, 2008 1:07:09 AM | 50
on the bombings in somaliland & puntland (see #'s 40, 43, 45), still no rpts that anyone has claimed responsibility for the attacks. also targeted was the puntland intelligence service (PIS) compound, which has been attacked previously, perhaps b/c of their role in secret renditions in cooperation w/ the u.s. & ethiopia
but w/o any actor stepping forward & claiming that they did it, there's only speculation at this point, and some of it pretty damn wild. like this alarmist & known prevaricator
"This has the look of an al Qaeda strike," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Jendayi Frazer said in Nairobi. "There is a serious terrorist threat in the Horn of Africa."
interestingly, it is reported that prior to the u.s.-backed ethiopian invasion of somalia, there had never been any instance of a suicide bombing in that country
Posted by: b real | Oct 30, 2008 3:23:02 AM | 51
More bombings... this time, from India: At least 61 killed in blasts in northeast India
If the pattern of blame holds, it will probably be pinned to Islamic separatists from Bangladesh, although at this time I don't think anyone has claimed responsibility.
US Ambassador David Mulford, however, has quickly condemned the Indian attacks, because, as any American can tell you, politically motivated killings that come suddenly and without warning is worthy of condemnation.
Snip from the second link (NY TIMES)...
Thousands of people demonstrated in the Syrian capital Damascus on Thursday, in an apparently stage-managed protest of the American military raid across the Iraqi border into Syrian territory on Sunday.
Accounts of the demonstration by SANA, Syria’s official news agency, did not convey whether the protest was spontaneous or orchestrated by the government. But judging by other news accounts and images shown on television, it seemed clear that the government had organized the protest, which looked precisely timed and managed.
Earlier this week, in its first retaliation against the raid, the Syrian cabinet said it had decided to order the closure of the American School and an American cultural center in Damascus.
Got to be sponsored by the government, ergo, fake. Nobody would be truly and genuinely outraged about an incursion into their sovereign space, so "stage managed" was used not once, but two times in case the American audience didn't get the message. Further, closing a school was not a "response", but a "first retaliation"... implying that more will come.
What kind of over-the-top yellow rag writes this kind of heavy handed, over-the-top propaganda? Oh. New York Times.
Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 30, 2008 11:00:15 AM | 52
Iraq MP: 420 secret detention centres in Iraq
An Iraqi parliamentarian on Thursday called on the United Nations to investigate what he said were over 400 secret detention centres in the country controlled by both the government and US-led foreign forces.
Mohammad Al-Dainy told a news conference in Geneva there were at least 420 such places, some of them underground.
"These centres of detention are completely illegal. Nobody can visit them. Conditions there are much worse than in official prisons," he said.
Posted by: Alamet | Oct 30, 2008 7:29:26 PM | 55
Europe's secret plan to boost GM crop production
Gordon Brown and other European leaders are secretly preparing an unprecedented campaign to spread GM crops and foods in Britain and throughout the continent, confidential documents obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal.
The documents – minutes of a series of private meetings of representatives of 27 governments – disclose plans to "speed up" the introduction of the modified crops and foods and to "deal with" public resistance to them.
And they show that the leaders want "agricultural representatives" and "industry" – presumably including giant biotech firms such as Monsanto – to be more vocal to counteract the "vested interests" of environmentalists.
Posted by: Alamet | Oct 30, 2008 7:32:07 PM | 56
October Surprise!? Obama's Aunt is living in poverty in Boston.
FAUX news is all over this...
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 30, 2008 7:55:36 PM | 57
Laurent Nkunda has asked for aid, but has gotten Jendayi Frazer and Condoleeza Rice instead. I don't think that bodes well for the cease-fire.
In the meanwhile, elsewhere, let the next round of condemnations begin.
Anybody else starting to see patterns here?
Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 30, 2008 8:40:58 PM | 58
monolycus - nkunda is one of the main instigators of conflict in the DRC & is already getting enough aid from rwanda & u.s.
from a 2007 interview w/ paul 'hotel rwanda' rusesabagina
keith harmon snow: What about in Congo? What do you think about Kagame's role in Congo?
paul rusesabagina: Kagame's role in Congo was an international disaster. That was an international disaster and it is, still, an international disaster.
KHS: Because Kagame still has power in Congo…
PR: Oh yes.
KHS: How do you see that?
PR: You know a certain Nkunda?
KHS: General Nkunda.
PR: General Nkunda. You know about him. So, Kagame is still in the Congo. Kagame never left the Congo. How can one fight, without a battle? When Nkunda was injured, about a month ago, he was evacuated by helicopter from the Congo to Kigali. Where does he get that? He is just in the forest [Congo] in the most completely neglected area. Where does he get weapons? Where does he get ammunitions? Where does he get the men? And Rwanda is still doing a lot of mining.
KHS: Mining where?
PR: In Congo. A year ago  all those mining guys were Rwandans prisoners. It was in a documentary—a special documentary—filmed in Eastern Congo, in the North and South Kivu provinces.
KHS: So coltan, diamonds, gold, niobium, cassiterite…
PR: Yeah, the miners were just Hutu prisoners.
KHS: That was happening a lot a few years back—1999, 2000, 2001—and the world was led to believe that Rwanda pulled out of Congo. But you say its still happening now? You don’t think it stopped? So you confirm that this is still happening, in Congo.
PR: Yes. It is still happening today; it is still taking place.
KHS: Do you think the U.N. is actively allowing Nkunda to be there?
PR: The U.N., to me, I do not—I am sorry—I do not care for the U.N.
KHS: After what happened in Rwanda?
PR: After what happened in Rwanda, I do not really trust the U.N. When Kagame killed people in Kibeho, 5000 U.N. soldiers were in the country. During 4 days—17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, of April 1995—he destroyed a refugee camp. Where were they?
KHS: As early as 1994 and 1995, did you see, or were you aware, that minerals—gold, diamonds, coltan, niobium—were leaving the Congo and going through Kigali on Sabena [Airlines] planes back to Belgium?
PR: Well, that has ever been like that. This is very plain. This has ever been just like that.
KHS: Was it happening that way under President Habyarimana? With Mobutu’s support?
PR: Well, you know Rwanda. Habyarimana was also trucking minerals from Congo [Zaire]. So was Mobutu. And there was no infrastructure in the Congo, so everything was fleeing the Congo by Rwanda. That was very well known. Smuggling minerals, smuggling coffee... Rwanda was producing more coffee than Congo... If you planted coffee over the whole country of Rwanda, you cannot have produced what we were selling outside. That was smuggling.
KHS: Coming from Congo. It was the same under Mobutu and during the Congo war, as now?
PR: Coming from Congo, from Burundi, from Uganda—and going back, crossing Uganda again, to Mombasa [Kenya].
KHS: And you're saying that was true under President Habyarimana and it's also true under Kagame today?
PR: You see, in Rwanda, we say that, we always change dancers, and the music stays the same. Rwanda exports more diamonds and gold, more metals than any other African country. And yet, we do not produce any in Rwanda and we sell so much more than the Congo.
KHS: Even now, in 2007.
PR: Even today.
KHS: So, the Congo pillage is still going on by Rwanda.
PR: So, it is as I told you. That is why General Nkunda is there. Nkunda is on a mission.
KHS: His mission is to make sure the raw materials keep coming into Rwanda.
PR: And also that Kagame controls Eastern Congo. And he does.
david barouski's electronic book -- Laurent Nkundabatware, his Rwandan Allies, and the ex-ANC Mutiny: Chronic Barriers to Lasting Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- provides a dense backgrounder and, as barouski states in the quick interview at the link, it's purpose was to communicate:
1. Who General Laurent Nkundabatware (the most prominent 'rebel' in Congo-Zaire) is and what his army has done.
2. To provide a comprehensive examination of the situation in the Kivu provinces of the Congo following the Sun City Final Act to the present day.
3. How Rwanda continues to overtly and covertly infiltrate the Congo and is the cause of the region's instability.
4. To demonstrate the U.S. role in putting the current Rwanda regime in power, in backing the Rwandan army and Laurent Kabila to topple Mobutu for personal geopolitical gain, and how the U.S. directly contributes to the suffering in the Great Lakes region today.
5. To demonstrate the multitude of areas that must be addressed in order to secure peace for the region.
nkunda & others are part of the problem, helping exploit the eastern congo for the very minerals that enhance the western way of life
Posted by: b real | Oct 31, 2008 12:00:49 AM | 59
b real: Thanks for the background. I'm not intimately familiar with Nkunda's record, but it would seem to me that his (and others')efforts at opening this corridor might make a bigger difference to the 45-50,000 displaced than anything MUNOC is capable of doing at this time.
Still, it is very good to have more background, and I very much appreciate your insights and nuanced perspectives. Thanks as always.
Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 31, 2008 12:09:59 AM | 60
Donald MacKenzie has added a brief update to his article on Libor for the London Review of Books, cited here
The only new point seems to be the final comment, the basic thrust of which has already been raised here at MOA (if memory serves):
The widespread state intervention in the banking system will, however, pose new questions, such as how to treat, when calculating Libor, those interbank loans that are guaranteed by governments. The interest rate on such loans will be lower (perhaps much lower) than loans without that guarantee, and that could affect the value of Libor considerably. For many years Libor was part of the unnoticed infrastructure of financial markets. Now, I expect, it will remain in the spotlight for some time to come.
Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 31, 2008 7:09:38 AM | 61
For geopolitical background on east Congo/Kivu - a few month old but relevant:
China Railway to fund $2.9 bln Congo mining project
China Railway Group plans to set up a joint venture to invest in a $2.9 billion copper and cobalt mining project in Democratic Republic of Congo.
China, stepping up its investment drive in Africa, is pursuing new infrastructure deals in the continent, especially in resource-rich countries, with the signing of multi-billion dollar accords that give Chinese companies major mining right.
Why China railway?
About a year old: Chinese to plug Ilebo - Kinshasa gap in DR Congo
AGREEMENTS were signed in Kinshasa on September 17 which provide for China to fund a major railway project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The new and rebuilt lines will be used to haul minerals, principally copper and cobalt, for export to China. Historically, freight from the Copperbelt region has been railed to Ilebo, from where boats take it down the River Kasai to Kinshasa and the Atlantic Ocean.
The loan package also covers revival of the mining business through a joint venture between Chinese and Congolese companies, construction of major roads, hospitals, housing and universities.
While today resources from Kivu flow through Ruwanda under 'western' control, they might in future flow to the Atlantic coast where Chinese ships will be waiting for them.
Can't have that, Washington might say ...
Posted by: b | Oct 31, 2008 7:59:48 AM | 62
Given that you're a MOA user, if you're also a Firefox user, you may want to check out the Read It Later extension. It's not an unfair assumption to assume that MOA users tend to do a lot of online reading (who, us?), and the Read It Later extension is well-suited to help you manage your online reading while not cluttering up your bookmarks. It began as a bookmarklet but now has its own online site, RSS feed, intracomputer syncing, caching of pages for offline use, integration with Google Reader, and customizable keyboard shortcuts, and has really matured into a really great (free) extension.
Posted by: PSA from Uncle $cam | Oct 31, 2008 12:52:49 PM | 63
Ghoul Patrol, musica' for Samhain
Pilobolus: A performance merging dance and biology
Pilobolus dance company members Otis Cook and Jennifer Macavinta perform the sensuous duet "Symbiosis." Does it trace the birth of a human relationship, or the co-evolution of a pair of symbiotic species? That's left for you to decide. Gorgeous, organic choreography blurs the boundaries between the two performers, who use the body's own geometry to lift, move and combine. The music, recorded by the Kronos Quartet on Nonesuch Records, is a compilation of works: "God Music" from Black Angels by George Crumb, "Fratres" by Arvo Pärt, and "Morango ... Almost a Tango" by Thomas Oboe Lee.
the terrifyingly awesome Faust Cantata
more here, if interested... being as we are going into the dark cold winter, seems, well, apropos eh?
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 31, 2008 2:09:23 PM | 64
The last Nightwatch report also suggests that the new conflict in Congo is a US-China proxy war. The Kagame regime in Rwanda has always been the US main proxy in the region. It was used to clean french influence before (genocide ignited by high profile killings using US provide MANPADs) so of course now it will be used to clean chinease influence (new conflict due to 'ethnic' problems in the region).
The Times of London’s analyst reported that Nkunda via his deputy John Bosco Ntaganda is a proxy for Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a graduate of the US Command and General Staff College and one of the most brilliant strategists of the age in any culture.
In this analysis, Kagame lacks the forces to annex eastern Congo and its mineral wealth, having tried unsuccessfully in the past. Now he is working through proxies to extend a Rwandan/Tutsi sphere of influence into eastern Congo so that any mineral exports from Kivu Province transit Rwanda to the Indian Ocean. This arrangement would also ensure that the majority Bahutu are prevented from attacking the Watutsi.
In The Associated Press interpretation, Nkunda’s demands included discussion of his objections to a $9 billion-dollar government deal that gives China access to vast mineral riches in exchange for a railway and highway to an Atlantic Ocean port. The International Herald Tribune analysis also concluded that the underlying motivation for Nkunda’s latest uprising is the Chinese deal of which he is determined the Watutsi get a share.
None of the news services provided an update on the status of the Chinese investment plan. Nevertheless, some tangible manifestation that the agreement is moving ahead, such as the arrival in the region of Chinese surveyors or engineers, is the most likely catalyst for Nkunda’s sudden military operation.
Business as usual in the Evil Empire.
Posted by: ThePaper | Oct 31, 2008 4:04:15 PM | 65
most of us here are not in the least impressed by what passes for noh theatre in the american elections. it is not clear for the least of us that obama is just another cold war warrior dressed up in dimes
however the hatred that is expressed towards him by what passes for media - the 'interview' performed by that gonnoreah-ridden-golem wolf blitzer was infamous even within the crude calisthenics of current commentary. they really do not want him to win. a part of this is just craven because for the last 8 years they have all been living on a gravy train & it is only in the last month we have seen their brooks brothers suits soiled by their fecal matter
the narrative of cnnbbcfoxnewsaljazeeraenglish - is that it is tightening & to not be surprised by a mccain victory
& i expect such a victory & a mccain presidency will mean that america has finished constructing the wall between the rich & poor in america. it will mean that there is a wall every bit as tangible as the berlin wall between the citizens of those united states. the patriot act are the jurisprudential form of that wall
& if the cretins should win - the only means that it canj be torn down is by insurrectionary politics not the politics of grassroots whichb can at times be another word for illussion. if that is then the case - then americans especially young american will need to understand well why the weather underground came into existence in america & perhaps they will have to learn how heroism came into being in the body of john brown & the abolitionists
i fear for america but above all i fear for the rest of the world, i fear for us
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 31, 2008 7:29:14 PM | 66
the godawful commentary in the media
they wouldn't know a hard question if it was delivered up their ass with a rocket propelled grenade
their relationship with the truth so tenuous as to be non existent
fuck, i am a continent & an ocean removed & it stains me with its filth
i worry for you my american friends here to be in the middle of such shit - i merely hope you have more discipline & have thrown the television out the window or have it jammed on something that is less sordid than the gonnoreah-ridden-golem blitzer, the caramel klutz anderson cooper, the senile dementia cnn seems to spread around, the pontificators who pour pox on my screen & other infections
the plague phrases that come so easy to their money fed mouths
they are a species any honourable people would extinguish from their public life & would be better employed pandering to the dull dreams of felonious billionaires
rick, hope you are well & strong & are free of the fever -this current election gives me on the hour every hour
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 31, 2008 11:17:51 PM | 68
As you probably can gather from my previous posts, I am disenchanted with both Obama and McCain. Unless something changes in the next few days, I see no reason to vote. Too much corruption and coverup everywhere one looks. The bailout for the financial elite was the last straw. The American people were firmly and outspoken against this bailout - I heard one estimate that calls were coming in to some Congressional leaders at almost 900 to 1 against this bailout. Didn't matter. I also heard that their email inboxes were so overloaded that some have now disabled their emails from the public forever. I don't know if that is true or not but it wouldn't surprise me.
Posted by: RIck | Nov 1, 2008 12:24:28 AM | 69
on the bombings in somaliland & puntland this week, the u.s. is really pushing the AQ narrative
some western media have mentioned a suicide video. a reuters wire story, for instance, states
Authorities in northern Somalia arrested a prominent local sheikh on Thursday and others suspected of involvement in the suicide attacks a day earlier. There was still no clear claim of responsibility for the five bombs in Puntland and Somaliland.
Five other suspects were arrested in Hargeisa on Friday, while 19 prominent religious leaders condemned the attack which they described as anti Islam and against the Sharia Law.
The United States blamed al Qaeda, which it says works through the local militant group al Shabaab. It posted a 30-minute online video on Thursday containing the last testament of a suicide bomber identified as Abdel Aziz Saad.
Both Somaliland and Puntland had been relatively quiet in recent months compared with southern Somalia. The coordinated blasts would mark a return north for al Shabaab -- where its members were blamed for some attacks on aid workers several years ago -- if it is confirmed the group was behind them.
the problem is, that video has nothing to do w/ these bombings
the NTIS transcription/description is available here - MYM Posts Video of `Will of Martyr Abd-Al-Aziz Sa`ad`
Abd-al-Aziz Sa`ad was a suicide bomber who carried out an attack targeting the African Union forces in Mogadishu with a truck filled with explosives during the "Our Terrorism Is Blessed Campaign" in the summer of 2008.
haven't watched the video myself (though aziz speaks in english & has alot to say about the u.s. role), but one forum member replies, after reading a CBS rpt on the video's release that also tried to conflate it w/ this week's bombings,
[D]o these guys actual watch these video or do any research ??
Who does not know this was the Tues April 8th 2008 operation against the AMISOM HQ in Mogadishu ????
the stenographers at the wire services, apparently...
found this section from the video interesting
Abd-al-Aziz Sa`ad states: "There are some people that say there are no muhajirins ['immigrants'] who are fighting in Somalia. I want to say that there are muhajirins, we are muhajirins fighting for the banner of Islam, to bring Shari`ah to this place, and we want to put the words of Almighty God high and want to put the banner of Islam into this land. The issue of there no being any more muhajirins in this land is a pure lie, we are here. Hence, I invite you to Islam. God willing, we will achieve victory or martyrdom."
that's a little strange. obviously, there's always a strong propaganda line in these type of videos, which tend to serve as recruitment tools, but the skeptic in me also sees how conveniently it plays into western narratives, too.
after all, the transitional federal charter for somalia, the one imposed on the country by foreigners under the cover of IGAD, specifically "defines Islam as the national religion and sharia law as the basis of national legislation"
of course, that charter is not recognized by many nor is the interim govt. it is interesting, though, how much mileage the western media gets out of blaming 'islamists' for somalia's problems
Posted by: b real | Nov 1, 2008 3:10:12 AM | 70
Any interest in "throwing away your vote" toward Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney and supporting the wisp of a hope that smaller parties might someday crack the debate barrier?
Posted by: catlady | Nov 1, 2008 5:37:43 PM | 72
in your place - i think i would vote for obama merely to spît in the face of the cretinous 'opinonmakers' - i'd do it just to give that gonnoreah-ridden-golem wolf blitzer a kick in the balls, if he has any
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 1, 2008 6:20:36 PM | 73
Iraqi labour unions continue to hold the banner high.
October 19, Baghdad
In a series of demonstrations led by workers of the Ministry of Industry against the Minister of Finance and government decisions that intend workers salaries cut back under terms of the International Monetary Fund, a massive demonstration was organized today October 19, 2008 in Firdaus Square in Baghdad, where thousands of workers have participated.
It should be noted that these demonstrations will continue in many cities and will start sit-ins in all sectors of the Ministry of Industry to force the Finance Minister and his Government to respond to the workers demands.
October 21, Alexandria
In a Continuation of the campaign announced by the leaders and activists of the labor unions to carry out demonstrations and strikes against the decisions of the Ministry of Industry, which prevented the payment of benefits and salaries of workers, a demonstration involving more than 3,000 workers was organized in the city of Alexandria (65 Km south west of Baghdad) By GFWCUI and IFC. Also thousands of copies of IFC statements pertained to workers struggle were distributed, while Sana TV was present to broadcast full coverage of the rally and conducted dozens of interviews with the workers leaders and activists.
Meanwhile, the Islamic currents tried to intervene in the demonstration to give a religious character to the event and transfer their sectarian stance among workers to divert the cause of the rally, but the leaders of the demonstration confronted them and prevented them from participation on such bases.
October 27, Basra
In a coordination effort with the Labor Unifying Bureau, thousands of workers from various industrial sectors took to the streets of Basra on October 27, 2008 marching towards the municipal building where the officials offices to denounce the ministry of Finance decrees that resulted in massive cut backs in workers salaries.
The workers came from steel, petrochemicals, paper and other plants in Basra who were headed by Hassan Juma, head of Labor Unifying Bureau and Oil workers and Abuwatan, vice president of Labor unifying Bureau and GFWCUI in Basra.
It is noteworthy, these demonstrations have intensified recently in many industrial sectors across Iraq but the local and international media did not cover these events.
Posted by: Alamet | Nov 1, 2008 7:36:07 PM | 74
Gadafy offers Russia a naval base in Libya
Citing a source involved in organising the visit, the business daily Kommersant said the Libyan leader wanted to offer the Kremlin a naval base in the port of Benghazi in order for Russia to establish a permanent base on the north African coast.
"In line with the Libyan leader's plan, Russia's military presence will become a guarantee of non-aggression from the United States which, despite numerous conciliatory gestures, is not in a hurry to embrace Col Gadafy," the paper said.
Posted by: Alamet | Nov 1, 2008 7:48:26 PM | 75