Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 07, 2007

OT 07-77

Your news & views ... open thread ...

Posted by b on November 7, 2007 at 10:46 UTC | Permalink

Comments

You know for sure that the economy is in deep, deep dodo when the propaganda folks for unregulated capitalism tell you that it is indeed the very best thing that ever happened:

Robert J. Samuelson opining in WaPo Recession's Hidden Virtues

No real need to read it. Samuelson's central thesis is of course that a recession holds down wages. What's not to love with that ...

Posted by: b | Nov 7 2007 10:53 utc | 1

Badger writes: More birth-pangs expected

Nahrainnet.net, the Sadrist news site, cites informed sources in the Gulf states including Saudi Arabia and the UAE to the effect that these states have over the past three weeks been instituting states or military and civil-defence readiness for repercussions from an expected US attack on Iran. The measures include canceling military leave, setting up special military and civil-defence command headquarters, testing warning sirens, and so on. In the case of Saudi and the UAE, the sources said the state of readiness is "level c" which is the highest.

Posted by: b | Nov 7 2007 10:54 utc | 2

Is this supposed to impress me? I assume so. The Drudge Report has a link to it also.
White House releases Guests of Dinner for French President

Posted by: Rick | Nov 7 2007 11:22 utc | 3

Oil and Drug Cartel Behind WWII Nuremberg Records Reveal


Tens of Thousands of Historical Documents Online for the First Time :

Oil and Drug Cartel Behind WWII
Nuremberg Records Reveal

After six decades of silence, the historic records of the key war crimes tribunal that determined the responsibility for WWII is finally being made available to a world audience. Currently, history books teach that WWII was launched by a lunatic dictator, Hitler, and his ruthless Nazi henchmen.

However, tens of thousands of historical documents from the Nuremberg Tribunal – newly released online – unequivocally document that:

WWII – a war that cost the lives of more than 60 million people – was planned and financed by the world’s largest chemical/ pharmaceutical cartel. At that time Germany’s IG Farben consisted of Bayer, BASF, Hoechst and others.
The driving force behind WWII was IG Farben’s ambition to achieve control of the global oil and drug markets and eliminate, by force, any competition.
The IG Farben companies financed the rise to power of the Nazi party and the transformation of German democracy into a dictatorship.
The Nazi/IG Farben coalition’s plan for world domination had three stages: first, the conquest of the Eurasian continent; second, the take-over of Great Britain and all of its colonies; third, the military defeat of the USA and the rest of the world.
As everybody knows, the Nazi/IG Farben coalition’s plan for world domination was destroyed by the efforts of the great majority of nations of the world and the extraordinary sacrifices they made.

While this victory was important for all mankind, the newly emerging post-war order was already influenced by the oil and drug interests from the victorious countries:

The shares of the IG Farben cartel went to their economic competitors in the victorius countries. The corporate executives of the IG Farben cartel – after a mere ”reprimand” at Nuremberg – were soon reinstated by the new owners of the IG Farben shares in the USA and the UK to help them consolidate the oil and drug cartel at a global level. However, these important facts have essentially been concealed from the people of the world, who were made to believe that with the first Nuremberg trial – against the military and political stakeholders – the ”main war criminals” had been brought to justice.

This was, of course, not the case. Beside this first trial there were 12 further trials that made up the Nuremberg Tribunal. The most important among them was the case against the oil and drug cartel, IG Farben. The executives of this cartel, according to the chief US prosecutor, Telford Taylor, were the main war criminals – without whom WWII would not have been possible.
It is inconceivable and intolerable that mankind should continue to be left in the dark about the ultimate responsibility for WWII – the greatest crime thus far committed on this planet.

The online academy ”Profit Over Life” is an educational resource for the benefit of the people of the world. Students, teachers, academic researchers, politicians and millions of people worldwide are invited to use this archive as the basis for better understanding history.

This is particularly important because multinational corporate interests continue to this day to use military force to reach their global goals.

The crimes with which these men are charged were not committed in rage or under the stress of sudden temptation. One does not build a stupendous war machine in a fit of passion nor an Auschwitz factory during a passing spasm of brutality. Their purpose was to turn the German nation into a military machine so it could impose her dominion on Europe and other nations beyond the seas. They were the warp and woof of the dark mantle of death that settled over Europe.”

The fact that this information was buried in international archives and is not part of any history book is no coincidence. The interest groups that kept this critical knowledge hidden for six decades will now have to answer many questions. Whatever their reaction to the online opening of these archives will be – the truth is now out and these facts will be common knowledge to this and all future generations.

This online archive has been made possible by the Dr. Rath Health Foundation, a non-profit organization.

An open letter by Dr. Rath (pdf)

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 7 2007 12:14 utc | 4

@Uncle$cam -
Heavy industry intrests, Thyssen, IG Farben and others, as well as huge media companies, Hugenberg, were financing Hitlers party. They also successfully lobbied the senile president Hindenburg to name Hitler as chancellor, even though he was a relative loser in the election. But those industry interest were dominated by local concerns, i.e. they were primarily against social-democrats and communists. There was no big war plan at that time and they were certainly not the singular reason to start the war. Like usually such decisions are a mixture of influences and ideas. Rath is a nutty btw.

Posted by: b | Nov 7 2007 13:05 utc | 5

I doubt the U.S. media will emphazise this: Iran: We have 3,000 centrifuges working at enrichment plant

Italian Premier Romano Prodi said Tuesday that Iran has every right to develop a peaceful nuclear program, while the international community has an equal right to verify its peaceful nature using the existing judicial measures.

In a speech delivered to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, on a visit to Rome, Prodi also said that Italy opposes any military action against Iran over Tehran's contentious nuclear program because such an attack could destabilize the entire Middle East.

Italy, as of this year a non-permanent member of the UN. Security Council, traditionally has good relations with Tehran and maintains a strong presence in Iran's gas market through Italian oil and gas giant Eni SpA.

Senior government officials, including the foreign minister, have spoken out against any use of force against Iran, saying that a new war in the region would be disastrous and calling instead for increased diplomatic efforts.

Posted by: b | Nov 7 2007 13:08 utc | 6

Homeland Security Is Googling You

We’ve all undoubtedly heard the warnings about being careful about the information we put online, as well as the stories of potential employers and college admissions and coaches checking up on people online through Google and social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. But here’s a new one for you: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is also using this information to check up on individuals entering the country. “They” are watching you, and “they” know what you’ve been up to.
Andrew Feldman, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor who’s currently a psychotherapist in Vancouver, was recently detained for four hours, fingerprinted, and then barred entry into the United States after Homeland Security googled him and found an article he wrote in a literary and scientific journal in which he talked about using LSD and various other drugs in the 1960’s. And even though he has no criminal record and says he hasn’t used drugs since the 1970’s, Feldmar must now get formal permission from the U.S. consul before entering the U.S.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 7 2007 13:24 utc | 7

Hmmm ...

GM reports 3Q net loss of $39 billion

The loss was attributed to a $38.6 billion noncash charge largely related to establishing a valuation allowance against accumulated deferred tax credits in the U.S., Canada and Germany, as well as mortgage losses at GM's former financial arm, GMAC Financial Services.

But accounting rules require that companies expecting to keep losing money cannot keep carrying deferred tax credits indefinitely and must write down the value of such credits.

Translated - they kept "tax profits" on the books even though they knew the would never realize them. Now the mortgage crisis hit GMAC and there was no longer any chance to keep these "profits" in the books. Hence they had to reveal them now.

A loss of $68 a share when a share is valued around $35? What does that tell you?

Posted by: b | Nov 7 2007 13:33 utc | 8

Here is a government unpopular and in trouble over terrorism. Its civil rights lawyers are up in arms. Its leader postpones a general election and summarily arrests anyone he sees as a danger to his state. He butters up the military by promising them more nuclear weapons. He announces changes to the constitution without consultation, imposes central rule over dissident local districts and extends imprisonment without trial. To soften up the public, he even gets his head of security to make a blood-curdling speech depicting every child as a potential suicide bomber.
Guess who.

Posted by: b | Nov 7 2007 13:56 utc | 9

Regarding H. Res. 799 (Some of you care)...

First, Impeachment Is (Sort Of) On The Table.

A combination of Democrats who sincerely favor impeachment of Cheney band Republicans who thought that an impeachment debate would embarrass Pelosi, Hoyer and other House Democratic leaders blocked the motion to table.

Only 162 members -- 27 Republicans and 135 Democrats -- supported tabling the proposal. A total of 251 members -- 86 Democrats and 165 Republicans -- opposed it.

What followed was wrangling between Kucinich and Hoyer on whether to refer the resolution to the Judiciary Committee.

That set up more votes, as Democratic leaders continued to scramble to block Kucinich's impeachment proposal.

As of late afternoon, the voting continued, with the prospect that a limited impeachment debate might occur on the House floor. That's what Kucinich wants. That's what Hoyer is trying to avoid.

Followed by, Debate on Cheney impeachment averted.

Midway through the vote, with instructions from the GOP leadership, Republicans one by one changed their votes from yes — to kill the resolution — to no, trying to force the chamber into a debate and an up-or-down vote on the proposal.

At one point there were 290 votes to table. After the turnaround, the final vote was 251-162 against tabling, with 165 Republicans voting against it.

"We're going to help them out, to explain themselves," said Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. "We're going to give them their day in court."

Democrats countered by offering a motion to refer the proposal to the House Judiciary Committee for further study, effectively preventing a debate on the House floor. That motion passed by a largely party-line vote of 218-194.

The White House, in a statement, said Democrats were shirking responsibilities on issues such as childrens' health insurance "and yet they find time to waste an afternoon on an impeachment vote against the vice president. ... This is why Americans shake their head in wonder about the priorities of this Congress."

So now H. Res. 799 is off to die in committee. Thanks to the spineless, complicit Dems.

An impeachment on a perjury charge was enough to secure a House impeachment (although, regrettably, not a removal from office by the Senate) in 1998... how much more severe and compelling are both the charges and consequences in this case? Pursuing the 1998 impeachment did not harm the GOP apparently, since they immediately stole assumed office in the next general election. So what the hell are Hoyer and Pelosi afraid of by allowing an open debate about this on the floor? Is the GOP holding their families hostage? Pictures of them blowing goats? Seriously, what is it that makes the Democrat Party leadership so afraid of distinguishing themselves by showing real leadership? Duocracy Delende Est.

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 7 2007 13:59 utc | 10

Last two paragraphs in post 10 are mine... as if it needs stating. Forgot to close a blockquote tag. Mea culpa.

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 7 2007 14:00 utc | 11

@ Monolycus, anyone, where do you find who voted how?

thanks

Posted by: beq | Nov 7 2007 17:03 utc | 12

Here you go.

Posted by: Chemmett | Nov 7 2007 17:28 utc | 13

@uncle #4, b #5, it's deliberately hard to tell what businessmen plan until after they've done it, then asking "Cui bono?" becomes useful.

Am grateful for the link, find the people/companies it claims to have been visited by interesting. Unfortunately, 3 of Rath's foundation addresses are coastal and the 4th, Berlin, is only 34 meters above sea level.

Posted by: | Nov 7 2007 17:29 utc | 14

sorry, #14 was me. (pretty obviously, as I've seen no one anywhere stressing ice sliding rather than stressing melting)

Posted by: plushtown | Nov 7 2007 17:32 utc | 15

The simplest explanation of the present day problems and the explanation that unifies the troubles rests on the impossibility of profit. Because profit cannot be realised in the long term, businessmen have to resort to all sorts of tricks to delay and spin the fact. From selling beads to the natives to selling ARM to the financially innocent there is a unity of behavior, a behavior that eventually requires imperialism, wars, conquests, subjugations, enslavements, massacres, famines and the rest. Add to this the relentless impoverishment of the Earth together with irredentists territorial claims and you have the witches' brew in the present historical moment. What will happen nobody knows but a few million dead, many states ruined, rich cities despoiled, are probably in the near future.

Posted by: jlcg | Nov 7 2007 17:56 utc | 16

can anyone comment about what's going with the dollar? i read this nyt article and man things do not seem too rosy when the chinese look to "diversify" (meaning they're going to dump some dollars, right?). what does "they're looking" means? does it mean that they're thinking about it and haven't made up their minds? if so are they looking to get reassurance from the us gov't? why would they trust the us gov't? is it a shot over the bow, a warning?

link

Posted by: charmicarmicat | Nov 7 2007 18:03 utc | 17

@Plushtown, ice sliding into the sea has been fairly widely discussed. Might be some pieces on Independent website. It always scares me, as I fear that some private water concerns might pipe up & say, hell, we could save our cities if we carted off the ice & converted it to water for our reservoirs...it's too valuable to let it merely disappear into the oceans...

Anyone expecting Carlyle Group/Blackstone Group/China to bid on GM? Is this the beginning of the sea parting & everyone discussing that most xAm. corps are corpses?

Posted by: jj | Nov 7 2007 19:09 utc | 18

Oops - "discussing" should obviously be discovering in 2nd graph above.

Posted by: jj | Nov 7 2007 19:11 utc | 19

This last weekend we got the news that Antioch College was staying open. This was fantastic news for a few seconds, but there was some bizarre kind of shift. the week before, we'd had hundreds of people sitting and waiting expectantly, ready to celebrate. Then they delayed the decision a week, and we got paranoid. Deservingly so, of course. Corporate negotiations have a way of being letdowns. Hardly a revolution, but there's still time for that, I suppose.

Posted by: Rowan | Nov 7 2007 19:24 utc | 20

@charmicarmicat - I hope to have something up tomorrow on the $ and other economic issues too.

is it a shot over the bow, a warning?

Oh - there have been about 10 such shots now. The US won't listen. Time is running out.

(Why do you think Sarkozy and Merkel are in DC these days?)

Posted by: b | Nov 7 2007 20:12 utc | 21

No one stresses it that I've seen, would love links.And mostly they talk about glaciers sliding faster (especially now that Ross ice shelf no longer constrains WestAntarctic glaciers) but don't speculate about how fast they'd go if major earthquakes occurred under them. And most attention is give to melting, especially sea ice melting.

Here's link I've given before, though this is to cached version as current page doesn't seem to be showing up.http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:OG0hvH8jmxQJ:www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/sep/08/climatechange+%22melting+ice+cap+triggering+earthquakes%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us>melting ice cap triggering earthquakes

Below is how it ends. Note that it's talking about 2 meters' rise by end of century at the most while also saying there's potential for "collapse". Also note no speculation about after 2100.

Dr Corell, director of the global change programme at the Heinz Centre in Washington, said the estimates of sea level rise in the IPCC report were based on data two years old. The predicted rise this century was 20-60cm (about 8-24ins) , but it would be at the upper end of this range at a minimum, he said, and some believed it could be two metres. This would be catastrophic for European coastlines.

He had flown over the Ilulissat glacier and "seen gigantic holes in it through which swirling masses of melt water were falling. I first looked at this glacier in the 1960s and there were no holes. These so-called moulins, 10 to 15 metres across, have opened up all over the place. There are hundreds of them."

This melt water was pouring through to the bottom of the glacier creating a lake 500 metres deep which was causing the glacier "to float on land. These melt-water rivers are lubricating the glacier, like applying oil to a surface and causing it to slide into the sea. It is causing a massive acceleration which could be catastrophic."

The glacier is now moving at 15km a year into the sea although in surges it moves even faster. He measured one surge at 5km in 90 minutes - an extraordinary event.

Veli Kallio, a Finnish scientist, said the quakes were triggered because ice had broken away after being fused to the rock for hundreds of years. The quakes were not vast - on a magnitude of 1 to 3 - but had never happened before in north-west Greenland and showed potential for the entire ice sheet to collapse.

Dr Corell said: "These earthquakes are not dangerous in themselves but the fact that they are happening shows that events are happening far faster than we ever anticipated."


Posted by: plushtown | Nov 7 2007 20:23 utc | 22

aside from all the hell on earth for citizens & all that, there's some good news for the u.s. today in somalia

Somalia president triumphs over opposition in parliament

MOGADISHU, Somalia Nov 7 (Garowe Online) - The president of Somalia's transitional government, Abdullahi Yusuf, has succeeded in convincing members of parliament to pass an amendment allowing non-MPs to hold the post of prime minister or become members of the Cabinet.
...
Observers said today's crucial vote is another political victory for President Yusuf, a little over a week after Gedi's resignation.

The U.S. government is seen as the driving force behind Yusuf's nomination for a new prime minister. A U.S.-based Somali professor has been floated around as a possible candidate for the premier's post.

Posted by: b real | Nov 7 2007 20:37 utc | 23

the press conference of sarkozy & bush. what a melange of madness & pomposity. all their tics, their vulgar words & their misconceived notions of history

as the empire collapses it seems to attract valets & puppets - & it will be difficult to tell who is the most creepiest : - blair, sarkozy or azner

thses people think of themselves as hostory itself yet in a hindred years that will be forgotten except as exercises in folly & catastrophe

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 7 2007 20:45 utc | 24

Just saw this, not sure if anyone has mentioned it on here yet:

Afghanistan Rocked by Northern Bombing

Afghanistan rocked by northern bombing

Hazara Shi'ite leader Sayed Mustafa Kazimi, a rising political star, was one of the victims in the biggest suicide attack in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban six years ago. His killing will deal a huge blow to the unity of non-Pashtun ethnic groups and is a sign that a master plan to destabilize the northern regions of Afghanistan is in the works, with the goal of opening another front against the NATO forces. The Taliban have the most to gain from the killing, but the perpetrators are likely to have close connections to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence. ....

Kazimi's killing is a tell-tale sign that a master plan to destabilize the northern regions of Afghanistan is in the works. It could only mean that we are about to witness the calibrated extension of the insurgency to the northern regions, which have remained relatively tranquil, apart from a few sporadic incidents.

The implications could be very serious for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) contingents located thinly on the ground in the northern regions.

Posted by: Bea | Nov 7 2007 21:01 utc | 25

More than 1,000 Severely Ill Patients in Gaza Who Require Urgent Care Abroad Are Simply Left to Die

In a press conference held on Tuesday at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza during a sit-in staged by Palestinian patients, Palestinian MP Jamal al-Khudari stated that the Palestinian patients in Gaza are threatened with slow death and every day that passes new cases come to the surface.

The committee's head called on human rights organizations to pressure the Israeli occupation in order to open the crossing for the citizens, highlighting that the continuing closure of the crossings will cause Gaza explode any time.

Amongst the patients staging the sit-in at the Shifa hospital was a young girl of 15, Diana Abu Amr, who has been suffering for the past three years from insulin-dependent diabetes and who needs urgent medical supervision outside the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday, a 36-year-old Palestinian man suffering from kidney failure died as a result of the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza. He was waiting for the Rafah border crossing to open so that he could travel abroad to have a kidney transplant.

Posted by: Bea | Nov 7 2007 21:08 utc | 26

sorry my #22 was response to jj #18. I lost it before posting, redid too hastily.

Posted by: plushtown | Nov 7 2007 21:31 utc | 27

Thugs, gangbangers, methheads, morons: Uncle Sam needs more IED fodder and he's getting less choosy by the day.

Posted by: ran | Nov 7 2007 22:28 utc | 28

China Matters has an important post about the goings on in Pakistan that bring China into the picture. Highly recommended.

Posted by: Dick Durata | Nov 7 2007 23:21 utc | 29

b,

it’s been gnawing on me all day. Uncle $ posted an excerpt from the documents that implicate nay, affiliate the major energy and chemical industries in Germany to the facilitation and perhaps the initiation of WWII. An excellent link to historical documents that help explain and conceptualize the atrocities of the early 20th century.

You reply with an ad hominem: “Rath is a nutty btw.”

But I saw nothing that I found nutty in my fairly comprehensive review of the web sites Uncle offered. In fact I found valuable information that links the involvement of the highest elites of pre-WWII Germany and what is happening world wide today, and who’s focal point is the transnational corporate petro/chem/pharm/military/congress cabal.

This item deserves more attention because of the links between history and it’s heirs (literally).

I feel you slighted it and I invite more discussion.

Posted by: Juannie | Nov 7 2007 23:46 utc | 30

@ Chemmett (13) - Thanks, I didn't know where to look.

b (21) - Would it mean anything or even be possible for a non-investor to turn however few dollars into euros?

Posted by: beq | Nov 8 2007 0:43 utc | 31

B and all,

How about a small award for the best contributor, other than Bernhard, for each calendar year. We could vote but I think this year it is hands down b real (at least that would be my nomination). Maybe Bernhard could add another item besides a fruitcake that could help pay for a small award, a recognition plaque or something.

Just thinking out loud here.

Posted by: Rick | Nov 8 2007 1:07 utc | 32

@Juannie

I had a look through the documents. In the Prosecution Final Brief it states that the defendants were found not guilty on some of the key charges.

Here's a link.

http://www.profit-over-life.org/rolls.php?roll=97&pageID=9&expand=no

The tribunal agreed with the defence in its judgment that none of the defendants were guilty of Count I, planning, preparation, initiation, and waging wars of aggression; or Count V, common plans and conspiracy to commit crimes against the peace and humanity and war crimes.

I may have misunderstood, of course.

Posted by: argh | Nov 8 2007 2:29 utc | 33

Don't be disheartened as you digest post's like Uncle's at #7 on Homeland Security data mining or the Mukasey confirmation thread or even this tidbit about former AT&T employee Mark Klein:

The documents, he said, show that the NSA gained access to massive amounts of e-mail and search and other Internet records of more than a dozen global and regional telecommunications providers. AT&T allowed the agency to hook into its network at a facility in San Francisco and, according to Klein, many of the other telecom companies probably knew nothing about it.

amerikans should rejoice their congress does care about privacy. This WaPo article details the Congressional enquiry into Yahoo's decision to comply with Chinese law by telling officials from the republic details of Shi Tao's email and other internet activities.

The combed over set had the gall to call Yahoo CEO a moral pygmy as they announced pending legislation to " prevent U.S. Internet companies from disclosing information about their users to foreign governments without the Justice Department's permission."

How do amerikans feel about their overpaid over combed bags of wind holding forth on the rights of Chinese people to their privacy at the same time the exact same bags of pus are conspiring to deny the people who pay their wages their privacy?

The whole world gets fucked over by that mob of greedy self congratulatory whitefellas who lead the planet in claiming that an election bestows the same rank and privileges as medieval royalty in the era of divine right of kings. Overseas we are pissed for different reasons.

Think about how this same Congress would react if Vodaphone or Ericksson to name a couple of non amerikan communications companies announced that they would not respond to FISA approved requests for data held on their amerikan based servers because their government insisted it was against the law.

Yeah right like that's gonna be permissable.

But it is exactly these acts of hypocrisy which occur daily, well frequently enough that they pass uncommented, that has convinced the rest of the world that amerika and most of the people in it have a self deludional sense of entitlement that is just begging for come-uppance.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 8 2007 4:04 utc | 34

xUS is threatening Iran to threaten China's energy supplies, while China holds the bucks & is threatening dollar status as reserve currency:

``We will favor stronger currencies over weaker ones, and will readjust accordingly,'' Cheng Siwei, vice chairman of China's National People's Congress, told a conference in Beijing. The dollar is ``losing its status as the world currency,'' Xu Jian, a central bank vice director, said at the same meeting.Dollar Slumps to Record on China's Plans to Diversify Reserves

Do economically literate barflies see a negotiated settlement possible or likely here?

Posted by: jj | Nov 8 2007 5:38 utc | 35

Rick @ #32

My vote is that's a terrible idea that would lead to snubs, elitism and competition amongst the community. The posters whose comments I value the most highly are not the same as yours, Bernhard's or anyone else's and I wouldn't want them to feel anything but egalitarianism here. I think we already run into problems with some animals being more equal than others, and I would hate to validate that sentiment further.

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 8 2007 5:43 utc | 36

World War II 60M dead Treblinka War Tribunals Cold War Diary of Anne Frank Israel Holocaust(TM) Sputnik Moshe Dayan Shindler's List 60 Years Pass Archives Unveiled

World War III (Viet Nam) 5M dead Ho Chi Ming Fall of Saigan Pol Pot Killing Fields Diem Assassinated I Will Not Run Deep Throat Nixon Impeached Contras Ollie Air America

World War IV (Iraq,Sudan) ... crrkskzzz ... (dead air) ... yawn ... what holocaust?

And then they came for me ... http://tinyurl.com/2au8qd

Posted by: Peter Callander | Nov 8 2007 5:52 utc | 37

@Peter Callender I realise you are probably trying to make an important point but once I got over the grief of your link I have to ask whether you has permission of the subject to spread his/her image in agony across the net.

I have no idea of the cultural mores of the person in your picture but I do know that there is a good possibility they don't want the picture taken much less used as weapon to bludgeon middle class desensitised whitefellas into submission.

I have a friend who devotes a good part of his existence to trying to recover his anscestor's body parts from prestigious institutions around the world. The institutions have no real interest in the objects (usually preserved heads) outside of their artifact status. Respectable museums won't give back objects which mean nothing to them and everything to their descendants in case it 'sets a precedent'.

He fought for years to get hundreds of body parts of Tangata Whenua out of formeldehyde filled jars in hospitals all over the country. He won in the end.

What does this have to do with your photo? Well the notion that an image or an artifact from another culture can be taken and used because it is for some 'higher purpose' is obscene and vicarious.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 8 2007 6:32 utc | 38

@Juannie -

Dr. Rath is a vitamin promoter, a dangerous one. You have AIDs or cancer? His Vitamins will help and no other drugs are needed. He found that only huge amounts of vitamins will help for about any illness. Anything else that has 'pharma' on it is evil for him. He made quite some noise and lots of money here in the 80's and 90's. He also killed some children when he convinced the parents that his vitamins were enough to heal the children's cancer. In South Africa he is promoting his "nutrition supplements" as the only help against HIV. I don't know how many he convinced of that but they are likely dead by now.

His 'foundation' pays for the site Uncle linked to. 'Pharma' is guilty of WWII and Dr. Rath has 'proven' it.

While it is correct and too little mentioned that capitalist and industry interests were heavily involved in creating the 3rd Reich and its wars, it is wrong to see IG Farben and others as the only perpetrators.

Posted by: b | Nov 8 2007 7:38 utc | 39

@Dick Durata - thanks for the China Matters link. Quite an eyeopener. I agree, China is more important to Musharraf than the US.

Posted by: b | Nov 8 2007 7:56 utc | 40

And the U.S. is now trying to get the Pakistani military to coup against Musharraf.

U.S. Prods Musharraf to End Emergency Rule

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 7 — Amid a deepening crisis in Pakistan, Bush administration officials have begun pushing Gen. Pervez Musharraf on several fronts to reverse his state of emergency, quietly making contact with other senior army generals and backing Pakistan’s opposition leader as she carries out back-channel negotiations with him.

Military attachés from the United States and several other Western nations are discreetly contacting senior Pakistani generals and asking them to press General Musharraf, the president, to back down from the emergency decree he issued Saturday night, according to a Western diplomat.
...
But American support for General Musharraf himself is not limitless, several administration officials said privately. “We want to believe he will come around, and are giving him every opportunity to change his actions, but our verbal support is not going to last for very long,” a senior administration official said.

Among Western diplomats, there is rising concern that General Musharraf’s declaration is also damaging the standing of the Pakistani Army as an institution, which has long been seen as the force holding the country together.

Rumblings of discontent with General Musharraf exist in the armed forces, but they are far from reaching the point where the army’s senior generals would turn against him, according to Western officials and Pakistani analysts. But they say sustained popular unrest against General Musharraf could cause the army to turn on him.

Ok - that last bit tells the strategy. Bhutto, the choosen thug of the White House, will try to instill enough "sustained popular unrest" to get the army moving against Musharraf. A nice plan, but I don't think they have fully made the calculation here. Musharraf still can go to all out martial law and kick Bhutto out or arrest her. What can the US do about it? Nothing.

The sad thing is that the winner in that 'game' will neither be Bhutto nor Musharraf, but the Talibanesque Mullahs.

Posted by: b | Nov 8 2007 8:35 utc | 41

The wisdom of the Decider in Chief:

You can't be the President and the head of the military at the same time.

Posted by: b | Nov 8 2007 10:09 utc | 42

How Blackwater Sniper Fire Felled 3 Iraqi Guards

BAGHDAD -- Last Feb. 7, a sniper employed by Blackwater USA, the private security company, opened fire from the roof of the Iraqi Justice Ministry. The bullet tore through the head of a 23-year-old guard for the state-funded Iraqi Media Network, who was standing on a balcony across an open traffic circle. Another guard rushed to his colleague's side and was fatally shot in the neck. A third guard was found dead more than an hour later on the same balcony.

Eight people who responded to the shootings -- including media network and Justice Ministry guards and an Iraqi army commander -- and five network officials in the compound said none of the slain guards had fired on the Justice Ministry, where a U.S. diplomat was in a meeting. An Iraqi police report described the shootings as "an act of terrorism" and said Blackwater "caused the incident." The media network concluded that the guards were killed "without any provocation."

The U.S. government reached a different conclusion. Based on information from the Blackwater guards, who said they were fired upon, the State Department determined that the security team's actions "fell within approved rules governing the use of force," according to an official from the department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Neither U.S. Embassy officials nor Blackwater representatives interviewed witnesses or returned to the network, less than a quarter-mile from Baghdad's Green Zone, to investigate.

The sniper fire "felled" the Iraqis? Why doesn't wapo call murder murder?

Posted by: b | Nov 8 2007 10:22 utc | 43

Thanks to Dick Durata at #29 for posting what I was about to post before checking to see if it had already been noted. I might point out that one of the links at China Matters is interesting in its own right, although much of its substance is contained in the China Matters link.
Links like these convince me (once again) of my abysmal ignorance about the facts of the matter in this and similar situations, but at least they open new avenues of approach and help to break certain conditioned reflexes.


By the way, scrolling down in DD's link one finds a surprising reading of the moving forces behind the Army-McCarthy hearings in the early 50's, the time when my political consciousness first began to (de)form.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Nov 8 2007 11:04 utc | 44

Monolycus,

I didn't mean it as competition, just a yearly recognition, fun sort of thing. Your posts, Bea's, rgiap's, Debs', annie's, Uncle's and everyone is what makes Moon of Alabama a great site to read comments. Just asking.

Posted by: Rick | Nov 8 2007 11:37 utc | 45

Very glad to come across the China Matters link (at 29, 40). Thanks to DD and MoA.

Posted by: Hamburger | Nov 8 2007 13:40 utc | 46

Defense Minister Barak says long-term Gaza invasion is approaching

Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Labor) said in a meeting with Labor activists in Tel Aviv on Wednesday that the Israel Defense Forces are approaching a major incursion into the Gaza Strip.

"We are getting closer to a large-scale operation in Gaza and we're likely to say there for a long time," he said. He emphasized, however, that before such an operation, all other means to stop Qassam rocket fire should be exhausted.

If the IDF is in Gaza, the settlers will again follow.

Posted by: b | Nov 8 2007 14:26 utc | 47

Ordinarily U.S. congressional rhetoric only gives me stomach pains, but
this House speech is different: it might almost have been written by Debs (on one of his lesser days). In a similar vein this deconstruction of a NYTimes hit piece is also notable.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Nov 8 2007 15:12 utc | 48

Israel flouts pledge to curb settlements

Israel is enlarging 88 of its 122 West Bank settlements despite an agreement to halt the spread of Jewish communities in Palestinian territory, the watchdog group Peace Now said Wednesday.

A report by the group, which documented the construction of new homes with aerial photography and on-site visits, heated up the debate here over a key issue for the U.S.-sponsored peace summit planned by year's end.

Israel wants to keep large blocks of settlements in a final peace accord, but the Palestinians demand the entire West Bank for a future state. Under a 2003 U.S.-backed plan known as the "road map," Israel agreed to stop the expansion of settlements as a first step toward negotiations on final borders.
...
According to government data cited in the report, the number of West Bank settlers increased by 5.8% to 267,500 in the first half of this year, more than triple Israel's population growth rate.
...
In addition to the 122 government-authorized settlements, Peace Now says Jews in the West Bank have set up 105 unauthorized outposts --rural communities that often consist of trailer homes and are intended as the nuclei of future settlements.

Posted by: b | Nov 8 2007 16:10 utc | 49

thanks for the complement, rick, though no one individual's contributions (other than those of the proprietor, of course) need be singled out in a community beyond that of its normal transitory contextual nature, imo

if anything, the focus should be on [1] encouraging lurkers to contribute more and [2] on expanding the conversations to reach outside our virtual community

as chomsky says, it's a moral imperative to find out and tell the truth as best one can, about things that matter, to the right audience

Posted by: b real | Nov 8 2007 16:54 utc | 50

wonder who?

Venezuela, Nov. 7 — Masked gunmen shot into a group of students on Wednesday at this country’s most prestigious university. The students were returning from a march here protesting changes to the Constitution proposed by President Hugo Chávez that could allow him to remain in power indefinitely.

At least eight people were injured in the mix of gunfire and rock-throwing at the Central University of Venezuela, including two who were shot, according to Antonio Rivero, the national director of civil protection. The violence followed a march by tens of thousands of students to the Supreme Court.

“At the moment the students arrived, they were attacked by others wearing hoods,” Mr. Rivero said in comments broadcast on the radio here. “We do not know what faction they belong to,” he said of the assailants.

does anyone know the name of that documentary from the coup w/the fake gunman shooting on the crowd? got link?

Posted by: annie | Nov 8 2007 17:33 utc | 51

@annie - THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED

It's a bit funny in Venezuela. The opposition calls for stopping the planed vote on a referendum to change the constitution. The only reason to do so is because they think they will lose that vote and the majority will vote for the changes.

Does the opposition calls itself democratic?

Posted by: b | Nov 8 2007 17:58 utc | 52

Interesting story on telecom cooperation with NSA wiretapping and internet syping, here.

The technician, whom coincidences gave a unique opportunity to expose the operation, says,


The job entailed building a "secret room" in another AT&T office 10 blocks away, he said. By coincidence, in October 2003, Klein was transferred to that office. He asked a technician about the secret room on the sixth floor, and the technician told him it was connected to the Internet room a floor above. The technician handed him wiring diagrams.

"That was my 'aha' moment," Klein said. "They're sending the entire Internet to the secret room."

The diagram showed splitters glass prisms that split signals from each network into two identical copies. One copy fed into the secret room. The other proceeded to its destination, he said.

"This splitter was sweeping up everything, vacuum-cleaner-style," he said. "The NSA is getting everything. These are major pipes that carry not just AT&T's customers but everybody's."

(Apologies if this article has already been posted on this board, but the article seemed to deserve the widest possible distribution.)

Posted by: heatkernel | Nov 8 2007 18:29 utc | 53

Oh, I see this very same article was posted linking directly to the WaPost earlier in this thread...whoops.

Posted by: heatkernel | Nov 8 2007 18:37 utc | 54

Seems that worldwide economic panic is setting in. On days like this, it's a good idea to keep an eye on iht.com - they're featuring several articles on situation. I'm late, but would any barflies who monitor WSJ/FT/NYT let us know if there's any discussion there of Sarkozy's WashDC remarks & undoubtedly the purpose of his visit? Thanks. Here's from right-wing Brit. Press:

The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has warned the United States Congress that the US risks triggering "economic war" if it attempts to devalue its way out of trouble by allowing a relentless slide in the dollar.Sarkozy fears 'economic war’ as dollar slides

Posted by: jj | Nov 8 2007 19:22 utc | 55

quick rundown on the news outta mogadishu today

19 people killed 9 of them Ethiopian soldiers after bloody battle erupts in Mogadishu

Mogadishu 08, Nov.07 ( Sh.M.Network)- Ethiopian soldiers have on Thursday in engaged bloody battle with Islamic insurgents in separate locations in the capital Mogadishu,

In Suqa Holaha neighborhood in northern Mogadishu, two Ethiopian soldiers and one civilian have been killed in fierce fighting sparked after contingent Ethiopian soldiers started in patrols in Huwara settlement in northeast Mogadishu.

Angry crowds have been dragging one of the two dead Ethiopian soldiers on the ground shouting God is great.
...
Both Ethiopian soldiers and Somali insurgents were using heavy weapons including rocket propelled grenades and heavy machineguns.

The latest outbreak of fighting prompted hundreds of civilians to flee from their homes in fear of Ethiopian wrath on them.
...
The total death toll of Ethiopian soldiers in today’s fighting were nine soldiers as independent sources confirmed to Shabelle radio.

We should flee as I speak said, Rahma Nor Omar, an old lady, “Ethiopian will launch violent attack on us for some of their comrades have been killed today, they will be like wounded animal” said Mrs. Rahma in despair.

warning -- the above link has pix of that dead ethiopian soldier being dragged thru the streets

an AFP story on it sensationalizes the dragging of the solider, creating the image of savages in mind of their readers, neatly neutering the context, and providing zero mention of the deaths & mass displacement of tens of thousands of somalis in the capital over the past week, let alone this year. in a 3-day period last week, the u.n. figured 90,000 people fled their homes due to increased u.s.-backed ethiopian operations. more than 450,000 people have been displaced from mogadishu alone since the invasion & the latest u.n. figures put 1.5 million somalians at risk due to displacement, flooding, & food insecurity.

that AFP article is
Slain Ethiopian soldier dragged in Mogadishu streets

MOGADISHU (AFP) — Civilians dragged the body of an Ethiopian soldiers in the streets of Somalia's capital on Thursday after fighting with insurgents killed a second soldier and civilian, witnesses said.

In the grisly incident, more than 100 civilians stepped and spat on the scarred body as they dragged it for several kilometres (miles) on a pot-holed asphalt road from Mogadishu's Suqaholaha district to Barubah, an AFP correspondent reported.

"We will fight against the Ethiopia colonisers and we will kill them like this", "Down with Ethiopia, Allah is Great", they chanted in native Somali language.

it's unfortunate that such detail isn't provided when it's somali children and defenseless citizens being shot & beaten by the ethiopian forces w/ impunity. or when some of the residents are brave enough to come out and protest that occupation & violence.

but then the AFP article also lies to its readers, misinforming them on the backstory, when it states that

The Ethiopian army came to the rescue of the embattled Somali government last year to oust an Islamist militia that briefly controlled large parts of the country and sought to impose Islamic law.

the TFG was brought in from exile in london(?) shortly before the u.s. & ethiopia invaded somalia to drive the islamic courts union out of mogadishu & southern somalia. the militia was only one small component of the ICU, which had broad support throughout the country, which is 99% muslim.

Hawiya clan elders say attacks against Ethiopians will stop if………

Mogadishu 08, Nov.07 ( Sh.M.Network)- The cabinet of Hawiya traditional and unity elders’ granted that no more attacks will be carried out against the government soldiers any more, but that is if the Ethiopian troops entirely pullout from Somali soil.

The spokesman of the Hawiya traditional elders Mohamed Hassan Had’s wing told radio Shabelle that their side has amicable relationship with the other traditional parties, and said this will create that there will be no more attacks to government bases as the spokesman put it.

African Union military transport plane lands in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, Somalia Nov 8 (Garowe Onilne) - A large military transport plane landed Thursday at Mogadishu's Adan Adde International Airport, witnesses and officials said.

Captain Paddy Ankunda, spokesman for African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), told the press that the military transport plane brought equipment for peacekeepers from Burundi, who are supposed to deploy in Mogadishu "soon."
...
Burundian troops were trained by U.S. armed forces for this special peacekeeping mission. Uganda is the only AU member state to send peacekeepers to Somalia thus far, maintaining a 1,600-man contingent in Mogadishu since March.

they've been promising that the burundi peacekeepers were on their way all summer. maybe something's happening. the ugandans, however, are largely confined to security around the port, according to news stories. when there's not fighting going on -- very infrequent, that -- they assist in cleaning up trash, delivering food & water, etc.

so long as the ethiopians are occupying somali territory, don't look for much of a peacekeeping role for anyone.

Posted by: b real | Nov 8 2007 20:08 utc | 56

I promissed to write on the US$ today but didn't make it. Maybe tomorrow. Meanwhile Froomkin looks at Bush's Disastrous Dollar Policy

Posted by: b | Nov 8 2007 20:12 utc | 57

Yahoo News tonite:

Flood alerts issued for North Sea tidal surge
Blair vows to stay on as Met chief
Woman found guilty of terror offences
Document fuels inheritance tax spat
Musharraf vows elections in February
Georgia to hold early elections
No danger found in plane searched at NY airport http://uk.yahoo.com/

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Nov 8 2007 22:01 utc | 58

thanks b, 52.

Posted by: annie | Nov 8 2007 23:27 utc | 59

b-, et al. I heard today that @recent G-7 Summit Europe said they'd bail out the dollar if xUS got out of Iraq & canned the Empire. xUS refused. Do you, or anyone else, know anything about this?

Posted by: jj | Nov 9 2007 0:08 utc | 60

Cleveland, Ohio has one of the highest rates of foreclosure in the country. According to a study by Case Western Reserve U. Deutsche Bank owns Cleveland. Who knew?

Posted by: jj | Nov 9 2007 0:28 utc | 61

Update on Bush's veto record: Senate overrides Bush water projects veto.

President Bush suffered the first veto override of his seven-year-old presidency Thursday as the Senate enacted a $23 billion water resources bill despite his protest that it was filled with unnecessary projects.

The vote was 79-14 to pass the bill. Enactment was a foregone conclusion, but it still marked a milestone for a president who spent his first six years with a much friendlier Congress controlled by his Republican Party. Now he confronts a more hostile, Democratic-controlled legislature, and Thursday's vote showed that even many Republicans will defy him on spending matters dear to their political careers.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm glad this veto was not sustained and that some members of Congress finally seemed to have brushed up on their high school civics lessons and realized that the executive branch is not a unitary entity.

I'm a little pissed off about their priorities, though. Most of the projects in this bill are probably necessary, but the veto was overridden because this is, at the end of the day, a pork barrel issue. And that won't stand. Guantanamo Bay can stand. Warrantless domestic surveillance can stand. Erosion of civil liberties and illegal use of the military for overseas aggression can stand. Packing the Supreme Court with fundamentalist lunatics can stand. But we see here what will finally cause the Congress to say "Enough!", and that is when someone prevents them from lining their pockets.

And before anyone suggests that the Democrats in the Democrat-controlled Congress finally grew a spine, I will point back to the snippet I bolded from the article. No, the Democrats alone wouldn't override a veto if it were purely for the public good even when it can be demonstrated that the man that held the big red pen happened to be lying through his teeth.

So this is a mixed milestone in the annals of democracy. It probably sets a good precedent and in the end, the projects themselves may go on to help folk. I'm glad about that. However, it also reinforces that only corruption has any official weight in Washington and if you want to help anyone, it has got to go hand-in-glove with greed.

I'm not mollified yet.

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 9 2007 4:17 utc | 62

Posted by: b real | Nov 9 2007 4:18 utc | 63

should also point out that the initial link in my #63 above, the reuters article, was on the japanese chemical tanker the golden nori & how the hijackers issued demands to japan's govt to secure release. reportedly, "the cargo of the Golden Nori consists of four different chemicals, including highly flammable benzene" [source]

Posted by: b real | Nov 9 2007 4:42 utc | 64

Mukasey confirmed in the Senate 53-40 and a fitting zionfaschist qoute from Dershowitz

Marginal Democratic candidates certainly benefit from moving to the left on national security issues, but serious candidates--candidates who want to have any realistic chance of prevailing in the general election--must not allow themselves to be pushed, shoved or even nudged away from a strong commitment to national security.

Consider, for example, the contentious and emotionally laden issue of the use of torture in securing preventive intelligence information about imminent acts of terrorism...

There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works--it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives.

If it worked for the SS, Dems should take care that we use it too.

Posted by: b | Nov 9 2007 5:08 utc | 65

this cartoon says it all especially when taken in conjunction with this article:
Washington tells EU firms: quit Iran now

Multinational companies are coming under increasing pressure from the US to stop doing business with Iran because of its nuclear programme. European operators are facing threats from Washington that they could jeopardise their US interests by continuing to deal with Tehran, with increasing evidence that European governments, mainly France, Germany and Britain, are supporting the US campaign. . . .

. . . .his follows the decision by Germany's three biggest banks, Deutsche, Commerzbank, and Dresdner, to quit Iran after a warning from US vice-president Dick Cheney that if firms remain in Tehran, they are going to have problems doing business in the US. . .

These sanctions appear to be on top of those pushed through the UN Security Council. Since China and Russia baulked last time CheneyCo wanted to get tough, it is difficult to understand how they can be legal.

I'm no expert on GATT or other world trade agreements but I do seem to remember that one of the agreements of the Uruguay round? was that unilateral or state sanctioned boycotts which hadn't copped the big tick from the UN were a breach of that trade agreement.
I've no doubt that many corporations (Shell Oil esp) are likely to touch their forelocks to Dick then slip out and cut a deal with the Persians.

Any attempt by the amerikan administration to restrain trade with a European corporation which traded with Iran would inevitable bite amerika's ass later, if the corporation contested it.

Of course there are many more subtle ways of doing this and no one will want to go out of their way to get offside with CheneyCorp so we should get some entertainment watching the posturing and puffery on both sides.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 9 2007 6:15 utc | 66

Juan Cole links to one of the latest bits of good news from Iraq.
I also link to this site not because I can understand a word on the page, but to point out that the Google translation robot (beta) from Arabic to English permits one to learn, for example by selecting the Arabic text next to the blinking red
and blue test at the top of the page, that there will soon be a "farce meeting" of the Union of Arab Parliamentarians in the Israeli-occupied [that is, Kurdish] city of Irbil, and that the site in question opposes it. The point of the "exercise" is that there are (admittedly imperfect) tools available to help curious non-experts navigate through Arabic sites.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Nov 9 2007 11:49 utc | 67

This is your Freedom under Corporatism:
Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail strike out Iran

Yahoo! and Microsoft have removed Iran from the country lists of their webmail services as stronger US sanctions against the Islamic republic begin to bite.
[snip]
A Yahoo! spokeswoman told The Reg: "Yahoo! continually reviews its business operations to ensure compliance with these restrictions. Consistent with this policy, we cannot accept registrations from countries subject to these restrictions.
So essentially, you can't choose Iran as a country option because we are restricted from conducting business there – all US companies must comply with this policy." She was unable to tell us exactly when Yahoo! applied the rules.
Microsoft said it was unable to comment on the issue.
[snip]

Posted by: Rick | Nov 9 2007 11:56 utc | 68

Exhibit 896,532 in the matter of US goons in uniform are free to "liberate" Iraqis from this mortal coil with impunity.

Posted by: ran | Nov 9 2007 14:18 utc | 69

Worthless sycophantic tool yet highly compensated NY Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller presented the WimbleHack top honors by Taibbi.

Posted by: ran | Nov 9 2007 15:05 utc | 70

reuters: Families search for those lost in "African Guantanamo"

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Mohammed Abdillahi pores over court proceedings and affidavits as he waits for prayers to begin at the Jamia Mosque in downtown Nairobi.

The distraught 58-year-old Kenyan spends every spare moment rallying against his government's role in what he calls the "illegal arrest, disappearance and rendition" of his son.

Kenyan authorities deny any knowledge of 21-year-old Abdi Mohammed Abdillahi, but his father says the evidence is on TV.

"I saw Abdi arrested at the border on the national news -- you check the tapes," the elder Abdillahi said.

Abdillahi says his son, who was in neighboring Somalia when war broke out over the New Year, is a victim of Kenya's eagerness to fall in line with America's "war on terror".

"Abdi was with his brother in Mogadishu because they couldn't find work in Nairobi. Then they were running home together. His brother made it back," Abdillahi said.

Human rights advocates say Kenyan authorities in January and February captured more than 100 people fleeing Somalia's war -- when Ethiopian and American-backed forces drove out an Islamist regime -- and smuggled them into a secret detention programme.

In a case some have dubbed the "African Guantanamo", suspects were flown across borders in shackles and faced what rights groups call illegal, aggressive interrogation without access to consular officials or lawyers.

Many have not been heard from since.
...
Human Rights Watch says U.S. officials were given access to about 150 suspects in Kenya. The Kenyan government later moved more than 80 to Somalia, from which many were taken and held incommunicado in Ethiopia, the group says.

Ethiopia is Washington's main ally in the region.

Posted by: b real | Nov 9 2007 16:00 utc | 71

improved coverage from AFP today on events in mogadishu than the one i pointed out yesterday in #56

Death tolls mounts as Mogadishu violence flares

MOGADISHU (AFP) — Ethiopian troops shelled suspected Islamist hideouts Friday in the Somali capital Mogadishu, where some of the worst fighting in months has left more than 30 dead in two days, many of them civilians.

The escalating violence came as the Ethiopian army attempted to flush out pockets of insurgents in southern districts of the Somali capital, from which thousands of residents have fled in recent days.

Heavy fighting that erupted on Thursday spilled over into Friday when Ethiopian tanks fired shells on suspected hideouts in the notoriously dangerous Bakara market neighbourhood, killing six civilians.

"A tank shell landed into a crowd in Bakara area and killed six people, including a woman and her son. Some of the bodies could not be identified because they were ripped to shreds," said Hanad Guled, an eyewitness.

An AFP correspondent saw tank shells being fired from the neighbouring Blacksea district, where witnesses said several Ethiopian tanks were posted.

Clashes had broken out Thursday in several southern neighbourhoods, claiming the lives of at least another 25 people, witnesses told AFP.

The toll for the latest fighting could not immediately be confirmed by hospital sources, but civilians again bore the brunt of the violence.

daniel volman analyzes Africom: The new US military command for Africa

On closer examination, however, the difference between Africom and other commands—and the allegedly “unfounded” nature of its implications for the militarization of the continent—are not as real or genuine as the Bush administration officials would have us believe. Of course Washington has other interests in Africa besides making it into another front in its Global War on Terrorism, maintaining and extending access to energy supplies and other strategic raw material, and competing with China and other rising economic powers for control over the continent’s resources; these include helping Africans deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other emerging diseases, strengthening and assisting peacekeeping and conflict resolution efforts, and responding to humanitarian disasters. But it is simply disingenuous to suggest that accomplishing these three objectives is not the main reason that Washington is now devoting so much effort and attention to the continent. And of course Washington would prefer that selected friendly regimes take the lead in meeting these objects, so that the United States can avoid direct military involvement in Africa, particularly at a time when the U.S. military is so deeply committed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and preparing for possible attacks on Iran. The hope that the Pentagon can build up African surrogates who can act on behalf of the United States is precisely why Washington is providing so much security assistance to these regimes and why it would like to provide even more in the future. Indeed, as argued below, this is actually one of the main reasons that Africom is being created at this time.

So why is Africom being created and why now? I would argue that the answer to this question is twofold. First, the Bush administration would like to significantly expand its security assistance programs for regimes that are willing to act as surrogates, for friendly regimes—particularly in countries with abundant oil and natural gas supplies—and for efforts to increase its options for more direct military involvement in the future; but it has had difficulty getting the U.S. Congress and the Pentagon to provide the required funding or to devoting the necessary attention and energy to accomplish these tasks. The creation of Africom will allow the administration to go to the U.S. Congress and argue that the establishment of Africom demonstrates the importance of Africa for U.S. national security and the administration’s commitment to give the continent the attention that it deserves. If Africa is so important and if the administration’s actions show that it really wants to do all sorts of good things for Africa, it hopes to be in a much stronger position to make a convincing case that the legislature must appropriate substantially greater amounts of money to fund the new command’s operations. And within the Pentagon, the establishment of Africom as a unified command under the authority of a high-ranking officer with direct access to the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff will put the new command in a much stronger position to compete with other command for resources, manpower, and influence over policymaking.

Secondly, key members of the Bush administration, a small, but growing and increasingly vocal group of legislators, and influential think tanks have become more and more alarmed by the growing efforts of China to expand its access to energy supplies and other resources from Africa and to enhance its political and economic influence throughout the continent. These “alarmists” point to the considerable resources that China is devoting to the achievement of these goals and to the engagement of Chinese officials at the highest level—including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, both of who have made tours of the continent and have hosted high-level meetings in Beijing with African heads of state—as evidence of a “grand strategy” on the part of China that jeopardizes U.S. national security interests and that is aimed, ultimately, at usurping the West’s position on the continent. The creation of Africom, therefore, should be seen as one element of a broad effort to develop a “grand strategy” on the part of the United States that will counter, and eventually defeat, China’s efforts. It should also be understood as a measure that is intended to demonstrate to Beijing that Washington will match China’s actions, thus serving as a warning to the Chinese leadership that they should restrain themselves or face possible consequences to their relationship with America as well as to their interests in Africa.

Posted by: b real | Nov 9 2007 16:14 utc | 72

from democracynow's friday interview w/ dennis kucinich>

Amy, while we’re still on the air, there’s something I want to mention to you that I think is really important. Last night I was reading the Defense Authorization Bill, and there is a section in the bill that I want to read to you: Section 1615 requires the Secretary of Defense to, one, “determine the military-unique capabilities needed to be provided by the Department of Defense to support civil authorities in an incident of national significance or a catastrophic incident.” And then it goes on to say provide funds to develop a plan. What’s going on in this country? How can we stand by and see our basic liberties undermined?

he mentioned it in at least one other interview during the morning as well, pointed out on the democraticunderground site

He said that this language jumped off the page at him and that he was very concerned that people learn about this provision that would authorize domestic operations for the US military.

This is a PDF file. I have typed out the pertinent section.

-------

HR 1585


Section 1615, page 672 (of 794)

(Under TITLE XVI, NATIONAL GUARD ENHANCEMENT)
.....

DETERMINATION OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CIVIL SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS

(a) DETERMINATION OF REQUIREMENTS---- The Secretary of Defense shall determine the military-unique capabilities needed to be provided by the Department of Defense to support civil authorities in an incident of national significance or a catastrophic incident.

(b) PLAN FOR FUNDING CAPABILITIES---

(1) PLAN----The Secretary of Defense shall develop and implement a plan, in coordination with the Secretaries of the military departments and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for providing the funds and resources necessary to develop and maintain the following:

(A) The military-unique capabilities determined under subsection (a).

(B) Any additional capabilities determined by the Secretary to be necessary to support the use of the active components and the reserve components of the armed forces for homeland defense missions, domestic emergency responses, and providing military support to civil authorities.

(2) TERM OF PLAN---- The plan required under paragraph (1) shall cover at least five years.
.......

Posted by: b real | Nov 9 2007 17:37 utc | 73

interesting development in Georgia where apparent government forces trashed a teevee station run by Murdoch. Rupert is pissed....who would dare cross him?

some folks have figured out that News Corp has more influence than it should.

and the money quote...

Pompadur said the station's news coverage was balanced

Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 9 2007 19:19 utc | 74

empire's outposts needing better accomodations/ bigger living rooms

the peacock rpt: U.S. To Spend More Than Half-Billion on New Embassies

The U.S. State Dept. plans to spend upwards of $636 million on its latest round of new embassies worldwide, according to a procurement document that The Peacock Report has obtained. The document, dated Nov. 8, reveals that State yesterday began seeking to "prequalify" construction firms capable of designing and building embassies in Baku, Azerbaijan; Belgrade, Serbia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE); Monrovia, Liberia; Bucharest, Romania; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The cost of the individual embassy projects range from $75-$120 million.

----

latest from mogadishu

Ethiopian shelling leaves more civilians dead and wounded in Mogadishu

Mogadishu 09, Nov.07 ( Sh.M.Network)- More than 10 people have been killed and many others have been injured in an Ethiopian shelling on some parts of the capital Mogadishu on Friday morning.

Mortar shells are landing on civilian houses in Suqa Holaha, Gubta settlements and some other neighborhoods in the capital.

Local residents say, Ethiopians have been shelling indiscriminately on most densely- populated areas since Thursday, aiming to eradicate Somalis.

Meanwhile, at least 43 dead bodies have been found in separate locations in the capital Mogadishu on Friday morning after Ethiopians engaged fierce gun battle with Islamsit insurgents on Thursday.

According to residents in HamarJadid and Suqa Holaha settlements, all the dead bodies were non-combatant civilians intentionally killed by Ethiopians who also lost some of their comrades in yesterday’s bloody battle.
...
Sporadic gun could be heard in some parts of the capital where the fighting took place on Thursday.

Ethiopian tanks and armored vehicles have moved to the residential areas.

Hundreds of people have fled from their houses in fear of Ethiopian anger might fall on them.

Somalia president visiting Kenya, Ethiopian shelling kills 11 civilians

MOGADISHU, Somalia Nov 9 (Garowe Online) - The president of Somalia's transitional federal government left the country yesterday as the Ethiopian army continued shelling parts of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

President Abdullahi Yusuf was accompanied to the Kenyan capital Nairobi by several lawmakers and the chairman of the reconciliation process, Mr. Ali Mahdi.

There was no official statement regarding the Somali president’s trip to Kenya, but government sources said the biggest objective behind the trip is the president's consultations with various regional and international powerbrokers in his search for a new Somali prime minister.

most likely he got out of town as it really started lighting up but it could also be a meeting w/ u.s. officials in kenya to solidify the PM slot in an effort to create the hope of some stability.

u.n. top dawg ban ki-moon yesterday poo-poo'd the idea of u.n. peacekeepers in mogadishu, proposing that an int'l "coalition of the willing" forces may be more appropriate.

Posted by: b real | Nov 9 2007 20:44 utc | 75

it's been ugly in mogadishu the past couple days

Deutsche Presse-Agentur: Bloody Mogadishu clashes leave at least 51 dead

A bloody day of fighting on the streets of the Somali capital left at least 51 people dead in one of the goriest 24 hours the city has seen in months, residents and hospital sources said Friday.

Ethiopian troops backing the fledgling Somali government fought insurgents in an up-close battle that saw at least 10 soldiers killed, with one shirtless body dragged through the streets of violent Mogadishu surrounded by cheering crowds.

Residents said the incident sparked outrage among the Ethiopians, who fanned out across the city in search of militias and began shooting civilians indiscriminately.

"We collected 12 bodies, mostly elderly people, women and children. They were shot by Ethiopians. Some of them bled to death in the streets where they were left all night," said Zakaria Adde, a resident of Hurwa district.

Officials at Medina hospital said at least 30 people were wounded in the fighting, but that number was likely to rise with more reports from the city's clinics and medical centres.

Corpses and the wounded were strewn on the narrow streets of the capital, days after aid agency Doctors Without Borders warned that the intensifying fighting was preventing medical help from reaching the injured.

"Body parts lay on the streets. No one can collect them because the fighting continues," said Abdi Aziiz, 35, a witness.

opinion: Ethiopia - Fire power in Mogadishu as a warning to all oppositions

The Somalia crisis is getting worst day by day and today BBC reported that the Bakara Market in Mogadishu was shelled by the "Ethiopian" soldiers killing many civilians and this according to the BBC is a reprisal action for the dead and mutilated Ethiopian soldiers who were dragged and pelted with the stone yesterday similar to the Black Hawk incident of the USA soldiers in the early 1990s during American humanitarian intervention in Somalia.

The UN chief also seems admitting to the fact on the ground that he said it is not feasible to send UN forces in Somalia which only so far got a quarter of promised African forces and as BBC reporter clearly suggested "Ethiopian" forces are here to stay and things will be getting from bad to worst for the Mogadishu residents and many have already left the city.

The USA current Administration has already assigned Somali's crisis to be handled by the fire power of Melese Zenawi and will keep on arming and paying for this terrible war and the next administration will not be different either.
...
The Ethiopian regime survival strategy is to fight the "extremists" or "terrorists" wherever they are and the shelling on the Bakara market today is a warning also for all oppositions inside or outside Ethiopia, the real war has started and get ready for it.

USA administration has made it clear that its interest is well served by Melese Zenawi and there is no need to change course and the Diaspora oppositions lobby to bring HR2003 so far is a success. however, the current escalation of the war might be deliberately designed to let the USA senators know that the war on " terror " in Mogadishu should not be hampered by bringing laws like H2003 to punish an ally.

some pix of the dead (who, by appearances, don't look like fighters) in the streets in this shabelle media article that i linked to earlier today.

and to really get your blood boiling (or make sure you are sick to your stomach), here's jendayi frazer in a nov 6th interview w/ the propaganda outfit VOA

Q. Fighting between the government with the help of Ethiopian troops and the insurgents in Somalia seems to be increasing by the day. Who is responsible – both the insurgents and the government?

A. The insurgents are responsible, because the government has the right to protect and defend a country and the insurgents have an option, which to join national reconciliation, join a political process, rather than to take up their grievances with the government through armed force. So the government has the constitutional requirement to defend a population, so I would say that really the greatest responsibility is on the insurgents.

...

Q. U.S. Special Envoy for Somalia Mr. John Yates is quoted as saying last week that the United States underestimated the magnitude of hatred the Somali people have for the Ethiopian troops. Does that mean the United States might change the way it approaches Somalia’s problem now?

A. Well, I don’t think that the United States underestimated the complexity of the situation in Somalia. And really, any notion of the hatred for the Ethiopians, the reason why the Transitional Federal Government has the support of a force – both the Ethiopians and the AMISOM – the Ethiopians are playing a critical role in trying to stabilize the country. We’re hoping that others will take their place, but if in fact Ethiopia left, the entire country would descend into further chaos, to deep chaos. So I think that it’s wrong to point to the Ethiopians as somehow a culprit. And as I said, the problem is Somalis, the Somalis have to come together. That’s critically important. The communities need to come together.

Q. When do you think that Somali Federal forces can stand by themselves and Ethiopian troops will leave the country?

A. Well, I don’t think the heart of the problem is the Ethiopians, because Somalia has been without a government for over 16 years. Now the Transitional Federal Government is trying to put in place the institutions to have a transition to an elected government by 2009. Ethiopian troops have not been there for 16 years. So to blame the Ethiopian troops is a faulty analysis and it takes the responsibility away from Somalis themselves.

granted, that interview is from 3 days ago, before this latest round of ultra-violence, but frazer is very well aware of what the u.s.-backed ethiopian & TFG forces have been doing in mogadishu all year. what has happened in the past two days is not new. we have carried links here covering the slaughters going on inside mogadishu back during the heaviest fighting in march & april -- also see the human right's watch rpt Shell-Shocked: Civilians Under Siege in Mogadishu -- as well as the ongoing attacks by the occupying forces, shooting, shelling, & brutalizing civilians indiscriminately. so frazer is more than just complicit, but we know that - it was largely on her encouragement, as the highest ranking state official on africa affairs, that ethiopia took on this role as proxy.

also in the interview are plenty of weasel words on the u.s. role in determining the next prime minister for the unpopular TFG

Q. You have already said something on the resignation of Prime Minister Gedi, but would you comment on the resignation and the way it happened?

A. I think Prime Minister Gedi took a very commendable step, a very honorable step, in that he has removed him self so that someone can come in who can bring the communities together. So I think that we should all applaud the prime minister’s willingness to move aside in the national interest. And I think again it was just the right thing to do at the right time.

Q. Was there a U.S. role in his departure?

A. There is not a role in his departure. Of course we continue to have conversations with former prime minister Gedi and when he was the prime minister we consulted we him and advised him and of course he consulted with us and advised us over the last year. And so those conversations are continuing to be ongoing and certainly at the time when he was making this very weighty he consulted and reached out to the United States for our advice.

Q. What should President Yusuf and the Somali parliament so in order to get a prime minister that has the confidence of both the president and the international community, including the U.S.?

A. It would be important to have the confidence of the United States and the international community and the parliament but most importantly you need someone who has the confidence of the Somali people. That’s the most important thing, because again this prime minister has to be the key to a national reconciliation. We’ve said over and over and over again that Somalia’s future, a future of stability, depends on reconciling the various communities, whether they are political communities, ideological, the different clans, civil society groups, intellectuals, religious authorities, all need to come together. So we need a prime minister who can bring those communities together and that is what the United States is looking for.

as garowe online, a somalian media outlet, reported the other day (linked in #23 above),

The U.S. government is seen as the driving force behind Yusuf's nomination for a new prime minister. A U.S.-based Somali professor has been floated around as a possible candidate for the premier's post.

and as i suggested in #75, president yusuf was meeting w/ frazer today according to the photo in this news story (not avail in english)

also today, the sudan tribune rpts that

Ethiopia ready to cooperate with US Africa Command - Zenawi

November 9, 2007 (ADDIS ABABA) — Prime minister, Meles Zenawi, said Ethiopia is ready to work closely with the US Command to be established soon in Africa.

Meles made the remark when he holds talks with US Africa command commander, General William E. Ward, on Thursday at the premiums office.

“The US Africa command will be important in playing a major role in bringing lasting peace and security across the continent” Meles said.

The US Africa command which its head office is not yet decided will assist the cotinent during emergencies and insecurity problems.

sounds more like AFRICOMs HQ will be in addis ababa, barring protestation of u.s. backing/support of a murderous dictator, that is.

Posted by: b real | Nov 10 2007 5:59 utc | 76


@76
looks like a "surge" strategy by Ethiopia. And its going to be a long, bitter & brutal struggle ahead if Ethiopia intends to pacify Mogadishu, and then the rest of Somali. And it will serve a test case of how to constitute empire in todays Africa through blood & steel.

the stakes are enormous. If it fails, the likelihood, of further & final disintegration of Ethiopia itself becomes very real. But if arms, resource & numbers can ensure victory in war, a Greater-Ethiopia will emerge over the vast Eastern Africa, Somali, Eritrea, Djibouti.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Nov 10 2007 7:56 utc | 77

Defecting Ethiopian Soldiers

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Nov 10 2007 9:13 utc | 78

That explains a bit of Foreign Policy failure. How can you run a huge shop without using email?

Unlike Powell, who was an avid e-mailer, Rice does not use e-mail.
Rice's Management at Issue

Posted by: b | Nov 10 2007 11:13 utc | 79

Human Rights Organizations Petition Israeli High Court Over Israel's Fuel and Power Cuts to Gaza.

Since implementing sanctions on 28 October, Israel has cut supplies of regular diesel by more than 40 percent and industrial gasoline, vital for Gaza's power plant, by about 9 percent, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA) and Gaza petrol companies.

Israel said it had cut fuel by about 15 percent overall, but refrained from limiting electricity since its Attorney-General, Menahem Mazuz, ordered a policy review to ascertain it would not cause a humanitarian crisis.

However, the rights groups say cutting the fuel alone is "collective punishment" and illegal....

"At any given time 15 percent of the population in Gaza is not receiving an adequate amount of running water to their homes," said Maher Najjar, deputy director of the CMWU. That number was likely to increase, he added.

"Currently, there is no spare fuel to run the water system, and the sewage system has enough fuel only for one more week," he said. Other officials have expressed concern for hospitals in the event of power cuts.

Israeli officials said the sanctions, meant to further detach Israel from Gaza and persuade Palestinian militants to cease firing rockets at its southern towns, would not have harmful humanitarian repercussions.

More good links to peruse at this one.

Posted by: Bea | Nov 10 2007 13:04 utc | 80

Gaza's Reflection in a Foul Threat -- The End Result of Israel's and the World's Policy on Gaza

“How many Palestinians need to drown [in flooding sewage]?” he asked.

Life on the ground as a metaphor for political reality.

Posted by: Bea | Nov 10 2007 13:10 utc | 81

More details on what happened in Nahr al-Bared, and how the world is being kept from knowing about it. Nahr al-Bared was Destroyed, but Who Noticed?

Posted by: Bea | Nov 10 2007 18:17 utc | 82

">http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/922371.html"> Israel's Plan to Seek More Holocaust Reparations Outrages Germany

A state comptroller's report on the treatment of Holocaust survivors, released this past August, said that in the 50 years between 1954 and 2004, the government had spent some $3.5 billion on the survivors, more than four times the sum transferred by Germany.

"We see Germany as responsible for the Holocaust survivors," Eitan told Haaretz. "The agreements with them had many holes. Nobody estimated the high cost of the last stage of life in the modern era, or that people would live at least ten years longer on average than they did in the 1950s."

The Luxembourg Agreement also failed to take into account the arrival of many additional survivors to Israel. "Nobody thought that 175,000 Holocaust refugees from the former Soviet Union would come to Israel," Eitan said. "That changed the entire picture, even if the Germans aren't interested."

Well if this is the line of argument, then I'm sure the Palestinian government will be presenting a very stiff bill to Israel in due time. For example, take the entire destruction of Nahr al-Bared. Isn't is Israel's responsibility that the refugees were there, without any government to provide for or insure them, in the first place?

Posted by: Bea | Nov 10 2007 18:23 utc | 83

Israel's Plan to Seek More Holocaust Reparations Outrages Germany

I clicked Post when I mean to click Preview on that last one.

Posted by: Bea | Nov 10 2007 18:24 utc | 84

the government had spent some $3.5 billion on the survivors, more than four times the sum transferred by Germany.

Fucking wrong numbers.

Germany in total payed 64 billion Euros in war reparation (2006 number). Most of that went (and is still going) into monthly payments of concentration camp victims. Most of that money goes to Israel. (numbers by the German Ministry of Finance pdf in German)

The numbers are not inflation corrected so when billions of payments made back in 50s/60s would be calculated by todays value the real amount is several hundred of billions.

In 1952 Ben Gurion and Adenauer agreed on a contract that gave Israel 3.5 billion (a LOT of money for West Germany to pay at that time). Israel in that contract committed itself to use the money to pay additional pensions for holocaust surveivers. It never did but spend the money elsewhere.

"Not one more penny" if you ask me.

Posted by: b | Nov 10 2007 19:11 utc | 85

The UN puppet on Somalia - not sure what he is actually saying:

(Note that the AP piece has not one bit on U.S. involvement in the cration of that conflict.)

UN chief opposes Somalia peacekeepers

Against a backdrop of heavy fighting and growing insecurity, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opposed the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to Somalia and suggested instead a multinational force.

In August, the U.N. Security Council called on the secretary-general to begin planning for the possible deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to replace an African Union force that has struggled to put troops in the chaotic country.

But in a new report to the council, Ban on Friday said he did not think that was "a realistic and viable option."

He added that "given the complex security situation in Somalia, it may be advisable to look at additional security options, including the deployment of a robust multinational force or coalition of the willing."
...
Somalia has not had a functioning government since clan-based warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other, sinking the poverty-stricken Horn of Africa nation of 7 million people into chaos.

The rout last December of the Islamic fundamentalist movement that controlled most of Somalia by Ethiopian troops and Somali government soldiers allowed the country's weak U.N.-backed transitional government to enter the capital, Mogadishu, for the first time since it was established in 2004. But heavy fighting between insurgents and Ethiopian troops has flared again, leaving hundreds dead and wounded.

The U.N. authorized the African Union to send an 8,000-strong peacekeeping force to Somalia in February to calm the country, but only 1,800 troops from Uganda are there so far.

The AU has been pressing for a U.N. force to replace the AU troops when its current U.N. mandate expires in February. But some key Security Council countries insist there must first be peace before U.N. troops are sent to Somalia.


Coalition of the willing??? Huh????

Posted by: b | Nov 10 2007 19:43 utc | 86

new this day

ms bhutto putting on a performance worthy of all three stooges & what a sorry position for pakistan having to choose between stooges

& the czech anitfascists gave the neo nazis a lesson in acquainting their faces with the pavement

& little more demonisation of either chavez, or morelos or kirchner

& death waking up iraq & putting it to sleep

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 10 2007 21:10 utc | 87

quick look at some of the stories out of mogadishu on saturday

Somalia: 'We warned civilians to leave' insurgent strongholds, says mayor

MOGADISHU, Somalia Nov 10 (Garowe Online) - The mayor of the Somali capital and governor of Banadir region, Mr. Mohamed "Dheere" Omar, told local media on Saturday that the ongoing offensive targeting specific areas deemed insurgent strongholds will not stop.

"If people are using guns to shoot you, it is a must you use a bigger one that destroys the enemy's capacity," Mayor Dheere said.

The mayor's comment referred to an Ethiopian-led offensive in recent days to cleanse Mogadishu neighborhoods viewed as hotspots for insurgent activity.

Nearly 100 people, including 20 Ethiopian soldiers, have been killed in the Somali capital over the past three days and 200 others wounded.

Hundreds of families continued fleeing their homes as the fighting intensified. The mayor of Mogadishu said the government was "deeply bothered" with the civilian death toll, but said the al Shabaab insurgents are responsible for the mortars.

"We warned civilians to leave areas where anti-peace groups stay…and we consider some of them [civilians] an enemy because we told them to leave many times before," Mayor Dheere said.

that's funny, b/c just less than two weeks ago dheere was quoted asking civilians to stay put. for instance, see
Somalia leaders advise Mogadishu residents not to flee

MOGADISHU, Somalia Oct 30 (Garowe Online) - The mayor of Somalia's war-wracked capital, Mogadishu, today retracted comments he made to local press on Sunday calling on residents to evacuate sections of Mogadishu.

Mayor Mohamed “Dheere” Omar spoke to reporters Tuesday, saying that he was misquoted earlier. [Mogadishu mayor warns civilians to evacuate as violence rages]

He said the residents of south Mogadishu's Hodan and Howlwadaag districts should not leave their homes.

The previous press statement warning residents to evacuate in anticipation of ongoing military operations was taken out of context, leading to a mass exodus of civilians from these areas, Mayor Dheere said.

“We ask the people misinformed about my words to stay home,” Mogadishu's mayor said. His previous comments were intended to inform the people that government troops and their Ethiopian allies would undertake a “careful offensive” against insurgent forces, according to the mayor.

Gen. Abdi Qeybdiid, Somalia's national police boss, reiterated Mayor Dheere's calls for calm today. “The government does not wish to see women and children flee their homes,” Gen. Qeybdiid said.

he was also quoted requesting citizens to stay put in multiple NGO releases that week, after another mass exodus had already begun.

by that time, though, it was too late, people weren't gonna pay any heed to the mayor's retractions as ethiopian convoys were coming into mogadishu, evoking very clear memories of the march-april battles and of TFG president yusuf's words in an interview at that time, (from the hrw rpt linked in #76 above)

Q: The government is using artillery to shell civilian areas according to reports, therefore why are you using these artilleries?

A: Why shouldn’t we use it? They are within the civilian areas. The public should make them [the insurgents] leave the civilian areas. When those guys leave the civilian areas no harm will come to the civilians. We want the civilians to remove them [insurgents] telling them to go away from our midst. It is you [insurgents] that are causing us all these troubles. It is them [insurgents] who are the cause of all the troubles and not the government because any place from which a bullet is fired [at us] we will bombard it regardless of whoever is there.

Q: Even if civilians are there you are going to bombard it?

A: Yes we will bombard it! Because the civilians should not be used as human shields. The civilians should get out of there and we have warned the civilians. We said there is fighting going on in those neighborhoods get out of there while the fighting is going on because one of the sides will be made to give up. The civilians have that warning.

back to saturday

little fighting was reported today in mogadishu, as ethiopian troops reinforced positions in some of the abandoned neighborhoods and people attempted to collect the dead & attend to the injured.

Somalia: more than twenty cadavers found in some parts of Mogadishu [warning: photos of dead people at link]

Mogadishu 10, Nov.07 ( Sh.M.Network)- More than twenty additional corpses were found in some parts of Mogadishu Somalia most of these corpses were combinations of women and elderly people killed by the Ethiopian troops.

The bodies of these people were mostly collected from the spots they were shot especially Shirkole Officiale in Hodan district. Ethiopian forces in these places evacuated these areas this morning after they were two days in the zone.
...
Ten out of the twenty bodies found this morning were butchered around Ali Shire mosque at Shirkole a section of Hodan district. One of the cadavers’ collectors’ told radio Shabelle that most of the bodies have swollen, a pregnant mother was among the bodies the bodies gathered.

Some of these bodies include freshly killed people including a donkey raider there are also some people whose bodies yet lay in some of the foot path whereby people can not dare to enter because of shot on sight.

The total number of the people killed by the Ethiopian troops consciously in some parts of Mogadishu in the past two days numbers 100 and of people were killed 65 intentionally and the other 35 by stray bullets and missiles.

These days the detorotieting situation of the city is generally intensifying.

the bottom-most picture appears to be one of the soldiers whose body had been dragged thru the streets on friday.

a saturday press release from the somali human rights defenders network summarized friday's situation as follows

What flared up the situation, as it is now obvious that Ethiopian troops are extensively undertaking revenge for, is the dragging the dead corpses of the Ethiopian troops in the capital streets by the insurgents which is also inhumane and forbidden in Islamic religion and the international human rights instruments. The dead body is sacred and should be buried.

The death toll of the latest fighting reaches now sixty three civilians as reliable sources indicating while more dead bodies are found in some areas and became difficult to collect since Ethiopian sharpshooters are shooting any attempt to collect. Thousands of civilians are displaced, casualties are over three hundred while a heavy loss of property is in place. Both sides have shot innocents in their residences and in the streets. The Ethiopians troops from the windows of the top buildings, which they forcibly took and made bases for their forces in the civilians residences, were shooting beside their shelling with the tanks and all kinds of rockets and heavy machine guns.

Ethiopian troops were not simply only confronted with Islamists and radical militias of the insurgents but with a broad front of clans and groups that are hardly or not related to the Islamists but shared their perception and rejection of the Ethiopians as a joint enemy, and this was encouraged by the Ethiopians themselves when they failed to take all feasible precautions to avoid incidental loss of civilian life and property, such as by failing to verify that targets were military objectives. Said [SOHRIDEN chairperson] Ahmed " Both sides are war criminals and violated laws of war and international humanitarian laws."

Posted by: b real | Nov 11 2007 6:48 utc | 88

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