February 23, 2010 archive

Ron Paul Educates U.S. Media on War/ForeignPolicy

Congressman Dr. Ron Paul educates the Orwellian U.S. News Media about War and Foreign Policy.

The Bronx Invasion of Brazil. On Friday We Take Cuba!

Cross Posted at Daily Kos, Firefly-Dreaming, La Vita Locavore and Progressive Blue.

No more snow job photo diaries out of me. Since it is midwinter and everyone can use a little break from the cold, I think a little Brazilian Modern is in order.

How about you? Join me below for more photos and see an amateur review of my South American trip from last year.

Prius Driving Purelle Pricks

The arrival of a healthy beautiful third grandson ought to be a joyous event.  It is, sort of in spite of my walking into my own local hospital on defcon five alert, feeling like a militant spy entering hostile territory.

Ask and ye shall find.  Here it is.



EcoJustice: About Darfur, Part 1.


There is a years long grisly struggle between ethnic groups in Darfur — with one government-backed militia brutalizing civilians with ethnic connections to the guerrilla rebels they fight. There is a refugee crisis, starvation, drought, and horrible violence.

The conflict in Darfur is complicated. It has several causes, and the people who fight sometimes do so for different reasons. Sudan is riddled with deep ethnic divides, fueled by the colonialism that favored one ethnic group over others. There is political posturing and finger pointing in Khartoum that might occupy a handful of doctoral theses on the subject before we understand it all. But at least two of the reasons this conflict persists are rooted in ecojustice: desertification and oil. And that oil doesn’t even lie under Darfur.

Overnight Caption Contest

Gen. McChrystal Issues Apology #2 for Bombing Afghan Civilians

On Sunday, Feb 21st, NATO planes fired on what they mistook for a convoy of 3 insurgent vehicles in central Afghanistan, during the biggest offensive of the war, called “Moshtarak,” (“Together”) near Marjah.

When the bombing was over, and the scene looked at more closely, at least 27 civilians had been mistakenly killed, including 4 women and a child, and 12 others were injured.  According to another account, the dead included 2 children, a 3 year old boy and a 9 year old girl.

General Stanley McCrystal has issued an apology to the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai.


“We are extremely saddened by the tragic loss of innocent lives,” McChrystal’s statement said. “I have made it clear to our forces that we are here to protect the Afghan people, and inadvertently killing or injuring civilians undermines their trust and confidence in our mission. We will redouble our efforts to regain that trust.”


President Karzai had called for NATO forces to try to protect more civilians from harm on Saturday.

“We need to reach the point where there are no civilian casualties,” Karzai said. “Our effort and our criticism will continue until we reach that goal.”

 That was the day there was another civilian death, which came after the initial NATO bombing mistake which took the lives of 12 civilians on Feb 14th, the day after the start of the Marjah operation.  There was an apology  for the single death also.            

The civilian was killed Friday after he dropped a box which soldiers feared contained a bomb and began running toward a coalition position, NATO said. The box contained materials that could be used to make a bomb but no explosives NATO said.

“This is truly a regrettable incident, and we offer our condolences to the family,” said a NATO spokeswoman, Navy Capt. Jane Campbell, said in a statement.

Per the BBC, NATO (British) Lt. Gen Nick Parker said that an investigation is underway.

 video transcript (warning, advertisement before Lt Gen Parker is bizarre in context)


Lt Gen Parker:

“I have to say these are very difficult incidents. Our people are not doing this deliberately. They have to make snap judgements, and sometimes these incidents occur.   General McCrystal had all his junior commanders in this morning,

and he made it absolutely clear to them, that he expects commanders on the ground to make these difficult judgements as clearly and as carefully as they possibly can, in order to minimize the risk of casualties to civilians.  We’re clear, if we kill the people we’re trying to protect, our credibility is undermined.”  

On Sunday, according to McClatchy, via the WAPO today, US Army General David Petraeus said the Afghanistan Marjah operation is just the beginning of a hard effort that will last 12 to 18 months, and the level of United States casualties will be “tough to bear.”            http://www.washingtonpost.com/…

Open Thought for the Day

From a commenter at reddit, on the subject of Associate Attorney General David Margolis, with Holder’s approval, reducing the conclusion of the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility report on Yoo and Bybee’s Torture Memos  to Bush to say that they showed only “poor judgment“:

If Obama’s ‘Justice Department’ had conducted the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, all of the Nazis would have gone free – ‘Merely Poor Judgement, the Holocaust was just a policy mistake’!

There is a road, no simple highway,

Between the dawn and the dark of night,

And if you go no one may follow,

That path is for your steps alone…

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