Aug 282008

From the Independent (UK):

“Supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi believe the imprisoned Burmese democracy leader may have launched a hunger strike over the military regime’s refusal to hold talks about democratic reforms.

Members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) said the 63-year-old had last accepted a weekly delivery of food on 15 August and told the young party members who delivered it not to bring any more. An NLD spokesman in Burma said he could not confirm whether she had stopped eating but that bags of food delivered to a checkpoint outside her house in Rangoon had not been picked up.

“If Aung San Suu Kyi continues to refuse food from her comrades, her health will be of serious concern,” the NLD’s office in neighbouring Thailand, said in a statement. “Two people living with [her] are also refusing food. The international community’s immediate action is necessary.””

 August 28, 2008  Posted by on August 28, 2008 1 Response »
Aug 272008

This article by Col. Ann Wright is reprinted with the kind permission of the author and Truthdig ( and was originally published here.

Since I posted on April 28 the article “Is There an Army Cover Up of the Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers,” the deaths of two more U.S. Army women in Iraq and Afghanistan have been listed as suicides—the Sept. 28, 2007, death of 30-year-old Spc. Ciara Durkin and the Feb. 22, 2008, death of 25-year-old Spc. Keisha Morgan. Both “suicides” are disputed by the families of the women.

Since April 2008, five more U.S. military women have died in Iraq—three in non-combat-related incidents. Ninety-nine U.S., six British and one Ukrainian military women and 13 U.S. female civilians have been killed in Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain, as well as probably hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women and girls. Of the 99 U.S. military women, 64 were in the Army active component, nine in the Army National Guard, seven in the Army Reserve, seven in the Marine Corps, nine in the Navy and three in the Air Force. According to the Department of Defense, 41 of the 99 U.S. military women who have been killed in Iraq died in “noncombat-related incidents.” Of the 99 U.S. military women killed in the Iraq theater, 41 were women of color (21 African-Americans, 16 Latinas, three of Asian-Pacific descent and one Native American—data compiled from the Web site

Fourteen U.S. military women, including five in the Army, one in the Army National Guard, two in the Army Reserves, three in the Air Force, two in the Navy (on ships supporting U.S. forces in Afghanistan) and one in the Marine Corps, one British military woman and six U.S. civilian women have been killed in Afghanistan. According to the Department of Defense, four U.S. military women in Afghanistan died in non-combat-related incidents, including one now classified as a suicide. Four military women of color (three African-Americans and one Latina) have been killed in Afghanistan. (Data compiled from

The deaths of 14 U.S. military (13 Army and one Navy) women and one British military woman who served in Iraq, Kuwait or Afghanistan have been classified as suicides.

Two Army women in Iraq (Pfc. Hannah Gunterman McKinney, a victim of vehicular homicide, and Pfc. Kamisha Block, who was shot five times by a fellow soldier who then killed himself) and two Navy women in Bahrain (MASN Anamarie Camacho and MASN Genesia Gresham, both shot by a male sailor who then shot, but did not kill, himself) have died at the hands of fellow military personnel.

Several more military women have died with unexplained “non-combat” gunshot wounds (U.S. Army Sgt. Melissa Valles, July 9, 2003: gunshot to the abdomen; Marine Lance Cpl. Juana Arellano, April 8, 2006: gunshot wound to the head while in a “defensive position”). Most of the deaths of women who have died of noncombat gunshot wounds have been classified as suicides, rather than homicides.

Continue reading »

 August 27, 2008  Posted by on August 27, 2008 Comments Off on Ann Wright: U.S. Military Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’?
Aug 272008

With a  big h/t to Buzzflash for posting this link, thought y’all would love this list of reasons that men shouldn’t vote, penned by writer Alice Duer Miller  in 1915:

Why We Don’t Want Men to Vote

  • Because man’s place is in the army.
  • Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
  • Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them.
  • Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms, and drums.
  • Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them unfit for government.
 August 27, 2008  Posted by on August 27, 2008 1 Response »
Aug 272008

From the UN News Centre:

“Three more young girls have been kidnapped in Haiti over the past week, the United Nations peacekeeping mission to the impoverished Caribbean country reports, amid mounting UN concern about the continuing spate of child abductions.

An eight-year-old girl was kidnapped in the capital, Port-au-Prince, last Thursday, and the following day a seven-year-old girl was abducted in the town of Arcahaie, according to the UN mission (known as MINUSTAH).

On Saturday, a three-year-old girl who had been kidnapped two days earlier was found in Arcahaie and brought to hospital after being injured with a razor blade.

The latest abductions have occurred as MINUSTAH officials warn that criminal gangs in Haiti are increasingly targeting children for kidnappings.

MINUSTAH child protection adviser Massimo Toschi told the UN News Centre last week that around half of all kidnapping victims are now under age.

The gangs have become more vicious and depraved in their attacks, with child victims often tortured, and some killed despite their family paying all or part of the demanded ransom. Girls who have been abducted are frequently raped or sexually abused.

Mr. Toschi said the gangs tend to abduct children on their way to and from school, choosing victims from both poor and affluent families with the expectation that even families with little money will be able to draw on the Haitian diaspora to help pay the ransom, which can be as much as $25,000.”

See also:   Haiti: UN mission alarmed as another child kidnapping victim is killed

 August 27, 2008  Posted by on August 27, 2008 Comments Off on UN Alarmed As 3 More Girls Are Kidnapped In Haiti
Aug 262008

When a Code Pink protester in Denver asked police why they had arrested another demonstrator, the police reacted with truly appalling violence. According to the Rocky Mountain News,

“A Code Pink protester shown on video being shoved to the ground by a police officer’s baton and later hauled away remains in jail on a charge of interfering with an arrest but should be released tonight, Code Pink officials say.

The video shows an officer quickly shoving Forrest with the length of his baton, forcing her to the ground with a smack. Later, as she was speaking with reporters, the video shows police coming behind her and dragging her away.

Lt. Ron Saunier, a police spokesman, said the 30-second video is “kind of jumpy” on his computer and doesn’t give the full context of the situation.”

Judge for yourself:

Gee, I’d say the context is pretty clear. It is called a violation of human rights and United States Law.

Please note: We’ve been getting a lot of comments about this post, most of which do not meet the comments guidelines of this blog, namely that they be respectful and constructive. Absolutely no hate speech will be tolerated. We welcome your comments, but if they do not meet those criteria, they will not be posted.

 August 26, 2008  Posted by on August 26, 2008 7 Responses »