mistersandman: (Default)
[personal profile] mistersandman
Marking the 8th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, protesters rallied Saturday against continued American involvement there in Chicago.

The protesters also spoke out against the U.S. military getting involved in Libya.

Their message is simple. They want U.S. military involvement in the Middle East to end.

"We cannot continue to spend billions of dollars on war," said protester Julie Harley.

Many peace activists in Chicago took to Michigan Avenue Saturday to mark the 8th anniversary of the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq.

Read more... )

mistersandman: How would you feel if you had to put on a really stupid hat? (RAGE)
[personal profile] mistersandman

WASHINGTON – A lawsuit targeting the Pentagon contains an astonishing anecdote about a retired Sergeant's experience after being sexually assaulted by a colleague during a deployment to Afghanistan.

The lawsuit, available here, was filed by 17 military women against Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld in Virginia. It assails "the military's repeated failures to take action in rape cases created a culture where violence against women was tolerated, violating the plaintiffs' Constitutional rights."

Sergeant Rebekah Havrilla alleges in the complaint that in 2006, after her military supervisor repeatedly sexually harassed her, she was raped by a colleague she was working with at the time.

"He pulled her into his bed, held her down, and raped her. He also photographed the rape," it reads. Havrilla reported the incident within a month.

In February 2009, she reported for active duty training and, upon seeing her rapist, went into shock.

"She immediately sought the assistance of the military chaplain," the lawsuit reads. "When SGT Havrilla met with the military chaplain, he told her that 'it must have been God's will for her to be raped' and recommended that she attend church more frequently."

The complains adds that "SGT Havrilla suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression."

Havrilla's harrowing story, and the broader lawsuit, sheds light on the ongoing and widely reported problem of sexual assault in the military.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said it was "a command priority" to "ensure all of our service members are safe from abuse" and pledged to commit more resources to the goal.

"Sexual assault is a wider societal problem and Secretary Gates has been working with the service chiefs to make sure the U.S. military is doing all it can to prevent and respond to it," Morrell told NBC News.

mistersandman: (watchmen)
[personal profile] mistersandman
Russia delivered at least 1,800 shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles to Venezuela in 2009, U.N. arms control data show, despite vigorous U.S. efforts to stop President Hugo Chavez's stridently anti-American government from acquiring the weapons.

The United States feared that the missiles could be funneled to Marxist guerrillas fighting Colombia's pro-American government or Mexican drug cartels, concerns expressed in U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and first reported in the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Read more... )
mistersandman: (SHAME)
[personal profile] mistersandman
A small US church says it will defy international condemnation and go ahead with plans to burn copies of the Koran on the 9/11 anniversary.

The top US commander in Afghanistan warned troops' lives would be in danger if the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida went ahead.

Muslim countries and NATO have also hit out at the move.

And the US Attorney General, Eric Holder, called the idea "idiotic and dangerous," but organiser, Pastor Terry Jones said: "We must send a clear message to the radical element of Islam."

The controversy comes at a time when the US relationship with Islam is very much under scrutiny.

There is heated debate in the country over a proposal to build a mosque and Islamic cultural centre streets from Ground Zero, site of the 9/11 attacks, in New York.

Speaking at a State Department dinner marking the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Hillary Clinton condemned Pastor Jones.

"I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths," she said.

Despite having a congregation of just 50, the plans of Pastor Jones' church in Gainesville have gained worldwide notoriety, sparking demonstrations in Afghanistan and Indonesia.
Click for full article )


Everyone--and I mean everyone--has told these people that this is a bad idea.  Well too bad for them, AMERICA doesn't bow to kings and neither does Jesus.  (and by kings they mean NATO, assorted representatives of the United States government, the American military, the Vatican, and their local ordinances about open bonfires, did I miss any, aside from common decency?)
mistersandman: (hahaha)
[personal profile] mistersandman

BEIJING - China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) seek an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, leaders of both nations have agreed.

The pledge comes at a time when several parties involved in the nuclear talks have strengthened diplomatic efforts to restart the deadlocked mechanism.

Click for full article )



Some boring stuff nobody really cares about )
This has all been kind of heavy stuff so I guess I will round out this post with something that is probably more in line with the spirit of ontd_political: a tribute to that most colorful leader, Hu Zongtong, and all of the truly awkward photo ops he has subjected the unwitting public to, as inspired by that gem at the top of the post.Hu will be the first to make a pun? )
treesahquiche: (Default)
[personal profile] treesahquiche
WASHINGTON — Answering the G.I. Rights Hotline for the last 11 years, J. E. McNeil has counseled thousands of soldiers who want to become conscientious objectors and get out of the service.

But when the House of Representatives voted May 27 to allow the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, paving the way for gay men and lesbians in the military to be open about their sexual orientation, Ms. McNeil got a hot-line call that raised a new issue: the caller said he considered homosexuality an abomination and wanted to be a conscientious objector because he could not serve in the military alongside gay soldiers.

Click for homophobia fail! )


It's really hilarious seeing all these bigots in the army getting their knickers in a twist over serving with people who might think they clean up pretty nicely in their dress blues. It's also nice to see how these men's "gay panic" is being so publicized while 60% of women serving in the armed forces are raped or otherwise sexually assaulted during their service and mostly everyone forgets about them. Disciplinary action for a man who's raped a woman in the army is almost nonexistent.
treesahquiche: (Default)
[personal profile] treesahquiche
'What Would You Do If a Gay or Lesbian Were In Your Shower?' and Other Pentagon Survey Questions

"If Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed and you are assigned to bathroom facilities with an open bay shower that someone you believe to be a gay or lesbian Service member also used, which are you most likely to do? Mark 1."

So asks the Pentagon survey of 400,000 non-deployed active troops regarding the pending repeal of the "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

The choices:

"Take no action;

"Use the shower at a different time than the Service member I thought to be gay or lesbian;

"Discuss how we expect each other to behave and conduct ourselves;

"Talk to a chaplain, mentor, or leader about how to handle the situation;

"Talk to a leader to see if I had other options;

"Something else;

"Don't know."

The advocacy group Servicemembers United has obtained a copy of the Pentagon survey, which can be read HERE. And its members don't like it.

Click for the full story. )


As long as no one minds if I steal their towel every now and then (I always forget mine! It is highly inconvenient!) I don't care who or what they are, and will not mind their presence whilst I am going about my daily ablutions and scrubbing ritual.
treesahquiche: (Default)
[personal profile] treesahquiche
By Scott Atran and Robert Axelrod

NOT all groups that the United States government classifies as terrorist organizations are equally bad or dangerous, and not all information conveyed to them that is based on political, academic or scientific expertise risks harming our national security. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court, which last week upheld a law banning the provision of "material support" to foreign terrorist groups, doesn't seem to consider those facts relevant.

Many groups that were once widely considered terrorist organizations, including some that were on the State Department's official list, have become our partners in pursuing peace and furthering democracy.

Click for the full story. )

Scott Atran, an anthropologist at France's National Center for Scientific Research, the University of Michigan and John Jay College, is the author of the forthcoming "Talking to the Enemy." Robert Axelrod is a professor of political science and public policy at the University of Michigan, and the author of "The Evolution of Cooperation."


I'm all for communication, but this "We must be involved" attitude is discomfiting. Yes, sometimes American interference may be the most expedient solution, but American interference caused many of those problems, and may cause yet more.
treesahquiche: (Default)
[personal profile] treesahquiche

During the night, three fountains in Tel Aviv were colored with bright red color. The Committee Against the Siege who organized the action says: "We made it to remind people in Israel that the siege policy is only causing bloodshed."

Click for the full story and more images. )


I originally came across this on the LiveJournal version of ONTD_political -- I hope I haven't done anything wrong in cross-posting this. (If I have, please tell me so posthaste!)

Anyway, this is totally awesome.


Rules are on the profile page.

Tag your posts! Contact [personal profile] treesahquiche if the tag you need doesn't exist.

Don't be afraid to attack others' positions. Be prepared to defend your own.


RSS Atom

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags