Over 43 people have been killed in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in the past two days in fighting between Shabab (al-Shabaab) insurgent forces, who on March 10 advanced to within one mile of the nation’s presidential palace, and troops of the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government. The fighting has just begun.
The last ambassador of the United States to Somalia (1994-1995), Daniel H. Simpson, penned a column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 10 in which which he posed the question “why, apart from the only lightly documented charge of Islamic extremism among the Shabab, is the United States reengaging in Somalia at this time?”
He answered it in stating “Part of the reason is because the United States has its only base in Africa up the coast from Mogadishu, in Djibouti, the former French Somaliland. The U.S. Africa Command was established there in 2008, and, absent the willingness of other African countries to host it, the base in Djibouti became the headquarters for U.S. troops and fighter bombers in Africa.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich Takes on Democratic Leaders with Insistence on Public Option, Call for Afghan Withdrawal
Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich joins us to discuss two House debates in which he’s played a central role this week. The Ohio Democrat is threatening to vote against his party’s healthcare reform package because it does not contain a robust public option. Meanwhile, Kucinich’s bill to force the withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan was taken up on Wednesday. After a rare three-and-a-half-hour debate on the war, the majority of House Democrats joined with Republicans to defeat the measure. [includes rush transcript]
John Yoo, the man who provided the legal rationalizations for many of our numerous and multifaceted war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq during the Bush II administration came to speak in Austin last week at the University of Texas law school. I skated out from work a little early and went to see him speak.
Got there good and early to get a seat, and waited outside the auditorium while the Federalist Society types ran around trying to tie up all the loose ends. Clearly they weren’t my type of people–all the men were wearing identical black suit white shirt red tie outfits and looked, and acted, like a hybrid of John Belushi’s two nemeses in Animal House, Neidemeyer the preppy ROTC turd, and Marmelard, the smarmy student government sellout. Except that all the Federalist types were all short, with short-man personalities. Their Federalist Society women had a little more flexibility in their apparel, and all dressed well and looked physically attractive but all seemed wound rather too tight. Seeing them reminded me of a friend of mine’s remark about Sarah Palin–he’d thought she might be worth some naked time with but somehow he suspected she’d be a lousy piece of ass. They were both officious and incompetent–the line to the auditorium didn’t get sorted out until I stepped up and started it and gave some clear directions to the crowd milling outside there.
Perhaps Eric Massa’s been discredited at this point, but I did think that he was right in his assessment that Rahm Emanuel would essentially tie Massa’s children to railroad tracks in order to whip up a vote in Rahm’s favor. Moulitsas and Emanuel, in this observer’s humble opinion, are undoubtedly birds of a feather. Anyone standing in front of the way of the gift to the health insurance near monopolies, is as good as cannon fodder. Is Moulitsas at the trough of largess that the health insurance industry doles out to buy their allegiance in Washington? With no discernible presence of investigative journalism in this country that can be difficult to establish; but what is clear, however, is how the shills for the corporatocracy close ranks, when the corporatist agenda is contested.
The House of Representatives voted yesterday to deny the resolution put forward by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) that called for Obama to bring the troops home from Afghanistan. The vote was 356 against the resolution, 65 in favor, with nine not voting.
It was clearly a vote that showed that there is one key issue in Washington where the Republicans and Democrats largely agree and that is on endless war. Out of the 356 votes to shoot down the resolution 189 of them were Democrats and 167 were Republican. Only five Republicans voted in favor of the Kucinich resolution.
compiled by Cem Ertür
Featured Writer Dandelion Salad
11 March 2010
1) David Miliband: People in the Middle East respect us for having fulfilled our warning that it was Iraq’s last chance to avoid war (8 March 2010)
2) Tony Blair: Iraq is better, our own security is better with Saddam out of power (28 January 2010) Continue reading →
Voices for Justice for the Palestinians, Part 2. This is the final episode of interviews from the Sabeel Conference March 5-6 in Marin County, California. Powerful voices who decry Israel’s brutal domination of the West Bank and lockdown of Gaza.
–Dr. Mads Gilbert, a medical doctor from Norway who has provided health care in Gaza for many years, describes the death, injuries and destruction caused by Israel’s massive assault on Gaza at the end of 2008 and the disproportionate impact on women and children;
Voices for justice for the Palestinians. Part 1 of a 2 part series of interviews from activists who participated in the Sabeel Conference held March 5 and 6 in Marin County, California. Sabeel means “The Way” in Arabic, and this conference brought a range of participants from around the world. PBC opens the program with an update on concessions from Palestinian leaders, agreeing to hold indirect talks with Israel; just 24 hours later, VP Joe Biden arrived in Israel to a defiant announcement: Israel says it will build 1600 more housing units in E. Jerusalem, ignoring demands from the Obama administration to stop the illegal construction. This podcast features: