Tuesday, October 02, 2007

From Burma to Iraq the Horror Continues

For more on Burmese Pro-Democracy check out the website Burmese Bloggers Without Borders : Burmese Bloggers W/O Borders

And from The Independent online Monks vanish as Burmese troops step up presence
By Rosalind Russell in Rangoon 02 October 2007

The gates were open at Rangoon's glittering Shwedagon temple yesterday but soldiers, not monks, wandered its marble-floored shrines and pavilions.

Five days after Burma's military leaders began a crackdown on protesting monks and their civilian supporters, the red-robed Buddhist clergy, normally seen in their thousands around the city, have vanished. And the UN's special envoy sent to confront the military junta was stalled for yet another day.

"The monks are gone. We are worried about them. We don't know where they are," said a young guide at the temple. Usually hundreds of monks would be milling around the golden, bell-shaped, stupa – praying, chatting quietly in groups or explaining the significance of gem-encrusted statues or shrines to visitors.

Soldiers with rifles have taken their place, their bare feet the only mark of respect to Burma's most sacred Buddhist site. There are few visitors, and stall-holders selling paper flowers and incense sticks for offerings have little trade.

"It is strange now," said the guide, out of the earshot of soldiers. "We don't think the army should be at the temple. We think the monks have been taken away. We think they are in jail."

A senior monk told The Independent at the weekend he believed 3,000 monks had been detained by Burmese security forces, and were being held in police and military camps...

From AlterNet & YouTube:
Iceland's One Representative in Iraq Is Heading Home
Adam Howard October 2, 2007.

When Bush said 36 nations were supporting our troops in Iraq, he was including one lonely Icelander.

Iceland just had one "troop" on the ground in Iraq, (actually a press aide, not a soldier--Iceland has no standing army), but that didn't stop Bush from counting them as an equal member of his disappearing "coalition." We aren't hating on you, Icelanders. We're jealous of what you enjoy--a lack of military entanglements, a terrific standard of living, and a genetic predisposition for high cheekbones. Welcome home. Check out the video...for more

Vote Vets.org
" Phony Soldiers & Rush Limbaugh "

as for Blackwater's Soldiers Of Fortune / Mercenaries aka Hired Killers :

Blackwater Covered Up 195 Shootings and More by Steve Benen October 2, 2007.

A State Department report that largely exonerates Blackwater, was apparently written by Blackwater.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing tomorrow on Blackwater's activities in Iraq, and by all indications, lawmakers will have plenty to talk about.

Guards working in Iraq for Blackwater USA have shot innocent Iraqi civilians and have sought to cover up the incidents, sometimes with the help of the State Department, a report prepared for a Congressional committee said today.

The report, based largely on internal Blackwater e-mail messages and State Department documents, depicts the security contractor as being staffed with reckless, shoot-first guards who were not always sober and did not always stop to see who or what was hit by their bullets.

In one incident, the State Department and Blackwater agreed to pay $15,000 to the family of a man killed by "a drunken Blackwater contractor," the report said. As a State Department official wrote, "We would like to help them resolve this so we can continue with our protective mission."

More on Blackwater from MWC- Media With Conscience
Blackwater faces Iraq deaths probe

The spotlight has fallen on Blackwater's Iraq operations after the deaths of 11 civilians [AFP]
US security contractor Blackwater was involved in nearly 200 shooting incidents in Iraq over the past two years and opened fire first in most of them, a US congressional report has said.

Blackwater is under investigation after some of its troops shot dead 11 Iraqis on September 16.

The private contractor in Iraq hired by the US state department has been the first to fire in more than 80 per cent of shooting incidents in which it has been involved according to a memorandum released on Monday, Henry Waxman, a Democrat, said.

The report said the company had been involved in 195 shooting incidents since 2005.

'First to fire'

"In 32 of those incidents, Blackwater were returning fire after an attack while on 163 occasions Blackwater personnel were the first to fire," said Waxman, the chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is investigating the company.

take care,

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