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Military Resistance 10I2
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
2 U.S. Soldiers Killed In Afghan Battle
September 1, 2012 CBS KABUL, Afghanistan - Two American soldiers were killed today while battling insurgents in eastern Ghazni province.
Community Rallies For Fallen Soldier
August 22, 2012 by Christina Lent, Portland Tribune U.S. Army Pfc. Andrew Keller will be remembered as a natural leader.
The 22-year-old Tigard soldier had a gift for rallying others around a cause. Whether it was standing up for an underdog as a young boy, winning a game as captain of the Southridge High School football team or serving his country on a mountaintop in Afghanistan as the leader of his unit, people were proud to be part of his team. Even after being killed in action Aug. 15 during an enemy attack in Afghanistan, the 2008 Southridge graduate has inspired the communities of Beaverton and Tigard to mobilize to support the people dearest to him: his parents Jeff and Kim, his 19-year-old brother Derek and the woman he planned to marry and build a life with, Marissa Jones. “This community helped raise Andrew, and this same community has been wonderful to our family,” said Jeff Keller, Andrew’s father. “We have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support. We had no idea the amount of love, respect and admiration people had for our son.” “The love and support we have received from everyone in the community has been out of this world,” Marissa added. “Hearing all the stories of how he impacted people has gotten me through all of this. “Andrew was a hero in so many ways and made a difference in people’s lives. They are going to push themselves and start living for a purpose because of him.” Andrew was killed Aug. 15 during an enemy attack near the town of Charkh in the Lowgar region south of Kabul, where he was serving with the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. The U.S. Department of Defense said Andrew was killed when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire. As news of his death spread last week, friends created a patriotic memorial that has continued to grow at the Southwest Barrows Road roundabout just down the street from his Tigard home. Friends, former teachers and coaches and even those who never met Andrew, flooded the Keller and Jones families with flowers, stories, photos and kind words of support. Others — including a man who stopped to straighten 22 American flags and light candles at the memorial, a Southridge Youth Football player and an 8-year-old girl, who left a homemade card thanking Andrew for his service and telling him she could sleep at night because of him — have spent time with Andrew’s grieving father. “Andrew just had a way about him and an amazing ability to bring people together,” Jeff said. “People gravitated to him. He had a smile that just lit up a room.” “Leadership always came naturally to him,” Marissa added. “People were always drawn to him because he was so kind and nice to everyone. He had a humble, caring personality and easily made friends with every type of person.” Those qualities, along with his athleticism, passion for life and drive, served him well as he enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Andrew struggled after high school to figure out what he wanted to do when his football days ended, Jeff Keller said. “He lost the camaraderie and leadership that so inspired and motivated him through athletics,” he added. It was his decision to serve his country in the military that helped Andrew find a new purpose. “It was amazing to see his leadership skills, drive and fire rekindled as a soldier,” Jeff said. “He just excelled.” Within weeks of his assignment last August with the 173rd Airborne Bridgade Combat Team at his duty station in Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy, Andrew was named Soldier of the Month. By the time his team was deployed to Afghanistan in July, Andrew had earned the respect of his sergeants and was named team leader of his unit over other soldiers who outranked him. “To see him succeed how he did in the Army was so amazing to watch,” Marissa said. “He was so happy and full of life.” “He was on a team again, battling in the trenches,” Jeff added. “It was Friday night at 7:30 p.m. every day — only this time there was no halftime or timeouts and the lives of his brothers were at stake.” Andrew was proud of his service and proud of the men and women he served with. His death hit troops hard, as the Keller family and Marissa witnessed on Saturday when they received Andrew’s body on a tarmac at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. “A general was down on his knees talking to us before we received Andrew,” Jeff said. “When the honor guard of big, strong guys like Andrew came out with him, you could see their hands shake and their tears. “They didn’t know my son, but he was one of them. It was mind-blowing to see that passion for a fellow soldier. That is when the bond Andrew felt with his Army brothers really hit me. This was Andrew’s team and why he felt the way he did about his Army family.” It was the same feeling of loyalty, protectiveness, friendship and care Andrew had for his beloved younger brother, Derek, 19. As the Kellers and Marissa reflect on the man Andrew became, they are inspired by the example with which he lived his life. “I want him to be remembered as the most loving, sincere, courageous and beautiful person I’ve ever met,” Marissa said. “My wife and Derek and I want Andrew to be remembered for genuinely caring about all people,” Jeff added. “He had a passion for life and for other people’s lives. He was
someone who gave everything he had to help other people. And he treated people with honor and respect. “He was a great, young man who gave his life for his country and who truly loved his family and Marissa. It’s my goal to make sure my son is not forgotten.” A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Sunset Presbyterian Church, 14986 N.W. Cornell Road. Instead of flowers, the Keller family encourages people to donate to either the Wounded Warrier Project or the USO. “Andrew was very strongly attached to the Wounded Warrior Project, and the USO has been so wonderful to us,” Jeff said. “If we can help some other families going through what we’ve been going through, that’s what Andrew would want us to do.”
Lake County Soldier Dies In Afghanistan Helicopter Crash
August 17, 2012 By GLENDA ANDERSON, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT A Lake County man was among 11 people killed Thursday when an International Security Assistance Force helicopter crashed in Afghanistan. The family of Richard Essex, 23, was struggling Friday to come to terms with the death of the U.S. Army gunner on the downed helicopter. “It’s just hard to think he’s gone,” said his sister, Jennifer Williamson. “He was such a big joker; when my mom called, I was almost waiting for him to pop around the corner and say ‘gotcha.’“
Essex’s parents, Marion and Brett Hopkins, of Kelseyville, will fly to Delaware early Saturday to meet the plane that is bringing home his body, Williamson said. Although family members said they had been contacted by the military, the Pentagon Friday afternoon refused to confirm the identities of those who died when the helicopter went down. Essex will be cremated, as he wished, she said. The family plans initially to hold a private service. A public military service will be held at 11 a.m., Sept. 1 at Kelseyville High School, said Principal Matt Cockerton. “He was a nice kid. A real positive kid,” said an emotional Cockerton. “He was back here last year doing a recruiting assignment. He was very proud of what he’d accomplished.” Essex was born in Blythe but moved to Lake County when he was just 3 months old, Williamson said. He attended Kelseyville High School, where he played football but was as much or more interested in music and poetry. He played guitar and loved all types of music, Williamson said. But he primarily was a poet, having published two books of autobiographical poetry. “He just loved writing poems,” his sister said. Among the belongings his parents will be retrieving from the military are notebooks filled with poems he wrote in Iraq and Afghanistan. Essex enlisted the Army within days of graduating from high school in 2008. He’d signed up when he was a junior and planned to make it a career, Williamson said. “Ever since he could walk or talk, he’s always been wanting to go into the service,” Williamson said. “Our whole family has always been in the service,” she explained. “My son has always known what he wanted to do,” Marion Hopkins said. He was determined from the day he was born, arriving early in the parking lot of the hospital, delivered by a nurse smoking a cigarette, she said. Essex was born fearless and remained so throughout his life, she said. Williamson recalled that hen he was eight years old his brother accidentally hooked him in the eye socket with a fishing lure. He cried for about 20 minutes then began to fiddle with the lure, trying to figure it out. By the time he got to the hospital, he was in good spirits and joking around, blinking his eye to make the rubber strings on the bass lure dance when the nurses walked into the room. He wouldn’t let anyone touch him until he had a mirror so he could watch, Williamson said. Essex sought thrills and thrived on adrenalin rushes, his sister said. So it was natural that he seek the dangerous job of being a helicopter gunner.
Essex served in Iraq for a year before signing up for a second tour in Afghanistan, Williamson said. He did so because he wanted to make the world safe for his family and friends, but he also wanted the war to be over, Williamson said. He was scheduled to return from Afghanistan in November. Essex was a charming and loving man whose memory will remain alive in the hearts and minds of his family and many friends, Williamson said. “I’m not going to say goodbye,” she said.
POLITICIANS REFUSE TO HALT THE BLOODSHED THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WAR
Report Confirms Attack On U.S. Base In Sayed Abad:
Says “A Number Of Troops Were Wounded, But Did Not Say How Many”
September 1, 2012 CBS & AP & BBC Near Kabul, two attackers - one detonating a vest rigged with explosives, another driving a fuel truck armed with a bomb - blew themselves up near a U.S. base, killing at least 12 people, officials said. “A suicide bomber on foot detonated near the gate of the base in Saidabad, Wardak province, opening the way for a truck suicide bombing that followed him,” provincial spokesman Shahiddullah Shahid told the BBC. The attack around dawn in the town of Sayed Abad in Wardak province, about 40 miles from Kabul, The U.S.-led NATO coalition said that no American were killed in the blasts. It confirmed that a number of troops were wounded, but did not say how many,
Shahidullah Shadid, a spokesman for the Wardak provincial governor, said one bomber detonated a vest rigged with explosives outside a compound housing the district governor’s office, while another in a fuel tanker detonated his bomb on a road separating the compound from the base. He said the dead included four Afghan police. “It was a very powerful explosion. It broke windows all over the area,” said provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Qayum Bakizai. “Most of the injuries are from broken glass from the windows of homes and shops. It was so powerful we couldn’t find much of the truck.” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, which he said was targeting the U.S. base.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE END THE OCCUPATION ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT; ALL HOME NOW
U.S. soldiers patrol in Logar Province. The troops spent most of their time patrolling on foot, walking three to five miles a day. Erin Trieb / VII Mentor Program; 22 Aug, 2012, NBC News staff and wire reports.
SOMALIA WAR REPORTS
Three Ethiopian Occupation Solders Killed By Central Somalia Blast Inside Military Base:
“The Army Responded The Attack By Firing Indiscriminately On Nearby Crowds Following The Incident”
September 1, 2012 Shabelle Media Network BELEDWEYNE (Sh. M. Network)-Witnesses say at least three Ethiopian soldiers have been killed in a huge blast detonated inside a military base in central Somalia. Initial reports suggested the attack was used a remote-controlled landmine explosion that tore through an armoured personnel carrier with dozens of Ethiopian troops. No group or individual has claimed the responsibility for the attack so far. The army responded the attack by firing indiscriminately on nearby crowds following the incident. No deaths or injures reported. Saturday’s attack was the latest in series of coordinated roadside and car bomb attacks in Somalia against the foreign forces helping TFG [government] war on militant group of Al shabab. Despite the attack, the town appeared far calmer on Saturday, according to local residents.
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HOW MANY MORE FOR OBAMA’S WAR?
August 15, 2012: Marines carry the body of Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson after its arrival at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Monday. Dickinson, 29, was killed by an Afghan while working on an installation shared with Afghan forces. --- Photo by Luis M. Alvarez, AP
“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. “For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. “We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” Frederick Douglass, 1852
Nothing has more revolutionary effect, and nothing undermines more the foundations of all state power, than the continuation of that wretched and brainless régime, which has the strength merely to cling to its positions but no longer the slightest power to rule or to steer the state ship on a definite course. -- Karl Kautsky; ‘The Consequences of the Japanese Victory and Social Democracy’
President Obama To Receive Honorary Green Beret, Induction Into Special Forces Association
Fairbairn-Sykes combat knife used by the OSS, and a disguised spatula holding the knife. Collection of the CIA Museum August 30, 2012 by ArmyJ, The Duffle Blog About The Author: ArmyJ: ArmyJ does not sleep....he waits. Occasionally he can be seen wandering around in a military uniform, but he flees when approached by those of higher rank. *******************************************************************
Fort Bragg, NC – The White House Press Office announced today that President Obama will soon be inducted into the Special Forces Association and receive an honorary Green Beret. Officials have said the honor will be bestowed in an upcoming September 11th ceremony at Fort Bragg. The honorary beret comes in recognition of the President’s decisive role in covert operations throughout the world during his term — including the killing of Osama bin Laden last year in Pakistan, and his combat action in Afghanistan months ago. Army Public Affairs has confirmed that Lieutenant General Charles Cleveland will personally present Obama with his beret and a specially engraved Fairbairn-Sykes combat knife. The knife, traditionally used by elite soldiers world-wide since the beginning of the 20th century, will have the President’s name stamped on the blade, along with the names of deceased Special Forces Medal of Honor recipients Randall Shugart and Gary Gordon, immortalized in the novel and film Black Hawk Down. The presentation will be in a small but highly anticipated ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center. The White House released a statement saying that the President is proud to be recognized for his accomplishments and role in ridding the world of dangerous enemy actors, and restated his firm determination to “continue doing his best to keep the country safe from those that would do her harm.” Obama also stated that although he had never seen the Black Hawk Down film, or read the book, he was still proud to be counted among the ranks of the most elite Special Operations soldiers. During a late afternoon briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney fielded questions, including one about the possibility of the President also receiving a Navy SEAL trident. “The President has in fact already received his Trident from the SEAL community,” said Carney. “He was honored to accept the insignia during a private ceremony in California, a week after his gutsy call where he singlehandedly took out bin Laden.” When Carney was asked who had initiated the calls for President Obama to be given the illustrious honors, he hesitated before replying, “we’ll dig into it.” Pentagon officials, taking note of the President’s extensive knowledge and experiences in special operations throughout the world, is also exploring the possibility of making him an honorary member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, the Air Force 24th Special Tactics Squadron, and Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance Company.
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
CLASS WAR REPORTS
Documentation -- The Murder Of The Marikana Miners:
“It Is Becoming Clear To This Reporter That Heavily Armed Police Hunted Down And Killed The Miners In Cold Blood”
“That Police Armoured Vehicles Drove Over Prostrate Miners Cannot Be Described As Self-Defence Or As Any Kind Of Public Order Policing”
“Summary And Entirely Arbitrary Execution At The Hands Of A Paramilitary Police Unit”
Nkanini, Marikana, North West Province, South Africa, 27 August 2012. Yellow police paint marks where the bodies of some of the 34 men killed by police were recovered by forensics. Some of the rock crevices these bodies were found in, indicate that they had to have been hunted down and shot at close range. At sites like ‘N’, the copious amount of blood lost makes it plain that it was not a wounded person who managed to crawl there, but was someone shot and killed in that position, where all four sides are hemmed in by rock. Not a single policeman was reported wounded on August 16th. Photo Greg Marinovich 1 September 2012 By Greg Marinovich; Dailey Maverick. Additional research: Mandy de Waal.
About Greg Marinovich
Born in South Africa in 1962, Greg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and is coauthor of The Bang Bang Club, a nonfiction book on South Africa’s transition to democracy. He has spent 25 years doing conflict, documentary and news photography around the globe. His photographs have appeared in top international publications such as Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian of London, among others. He is chair of the World Press Master Class nominating committee for Africa, and was a World Press Photo judge in 1994 and 2005. In 2009 he was the recipient of the Nat Nakasa award for courageous journalism. Marinovich was Editor-In-Chief of the Twenty Ten project and responsible for managing over 100 African journalists’ work in all forms of media. Currently, Editor-at-Large for IMaverick and Daily Maverick, doing freelance photography and making a film about the former militants in Thokoza township, South Africa, and writing a non-fiction book about an infamous murderer who just happened to be married to Marinovich’s mother. ********************************************************************************* Some of the miners killed in the 16 August massacre at Marikana appear to have been shot at close range or crushed by police vehicles. They were not caught in a fusillade of gunfire from police defending themselves, as the official account would have it. GREG MARINOVICH spent two weeks trying to understand what really happened. What he found was profoundly disturbing. ********************************************************************************* Of the 34 miners killed at Marikana, no more than a dozen of the dead were captured in news footage shot at the scene.
The majority of those who died, according to surviving strikers and researchers, were killed beyond the view of cameras at a nondescript collection of boulders some 300 metres behind Wonderkop. On one of these rocks, encompassed closely on all sides by solid granite boulders, is the letter ‘N’, the 14th letter of the alphabet. Here, N represents the 14th body of a striking miner to be found by a police forensics team in this isolated place. These letters are used by forensics to detail were the corpses lay. There is a thick spread of blood deep into the dry soil, showing that N was shot and killed on the spot. There is no trail of blood leading to where N died – the blood saturates one spot only, indicating no further movement. (It would have been outside of the scope of the human body to crawl here bleeding so profusely.) Approaching N from all possible angles, observing the local geography, it is clear that to shoot N, the shooter would have to be close. Very close, in fact, almost within touching distance. (After having spent days here at the bloody massacre site, it does not take too much imagination for me to believe that N might have begged for his life on that winter afternoon.)
Photo: At sites like ‘N’, all four sides are hemmed in by rock. (Greg Marinovich) And on the deadly Thursday afternoon, N’s murderer could only have been a policeman. I say murderer because there is not a single report on an injured policeman from the day.
I say murderer because there seems to have been no attempt to uphold our citizens’ right to life and fair recourse to justice. It is hard to imagine that N would have resisted being taken into custody when thus cornered. There is no chance of escape out of a ring of police. Other letters denote equally morbid scenarios. J and H died alongside each other. They, too, had no route of escape and had to have been shot at close range.
Photo: J and H died alongside each other. (Greg Marinovich) Other letters mark the rocks nearby. A bloody handprint stains a vertical rock surface where someone tried to support themselves standing up; many other rocks are splattered with blood as miners died on the afternoon of 16 August.
Photo: A bloody handprint stains a vertical rock surface. (Greg Marinovich) None of these events were witnessed by media or captured on camera. They were only reported on as component parts in the sum of the greater tragedy.
“Themba Said He Believed People Were Hiding At The Koppie, And Police Went In And Killed Them”
One of the striking miners caught up in the mayhem, let’s call him “Themba”, though his name is known to the Daily Maverick, recalled what he saw once he escaped the killing fields around Wonderkop. “Most people then called for us to get off the mountain, and as we were coming down, the shooting began. Most people who were shot near the kraal were trying to get into the settlement; the blood we saw is theirs. We ran in the other direction, as it was impossible now to make it through the bullets. “We ran until we got to the meeting spot and watched the incidents at the koppie. Two helicopters landed; soldiers and police surrounded the area. We never saw anyone coming out of the koppie.” The soldiers he refers to were, in fact, part of the police task team dressed in camouflage uniforms, brought to the scene in a brown military vehicle. Asked about this, Themba said he believed people were hiding at the koppie, and police went in and killed them. In the days after the shooting, Themba visited friends at the nearby mine hospital. “Most people who are in hospital were shot at the back. The ones I saw in hospital had clear signs of being run over by the Nyalas,” he said. “I never got to go to the mortuary, but most people who went there told me that they couldn’t recognise the faces of the dead (they were so damaged by either bullets or from being driven over).”
“It Is Becoming Clear To This Reporter That Heavily Armed Police Hunted Down And Killed The Miners In Cold Blood”
It is becoming clear to this reporter that heavily armed police hunted down and killed the miners in cold blood. A minority were killed in the filmed event where police claim they acted in self-defence. The rest was murder on a massive scale. Peter Alexander, chair in Social Change and professor of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg, and two researchers interviewed witnesses in the days after the massacre. Researcher Botsong Mmope spoke to a miner, Tsepo, on Monday 20 August. Tsepo (not his real name) witnessed some of the events that occurred off camera. “Tsepo said many people had been killed at the small koppie and it had never been covered (by the media). He agreed to take us to the small koppie, because that is where many, many people died,” Mmope said. After the shooting began, Tsepo said, he was among many who ran towards the small koppie. As the police chased them, someone among them said, “Let us lie down, comrades, they will not shoot us then.” “At that time, there were bullets coming from a helicopter above them. Tsepo then lay down. A number of fellow strikers also lay down. He says he watched Nyalas driving over the prostrate, living miners,” Mmope said. “Other miners ran to the koppie, and that was where they were shot by police and the army** with machine guns.” (** Several witnesses and speakers at the miners’ gathering referring to the army, or amajoni, actually refer to a police task team unit in camouflage uniforms and carrying R5 semiautomatic files on the day. – GM) When the firing finally ceased, Tsepo managed to escape across the veld to the north.
Photo: A satellite view of Wonderkop, the lighter coloured semi-circle to the lower right, and the Small Koppie, which is the more spread out feature to the left. The informal settlement of Nkaneng is to the far right. (Google Earth.)
Let us look back at the events of Monday, 13 August, three days prior to these events. Themba, a second-generation miner from the Eastern Cape, was present then too. He was part of a group of some 30 strikers who were delegated to cross the veld that separated them from another Lonmin platinum mine, Karee. It was at Karee mine that other rock drill operators led a wildcat strike to demand better wages. The National Union of Mineworkers did not support them, and management took a tough line. The strike was unsuccessful, with many of the strikers losing their jobs. The Marikana miners figured there were many miners there still angry enough to join them on Wonderkop. The Marikana strikers never reached their fellow workers; instead, mine security turned them back and told them to return by a route different from the one they had come by. On this road, they met a contingent of police. Themba said there were some 10 Nyalas and one or two police trucks or vans. The police barred their way and told them to lay down their weapons. The workers refused, saying they needed the pangas to cut wood, as they lived in the bush, and more honestly, that they were needed to defend themselves. The Friday before, they said, three of their number had been killed by people wearing red NUM T-shirts. The police line parted and they were allowed to continue, but once they were about 10 metres past, the police opened fire on them. The miners turned and took on the police. It was here, he said, that they killed two policemen and injured another. The police killed two miners and injured a third severely, from helicopter gunfire, Themba said. The miners carried the wounded man back to Wonderkop, where he was taken to hospital in a car. His fate is unknown. Police spokesman Captain Dennis Adriao, when asked about the incident by telephone, said public order policing officers were attacked by miners, who hacked the two policemen to death and critically injured another. He said eight people had been arrested until then for that incident and for the 10 deaths prior to 16 August. “Two are in custody in hospital who were injured in the attack on the police.” The police version of how this event took place is quite different from that of Themba, but what is clear is that the police had already arrested people for the murders committed thus far. Why, then, the urgency to confront those among the thousands camped on Wonderkop in the days leading up to the massacre on 16 August? But let us, in this article, not get too distracted by this obvious question, and return to the events of 16 August itself.
The South African Government Information website still carries this statement, dated from the day of the Marikana massacre: “Following extensive and unsuccessful negotiations by SAPS members to disarm and disperse a heavily armed group of illegal gatherers at a hilltop close to Lonmin Mine, near Rustenburg in the North West Province, the South African Police Service was viciously attacked by the group, using a variety of weapons, including firearms. The Police, in order to protect their own lives and in self-defence, were forced to engage the group with force. This resulted in several individuals being fatally wounded, and others injured.”
“That Police Armoured Vehicles Drove Over Prostrate Miners Cannot Be Described As Self-Defence Or As Any Kind Of Public Order Policing”
This police statement clearly states that the police acted in self-defence, despite the fact that not a single policeman suffered any injury on 16 August. And as we discussed earlier, it is possible to interpret what happened in the filmed events as an over-reaction by the police to a threat. What happened afterwards, 400 metres away at Small Koppie, is quite different. That police armoured vehicles drove over prostrate miners cannot be described as self-defence or as any kind of public order policing. The geography of those yellow spray painted letters tells a chilling and damning story and lends greater credence to what the strikers have been saying. One miner, on the morning after the massacre, told Daily Maverick that, “When one of our miners passed a Nyala, there was a homeboy of his from the Eastern Cape inside, and he told him that today was D-day, that they were to come and shoot. He said there was a paper signed allowing them to shoot us.” The language reportedly used by the policeman is strikingly similar to that used by Adriao early on 16 August, and quoted on MineWeb: “We have tried over a number of days to negotiate with the leaders and with the gathering here at the mine, our objective is to get the people to surrender their weapons and to disperse peacefully.” “Today is D-day in terms of if they don’t comply then we will have to act ... we will have to take steps,” he said. A little later he commented: “Today is unfortunately D-day,” police spokesman Dennis Adriao said. “It is an illegal gathering. We’ve tried to negotiate and we’ll try again, but if that fails, we’ll obviously have to go to a tactical phase.” Speaking to the possible intention of the police, let us look at how the deployed police were armed. The weapons used by the majority of the more than 400 police on the scene were R5 (a licensed replica of the Israeli Galil SAR) or LM5 assault rifles, designed for infantry and tactical police use. These weapons cannot fire rubber bullets.
The police were clearly deployed in a military manner – to take lives, not to deflect possible riotous behaviour. The death of their comrades three days previously set the stage for the police, who have been increasingly accused of brutality, torture and death in detention, to exact their revenge.
“More Than 3,000 People Gathering At Wanderkop Did Not Merit Being Vulnerable To Summary And Entirely Arbitrary Execution At The Hands Of A Paramilitary Police Unit”
What is unclear is how high up the chain of command this desire went. There has been police obfuscation and selective silence in a democratic society where the police are, theoretically, accountable to the citizenry, as well as to our elected representatives. We live in a country where people are assumed innocent until proven guilty; where summary executions are not within the police’s discretion. Let us be under no illusion. The striking miners are no angels. They can be as violent as anyone else in our society. And in an inflamed setting such as at Marikana, probably more so. They are angry, disempowered, feel cheated and want more than a subsistence wage. Whatever the merits of their argument, and the crimes of some individuals among them, more than 3,000 people gathering at Wanderkop did not merit being vulnerable to summary and entirely arbitrary execution at the hands of a paramilitary police unit. In light of this, we could look at the events of 16 August as the murder of 34 and the attempted murder of a further 78 who survived despite the police’s apparent intention to kill them. Back at the rocks the locals dubbed Small Koppie, a wild pear flowers among the debris of the carnage and human excrement; a place of horror that has until now remained terra incognita to the public. It could also be the place where the Constitution of South Africa has been dealt a mortal blow. DM
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Class War Vietnam:
“There’s A Growing Resentment, Particularly Among The Have-Nots, Toward The Wealthy”
“When The People Rise Up And Take Over. The Son Of A King Will Lose Power And Sweep The Temple”
September 1, 2012 By THOMAS FULLER, The New York Times [Excerpts] HANOI, Vietnam -- She wore a pink outfit and matching high heels as she toured the dusty construction site. Soon after To Linh Huong’s visit in April, photos that captured the moment went viral on the Internet, but not because of Ms. Huong’s sense of style. The daughter of a member of the Vietnamese Communist Party’s Politburo, the country’s most powerful political body, Ms. Huong had only days before been appointed the head of a state-owned construction company. Commentators on the Internet expressed outrage that someone so young -- she is reported to be 24 -- held such a senior corporate post. “Taking a little girl who just graduated from journalism school and making her the director general of a construction company is no different than making a one-legged man a soccer goalie,” read a comment on Pham Viet Dao, a popular blog by a Vietnamese writer of the same name. “Sorry to say -- this is so stupid.” The yawning divide between rural poverty and urban wealth has become especially jarring, now that a decade of breakneck growth has come to an end, dimming the prospects for the poor and middle class to fight their way up the social ladder. “Up until now, growth has been wonderful, and to be rich was great,” said Carlyle A. Thayer, a leading expert on Vietnamese politics who has a database of Vietnamese leaders and their family members. “There’s a growing resentment, particularly among the have-nots, toward the wealthy.” Much of the ire has been focused on Vietnam’s version of crony capitalism -- the close links between tycoons and top Communist Party officials. This criticism has been able to flourish partly because news of abuses has leaked out as state companies, which remain a central part of the economy, have floundered, helping precipitate Vietnam’s
serious financial woes. Activists and critics have also been able to use the anonymity of the Web to skirt tight media controls that had kept many scandals out of public view. As criticism has mounted, some of the relatives of Communist Party officials have stepped back from high profile roles. Ms. Huong left her state-run company in June, three months after her appointment, and the daughter of the prime minister recently left one of her posts, at a private bank. Government officials, meanwhile, are sounding defensive. On the Internet and social networks, much of the anger about nepotism and poor economic management has been directed at Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who was re-elected to a five-year term last year amid the turmoil of failing state-owned companies. “People are concerned that he has too much power -- they feel he needs to be reined in,” said Mr. Thayer, who is emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales in Canberra, Australia. Mr. Dung’s family was the focus of a diplomatic cable in 2006, the year he became prime minister, written by Seth Winnick, who at the time was United States consul general in Ho Chi Minh City. The cable, made public through WikiLeaks, highlighted the corporate career of Nguyen Thanh Phuong, the prime minister’s daughter. “There is no doubt that she is talented,” Mr. Winnick wrote. “However, her rapid advance, and the many doors that opened for her and her two brothers are indicative of how the Vietnamese political elite ensures that their progeny are well placed educationally, politically and economically.” Ms. Phuong runs an investment fund called Viet Capital Asset Management and a brokerage firm, Viet Capital Securities, both private companies. In June, amid criticism on the Internet of her wealth and influence, she stepped down as chairwoman of Viet Capital Bank, a position she had held for four months. While Ms. Phuong is among the better known of the so-called “children of the powerful,” the list is long. It includes her brother, who is the deputy construction minister, and Ms. Huong, the young woman who headed the construction company and is the daughter of To Huy Rua, a powerful member of the Politburo. Others have moved up in the party. The son of Nong Duc Manh, who retired as general secretary of the Communist Party last year, is a member of the party’s Central Committee. Because of tight controls on the media -- and severe punishment for dissent that can include jail terms -- criticism of the leadership has been largely anonymous, on blogs and Facebook pages, often driven by rumors and unsubstantiated gossip. But as stateowned companies struggle with scandals and mountains of debt, details of nepotism and shady dealings have also slipped into the public domain. In reporting the collapse of one of the largest state-owned conglomerates, Vinashin, the state-run news media revealed that at least three family members of the company’s
chairman, Pham Thanh Binh, held senior positions in the company, including his son and brother. The total cost of these scandals to Vietnamese society remains unknown. But the billions of dollars in debt are likely to be a huge burden for the economy for years to come. Given Vietnam’s history of revolt, it is perhaps fitting that many of the bitter comments online about the scandals have often been accompanied by an ancient Vietnamese poem taught to schoolchildren: The son of a king will become king The son of a temple janitor will sweep the leaves When the people rise up and take over The son of a king will lose power and sweep the temple.
“Angola Is A Rich Country, But We Don’t Get Any Of It”
“The People In Power Are Eating All The Money”
“First Young People And Then Military Veterans Took To The Streets, Prompting Harsh Police Crackdowns”
“A Vast Gap Yawns Between The WellConnected, Penthouse-Owning Rich And The Slum-Dwelling, Unemployed Poor”
August 31, 2012 By LYDIA POLGREEN, New York Times [Excerpts] LUANDA, Angola — From his doorstep, Paulo Silva can see emblems of his country’s transformation from war-addled basket case to petroleum powerhouse. A flock of cranes hovers over a skyline dotted with climbing skyscrapers, and dead center is a
symbol of the country’s multiparty democracy: the half-built dome of the new home of Angola’s Parliament. But as Angolans go to the polls on Friday for the third time in the country’s troubled history, Mr. Silva, for one, does not plan to vote for the party that built this city of plenty. From the slum where he spends his days, evidence of the nation’s wealth looms before his eyes, just out of reach. “Angola is a rich country, but we don’t get any of it,” said Mr. Silva, who plans to vote for an opposition party. “The people in power are eating all the money.” The governing Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, which has been in power for more than three decades, is expected to win the vote handily. Its leader, President José Eduardo dos Santos, has been in office longer than almost any other African head of state, and with complete control over the state media and vast campaign funds at his disposal, his victory is all but assured. With the help of huge offshore deposits of oil that have made Angola Africa’s secondbiggest producer of crude, Mr. dos Santos has built a nation where Porsches and Lamborghinis ply the city streets and luxury apartments loom over the skyline, and where the well-heeled dance at nightclubs with a $100 cover charge. But millions of Angolans have been left behind. A vast gap yawns between the wellconnected, penthouse-owning rich and the slum-dwelling, unemployed poor like Mr. Silva. “We need a change in this country,” Mr. Silva said. First young people and then military veterans took to the streets, prompting harsh police crackdowns. But accusations of corruption gnaw at the governing party, and it has clamped down hard in response to the wave of protest, arresting organizers and roughing up participants. Mr. dos Santos’s popularity has also waned, many analysts say. At an election rally held outside a huge stadium on the edge of the capital, Luanda, on Wednesday, loudspeakers carried the sound of recorded applause, apparently to spare him the embarrassment of a muted response to his speech. The youth protest movement, fueled by popular rap stars who rhyme about corruption and poverty amid plenty, is using social media and text messaging to collect reports of election irregularities, said Luaty Beirao, a rapper who goes by the name Ikonaklasta. “We have no access to public media, so we have to use the Web or any means we can to get the word out,” Mr. Beirao said. Mihaela Neto Webba, a parliamentary candidate for Unita in Luanda, said she had no illusions about the party’s hopes for victory.
“All Angolans know that we have a compromised democracy,” she said. “To have a credible, competitive and democratic process, everyone must abide by laws. But that doesn’t happen.” State television gives most of the coverage to Mr. dos Santos, showing what amounts to campaign commercials for hours every day. “The opposition gets one hour a day,” Ms. Webba said. “Dos Santos gets 23 hours a day.”
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