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Newest Video of Saddam, Post Execution w/ Translation – GRAPHIC January 9, 2007

Posted by Dan in Main, Middle East, Must Read, News, Politics, Video, War.
5 comments

A new video of Saddam’s body after his execution has begun cropping up on the internet. In typical Webmerica style, here it is (in its entirety):

It is obvious, upon a rough translation of the voices heard in the film that this video was also “not authorized” by the Iraqi Government:

[Voice 1] – Hurry up, hurry up, I’m going to count to four. Hurry!

[Voice 2] – Just a moment. I am almost finished.

[Voice 3] – Abu Ali, Abu Ali… You take care of this.

[Voice 1] – OK let’s go, let’s go

[Voice 3] – Come on my friend! Come on my friend!

[Voice 2] – OK, I am coming. I am coming.

Voice 2 was most likely the camera man.

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Somalia… U.S. Attacks al Qaeda Suspects post Ethiopia Invasion January 9, 2007

Posted by Dan in Main, Middle East, News, Video, War.
1 comment so far

This site has been reporting on the ongoing conflict in Somalia for quite some time now.

Quick rundown w/ video:

  • Christian Government of Ethiopia invaded neighboring Somalia
  • Somalia’s ousted government was Islamic-Militant
  • 100s of thousands have been displaced due to the fighting
  • The United States did not attempt to stop the invasion, but in fact supported it

Now, thanks to the Ethiopians, Somalia has become accessible to our own war machine and we have begun attacking al Qaeda suspects within the country.

The Bush Administration has been clear on this point: No US troops will be sent into Somalia. However, we are more than willing to let the Ethiopians fight this war for us. While Bush says the war on terror is worth fighting, this is one battle we’ve stayed out of. Why?

Difference between Iraq and Somalia:

  • Somalia actively protected members of al Qaeda directly responsible for attacks against our country – Iraq did not
  • Somalia has been training terrorists – Iraq did not
  • Somalia has been led by a militant Islamic group with serious, direct ties to al Qaeda – Iraq was not
  • Somalia is actually involved in the war on terror, by supporting and training terrorists – Iraq was not
  • Somalia did not have Saddam Hussein – Iraq did

In other-words, Somalia is quite the lucrative anti-terror target, while Iraq had nothing to do with anything. It seems obvious to me that, not only has Bush avoided an actual “war on terror” by creating another war that had nothing to do with it, but he is now, more than ever, unwilling to fight against real terrorism, and why? Because public opinion has swayed against the war in Iraq. However, this doesn’t change the fact that terrorists are still trying to attack us! Now even more so, mostly thanks to Iraq, Gitmo, the secret prisons, innocent casualties…. the list of Bush foul-ups is endless and they’ve all contributed to the global hatred of our country. So, now it seems as if GW’s new solution is to have other countries fight those battles for us? At least we’re not acting unilaterally anymore, but I can’t say I’m happy about this new direction.

With our military, there’s some modicum of accountability. While the conduct of our troops is not always pristine, it should be noted that those directly responsible (meaning: implicated by photo evidence) are currently sitting in U.S. military prisons. We even try our troops for murder when they break “rules of engagement” and accidentally kill an innocent civilian. With this particular region of Africa (Ethiopia and Somalia) we’ve seen genocide and mass murder supported by the governments, with little or no international supervision. UN Peacekeeping forces in the 90s were a joke… they weren’t allowed to engage Somali militias (except in self defense), so thousands were murdered in front of our troops, who could do nothing more than stand helpless and watch. This is not better!

With American forces, we know where we stand. We know that derogatory photographs are taken, our prisoners are routinely humiliated and forced into psychological or water-based torture. However, we also know that our soldiers aren’t lining up ethnic groups and slaughtering them in mass-graves by the thousands. We do not cut, electrocute, burn or kill our prisoners… we even give them freedom to practice their own religion. But it should be noted that they are prisoners; some loss of freedom should be expected. But will Ethiopia follow those same guidelines, or are they likely to behave as they have in the past? Or for that matter, what about the next U.S. supported invasion somewhere in the world?

While I hate seeing our forces die, I hate seeing millions of innocent men, women and children killed even more. There was a reason why the entire world fought Hitler, and there is a reason why we fight terror now. The men and women of our armed forces who perish in battle do so with honor and dignity, fighting tyranny and oppression. Ethiopia simply hates Somalia. So how will they treat their prisoners? With U.S. backing… in any way they want.

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Gov. Schwarzenegger Seeks Universal Health Care January 9, 2007

Posted by Dan in Health, News, Politics.
1 comment so far

From the New York Times, by Jennifer Steinhauer….

 Images 2007 01 09 Us 09Calif Lg

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 8 — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday proposed extending health care coverage to all of California’s 36 million residents as part of a sweeping package of changes to the state’s huge, troubled health care system.

A total of 6.5 million people, one-fifth of the state’s population, do not have health insurance, far more than in any other state. At least one million of the uninsured are illegal immigrants, state officials say.

Under Mr. Schwarzenegger’s plan, which requires the approval of the Legislature, California would become the fourth and by far the largest state to attempt near universal health coverage for its citizens. The other three states are Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont.

The governor outlined his proposal to an audience of health care experts and reporters via satellite from Los Angeles. He made it clear that a variety of mechanisms would be used to provide all Californians with insurance and that the responsibility of providing it would fall on the government, employers, health care providers and the uninsured themselves.

The plan, which Mr. Schwarzenegger estimated would cost $12 billion, calls for many employers that do not offer health insurance to contribute to a fund that would help pay for coverage of the working uninsured. It would also require doctors to pay 2 percent and hospitals 4 percent of their revenues to help cover higher reimbursements for those who treat patients enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program.

“Everyone in California must have health insurance,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said.

As he made his proposal, the federal government announced that health care spending in 2005 showed the slowest growth in six years.

Mr. Schwarzenegger’s plan includes elements that quickly provoked opposition from many powerful interests, including doctors and the governor’s Republican colleagues in the Legislature.

But the speaker of the State Assembly, Fabian Núñez, a Democrat, said in a statement, “I’m glad the governor is on board with coverage for all kids.”

Over the last two years, state legislatures have grown increasingly concerned with how to provide health insurance to citizens as the number of employers offering coverage has fallen and the number of workers entering fields where health insurance is not an option has grown.

Because of its great size, California is likely to set the stage for a national conversation about health care this year.

“This is a very significant proposal,” said Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit foundation. “It is not just children he is talking about. It is really dealing with the whole problem of the uninsured, with concrete positions to raise revenues to pay for that coverage, and the philosophy of shared responsibility. I think this shows health care is going to be a major issue in the 2008 presidential election.”

In many ways, Mr. Schwarzenegger’s proposal mirrors the plan in Massachusetts, the most comprehensive of its sort, which is projected to cover about 515,000 of the state’s 550,000 uninsured. The law enacted there transformed a $1 billion pool that had long paid for health care for uninsured patients into a mechanism to help subsidize insurance for those who could not afford it.

In many states, spending on Medicaid, the federal government’s health program for the poor, has surpassed that for education in recent years. In New York, Gov. Eliot Spitzer has vowed to insure all the state’s children and enroll all eligible adults in Medicaid. And New Jersey is among a handful of states considering some form of universal coverage.

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