Baghdad: US troops raid mosque, shoot workshippers
Baghdad: US/Iraqi troops raid Mosque, workshippers killed and wounded by Dahr Jamail
BAGHDAD - An eyewitness commentary to IPS through a U.S. raid on a Baghdad mosque Friday gives a vivid picture of what a 'successful raid' can be like.
U.S. soldiers raided the Abu Hanifa mosque in Baghdad during Friday prayers, killing at least four and wounding up to 20 worshippers.
At 12:30 pm local time, just after Imam Shaikh Muayid al-Adhami concluded his talk, about 50 U.S. soldiers with 20 Iraqi National Guardsmen (ING) entered the mosque, a witness reported.
�Everyone was there for Friday prayers, when five Humvees and several trucks carrying INGs entered,� Abu Talat told IPS on phone from within the mosque while the raid was in progress. �Everyone starting yelling 'Allahu Akbar' (God is the greatest) because they were frightened. Then the soldiers started shooting the people praying!�
Read more... San Francisco: Cops super-funding fueled by irrational fear Sister Cities: San Francisco and Baghdad's Abu Ghraib Prison?
by Peter Feng
Currently, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) commands $210 million dollars of the City�s general fund, while the Department of Public Health (DPH), San Francisco�s largest public agency, possesses a budget of about $241million dollars. Although DPH is allocated a larger budget in nominal terms, SFPD is actually richer in real terms after a dollar to employee ratio is factored in. SFPD has about 2,100 employees or sworn positions, while DPH has about 6,000. Add up the overtime costs that the Police Officers Association (POA) routinely incurs for activities including suppressing public demonstrations, arresting nonviolent protesters, or surveilling striking and/or locked out workers, and it is clear that SFPD comes out ahead.
While the passage of Proposition 1A appears to have delivered officials at the city and county level a powerful new tool to protect local tax revenues, it is unlikely that local governments will see their fiscal fortunes return to the black anytime soon. This is because Proposition 1A does nothing to reshape conventional thinking surrounding the notion of public safety. Unless local officials can recognize the fundamentally flawed logic behind their current public spending decisions, they will continue to face the prospect of lost revenues and debilitating budget deficits.
Read more... Fallujah: US battle plans begin to unravel By Michael Schwartz
In the New York Times this week the first crack appeared in the armor of the "victory in Fallujah" facade maintained by the major US media since the battle began. Eric Schmitt and Robert Worth discuss a secret Marine Corps report that reveals the major bind the US has gotten itself into by sweeping through Fallujah and attempting to pacify it.
This US strategy has created exactly the dilemma that many critics of the war had been predicting: in order to hold Fallujah the United States has to keep large numbers of troops there, and then the Americans will not have sufficient troops to handle the uprising elsewhere in the Sunni areas.
Read more... US Elections: Right wing shift confirmed. Blame the Democratic Party By Gina Alvarez �If we can�t win this damn election, with a Democratic Party more unified than ever before, with us having raised as much money as the Republicans, with 55% of the country believing we�re heading in the wrong direction, with our candidate having won all three debates, and with our side being more passionate about the outcome than theirs � if we can�t win this one, then we can�t win shit! And we need to completely rethink the Democratic Party.� � James Carville
On November 2, Election Day, a further shift to the right was certified by the voters in the United States. The best evidence of this shift, however, is not the re-election of George W. Bush, but the fact that the Democrats � once again � successfully managed to deactivate the social and labor movements and destroyed the antiwar movement, co-opting their leaders to the �Anybody but Bush� � or �Nobody but Kerry� -- strategy.
Read more... Fundamentalist Christian Right: Breeding ground for fascist tendencies By Sebastian Robles
* Republican Potemkim Village?
* Some Democrats talk about pandering
The Christian fundamentalist right has been active for decades in the Republican Party. They were instrumental in the sweep behind the �Contract of America� and the rise of Newt Gingrich as the Speaker of the House. They are no particularly stronger now than they were then.
The only difference is that in 2000 they just passively supported Bush�s election and in 2004 they jumped enthusiastically onto the bandwagon for his re-election. They are a couple million well organized religious adherents who have a big hold on the internal apparatus of the Republican Party in many states.
They are the expression of the retreat of consciousness, even bourgeois consciousness, analogous to the upsurge of Muslim fundamentalism in the Middle East. Like their counterpart there, in the US they are the expression of the failure of secular politics to achieve economic and social gains for the working and middle classes. They are filling a vacuum.
Read more... US Media blasted for its racist coverage of Arafat's death Rights group, the Arab Anti-Discrimination League blasts 'racist' US media
Imus called Arafat a 'rat' and 'stinky', mourners were 'animals'
A rights group has blasted some US media organisations for allowing for 'racist and hate-filled speech' during its coverage of the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's death.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) said it was deeply concerned with "the alarming hostility expressed by media commentators towards the Palestinian people in the wake of the death of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat," according to a statement released this week.
The ADC said US networks MSNBC and CNN both broadcasted hostile commentary regarding Palestinians.
Read more... SF Elections: Losers, Winners, Factions and Trends (notes for a balance-sheet) � The contradictions of faulty analysis
� Don�t confuse liberals with progressives: The BOS election was a win for Newsom and the machine
� Board of Education: from 4-3 to 3-3 with a swing vote
� The real Blues of Newsom and the Machine
� Calling yourself a progressive does not a progressive makes
� The Chronicle�s false analysis and the potential new steps of Newsom and the machine
� A side note: Local Republican gains and losses
� The Impact of the Presidential Election, High Turnout and Class Struggle
� Lighten up, Ross!
Link to complete results (candidates and Propositions)
By Carlos Petroni
The election is over, but local pundits have started to spin the results. One of the favorite spins is to divide the city into two, and only two, camps: progressive/liberals on one side and Machine Democrats on the other. One problem is: the classification is wrong.