Monday, August 8, 2011

A Skirmish in the Class War Breaks out in Tottenham and Greater London

Lost is why Mark Duggan was shot. He was, according to some residents, a crack cocaine dealer who routinely carried a gun. So what?

Everyone is taken by surprise. Everyone is blaming the police, short-handed on account of austerity cutbacks. And the United Kingdom's elite were caught on their summer vacations:

David Cameron fiddled with the foil on a bottle of pinot grigio in Tuscany; deputy prime minister Nick Clegg quietly recovered at home from his getaway in sunny France; and chancellor of the exchequer George Osbourne remained ensconced at a hotel somewhere in Beverly Hills.
Not Tottenham's youth who had no place to go on their summer holidays but out on the street, primed for the Metropolitan Police's reviled stop-and-search policy.
A wider context for the riots ... must include the impact of David Cameron's controversial austerity measures. Tottenham is among the communities worst affected by Cameron's budget, which drastically cuts programs for the young, poor and voteless. Funding has been cut from more than 380 youth charities across Britain, and Harringey Council, which covers four of the five riot areas so far, recently closed eight out of its 13 youth centres. The Harringey youth services budget was slashed by 75 per cent.
Don't get me wrong. I don't like class war when it's open and declared. It's ugly and costly. The collateral damage is cruel and extensive among the innocents and bystanders. But the head of the ostrich of the Western world's wealthy classes is deep in the sands of their beach resorts. What happens in Tottenham and other areas in London, are not likely to stay there.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

News Item: Worst US loss of life in Afghan War

Helicopter crash kills 38: Seven Afghan soldiers and 31 US special forces die after insurgents reportedly shoot down Chinook with rocket:
The US suffered its worst single loss of life in the nearly 10-year Afghan war when a helicopter carrying 31 special forces soldiers crashed on Friday night in the east of the country.

Both the Taliban, via a spokesman reached by telephone, and Afghan officials in Wardak province, to the west of Kabul, said insurgents had shot down the Chinook helicoter with a rocket.

Nato would only confirm that "there was enemy activity in the area" and that the US-led alliance was still trying to work out what had happened. US air force captain Justin Brockhoff, a Nato spokesman, said: "We are in the process of accessing the facts."

A western official said 37 people were on board, all of whom were killed. The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, said the helicopter was carrying 31 US special forces and seven members of the Afghan national army.

It is very unusual for Nato deaths from a single incident to reach double figures. The previous most deadly day for foreign troops was in June 2005 when 16 US soldiers were killed when a Taliban rocket hit a Chinook in the eastern province of Kunar.

The crash happened at 3am when the helicopter was hovering over the town of Tangi Joi Zareen, in the district of Saidabad, according to a spokesman for the provincial governor.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said Nato attacked a house in the district where insurgent fighters were gathering. He said eight insurgents died in the fighting.....
What are we fighting for.....?