Posted tagged ‘London’

Israeli Embassy In London Faces Mass Demonstrations

December 29, 2008

(New York) Today protesters have gathered near the Israeli embassy to protest the recent military incursions into Gaza. We have clips from YouTube filmed by protesters outside of the embassy. The protesters were not allowed close to the embassy as they were held back by the London Metropolitan Police.

These protests follow reports stating that the embassy had received a white powder filled envelope which turned out to be a false alarm. Stay tuned for more updates.


Afghanistan… the forgotten war

June 6, 2008

For those of you who forgot, we are still at war in Afghanistan. Now in its 6th year 443 brave Americans have lost their lives in this war according to the latest AP figures.

Lately U.S. Marines have been fighting an upsurge in violence from the Taliban. They entered the Helmand province for the first time in years. Now the Marines aren’t alone in their fight, they’re joined by the ISA. 53,000 troops from different countries make up the ISAF or International Security Assistance Force which is in charge of Afghanistan. The ISAF has 1/3 the number of foreign troops in Iraq, yet Afghanistan is 50 percent larger and has 4 million more people.

Just to give you an idea of what these men and women have to go through. Some of these Marines are in the 4th week of what was supposed to be a 3 to 5 day campaign. These men are living off the land with no running water or no electricity as they fight Taliban soldiers who are reinforced and replaced as they cross over from Pakistan.

These are the same soldiers who when they come home are at times denied medical treatment. Soldiers who give everything to their country and get very little in return.

It’s not just American soldiers who are short changed. Recently UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been under fire from his own Generals. In an article from the London Times General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army compared the payment of his soldiers to traffic police in London.

It turns out that the traffic police or police constables have a starting salary of £21,009. Which at the current exchange rate comes out to $10,500 a year. The average soldier makes £16,227 which comes out to about $8,000 a year. Now considering the job, you have to realize that these brave soldiers are underpaid.

Do you really think someone who is handing out tickets in London should get paid more than someone who is fighting Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan for this 30th day in a row without running water and electricity? Now I know the police constables probably do a heck of a job, but lets be realistic.

Gordon Brown replied “We will do everything in our power in the years to come to recognize the great individual contribution that is made by all the members of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.”

Now American troops in Afghanistan have been ignored as much as British troops. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have nothing in their websites about Afghanistan. I believe it truly has been forgotten, for all of the talk he does about Iraq he is eerily silent about Afghanistan and NATO. I do commend Barack Obama for saying that he will withdraw troops from Iraq and place some of those troops in Afghanistan in order to relieve the soldiers who have fought much longer than they were expecting to.

Today I just ask you that when you hear people arguing about Iraq and what to do, just say “Hey what about Afghanistan?” Don’t forget the brave soldiers there, don’t forget their sacrifice, don’t’ forget the war.

Chris Puntarelli, reporting for St. John’s College Democrats.

World Reacts to Obama Nomination

June 6, 2008

The news of Barack Obama’s nomination wasn’t just headlines news here in the U.S. it made headlines all over the world. The man has changed the face, of American politics, literally. When you thought of an American president you generally thought of an old white male, and more recently someone who wasn’t exactly loved by his audience. Now there is a possibility of a young, black president who speaks at events that are more like rock concerts than press conferences. The world is taking note.

French television has already started talking about who would be his VP pick. “Choosing Hillary means choosing Bill too,” said one reporter. Even the French President Nicolas Sarkozy had something to say in a phone interview, he said Barack Obama “embodies the America of today and tomorrow.” According to a New York Times report Patrick Devedjian, the head of President Sarkozy’s center-right political party, called Mr. Obama’s candidacy ‘’a very beautiful image of America, the image of a candidate who transcends race and got to where he is because of merit alone.” According to the same article by Alan Cowell Bertrand Delanoë, the mayor of Paris, declared: “His candidacy carries an enormous hope for his country and for peace in the world.”

In Germany Josef Joffe the publisher and editor of Die Ziet wrote:

“We western Europeans wish for nothing more fervently than Barack Obama leading the USA. But he would be president of a very strong superpower, and that usually means trouble. A commentary.

The spirit of the times blows for Obama – if more softly in Asia, Africa and Latin America than here in western Europe. For us, it may be an optical illusion that sticks in our minds: that comforting picture in which it isn’t America that’s the problem, it’s George W. Bush. Out with the cowboy, in with change and hope, and we can again love America.”

In Kenya when asked about the country’s feelings about Barack being elected as part Kenyan himself
“We are feeling great,” stated Obama’s uncle. Here’s a link to a BBC report about Kenyan reaction.

“Obama’s America on the doorstep of history,” said a headline on the front page of As Safir in Lebanon.

In London the newspapers were covered with images of Barack and Hillary.

It seems the media of the United States isn’t the only one enamored with Barack Obama. The foreign press also seems to love Obama. Simply for the fact that Barack Obama is not Bush. Perhaps America doesn’t have the bad reputation we all think it does globally. Maybe Obama can restore the vision of America as the last best hope. We can only wait and see.

What do you think the world sees when they turn an eye to our political system?

Here’s a link to a related CNN article

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