It's Memorial Day in the US today, a day dedicated to remembrance of those killed and injured in military conflicts – similar to Remembrance Day in Commonweath Countries, France and Belgium. With that in mind, we begin the day's roundup with a selection of posts from Milbloggers – bloggers who are active or retired military personnel, or military families:
Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette honors the memory of Marla Ruzicka, founder of the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflicts, who was killed by a terrorist bomb in Iraq at the age of 28. John Upperman at Who's Your Baghdaddy? remembers six soldiers from his base camp who have been killed in operations in Iraq with photos of base facilities that have been dedicated to the fallen soldiers.
The Talking Dog interviews US Army Staff Sergeant Shanona Gregozek, stationed in Mosul, Iraq, where she oversees a project – sponsored by Spirit of America – with the Kurdish Women's Union.
SFC Kevin Kelly reports on Memorial Day celebrations in his Engineer battalion, stationed in Iraq. And Lt. R.D. Currie of Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum, is “happy to report that Memorial Day 2005, in Southern Baghdad Iraq was fairly boring“.
Image from John Upperman's blog
Don't tell Martin that Africa is “suffering” from brain drain – he's got a strong argument that Africans living and working abroad are a key economic force on the continent.
Congo Girl explains why beans are expensive, why beer is cheap, and why this is a very bad thing.
Ethiopundit has a political quiz, of a sort, for you. In a similar spirit (i.e., unsympathetic to the Zenawi government), Friends of Ethiopia is very concerned about the presence of militia forces in Addis Ababa.
Mohamed at From Cairo, With Love wrote last week about a friend who was involved with a Kefaya protest last week and who reported that she was stripped, beaten and sexually assaulted by Egyptian authorities. He's now helping call attention to a protest organized by the Association of Egyptian Mothers – Black Wednesday – inviting all Egyptians to wear black to help protest last week's events and to call for the resignation of Egypt's interior minister, Habib al-Adli. (Some background on Wednesday's events from Newsday.)
Big Pharaoh is skeptical that people will participate in this movement, or a parallel white ribbon campaign. Over beers with a friend, he offers a timeline for what might happen over the next few years if the Mubarak government were replaced by an Islamist government.
Hoder wonders whether Iran's supreme leader, Khamenei, has implictly endorsed Rafsanjani, a seventy-year old presidential candidate, and how this aligns with his previous statements that Iran's new president should be someone “young and energetic.” Hoder also has an insightful piece on IranScan, analyzing the fashion decisions of major Iranian politicians and their attempts to appeal to different constituencies. Meanwhile, Babak Seradjeh wonders how 1008 of 1014 possible presidential candidates were disqualified by religious authorities.
Neda at An Iranian Girl calls attention to Akbar Ganji, Iran's longest serving political prisoner. Ganji has been imprisoned for 61 months and is now on a hunger strike. Mr. Behi is trying to organize a “Google Bombing”, trying to get bloggers to link to stories about Ganji's imprisonment.
Image – Black Wednesday banner
Central Asia and the Caucuses
MivPiv – a Danish aid worker in Kabul – shares tips for identifying suicide bombers, and details the “kidnapping kit” she keeps in her purse. Her Flickr photoblog shows some of the prettier sides of life in Kabul.
Raffi of Life in Armenia was in Karabakh (a territory disputed between Armenia and Azerbaijan), watching footage of the new Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline – he's surprised that the pipeline has opened before a Armenia/Azerbaijan peace deal.
New Mongol is off to a terrific start, with an excellent piece explaining why Mongolia's election of a “communist” president doesn't mean that Mongolians are looking back fondly to Soviet times.
Image from New Mongol. Click to see it in its fully adorable glory.
Eduardo at Barrio Flores wonders what happened to the Frente Nacional Anticorrupción, which claimed responsibility for a bombing in Bolovia two weeks back. Miguel points to a recent survey that 6 out of 10 Bolivians would emigrate, if they had the opportunity.
Isidro at Argepundit sees France's vote against the EU constitution as being more about nationalism and traditionalism than “anticapitalismo”.
Yazad is trying to spark a debate, asking whether India should invade Nepal. He seems surprised that some Nepali commenters aren't happy about him asking this question…
Amit Varma points to a story about heavy metals in ayurvedic medicines, memorably noting that “Metallica can lead to Megadeath”
Rezwan at 3rd World View celebrates Bengali fashion designer Bibi Russell.
Clair talks about the stereotypes that plague Filipina women.
Photo from llauren – Heading to the Independence Day celebrations in Timor/Leste